Heaven

The Only Two Moments That Matter

“God would therefore have them continually concerned either with eternity … or with the Present.” How many times have you said the Hail Mary? If you’re in the noble habit of praying the Rosary, you’ve said a lot of Hail Marys. Have you ever thought about the two times we ask for Mary’s intercession in that prayer? Now and at […]

Thoughts on Death

“We must face the reality of death to fully understand it, and we must understand it in order to more fully live.” November is the month of the poor souls in purgatory. We can obtain a plenary indulgence for someone in purgatory during the first eight days of November. The indulgence is obtained, under the usual conditions, by anyone who […]

Heaven, Marriage and the Resurrection

Will there be marriage in heaven? Jesus’ answer to the Sadducees about the widow married to seven deceased husbands needs to be understood in light of some important truths about the resurrection and the afterlife. The Mass readings for the Thirty-Second Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year C) are Second Maccabees 7:1-2, 9-14; Psalms 17:1, 5-6, 8, 15; Second Thessalonians 2:16–3:5; […]

Living with the Proper Perspective

“Do we live with this same hope? Do we have this proper perspective on eternity?” “You accursed fiend, you are depriving us of this present life, but the King of the world will raise us up to live again forever.” The first reading for this Sunday is part of the stunning story of the martyrdom of a mother and her […]

The Exaltation of the Holy Cross

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

Then Jesus told his disciples, “If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.” (Matthew 16:24-25) But Jesus said to them, “You do not know what you are asking. Are […]

Lord, will those who are saved be few?

"Universal Judgement" (detail) by Michelangelo

I once heard a comment from a friend who was preparing a homily for today’s passage from Luke’s Gospel (see Luke 13:22-30). He was finding it difficult to “preach that there will be so few in heaven.” He has no problem on preaching about death, judgment, Heaven and Hell; but, he is disturbed and sad that, in his understanding, there will be […]

Why Do We Follow a Secular Compass?

I don’t know about you, but I rarely get through the day without feeling beaten up a little by the demands and pervasive negative influence of the world. It is difficult to find peace and block out the noise. I am challenged to avoid committing the same venial sins over and over each day. In my weakness, I tend to […]

Do We Make Christ and His Church Look Attractive to Others?

Mission Dolores Altar (San Francisco) Photograph © by Andy Coan

When I give talks around the country or sometimes in correspondence with readers of my books or blog posts on Integrated Catholic Life, I am often asked what I mean when I encourage others to “be joyful” and share the “light of Christ” with others.  I am referring to the response I typically give when asked for effective ways to […]

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.  […]

What have you been given?

Our culture loves to make up fake holidays. National Hot Dog Day, National Get Out Your Guitar Day, World Nutella Day … every food, occupation, habit, or weird hobby has a day. This past week was the annual celebration the world has named Satisfied to be Single Day. It might sound funny, but every February 11 for the past thirteen […]