Holy Week

Christ’s Last Will and Testament

"Christ the Consolator" (detail) by Carl Bloch

It is very important to listen to what a person says in the final months, days and hours of one’s life.  It can tell us a great deal about that person. But if we cannot actually hear what a person says, if we are not in his or her presence, we can find a written expression of the person’s last […]

Joy and Sorrow

"Christ's Entry into Jerusalem" by Hippolyte Flandrin

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 […]

Eucharist — The Body of Christ

"The Last Supper" (detail) by Duccio

Holy Thursday, the night of the Last Supper aka the Lord’s Supper, the institution of the Holy Eucharist — why did Jesus do what he did and say what he said? What did he mean when he said “This is my body and this is my blood” and “Do this in Memory of Me”?  And what does the Catholic Church […]

The Day We Call “Good”

"The Crucifixion" (detail) by Leon Bonnat

We have committed the greatest sin imaginable. Deicide. The creatures have killed their Creator. The mysteries of today abound. We never could have killed our God if He hadn’t allowed it. “No one takes it from me, but I lay it down on my own. I have power to lay it down, and power to take it up again” (John […]

Daily Reflection—The Lord’s First Word is Forgiveness

“Christ at 33” (detail) by Hofmann

“Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34). Almighty God, Merciful Father, in the Name of Your Son, our Lord, Jesus Christ and by Thy Spirit, prepare for us that mystical space of prayer where we encounter Thy Presence. Holy Spirit, open our minds and hearts, directing us to all that you would reveal. Strengthen us […]

Eucharist — The Body of Christ

"The Last Supper" (detail) by Duccio

Holy Thursday, the night of the Last Supper aka the Lord’s Supper, the institution of the Holy Eucharist — why did Jesus do what he did and say what he said? What did he mean when he said “This is my body and this is my blood” and “Do this in Memory of Me”?  And what does the Catholic Church […]

Daily Reflection—Know That God Is With You

“But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed. We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.” (Isaiah 53:5-6) We sometimes […]

Joy in the Midst of Sorrow

"Christ's Entry into Jerusalem" by Hippolyte Flandrin

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 […]

The realness of Christ

“From Mount Hor the children of Israel set out on the Red Sea road, to bypass the land of Edom…” began the first reading at Mass one day this week. Years ago, perhaps I would have pictured a brightly-colored cartoon derived from a picture Bible of my youth, or maybe an aging Charlton Heston would walk across my mental image […]

Daily Reflection—The Lord’s First Word is Forgiveness

“Christ at 33” (detail) by Hofmann

“Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34). Almighty God, Merciful Father, in the Name of Your Son, our Lord, Jesus Christ and by Thy Spirit, prepare for us that mystical space of prayer where we encounter Thy Presence. Holy Spirit, open our minds and hearts, directing us to all that you would reveal. Strengthen us […]