Regular Feature

"The Virgin at Prayer" (detail) by Sassoferrato

Real Stories of Prayer

The Power of a Praying Parent series “Real Stories of Prayer” by T. Thomas Prayer and suffering united to the Cross of Christ unleash God’s power, invite Him in and allow Him to work fully in our lives. This was made manifest to me eleven years ago when I was suffering from cancer.  Just after diagnosis and before staging, I had to […]

St. Teresa's Interior Castle

The Interior Castle: Saint Teresa’s Diamond

The De Beers Jewelry marketing slogan of “Diamonds are Forever” might have been a perfect catchphrase for Saint Teresa’s “Diamond”, better known to us as the Interior Castle. However, this company was not yet around in 1577 when she was ordered to write another book. “Forever” was a well-chosen word because of the properties and symbolism inherent in the diamond. […]

Father Scanlan, Rest in Peace

Another pioneer in Catholic education has gone to his much-deserved reward. News came last Saturday morning that Father Michael Scanlan, T.O.R., President Emeritus of Franciscan University, has passed away. As an alumna of both Christendom College and Franciscan University, when I received the news, I thought back to the moment I found out that Christendom’s founder, Dr. Warren Carroll, had died […]

Luck, Serendipity and Blessings

Sometimes I encounter something wonderful just accidentally and I think “That sure was lucky!” For instance, I might happen to glimpse a gorgeous sunset only because I had to wait for the last wayward chicken to finally make her way into the coop. Or, I might have arrived at a bakery just as they take something scrumptious out of the […]

"The Adoration of the Magi" (detail) by Jan de Bray

The Courage of the Magi

January 6 is the traditional feast of the Epiphany, twelve days after Christmas.  I’ve always been intrigued by the Magi.  Their story forms the majority of Matthew’s account of the birth of Jesus Christ, and yet there remain so many questions about these mysterious figures. Where did they come from? How did they know to follow the star? What did […]

The New Year’s Resolution That Will Change Your Spiritual Life

Right now you’re likely inundated with ideas for how to make your new year healthier, more relaxing, more successful, more social…the lists really go on and on. When I sat down to do my own goal setting for the New Year, one rather unusual resolution kept coming up in my thoughts and prayers: Ponder things in your heart. I know […]

Good King Wenceslaus and Christmas’ Call to Holiness

Most Christmas carols are about that first Christmas night or the celebration of Christmas today.  But one stands out as something different. In a way, the carol “Good King Wenceslaus” isn’t as much about Christmas as it is about what Christmas requires of us. “Good King Wenceslaus” always gets stuck in my head on two days: September 28 and December […]

Our Storybook World

Who doesn’t love a good story?  I know I do.  It’s part of the human thing, I think.  People tell stories.  We tell legends to explain our world.  We tell long jokes to make us laugh.  We tell of heroic deeds for our inspiration.  Stories are all around us.  They tie us to the past, teach us lessons, warn us […]

"Adoration of the Shepherds" (detail) by Balestra

St. Januarius, Christmas, and our response

Last week, the Italian Catholic church was given a shock—not because something miraculous happened, but because it didn’t happen.  Three times a year, a reliquary holding the blood of San Gennaro, or Saint Januarius, is removed from the case where it is held, and in the hands of the abbot of the chapel, the dried blood in the vial turns […]

Reclaiming Christmas Magic

Sometimes in secret moments I lament that Christmas has lost its magic.  When I was little—like most other kids I knew—Christmas and birthdays were high points of the year.  Christmas had the added delight of a whole season of preparation and societal festivities.  It seemed forever away and the anticipation was dizzying.  The feast day burst upon a family with […]