Mercy

"Christ on the Cross" (detail) by Velazquez

My people, what have I done to you?

The Reproaches The Good Friday Reproaches, or Improperia, are among the most unsettling prayers of the Church’s liturgical tradition. They are fitting for the most unsettling day of the year: that day we dare to call “Good,” the day our churches stand stark and empty, the day when the comforting words of the Holy Mass are not uttered, the day […]

Daily Reflection — God offers eternity, the world can’t promise tomorrow.

“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You have faith in God; have faith also in me. In my Father’s house there are many dwelling places. If there were not, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back again […]

"King David in Prayer (detail)" by Pieter de Grebber

Daily Reflection — A Pure Heart Create for Me, O God

“A pure heart create for me, O God, put a steadfast spirit within me.” (Psalm 51). Fridays are penitential days for Catholics. Just as we celebrate His Resurrection each Sunday, we recall that it was on a Friday that our Lord suffered His crucifixion, dying on the Cross for each of us. On Fridays, we perform some act of self-denial […]

Our Lady of Mercy

Understanding Mercy Thanks to Mary

There’s nothing quite like being in a hurry and seeing the flashing red lights that mean that a train is coming and that I have to stop. I had this happen to me recently when I was on my way from my mother-in-law’s house to town. It was at a train track that’s on a busy highway, in a place […]

"Christ and the Woman of Samaria" (detail) by Paolo Veronese

Jesus Offers You Living Water

A reflection on the the encounter of the Woman of Samaria with Jesus at Jacob’s Well and proclaimed during 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. The Gospel from the Third Sunday of Lent (Year A) is the story of the encounter of Jesus and […]

"Return of the Prodigal Son" (detail) by Murillo

The Nature of Forgiveness — Is it Humanly Possible?

The exalted nature of forgiveness is attested to by the fact that it presupposes a number of other virtues.  Consider three virtues in particular: justice, clemency, and mercy. Justice has the nature of an equation: Borrowing ten dollars requires returning ten dollars. When justice is violated, punishment or restitution of some kind is required. Herein is the timeless significance of bringing […]