Virtue

What Does the Bible Teach About Fasting?

"Into the Wild" © by Jef Murray—(Click sketch for artist's gallery.)

Lent is fast approaching, so I thought we should revisit self-denial. Fasting and other forms of self-denial, as spiritual practices of materially subduing and controlling the physical appetites of the body, help us, by God’s grace, to enable the soul to more perfectly and freely pray.  This leads to a deeper union with God and thus we become better stewards of the […]

Willing to Lay Down Your Life

"The Stoning of St. Stephen" (detail) by Rembrandt

“But he [Stephen], filled with the holy Spirit, looked up intently to heaven and saw the glory of God and Jesus standing at the right hand of God, and he said, ‘Behold, I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.’ But they cried out in a loud voice, covered their ears, […]

Justice, Mercy and Peace

“He who says he is in the light and hates his brother is in the darkness still. He who loves his brother abides in the light, and in it there is no cause for stumbling. But he who hates his brother is in the darkness and walks in the darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the […]

Our Merciful Mother — Our Lady of Guadalupe

In every approved Marian apparition, Our Lady has a specific mission. Each one reveals a determined and specific message—a unique and necessary goal. In the Anáhuac Valley of Mexico, on a barren hill called Tepeyac, Our Lady of Guadalupe came as a “merciful Mother,” a healer and restorer of all who are broken in body and in spirit. It is […]

Is it worth saying?

Over the last several weeks, as a result of a brief cold, I found myself with no voice. I damaged my vocal cords several years ago, so it doesn’t take much for me to lose my voice, but this time the loss was particularly long-lasting and frustrating. For someone who speaks for a living, it meant cancelling several talks and […]

The Contradiction of “Pro-Choice but Not Pro-Abortion”

“See that you do not despise one of these little ones; for I tell you that in heaven their angels always behold the face of my Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 18:10). Our beloved Holy Father calls us to let mercy temper our conversations about publically sanctioned offenses against the fifth, sixth and ninth commandments, particularly abortion, and indeed there is great […]

Practical Steps to Love Jesus More Deeply

We live in difficult times as Catholics. Quite possibly it has always been this way. The culture sends messages to us that are very harmful to our spiritual life. If we have become blind to this truth, it is likely that we are pursuing success as defined by the secular world instead of pursuing the holiness God has called us […]

Practical Ideas for Spiritual Growth

"Supper at Emmaus" (detail) by Caravaggio

What Life’s All About When God created Adam and Eve, He gave them sanctifying grace, that is, they were able to partake in the Divine Nature—they had a share of the Divine Life in their souls. They had no right to this grace; it was freely given them by God. They also were granted what is referred to as the […]