Catholic Church

Photography © by Andy Coan

The Fast Comes Before the Feast

Christmas cards speak about it.  Christmas carols sing about it.  Even the angels at Bethlehem proclaimed it.  “Peace on earth.”  “The lion shall lie down with the lamb.” (Is 11).  “Justice shall flourish in his time, and fullness of peace for ever” (Ps 72). The coming of the Messiah obviously has something to do with the advent of peace. But […]

Man at Prayer

For Advent, Let’s Focus on Simplicity

Do you ever feel overwhelmed with all of the stress, responsibilities and challenges in your daily life? If I am honest with myself, the times I feel most anxious or stressed are usually caused by my lifelong tendency to overcomplicate things and an inclination towards “busyness”. I am grateful for the occasional insights I have into ways to address this […]

Sigrid Undset

A Guide for Reading Sigrid Undset

If you must read Sigrid Undset—and I recommend you do—you’d better be prepared.  Be prepared for an emotional ride.  Sigrid Undset is a woman, by the way, and a major Norwegian author of the early twentieth century.  A major author of everywhere, actually.  And she ought to be still. Start with Kristin Lavransdatter You’ll probably begin with Kristin Lavransdatter because everyone will make you […]

Photography © by Andy Coan

The deeper meaning of Christmas lights

As fall moves onward towards winter we have places to go, things to do, people to meet.  Yet as we go about our business, we notice the days are getting shorter.  Sweaters come out of storage, we close the windows, and turn on the heat. Advent is a season where we stop and remember that the light of this world […]

How to Be More Grateful

There is a running joke in my family about asking God for help in parking the car. My nana initiated the practice of imploring God when encountering difficulty in finding an open parking space: “Jesus, please help me find a parking spot.” Well, my dad repeats this prayer, adding his own twist at the end. As he drives around a busy […]

The Simplicity of Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving may be my favorite holiday.  I only hesitate a little in saying that because it’s a close race with the greatest of feasts in our Church calendar, Christmas and Easter.  But there are a few reasons I really love Thanksgiving. While the Church year is filled to the brim with feasts, this one is a feast celebrated outside the […]

Photography © by Andy Coan

Christ the King of the Universe

The Philistines had beaten them, and the Israelites were determined not to let it happen again.  So they demanded from God and from his prophet, Samuel, what all the other nations had—a king to lead them in battle and protect them from their enemies (I Sam 8:19).  So God gave them Saul, who ultimately failed in his task.  Then David […]

St. Michael the Archangel

Five Ways to Escape from Apathy-ville

Do you ever feel numb or helpless because of all the problems the world faces each day? One only has to watch the news or follow the events of the day online to feel completely overwhelmed. Some of the challenges facing the world include ever-increasing threats to our Catholic faith. The Church is being accosted on all sides and the culture […]

Catholic Prayer Hacks

I’m not what most people would call holy, but I do hope to become so.  I’ll need a lot of grace and prayers for it to happen.  We’re all essentially lazy.  Well, some of us are.  Okay, I am, at least.  I’m lazy.  And I know it.  So, I like to look for short cuts, easier ways.  I like to […]