suffering

"Christ the Consolator" (detail) by Carl Bloch"Christ the Consolator" (detail) by Carl Bloch

Redirecting my Gratitude

“If God sends you many sufferings, it is a sign that He has great plans for you and certainly wants to make you a saint.” (St. Ignatius Loyola) I woke up last Tuesday not feeling very grateful.  I am not sure why, but I started my day in a “mood.”  Maybe it was the stress of having too much on […]

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Daily Lenten Reflection—God Is With You

“But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed. We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.” (Isaiah 53:5-6) We sometimes […]

"Christ on the Cross" (detail) by Velazquez"Christ on the Cross" (detail) by Velazquez

The Paradox of the Cross—Joy in the Midst of Sorrow

The Cross is the great paradox of Christianity. More than a few people have asked me over the years why the Catholic Church focuses so prominently and persistently on the Crucifix. One inquirer even suggested that the Crucifix hanging above the Altar is too intense a reminder of the sorrow in the world and that she would never join a […]

Pope Francis (neneo / Shutterstock.com)Pope Francis (neneo / Shutterstock.com)

Catholic Quote of the Day — from Pope Francis

“Crowd, celebration, praise, blessing, peace: it is a climate of joy that is being experienced. Jesus has reawakened many hopes of the heart, above all in the humble people, the simple, poor, forgotten, those who do not count in the eyes of the world. He understood human misery, he manifested the face of God’s mercy and deigned to heal the […]

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

Five Lessons from Jesus about the Path to Glory

“Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.” (John 12:24) As Christians, we must be people of prayer—pure and simple. If we do not pray, we do not have a relationship with Christ. There are many types of prayer. Among […]

Photography © by Andy CoanPhotography © by Andy Coan

Encountering the Word — Romans 8:14-17

A Daily Quote from Sacred Scripture “For those who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God. For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you received a spirit of adoption, through which we cry, ‘Abba, Father!’ The Spirit itself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of […]

"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 […]