joy

"Christ the Consolator" (detail) by Carl Bloch"Christ the Consolator" (detail) by Carl Bloch

What is the Answer to Suffering, Pain and Loss?

Many years ago, I taught 4th Grade CCD for my parish religious education department. It was the first evening of classes and I was starting the process of getting everyone introduced to one another when one boy blurted out, “I am going to be your worst nightmare.” He was speaking to me. You could say that I was taken aback, [...]

"The Baptism of the Eunuch " by Rembrandt"The Baptism of the Eunuch " by Rembrandt

Why should you be hopeful in these stressful times?

Editor’s note: A reflection on the readings for the Sixth Sunday of Easter (Year A) — Acts 8:5-8, 14-17; Psalms 66:1-3, 4-5, 6-7, 16, 20; First Peter 3:15-18; John 14:15-21. Pope Francis is now into his second year in office. A principal theme of his pontificate is that of Christian joy. His apostolic exhortation, The Joy of the Gospel, speaks to [...]

"The Resurrection of Christ" (detail) by Bloch"The Resurrection of Christ" (detail) by Bloch

Six Steps to Catholic Joy

I recently had coffee with a fellow Catholic who gloomily shared his ongoing struggles with overtly living out his faith in the real world and reluctance to discuss his faith with others. He made it clear that going to Mass on Sunday was all he could or should be doing. Unfortunately, this is a very common tale. The conversation became [...]

Mother and ChildrenMother and Children

Once Upon a Time, there was a Banana in the Kitchen…

“Once upon a time, there was a banana. And he lived in a kitchen…” So began the story my eight-year-old daughter Angela wrote yesterday for a homeschool writing assignment. I laughed and laughed, a big belly laugh. I almost couldn’t stop I loved the opening sentences so much. As I read on, I was tickled with her play on words, [...]

Photography © by Andy CoanPhotography © by Andy Coan

A Most Difficult Question to Answer

When I give talks around the country or sometimes in correspondence with readers of my books or blog posts on Integrated Catholic Life, I am often asked what I mean when I encourage others to “be joyful” and share the “light of Christ” with others.  I am referring to the response I typically give when asked for effective ways to [...]

Pope FrancisPope Francis

Daily Catholic Quote from Pope Francis

“You tell us that to love God and neighbour is not something abstract, but profoundly concrete: it means seeing in every person the face of the Lord to be served, to serve him concretely. And you are, dear brothers and sisters, the face of Jesus.” (Pope Francis, Addressing the guests at the DONO DI MARIA homeless shelter staffed by the [...]

The Flight Into Egypt (detail)The Flight Into Egypt (detail)

Why Did the Holy Innocents Have to Die?

On the fourth day of our Christmas celebration, the Church reminds us that not everyone is joyful; that there exist those who are not of goodwill who do not wish to receive the season’s glad tidings. Today is the Feast of the Holy Innocents in which the Church recalls and honors those baby boys whose lives were taken in a [...]

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Our Merciful Mother – Our Lady of Guadalupe

by Sister Ines, O.C.D. In every approved Marian apparition, Our Lady has a specific mission. Each one reveals a determined and specific message – a unique and necessary goal. In the Anáhuac Valley of Mexico, on a barren hill called Tepeyac, Our Lady of Guadalupe came as a “merciful Mother,” a healer and restorer of all who are broken in [...]

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Five Ways Catholics Can Make a Real Difference

“Think about the possibilities if we all made a sincere daily commitment, no matter how small, to make a positive difference in the lives of those around us.” Do we sometimes feel overwhelmed in the face of the relentless assault on the Church, our beliefs, and our families by the media and modern culture? Is it difficult to stand up [...]