prayer

The Time is Short

"St. Jerome Writing" (detail) by Caravaggio

I know it is customary during the Lenten Season for us to start reflecting on the great victories we will experience on Easter Sunday: the victory over sin and death; the victory over the enemy of this world; the victory over pain and sickness, heartache and fear, everything that would rob us of the joy of life. After all, Christ […]

The Language of a Heart in Prayer

Photography © by Andy Coan

“Allow the Psalms to transform your fears into trust, your cries of distress into praise, and your uncertainty into confidence in the Lord. ” The Psalms have been comforting prayers during this strange Lent. Earlier in the week in the daily liturgy, we prayed Psalm 23 and proclaimed our faith in the Good Shepherd, confident he was leading us through […]

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 […]

The Selfie Culture

Photo by Alexandre Lecocq on Unsplash

“Once we take our eyes away from ourselves—from our interests, from our own rights, privileges, ambitions—then we will become clear to see Jesus around us.” (Saint Teresa of Calcutta) Have you fallen victim to the selfie culture?  Well, I have!  Not necessarily pictures of me all the time.  More often pictures of my adorable and talented grandchildren, wonderful vacation spots, great restaurants, fun […]

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 […]

God and the Coronavirus

"Christ the Consolator" (detail) by Carl Heinrich Bloch (1834-1890) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

How many times have you heard people say, “If God really exists, why does He let people get cancer or brain tumors?” Or, “If there really is a God, why does He allow wars and famine?” Or, “Where is God when we need Him most?” Well it occurred to me during this time of the world-wide, coronavirus pandemic called Covid-19, […]

Powerful Lessons from St. Joseph

St. Joseph and the Christ-Child, Belmont Abbey

As the father of a 22-year-old son with high-functioning autism, I am sometimes challenged to give my oldest child the focus and patience he needs from me.  I frequently feel inadequate when I advise and guide my 19-year-old son through the minefields of today’s culture.  My loving wife should expect my best efforts as a husband, yet I often feel […]

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 […]

Journey with St. Joseph

St. Joseph and the Christ-Child, Belmont Abbey

This year the first day of spring falls on March 19, 2020.  St. Joseph’s Day!  Spring brings a certain stillness to the earth. A waiting. A time of hushed expectancy. Seeds are planted and their growth is a quiet one – a hidden growth deep in the soil followed by the tender shoots stretching through the earth and reaching for the sun. […]

Suffering Transfigured by Love

"The Transfiguration" (detail) by Raphael - Alvesgaspar / CC BY-SA

Reflection on the Mass readings for the Second Sunday of Lent (Year A) — Genesis 12:1-4; Psalms 33:4-5, 18-19, 20, 22; Second Timothy 1:8-10; Matthew 17:1-9. The love in which God embraces each of us is one of the great truths revealed to us throughout salvation history, but especially through and in Jesus Christ. To come to a better and deeper understanding of […]