holiness

What Bethlehem reminded me about Christmas

When I was preparing to go to the Holy Land this summer, everyone who had been there before had the same message for me: You’ll never read the Scriptures the same again. As a Catholic, I should have realized this also meant something else: you’ll never celebrate the liturgical calendar the same again. As we prepare for Christmas, my thoughts […]

"Adoration of the Shepherds" (detail) by Balestra

This beloved Christmas song has Mary all wrong

I love Christmas music so much, it’s hard to force myself to wait to listen to it. I make myself wait until at least halfway through Advent, but after that you’ll find me listening to it into January. Of course, there are several Christmas songs that I could do without, and a few that make me want to turn the […]

Empty-Handed at the End

Yesterday was the start of the Catholic New Year, the first day of the liturgical year.  Once Advent starts, we begin to think about the birth of Jesus, but the gospels for the first week of Advent don’t seem to align with our joyful anticipation of Christmas.  The first week of Advent gospels always warn us to be ready because […]

"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 […]

St. Frances Xavier Cabrini, Virgin and Foundress

Daily Catholic Quote — from St. Frances Xavier Cabrini

“I will go anywhere and do anything in order to communicate the love of Jesus to those who do not know Him or have forgotten Him.” (St. Frances Xavier Cabrini, Virgin and Foundress) The Memorial of St. Frances Xavier Cabrini (1850 – 1917) is November 13. Please share on social media. Print this entry

Photography © by Andy Coan

Holiness and All Saints

All Saints Day, observed tomorrow—November 1, gives us the opportunity to honor the multitudes of Christians who are in heaven yet are not on either the canonized saint list or the liturgical calendar.  But it also provides us the chance to reflect on just what holiness is and who is called to sanctity. Reflection on the Mass readings for the […]

A Soul’s Hearth

As I walked into the church for Mass last Sunday, I noticed right away the candles had been trimmed too long.  They looked like a half dozen lit bottle rockets lined up on the reredos, in anticipation of the dazzling finale in a Fourth of July pyrotechnic display.  My mind filled with strains of Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture.  Smoke was billowing upward […]

Saint John Paul II

Daily Catholic Quote — from Saint John Paul II

“It is Jesus in fact that you seek when you dream of happiness; he is waiting for you when nothing else you find satisfies you; he is the beauty to which you are so attracted; it is he who provokes you with that thirst for fullness that will not let you settle for compromise; it is he who urges you […]