joy

If my life was radiant…

“My life, speech, and actions will be those of someone who is living for Someone else.” There’s a famous quote of St. Francis, “Preach the Gospel, and if necessary, use words.” The problem is… he never said that.  Even though it’s one of the most ubiquitous quotes attributed to him, there is no evidence of the quote in any of […]

From Suffering to Joy

Mission Dolores Altar (San Francisco) Photograph © by Andy Coan

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 […]

The Heavy Burdens We Carry

Confessionals

I have been thinking a great deal about my experience at Reconciliation this past Saturday. I felt an intense and unexplainable urge to go and confess my sins when I woke up that morning after having been deprived of this Sacrament during the coronavirus pandemic. I try to go every six weeks or so, but this was no routine visit […]

Joy and Hope During A Pandemic

"The Baptism of the Eunich" (detail) by Rembrandt / Public domain

The world has been on lockdown and edge for nearly two months as a result of the COVID-19 Pandemic. Lives have been disrupted in significant ways. Although this is not unheard of in a human history that is marked with war, disease and natural disasters, it is new to many people alive today. And such disruptions are a severe blow […]

Graces for Later

“In this darkness, Our Lord has already given you what you need.” One of my favorite parts of the Easter season liturgy is in the preface before the Eucharistic Prayer, when the priest prays, “therefore, overcome with paschal joy…” It’s a reminder to me, every day of Easter, that we are in this season of joy and are called to […]

Before the Miracle, I Believed—But 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 […]

Joy

Photography by Bannafarsai_Stock | Shutterstock

Joy is more than happiness, just as happiness is more than pleasure. Pleasure is in the body. Happiness is in the mind and feelings. Joy is deep in the heart, the spirit, the center of the self. The way to pleasure is power and prudence. The way to happiness is moral goodness. The way to joy is sanctity, loving God […]

Lessons from the Holy Family

Holy-Family"The Holy Family with dog" (detail) by Bartolomé Esteban Murillo [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

The Holy Family The Feast of the Holy Family celebrates the holiness and joy of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph of Nazareth. By celebrating this feast during the Christmas season, the Church wants us to see the important link between the birth of our Savior and the family. Pope Francis has said of the Feast of the Holy […]

Remembering the Holy Innocents

"The Flight to Egypt" (detail) by Carl Spitzweg

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 […]

Five Ways Catholics Can Make a Difference

Photograph © by Andy Coan

“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 […]