Living the Faith

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 […]

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 […]

The Only Two Moments That Matter

“God would therefore have them continually concerned either with eternity … or with the Present.” How many times have you said the Hail Mary? If you’re in the noble habit of praying the Rosary, you’ve said a lot of Hail Marys. Have you ever thought about the two times we ask for Mary’s intercession in that prayer? Now and at […]

Thoughts on Death

“We must face the reality of death to fully understand it, and we must understand it in order to more fully live.” November is the month of the poor souls in purgatory. We can obtain a plenary indulgence for someone in purgatory during the first eight days of November. The indulgence is obtained, under the usual conditions, by anyone who […]