Faith

People Can Change

"Moses Breaking the Tablets" (detail) by Rembrandt [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

There is a remarkable story of transformation that occurs in the Old Testament, and it happens to a character we all know very well. “One day, when Moses had grown up, he went out to his people and looked on their burdens; and he saw an Egyptian beating a Hebrew, one of his people. He looked this way and that, […]

Living with the Proper Perspective

“Do we live with this same hope? Do we have this proper perspective on eternity?” “You accursed fiend, you are depriving us of this present life, but the King of the world will raise us up to live again forever.” The first reading for this Sunday is part of the stunning story of the martyrdom of a mother and her […]

All Souls Day and Prayers for the Dead

"The Madonna of Carmel and the Souls of the Purgatory" (detail) by Giovanni Battista Tiepolo

I’ll never forget that bleak January day when my father died.  It was very hard to believe in the resurrection as I watched the undertakers carry away his lifeless corpse in a body bag. But imagine this scene.  You are an unborn child who has lived in cozy but cramped quarters with your twin for nine months.  But now you […]

Our Future Feast Day

"All Saints" by Fra Angelico

“The question about being a saint really starts with: Do you want to be happy?” Today is a day of great hope. Today is a reminder that heaven is worth all of this. No matter what life has handed you today—good things or bad things, tragedies, suffering, injustice, or great joy—today is a reminder that heaven is worth it all. […]

The Sign of the Cross

Discipleship in the Kingdom

“This simple gesture expresses the deepest mysteries of our Faith: the Trinity and the Paschal Mystery.” As a cradle Catholic, there are many things I never questioned about the Catholic Faith or thought twice about doing as a Catholic. Things like May Crownings and Stations of the Cross were just part of the culture when I was growing up. Our […]

Scruples and Moderation: Understanding the Advice of St. Ignatius of Loyola

Near the end of St. Ignatius of Loyola’s Spiritual Exercises is a curious section titled, “Some Notes Concerning Scruples.” Scrupulosity is one of those pesky spiritual problems that we don’t always recognize but can give us a lot a grief if left unchecked. Believe me, I know! Never heard of scrupulosity? How about Catholic Guilt? Scrupulosity is Catholic Guilt run […]

Praying the Word of God

Photography © by Andy Coan

“Allow the Word of God to help you fall in love with God and change your life.” I was blessed to study Scripture under Dr. Scott Hahn at Franciscan University of Steubenville and doubly blessed to work for him at the same time. In those years, I devoured everything I could to learn more about the Word of God – […]

The Interior Castle: Saint Teresa’s Diamond

St. Teresa's Interior Castle

The De Beers Jewelry marketing slogan of “Diamonds are Forever” might have been a perfect catchphrase for Saint Teresa’s “Diamond”, better known to us as the Interior Castle. However, this company was not yet around in 1577 when she was ordered to write another book. “Forever” was a well-chosen word because of the properties and symbolism inherent in the diamond. […]

Purifying Our Hearts

Saint Augustine and his mother, Saint Monica

Effective prayer always requires preparation. Some of the most important preparation required is making sure our hearts are clear of anything that might impede the quality of our prayer. The Psalms provide us some of the best scriptural advice we can find on how to both prepare for and offer effective prayers. They also have a way of getting to […]

Leaven for the Kingdom

“As members of Christ’s Mystical Body, we must work to make His Kingdom present in the world.” As we finish up looking at our mission as baptized members of the Church, we must remember—baptism doesn’t just make us members of the Church. It incorporates us into Christ. We become part of His Mystical Body, and so we are called to […]