God

Don’t Forget To Look Up!

Outstanding guidance for our young people: Katie Warner’s Commencement Address to the graduates of the Class of 2019, Blessed Trinity Catholic High School in Roswell, Georgia What a blessing it is to be back at my own alma mater, witnessing this milestone day for all of you soon-to-be graduates. I’d like to share three brief thoughts with you this afternoon as you […]

Pray Always?

Photography by John Neff | Shutterstock

“Pray without ceasing.” (1 Thessalonians 5:17) “Seriously? Pray always?” That is not an uncommon reaction to St. Paul’s admonition to pray always without ceasing. Does he know what we’re up against, the demands on our time and energy, the pace of our modern world, not to mention the fragility and inconsistency of our human nature? He can’t possibly mean always, as […]

The Weight of Glory

Photograph Copyright © 2020 by Michael Bickerstaff, All Rights Reserved

We can believe we are mere mortals dreaming the dream of immortality, while in fact, we are immortals dreaming the terrible dream of mere mortality. We all know what the weight of glory is, whether or not we have read Lewis’ golden sermon. We know it from the magic words of the poets; or we know it from the wordless […]

Lessons from Emmaus Road for the Anxious and Discouraged

"Supper at Emmaus" (detail) by Caravaggio

We are all likely familiar with the “walk to Emmaus” (Luke 24:13-35) by two of Christ’s disciples the evening of the Resurrection in Luke’s Gospel.  These two men, overcome with hopelessness and discouragement, were talking about the incredible events they had witnessed over the previous few days as they were walking to their home village of Emmaus outside of Jerusalem.  […]

The Selfie Culture

Photo by Alexandre Lecocq on Unsplash

“Once we take our eyes away from ourselves—from our interests, from our own rights, privileges, ambitions—then we will become clear to see Jesus around us.” (Saint Teresa of Calcutta) Have you fallen victim to the selfie culture?  Well, I have!  Not necessarily pictures of me all the time.  More often pictures of my adorable and talented grandchildren, wonderful vacation spots, great restaurants, fun […]

When All Creation Held its Breath

The Annunciation (St. Gabriel and the Blessed Virgin Mary) by Paolo de Matteis [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

The Moment There is a singular moment which defines all history; a moment to which all that came before, all that has come after, and all that is yet to come points as supremely significant—the Incarnation. On March 25th of each Liturgical Year, we remember the event that took place—the moment when the Blessed Virgin Mary gave her fiat to God’s request that […]

God and the Coronavirus

"Christ the Consolator" (detail) by Carl Heinrich Bloch (1834-1890) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

How many times have you heard people say, “If God really exists, why does He let people get cancer or brain tumors?” Or, “If there really is a God, why does He allow wars and famine?” Or, “Where is God when we need Him most?” Well it occurred to me during this time of the world-wide, coronavirus pandemic called Covid-19, […]

Journey with St. Joseph

St. Joseph and the Christ-Child, Belmont Abbey

This year the first day of spring falls on March 19, 2020.  St. Joseph’s Day!  Spring brings a certain stillness to the earth. A waiting. A time of hushed expectancy. Seeds are planted and their growth is a quiet one – a hidden growth deep in the soil followed by the tender shoots stretching through the earth and reaching for the sun. […]

The Desert in Carmelite Spirituality

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

“What did you go out to the wilderness to see?” (Matthew 11:7) These were Jesus’ words to the crowd. John took to the desert to draw people out into solitude to prepare their hearts for the coming of the Messiah. For many years the desert had become a place of encounter. In 1 Kings 19:1-8 a long time before John’s […]

The Heavy Burdens We Carry

Confessionals

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 […]