Catholic Church

Mission Dolores Altar (San Francisco)
Photograph © by Andy CoanMission Dolores Altar (San Francisco) Photograph © by Andy Coan

Do We Make Christ and His Church Look Attractive to Others?

I share these basic concepts with good reason.  Do you recall Christ’s teaching in the Gospel of Matthew:  “You are the salt of the earth.  You are the light of the world.  A city set on a mountain cannot be hidden.  Just so, your light must shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Heavenly […]

The Way of the CrossThe Way of the Cross

Five Discipleship Lessons for Following Jesus

There is a section of Luke’s Gospel known as the Travel Narrative. In this section, Jesus and his disciples journey together to Jerusalem for the last time where redemption will be won and the Church will be born. St. Luke takes nearly ten chapters (9:51-19:27) to record this journey to Jerusalem. Along the way, Jesus prepares his disciples for the work to […]

Pope St. John Paul IIPope St. John Paul II

Catholic Quote of the Day — from Pope St. John Paul II

“The rosary, though clearly Marian in character, is at a heart a Christ-centered prayer. It has all the depth of the gospel message in its entirety. It is an echo of the prayer of Mary, her perennial Magnificat for the work of the redemptive Incarnation which began in her virginal womb…It can be said that the rosary is, in some […]

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Going Out the Door

Do I get an indulgence for walking out a holy door? Our diocese has a few holy doors for this Year of Mercy, and one is in my parish. I think of the great graces I have the chance to receive on a weekly basis as I go to Sunday Mass, and I always try to enter through the doors […]

"Sermon on the Mount" St. Matthew's Church altarpiece by Henrik Olrik"Sermon on the Mount" St. Matthew's Church altarpiece by Henrik Olrik

Six Ways to Avoid Being a “Stealth” Catholic

I have had numerous conversations with friends and professional acquaintances over the years on the subject of openly sharing our Catholic faith. I am always a little surprised at how often many of them express strong reluctance to being open about their beliefs. The reasons given have included many you may have heard before. “I don’t want to offend anyone.” […]

"Creation of Adam" (detail) by Michelangelo"Creation of Adam" (detail) by Michelangelo

Are Human Free Will and Divine Predestination Both True?

If God is not love but only knowledge, then it is difficult or impossible to see how human free will and divine predestination can both be true. But if God is love, there is a way. Freedom and predestination is one of the most frequently asked questions among my students—partly because of modern man’s great concern for freedom, but also, […]

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What We Can Learn from Clergy Assignments

Last Sunday, the choir at my parish took me by surprise by singing “Totus Tuus” by Marco Frisina for the meditation after communion. Though I’ve only heard the song a few times, it never fails to take me back to the emotional weeks surrounding Pope John Paul II’s death and funeral. I was given the grace of being in Rome […]

Father and SonFather and Son

A Letter to My Children

“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. From now on there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that Day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing” (2 Timothy 4:7–8). Have […]

Photography © by Andy CoanPhotography © by Andy Coan

Paul, the Pharisee, and the Alabaster Jar

Protestants say we’re justified by faith.  Some Catholics say we’re saved by good works. But what does the Bible say? The Bible—it’s neither.    And it’s both.   At the very same time. First, let’s define our terms.   When St. Paul says “works” don’t justify us (Gal. 2:16-22), he is really referring to two things.  First of all, he […]