Holy Spirit

How the Weakness of the Cross Makes Us Strong

Photograph © by Andy Coan

“When I am weak, then I am strong”; “power made perfect in weakness.” Such verses are often cited as key to spiritual growth, but do we really understand what they are talking about? Can anyone ever understand? Yes. If we couldn’t understand it at all, God would not have told it to us. God does not waste words. It is […]

Leave Room for the Holy Spirit

Over the last few years, on at least two different occasions, I have declared I would “never” do something or that something “is not happening.” Let me clarify—I was not speaking about things that were sinful or harmful to myself or others. I was speaking about things that were not in my plan or were not included in how I […]

Imagining and Imaging the Trinitarian Communion of Love

"The Holy Trinity" (detail) by Antonio de Pereda

Last week we celebrated the feast of Pentecost, when the apostles and disciples were strengthened by the Holy Spirit to fulfill the mission Jesus gave them ten days before at his ascension. We see the marching orders Jesus gave them and us in today’s Gospel: “Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father […]

God in Three Persons — Blessed Trinity

Mass readings for the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity (Year B) — Deuteronomy 4:32-34, 39-40; Psalms 33:4-5, 6, 9, 18-19, 20, ; Romans 8:14-17; Matthew 28:16-20.  Use the player to listen to the homily or download the mp3 audio file. We are able to know certain eternal truths without the light of faith. According the Church for example, the greatest truth […]

The Doctrine of the Trinity Matters

Photography © by Andy Coan

“The force be with you.”  No, God is far from an impersonal force.  The doctrine of the Trinity shows us just how personal and interpersonal, God really is. This post on the personal and interpersonal mystery of the triune God is offered as a reflection on the readings for the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity, (Year B) — Deuteronomy 4:32-34, 39-40; […]

Pentecost—Love Ablaze

"La Pentecôte" (The Pentecost - detail) by Jean II Restout

“Therefore I want you to understand that no one speaking by the Spirit of God ever says ‘Jesus be cursed!’ and no one can say ‘Jesus is Lord’ except by the Holy Spirit” (1 Corinthians 12:3). “Nevertheless I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Counselor […]

Daily Quote — from Saint John Paul II

Saint John Paul II

“Veni, Sancte Spiritus! Thus beginning her invocation to the Holy Spirit, the Church makes her own the substance of the Apostles’ prayer as they gathered with Mary in the Upper Room; indeed, she extends it in history and makes it ever timely.” (Saint John Paul II, Homily for Pentecost, 1998) The Optional Memorial of Saint John Paul II (1920 – 2005) […]

The Gifts and Charisms of the Holy Spirit

Photography © by Andy Coan

Without Pentecost, the Gospel is not truly Good News.  For the seven gifts and Pentecostal charisms given by the Holy Spirit on this birthday celebration of the Church Catholic are essential for the success of our mission and indispensable for a joyful, victorious Christian life. his essay on the seven gifts and Pentecostal charisms of the Holy Spirit is a reflection […]

The Difference the Ascension of the Lord Makes in Our Lives

"Ascension of Christ" (detail) by Garofalo

Years before that first Ascension Thursday, God entered into His own creation as the God-man, Jesus. He came as a humble babe, conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. His birth took place in a stable that housed livestock. Little is recorded of His early years; He was a thirty-year-old when He began His public ministry. During […]

Before the Miracle, I Believed—Now I Know.

"Suffer the little children to come unto me." (detail) by Carl Bloch [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

The following story is true. It happened to me. I will never, ever forget it. I had been a Carmelite Sister for many years when this story occurred. It changed my life forever, and I came away from the experience with an explosion of faith bursting within my soul. To cut to the quick and bring forth the significance of […]