Regular Feature

Saint Philip Neri—Heart Specialist

Saint Philip Neri is one of my good friends.  I never knew him during his life on earth, of course, as he lived during the sixteenth century.  But, as with many saints, after learning more about him and his exemplary love for God, I have come to regard him as a great model for the Christian life and have sought […]

Tips for Praying and Studying the Faith Within the Time Demands of Parenting and Work

I remember one particularly spiritually dry day early on in my second pregnancy. It was late at night and my energy was spent that day keeping a nap-protesting toddler content, doing chores and cooking, and grabbing spare moments to keep up with ministry work before collapsing onto my bed that night. My connection with God that day felt weak and […]

"Sermon on the Mount" St. Matthew's Church altarpiece by Henrik Olrik

A Reminder of the Mission

The readings at Mass during the Easter season are a constant reminder of our mission as disciples. Throughout the season, the first readings come from the book of Acts, detailing the events of the early days of the Church when the Apostles, filled with the Holy Spirit, were obeying the command of Christ to teach the nations. These first followers […]

When You Feel Stuck

Right now I feel stuck. I mean good and rooted in some kind of nowhere, a limbo of sorts, a holding pattern. Call it what you want, feeling like nothing is moving forward is a frustrating place to be. Of course, there are all sorts of beautiful and poetic spiritual treatises available to explain the gift of spiritual dryness, but […]

Pray Without Ceasing… Seven Gifts of Praying the Rosary

We live in a pretty practical society; everything needs a “useful” purpose to have value. Now, we know that there is purpose in less tangible things, like beauty, a smile, time spent thinking rather than just working…but it’s hard to explain that to the world in which we live. That simply means we have to speak to the world in […]

The Message of a Mother

This Saturday is the 100th anniversary of the first appearance of Our Lady to Francisco, Jacinta, and Lucia at Fatima. She would appear six times to them that year, on the 13th of May, June, July, August (this apparition occurred on the 19th, due to the arrest of the children on the 13th), September, and October. On the occasion of these […]

The Browns: Anna, Harry Sr., Tom, Mary Margaret, Dick, Harry Jr.

Not just any Tom, Dick, and Harry!

It is the end of an era for the Brown Family of 1234 Cherry Street. They represent the middle.  The middle of the country.  The middle of the century.  The middle class.  The generic American family.  The common man.  A common name.  The family from the Dick and Jane books.  Every Tom, Dick and Harry. But the family of which […]

Santuário de Fátima Bascilica of Our Lady of the Rosary

Three Popes’ Preparation for Pope Francis’ Visit to Fatima

Next week [May 12-13] Pope Francis will travel to Fatima to celebrate the centenary of Mary’s apparitions to the three shepherd children in the Cova da Iria. There’s every reason to think that Pope Francis will be at his most joyful because he will have a chance there to do and speak about several things he cherishes most. He’ll be […]

A lesson of mercy, a story still being written

A few weeks ago, four of my friends and I had a mini-reunion. We have all gone our separate ways since college, and it usually takes a wedding to get us all back together. That was the case this time. As we were all traveling by car or plane to the wedding destination, one of my friends reminded us via […]

View of Monte Cassino Abbey at Dusk | (CC BY-SA 3.0)

The Benedict Option and The Identity/Relevance Dilemma

Rod Dreher’s The Benedict Option: A Strategy for Christians in a Post-Christian Nation has certainly emerged as the most talked-about religious book of 2017. Within weeks of its publication, dozens of editorials, reviews, op-eds, and panel discussions were dedicated to it. Practically every friend and contact I have sent me something about the book and urged me to comment on it. […]