Sacraments

"Supper at Emmaus" (detail) by Caravaggio

Practical Ideas for Spiritual Growth

What Life’s All About When God created Adam and Eve, He gave them sanctifying grace, that is, they were able to partake in the Divine Nature—they had a share of the Divine Life in their souls. They had no right to this grace; it was freely given them by God. They also were granted what is referred to as the […]

"Jesus Opens the Eyes of the Man Born Blind" (detail) by Duccio

What We Can Learn from the Healing of the Man Born Blind

In St. John’s Gospel, there is the account of the healing of the man born blind (John 9:1-41). It is the sixth of the seven signs recounted by St. John that announce the fulfillment of the Old Covenant in the New Covenant and the passing away of the old rites, replaced by the grace and sacraments of Jesus Christ. It is […]

"Moses Breaking the Tablets" (detail) by Rembrandt [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Are You Living Well?

Liberation from Slavery Are you living well? Are you living in Christ? Or perhaps you have lost your way… become enslaved to sin. We must never take life in Christ for granted. The Book of Exodus, from which today’s first reading is taken, is the story of how God liberated the people of Israel from Egypt. In a deeper, more […]

Struggling with a Restless Heart

“Thou movest us to delight in praising Thee; for Thou hast formed us for Thyself, and our hearts are restless till they find rest in Thee” (St. Augustine, Confessions). I think most writers are naturally introspective and reflective.  While praying in preparation for Lent not long ago, I prayed for strength and courage to stay focused on the path Christ […]

Man at Prayer

Where are the “Regular” Catholic Heroes?

Feeling let down by politicians and public figures who say they are Catholic, but their words and actions are often contrary to the teachings of the Church? Do we seek good examples for ourselves, our children or our grandchildren to emulate because we hope they will demonstrate in word and deed what it means to be authentically Catholic?  Perhaps we […]

Confessionals

Starting the New Year with a Huge Weight On Our Shoulders

I have been thinking a great deal about my experience at Reconciliation this past Saturday. I felt an intense and unexplainable urge to go and confess my sins when I woke up that morning.  I try to go every six weeks or so, but this was no routine visit to the priest for me. I needed to unburden myself of […]

"Baptism of Christ" (detail) by Perugino

To Begin Again

The Feast of the Baptism of the Lord Most of us have at times felt that things were going so badly that we just wished we could start all over! A second chance! Or maybe your life is not going that well and you realize that you are just not the person you should be. I would bet that most […]

"King David in Prayer (detail)" by Pieter de Grebber

Temptation is Good for Us

I used to be a full fledged alcoholic. At the time I was actually proud of it. I gave in to every temptation to get drunk without putting up any kind of fight. However, when I began to understand that there were detrimental effects to my drinking, my falls to temptation became a source of despair. After fully converting to […]

"Adoration of the Shepherds" (detail) by Gerard van Honthorst

Keeping the Memory of Christmas and Resisting the Siren Call of Our Culture

Joy to the world, the Lord is come!  Let earth receive her King!  Merry Christmas!  It is a wonderful time as we celebrate our Savior’s birth with friends and loved ones. It is also an appropriate time to focus on what is most important and reject the siren call of our culture. I enjoyed this past Advent season, perhaps more […]

"The Sower" by Jean-François Millet [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Nurturing the Gift of Faith

Have you ever struggled with your faith? Maybe you love God, but wonder why you don’t love Him more deeply and why that love does not seem to have a greater impact on your life. Maybe you are inspired by the lives of others you know who seem to be so much more deeply in love with Jesus, and you […]