Holy Mass

Mission Dolores Altar (San Francisco) Photograph © by Andy Coan

Silence and the Meaning of the Mass

Robert Cardinal Sarah’s recent book The Power of Silence: Against the Dictatorship of Noise explores a number of themes both theological and spiritual, all centering around the unhappy role that noise has come to play in our culture and more specifically in the Church. His observations are most trenchant in regard to the liturgy, which should come as no great […]

Cathedral of Christ the King – Atlanta Photography © by Andy Coan

Jesus—The Living Bread That Came Down From Heaven

The Altar of Sacrifice The Altar of Sacrifice on which the Lord redeemed us is His Cross on Calvary, lifted up nearly 2,000 years ago. Jesus has made it possible for that “once for all sacrifice” to be present to us in our day and where we are… no matter when and where that is. To be at Holy Mass […]

Daily Catholic Quote — from Saint Teresa of Calcutta

“I know I wouldn’t be able to work one week if it were not for the continual force coming from Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. In our society we begin our day with Mass and Holy Communion and we end it with one full hour of Adoration. We have permission from the different bishops to expose the Blessed Sacrament. All […]

"Sermon on the Mount" St. Matthew's Church altarpiece by Henrik Olrik

A Reminder of the Mission

The readings at Mass during the Easter season are a constant reminder of our mission as disciples. Throughout the season, the first readings come from the book of Acts, detailing the events of the early days of the Church when the Apostles, filled with the Holy Spirit, were obeying the command of Christ to teach the nations. These first followers […]

"Supper at Emmaus" (detail) by Caravaggio

Our Deepest Desire—Satisfied on the Road to Emmaus

Reflection on the Mass readings for the Third Sunday of Easter (Year A) — Acts 2:14, 22-28; Psalms 16:1-2, 5, 7-8, 9-10, 11; First Peter 1:17-21; Luke 24:13-35. Deep within each and every one of us there is a hunger and a thirst.  We all experience this yearning of the soul—a heart that burns with longing, but we don’t always recognize what […]

"Christ's Entry into Jerusalem" by Hippolyte Flandrin

The Paradox of the Cross — Joy in the Midst of Sorrow

The Cross is the great paradox of Christianity. More than a few people have asked me over the years why the Catholic Church focuses so prominently and persistently on the Crucifix. One inquirer even suggested that the Crucifix hanging above the Altar is too intense a reminder of the sorrow in the world and that she would never join a […]

Pope Francis (neneo / Shutterstock.com)

Daily Catholic Quote — from Pope Francis

“Therefore the Eucharistic Celebration is much more than simple banquet: it is exactly the memorial of Jesus’ Pascal Sacrifice, the mystery at the centre of salvation. Memorial does not simply mean a remembrance, a mere memory; it means that every time we celebrate this Sacrament we participate in the mystery of the passion, death and resurrection of Christ.” (Pope Francis, […]

Chiesa Dei Santi Michele e Gaetano, Florence, Italy

Moments of Grace

“Safe travels… ciao, ciao!” Antonio shouted with a warm smile and a hug.  The meetings were over, business trip complete and it was time for me to fly back to Atlanta.  After a full week of meetings in Florence, Italy, followed by customer dinners each night, much was accomplished and I was tired. I walked outside the convention hall; the […]

The Simplicity of Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving may be my favorite holiday.  I only hesitate a little in saying that because it’s a close race with the greatest of feasts in our Church calendar, Christmas and Easter.  But there are a few reasons I really love Thanksgiving. While the Church year is filled to the brim with feasts, this one is a feast celebrated outside the […]

Catholic Prayer Hacks

I’m not what most people would call holy, but I do hope to become so.  I’ll need a lot of grace and prayers for it to happen.  We’re all essentially lazy.  Well, some of us are.  Okay, I am, at least.  I’m lazy.  And I know it.  So, I like to look for short cuts, easier ways.  I like to […]