In the Spotlight

"The Prophet Isaiah" (detail) by Michelangelo

What are the “O Antiphons” of Vespers?

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 […]

Photography © by Mark Armstrong

Our Lady of Guadalupe — Come to Our Aid Again!

In December, 1531, a man we know today as St. Juan Diego began an encounter with Our Blessed Mother that reverberates to this day.  The fifty-six-year-old Juan Diego was a simple, humble, mat-weaver by trade when he came upon Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico.  His indigenous Aztec name, Cuauhtlatatzin, means “the eagle that talks.” Juan’s encounter with Mary would eventually lead […]

The Nature of Music and the Soul

The Nature of Music and the Soul by Matthew Cole Austin and Steven Jonathan Rummelsburg “…when lawlessness has established itself there [in music and poetry], it flows over little by little into character and ways of life.” Plato, Republic 424d # # # The world is changing and we have become progressively desensitized to the increasing temptations available to us […]

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

Practical Prayer Tips from the Carmelite Sisters

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 […]

A Dozen Thank Yous

I can still hear it—the sound of the old car horn and the commotion in the house as my sisters and I scrambled toward the door trying to make it to the car before it drove off without us. It was the same ritual, or shall I say “ordeal,” every morning before school. Mom was always up before the rest […]

Photography © by Mark Armstrong

Father Solanus Casey is Now Blessed

On the Road to the Beatification of Father Solanus Casey; a special series for the Integrated Catholic Life by Mark Armstrong The Heavens were weeping today, Saturday, November 18, 2017, over Detroit, Michigan.  Not for sadness, but for joy.  The pouring rain did not stop the nearly 70,000 people from streaming inside to Ford Field, home of the Detroit Lions, […]

Father Solanus seated in his Capuchin habit with his family on his parents' 50th anniversary in 1913. (Courtesy of the Father Solanus Casey Guild)

Three Things about Father Solanus Casey You May Not Know

On the Road to the Beatification of Father Solanus Casey; a special series for the Integrated Catholic Life by Mark Armstrong Tomorrow (11-18-17) is the Beatification Mass in Detroit, Michigan for Father Solanus Casey—over 66,000 people will be there. Yesterday we left Bismarck, North Dakota, overnighted with our son and his young family near St. Paul, Minnesota, and got up […]

Father Solanus Casey, Servant to Those in Need (Courtesy of the Father Solanus Casey Guild)

On the Road to the Beatification of Father Solanus Casey in Detroit

On the Road to the Beatification of Father Solanus Casey; a special series for the Integrated Catholic Life by Mark Armstrong A couple of months ago when my lovely bride of nearly thirty-seven years told me she got an assignment to cover the Beatification Mass for Father Solanus Casey, I offered to drive her from our home in Bismarck, North […]

Finding Authentic Connection in a World Where We are Lost to Each Other

Last weekend, my husband and I schlepped the kids to the park and as we unloaded the kids, the dog, the bikes, and every other bit of unnecessary gear from our vehicle, a passenger van pulled up next to us.  The doors opened and out poured a half dozen kids looking to expend energy on the playground.  The driver of […]

The Space Between Hope and Fear

“Those who sow in tears will reap with cries of joy. Those who go forth weeping, carrying sacks of seed, will return with cries of joy, carrying their bundled sheaves” (Psalm 126:5-6). The words of the Psalmist haunted me for months, yet I couldn’t determine what they meant for me. I had just completed a new manuscript on the topic […]