Holy Spirit

"St. Ambrose" by Matthias Stom

Daily Quote — from Saint Ambrose of Milan

“Remember, then, that you received a spiritual seal, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of knowledge and reverence, the spirit of holy fear. Keep safe what you received. God the Father sealed you, Christ the Lord strengthened you and sent the Spirit into your hearts as the pledge of what is to come, as you learned in the […]

Photography © by Andy Coan

Encountering the Word — Ephesians 4:1-6

“I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all lowliness and meekness, with patience, forbearing one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called […]

St. Augustine of Hippo (detail) by Sandro Botticelli

The Lord Draws Near… Don’t Let Him Pass By

All across the parish I am encountering people who give witness to the nearness of the Lord. The consolations received, the passion expressed, the apostolic zeal displayed, all give evidence to the Lord’s grace in the life of the parish family. This is not unusual for our parish, but this Advent and the weeks that led up to the season […]

Photography © by Andy Coan

Prepare the Way of the Lord

Advent’s theme can be summed up in the word’s of Isaiah 40: Prepare the way of the Lord!  But what are the mountains that need to be leveled and the valleys that need to be filled in?  Here’s a road map through the desert of Advent road construction to the joy of Christmas. Reflection on the Mass readings for the […]

Photography © by Carmelite Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Los Angeles

Carmelite Spirituality—Solitude and Prayer

“Solitude is not an empty space, a void; it is an encounter with the God who loves us…” Dear Sister, What aspect of Carmelite Spirituality do you find most helpful for your prayer? Dear Friend, The short answer to your question is solitude. Here is the longer answer… Since all prayer begins with adoration, the environment surrounding my prayer must […]

Photograph © by Andy Coan

They Know I’m Catholic, Right?

I gave a talk one Sunday morning to the men’s club of a large Atlanta Methodist church at the request of an old friend. When he asked me to speak to this group months before the talk, I responded with a question which I would ask him repeatedly every time we got together: “They know I’m Catholic, right?” I engage […]

Photography © by Andy Coan

Parable of the Wheat and Tares

The parable of the wheat and the tares or weeds is Jesus’ response to those who want to cleanse the Christian community of the impure and imperfect. The Church, in this world, is more a hospital for sinners than a club for saints. Reflection on the Mass readings for the Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A) — Wisdom 12:13, 16-19; […]

Photography © by Andy Coan

Sowing and Growing

The Parable of the Sower and the Seed needs to be viewed from two different perspectives in order to unlock its meaning – from that of the sower and that of the seed. Whether sowing or growing – the point is a plentiful harvest and much fruit.  Reflection on the Mass readings for the Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year […]

Photography © by Andy Coan

Dying to Self for God

Reflection on the Mass readings for the Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A) — Second Kings 4:8-11, 14-16; Psalms 89:2-3, 16-17, 18-19; Romans 6:3-4, 8-11; Matthew 10:37-42. When Self Magazine made its debut a few decades ago, it certainly was a sign of the times.  Ours is an age when it is socially acceptable to admit that life is […]