"Return of the Prodigal Son" (detail) by Murillo"Return of the Prodigal Son" (detail) by Murillo

Mercy and Responsibility

We are less than a month away from the closing of the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy, so we should make sure that we make the most of our prayer time during this month so that our outward acts of love might be more merciful! Chapter 15 of Luke’s Gospel presents to us three parables of God’s rich mercy: The Lost Sheep, […]


Suffering Is An Act of Love

“I’m a nurse, and I’ve seen children suffer senselessly.  It’s far more merciful to allow them to die than to suffer.” “If we humanely euthanize pets, why can’t we do the same for people?  I see nothing wrong with this.” These, and other, statements reverberate in my mind in the aftermath of the recent Belgium child euthanasia headline.  At one […]

“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 […]


There’s No Such Thing as “Balance”

I hate the word balance—at least the way our modern culture defines it. For most of my adult life, all I’ve heard (or read) is about how to balance work and family life or finding balance when life seems to get out of control.  It’s as if balance is this magical word that creates a utopian mindset—one that, I’ve come […]


A Spiritual Eye Exam

One of my favorite comedians has a sketch about going to the eye doctor.  He begins by admitting that it sometimes takes him years to update his prescription.  When he finally gets new lenses, he’s amazed at how well he can see. “‘Man, I could have been seeing things!’  How could instantly-improved vision not be at the top of your […]

"The Coronation of the Virgin" (detail) by Fra Angelico"The Coronation of the Virgin" (detail) by Fra Angelico

Run so as to Win

It’s that time again.  The Olympics are back.  Our living rooms are filled with international drama, and our water-cooler talk at work revolves around parallel bars, 100m freestyles, and even lightweight double sculls. The broadcasts are filled with inspirational stories which (even if they occasionally seem a little melodramatic or forced) tug at our heart strings and make us want […]


Together on Pilgrimage

There have been many images to come out of World Youth Day.  The small girl reaching up to hug the Holy Father at Mass.  The smile the Holy Father gave to the penitent in confession.  The thousands of hands reaching up to the Popemobile.  The flags, the crowds, the sunrises, the World Youth Day cross being carried by the youth. […]