Everyone Needs an Ethel

I love Lucy… Everyone does, right?  But you know who I also love?  I love Ethel.  Because without Ethel, Lucy wouldn’t have been able to devise or execute quite so many hair-brained schemes. Lucy needed Ethel—and who doesn’t? Everyone needs an Ethel!  Everyone needs an accomplice in fun, in worry, in difficult projects.  It would be handy if I could just step […]

Detail of "Triumph of St. Thomas Aquinas over the Heretics" by Filipino LippiDetail of "Triumph of St. Thomas Aquinas over the Heretics" by Filipino Lippi

Give Full Assent to the Teachings of the Church

This is an age of disbelief, material reductionism, and subjectivism. It is increasingly difficult to give our full assent to Holy Mother Church’s teaching because they are difficult to reconcile with our modern ethos. One may rightfully object that there are many things about which men of good will can disagree, but the unchanging, dogmatic articles of faith of the […]


White Gloves

Small Things Series: Little Things Can Make a Big Difference “White Gloves” by T. Thomas Mr. Jim gave me a pair of white, wrist-length, stretch dress gloves as a present when I became engaged to my now husband, David. At this, two things came to mind. First, I was surprised to receive anything from Mr. Jim, not expecting an engagement gift […]

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

Mercy and Responsibility

We are less than a month away from the closing of the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy, so we should make sure that we make the most of our prayer time during this month so that our outward acts of love might be more merciful! Chapter 15 of Luke’s Gospel presents to us three parables of God’s rich mercy: The Lost Sheep, […]

Photography © by Andy CoanPhotography © by Andy Coan

But, St. Peter, I’m a good person!

Each year, at one of our country’s leading Catholic universities, a professor does a survey with his incoming class of students.  He puts to them this question: “If you were to die tonight and appear at the pearly gates, what would be your entry ticket?” Nine out of ten bet their good character and behavior will gain them admission. This […]

Pope St. John Paul IIPope St. John Paul II

John Paul II and the Communion of Saints

A few years ago, my friend Megan and I headed to Rome to celebrate the feast of John Paul II.  At the time, he was newly beatified and was not yet on the calendar for the church in the United States.  It was his first feast day, and barring special permission, Mass for his feast could be celebrated in only […]

Photograph © by Andy CoanPhotograph © by Andy Coan

What are Obstacles to Catholic Authenticity?

Why is it difficult to be the same person at work, home, church and with our friends? I have observed this problem for several years, but lately I have become more aware of the challenges people have with consistently being “real.” In a few recent discussions with friends, I received blank stares and perceived a lot of discomfort when I […]


Suffering Is An Act of Love

“I’m a nurse, and I’ve seen children suffer senselessly.  It’s far more merciful to allow them to die than to suffer.” “If we humanely euthanize pets, why can’t we do the same for people?  I see nothing wrong with this.” These, and other, statements reverberate in my mind in the aftermath of the recent Belgium child euthanasia headline.  At one […]


Avoiding Fatal Attractions

Editor’s Note: This is the third in a series of articles written by Dr. Edward Sri on Saint John Paul II’s Love and Responsibility. The series is reprinted here with permission and originally appeared in the January/February 2005 issue of Lay Witness magazine. © 2005 Catholics United for the Faith / www.cuf.org/Laywitness/index.asp A man eating lunch at a restaurant notices an attractive woman at another table, […]


Be Inspired by October’s Twin Intentions

October is both the month of the rosary and respect life month. Those two intentions are tied together intimately in my heart.  It’s not such a stretch, though, when I look at what the rosary is about: human life in its most divine and perfect form. As we walk—or, in my case, stumble and plod—through the rosary, mystery to mystery, we […]