Into the Deep

Into the Deep offers practical insight and encouragement for being a faithful disciple of Jesus Christ.  Deacon Bickerstaff draws from Sacred Scripture, Church teaching and personal testimony to help readers life the faith throughout the day. Each week, he reflects and teaches on a passage from the bible, a truth of the faith, a Person of God, an event in the life of Christ or his saints, in a way that resonates with readers more important questions about life.

The Divine Mercy Awaits

Vilnius Image of Divine Mercy (detail) by Kazimierowski

Jesus is waiting for you right here, right now. He is all holy and He desires you to be in communion with Him. For that, you do not in this life need to be perfect; you need to be forgiven, to be healed and to be contrite and desire holiness. Give your life to Jesus today. Make that committment. Christ […]

New Life in Christ

"The Resurrection of Christ" (detail) by Bloch

“For through the law I died to the law, that I might live for God, I have been crucified with Christ; yet I live, no longer I, but Christ lives in me; insofar as I now live in the flesh, I live by faith in the Son of God who has loved me and given himself up for me” (Galatians […]

Joy in the Midst of Sorrow

"Christ's Entry into Jerusalem" by Hippolyte Flandrin

The Cross is the great paradox of Christianity. More than a few people have asked me over the years why the Catholic Church focuses so prominently and persistently on the Crucifix. One inquirer even suggested that the Crucifix hanging above the Altar is too intense a reminder of the sorrow in the world and that she would never join a […]

Death is Not the Final Answer

"The Raising of Lazarus" (detail) by Carl Bloch

The Final Journey to Jerusalem Begins The account of the raising of Lazarus from the dead by Jesus is the seventh of the seven signs in St. John’s Gospel that announce the fulfillment of the Old Covenant in the New Covenant and the passing away of the old rites, replaced by the grace and sacraments of Jesus Christ. It is also the […]

That You May See

"Christ Healing the Blind Man" by Eustache Le Sueur [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

In St. John’s Gospel, there is the account of the healing of the man born blind (John 9:1-41). It is the sixth of the seven signs recounted by St. John that announce the fulfillment of the Old Covenant in the New Covenant and the passing away of the old rites, replaced by the grace and sacraments of Jesus Christ. It is […]

Living Water

"Christ and the Woman of Samaria" (detail) by Paolo Veronese

Most of us will hear a different Gospel proclaimed today because we are in Year B, but the Elect who are beginning their Scrutinies will hear the story of the Woman at the Well. The Gospel from the Third Sunday of Lent (Year A), John 4:5-42, is the story of the encounter of Jesus and the Samaritan woman at the […]

Love, Suffering and the Transfiguration

"The Transfiguration" (detail) by Raphael - Alvesgaspar / CC BY-SA

The love with which God embraces each of us is one of the great truths revealed in to us throughout salvation history, but especially through and in Jesus Christ. To come to better understand this love, we are continually invited by God into a deeper communion of prayer with Him… to come to know Him as He is. God, the […]

Practical Lessons for Lent

"Sermon on the Mount" St. Matthew's Church altarpiece by Henrik Olrik

An Invitation to Enter the Desert with Christ As we begin the Lenten season today, we are called to enter the desert with Christ; to turn away from sin and towards our God. Many of us realize that we are called to face difficult questions during this penitential season.  The challenge we face is not only for us to ask those questions, […]

Making a Daily Examen

"King David in Prayer" (detail) Pieter de Grebber [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

We are well into a new liturgical year and Lent is fast approaching! Isn’t it time that we have been diving deep into the mystery of God and His love for us? A necessary part of advancing in the spiritual life and forming a deeper relationship with God is to examine ourselves, praying that God will reveal to us our […]

Encouraging Conversion Stories in the Bible

"Conversion of Saint Paul" (detail) by Caravaggio

“Have mercy on me, God, in your kindness; in your compassion blot out my offense. O wash me more and more from my guilt and cleanse me from my sin.” (Psalm 51:1-2) Nearly everyone loves conversion stories. Over the last couple of decades, the conversion stories of people who have entered the Catholic Church have exploded onto the scene in the […]