prayer life

Hope for a Little Fear

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.” (Romans 15:13) What has happened to the hope of our generation? Can we honestly say this current generation lives with a collective sense of hope about the future?  It might be important for […]

Earthen Vessels

Photo by ritesh singh on Unsplash

The Light is Hidden, But Never Extinguished Many of us might remember the great battle in the Book of Judges between the Midianites and Gideon’s Israelite forces. Gideon had instructed his soldiers to each carry a trumpet and a clay jar with a torch in it. “And he divided the three hundred men into three companies, and put trumpets into the hands of […]

Feasting on a Fast

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

In this season of preparation for the arrival of Easter, there is one particular practice that seems to get a lot of attention, most of it negative. This should not be surprising since the practice is all about denying ourselves something we have all become quite accustomed to – food. The practice of course is fasting. “But he said to […]

The Desert in Carmelite Spirituality

Photography © by Carmelite Sisters of the Most Sacred Heart of Los Angeles

“What did you go out to the wilderness to see?” (Matthew 11:7) These were Jesus’ words to the crowd. John took to the desert to draw people out into solitude to prepare their hearts for the coming of the Messiah. For many years the desert had become a place of encounter. In 1 Kings 19:1-8 a long time before John’s […]

We Owe Each Other a Terrible Loyalty

St. Peter Chanel Catholic Church, Roswell, Georgia—Photography © by Michael Bickerstaff

Looking back at my childhood, I am thankful for the many gifts the good God sent my way in the form of people who knew and loved Him and chose to share that knowledge and love with me. There are so many examples from the good Catholic sisters and priests who taught me to my Presbyterian friend, James, who announced […]

Time

Recently I was late getting a manuscript to an editor. My excuse? By far the most popular one in America: I had “no time.” Let’s examine that excuse. Why do we all seem to have no time for anything, much less for prayer? I am constantly feeling guilty about this, and I suspect most of you are too. I think […]

Winter and the Spiritual Life

“We can have confidence that God is still working—even in the coldness, even in the darkness, even when all seems quiet.” For much of the Northern Hemisphere, January is that month when the weather finally makes up its mind to turn cold, the nights seem a little darker, and the wind seems a little more bitter.  Gone are the cheery […]

Healing From the Inside Out

Photography by John Neff | Shutterstock

When the Lord heals, He almost always heals from the inside out. Referring to the inside does not mean that He heals only internal disease, damage or infection. But rather, that He wants to heal the whole person, and in order to do this He must begin by healing the interior life of a person. An example of this is […]

Led by the Spirit

chair-peter-holy-spiritDetail of Chair of St. Peter Dnalor 01, Rom, Vatikan, Petersdom, Cathedra Petri (Bernini) 4, Detail, CC BY-SA 3.0

Just what is it that leads us through this life? This is a question we should ask ourselves and wrestle with from time to time. However, we should do this only after we have wrestled with the first and more immediate question: Where we are going in this life? Or perhaps more accurately, what is life really all about? Some […]

Time for Some Straight Talk

"The Lamb of God, John the Baptist and Andrew" (detail) by Ottavio Vannini (1585-c. 1643) [Public domain]

If you appreciate straight talk, the Gospel of John has a great way of getting to the point. “‘It is the spirit that gives life, the flesh is of no avail; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life.But there are some of you that do not believe.’ For Jesus knew from the first who those […]