Blessed Virgin Mary

Mary, the Gate of Heaven (with the Best Motherly Arms)

I knew I was out of my league when she came barreling toward me.  She weighed at least as much as I did, and she was much more passionate in her goal than I was in mine.  She wanted out, and, seeing her come toward me, I wanted out too, out of the way. My brother-in-law or husband—I don’t remember […]

"The Holy Family (detail)" by Murillo

Writer’s Block, Ordinary Time, and Grace

During the first weeks of Ordinary Time, whether it is after Christmas or Easter, I generally find myself faced with writer’s block.  Is it the mental overload of Christmas or Easter? Is it the busyness of work as we get back into the routine? Is it the weather? This week there aren’t even any large feast days on the liturgical […]

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

The Epiphany and 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 […]

"The Adoration of the Magi" (detail) by Jan de Bray

Four Ways to Keep Christmas With You

After the calendar turns over its last page and the New Year’s celebrations have come and gone, I’m the one stubbornly still telling people “Merry Christmas!,” no matter what crazy looks I get. I’m listening to Christmas music as I type this, and the Magi of my Nativity scene are still over on a bookcase, making their way to their […]

"Christ the Consolator" (detail) by Carl Bloch

Eliminating Obstacles Between Christ and Us in 2018

As I considered what to write for this post in the first week of 2018, I reflected on years of well-intended resolutions to lose weight, go to daily Mass, pick up a new hobby, play more tennis, etc. which ended in failure as my desires clashed with the reality of my busy schedule and stubborn resistance to change. I like […]

"The Virgin in Prayer" (detail) by Sassoferrato

The Truth About Mary

Our Lord entrusts each of us into the care of the most blessed of all women—Mary, His mother. Sammy was a playful boy, like most of the five-year olds in my kindergarten classroom. Almost three feet tall with dark, dark eyes and dark, dark hair, Sammy possessed a smile that radiated from his soul. He came up with his own […]

"Madonna and Child" (detail) by Sassoferrato

God Chose Mary to be His Mother

The teaching that Mary is God’s mother was proclaimed to teach us that Jesus is true man AND true God. Each January 1 (the Octave of Christmas), the Church celebrates the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God.  I receive more comments and questions from non-Catholics, and even some Catholics, about the Church’s Marian practices and teachings than just about any other topic. […]

Blessed Virgin Mary with Roses (detail) Artwork © by Jef Murray

Daily Catholic Quote — from St. Irenaeus

“The Virgin Mary… being obedient to His word, received from an angel the glad tidings that she would bear God.” (Saint Irenaeus, Bishop of Lyons; Against Heresies, 5:19:1; A.D. 180) The Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God is January 1. The Memorial of St. Irenaeus, Bishop and Martyr (A.D. 130 – 202), is June 28. Please share on social media. […]

"The Holy Family (detail)" by Murillo

What You Can Learn from the Holy Family

The Feast of the Holy Family celebrates the holiness and joy of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph of Nazareth. Each year, this celebration occurs on the Sunday following Christmas Day, unless Christmas falls on a Sunday, then it falls on the following Friday. The Church wants us to see the important link between the birth of our […]

Photography © by Andy Coan

Holy Family—Piety in the Twenty-First Century?

The Feast of the Holy Family challenges us to grow in the virtues of piety, honor, patience, and forbearance.   And to learn to laugh together. Reflection on the Mass readings for the Feast of the Holy Family (Year B) — Gn 15:1-6; 21:1-3; Ps 105:1-2, 3-4, 5-6, 8-9; Heb 11:8, 11-12, 17-19; Lk 2:22-40 or 2:22, 39-40. The Passion of […]