Into the Deep

A blog by Deacon Mike Bickerstaff about practical faith for ordinary daily life.

"Mulitplication of the Loaves and Fishes" (detail) by Très Riches Heures"Mulitplication of the Loaves and Fishes" (detail) by Très Riches Heures

Jesus Reveals the Real Presence in John’s Gospel

During this Liturgical Year (Year B), the gospel readings at Mass on Sundays are taken primarily from the Gospel of Mark. However, beginning this weekend, we will spend four consecutive Sundays hearing from the sixth chapter of the Gospel of John and the focus will be on the Eucharist. To set the scene, we need to look back to last […]

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How to Be a Better Disciple

There is a section of Luke’s Gospel known as the Travel Narrative. In this section, Jesus and his disciples journey to Jerusalem where redemption will occur and the Church will be born. St. Luke uses nearly ten chapters (9:51-19:27) to record this journey to Jerusalem. Along the way, Jesus prepares his disciples for the work to which he has called […]

Nancy Bauer / Shutterstock.com
(Click for full image.)Nancy Bauer / Shutterstock.com (Click for full image.)

Get to know the First Saturday Devotion

As so many of the saints know, devotion to Mary is a key trait of those Christians who are most perfectly conformed to the image of Jesus Christ. “The greatest saints, those richest in grace and virtue will be the most assiduous in praying to the most Blessed Virgin, looking up to her as the perfect model to imitate and as […]

"The Raising of Jairus' Daughter" (detail) by Repin"The Raising of Jairus' Daughter" (detail) by Repin

Do not be Afraid to Touch Jesus

The Gospel for the Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year B) comes from Mark 5:21-43 and consists of the accounts of two miracles Jesus performed. Jairus, a synagogue official desperate to save the life of his daughter, seeks out Jesus. On His way with Jairus to restore his daughter, Jesus encounters the woman with a hemorrhage. Mark frequently interrupts one story to […]

"The Holy Family (detail)" by Murillo"The Holy Family (detail)" by Murillo

Seven Essential Lessons Dads Need to Teach their Children

Who Introduced You to the Lord? The first question I would like to pose, is simply this: “How did you come by your faith, whether it be weak or strong, new or old? Where and when did you first come to encounter Jesus and his glorious Gospel?” For many of us, the answer would be, “I first came to know […]

A Family Saying Grace Before MealA Family Saying Grace Before Meal

Handing On the Faith We Received

When I think back over my life, I am thankful for the many gifts the good God sent my way through people who knew and loved Him and who chose to share that knowledge and love with me. There are so many examples from the good Catholic sisters and priests who taught me to my Presbyterian friend, James, who announced that […]

Mission Dolores Altar (San Francisco)
Photograph © by Andy CoanMission Dolores Altar (San Francisco) Photograph © by Andy Coan

Thank You Jesus

Today we celebrate the Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ—Corpus Christi. Jesus began to prepare us for this great gift of the True Presence of His Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity in the Most Holy Eucharist when He performed the miracle of the Multiplication of the Loaves and Fishes and by His Bread of Life Discourse. This teaching […]

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What You Should Know about the Mystery of the Blessed Trinity

We are able to know certain eternal truths without the light of faith. According the Church for example, the greatest truth of all—God exists—is knowable from the light of human reason and the works of creation alone. But there exist truths that we cannot discover until God reveals them to us. The doctrine of the Trinity is an example of such a […]

"Ascension of Christ" (detail) by Garofalo"Ascension of Christ" (detail) by Garofalo

The Difference the Ascension of the Lord Makes in Our Lives

Years before that first Ascension Thursday, God entered into His own creation as the God-man, Jesus. He came as a humble babe, conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. His birth took place in a stable that housed livestock. Little is recorded of His early years; He was a thirty-year-old when He began His public ministry. During […]