In the Spotlight

YOUR MENTAL “PONDER BOX”

The Trick to Navigating the Stresses of Life A trick to staying positive and relaxed each day amidst life’s stressors is to build yourself a little mental “ponder box.” Imagine a cardboard box that you might buy at a craft store. Decorate it mentally with some pretty fabric, perhaps some ric rac, lace or a satin ribbon. Choose a color […]

Finding Refreshment

Many Catholic women try very hard to be Proverbs 31 wives and mothers. It’s an excellent goal, but frankly sometimes it can be exhausting. Are we doing enough? Are our efforts going to ‘pay off’? If we are doing what we are supposed to be doing, why is life still so hard? These thoughts were swirling in my head recently […]

Is Good Enough Good Enough When It Comes To Parenting?

Is “good enough” good enough when you’re raising a Catholic family?  Colleen Duggan thinks so.  And she ought to know!  Colleen is a self-professed recovering type-A perfectionist, who has struggled in her quest to become the “perfect” Catholic mom of the “perfect” Catholic family.  And she has succeeded – not in achieving perfection, but in learning that God is only asking her to […]

"Creation of Adam" (detail) by Michelangelo

Identity — Can What We Do Diminish Who We Are?

This thing about identity—there’s more here than meets the eye, more here than most psychologists talk about, more here than we can understand, and what I’m going to present is more questions than answers. But I think it’s a profound point, so I’ll say it. This point that our very selfhood is by nature unstable and in question, this is […]

“The School of Athens” (detail showing Aristotle with the elder Plato) by Raphael

The Four Causes of Holy Mother Church

“In the Nicene Creed we profess the four Marks of the Church which are one, holy, catholic and apostolic. These four marks are intrinsically intertwined. These are those things by which we can distinguish the true Church from a false one provided all four are properly fulfilled by the true nature and essence of the One True Church built upon […]

Patience—A Beautiful Fruit

Patience. This simple word can evoke such a variety of responses! “It’s impossible to practice, I simply get so annoyed.” Take a moment and examine what our first thoughts are when you hear the word PATIENCE. Was it a negative thought? Often this virtue can bring with it difficult emotions. And when those are our reactions, the desire to become […]

"The Exhortation to the Apostles" (detail) by James Tissot

I Believe in God

CREDO When we say “I believe” as we recite the Apostle’s Creed we are making a statement about our Faith. The theological virtue of Faith is supernatural and infused by gift of the Holy Spirit. St. Thomas Aquinas points out that Faith is not only the first thing we need, but that we cannot be proper Catholics without it.1 St. […]

"The Denial of St. Peter" (detail) by Theodoor Rombouts

Peter, do you love me?

If we abandon ourselves to Christ who tells us “man does not live by bread alone from on every word that proceeds from the mouth of God,” then it is for us to believe the revealed word and the Holy Spirit will grant us the gifts of understanding and wisdom. Have you ever wished that you had been born in […]

Paul Tillich and “The Shape of Water”

SPOILER ALERT! I knew that The Shape of Water would win the Academy Award for Best Picture. It checked three of the major Hollywood boxes: celebration of oppressed people, valorization of complete sexual freedom, and a Christian villain. It used to be that a black hat or shifty eyes or a foreign accent would give someone away as the bad […]

A Case for Priestly Celibacy

There is a very bad argument for celibacy which has reared its head throughout the tradition and which is, even today, defended by some. It runs something like this: married life is morally and spiritually suspect; priests, as religious leaders, should be spiritual athletes above reproach; therefore, priests shouldn’t be married. I love Augustine, but it is hard to deny that […]