Scripture Reflections

Photography © by Andy CoanPhotography © by Andy Coan

The Difference that the Spirit Makes

As a teenager, I thought the clergy were supposed to do everything.  We laity were just called to pray, pay, and obey.  Oh yes, and keep the commandments, of course. The original 10 seemed overwhelming enough. Then I discovered the Sermon on the Mount and nearly passed out. Perhaps this is why many inactive Catholics are so resentful of their […]

"Ascension of Christ" (detail) by Garofalo"Ascension of Christ" (detail) by Garofalo

The Difference the Ascension of the Lord Makes in Our Lives

Years before that first Ascension Thursday, God entered into His own creation as the God-man, Jesus. He came as a humble babe, conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. His birth took place in a stable that housed livestock. Little is recorded of His early years; He was a thirty-year-old when He began His public ministry. During […]

Photography © by Andy CoanPhotography © by Andy Coan

The Lord has given us our marching orders!

The celebration of the Ascension used to leave me a bit flat. It was clear what Good Friday did for me. And Easter Sunday’s benefits were indisputable. But as for the Ascension, what’s in it for me? Christianity is about a kind of love we call agape or charity. It is love that looks away from itself to another and […]

Photography © by Andy CoanPhotography © by Andy Coan

Love Unlimited!

Some people seem to think that the Catholic Church is just another multi-national corporation, Catholicism, Inc., with the Pope as CEO. Obviously, this view is a bit skewed, but is not totally off base. The Church is in fact an international organization. That’s actually one of the meanings of the word Catholic—this church is no small sect limited to a […]

Photography © by Andy CoanPhotography © by Andy Coan

Bearing Much Fruit

No one was more zealous than Saul.  He burned with passion to promote the Law of Moses and the traditions of his ancestors.  From Turkey to Palestine to Syria he had relentlessly pursued his quest for the glory of God. But all his hard work did more harm than good.  Oh, his efforts bore fruit all right– the sour grapes […]

"Christ, the Good Shepherd" (detail) by Murillo"Christ, the Good Shepherd" (detail) by Murillo

The Lord is your Shepherd—Be Not Afraid

We live in a world that is at times dark and dangerous. In a moment all can change; our earthly lives can end. Deadly violence unlooked for, unexpected, senseless and sudden can come from natural and man-made sources. That the world is filled with sin, violence and death is mankind’s choice, not God’s will. He permits our freedom so that we […]

Photography © by Andy CoanPhotography © by Andy Coan

The Only Way

It’s not politically incorrect to believe in God.  Just so long as you acknowledge that all are God’s children, and that there are many, equally honorable paths to the Most High. After all, that’s only fair.  How conceited it would be to claim that your way is the only way. There is nothing really new about this attitude.  In the […]

"The Incredulity of Saint Thomas" (detail) by Caravaggio"The Incredulity of Saint Thomas" (detail) by Caravaggio

Witnesses for Christ and the Breaking of the Bread

The joy of Easter and the Risen Christ is upon us!  Christ is risen!  Truly He is risen! Do you know that you are a witness for Christ? When I was growing up in the southern part of the United States, I would from time to time encounter young, protestant teens and adults who would excitedly take to the streets […]

Photography © by Andy CoanPhotography © by Andy Coan

Beware of False Gospels

In the heyday of the Roman Empire, the corruption of the times caused a wave of dissatisfaction to arise.  Many were disgusted with the gross sensuality of society and yearned for a higher, spiritual kind of existence.  They sought a redeemer who would come down from heaven and enlighten those who walked in darkness. When they heard about Jesus of […]

Vilnius Image of Divine Mercy (detail) by KazimierowskiVilnius Image of Divine Mercy (detail) by Kazimierowski

You Can be Healed by Jesus and His Divine Mercy

All Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation are celebrations of the highest importance on the Church’s liturgical calendar. These days, plus a few others, are known as solemnities. Two solemnities are so important that the Church celebrates them for eight days. We call these solemnities, octaves. They are Christmas and Easter. Essentially, Christmas Day and Easter Sunday are celebrated for […]