General

St. Josemaría EscriváSt. Josemaría Escrivá

Fighting the Good (albeit Ordinary) Fight

This week, the Church in the United States is in the midst of the annual Fortnight for Freedom.  The bishops established the Fortnight in 2012 to highlight the need to defend religious liberty. It is a two-week period of prayer, fasting, and action.  There are many feast days that fall in this two week period, including Sts. Thomas More and John […]

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Lack of Prayer is the Cause of Lack of Time

Recently I was late getting a manuscript to an editor. My excuse? By far the most popular one in America: I had “no time.” Let’s examine that excuse. Why do we all seem to have no time for anything, much less for prayer? I am constantly feeling guilty about this, and I suspect most of you are too. I think […]

Photography © by Carmelite Sisters of the Most Sacred Heart of Los AngelesPhotography © by Carmelite Sisters of the Most Sacred Heart of Los Angeles

The Desert in Carmelite Spirituality

“What did you go out to the wilderness to see?” (Matthew 11:7) These were Jesus’ words to the crowd. John took to the desert to draw people out into solitude to prepare their hearts for the coming of the Messiah. For many years the desert had become a place of encounter. In 1 Kings 19:1-8 a long time before John’s […]

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Spiritual Lessons from Gardening

There’s nothing like playing in the dirt to give me some perspective. I suppose I should call it “gardening,” and not let on that I’m still a beginner when it comes to the flowering plants and vegetables that dot the grounds around my house.  The truth is, though, that I really use it for therapy.  I guess that explains the […]

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Going Out the Door

Do I get an indulgence for walking out a holy door? Our diocese has a few holy doors for this Year of Mercy, and one is in my parish. I think of the great graces I have the chance to receive on a weekly basis as I go to Sunday Mass, and I always try to enter through the doors […]

"The Holy Trinity" (detail) by Antonio de Pereda"The Holy Trinity" (detail) by Antonio de Pereda

Judge Not by Appearances

Jesus Christ, the only begotten son of God is His revealed word. He is the single best source of Truth known to man and it is only through Him that we may catch a glimpse of who God is and who we truly are. The world today has turned away from Christ as the ultimate source of truth and turned […]

"Creation of Adam" (detail) by Michelangelo"Creation of Adam" (detail) by Michelangelo

Are Human Free Will and Divine Predestination Both True?

If God is not love but only knowledge, then it is difficult or impossible to see how human free will and divine predestination can both be true. But if God is love, there is a way. Freedom and predestination is one of the most frequently asked questions among my students—partly because of modern man’s great concern for freedom, but also, […]

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Celebrating Our Father

During the month of June, the United States and fifty-five other countries around the world honor the roles fathers play in the family and the community.  This modern secular holiday invites us to ask a very important question—what does it mean to call God “Father?” Most of the great religions of the world believe in one God and teach the essence of the […]

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What We Can Learn from Clergy Assignments

Last Sunday, the choir at my parish took me by surprise by singing “Totus Tuus” by Marco Frisina for the meditation after communion. Though I’ve only heard the song a few times, it never fails to take me back to the emotional weeks surrounding Pope John Paul II’s death and funeral. I was given the grace of being in Rome […]

"Creation of Adam" (detail) by Michelangelo"Creation of Adam" (detail) by Michelangelo

Are Modern Laws Making Us Less Free?

Before we understand the purpose of our law, we should ask, “What does it mean to be free?” Is it simply the ability to choose whatever we want to do even if what we want is not morally sound? St. John Paul II would say that such permissiveness would actually destroy our freedom because sin actually enslaves us. It is […]