spiritual life

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A Lenten Reflection on Christ in the Desert

“…if anyone wishes to seriously exercise the spiritual life, he had better know that the company of people that hold our own faith and worship in our own churches is a most difficult company to keep. And we ought not to pretend we can follow God very far unless we know that it is a desert like asceticism.” I write […]






"The Prophet Elias" (detail) by Daniele da Volterra"The Prophet Elias" (detail) by Daniele da Volterra

A Prophet’s Legacy

Have you ever been the excited recipient of an inheritance? If so, you may have received money, property or a treasured family heirloom. As a high school student I became one of the beneficiaries of my paternal grandfather’s inheritance. Knowing that I had intended to go on to a Teacher’s College, he had investigated the tuition for the four years, […]






"St. John of the Cross" (detail) by Francisco de Zurbarán"St. John of the Cross" (detail) by Francisco de Zurbarán

Catholic Quote of the Day — from St. John of the Cross

“God is more pleased by one work, however small, done secretly, without desire that it be known, than a thousand done with desire that men know of them.” (St. John of the Cross, Doctor of the Church) December 14 is the Memorial of St. John of the Cross, Priest and Doctor of the Church (A.D. 1542 – 1591). Print this entry






St. Anthony of Egypt (cropped)St. Anthony of Egypt (cropped)

St. Antony of Egypt

“St. Antony, pray for us that we may know in our hearts the paradox of the saints, that you sought not fame and honors, not self-glorification or accolades, but to serve Him from whom all life flows.” We celebrate the feast day of one of the most remarkable saints of all time, St. Antony of Egypt, on January 17th. He is […]






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When I am “the Church”

  What is the Church? Perhaps I used to think that question had an easy answer.  But even flipping open the Catechism will give you several different images, definitions, and nuances.  It’s something Councils have discussed and ink has spilled out from theological pens about for ages.  The Mystical Body of Christ, the Bishops in union with the Pope, the […]






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Beauty Unveiled: Wearing a Mantilla to Mass

Years ago during my single college days (when I was a daily Mass goer), I was captivated by the few women who wore mantillas. That interest led me to consider veiling, but it was a transitory thought that was never truly discerned. I admired the women who were unafraid to stand out among the crowd at Mass, and something seemed […]






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Facing the winter

  For much of the Northern Hemisphere, January is that month when the weather finally makes up its mind to turn cold, the nights seem a little darker, and the wind seems a little more bitter.  Gone are the cheery Christmas lights, gone are the echoes of carolers, gone is the warmth of expectation and feasting.  Many people who once […]






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

To Begin Again

“As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us” (Psalm 103). Don’t you love the idea, the notion, the concept of a fresh start? I love to read about new beginnings. Or listen to life-changing stories and testimonies of people. They renew and energize us. They give us the opportunity to […]






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Watching and Waiting — Advent in Carmel

Advent in Carmel To experience Advent in Carmel is to enter into a rarified atmosphere that is filled to the brim with Carmel’s living legacy of Advent customs and observances. My first Advent in Carmel remains fresh in my memory today, still as vibrant and alive as when it happened. I feel at a loss, however, to write about it. […]