grace

Chiesa Dei Santi Michele e Gaetano, Florence, ItalyChiesa Dei Santi Michele e Gaetano, Florence, Italy

Moments of Grace

“Safe travels… ciao, ciao!” Antonio shouted with a warm smile and a hug.  The meetings were over, business trip complete and it was time for me to fly back to Atlanta.  After a full week of meetings in Florence, Italy, followed by customer dinners each night, much was accomplished and I was tired. I walked outside the convention hall; the […]

woman-praying-profile-featured-w740x493

How to Be More Grateful

There is a running joke in my family about asking God for help in parking the car. My nana initiated the practice of imploring God when encountering difficulty in finding an open parking space: “Jesus, please help me find a parking spot.” Well, my dad repeats this prayer, adding his own twist at the end. As he drives around a busy […]

Photography © by Andy CoanPhotography © by Andy Coan

What have you got to lose?

Tax collectors have never been popular.  But in Roman Palestine, they were particularly hated.  It was bad enough that they collaborated with the foreign oppressors.  Its understandable that the Jews felt about the same thing for the Romans as the French did for the occupying Nazis in World War II. But the Roman system of “tax farming” made tax collectors […]

Photography © by Andy CoanPhotography © by Andy Coan

But, St. Peter, I’m a good person!

Each year, at one of our country’s leading Catholic universities, a professor does a survey with his incoming class of students.  He puts to them this question: “If you were to die tonight and appear at the pearly gates, what would be your entry ticket?” Nine out of ten bet their good character and behavior will gain them admission. This […]

woman-praying-profile-featured-w740x493

The Hidden Life

When I retired from a public work life, I found a hidden life had many lessons to teach… When I was a new mom, I slipped away for a silent weekend retreat. Before we adjourned on Sunday afternoon, the organizers invited the participants to randomly pick a holy card. On it, was a virtue we were supposed to cultivate throughout […]

“Christ at 33” (detail) by Hofmann“Christ at 33” (detail) by Hofmann

A Faith that is Mature

There are two dangers to the spiritual life that are all too common. First, we can spend so much time learning about God through study that we never come to know him in prayer. In this sense, study becomes a false god. Second, our efforts at “doing and ministering” become all about the “serving” and not about the one who […]

"Madonna and Child" (detail) by Sassoferrato"Madonna and Child" (detail) by Sassoferrato

Daily Catholic Quote — from St. Louis Marie Grignion de Montfort

“Since grace enhances our human nature and glory adds a still greater perfection to grace, it is certain that our Lord remains in heaven just as much the Son of Mary as he was on earth. Consequently he has retained the submissiveness and obedience of the most perfect of all children towards the best of all mothers.” (St. Louis Marie […]

Photography © by Andy CoanPhotography © by Andy Coan

The Prodigal Son and the Golden Calf

Everyone knows the bible stories of the Prodigal Son and the Golden Calf.  But they don’t usually put the two together as this Sunday’s readings do.  So what do the two tales have in common? Answer: they both speak volumes about the nature of sin.  Think about it.  God sees an enslaved people in miserable bondage to the mightiest nation […]

woman-praying-in-church-featured-w740x493

Demystifying the Gift of Tears

A few years ago, I read an article about the gift of tears and was immediately intrigued.  Most comments centered around people who said they weep freely at Mass when they never used to, or they perhaps became emotional unintentionally.  I had to scratch my head in befuddlement, because it seemed there was more to this mysterious spiritual phenomenon than […]