sacrifice

Why Do Catholics Abstain from Meat on Fridays and Fast?

"Christ in the Desert (detail)" by Ivan Kramskoy

Our bookstores are filled with books written to help us advance in prayer and the spiritual life. The “secret” we all look for is really no secret at all.  At its heart, the gospel message is one of self-denial and detachment from all things that are obstacles to our growth.  Jesus tells us that if we are to be his […]

Redeemed by God’s Love

Consequently, when Christ came into the world, he said, “Sacrifices and offerings thou hast not desired, but a body hast thou prepared for me; in burnt offerings and sin offerings thou hast taken no pleasure. Then I said, ‘Lo, I have come to do thy will, O God,’ as it is written of me in the roll of the book.” (Hebrews […]

Willing to Lay Down Your Life

"The Stoning of St. Stephen" (detail) by Rembrandt

“But he [Stephen], filled with the holy Spirit, looked up intently to heaven and saw the glory of God and Jesus standing at the right hand of God, and he said, ‘Behold, I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.’ But they cried out in a loud voice, covered their ears, […]

The Rich Young Man and King Solomon

Photography © by Andy Coan

Both the Rich Young Man in Mark’s Gospel and King Solomon had a very difficult choice to make. In a similar moment of decision, what would be the desire of your heart? Wisdom and adventure, or comfort and convenience? Where do true riches…and security…lie? The readings for the Twenty-Eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year B) are — Wisdom 7:7-11; Psalms 90:12-13, 14-15, 16-17; […]

Marital Love

Photography © by Andy Coan

Is annulment just a Catholic Divorce?  This article explains the controversial Roman Catholic position on love, marital intimacy, divorce, remarriage and celibacy. The readings for the Twenty-Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year B) are — Genesis 2:18-24; Psalms 128:1-2, 3, 4-5, 6; Hebrews 2:9-11; Mark 10:2-16 or 10:2-12. The Beatles wrote a song that was the sensation of 1967, “All you need is […]

Jesus Christ Truly Present

Photograph Copyright © by Deacon Michael Bickerstaff

The Mass readings for the Solemnity of The Body and Blood of Christ (Year B) are: Exodus 24:3-8; Psalms 116:12-13, 15-16, 17-18; Hebrews 9:11-15; Mark 14:12-16, 22-26. Use the player to listen to listen to the homily or download the mp3 audio file. The Altar of Sacrifice of the Old Covenant The passage from Exodus used for today’s first reading recounts the […]

Eucharist — The Body of Christ

"The Last Supper" (detail) by Duccio

Holy Thursday, the night of the Last Supper aka the Lord’s Supper, the institution of the Holy Eucharist — why did Jesus do what he did and say what he said? What did he mean when he said “This is my body and this is my blood” and “Do this in Memory of Me”?  And what does the Catholic Church […]

Daily Quote — from J. R. R. Tolkien

Riderless Horse with boot reversed in stirrup being led in Funeral Procession at Arlington National Cemetery

“War must be, while we defend our lives against a destroyer who would devour all; but I do not love the bright sword for its sharpness, nor the arrow for its swiftness, nor the warrior for his glory. I love only that which they defend.” (J. R. R. Tolkien, Faramir in The Lord of the Rings – The Two Towers) […]

The Paschal Mystery

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

Burning but not consumed! This was the strange sight that Moses beheld in the desert—a bush on fire yet contained. Such a strange phenomenon! Moses moved closer to examine the mystery before him. “No, Moses, stop where you are and remove your sandals for this is holy ground!” This was no natural mystery as Moses would now realize, but one […]