In the Spotlight

Why Should I Go on a Retreat?

Dear Sister, Can you answer a question for me?  Why do people need or even want to make a retreat? I’ve never understood that, given the wonderful options I have right here at home through my parish, and, of course, the vast array of media opportunities we have now. Sincerely, Curious Dear Curious, I can think of TEN great reasons […]

Out of the Darkness and Into the Light

A recent Lenten homily spoke to my heart in a profound manner.  Our rural Catholic community doesn’t boast of many grandiose things.  We are a humble church and a humble people.  But our pastor spoke boldly and confidently.  He pierced the hearts of many with these words: “God is challenging us to step outside of what is comfortable and familiar.  […]

"Return of the Prodigal Son" (detail) by Murillo

The Nature of Forgiveness — Is it Humanly Possible?

The exalted nature of forgiveness is attested to by the fact that it presupposes a number of other virtues.  Consider three virtues in particular: justice, clemency, and mercy. Justice has the nature of an equation: Borrowing ten dollars requires returning ten dollars. When justice is violated, punishment or restitution of some kind is required. Herein is the timeless significance of bringing […]

Trust in the Holy Spirit to Lead Us to Truth

In these Disconnected Times, Trust in the Holy Spirit To Lead Us to Truth We live in an indoctrinated age of novelty and dissatisfaction. We are always looking ahead to what is new and then find ourselves achingly tired with it only moments after its arrival. With this comes the growth in the popularity of various trends found in the staple […]

"Christ in the Desert (detail)" by Ivan Kramskoy

40 Ways to Get More Out of Lent

This, of course, is not an exhaustive list of Lenten ideas.  But it’s a start!  Many of the resources mentioned here are available on my website at www.crossroadsinitiative.com or can be found by visiting my links page. Take 30 minutes to pray, ask the Holy Spirit’s guidance, look over this list, and make a few practical Lenten resolutions.  Be careful.  […]

“Christ at 33” (detail) by Hofmann

A Boundless and Profound Beauty

It takes courage and perseverance to walk this journey, but it is filled with a peace the world cannot give and a boundless and profound beauty leading to eternal glory in Heaven. We were created to gaze upon endless, eternal beauty. All of us were born with an unrelenting,  deep thirst that will never be satisfied fully in this life. […]

Detail of Chair of St. Peter Dnalor 01, Rom, Vatikan, Petersdom, Cathedra Petri (Bernini) 4, Detail, CC BY-SA 3.0

Living Your Anointing

I am five years old.  I’m sitting in my bedroom, pondering as I tend to do at this age. “God, I just want you to know that I am here when you need me,” I silently pray as I gingerly caress a favorite image of Our Lady. “I want to do great things for You one day.” This was not […]

Venerable Jan Leopold Tyranowski (1940)

The Beauty of a Soul Opened Up by Grace

For those who love St. John Paul II, Saturday, January 21, 2017 was a big family celebration, when Pope Francis authorized the Vatican’s Congregation for the Causes of Saints to promulgate the decree of heroic virtues for Jan Tyranowski (1901-1947), the Polish tailor who played an indispensable role in helping the young Karol Wojtyla become a man of prayer and […]

The War Between Doing and Being

Unquestionably, my life is full of continuous, often exasperating battles between doing and being. Culture tells us that we are valuable because of what we do. It speaks to our senses, every moment of every day, telling us we need to do more. Our worth is based on what we accomplish, how we achieve, the number of hours we put […]

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

Yes, Jesus loves me…

A heavy marine layer fell like a pall over Long Beach, California, bringing colder, damper weather. I had set aside the day to visit my sister and together we were going to visit our mom’s grave in All Souls’ Cemetery, right there on Cherry Avenue, just north of Memorial Hospital. We opened the car doors and began walking slowly to the site. […]