holiness

To Whom Should We Go?

This Sunday, we are given a choice. We can stay or we can go. As we finish the Bread of Life discourse, we see the result of the hard teaching that Jesus has been preaching the last few Sundays. “As a result of this, many of his disciples returned to their former way of life and no longer accompanied him.” […]

Gratitude for John 6

"The First Eucharist" by Juan de Juanes

For a few weeks during Year B, the Sunday lectionary takes a break from the Gospel of Mark to bring us the Bread of Life discourse from the sixth chapter of St. John’s Gospel. Beginning with the multiplication of the loaves and fish, the narrative brings us to the next day, when Jesus is back at his home base in […]

Our Family History

"All Saints" by Fra Angelico

I love saint stories.   I know I’m not alone – even the saints loved saint stories.  St. Ignatius of Loyola’s conversion was spurred by reading the life of Christ and the lives of the saints.  Edith Stein stayed up all night reading the life of St. Teresa of Avila.  There is an attraction in the radical witness of holiness that […]

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 […]

Encountering the Word — 1 Peter 2:9-10

Photography © by Andy Coan

“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 […]

The Tree That Wouldn’t Bloom

Flowering Crabapple Tree

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 […]