spiritual life

"All Saints" by Fra Angelico"All Saints" by Fra Angelico

The “Problem” with Praying to the Saints

At one time in my life I viewed Christians as shallow people blindly following silly rules. As I was to discover, these perceptions were not only wrong, they were worlds away from reality. The root cause of my misconception was my confident ignorance. Until I allowed Christians to speak to me and define their faith in their words, I was unable to get anywhere […]

St. Thérèse of LisieuxSt. Thérèse of Lisieux

Catholic Quote of the Day — from St. Thérèse of Lisieux

“Jesus, help me to simplify my life by learning what You want me to be – and becoming that person.” (St. Thérèse of Lisieux — of the Child Jesus, Virgin and Doctor of the Church) October 1 is the Memorial of St. Thérèse of the Child Jesus, Virgin and Doctor of the Church (1873 – 1897) Print this entry

"General Judgment" (detail) by Michelangelo"General Judgment" (detail) by Michelangelo

Why should we meditate on hell and judgment?

Dear Dan, Why would the Church recommend that we meditate on such horrible things as hell and the last judgment (aren’t there four things.)? Anyway, if there is a benefit to doing such a thing, what would that look like? Dear Friend, “The Last Things”, or “Eschatology” is the subject that deals with the ultimate truths of our existence. Often […]

"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

“Whoever does not seek the cross of Christ doesn’t seek the glory of Christ.” (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

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How can I pray when I can’t even think straight?

Dear Dan, How do I pray when I am sick and can’t think? I feel as though my words are just going out into thin air and no one in heaven hears me. What words do I use and Who will listen? Dear Friend, This is a difficult question both to experience and to answer. I have suffered significant ongoing […]

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

Is being “slain in the Spirit” the same as contemplative ecstasy?

Dear Dan, I have experienced what people call “resting in the spirit” or being “slain in the spirit.” It was amazing. The priest prayed for me and I fell to the floor as if I had passed out (no injuries as I was already praying on my knees facing the Altar). However, I was still aware of others around me […]

"Christ in Gethsemane" (detail) by Heinrich Hofmann"Christ in Gethsemane" (detail) by Heinrich Hofmann

Pray Like Jesus to Transcend Suffering

“God loves you,” we tell our children. “And your guardian angel watches over you.” Then they go and skin their knees. “Go to God with your needs,” we say. But how do we respond to: “I prayed and prayed, so how come things still aren’t better?” It’s hard to know what to say if we are wondering that very same […]

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How to to Overcome Sins and Faults of the Tongue

Sins and Faults of the Tongue: To Speak or not to Speak—That is the Question Dear Sister, There is a lot of noise around me—constantly. So much chatter. It seems to me that conversations in general are getting more superficial. I’m reminded of the title of one Shakespeare’s plays. It seems to fit what I am trying to say—Much Ado […]

Praying the RosaryPraying the Rosary

Is it possible to pray at the speed of light?

Dear Dan, I recently determined that I would begin praying the rosary regularly and as part of that commitment, I attend a weekly rosary prayer group at my parish. I was initially excited to attend but have found that the speed of their prayer is a bit blinding. They prayed an entire mystery along with other prayers in about ten minutes! […]

St. Peter's Basilica at Night (and Ponte Sant Angelo over the Tiber)St. Peter's Basilica at Night (and Ponte Sant Angelo over the Tiber)

I am struggling with resentment towards the Church, what should I do?

Dear Dan, I have been Catholic for three years now, and am very grateful for the gift of faith. However, I have recently been struggling with resentment towards the Church—feeling that there are too many demands, hardships, that too much is being asked of me. How does one combat resentment? Dear Friend, Welcome home! I am sorry to hear about […]