Living the Faith

Stepping out of the boat… and sinking

“But when it counts, Peter knows his Savior.” I stared into the water which was gently lapping up against the boat. No one spoke, and all we could hear was the rhythm of the ripples – hardly even waves. The sunlight sparkled as the water lightly danced, and I continued to stare into the water, trying to imagine this little […]

"Parable of the Good Samaritan" (detail) by Jan Wijnants [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Practical Ideas for Living the Faith

For the last several years, there has been an increased interest in practical advice on how to live the faith.  Certainly, the uncertainty and growing chaos in the secular world have something to do with this. More recently, we have seen more obvious clashes between our culture and our Church. We can look back through Salvation History and see the […]

If my life was radiant…

“My life, speech, and actions will be those of someone who is living for Someone else.” There’s a famous quote of St. Francis, “Preach the Gospel, and if necessary, use words.” The problem is… he never said that.  Even though it’s one of the most ubiquitous quotes attributed to him, there is no evidence of the quote in any of […]

The Pernicious Sins of Calumny and Detraction

“Instead of sharing the news you heard about someone, why not stop and pray for them instead?” In this age of the internet, it is shocking how easy it is to sin against the eighth commandment. Even good-intentioned people seem to think nothing of retweeting or reposting without stopping to think, “Is this true? Is this beneficial? Is this necessary?”  […]

Dealing with the Wheat and the Weeds

“We falsely give ourselves the prerogative that is only God’s: to judge hearts and decide who is worthy of our time, our love, and our mercy.” The Kingdom of heaven is like… This Sunday’s Gospel continues Jesus’ Kingdom discourse. The three shorter parables we hear in this week’s Gospel fall immediately after the parable of the sower that we heard last […]

Time

Recently I was late getting a manuscript to an editor. My excuse? By far the most popular one in America: I had “no time.” Let’s examine that excuse. Why do we all seem to have no time for anything, much less for prayer? I am constantly feeling guilty about this, and I suspect most of you are too. I think […]

"Creation of Adam" (detail) by Michelangelo [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Need Some Good News?

“In a world that seems to have lost its grounding, I have some good news for you today.” I think we all need some good news in our lives. I am tired of writing about the corona virus or the situations in the Church. If you’re like me, you’re weary of making and changing plans and trying to predict the […]

"Christ the Consolator" (detail) by Carl Heinrich Bloch (1834-1890) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Experience Christ’s Peace in Your Life

If all we ever do to learn about God is to approach Him as an academic exercise, we may come to know about Him, but we will not come to know Him. In today’s gospel (Matthew 11:25-30), Jesus speaks of a relationship with Him to which He invites us that promises rest for the weary. In light of his other sayings, […]

"The Incredulity of Saint Thomas" (detail) by Caravaggio

The Faith of “Doubting” Thomas

“God is patient with our questions, our weakness, and our struggles, just as he was patient with Thomas.” It is tradition that St. Thomas was the only Apostle to leave the Roman Empire to preach the Gospel, traveling to Syria and Persia and then to India, as far south as the southwest region of Kerala. He was eventually martyred, fulfilling […]

Lessons from the “hidden” Japanese Catholics

“We need the priesthood. We need the Eucharist. But what happens if those things are taken away?” The history of the Catholic Church in Japan is complex. For various reasons, the first missionaries had difficulty preaching the Gospel to the Japanese people. Their time in Japan was short – only a little more than forty years after Francis Xavier arrived […]