St. Matthew

"The Exhortation to the Apostles" (detail) by James Tissot

Courage in Dark Days

Be of Good Courage in these Dark Days Being situationally aware is good advice for everyone, anywhere and anytime. When this advice is given, it usually is a reminder to be aware of what is going on around you—to be ready for any danger. So, during these dark days in which we live, this is certainly good advice. But, what […]

Photography © by Andy Coan

God Revealed as Father

Reflection on the Mass readings for the Twelfth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A) — Jeremiah 20:10-13; Psalms 69:8-10, 14, 17, 33-35; Romans 5:12-15; Matthew 10:26-33. The recent celebration of Father’s Day invites us to ask a very important question—what does it mean to call God “Father?” Most of the great religions of the world believe in one God and teach […]

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

Why Catholics Practice Fast and Abstinence?

Would you like to know the secret to a better, deeper, more joyful life in Christ? Of course you would.  We all would. 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 […]

Finding Fulfillment Instead of Dissatisfaction

Have you ever felt Dissatisfied and Unfulfilled? Do you ever feel as if you are missing out on something important or falling just short of some goal or purpose? Maybe you are unable to put adequate words to this feeling, you just know there is something out of balance in your life—something lacking. We sometimes experience this as a vague […]

Photography © by Andy Coan

Salt of the Earth

As a Catholic teen growing up in one of the most Catholic areas of the United States of America, I never would have considered abandoning my faith.  But neither would I ever have considered getting excited about it.  Why should I?  Nobody else in my parish seemed excited.  The teens in the parish went wild at the rock concerts we […]

Photography © by Andy Coan

Poverty, Sloth, and the Beatitudes

Jesus’ “Sermon on the Mount” is probably the most famous sermon of all time.  And the opening lines of that sermon are equally famous—for two thousand years they’ve been known as “the Beatitudes.” In nine short verses, Jesus lays out the character sketch of the spiritually successful person who is truly blest, fortunate, positioned to experience perfect happiness and the fullness […]

Photography © by Andy Coan

A Fleeting Glimpse of the King

Up until now, all has been quite humble. A donkey-ride to a dusty town south of Jerusalem. Hotel rooms all booked up. Giving birth in a stable and laying the baby in an animal’s feed trough instead of a cozy cradle. Into this scene of obscure poverty suddenly bursts an exotic entourage from a far-off land. Dignitaries in dress uniform […]