Scripture Reflections

Photography © by Andy Coan

Turn the Other Cheek?

“Love your enemies.”  “Turn the other cheek.”  (Matthew 5:38-40).  This sounds admirable to some, but preposterous to others.  The nineteenth century philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche thought such talk promotes a society of weaklings.  Karl Marx thought these words keep the oppressed under the thumbs of the capitalists. Does Jesus want us to be doormats, suckers who allow ourselves to be taken advantage […]

Photography © by Andy Coan

The Holiness of the Pharisees and the Occasions of Sin

Radio talk show hosts make a living on it.  Show after show, they bring before our eyes stupid, unjust and wasteful situations in order to incite outrage.  We love to listen and get ourselves all worked up.  Our indignation keeps us tuned in and raises the show’s ratings. It’s easy to focus on the outrageous things that others do.  It’s […]

"The Transfiguration (detail)" by Raphael

Six Keys to fully Surrender to Christ

At the center of Mark’s Gospel, the Transfiguration of Christ (Mark 9:2-10) stands prominently as an encouragement along the walk from Baptism to Resurrection; a walk that must pass through the Cross. Place yourself in the position of the Apostles—they have journeyed with Jesus since he began his public ministry and I am sure that they could not have been […]

Finding Fulfillment Instead of Dissatisfaction

Have you ever felt Dissatisfied and Unfulfilled? Do you ever feel as if you are missing out on something important or falling just short of some goal or purpose? Maybe you are unable to put adequate words to this feeling, you just know there is something out of balance in your life—something lacking. We sometimes experience this as a vague […]

Photography © by Andy Coan

Salt of the Earth

As a Catholic teen growing up in one of the most Catholic areas of the United States of America, I never would have considered abandoning my faith.  But neither would I ever have considered getting excited about it.  Why should I?  Nobody else in my parish seemed excited.  The teens in the parish went wild at the rock concerts we […]

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

Conversion Stories from the Bible

Nearly everyone loves conversion stories. Over the last couple of decades, the conversion stories of people who have entered the Catholic Church have exploded onto the scene in the form of compilations of short stories found in books such as Surprised by the Truth and more detailed accounts such as found in Scott and Kimberly Hahn’s Rome Sweet Home. But no book contains more […]

Photography © by Andy Coan

Poverty, Sloth, and the Beatitudes

Jesus’ “Sermon on the Mount” is probably the most famous sermon of all time.  And the opening lines of that sermon are equally famous—for two thousand years they’ve been known as “the Beatitudes.” In nine short verses, Jesus lays out the character sketch of the spiritually successful person who is truly blest, fortunate, positioned to experience perfect happiness and the fullness […]

Photography © by Andy Coan

Called and Chosen

Flick on the television, turn to the news, and notice how hopeless it all looks.  Terrorists kill hundreds and intimidate millions.  Government debt in the US and Europe balloons out of control and whole countries need to be bailed out. Things did not appear much better in first century Galilee.  The king was an irreligious adulterer and a lackey of […]

Photography © by Andy Coan

Behold the Lamb of God!

The Protestant Church is all about the Bible; the Catholic Church is all about the Sacraments.  Right? Not exactly.  When it comes to personal Bible reading, Protestants often put Catholics to shame.  But as far as Sunday worship goes, it is hard to find a more biblical service than the Mass. The readings are awesome enough, but even the prayers […]

"The Nativity" (Gerburt Christi detail) by Franz von Rohden

God’s Search for You

Our Search for God It is likely that each of us here actively seek the Lord. Jesus, Himself, instructs us to seek Him, saying, “Seek and you will find.” Man and woman’s search for God is a recurring story through the ages as we try to discover the meaning of our lives. While meditating on the Fifth Joyful Mystery of […]