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God’s Desire for You

For years, though I had been a committed Christian and enjoyed what many call a truly personal relationship with Christ, I had not really internalized the thought that God desired me. That He wants and longs for a relationship with me. The idea seemed odd that the great God of our universe would have any sense of personal longing for a […]

"Christ the Consolator" (detail) by Carl Bloch"Christ the Consolator" (detail) by Carl Bloch

On Being Grateful for Our Challenges

“If God sends you many sufferings, it is a sign that He has great plans for you and certainly wants to make you a saint.” (St. Ignatius Loyola) I woke up yesterday not feeling very grateful.  I am not sure why, but I started my day in a “mood.”  Maybe it was the stress of having too much on my […]

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

Thanksgiving and the Eucharist

For Americans, the term “Thanksgiving” conjures up images of turkey and cranberry sauce, parades and bowl games.  These “traditions” have come to mark an event made a perpetual institution of American life by President Abraham Lincoln. But why did Lincoln proclaim the last Thursday in November as a national holiday?  Because it was clear to him that the blessings of […]

Beth's Mom and Kids

St. Aquinas (to Moms) on Repaying Favors at Once

Just like I read encyclicals, I read the Summa theologiae like a mother, which lends itself to a more homely brand of scholarship. Moms? Oh, we get the systematic dialectic of St. Thomas because it’s kind of like how we deal with our children. We pose a question. The children say, “No, I think it’s this way.” Another child says, “Well, I think it’s that way.” […]

"Sermon on the Mount" St. Matthew's Church altarpiece by Henrik Olrik"Sermon on the Mount" St. Matthew's Church altarpiece by Henrik Olrik

The Divine Roots of Human Learning

“If we return to the educational pedagogy grounded on the Christian anthropology embodying the Imago Dei we will much better serve our children as we fulfill our Christian duty to educate them.” The finest education known to man springs from the heart of Holy Mother Church. Catholic education by way of the medieval university beckoned its students forward by examining […]

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Painting with a Purpose — #Art4Sarah

Jeannie Ewing and I “met” virtually about a year ago. In that time, we’ve worked together at CatholicMom.com, where Jeannie’s a regular contributor, and I learned about her family’s incredible story. Part of what makes it so incredible to me is how very hope-filled it seems. I would not have expected that having a child like Sarah would inspire hope, but that’s […]

“Christ at 33” (detail) by Hofmann“Christ at 33” (detail) by Hofmann

Do People See Jesus When They Look At You?

“As I have loved you, so you also should love one another” (John 13:34). In John 14:15, Jesus tells his apostles, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.”  In this passage, Jesus is preparing His Apostles for His departure and the coming of the Holy Spirit. After three long years with them, these are among His final words […]

Photography © by Andy CoanPhotography © by Andy Coan

Christ the King and the Final Judgment

On the final Sunday in the liturgical year, it is time to remember things that we’d prefer to forget.  For starters, we recall that there is an infinite qualitative difference between us and God.  He is immortal and infinite.  We are not.  Each one of us will come to our individual end.  But so will our society, our world, even […]

"All Saints" by Fra Angelico"All Saints" by Fra Angelico

The “Problem” with Praying to the Saints

At one time in my life I viewed Christians as shallow people blindly following silly rules. As I was to discover, these perceptions were not only wrong, they were worlds away from reality. The root cause of my misconception was my confident ignorance. Until I allowed Christians to speak to me and define their faith in their words, I was unable to get anywhere […]

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When We Struggle in Our Prayer Life

One of the biggest obstacles for me in the early days of my faith journey was the lack of a prayer life. I knew I needed to pray, but I couldn’t ever remember sincerely praying about anything. I was struggling with the typical male challenge of asking for help, especially asking God for help! I rationalized this by thinking, “Who […]