What Difference Does Heaven Make?

Photography © by Randy Hain

Heaven’s Difference If a thing makes no difference, it is a waste of time to think about it. We should begin, then, with the question, “What difference does Heaven make to earth, to now, to our lives?” The answer to the question is only the difference between hope and despair in the end, between two totally different visions of life; […]

Morning Prayer

This week’s poem in the Catholic Poetry Room is by Jeffrey Essmann.                                                                                                                                                  Morning Prayer We can’t be surely, Lord, the only fiveIn all the world who call to you today.In Africa or Asia—Sheepshead Bay—There must be more who keep Your Name alive.There must be more who on their knees deriveSome transient hope within the world’s dismay;Some kinder light to […]

Practical Prayer Tips from the Carmelite Sisters

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

Dear Sister, Is there a best time to pray, given all the activities each day holds for me—working at my job and caring for and being with my family makes a very full day? Also, I’m not fully awake first thing in the morning and already mighty tired by the time I lay my head on the pillow. I thought […]

Listen to That Silence Sing/The Angels’ Bread

catholic poetry room

This week’s poem in the Catholic Poetry Room is by Fr. Gerard Garrigan.                                                                                                                                                  Listen to That Silence Sing Listen to that silence sing Accompanied by a million strings Unseen but sweet as grace and mystery Heard by you and heard by me Only when we cease to speak The Angels’ Bread Monstrance set between six candles Three tall, tall […]

A Great Innovation for Growing in Faith

Shutterstock | Photography by Yuganov Konstantin

For those who want to grow in their knowledge of the faith, there’s never been a greater time to be alive. We have ready access not only to the Bible in every spoken language but also to so many great commentaries, websites, podcasts, commentaries, that help us to understand and live it. There are scores of good Catholic publishing houses […]

Old and Sick at Solesmes

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This week’s poem in the Catholic Poetry Room is by William Prendiville.                                                                                                                                            Old and Sick at Solesmes He put the steaming bowlon the enormous wooden tablewhere there was a basketlined with linen anda few pieces of bread. He was alone because hewas sick. Everyone elsewas at Massin the stern chapelwhere there was anepitaph of the founder, setcenturies ago. There, […]

Flower of Carmel

"The Madonna of Carmel and the Souls of the Purgatory" (detail) by Giovanni Battista Tiepolo

Every year on July 16, Carmelites throughout the world celebrate the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, patroness of the Carmelite Order.  If you want to know how we feel about Mary, our Mother, spend a few minutes reflecting on one of the most beautiful prayers ever written, the Flos Carmeli. Most of us pray—before meals, morning and/or night prayers, […]


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 […]

December Snowstorm

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This week’s poem in the Catholic Poetry Room is by Thomas Lequin.                                                                                                                                          December Snowstorm I search the cellar this late winter afternoon, looking for candles, flashlights, batteries and lanterns. Successful, I come upstairs to a darkening day though white, almost two feet of you. Yard and driveway are plowed, doorways shoveled, and the wood stove gives its heat. There is […]

The First Disciple

The Annunciation (St. Gabriel and the Blessed Virgin Mary) by Paolo de Matteis [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

The devotion of the Brown Scapular originates in the history of Our Lady of Mount Carmel when Our Lady appeared to St. Simon Stock in the 1200s presenting to him the scapular and promised: “This is a privilege for you and your brethren: whoever dies wearing it, will be saved.” This tradition falls within the context of our Catholic faith […]