Navigating the Interior Life

God’s Desire for You

For years, though I had been a committed Christian and enjoyed what many call a truly personal relationship with Christ, I had not really internalized the thought that God desired me. That He wants and longs for a relationship with me. The idea seemed odd that the great God of our universe would have any sense of personal longing for a […]

God’s Desire for You

For years, though I had been a committed Christian and enjoyed what many call a truly personal relationship with Christ, I had not really internalized the thought that God desired me. That He wants and longs for a relationship with me. The idea seemed odd that the great God of our universe would have any sense of personal longing for a […]

The “Problem” with Praying to the Saints

"All Saints" by Fra Angelico

At one time in my life I viewed Christians as shallow people blindly following silly rules. As I was to discover, these perceptions were not only wrong, they were worlds away from reality. The root cause of my misconception was my confident ignorance. Until I allowed Christians to speak to me and define their faith in their words, I was unable to get anywhere […]

Why should we meditate on hell and judgment?

"General Judgment" (detail) by Michelangelo

Dear Dan, Why would the Church recommend that we meditate on such horrible things as hell and the last judgment (aren’t there four things.)? Anyway, if there is a benefit to doing such a thing, what would that look like? Dear Friend, “The Last Things”, or “Eschatology” is the subject that deals with the ultimate truths of our existence. Often […]

How can I pray when I can’t even think straight?

Dear Dan, How do I pray when I am sick and can’t think? I feel as though my words are just going out into thin air and no one in heaven hears me. What words do I use and Who will listen? Dear Friend, This is a difficult question both to experience and to answer. I have suffered significant ongoing […]

Is being “slain in the Spirit” the same as contemplative ecstasy?

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

Dear Dan, I have experienced what people call “resting in the spirit” or being “slain in the spirit.” It was amazing. The priest prayed for me and I fell to the floor as if I had passed out (no injuries as I was already praying on my knees facing the Altar). However, I was still aware of others around me […]

Is it possible to pray at the speed of light?

Dear Dan, I recently determined that I would begin praying the rosary regularly and as part of that commitment, I attend a weekly rosary prayer group at my parish. I was initially excited to attend but have found that the speed of their prayer is a bit blinding. They prayed an entire mystery along with other prayers in about ten minutes! […]

I am struggling with resentment towards the Church, what should I do?

St. Peter's Basilica at Night (and Ponte Sant Angelo over the Tiber)

Dear Dan, I have been Catholic for three years now, and am very grateful for the gift of faith. However, I have recently been struggling with resentment towards the Church—feeling that there are too many demands, hardships, that too much is being asked of me. How does one combat resentment? Dear Friend, Welcome home! I am sorry to hear about […]

Are all sexual thoughts sinful?

Dear Dan, I am struggling with sexual thoughts and am wondering about the teachings of the Church. Are all sexual sins mortal and does thinking of sex without arousal a mortal sin? When does the thought become mortal; is it when we don’t control it or is it always mortal? What exactly is lust and what are the church’s teaching on […]

Sexual thoughts — How can I understand them in light of my faith?

Dear Dan, I am struggling with sexual thoughts and am wondering about the teachings of the Church. Are all sexual sins mortal and does thinking of sex without arousal a mortal sin? When does the thought become mortal; is it when we don’t control it or is it always mortal? What exactly is lust and what are the church’s teaching on […]