The Deadline That Changed My Prayer Life

Mornings are God’s masterpieces. A new day awakens, filled with potential. The night sky disappears into the heavens, while the sun slowly creeps up out of the distant horizon. Most of the time, I don’t see the sun rise. Dawn comes quite early according to any clock and Carmelite Sisters rise even before the sun does. One day is etched […]

A Case for Priestly Celibacy

There is a very bad argument for celibacy which has reared its head throughout the tradition and which is, even today, defended by some. It runs something like this: married life is morally and spiritually suspect; priests, as religious leaders, should be spiritual athletes above reproach; therefore, priests shouldn’t be married. I love Augustine, but it is hard to deny that […]

Marriage: The Union of One Woman and One Man

Confidential to Wives and Mothers: Going ABOVE and BEYOND

I’m pretty shocked at the number of women I’m talking to these days who find it an intrusion to cook every day for their families. I’ve noticed this a lot lately in real life, and then today again in an online group I am in of faithful, committed Catholics, no less. There’s a thread in that group about a wife […]

Traps & Tips for Spiritual Workouts

As part of our health insurance, they bribe, er, encourage us to stay healthy and active.  So the other day (in order to earn “points” for the program) I was reading an article about beginning a workout regimen.  The advice given was good—things like how to make your exercise a habit so that you can stick with it when life gets busy, […]

Mary, the Gate of Heaven (with the Best Motherly Arms)

I knew I was out of my league when she came barreling toward me.  She weighed at least as much as I did, and she was much more passionate in her goal than I was in mine.  She wanted out, and, seeing her come toward me, I wanted out too, out of the way. My brother-in-law or husband—I don’t remember […]

Sometimes You’re Just Lying There Like a Slug In the Desert

I don’t think I’m the only one who hasn’t been having a very good Lent this year.  By which I mean I haven’t been having a very bad Lent.  I mean, it hasn’t been hard; I haven’t been taking full advantage of the opportunities this liturgical season offers in terms of increased prayer, fasting and alms-giving. As a matter of […]

"Suffer the little children to come unto me." (detail) by Carl Bloch [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

What Kindness Really Means

We exited the restaurant with exuberance still lingering from our family dinner conversation. It was a rare treat to take everyone out to eat, so we relished the time spent ordering what we wanted, listening to catchy tunes, and watching diners gather on the dance floor for mid-meal entertainment. I’d forgotten that Sarah had Apert syndrome, as I tend to […]

Lost sabbaths and the sin of sloth

An intriguing phrase caught my attention while looking over the Mass readings for the fourth Sunday of Lent (Year B). The first reading comes from the end of 2 Chronicles, as it recaps the story of the Babylonian captivity and subsequent restoration of Jerusalem. It clearly teaches that God allowed the Israelites to be taken into captivity because of their […]

Cardinal Tagle Illustrates The Power Of Accompaniment

At the Mid-Atlantic Congress a few weeks ago, Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle, the Archbishop of Manila, gave the keynote address where he illustrated through personal stories the power of accompanying people in their faith journeys so as to point them to Christ. Accompaniment is a pitch word frequently used in the Church today. Pope Francis discussed this idea of accompaniment […]

Why Should I Go on a Retreat?

Dear Sister, Can you answer a question for me?  Why do people need or even want to make a retreat? I’ve never understood that, given the wonderful options I have right here at home through my parish, and, of course, the vast array of media opportunities we have now. Sincerely, Curious Dear Curious, I can think of TEN great reasons […]