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What God Did When I Thought My Crosses Were Too Small

This Lent, I resumed my favorite Lenten prayer tradition, praying for a different person, couple, or family each of the 40 days, offering all of my prayers, petitions, frustrations, joys, and sufferings that day for their intentions. It was a particularly amazing experience for me this year. Before the Lenten season, I had become unusually fixated on the fact that [...]

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Sense and Sentimentality — How Could Mr. Right Turn Out to be So Wrong?

Many young people have had the experience of feeling that they were in love with someone who at first seemed absolutely wonderful, only later to be greatly disappointed in the person, disillusioned about the relationship, and perhaps even down on the opposite sex as a whole. In his book Love and Responsibility, Blessed John Paul II — then Karol Wojtyla [...]

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Ellen Gable on Integrating Faith and Fiction

When it comes down to it, I’m a fiction reader. Oh yes, I read plenty of nonfiction in any given year, but, for me, fiction is the payoff, the reward, the icing on the cake of my favorite hobby. Over the last few years, since I’ve been an “official” writer of sorts, I’ve gotten to know some writers, and some of [...]

"Christ's Entry into Jerusalem" by Hippolyte Flandrin"Christ's Entry into Jerusalem" by Hippolyte Flandrin

The Paradox of the Cross — Joy in the Midst of Sorrow

The Cross is the great paradox of Christianity. More than a few people have asked me over the years why the Catholic Church focuses so prominently and persistently on the Crucifix. One inquirer even suggested that the Crucifix hanging above the Altar is too intense a reminder of the sorrow in the world and that she would never join a [...]

Artwork © by Jef MurrayArtwork © by Jef Murray

On Fairy Tales — A rhapsody on themes from G.K. Chesterton & J.R.R. Tolkien

As a Catholic artist and storyteller, what interests me most are those things that help us all to make sense of the world around us. And what most helps us to make sense of the world, and our lives in it, are the stories that have been handed down to us throughout the ages. What are those stories? They are [...]

St. Peter's Basilica at Night (and Ponte Sant Angelo over the Tiber)St. Peter's Basilica at Night (and Ponte Sant Angelo over the Tiber)

Rome Speaks for Herself and She says “Catholic”

Much of the evidence that the Catholic Church is one, holy, catholic, and apostolic can be found in Rome.  How else does one explain that the Church has the greatest treasure of early Christian artifacts in the world?  I don’t mean this in an arrogant way, but more as look and see… and think.  If our Church is steeped in the relics [...]

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

Employment Challenges and a Closer Walk with Christ

I have had the good fortune during my career to meet countless men and women in the business world.  They come from all parts of the country and cover most professions.  Prominent among these good people are those who are unemployed, underemployed or unhappy with their jobs.  Each of these represents a type of crisis which can have a devastating [...]

Photography © by Andy CoanPhotography © by Andy Coan

Humility Triumphs

When a conquering hero of the ancient world rode into town in triumph, it was in a regal chariot or on the back of a stately stallion.  Legions of soldiers accompanied him in the victory procession.  Triumphal arches, festooned with relief sculptures, were often erected to immortalize his valiant victory. After driving out demons, healing the sick, and raising the [...]

Photography © by Randy HainPhotography © by Randy Hain

Rapture or Rupture

Last December, the Rev. Harold Camping, who predicted the second coming of Christ several times, finally got to meet Christ. Before his death’ he had predicted the end in May 2011. When it didn’t happen’ his followers didn’t experience the rapture, but they did experience a rupture–in their belief system. I was brought up in a fundamentalist church that followed [...]

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Being Still and Knowing

It’s been a long haul. I’ve been facing a couple of challenges that have stretched me and pulled me and forced me to really lean back into God. And it hurts. As I sat in Mass this weekend, listening to a missionary priest speak about the work that Cross Catholic Outreach does, near tears because of a number of things, [...]