General

"The Prophet Isaiah" (detail) by Michelangelo"The Prophet Isaiah" (detail) by Michelangelo

What are the “O Antiphons” and why should I care?

The “O Antiphons” refer to the seven antiphons that are recited (or chanted) preceding the Magnificat during Vespers of the Liturgy of the Hours. They cover the special period of Advent preparation known as the Octave before Christmas, December 17-23, with December 24 being Christmas Eve and Vespers for that evening being for the Christmas Vigil. Introduction On the evening […]

"Christ in the House of Mary and Martha" (detail) by Johannes Vermeer"Christ in the House of Mary and Martha" (detail) by Johannes Vermeer

When My Martha Tendencies Highjack My Desire To Be Like Mary During Advent

I woke up one morning recently and panicked about my failure to “plan” Advent.  After a few hours of agonizing about an approach, I concocted a plan of attack. “If we get an Advent wreath, make a calendar, prepare an empty manger with sacrifice straw and pull out all fifty of the Christmas books, I think we’ll be in good […]

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Joyful Witness — Everyday Heroes and More

I am 99% sure I’ve read all of Randy Hain’s books. And I’ve enjoyed them all. But his latest, Joyful Witness: How to Be an Extraordinary Catholic (Servant Books, 2014), is something different than the rest, and I can’t help but call it his best writing. Though it’s unmistakably Hain’s voice, it’s also something more, like he let go and […]

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Why We Need Joyful Witnesses

Over the Thanksgiving holidays, I found myself in multiple conversations with people who were distressed about the evils of the world today: the lack of faith, poverty, injustice, and pornography, ISIS, abortion, euthanasia, and materialism, to name a few.  While all the concerns expressed were valid, I walked away from the discussions feeling depressed and hopeless about the state of […]

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Our Merciful Mother — Our Lady of Guadalupe

by Sister Ines, O.C.D. In every approved Marian apparition, Our Lady has a specific mission. Each one reveals a determined and specific message—a unique and necessary goal. In the Anáhuac Valley of Mexico, on a barren hill called Tepeyac, Our Lady of Guadalupe came as a “merciful Mother,” a healer and restorer of all who are broken in body and […]

Hippolytus Astrology

Did You Know St. Hippolytus Refuted Astrology in the Third Century?

Astrology has its roots in the astral omens of ancient Mesopotamia dating back to the third millennium before the birth of Christ.[1] The ancient Babylonians presumed astronomical observations of the configuration of celestial bodies gave them the ability to predict the future. These astral omens (omina) involved occultic beliefs that events in the natural world, such as lightening, cloud movements, […]

"Suffer little children to come unto me" (detail)  by Juan Urruchi"Suffer little children to come unto me" (detail) by Juan Urruchi

We Teach Our Children That God Loves Them

As responsible and caring parents, we teach our children that God loves them. We also teach them to pray and to go to God with their needs. But how do we explain those times when God lets them suffer and their prayers are not answered the way they had hoped? It makes the most sense to look to Jesus for […]

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Enduring His Wife’s Addiction

Shuffling through the mail, Brad Kremmer pulled out several envelopes from credit card companies and ripped them open. His muscles tightened as he skimmed over the new balances. “She’s lied again,” Brad realized. His wife, Jennifer, had promised to stop gambling at the casino and going on out-of-control buying sprees. Instead, she had gone through at least another two thousand […]

"The Virgin in Prayer" (detail) by Sassoferrato"The Virgin in Prayer" (detail) by Sassoferrato

The Truth About Mary

by Sister Sophia, OCD Our Lord entrusts each of us into the care of the most blessed of all women—Mary, His mother. Sammy was a playful boy, like most of the five-year olds in my kindergarten classroom. Almost three feet tall with dark, dark eyes and dark, dark hair, Sammy possessed a smile that radiated from his soul. He came […]

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I Should Have Said No

I should have said no. But when I said yes, I felt POWERFUL. I felt NEEDED. I felt SOUGHT AFTER. I felt DESIRED. Now, I just feel TIRED. I tend to bite off more than I can chew. That’s something my mother told me long ago when I was a teenager. Constantly trying to get me to cut back on […]