suffering

"Christ in the Desert (detail)" by Ivan Kramskoy"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 […]

Photography © by Andy CoanPhotography © by Andy Coan

Lessons from the Leper

Many Catholics are confused about suffering. Some writers extol its surpassing value. But does that mean that we should look for suffering? Or, if suffering should come our way, that it would be unspiritual to seek relief from it? The story of Jesus and the leper in Mark 1:40-45 provides us with a case study on the subject. In biblical […]

St. Thomas on Reviling

Is Reviling a Mortal Sin?

Some time ago I made a rule for myself that I would not call out another Catholic writer by name and criticize that person. I had a sense that nothing good ever came from it because 1) I’d tried it a few times, 2) felt uneasy about it, and 3) found that, in fact, nothing good ever came from it. Chalk it […]

St. Ignatius of LoyolaSt. Ignatius of Loyola

Catholic Quote of the Day — from St. Ignatius of Loyola

“If God causes you to suffer much it is a sign that He has great designs for you and that He certainly intends to make you a saint. And if you wish to become a great saint, entreat Him yourself to give you much opportunity for suffering; for there is no wood better to kindle the fire of holy love […]

Mission Dolores Altar (San Francisco)
Photograph © by Andy CoanMission Dolores Altar (San Francisco) Photograph © by Andy Coan

How am I to understand suffering?

One of the things with which we so often struggle is to understand our condition in a fallen world. Each of us, in our own way, has experienced the pain and suffering so often encountered as one journeys through this world on our road to heaven. The road to heaven is a way of suffering and sacrifice; and it leads […]

Photography © by Andy CoanPhotography © by Andy Coan

It is Good News… Preach it!

The Bible is not just for Churches and Synagogues. Portions of it are read as literature; even in secular university classrooms. Invariably, when you look at the syllabus of such courses, you find Job. It’s not hard to see why. Job poignantly expresses what all human beings experience at one time or another—the feeling that life is a burden, that […]

St. Francis de Sales, Bishop and DoctorSt. Francis de Sales, Bishop and Doctor

Catholic Quote of the Day — from St. Francis de Sales

“Do not fear what might happen tomorrow. The same everlasting Father who cares for you today will care for you tomorrow and every day. Either He will shield you from suffering, or He will give you unfailing strength to bear it. Be at peace, then, and put aside all anxious thoughts and imaginings.” (St. Francis de Sales, Bishop and Doctor of […]

"The Parable of the Good Samaritan" (detail) by Jan Wijnants"The Parable of the Good Samaritan" (detail) by Jan Wijnants

We Cannot Excuse Ourselves

As Catholics, we have a wonderful opportunity over the next week as we patiently await the arrival of Jesus to show our co-workers, friends, family, community and the world the beauty of our faith and the great capacity for love in our hearts.  As we prepare ourselves, what are we doing to help others?  How do we keep our focus […]