suffering

"Descent of Christ to Limbo (of the Fathers)" by Andrea di Bonaiuto da Firenze

This Joyful Eastertide

Augustine once proclaimed, “We are an Easter people and ‘Alleluia’ is our song!” When the Easter Vigil’s beauty is over, when family visits have come to an end, and when the last egg is finally found in the yard, we must not forget that Easter is not merely a one-day celebration. It is a fifty-day celebration.  And more than that, […]

Why Do We focus on the Death of Christ?

When I was younger I watched a South Park episode about the premiere of the movie, The Passion of the Christ, in which the characters determined that it was silly for people to focus on the death of Jesus, arguing that we should merely focus on His life instead. At the time, I was enamored with this simple thought and succumbed […]

Daily Reflection—Know That 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's Entry into Jerusalem" by Hippolyte Flandrin

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 […]

"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 […]

Man at Prayer

Learning to Accept God’s Will

Not long ago a priest shared some guidance with my wife and me that has been the cause of a great deal of conversation and reflection in our home.  In response to learning that we pray every day about our oldest son’s future and that he be healed of his autism, he encouraged us to pray first for acceptance. Let […]

"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 […]

Daily Catholic Quote — from St. Paul of the Cross

“My heart breaks when I think of the sorrows of the most holy Virgin. Oh tender Mother, unutterable was Thy grief in finding Thyself deprived of your dear Son, and then in beholding Him dead in Thy arms! Ah! who can realize the sadness of Mary when She returned to Bethany after the burial of her Son? Jesus expires on […]