Faith

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 […]

Photography © by Andy CoanPhotography © by Andy Coan

Protecting Our Addictions

Temperance.  For older American, that word conjures up images of Carrie Nation shattering bottles of gin to usher in Prohibition. But the word temperance does not mean abstinence from alcohol or total abstinence from anything, for that matter.  It means that the desire for pleasures of various sorts is brought into balance with other legitimate needs and obligations.  Also called […]

ConfessionalsConfessionals

The Heavy Burdens We Carry

I have been thinking a great deal about my experience at Reconciliation this past Saturday. I felt an intense and unexplainable urge to go and confess my sins when I woke up that morning. I try to go every six weeks or so, but this was no routine visit to the priest for me. I needed to unburden myself of […]

Photography © by Andy CoanPhotography © by Andy Coan

Responsible Generosity

Our society tolerates religion, as long as it keeps to itself.  After all, America is about the separation of Church and state, right?  Education, entertainment, employment, politics are supposed to be “religion-free.”  The removal of the Ten Commandments from an Alabama courthouse several years ago was just one sign of this misguided divorce between faith and life. Like it or […]

The Virtual Family: Connected or Disconnected?The Virtual Family: Connected or Disconnected?

Surrogate Gods, Surrogate Parents

It is a gross understatement to say that we live in trying times.  The Church and religious liberty are under constant attack, our country is divided, people are struggling to make ends meet, atheists are one of the fastest growing groups in our country and our families are under siege.  My intent is not to depress you, but focus your […]

"Christ on the Cross" (detail) by Velazquez"Christ on the Cross" (detail) by Velazquez

Lift High the Cross

September 14 is the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross. Each year when it comes around, I remember when Sister Carol Marie lifted high the cross in faith. It was late summer in California. The skies were a limpid blue. A balmy ocean breeze blew across the sand. Children were building sandcastles. Windsurfers cut like knives across the […]

Photography © by Andy CoanPhotography © by Andy Coan

The Prodigal Son and the Golden Calf

Everyone knows the bible stories of the Prodigal Son and the Golden Calf.  But they don’t usually put the two together as this Sunday’s readings do.  So what do the two tales have in common? Answer: they both speak volumes about the nature of sin.  Think about it.  God sees an enslaved people in miserable bondage to the mightiest nation […]