attachments

All Souls Day and Prayers for the Dead

"The Madonna of Carmel and the Souls of the Purgatory" (detail) by Giovanni Battista Tiepolo

I’ll never forget that bleak January day when my father died.  It was very hard to believe in the resurrection as I watched the undertakers carry away his lifeless corpse in a body bag. But imagine this scene.  You are an unborn child who has lived in cozy but cramped quarters with your twin for nine months.  But now you […]

Who We Are Matters, not What We Have

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

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 […]

Can you explain Purgatory to your friends?

"Return of the Prodigal Son" (detail) by Murillo

Keeping it simple! On a recent Friday morning, while leading a bible study for retirees, the question of purgatory, the punishments due to sin, and salvation came up. They already possessed a good understanding of this important doctrine. But, the discussion reminded me that Purgatory remains one of the most misunderstood teachings of the Church, and maybe one that is least […]

All Souls Day — Remembering to Pray for the Dead

"The Madonna of Carmel and the Souls of the Purgatory" (detail) by Giovanni Battista Tiepolo

I’ll never forget that bleak January day when my father died.  It was very hard to believe in the resurrection as I watched the undertakers carry away his lifeless corpse in a body bag. But imagine this scene.  You are an unborn child who has lived in cozy but cramped quarters with your twin for nine months.  But now you […]

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

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

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 […]

Purgatory — Perfected by the Love of God

"Return of the Prodigal Son" (detail) by Murillo

Keeping it simple! Last Friday morning, while leading a bible study for about 40 retirees, the question of purgatory, the punishments due to sin, and salvation came up. They already possessed a good understanding of this important doctrine. But, the discussion reminded me that Purgatory remains one of the most misunderstood teachings of the Church, and maybe one that is least […]

How to Recognize and Rid Yourself of Attachments

Dear Sister, In your series on getting stuck in spiritual growth (which was very helpful by the way) you mentioned the idea of “attachments.” I think I understand this as I have read a bit of St. John of the Cross. However, I would be grateful if you could help me understand it a bit better and for any practical advice […]

Pesky Reptiles and Other Creatures, Oh My!

Dear Sister Mary Colombiere, In the Interior Castle, St. Teresa talks about “pesky reptiles” and other creatures. What exactly does she mean when she is saying these things? Dear Friend, Those “pesky reptiles”! When you come across a snake unexpectedly, what is your immediate reaction? Well, unless you are a herpetologist it is probably fear, dread or surprise. Let me […]

Daily Catholic Quote from St. Cuthbert

St. Cuthbert 12th century wall-painting in Durham Cathedral

“Even if I could possibly hide myself in a tiny dwelling on a rock, where the waves of the swelling ocean surrounded me on all sides, and shut me in equally from the sight and knowledge of men, not even thus should I consider myself to be free from the snares of a deceptive world: but even there I should […]

What Every Catholic Should Know About Purgatory

"The Return of the Prodigal Son" (detail) by Murillo

Keeping it simple! One of the most misunderstood teachings of the Church, and maybe one that is least reflected on, is the teaching on purgatory. To understand and embrace this teaching does not require deep, exhausting theological study. A short and simple explanation of its meaning should wash away the distortions that cause so many people to doubt or neglect […]