Scripture Reflections

"King David in Prayer (detail)" by Pieter de Grebber"King David in Prayer (detail)" by Pieter de Grebber

Five Keys to Living an Integrated Life

Have you ever played a part, taking on a role of someone else? Some might think back to an occasion when they participated in a school play. Others might think about their roles in business or sales, or even within the home as parents when they might have employed the “good cop / bad cop” approach to resolve a problem. [...]

Photography © by Andy CoanPhotography © by Andy Coan

Keeping Promises

There will never be a shortage of words. Words are plentiful because talk is cheap. It’s easy to make a promise. Keeping a promise is an entirely different matter, as this Sunday’s gospel makes abundantly clear. There are over a billion people on the planet who have solemnly promised to live a life of loving service to God. For that [...]

"Parable of the Laborers in the Vineyard" (detail) by Rembrandt"Parable of the Laborers in the Vineyard" (detail) by Rembrandt

It’s not about what we have… It’s Who We Are that Matters

I believe that one of the great challenges of our time derives from the loss of knowledge of who we are and what we are made for. Actually, we may know these eternal truths, but we tend to suppress them in our consciousness. In this age of consumerism, we tend to define ourselves, not by who we are and for [...]

Photography © by Andy CoanPhotography © by Andy Coan

God’s Justice is Always Fair

“But that’s not fair!” Most parents have heard this phrase umpteen times. The notion of fairness, also known as justice, is wired into us. It makes us aware that each of us has certain rights that need to be respected. But it also means that we each have duties. If others have the right to be paid for their work, [...]

Photography © by Andy CoanPhotography © by Andy Coan

Exaltation of the Holy Cross

Terrorism is nothing new.  It’s probably as old as the human race. In fact the cradle of civilization, now Iraq, was the home of the most infamous terrorists of antiquity, the Assyrians.  Their goal was to conquer their neighbors in a way that would minimize  initial resistance and subsequent rebellion.  To do this, they knew fear would be their greatest [...]

Photography © by Andy CoanPhotography © by Andy Coan

Motivated by Love

I used to think that God’s law was like those dumb rules we had to put up with in grammar school, for example, “Thou shalt not chew gum in class.” They are arbitrary laws that bureaucrats came up with to keep them happy and the rest of us miserable. The goal of students is to break such rules whenever they [...]

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Why Sacrifice is Necessary in this Life

One of the things with which we so often struggle is to understand our condition in a fallen world. Each of us, in our own way, has experienced the pain and suffering so often encountered as one journeys through this world on our road to heaven. It is a road of sacrifice paved with the cross of Christ. If we [...]

Photography © by Andy CoanPhotography © by Andy Coan

The Way of the Cross and the Road to Salvation

Truth in advertising — after all the glowing reports of the benefits of a product, potential side effects need to be mentioned. Informed consent — before surgery, patients have to be told of all the things that could possibly go wrong. That way, they have the chance to opt out before it’s too late. As soon had the truth came out at [...]

Photography © by Andy CoanPhotography © by Andy Coan

The Biblical Roots of the Papacy

“More Catholic than the Pope?” There is nothing more quintessentially Catholic than the Papacy. When we think “Catholic,” we think Rome, the Vatican, the dome of St. Peters. But the roots of the papacy actually go back to Jerusalem and the messiah-kings who ruled there. Like most heads of state, David and his descendants, the anointed kings of Judah, realized [...]

Photography © by Andy CoanPhotography © by Andy Coan

The Great Faith of the Canaanite Woman

The apostles thought she was a nuisance and asked Jesus to get rid of her. Jesus had gone to the region of Tyre and Sidon, modern-day Lebanon, and a local woman approached him for a favor. This was pagan country, home turf of the infamous Jezebel. The inhabitants of these parts were fondly referred to as “dogs” by their Jewish [...]