featured

Father and SonFather and Son

A Checklist for Catholic Dads

I have had numerous conversations over the years with other Catholic dads about the challenges of raising kids in today’s world. The discussions usually center on the bad cultural influences affecting our children, our hectic schedules and our well-intentioned desire to be better fathers. We mean well, but how do we move from conversation to action? The stakes are high, […]

"Creation of Adam" (detail) by Michelangelo"Creation of Adam" (detail) by Michelangelo

The Eclipse of Reason

Pope Benedict’s 2010 Christmas Greeting to the Roman Curia, a Catholic version of the American “State of the Union Address,” was notable for the emphasis placed upon human reason. His Holiness did not so much focus on the loss of Faith occurring in Western Democracies as he did the loss of Reason. At one point in his address he stated: […]

"La Pentecôte" (The Pentecost - detail) by Jean II Restout"La Pentecôte" (The Pentecost - detail) by Jean II Restout

The Holy Spirit—The Principle of Unity throughout Scripture

  The principle of unity throughout scripture is the Holy Spirit. The Pentecost Sequence, Veni Sancte Spiritus, describes this sanctifying—and therefore unifying—role of the Spirit of Father and Son: Bend the stubborn heart and will; Melt the frozen, warm the chill; Guide the steps that go astray! Beautiful words, but poignant as well for anyone who has ever struggled to […]

Riderless Horse with boot reversed in stirrup
being led in Funeral Procession at Arlington National CemeteryRiderless Horse with boot reversed in stirrup being led in Funeral Procession at Arlington National Cemetery

Catholic Quote of the Day — from J. R. R. Tolkien

“War must be, while we defend our lives against a destroyer who would devour all; but I do not love the bright sword for its sharpness, nor the arrow for its swiftness, nor the warrior for his glory. I love only that which they defend.” (J. R. R. Tolkien, Faramir in The Lord of the Rings – The Two Towers) […]

"Jesus Teaches the Child" (detail) by Judith Costello"Jesus Teaches the Child" (detail) by Judith Costello

A Big Truth: “I Don’t Know”

My husband says, “If you don’t know what you don’t know, then you are dangerous.” That bit of wisdom is important….but it requires some effort to puzzle through what it means. Although he is eighty-three and knows so much more than the average adult because he’s a voracious reader and deep thinker, Jurgen never pretends to “know it all.” He […]

"La Pentecôte" (The Pentecost - detail) by Jean II Restout"La Pentecôte" (The Pentecost - detail) by Jean II Restout

The Glory of Pentecost

Do you ever wonder what it might have been like to be present with Christ for those three years of His public life as he preached the Kingdom of Heaven throughout the Decapolis? How many miracles of the Incarnate God might we have been privileged to witness? The Apostle John said of the Christ’s unrecorded works: “but there are also […]

Photography © by Andy CoanPhotography © by Andy Coan

The Difference that the Spirit Makes

As a teenager, I thought the clergy were supposed to do everything.  We laity were just called to pray, pay, and obey.  Oh yes, and keep the commandments, of course. The original 10 seemed overwhelming enough. Then I discovered the Sermon on the Mount and nearly passed out. Perhaps this is why many inactive Catholics are so resentful of their […]

"The Creation of Adam" (detail) by Michelangelo"The Creation of Adam" (detail) by Michelangelo

Memoirs of a Nihilist—or What I Learned in College

I had to snicker. There was my college roommate, across the room from me, and she was on her knees by the bedside, saying her nightly prayers. I was over all that. I had attended Catholic schools for twelve years, and had been thoroughly immersed in every nuance of “The Baltimore Catechism.” One of the first questions had been, “Why […]

Man at PrayerMan at Prayer

The Fruit that Came from Obeying God’s Will

Last September, on the day after turning in the manuscript for Joyful Witness: How to Be an Extraordinary Catholic to my publisher, I went to Eucharistic adoration seeking peace and quiet time before the Blessed Sacrament. I was exhausted, having written three books in 18 months in addition to running my business and performing my normal duties as a husband […]

St. Teresa's Interior CastleSt. Teresa's Interior Castle

The Interior Castle: Saint Teresa’s Diamond

The De Beers Jewelry marketing slogan of “Diamonds are Forever” might have been a perfect catchphrase for Saint Teresa’s “Diamond”, better known to us as the Interior Castle. However, this company was not yet around in 1577 when she was ordered to write another book. “Forever” was a well-chosen word because of the properties and symbolism inherent in the diamond. […]