General

December by Candlelight

Photography Courtesy of the Carmelite Sisters of the Most Sacred Heart of Los Angeles

Every day we look forward to the gift of another dawn as the sun begins to peek through the curtain of the night to bring the vibrancy of color back to us yet again. It is a ritual of sorts, isn’t it? When the first blush of the dawn greets the dark cloak of the night sky and slowly but […]

What are the “O Antiphons” of Vespers?

"The Prophet Isaiah" (detail) by Antonio Balestra [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

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. This article originally appeared […]

The Most Powerful Prayer Book

"King David in Prayer" (detail) Pieter de Grebber [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Have you ever wished that someone might just tell you what the most effective prayer book is out there? Let’s acknowledge that there are literally thousands and thousands of published books on prayer, not to mention all the material one can find on the internet about prayer. But if we do not have time to read all those books, or […]

Watching and Waiting — Advent in Carmel

Advent in Carmel To experience Advent in Carmel is to enter into a rarified atmosphere that is filled to the brim with Carmel’s living legacy of Advent customs and observances. My first Advent in Carmel remains fresh in my memory today, still as vibrant and alive as when it happened. I feel at a loss, however, to write about it. […]

God, Please Answer My Prayer Right Now!

Photography by John Neff | Shutterstock

“I call upon thee, for thou wilt answer me, O God; incline thy ear to me, hear my words.” (Psalm 17:6) Have you ever prayed this prayer? I know I have, and I know full well that I will pray it again in the future. I also know there will likely be times when my prayer is not going to be […]

Thanksgiving and the Eucharist

For Americans, the term “Thanksgiving” conjures up images of turkey and cranberry sauce, parades and bowl games.  These are “traditions” that have come to mark an event made a perpetual institution of American life by President Abraham Lincoln. But why did Lincoln proclaim the last Thursday in November as a national holiday? Because it was clear to him that the blessings of food, land, […]