Into the Deep

Into the Deep offers practical insight and encouragement for being a faithful disciple of Jesus Christ.  Deacon Bickerstaff draws from Sacred Scripture, Church teaching and personal testimony to help readers life the faith throughout the day. Each week, he reflects and teaches on a passage from the bible, a truth of the faith, a Person of God, an event in the life of Christ or his saints, in a way that resonates with readers more important questions about life.

Seven Essential Lessons for Dads

"The Holy Family (detail)" by Murillo

Our state in life is where we live out our vocation; it is the path by which we journey to Heaven. God has called each of us by name to Himself. In baptism we each received a share in the divine mission and a responsibility to be faithful to that mission. When a man and a woman answer God’s call to […]

Pentecost—God’s Love Ablaze

"La Pentecôte" (The Pentecost) by Jean II Restout - detail

“Therefore I want you to understand that no one speaking by the Spirit of God ever says ‘Jesus be cursed!’ and no one can say ‘Jesus is Lord’ except by the Holy Spirit” (1 Corinthians 12:3). “Nevertheless I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Counselor […]

The Ascension of the Lord and Our Mission

"Ascension of Christ" (detail) by Garofalo

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 […]

Hold on to the Peace of the Lord

"Christ the Consolator" (detail) by Carl Bloch

Are you at peace or is your heart troubled? “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You have faith in God; have faith also in me. In my Father’s house there are many dwelling places. If there were not, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare […]

Why Should I Confess My Sins To A Priest?

"Return of the Prodigal Son" (detail) by Murillo

Have you ever been asked why you confess your sins to a priest? Have you ever wondered why you should confess your sins to a priest? In discussing the Catholic faith with non-Catholics, the doctrine concerning confessing one’s sins to a priest often arises. Indeed, in my experience, the Sacrament of Reconciliation ranks right up there with Marian Dogmas among […]

Be Not Afraid—Follow the Good Shepherd

"Christ, the Good Shepherd" (detail) by Murillo

“The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want…” (Psalm 23:1). Who We Are It is incredibly important that we fully know and understand who we are. We are God’s special creation. He has made each of us in His image and likeness, in freedom and love and invited us to spend all eternity sharing in His glory and blessedness […]

Is it okay to call a Catholic priest “Father”?

"The Stoning of St. Stephen" (detail) by Rembrandt

[NB: Do not miss the video at the end of this article. You will be blessed. —Deacon Mike] Call no man father? “Call no one on earth your father; you have but one Father in heaven” (Matthew 23:9). Throughout history, including that time since the days when Jesus uttered these words, we have referred to others on earth as father. […]

Surrender Your Life to Jesus and His Divine Mercy

Vilnius Image of Divine Mercy (detail) by Kazimierowski

Jesus Asks for the Feast of the Divine Mercy Christ is Risen! Truly He is Risen! Jesus loves you so much! He desires you to be washed in His mercy so you can be in communion with Him. Jesus appeared to a young Polish girl, St. Faustina, beginning in 1924, before she entered religious life. He gave her a series […]

New Life in Christ

"The Resurrection of Christ" (detail) by Bloch

Christ is Risen! Truly He is Risen! What more fitting conclusion to a week of drama wrought by sin could there be than the triumph of Life over death! There is so much about Easter to help us live our lives in our day. Surely we can more fully embrace all that the Resurrection of Jesus Christ means for us today if we go […]

Joy and Sorrow

"Christ's Entry into Jerusalem" by Hippolyte Flandrin

The Cross is the great paradox of Christianity. More than a few people have asked me over the years why the Catholic Church focuses so prominently and persistently on the Crucifix. One inquirer even suggested that the Crucifix hanging above the Altar is too intense a reminder of the sorrow in the world and that she would never join a […]