Photography © by Andy CoanPhotography © by Andy Coan

But, St. Peter, I’m a good person!

Each year, at one of our country’s leading Catholic universities, a professor does a survey with his incoming class of students.  He puts to them this question: “If you were to die tonight and appear at the pearly gates, what would be your entry ticket?” Nine out of ten bet their good character and behavior will gain them admission. This […]

Photograph © by Andy CoanPhotograph © by Andy Coan

What are Obstacles to Catholic Authenticity?

Why is it difficult to be the same person at work, home, church and with our friends? I have observed this problem for several years, but lately I have become more aware of the challenges people have with consistently being “real.” In a few recent discussions with friends, I received blank stares and perceived a lot of discomfort when I […]


Suffering Is An Act of Love

“I’m a nurse, and I’ve seen children suffer senselessly.  It’s far more merciful to allow them to die than to suffer.” “If we humanely euthanize pets, why can’t we do the same for people?  I see nothing wrong with this.” These, and other, statements reverberate in my mind in the aftermath of the recent Belgium child euthanasia headline.  At one […]

"Supper at Emmaus" (detail) by Caravaggio"Supper at Emmaus" (detail) by Caravaggio

Four Lessons from Emmaus Road for the Anxious and Discouraged

We are all likely familiar with the “walk to Emmaus” (Luke 24:13-35) by two of Christ’s disciples the evening of the Resurrection in Luke’s Gospel.  These two men, overcome with hopelessness and discouragement, were talking about the incredible events they had witnessed over the previous few days as they were walking to their home village of Emmaus outside of Jerusalem.  […]

Man at PrayerMan at Prayer

Radical Acceptance of God’s Will

Not long ago a priest shared some guidance with my wife and me that has been the cause of a great deal of conversation and reflection in our home.  In response to learning that we pray every day about our oldest son’s future and that he be healed of his autism, he encouraged us to pray first for acceptance. Let […]

Photography © by Andy CoanPhotography © by Andy Coan

A Mustard Seed Faith

We all admire the heroes of faith like St. Francis of Assisi (feast day, October 4).  Absolutely nothing stopped him in his pursuit of God’s glory.  When, during the Crusades, he was captured by the Saracens, St. Francis challenged the imams to a duel to prove which was the true religion.  “Light a bonfire,” Francis reportedly said to the Sultan, […]

Photography © by Andy CoanPhotography © by Andy Coan

Encountering the Word — James 1:2-4

A Daily Quote from Sacred Scripture “Count it all joy, my brethren, when you meet various trials, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” (James 1:2-4) Print this entry

Photograph © by Andy CoanPhotograph © by Andy Coan

The Subtle Danger of Catholic Boredom

On a recent Saturday morning my fifteen-year-old son said: “Dad, I’m bored. What are we going to do for fun today?” Knowing my youngest son well, I translated this to mean that he was looking for something new and exciting and I was supposed to provide it. This all too frequent discussion with my children has been the cause of […]

"Christ and the Woman of Samaria" (detail) by Paolo Veronese"Christ and the Woman of Samaria" (detail) by Paolo Veronese

If Only You Knew… St. Teresa and the Four Waters of Prayer

“If you knew the gift of God.” Jesus tired and thirsty sat down at a well and there encountered a Samaritan woman who had come to draw water. Asking her for a drink, “He said to her, ‘If you knew the gift of God and who is saying to you, Give me a drink, you would have asked him and […]