Christmas

What Bethlehem reminded me about Christmas

When I was preparing to go to the Holy Land this summer, everyone who had been there before had the same message for me: You’ll never read the Scriptures the same again. As a Catholic, I should have realized this also meant something else: you’ll never celebrate the liturgical calendar the same again. As we prepare for Christmas, my thoughts […]

"The Parable of the Good Samaritan" (detail) by Jan Wijnants

Is There Something Attached to Your Giving?

“What’s wrong?”  Jennifer asked as Rick walked in the house with a sour look on his face. “Nothing… everything… I don’t want to bother you with something this petty.  I’ll be okay in a few minutes.” “Oh no you don’t!  I want to help… please tell me what’s wrong.  Clearly something is weighing on you.” He looked at his wife […]

Powerful Lessons from St. Joseph for Father’s Day

As the father of a nineteen-year-old with high-functioning autism, I am sometimes challenged to give my oldest child the focus and patience he needs from me.  I frequently feel inadequate when I advise and guide my fifteen-year-old son through the minefields of today’s culture.  My loving wife should expect my best efforts as a husband, yet I often feel distracted […]

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

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

The Courage of the Magi

January 6 is the traditional feast of the Epiphany, twelve days after Christmas.  I’ve always been intrigued by the Magi.  Their story forms the majority of Matthew’s account of the birth of Jesus Christ, and yet there remain so many questions about these mysterious figures. Where did they come from? How did they know to follow the star? What did […]

"Madonna and Child" (detail) by Sassoferrato

God Chose Mary to be His Mother

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. Some want to know where we can find these teachings in the bible. Some even suggest that Catholics pay […]

Photography © by Andy Coan

The Mother of God

The mother of the messiah has been called many things in the last two thousands years—the Virgin Mary, Our Lady, the Blessed Mother.  But call her “the Mother of God,” and you’ll see some Christians squirm. This is nothing new.  One day in the early fifth century, a priest preached a stirring sermon in the presence of the patriarch of Constantinople.  […]

Good King Wenceslaus and Christmas’ Call to Holiness

Most Christmas carols are about that first Christmas night or the celebration of Christmas today.  But one stands out as something different. In a way, the carol “Good King Wenceslaus” isn’t as much about Christmas as it is about what Christmas requires of us. “Good King Wenceslaus” always gets stuck in my head on two days: September 28 and December […]

"The Flight to Egypt" (detail) by Carl Spitzweg

In Memory of the Holy Innocents

On the fourth day of our Christmas celebration, the Church reminds us that not everyone is joyful; that there exist those who are not of goodwill who do not wish to receive the season’s glad tidings. Today is the Feast of the Holy Innocents in which the Church recalls and honors those baby boys whose lives were taken in a […]