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Extraordinary Faith from Ordinary Catholics

Photography by John Neff | Shutterstock

“In the doctrine of Christ there is no invitation to mediocrity, but a clear call to Heaven, to love and to cheerful sacrifice.” (Francis Fernandez, In Conversation with God) Feeling let down by politicians and public figures who say they are Catholic, but whose words and actions are often contrary to the teachings of the Church? Do we seek good examples […]

How — and why — do we celebrate Mary’s birthday?

Our Lady of the Southern Cross

The Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary (September 8) is one of the most tender and natural feasts on the Church calendar. And although we date the liturgical feast to at least the sixth century, we can actually trace the celebration much farther back.  After all, don’t you think Jesus celebrated Mary’s birthday? Join Him in the […]

Boiled Potatoes and Personal Holiness

St. Jean-Baptiste Marie Vianney, Cure d’Ars

Today is the feast of St. John Vianney, the patron of parish priests. When we look at the life of a saint like John Vianney, we might be tempted to believe that we can never be a saint. He certainly set the bar high for parish priests, spending almost his entire day in the confessional.  He lived off boiled potatoes […]

The Sacrifice of a Smile

I have been reading a lot of St. Josemaría Escrivá lately, as well as a daily meditation based on the spirituality of Escrivá, and I am often struck how often smiling is mentioned. St. Josemaría’s spirituality is based on the notion that we can all become saints in our ordinary lives, with our ordinary jobs and responsibilities, amidst the ordinary […]

And this will be a sign for you…

"Adoration of the Shepherds" (detail) by Balestra

  “The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; upon those who dwelt in the land of gloom a light has shone…” After four weeks of waiting—if we have really waited well—these words that greet us during the Church’s liturgy on Christmas night might bring joyful tears to our eyes.  That is the purpose of Advent—to stir […]