General

Pope Francis (neneo / Shutterstock.com)Pope Francis (neneo / Shutterstock.com)

A Mother Who Inspires us to Love

What if Pope Francis gave you a special mission? Wouldn’t you find it hard to ignore? I, for one, paid attention when the Holy Father issued a commission to me and my companions during a private audience in Rome back in October of 2013. We had gathered together for a study seminar hosted by the Pontifical Council for the Laity […]

"Legend of St. Francis [15] Sermon to the Birds" (detail) by Giotto"Legend of St. Francis [15] Sermon to the Birds" (detail) by Giotto

Misquoting St. Francis

  In a few weeks, I get to go back to one of my favorite places in the world: Assisi. The medieval hillside town is like no other place in this world, and there’s something about walking those streets that has a way of re-calibrating your life.  Many people try to go to Assisi as a day trip, but I’m […]

"Supper at Emmaus" (detail) by Caravaggio"Supper at Emmaus" (detail) by Caravaggio

The Mysterious Treasures Buried in Mystagogical Catechesis

The Three Ages of History centered on Christ Incarnate Jesus Christ our Savior is the Lord of all creation! We in the Catholic Church “believe that the key, the center and the purpose of the whole of man’s history is to be found in its Lord and Master.”1 The incarnation of the second person of the Trinity signals the greatest […]

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

Henceforth, You Will be Called

  “I have called you by name; you are mine” (Isaiah 43:1). Such joy! A baby is born. So innocent. So pure. So new. “What is the baby’s name?” you ask. In our Catholic tradition, parents are asked to give the name of a saint to their child. That saint becomes the child’s patron and most Catholic families read stories […]

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

St. Cyprian and Perspective from Persecution

September 16 is the feast of Sts. Cornelius and Cyprian, two friends from the early Church who were martyred for the faith.  St. Cornelius was elected Pope after the papacy was vacant for almost a year due to Emperor Decius’ persecution of the Christians.  After this time, during a lull in the persecutions, a disagreement arose regarding admitting back to the […]

"Christ on the Cross" (detail) by Velazquez"Christ on the Cross" (detail) by Velazquez

Lift High the Cross

September 14 is the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross. Each year when it comes around, I remember when Sister Carol Marie lifted high the cross in faith. It was late summer in California. The skies were a limpid blue. A balmy ocean breeze blew across the sand. Children were building sandcastles. Windsurfers cut like knives across the […]

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Getting it Right—The Foundation of Friendship

Editor’s Note: This is the first in a series of articles written by Dr. Edward Sri on Saint John Paul II’s Love and Responsibility. The series is reprinted here with permission and originally appeared in the January/February 2005 issue of Lay Witness magazine. © 2005 Catholics United for the Faith / www.cuf.org/Laywitness/index.asp In his book Love and Responsibility, Karl Wojtyla—now known as John Paul II—reflects […]

Photography Copyright © by Carmelite SistersPhotography Copyright © by Carmelite Sisters

His Power

“Let us go forth to see ourselves in Thy beauty.” Postulancy is the first stage of religious life and no matter how old one is, or how much life experience one has, this initial introduction to life in the convent has a way of dismantling any existing illusions of self-sufficiency.  Religious life is a supernatural life of faith that is […]

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Why am I too distracted to pray?

Until recently, I thought my biggest struggle in prayer was actually making the time to pray. But have you found that even when you do set aside the time, you’re unable to really enter into prayer for an extended period?  Is it because we’re too preoccupied with our responsibilities, or is it because we can no longer focus? I recently […]

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

The Three Most Profound Ideas I Have Ever Had

Ideas are more precious than diamonds. The three most precious ideas I have ever discovered all concern the love of God. None of them is original. But every one is revolutionary. None of them came from me. But all of them came to me with sudden force and fire: the “aha!” experience, the “eureka!” experience. They were all realizations, not […]