pain

Trials and Unity

Photography © by Andy Coan

If God provides, then why does Murphy’s Law seem to apply even to devout Christians?  Why do bad things happen to good people?  Why so much resistance, even from fellow Christians, when we try to do God’s will?  This article seeks to show how trials fit into Divine Providence and actually lead to joy, love and unity.   The Mass […]

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 […]

Joy in the Midst of 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 […]

The Gift I Want to Give Back

"The First Eucharist" by Juan de Juanes

I’m a dry-eyed gal most of the time, and I have always prided myself on that trait. Then I started going to Mass. I certainly didn’t mean to turn into a blubbering mess.  At the time, I was a tough know-it-all college graduate, and I was only there because this good-looking Prince Charming of mine insisted that he had to […]

The Problem of Suffering

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

I remember sitting in my Introduction to Moral Theology class as a college undergraduate and being asked, “What is the problem of suffering, and how do we respond to it?”  We were then introduced to Rabbi Harold Kushner, who wrote a book called When Bad Things Happen to Good People.  Rabbi Kushner explained that there are three basic premises we […]

In All Things, Give Thanks?

“O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures for ever!” (Psalm 107:1) I pressed the down button and waited for the elevator. We were at Johns Hopkins Neurology Clinic where my husband and I had just met with a genetic specialist about my son, Patrick. The doctor had given us a thorough overview […]

Daily Catholic Quote from Fr. Francis Fernandez

Fr. Francisco Fernández Carvajal

“The Cross is the essential mark of a Christian because it was the vehicle for the world’s Redemption. The Lord frequently used the expression bear the cross to summarize in this figure the Christian meaning of pain and contradiction” (Fr. Francis Fernandez; In Conversation with God) If you liked this quote, please share it with your friends and family using the Share […]

The Gift I Want to Give Back

Daily Mass in Our Lady of Perpetual Help Chapel at St. Peter Chanel, Roswell, Georgia

I’m a dry-eyed gal most of the time, and I have always prided myself on that trait. Then I started going to Mass. I certainly didn’t mean to turn into a blubbering mess.  At the time, I was a tough know-it-all college graduate, and I was only there because this good-looking Prince Charming of mine insisted that he had to […]

Where is God in the Midst of Our Suffering?

Christ on the Cross (detail) by Velazquez

Not long ago, a close friend of mine confided in me about a particularly difficult time through which she was struggling.  In the depths of her darkness and despair she’d begun to question both her faith in God and the effectiveness of prayer.  She wanted to know where God was, if there really was a God, in the midst of […]

Why Does God Allow Suffering?

Is Something Going On? Just a little over two weeks ago, our central air conditioner failed. If you could have seen us, you would have thought that our family was the definition of suffering… temperatures in the 90’s and sweat dripping. But then I remembered that my son’s house was severely damaged by a tornado in late April. They are […]