grace

"Christ, the Good Shepherd" (detail) by Murillo

Daily Reflection — God’s Promise

“He promised us eternal salvation and an unending life of blessedness with the angels, and an imperishable inheritance, the joy of seeing his face, a dwelling-place with him in heaven, and the fear of death removed from us through the resurrection. This is, if you like, his ultimate promise. We look forward to it, and when we reach it, we […]

Daily Reflection — Wonderfully Made

  “You formed my inmost being; you knit me in my mother’s womb. I praise you, because I am wonderfully made; wonderful are your works! My very self you know.” (Psalm 139:13-14) Every single one of us is made intentionally by God. No exceptions! Imago Dei—in His image He made us. Although we lost His likeness through Original Sin, we […]

"All Saints" by Fra Angelico

Holiness: Not one size fits all

Have you ever noticed that things marked “one size fits all” rarely do? “One size fits all” is simply not the way humanity works. We’re all quite different, whether it’s the length of our arms and the girth of our waists or the extravertedness of our temperament and the sensitivity of our emotions. We will all follow different paths, while […]

Photography © by Andy Coan

Encountering the Word — Romans 5:12,15,17

“Therefore as sin came into the world through one man and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all men sinned… But the free gift is not like the trespass. For if many died through one man’s trespass, much more have the grace of God and the free gift in the grace of that one man […]

"Adoration of the Mystic Lamb" (detail) by van Eyck

What is Happening at Mass?

As many Catholics know, the Second Vatican Council famously referred to the liturgy as the “source and summit of the Christian life.” And following the prompts of the great figures of the liturgical movement in the first half of the twentieth century, the Council Fathers called for a fuller, more conscious, and more active participation in the liturgy on the […]

Peter Claver vs. Immanuel Kant

One of the greatest heroes of the social justice wing of the Church is, quite rightly, the seventeenth century “slave of the slaves,” St. Peter Claver. Born in Barcelona, Claver joined the Society of Jesus and was known, even as a young man, as a person of deep intelligence and piety. Spurred by what he took to be the direct […]

"Christ the Consolator" (detail) by Carl Bloch

Grace or Karma?

Just a few weeks ago, I had the privilege of meeting Dr. Stephen Davis, retired professor of the philosophy of religion at Claremont University. In preparation for the meeting, I read Dr. Davis’s book called Christian Philosophical Theology, which includes a chapter contrasting two basic approaches to religion throughout the world. The first—which can be found in much of the […]

Blessed Virgin Mary with Roses (detail) Artwork © by Jef Murray

Ask for a Sign

I wasn’t looking for anything—not a sign from God, anyway. Long before that moment, I had abandoned asking God for signs. Maybe it was that it seemed superstitious or petulant or…maybe it was my lack of faith. I didn’t really believe God was speaking to me through such simple acts of providence each day—signs. But my oldest, Felicity, so gingerly […]