In the Spotlight

"Sacred Heart of Jesus" (detail) by Chambers

12 Promises from the Sacred Heart of Jesus

As a small child, Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque, 1647-1690, preferred prayer and contemplation over childish play, owing perhaps to the extraordinary virtue of her parents. However, she had heavy burdens from her earliest years. She lost her father to pneumonia when she was only eight years old. After her father died she was sent to the Urbanist sisters where the […]

Flourishing and Dying

About two months ago, our family moved to a new city and home. Life was on the cusp of a spring breakthrough, though we couldn’t yet perceive all of its wonder and glory. Our new backyard was riddled with sticks and brown, parched grass. Heavily pruned and unidentifiable bushes adorned the brick pathway through the side yard. Life was dormant, […]

Time

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 […]

How to Overcome Worry by Trusting God

Dear Sister, I worry a lot. I worry about myself and my family. People sometimes tell me that I worry far too much.  I can’t help it. As a child, I was trained to be responsible and was held accountable by my parents. Now that I am married, have a husband and children of my own, my worrying has increased […]

"The Visitation" (detail) by Albertinell

Authentic Friendship—Learning from Mary

God made us for communion, and as women, we have been given an incredible gift. In fact our fundamental value as women is our ability to receive the other, our gift of receptivity that is characterized by our self-gift, giving the gift of presence. It is a special gift that is important in society today—that is to witness to the […]

The Blessing of Scabs

I remember so clearly that day when my then-three-year-old realized that the place between her eyes, the place she had scratched so hard, was bleeding. It was the cause of much drama and concern. A band-aid wouldn’t work; it was too big and it “touched” her eyes. I ended up wadding up a little piece of toilet paper and sticking it […]

Pray Always?

“Pray without ceasing.” (1 Thessalonians 5:17) “Seriously? Pray always?” That is not an uncommon reaction to St. Paul’s admonition to pray always without ceasing. Does he know what we’re up against, the demands on our time and energy, the pace of our modern world, not to mention the fragility and inconsistency of our human nature? He can’t possibly mean always, as […]

Blessed Virgin Mary with Roses (detail) Artwork © by Jef Murray

A Recent Convert Struggles in her Relationship with Mary

Dear Sister I just recently became Catholic and I’m still struggling with the Church’s teachings on Mary. I respect her, but I don’t feel the need to ask her for prayers if I can just ask God directly. Do you have any suggestions on how I can have a relationship with Mary? Dear Friend, Yes, I do! Being a convert […]

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

Where in the World is Carmel?

An interesting question in more ways than one! And one that requires some thought. Just to clear up any confusion right at the beginning, Carmel doesn’t mean the delicious, sweet, sticky candy. That is caramel, with a different spelling and three syllables! The word Carmel is of Hebrew origin and means a “garden, orchard, or park.” So, would we be […]

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

The Paschal Mystery

Burning but not consumed! This was the strange sight that Moses beheld in the desert—a bush on fire yet contained. Such a strange phenomenon! Moses moved closer to examine the mystery before him. “No, Moses, stop where you are and remove your sandals for this is holy ground!” This was no natural mystery as Moses would now realize, but one […]