life

Photography © by Andy Coan

The Samaritan Woman and the Original Meaning of Lent

Reflection on the Mass readings for the Third Sunday of Lent (Year A) — Exodus 17:3-7; Psalms 95:1-2, 6-7, 8-9; Romans 5:1-2, 5-8; John 4:5-42 or 4:5-15, 19-26, 39. Lent’s a time of introspection.  We read Exodus, and watch the Israelites grumbling, even after the amazing things God had done for them (Ex 17:3-7).  In them, we recognize ourselves.  For many of us, […]

Photography © by Andy Coan

Transfiguration Leads to Life through Death

Reflection on the Mass readings for the Second Sunday of Lent (Year A) — Genesis 12:1-4; Psalms 33:4-5, 18-19, 20, 22; Second Timothy 1:8-10; Matthew 17:1-9. Imagine: you are ten years past customary retirement age.  It’s time finally to kick back and relax.  You live in a great city where everything is at your fingertips—shopping opportunities, cultural events, all your relatives and lifelong […]

Living Simply This Lent

I once was visiting a beautiful home, finely furnished with exquisite furniture, lovely artwork and impeccable décor. However, the heavy draperies around the windows blocked most of the natural light in the rooms, and left an atmosphere of heaviness and, quite frankly, suffocation. Although the home was beautiful I couldn’t wait to leave and enjoy the freshness and plainness of […]

"The Stoning of St. Stephen" (detail) by Rembrandt

Laying Down Your Life

As they were stoning Stephen, he called out “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” (Acts 7:59). Just yesterday, we began our observance of Christmastide by celebrating the Nativity of Our Lord. And now today, we observe the Feast of Saint Stephen, the Church’s first martyr and one of the Church’s first seven deacons whose ordination by the Apostles we read about in Acts […]

"The Parable of the Good Samaritan" (detail) by Jan Wijnants

Daily Reflection — Justice, Mercy and Peace

“He who says he is in the light and hates his brother is in the darkness still. He who loves his brother abides in the light, and in it there is no cause for stumbling. But he who hates his brother is in the darkness and walks in the darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the […]

"Shrine of the Nativity in Bethlehem" by David Roberts

Daily Reflection — Inner Strength

“Lord, you have been our refuge through all generations. Before the mountains were born, the earth and the world brought forth, from eternity to eternity you are God.” (Psalm 90:1-2). From eternity to eternity… Christmas Day fast approaches in just a few days. Still for many people there are many things left undone that shout for our attention. The question […]

The Annunciation of the Angel to Saint Zechariah (detail of fresco) by Domenico Ghirlandalo

Daily Reflection — It is never too late for God’s Love

“In the time of Herod king of Judea there was a priest named Zechariah, who belonged to the priestly division of Abijah; his wife Elizabeth was also a descendant of Aaron. Both of them were righteous in the sight of God, observing all the Lord’s commands and decrees blamelessly. But they were childless because Elizabeth was not able to conceive, […]

Photography © by Andy Coan

Will We be Married in the Afterlife?

Given their history, it seems rather strange.  After all, for hundreds of years the Jews lived alongside a race that was totally preoccupied with life after death.  The Egyptians built pyramids that were wonders of the ancient world.  But their sole purpose was to launch their leaders into the next world. Yet the Jews really had no concept of life […]

Beyond the Sexual Urge

Editor’s Note: This is the second in a series of articles written by Dr. Edward Sri on Saint John Paul II’s Love and Responsibility. The series is reprinted here with permission and originally appeared in the March/April 2005 issue of Lay Witness magazine. © 2005 Catholics United for the Faith / www.cuf.org/Laywitness/index.asp In our first reflection on Pope John Paul II’s Love and Responsibility, we considered […]

The Hidden Life

When I retired from a public work life, I found a hidden life had many lessons to teach… When I was a new mom, I slipped away for a silent weekend retreat. Before we adjourned on Sunday afternoon, the organizers invited the participants to randomly pick a holy card. On it, was a virtue we were supposed to cultivate throughout […]