Living the Faith

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. […]

Where are the “Regular” Catholic Heroes?

Man at Prayer

Feeling let down by politicians and public figures who say they are Catholic, but their words and actions are often contrary to the teachings of the Church? Do we seek good examples for ourselves, our children or our grandchildren to emulate because we hope they will demonstrate in word and deed what it means to be authentically Catholic?  Perhaps we […]

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 […]

Joy

Photography by Bannafarsai_Stock | Shutterstock

Joy is more than happiness, just as happiness is more than pleasure. Pleasure is in the body. Happiness is in the mind and feelings. Joy is deep in the heart, the spirit, the center of the self. The way to pleasure is power and prudence. The way to happiness is moral goodness. The way to joy is sanctity, loving God […]

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 […]

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 […]

December by Candlelight

Photography Courtesy of the Carmelite Sisters of the Most Sacred Heart of Los Angeles

Every day we look forward to the gift of another dawn as the sun begins to peek through the curtain of the night to bring the vibrancy of color back to us yet again. It is a ritual of sorts, isn’t it? When the first blush of the dawn greets the dark cloak of the night sky and slowly but […]

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 […]