love

Do We Make Christ and His Church Look Attractive to Others?

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

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 […]

Daily Quote—for Holy Saturday

“Today a great silence reigns on earth, a great silence and a great stillness.  A great stillness because the King is asleep.  The earth trembled and is still because God has fallen asleep in the flesh and has raised up all who have slept since the world began . . . ‘I order you, O sleeper, to awake.  I did […]

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 […]

Being Intentional About Our Prayer Lives

As I wrote this post I reflected on my experiences as a Catholic from my conversion in 2005 until now. One of the biggest obstacles for me in the early days of my faith journey was the lack of a prayer life. I knew I needed to pray, but I couldn’t ever remember sincerely praying about anything. I was struggling […]

Daily Quote — St. John Vianney

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

“All our religion is but a false religion, and all our virtues are mere illusions and we ourselves are only hypocrites in the sight of God, if we have not that universal charity for everyone – for the good, and for the bad, for the poor and for the rich, and for all those who do us harm as much […]

The Proposal of God — To Serve

— “We are called to serve.  In fact, we were created to serve. It’s radically counter-cultural.”  In many parishes this weekend, we will hear the story of the Samaritan woman at the well. On the third, fourth, and fifth Sundays of Lent, parishes have the option to read from the readings for Year A, particularly if they have people preparing […]

Suffering Transfigured

"The Transfiguration (detail)" by Raphael

The love in which God embraces each of us is one of the great truths revealed to us throughout salvation history, but especially through and in Jesus Christ. To come to a better and deeper understanding of this love, we are continually invited by God into a deeper communion of prayer with Him… to come to know Him as He […]

Why Do Catholics Abstain from Meat on Fridays and Fast?

"Christ in the Desert (detail)" by Ivan Kramskoy

Our bookstores are filled with books written to help us advance in prayer and the spiritual life. The “secret” we all look for is really no secret at all.  At its heart, the gospel message is one of self-denial and detachment from all things that are obstacles to our growth.  Jesus tells us that if we are to be his […]