distractions

A “Strong Catholic” Adrift

One of the things I most enjoy during visits with my family in Southern California, is visiting the little beach town nearby.  Main Street lies between Pacific Coast Highway and the pier and is lined with restaurants, cafes, pubs, boutiques, ice cream parlors and art galleries.  The shops are all individually owned and have a low profile, preserving the small […]

Time

Recently I was late getting a manuscript to an editor. My excuse? By far the most popular one in America: I had “no time.” Let’s examine that excuse. Why do we all seem to have no time for anything, much less for prayer? I am constantly feeling guilty about this, and I suspect most of you are too. I think […]

Photography © by Andy Coan

The Distraction of Busyness

I once got a harsh letter from a Baptist lady protesting that she could not find the word “Catholic” anywhere in the Bible. True, the earliest occurrence of the term is in a letter of St. Ignatius of Antioch, written twenty years after the last book of the New Testament.  But the idea that the Church is “catholic” pops up everywhere […]

Lack of Prayer is the Cause of Lack of Time

Recently I was late getting a manuscript to an editor. My excuse? By far the most popular one in America: I had “no time.” Let’s examine that excuse. Why do we all seem to have no time for anything, much less for prayer? I am constantly feeling guilty about this, and I suspect most of you are too. I think […]

St. Josemaría Escrivá

Catholic Quote of the Day — from St. Josemaría Escrivá

“Don’t you long to shout to those youths who are bustling around you: Fools! Leave those worldly things that shackle the heart and very often degrade it… Leave all that and come with us in search of Love!” (St. Josemaría Escrivá, The Way, Winning New Apostles, #790) Print this entry

"Christ, the Good Shepherd" (detail) by Murillo

Daily Reflection — Come and See

John was standing with two of his disciples; and he looked at Jesus as he walked, and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God!” The two disciples heard him say this, and they followed Jesus. Jesus turned, and saw them following, and said to them, “What do you seek?” And they said to him, “Rabbi” (which means Teacher), “where are you […]

"Christ in the House of Mary and Martha" (detail) by Johannes Vermeer

The Danger of Martha’s Vindication

I have noticed a troubling trend in past years when the Gospel reading about Mary and Martha’s encounter with Christ surfaces. Of course we all know the passage: “Now as they went on their way, he entered a certain village, where a woman named Martha welcomed him into her home. She had a sister named Mary, who sat at the […]

Ask a Carmelite: Help! Sometimes Prayer is So Frustrating

Dear Sister Mary Colombiere, In the second mansion St. Teresa strongly emphasizes the need for perseverance. Can you help me understand how this works in a practical way? I really struggle to keep a consistent prayer time and to stay focused when I pray. Sometimes it is so frustrating that I just give up. I know this doesn’t help but […]

The Challenges of Modern Fatherhood

Sometimes I can almost imagine myself as a great father to my children…then I do something to mess it up.  A week ago the boys and I welcomed my wife home from a five-day trip to California where she had been visiting her sister.  What started out as my great adventure with the kids at the beginning of her trip […]

Stumbling Towards Peace

Some weeks ago I blogged about an experience I had in Eucharistic Adoration where I was having a challenge with “noise” and finding peace during my prayer time in front of the Blessed Sacrament.  The experience rattled me as my overactive brain would not allow me to be calm, listen and focus during what is typically my weekly retreat from […]