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Perpetual Adoration of the Exposed Blessed Sacrament
Our Lady of Perpetual Help Chapel - St. Peter Chanel Catholic Church, Roswell, Georgia USAPerpetual Adoration of the Exposed Blessed Sacrament Our Lady of Perpetual Help Chapel - St. Peter Chanel Catholic Church, Roswell, Georgia USA

Look At Me

    I sat there in the quiet chapel, feeling exceptionally grateful for my seven-month-old son’s spontaneous nap, which gave me the chance to savor a few minutes with Jesus in adoration. Still, prayerful moments like these before the Lord in the Eucharist seemed so fleeting lately that I was almost too giddy to buckle down and pray. I nestled [...]

Photography © by Andy CoanPhotography © by Andy Coan

The Miracle of the Loaves

Only one miracle of Jesus is recorded in all four gospels—the multiplication of the loaves and fishes. I once heard a homilist give what he said was the real meaning of the story: the people in the crowd took out food they were hiding under their cloaks and shared it. Jesus’ preaching inspired the melting of selfishness, and this was [...]

"King David in Prayer (detail)" by Pieter de Grebber"King David in Prayer (detail)" by Pieter de Grebber

Saying your Prayers versus Praying your Prayers

In the spiritual life, the language we use intimately reflects our hearts. As an example, let’s look at prayer. Do we “say our prayers?” Or do we pray in an intimate relationship with God? The former is like saying, “I said words to my wife.” The latter is closer to saying, “My wife and I had a wonderful dinner together.” Prayer, [...]

Photograph © by Andy CoanPhotograph © by Andy Coan

What Others Think Of Us

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, “I don’t want to offend anyone.” “We could never do that at [...]

Grace Bunji Jumping

The Paradox of Letting Children Go

When I saw my baby—my baby—flying through the air attached to bungee cords at the county fair, I couldn’t breathe and my arms suddenly ached to hold her and keep her safe. She was so high, so far away. Sure, she’s nine, but still . . . the sight evoked an all too familiar feeling, the same one I had when she took her first [...]

Flannery O'ConnorFlannery O'Connor

Flannery O’Connor and the Devil’s Territory

Shocking, grotesque, violent, and dark! Readers often use these adjectives after reading Flannery O’Connor’s stories. In her day, the horrified reactions from country folks in the small town of Milledgeville where she lived were fairly predictable. Even her own mother flinched from the gruesomeness of her fiction—and an aunt took to bed for a week after reading O’Connor’s first novel. [...]

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Pass the Pencils, Please

Is there anything better than a freshly sharpened pencil, a brand-new blank notebook, and a comfortably cluttered table? Other than the pile of books I have to read, no. This time of year is some sort of balm to the nine-year-old writer in me, the one who still sees possibilities and promise when she sees a box of pencils. It’s [...]

Photography © Carmelite Sisters of the Most Sacred HeartPhotography © Carmelite Sisters of the Most Sacred Heart

Reverence Please… Jesus is Present!

Our teenagers just came back from a Steubenville Retreat. They are fired up. They have had a palpable sense of the presence of Jesus and the Holy Spirit. Then they come to Mass in the parish and that feeling begins to ebb away. Why? Why doesn’t every single Mass remind us and fill us with a sense of God’s real [...]

"Return of the Prodigal Son" (detail) by Murillo"Return of the Prodigal Son" (detail) by Murillo

Inviting Catholics to Come Home

I sometimes wonder why I don’t have more faith. If only my faith was stronger, I think, what amazing things I could do for the Lord. If only I more deeply appreciated the gift of faith I have received. Right? I bet you sometimes wonder the same things about yourself. In today’s Gospel (cf. Matthew 13:44-52), Jesus tells us in no [...]

Photography © by Andy CoanPhotography © by Andy Coan

Does Old versus New Apply in the Kingdom?

“Liberal” and “conservative.” The definitions of these terms are seldom stated. Usually they are just presumed. Often people call “conservative” those who like old-fashioned things and “liberal” those who favor the latest ideas, trends, and values. But for the Christian, the ultimate question is not personal preferences of style, or whether something is old or avant garde. It is rather [...]