Suicide Prevention—Be COMFORT for those who Struggle

Suicide is a terrible thing, because it is the taking of a life and also because it leaves a lasting, troubling impact on others. Our faith tells us that the taking of one’s own  life is objectively a mortal sin. However, we know that depression clouds one’s judgement and ability to reason and therefore, we understand that God is merciful […]

A Big Truth: “I Don’t Know”

"Jesus Teaches the Child" (detail) by Judith Costello

My husband says, “If you don’t know what you don’t know, then you are dangerous.” That bit of wisdom is important….but it requires some effort to puzzle through what it means. Although he is eighty-three and knows so much more than the average adult because he’s a voracious reader and deep thinker, Jurgen never pretends to “know it all.” He […]

From Memory to Hope

In the modern world people often talk about the importance of harmonizing mind, body and spirit. But in the 1500s, St. Teresa referred to a different three. She said we need to train the “faculties of the intellect, will and memory.” Her breakdown, regarding divisions of the Self, is more useful for the true spiritual journey. In her framework, these […]

The Treasure is in Heaven

Why did God make me? God made me to know Him, love Him and serve Him and to be happy with Him in heaven forever. (Baltimore Catechism) But mankind is not an understanding people [they are unwise and sinful]; therefore their Maker shall not spare them, nor shall He who formed them have mercy on them…You shall be gleaned one […]

Mother Mary and the Other Marys — Saints for Today’s Girls

“St. Mary of Egypt” (detail) – Sketch © by Judith Costello

Imagine living the life of a prostitute from age 12 to 29! Prostitution leaves a woman hardened and scarred. It must surely turn the heart into a stone because sex, which is a God-ordained gift of vulnerable union, has been turned into a crass money-making abuse of the body. So who is the 17-year-prostitute and why should we care? Mary […]

Reverence Please… Jesus is Present!

Photography © Carmelite Sisters of the Most Sacred Heart

Our teenagers just came back from a Steubenville Retreat. They are fired up. They have had a palpable sense of the presence of Jesus and the Holy Spirit. Then they come to Mass in the parish and that feeling begins to ebb away. Why? Why doesn’t every single Mass remind us and fill us with a sense of God’s real […]

How Big is the Container of Your Heart?

Which Container is Your Heart?

Here in New Mexico, where the drought has hardened our soil making gardening so-very-un-fun, rain is considered a miraculous blessing. I was thinking about this today because it is kind of like the parable of the Sower. In that story Jesus said the Sower (God) throws out the seeds freely…but the seeds that fall on the ground are eaten by […]

Everyone Needs Another Mother

Artwork © by Judith Costello

As my son prepares to leave home for college in just a few months, I feel a bit lost. Who’s going to be there to say, “It’s late and time to get to bed. Put those things away now. Are you feeling OK?” The importance of parents—for the spiritual health of children–can never be overstressed. It is parents who instill […]

Heaven is Saint Friendly

Artwork © by Judith Costello

The new movie, “Heaven is for Real”, has everyone talking! It is delightful, affirming and well-worth seeing. Yet, the primary source of “conflict” or tension in the movie is one that may puzzle some Catholics. The adults around the adorable boy who comes back from a visit to heaven aren’t sure it is real. His father, the minister, struggles for […]