prayer life

Crossing the Threshold of Holy Week

"The First Eucharist" by Juan de Juanes

It caught me by surprise that the Carmelite Sisters keep a complete and prayerful silence during the Holy Triduum of Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday, not speaking until the conclusion of the evening Easter Vigil Mass on Holy Saturday. I remember when I was the “new kid on the block,” a recently-arrived postulant who was learning more and […]

Christ’s Last Will and Testament

"Christ the Consolator" (detail) by Carl Bloch

It is very important to listen to what a person says in the final months, days and hours of one’s life.  It can tell us a great deal about that person. But if we cannot actually hear what a person says, if we are not in his or her presence, we can find a written expression of the person’s last […]

This World Seems Upside Down

Imagine if you will, that you took a copy of the morning newspaper, turned it upside down and then tried to read and make sense of it. This example actually comes from the French philosopher Simone Weil when she attempted to describe how we humans experience our eternal reality and our relationship with God, while looking at things through our […]

The Stone Walls Surrounding our Heart Must Come Down

“By faith the walls of Jericho fell down after they had been encircled for seven days.” (Hebrews 11:30) This verse from the Letter to the Hebrews refers to the well-known Old Testament story of the fall of the walls of Jericho. But, truthfully, the story has a much larger meaning for each of us. In the context of our individual spiritual […]

Winter of Our Discontent

As these winter months drag to a close, many of us have become familiar with, or been reminded of, the experience expressed in the title of the well-known John Steinbeck novel cited above. Literary buffs might know that the line is actually from William Shakespeare’s play, Richard III. “Now is the winter of our discontent, Made glorious summer by this sun [or […]

An Eternal Hope for Healing

“Then Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and proclaiming the good news of the kingdom, and curing every disease and every sickness.” (Matthew 9:35) I heard someone say recently that the number one thing Christ brought to us, aside from the gift of our eternal salvation, was the gift of healing. And I agree, […]

I Believe in the Love of God

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

There is a very simple question we Christians should wrestle with at some point in our lives, indeed, we should wrestle with it continuously. Do we Believe in a God of love? Do we really believe that the One who created the Universe, who holds the stars in place, who created and maintains the oceans knows each of us by […]

Wholly Indifferent, or Holy Indifference?

There is an interesting dynamic that plays itself out in the spiritual lives of many souls. It is the struggle between the conflicting attitudes of one being wholly indifferent and of one practicing holy indifference. To be wholly indifferent means that a person is not particularly concerned with or perhaps even aware of the challenges, trials or suffering of society […]

But What About All My Good Works?

There is a subtle but dangerous trap even faithful Christians sometimes fall into when it comes to thinking about our relationship with God and our performance of our good works. It is not at all unusual for Christians to sometimes place a little too much emphasis on the merits of their individual works. This can happen for several reasons. It […]

A World of Wonder

“Sinners will find in My Heart an infinite ocean of mercy.” (Sixth Promise of the Sacred Heart) “And I think to myself what a wonderful world…” These are words from February’s theme song, What a Wonderful World. This month we will look at the stage of development where we meet those curious little ones known as “Toddlers.” “What can they teach […]