Crucifix

Sacramentals in Our Time

Over the last few weeks, we have looked at sacramentals, the integration of our life, and a sacramental worldview. In this last post on sacramentals, I want to look at the place sacramentals can play in the evangelization and restoration of our culture. How do we evangelize our culture? How do we protect our families from the encroachment of secularism? […]

Sacramentals and an Integrated Life

As we strive to integrate the various parts of lives – our jobs, our social activities, our family time, our spiritual lives – sacramentals can help direct our daily activities toward our vocation to holiness. My last two posts looked at what sacramentals are and how they fit into our view of the world and God’s plan to save us. […]

What is a Sacramental?

Last week, we looked at the concept of a sacramental world view. A sacramental worldview perceives the mysteries of God hidden in material creation. It sees the material world not as something to be rejected or from which to be released, but as a channel of God’s grace and as the arena in and through which God acts. God uses […]

How the Weakness of the Cross Makes Us Strong

Photograph © by Andy Coan

“When I am weak, then I am strong”; “power made perfect in weakness.” Such verses are often cited as key to spiritual growth, but do we really understand what they are talking about? Can anyone ever understand? Yes. If we couldn’t understand it at all, God would not have told it to us. God does not waste words. It is […]

How the Weakness of the Cross Makes Us Strong

Photograph © by Andy Coan

“When I am weak, then I am strong”; “power made perfect in weakness.” Such verses are often cited as key to spiritual growth, but do we really understand what they are talking about? Can anyone ever understand? Yes. If we couldn’t understand it at all, God would not have told it to us. God does not waste words. It is […]

The Love Story that Brought Me Home to Jesus

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

It was a young man who brought me home.  He did it without fanfare and without argument.  He simply lived his faith. And he loved me. I think of that young man whenever I meditate on a crucifix. I see Jesus hanging there, sterile and mostly clean, and I try to imagine what it must have really been like.  I […]

How the Weakness of the Cross Makes Us Strong

Photograph © by Andy Coan

“When I am weak, then I am strong”; “power made perfect in weakness.” Such verses are often cited as key to spiritual growth, but do we really understand what they are talking about? Can anyone ever understand? Yes. If we couldn’t understand it at all, God would not have told it to us. God does not waste words. It is […]

The Cross: Absurdity or Power?

"Christ on the Cross" (detail) by Velazquez

If your leader was brutally scourged, publicly humiliated and made a sport of, then killed on a hill for all to see, wouldn’t you be tempted to downplay the event?  Instead, what does Paul tell the Corinthians? He not only doesn’t downplay it, he preaches it. He proclaims not just a risen Christ, but first a Christ crucified. (1 Cor […]

Good Friday and the Victory of the Cross

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

The terror of crucifixion Terrorism is nothing new.  It’s probably as old as the human race. In fact the cradle of civilization, now Iraq, was the home of the most infamous terrorists of antiquity, the Assyrians.  Their goal was to conquer their neighbors in a way that would minimize  initial resistance and subsequent rebellion.  To do this, they knew fear […]