Winter and the Spiritual Life

“We can have confidence that God is still working—even in the coldness, even in the darkness, even when all seems quiet.” For much of the Northern Hemisphere, January is that month when the weather finally makes up its mind to turn cold, the nights seem a little darker, and the wind seems a little more bitter.  Gone are the cheery […]

The Friends of the Paralytic

"The Palsied Man Let Down Through the Roof" (detail) by James Tissot [Public domain]

“They knew they couldn’t heal their friend themselves. But they could bring him to Jesus.” As we jump into Ordinary Time this week, the Gospel readings at daily Mass don’t lose any time moving through the extraordinary works of Jesus’ public ministry. This is because Ordinary Time always begins with Mark’s Gospel, and Mark doesn’t lose any time with anything. […]

Celebrate your Baptism

"The Baptism" (detail) by Pietro Longhi [Public domain]

“See what love the Father has bestowed on us that we may be called the children of God. Yet so we are.” (1 John 3:1) Almost every year on the upcoming feast of the Baptism of the Lord, Pope Francis encourages Christians to celebrate the day of their baptism. “The celebration of Jesus’ baptism invites every Christian to remember his […]

The Magi and the gifts of …. Lent?

"Adoration of the Magi" (detail) by Sébastien Bourdon [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

What shall we give him?  I have always been intrigued by the magi.  Their story forms the majority of Matthew’s account of the birth of Jesus Christ, and yet there remain so many questions about these mysterious figures. Where did they come from? How did they know to follow the star? What did they think when they found the Holy […]

St. John and the Incarnation

"Adoration of the Shepherds" (detail) by Antonio Balestra [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

“God became man and became friends with people like us.” It’s fitting that a few days after we celebrate God becoming man, we celebrate the feast of one of his best friends. John the apostle, evangelist, guardian of the Blessed Mother, and beloved disciple was also an apologist for the mystery we celebrate during this season: the Incarnation. One of […]

Good King Wenceslaus and Christmas’ Call to Holiness

Most Christmas carols are about that first Christmas night or the celebration of Christmas today.  But one stands out as something different. In a way, the carol “Good King Wenceslaus” isn’t as much about Christmas as it is about what Christmas requires of us. “Good King Wenceslaus” always gets stuck in my head on two days: September 28 and December […]

Christ’s Imminent Arrival

"The Annunciation" (detail) by Federico Barocci [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

“If the Incarnation doesn’t bewilder you, you’re not thinking about it enough.” The readings at Mass today explode with anticipation. We have waited patiently during these weeks. Throughout Advent, the daily Mass readings have highlighted various prophecies. They have spoken about the coming of John the Baptist. We have heard about the mountains being made low and feasts set on […]

St. Lucy’s Reminder in Advent

Photograph by Nicvandum | Shutterstock

“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it” (John 1:5) There are ways to enter into this special time of year and celebrate Advent without jumping the gun and celebrating Christmas prematurely. Rather than celebrating Christmas, we should incorporate into our lives the feasts and rituals that the Church gives us, such as the Solemnity […]

Christmas is Worth Waiting For

“It’s a small reminder to us that the story of my life is much bigger than my pleasure here on earth.” One thing our world doesn’t do well is wait.  To be honest, I fall prey to it as much as the next person.  I lose my temper in traffic jams. Slowly loading websites make me agitated. I burn my mouth […]

The Easiest Way to Pray as a Family

A Family Saying Grace Before Meal

“If we are going to raise children to be active Catholics as adults, we need to show them what it looks like.” “Hail and blessed be the hour and the moment…” Growing up, visitors to our dinner table never quite knew when to make the Sign of the Cross at the end of grace. In addition to the usual “Bless […]