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

All Saints — A Call to Holiness for All

At age 16, I thought that aspiring to holiness was out of the question.  If you really wanted to be holy, I thought, you had to be a priest, nun, or brother.  And you had to spend your days doing “religious stuff” like praying, preaching, teaching catechism, or serving the poor.  But I had developed an interest in the opposite [...]

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

Is being “slain in the Spirit” the same as contemplative ecstasy?

Dear Dan, I have experienced what people call “resting in the spirit” or being “slain in the spirit.” It was amazing. The priest prayed for me and I fell to the floor as if I had passed out (no injuries as I was already praying on my knees facing the Altar). However, I was still aware of others around me [...]

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Familiaris Consortio — A Road Map for Catholic Families

When my wife and I came into the Catholic Church with our two sons in 2006, we were somewhat overwhelmed by the new life we had begun. We had not only entered into full communion with the Church Christ founded, but we clearly recognized how the expectations for our marriage and how we raised our family had changed considerably as [...]

School Album 2012 Fall 112

Should a Woman Pursue a Ph.D. in Science if She Hopes to Raise a Family?

Recently a university science major asked me some questions. “Do you recommend a young woman pursue a Ph.D. in science if she hopes to raise a family? Can she do both?” I had just finished speaking about my decision to leave my career and stay home with my “most important inorganic-organic composite material productions” (i.e. children). I have five daughters, so I’ve thought about these questions already. I [...]

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Men, Women, and Tenderness

Holding hands, sharing an embrace or a kiss—these can be innocent expressions of love. But without great vigilance and virtue, these outward expressions can easily become a form of utilitarianism that actually ends up driving two people farther apart from each other and preventing love from fully developing. John Paul II—then Karol Wojtyla—makes this point when he addresses the topic [...]

"Christ in Gethsemane" (detail) by Heinrich Hofmann"Christ in Gethsemane" (detail) by Heinrich Hofmann

Pray Like Jesus to Transcend Suffering

“God loves you,” we tell our children. “And your guardian angel watches over you.” Then they go and skin their knees. “Go to God with your needs,” we say. But how do we respond to: “I prayed and prayed, so how come things still aren’t better?” It’s hard to know what to say if we are wondering that very same [...]

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How to to Overcome Sins and Faults of the Tongue

Sins and Faults of the Tongue: To Speak or not to Speak—That is the Question Dear Sister, There is a lot of noise around me—constantly. So much chatter. It seems to me that conversations in general are getting more superficial. I’m reminded of the title of one Shakespeare’s plays. It seems to fit what I am trying to say—Much Ado [...]

Photography © by Andy CoanPhotography © by Andy Coan

The Radical Rabbi and the Great Commandment

They are at it again. In this Sunday’s gospel Jesus’ opponents enlist a lawyer to do what lawyers do best—ask a question that puts a person on the hot seat. “Which commandment of the law is the greatest?” (Matthew 22:34-40). If the law consisted in only the Ten Commandments, this would be tough enough. But the written “Torah” included many [...]

Praying the RosaryPraying the Rosary

Is it possible to pray at the speed of light?

Dear Dan, I recently determined that I would begin praying the rosary regularly and as part of that commitment, I attend a weekly rosary prayer group at my parish. I was initially excited to attend but have found that the speed of their prayer is a bit blinding. They prayed an entire mystery along with other prayers in about ten minutes! [...]

Man at PrayerMan at Prayer

The Hidden Lessons of Acceptance

Not long ago a priest shared some guidance with my wife and me that has been the cause of a great deal of conversation and reflection in our home.  In response to learning that we pray every day about our oldest son’s future and that he be healed of his autism, he encouraged us to pray first for acceptance. Let [...]