holiness

"The Parable of the Father and His Two Sons in the Vineyard" by Georg Pencz [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons

When More than Words are Needed

A Faith Disconnected from Life All of us who read these pages, I hope and pray, desire to deepen our love of God, improve our prayer life and grow in our relationship with the Lord. But too often we tend to separate our faith from our daily life and this prevents the growth we seek. The Second Vatican Council identified […]

"All Saints" by Fra Angelico

I need more messy saints…

I am looking for some messy saint stories. You know, the type of story that shows the person made a fool of themselves, or chose poorly, or even… sinned. Perhaps it sounds weird—we look to the saints to be our examples in holiness, so why would I want a story that showed the exact opposite? I need encouragement.  Sure, I […]

Excuse Me, God, Is There a Family Discount?

It’s not easy to become a saint while raising a family.  Especially for some of us.  Me, for instance.  And I could use a little help.  I heard a priest recommend that we read about and seek the intercession of saints who shared the same vocation as us.  Priests should get to know the lives of holy priests, religious sisters […]

"Parable of the Laborers in the Vineyard" (detail) by Rembrandt

Who We Are Matters, not What We Have

I believe that one of the great challenges of our time derives from the loss of knowledge of who we are and what we are made for. Actually, we may know these eternal truths, but we tend to suppress them in our consciousness. In this age of consumerism, we tend to define ourselves, not by who we are and for […]

"Pietà" (detail) by Michelangelo located in St. Peter's Basilica

The Feast of Our Lady Which Our World Needs Most

Every year on September 15, the day following the feast of the Exaltation of the Cross, we celebrate the memorial of Our Lady of Sorrows, when we call to mind the sufferings endured by Our Lady throughout her life, most importantly at the foot of the Cross. To someone unfamiliar with the feast, perhaps it seems like an odd one. […]

Our Lady of the Southern Cross

How — and why — do we celebrate Mary’s birthday?

The Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary (September 8) is one of the most tender and natural feasts on the Church calendar. And although we date the liturgical feast to at least the sixth century, we can actually trace the celebration much farther back.  After all, don’t you think Jesus celebrated Mary’s birthday? Join Him in the […]

Detail of bas-relief depicting Clare receiving Papal approval of her Order on her deathbed. From the convent at San Damiano

The Patroness of Television

There is a patron saint for everyone—accountants and authors, bankers and bee keepers—and everything—travel and toothaches, Kentucky and kidney stones.  So it shouldn’t surprise us that as they became commonplace in homes, Pope Pius XII realized we needed a patron saint of television. He chose Saint Clare of Assisi, the famous female follower of St. Francis. On Palm Sunday in […]

St. Jean-Baptiste Marie Vianney, Cure d’Ars

Boiled Potatoes and Personal Holiness

Today is the feast of St. John Vianney, the patron of parish priests. When we look at the life of a saint like John Vianney, we might be tempted to believe that we can never be a saint. He certainly set the bar high for parish priests, spending almost his entire day in the confessional.  He lived off boiled potatoes […]

St. Jean-Baptiste Marie Vianney, Cure d’Ars

Daily Catholic Quote — from St. John Vianney

“My dear brethren, I call that man bad company who is without religion, who does not concern himself with either the commandments of God or those of the Church, who does not recognize Lent or Easter, who seldom comes to church or, if he does come, then only to scandalize others by his irreligious ways. You ought to shun his […]