prayer life

A Convert Struggles in Her Relationship with Mary

Blessed Virgin Mary with Roses (detail) Artwork © by Jef Murray

Dear Sister I just recently became Catholic and I’m still struggling with the Church’s teachings on Mary. I respect her, but I don’t feel the need to ask her for prayers if I can just ask God directly. Do you have any suggestions on how I can have a relationship with Mary? Dear Friend, Yes, I do! Being a convert […]

Do not be Afraid to Touch Jesus

"The Raising of Jairus' Daughter" (detail) by Repin

The Gospel for the Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year B) comes from Mark 5:21-43 and consists of the accounts of two miracles Jesus performed. Jairus, a synagogue official desperate to save the life of his daughter, seeks out Jesus. On His way with Jairus to restore his daughter, Jesus encounters the woman with a hemorrhage. Mark frequently interrupts one story to […]

Seven Lessons Dads Should Teach their Children

Who Introduced You to the Lord? The first question I would like to pose, is simply this: “How did you come by your faith, whether it be weak or strong, new or old? Where and when did you first come to encounter Jesus and his glorious Gospel?” For many of us, the answer would be, “I first came to know […]

O Sweet Heart of Mary, I Love You!

Nancy Bauer / Shutterstock.com (Click for full image.)

Does God ever lead you by questions? He does me. In fact, this happened to me just the other day. I had a question in my mind and after bringing it trustingly to the Lord in prayer for several months, He showed me something new. I had been pondering over our Lady of Fatima’s words to the children, “Pray, pray […]

Conforming Our Hearts to the Sacred Heart of Jesus

"Sacred Heart of Jesus" (detail) by Chambers

“Lord, open my lips and my mouth will proclaim your praise.” (Psalm 51:15) The Sacred Heart of Jesus is a glimpse into the heart of God because Jesus taught us that when we see Him, we see the Father. The veil is pulled aside, and when we gaze upon the Sacred Heart of Jesus which bears the marks of the […]

Who do Others See When They Look at You?

“Christ at 33” (detail) by Hofmann

“As I have loved you, so you also should love one another” (John 13:34). In John 14:15, Jesus tells his apostles, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.”  In this passage, Jesus is preparing His Apostles for His departure and the coming of the Holy Spirit. After three long years with them, these are among His final words […]

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 […]

The Deadline That Changed My Prayer Life

Mornings are God’s masterpieces. A new day awakens, filled with potential. The night sky disappears into the heavens, while the sun slowly creeps up out of the distant horizon. Most of the time, I don’t see the sun rise. Dawn comes quite early according to any clock and Carmelite Sisters rise even before the sun does. One day is etched […]

Why Should I Go on a Retreat?

Dear Sister, Can you answer a question for me?  Why do people need or even want to make a retreat? I’ve never understood that, given the wonderful options I have right here at home through my parish, and, of course, the vast array of media opportunities we have now. Sincerely, Curious Dear Curious, I can think of TEN great reasons […]

How Can I Become a Better Catholic Husband and Father to my Family?

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

Dear Sister, I’ve been reading your answers to questions on Integrated Catholic Life™ and have been playing with the idea of writing you a question that I’ve been thinking about for many years. It’s about my family. I don’t consider us bad Catholics, nor do I consider us to be devout “pillars of the parish”. We are just a regular […]