Liturgy & Sacraments

Confronted By Life’s Storms

Life has a way of confronting us with many and varied challenges and trials, often when least expected. These storms take many forms: the loss of a loved one, a job, or a home… sometimes we find that our good health is not so good anymore. I would guess that many of us, back in late 2019, did not anticipate […]

Faith That Can Move Mountains

Photography by Bannafarsai_Stock | Shutterstock

And he said, “With what can we compare the kingdom of God, or what parable shall we use for it? It is like a grain of mustard seed, which, when sown upon the ground, is the smallest of all the seeds on earth; yet when it is sown it grows up and becomes the greatest of all shrubs, and puts […]

Jesus Christ Truly Present

Mission Dolores Altar (San Francisco) Photograph © by Andy Coan —Christopher West

The Altar of Sacrifice of the Old Covenant The passage from Exodus used for today’s first reading recounts the sealing of the Old Covenant mediated by Moses between God and Israel. The blood of the offering sprinkled upon the altar (representing God) and the people of Israel, consecrated the Israelites to right living, right belief and right worship. They were […]

Learning from the Shepherds at Midnight Mass

"Adoration of the Shepherds" (detail) by Bartolomé Esteban Murillo [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

This message, indeed, “cannot leave us indifferent.” Because it is true, “it changes everything.” There is something beautifully symbolic about the tradition of Midnight Mass. It shows that Christians are so eager for Christmas to begin that they want to start celebrating on the first moment of Christmas day. People who ordinarily never go out late at night and are […]

The Pastoral Malpractice of Liturgical Abuse

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

Empathy is the capacity to understand what another person is undergoing from within that person’s frame of reference. Much of August I could not help imagining myself in the situation of Father Matthew Hood of the Archdiocese of Detroit. On August 6, presumably after celebrating Mass on the Feast of the Lord’s transfiguration, Hood’s life was changed far more than […]

Who do we say that the Eucharist is?

In Caesarea Philippi, Jesus asked who people said he was, and his two polls showed that only one person said he believed Jesus was who he truly was, the Messiah and Son of God (Mt 16:13-20). This article originally appeared in The Anchor, the weekly newspaper of the Diocese of Fall River, Mass, on August 23, 2019 and appears here with […]

Jesus Christ—Cause of My Hope

Mission Dolores Altar (San Francisco) Photograph © by Andy Coan

“Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice.” Today is the final Sunday on the Church’s annual liturgical calendar.  Today we celebrate the Solemnity of Christ the King—King of the Universe. Not only is Jesus Christ the Messiah and our Savior, not only is he our brother and our friend, Jesus Christ is our Lord and King. To […]

In Defense of Holy Marriage

OUR VOCATION In His infinite love and goodness, God created man and woman in freedom to know, love and serve Him in this life and to spend all eternity with Him in the life to come. This call to holiness and invitation to the end for which we are made is our vocation and dignity as human persons. “Man is […]

Real Presence, Real Life

Photography © Carmelite Sisters of the Most Sacred Heart

Do you believe that the Eucharist is truly the body, blood, soul and divinity of Christ?   A recent poll indicated that sixty percent of Catholics do not believe, are not sure or simply don’t know.  That leads us to a second question. If you don’t believe that the Eucharist is the body, blood, soul and divinity of Christ, or you’re […]

Priests and Marriage Preparation

One of the duties of parish priests is to prepare couples for the Sacrament of Matrimony. Many priests love this work. Others admit they find parts of it taxing. But almost all parish priests do it, dedicate quite a lot of time to doing it, and, like other aspects of priestly work, try to do it well. That’s why it […]