featured

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

A Faith that is Mature

There are two dangers to the spiritual life that are all too common. First, we can spend so much time learning about God through study that we never come to know him in prayer. In this sense, study becomes a false god. Second, our efforts at “doing and ministering” become all about the “serving” and not about the one who […]

Photography © by Andy CoanPhotography © by Andy Coan

Protecting Our Addictions

Temperance.  For older American, that word conjures up images of Carrie Nation shattering bottles of gin to usher in Prohibition. But the word temperance does not mean abstinence from alcohol or total abstinence from anything, for that matter.  It means that the desire for pleasures of various sorts is brought into balance with other legitimate needs and obligations.  Also called […]

"Legend of St. Francis [15] Sermon to the Birds" (detail) by Giotto"Legend of St. Francis [15] Sermon to the Birds" (detail) by Giotto

Misquoting St. Francis

  In a few weeks, I get to go back to one of my favorite places in the world: Assisi. The medieval hillside town is like no other place in this world, and there’s something about walking those streets that has a way of re-calibrating your life.  Many people try to go to Assisi as a day trip, but I’m […]

ConfessionalsConfessionals

The Heavy Burdens We Carry

I have been thinking a great deal about my experience at Reconciliation this past Saturday. I felt an intense and unexplainable urge to go and confess my sins when I woke up that morning. I try to go every six weeks or so, but this was no routine visit to the priest for me. I needed to unburden myself of […]

woman-praying-profile-featured-w740x493

There’s No Such Thing as “Balance”

I hate the word balance—at least the way our modern culture defines it. For most of my adult life, all I’ve heard (or read) is about how to balance work and family life or finding balance when life seems to get out of control.  It’s as if balance is this magical word that creates a utopian mindset—one that, I’ve come […]

"Supper at Emmaus" (detail) by Caravaggio"Supper at Emmaus" (detail) by Caravaggio

The Mysterious Treasures Buried in Mystagogical Catechesis

The Three Ages of History centered on Christ Incarnate Jesus Christ our Savior is the Lord of all creation! We in the Catholic Church “believe that the key, the center and the purpose of the whole of man’s history is to be found in its Lord and Master.”1 The incarnation of the second person of the Trinity signals the greatest […]

Photography © by Carmelite Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Los AngelesPhotography © by Carmelite Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Los Angeles

Henceforth, You Will be Called

  “I have called you by name; you are mine” (Isaiah 43:1). Such joy! A baby is born. So innocent. So pure. So new. “What is the baby’s name?” you ask. In our Catholic tradition, parents are asked to give the name of a saint to their child. That saint becomes the child’s patron and most Catholic families read stories […]

Photography © by Andy CoanPhotography © by Andy Coan

Responsible Generosity

Our society tolerates religion, as long as it keeps to itself.  After all, America is about the separation of Church and state, right?  Education, entertainment, employment, politics are supposed to be “religion-free.”  The removal of the Ten Commandments from an Alabama courthouse several years ago was just one sign of this misguided divorce between faith and life. Like it or […]

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

St. Cyprian and Perspective from Persecution

September 16 is the feast of Sts. Cornelius and Cyprian, two friends from the early Church who were martyred for the faith.  St. Cornelius was elected Pope after the papacy was vacant for almost a year due to Emperor Decius’ persecution of the Christians.  After this time, during a lull in the persecutions, a disagreement arose regarding admitting back to the […]