prayer

Sunday Reflection—Ask and You Shall Receive

Jesus says “ask and you shall receive.”  He encourages us to ask boldly and persistently through the story of the unjust judge and the persistent widow.  But if we don’t listen in prayer, we won’t know what to ask for.  Here are tips for using the inspired prayers called Psalms as guides to praying effectively. The Mass readings for the […]

Praying the Word of God

Photography © by Andy Coan

“Allow the Word of God to help you fall in love with God and change your life.” I was blessed to study Scripture under Dr. Scott Hahn at Franciscan University of Steubenville and doubly blessed to work for him at the same time. In those years, I devoured everything I could to learn more about the Word of God – […]

God is Asking Something Heroic of Us

"Christ on the Cross" (detail) by Velazquez

“The disciple of Christ consents to ‘live in the truth,’ that is, in the simplicity of a life in conformity with the Lord’s example, abiding in his truth. ‘If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not live according to the truth.” (CCC, 2470) I first interacted with Father Roger Landry […]

The Interior Castle: Saint Teresa’s Diamond

St. Teresa's Interior Castle

The De Beers Jewelry marketing slogan of “Diamonds are Forever” might have been a perfect catchphrase for Saint Teresa’s “Diamond”, better known to us as the Interior Castle. However, this company was not yet around in 1577 when she was ordered to write another book. “Forever” was a well-chosen word because of the properties and symbolism inherent in the diamond. […]

Purifying Our Hearts

Saint Augustine and his mother, Saint Monica

Effective prayer always requires preparation. Some of the most important preparation required is making sure our hearts are clear of anything that might impede the quality of our prayer. The Psalms provide us some of the best scriptural advice we can find on how to both prepare for and offer effective prayers. They also have a way of getting to […]

Practicing Acceptance and Seeing Burdens as Blessings

A few years ago a priest shared some guidance with my wife and me that has been the cause of a great deal of conversation and reflection in our home.  In response to learning that we pray every day about our oldest son’s future and that he be healed of his autism, he encouraged us to pray first for acceptance. […]

We Are His Offspring

"St. Paul Preaching in Athens" (detail) by Raphael [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

The Most Poetic Line in Any Language There is a verse in Scripture that speaks about who we are as human beings. It may not be overstating the point to suggest that it is the single best explanation of the meaning of human existence. The verse is from a speech Paul was giving to the wise men of Athens. He […]

Five Ways Catholics Can Make a Difference

Photograph © by Andy Coan

“Think about the possibilities if we all made a sincere daily commitment, no matter how small, to make a positive difference in the lives of those around us.” Do we sometimes feel overwhelmed in the face of the relentless assault on the Church, our beliefs and our families by the media and modern culture? Is it difficult to stand up […]

Loving Him More

“The measure of our prayer life is not the feeling we have when we pray, but the way we live our lives.” My pastor used to lead our youth group in prayer in front of the Blessed Sacrament, having us repeat after him: “Jesus, I love you. Help me to love you more.” Help me to love you more. It’s […]

On Marriage, Leadership and Honoring Our Wives

Bride and Groom

Marriage is in trouble everywhere, especially in our country where over half of marriages end in divorce. Our culture, so influenced by Hollywood and materialism, has set about creating a society which no longer values marriage and the family, but instead favors one which glorifies selfishness, greed and offers false idols for us to worship instead of God. As an […]