holiness

Living on God’s Time

“How do you do it all?” asked one of my good friends during a recent visit. It’s a question nearly every mother hears, especially those of us who are labeled “uber busy.” The reality of balancing domestic duties, caring for young children, and maintaining a healthy marriage—all in one twenty-four-hour time period—is even more difficult for those of us who […]

Photography © by Andy Coan

Encountering the Word — 1 Peter 2:9-10

“But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s own people, that you may declare the wonderful deeds of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. Once you were no people but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy but now you have received mercy.” (1 Peter 2:9-10) […]

St. James’ Practical Advice

Well, we’re back in Ordinary Time. While it might seem a little sad to return to green vestments, say good bye to the Regina Coeli, and put the Easter candle aside until the next baptism, I love Ordinary Time. I suppose when pressed I would admit I love all the liturgical seasons, just like I love all the meteorological seasons. […]

A Work in Progress

Several of our Christian beliefs can be debated, fine arguments can be made, and opposing views can be discussed. But I think one of the most self-evident beliefs is that of original sin and concupiscence. As Christians, Catholics in particular, we recognize that mankind is a work in progress. The struggle against concupiscence is real, and we can see evidence […]

Flowering Crabapple Tree

The Tree That Wouldn’t Bloom

Spring has finally arrived, I thought, as I breathed in the clean air and scanned the landscape around me. It had been a long winter, longer than in many years past, and the new life was a welcome reprieve from the bitter, colorless angst of winter. Day by day, my older girls would happily trot outside to explore the newness […]

Change and Original Sin

While reading about the restructuring in the Diocese of Pittsburgh, I stopped to say a prayer for everyone involved – everyone from Bishop Zubik to the priests and parish staff to the people in the pew. Change always brings great opportunities and great challenges. As I’ve written before, priest changes can be quite disruptive and difficult for a parish. Change […]

Promises God Didn’t Make

There’s a danger in the Sunday readings this weekend. In both the second reading and the Gospel, we hear the promise that we will be given whatever we ask. If we read the verses out of context, however, we end up with a dangerous concept of God that can be compared to a vending machine. I was recently looking over […]

Be Not Afraid of Holiness

Last week, Pope Francis published an apostolic exhortation on the call to holiness in today’s world. Entitled Gaudete et Exsultate, “Rejoice and Be Glad,” taken from Jesus’ words from the Sermon on the Mount, the papal appeal passionately urges us “not to settle for a bland and mediocre existence,” but to commit ourselves, body and soul, to responding to God’s […]

By Dint of Little Things

I want to be holy. I want to be a saint. That’s all that matters in this life… that someday we all get to heaven. I know that it’s only possible with God’s grace, and I know I have to cooperate with that grace to grow in holiness. But often those thoughts become detached from my every day experience. Priests […]

Traps & Tips for Spiritual Workouts

As part of our health insurance, they bribe, er, encourage us to stay healthy and active.  So the other day (in order to earn “points” for the program) I was reading an article about beginning a workout regimen.  The advice given was good—things like how to make your exercise a habit so that you can stick with it when life gets busy, […]