joy

"Christ the Consolator" (detail) by Carl Bloch

O Joyful Catholics, Where Are You?

I believe one of the greatest obstacles to evangelization and sharing our faith with others today is that many of us have forgotten how to be joyful. I know when the stresses of the world weigh me down, I struggle to maintain a joyful attitude in the presence of others. We are often so busy with our hectic schedules and […]

Photograph © by Andy Coan

What is the Answer to Suffering, Pain and Loss?

Many years ago, I taught a fourth grade CCD class 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 […]

"Christ the Consolator" (detail) by Carl Bloch

Daily Reflection—In God Alone

My soul rests in God alone, from whom comes my salvation. God alone is my rock and salvation, my fortress; I shall never fall. (Psalm 62:2-3). Psalm 62 is (one of the Psalms recited this evening at Vespers) speaks of the joy and confidence from knowing God intimately as the only One in whom we can ever find the fullness […]

After the Convocation

I had the honor last weekend to attend the National Convocation of Catholic Leaders, an unprecedented gathering of diocesan, parish, apostolate, and institutional leaders from around the United States. The Bishops had been planning the convocation for years. Frankly, anticipation would have been high for me… if I had known what to expect. But I’m not sure anyone knew what […]

Raising Independent Catholic Kids in an Age of Conformity

Sexting, drugs, alcohol, cyber-bullying, teen suicide, rampant materialism, technology addiction, and me-first mindsets—the list of challenges to young people today can seem overwhelming.  As parents of two boys, ages sixteen and nineteen, I feel like my wife and I are on the front lines of a never-ending war for the very souls of our children.  I would love to tell […]

"The Vision of St. Francis" (detail) by Jusepe de Ribera

Daily Catholic Quote — from St. Francis of Assisi

“Wherefore, O you sons of men, how long will you be dull of heart? (Ps 4,3). Why do you not recognize the truth and believe in the Son of God (Jo 9,35)? Behold: daily he humbles himself (Phil 2,8) as when from heaven’s royal throne (Wisd 18,15) he came down into the womb of the Virgin. Daily he himself comes […]

"The Vision of St. Francis" (detail) by Jusepe de Ribera

Daily Catholic Quote — from St. Francis of Assisi

“Where there is charity and wisdom, there is neither fear nor ignorance. Where there is patience and humility, there is neither anger nor vexation. Where there is poverty and joy, there is neither greed nor avarice. Where there is peace and meditation, there is neither anxiety nor doubt.” (St. Francis of Assisi, Deacon and Confessor) The Memorial of St. Francis […]

Photography © by Andy Coan

Sharing the Lord’s Joy

Reflection on the Mass readings for the Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord (Year ABC) — Acts 1:1-11; Psalms 47:2-3, 6-7, 8-9; Ephesians 1:17-23; Matthew 28:16-20. The celebration of the Ascension used to leave me a bit flat.  It was clear what Good Friday did for me.  And Easter Sunday’s benefits were indisputable.  But as for the Ascension, what’s […]

"The Baptism of the Eunuch " by Rembrandt

Our Joys and Hopes

Reflection on the Mass 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. A principal theme of his Pope Francis’ pontificate is Christian joy. His apostolic exhortation, The Joy of the Gospel, speaks to the heart in a powerful way. In the first reading today, we hear […]