daily life

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 […]

"Creation of Adam" (detail) by Michelangelo

A Sacramental Worldview

When film or television programs want to portray Catholics, how do they portray us? They depict things like statues, rosaries, candles, and crucifixes. These are what set us apart as Catholics to the world. And for good reason. These things are outward manifestations of a Catholic understanding of the world—our sacramental worldview. As Catholics, our Faith is sacramental.  This does […]

St. James’ Practical Advice

Well, we’re back in Ordinary Time. While it might seem a little sad to return to green vestments, say good bye to the Regina Coeli, and put the Easter candle aside until the next baptism, I love Ordinary Time. I suppose when pressed I would admit I love all the liturgical seasons, just like I love all the meteorological seasons. […]

A Work in Progress

Several of our Christian beliefs can be debated, fine arguments can be made, and opposing views can be discussed. But I think one of the most self-evident beliefs is that of original sin and concupiscence. As Christians, Catholics in particular, we recognize that mankind is a work in progress. The struggle against concupiscence is real, and we can see evidence […]

Change and Original Sin

While reading about the restructuring in the Diocese of Pittsburgh, I stopped to say a prayer for everyone involved – everyone from Bishop Zubik to the priests and parish staff to the people in the pew. Change always brings great opportunities and great challenges. As I’ve written before, priest changes can be quite disruptive and difficult for a parish. Change […]

Promises God Didn’t Make

There’s a danger in the Sunday readings this weekend. In both the second reading and the Gospel, we hear the promise that we will be given whatever we ask. If we read the verses out of context, however, we end up with a dangerous concept of God that can be compared to a vending machine. I was recently looking over […]

By Dint of Little Things

I want to be holy. I want to be a saint. That’s all that matters in this life… that someday we all get to heaven. I know that it’s only possible with God’s grace, and I know I have to cooperate with that grace to grow in holiness. But often those thoughts become detached from my every day experience. Priests […]

Photo by Nicola Anderson on Unsplash

What a flooded creek reminded me about the Church

We had steady rainfall here last week, resulting in our little creeks and streams flooding their banks. I took advantage of one warm afternoon, despite the rain, to head to my favorite walking path that follows a medium-sized creek to check out the impact of the non-stop precipitation. I would describe the rain as “drizzle” more than “pouring,” so I […]

The Preparation of Simeon

Today we celebrate the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord, which recalls the first time the Messiah entered the Temple. In Luke 2:22-40, we hear of the Holy Family traveling to Jerusalem for Mary’s purification (see Leviticus 12:2-8). Even though Mary, free from sin, did not require purification, she submitted to the Law, just as the Son of God […]