In the Spotlight

Northern Beauty

catholic poetry room

This week’s poem in the Catholic Poetry Room is by Barnabas Ney. Northern Beauty I once did pack my bags and sally forth When I sought solitude and tranquility. I said, “I’ll sail up some inlet to the north.” I up-anchored and shouted excitedly,             “The North! The North!” Past many treacherous shoals, rocks and isles, I sailed in unquiet peace […]

A Sacrifice of Prayer

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

One of the greatest means for deepening and expanding our prayer life is found in Paul’s teaching on our becoming like Christ.   “Indeed I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as refuse, in order that I […]

Father Matthew Offers the Mass

This week’s poem in the Catholic Poetry Room is by E.P. Cowley. Father Matthew Offers the Mass Father Matthew offers the Mass aloneto an empty houselifting bread to heaven for usas we wait at home for the all-clearbut it’s not the same. In his mind he hears our shuffling shoessees us straggling in from the streetshoming instincts drawing us into […]

Overcome by Praise

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

Have you ever been in awe of how St. Paul and the early Christians could be singing songs of praise from prison (Acts 16:5)? Or how Daniel, after hearing that he was not to worship His God on pain of death, went to his home and facing Jerusalem, “…prayed, giving thanks to his God, just as he had done before” […]

Overcome Worry by Trusting God

Dear Sister, I worry a lot. I worry about myself and my family. People sometimes tell me that I worry far too much.  I can’t help it. As a child, I was trained to be responsible and was held accountable by my parents. Now that I am married, have a husband and children of my own, my worrying has increased […]


This week’s poem in the Catholic Poetry Room is by Jeffrey Essmann. Silence I know the silence of GethsemaneSo sodden thick with fear and grief forlorn.(And somewhere off I think I hear a snoreAnd wonder if my friends have tired of me.)I know as well the silence when I seeThe empty tomb first thing on Easter mornAnd wonder where the […]

The Freedom of Love

“Christ at 33” (detail) by Hofmann

There has been a great deal of talk for many years now about individual rights in our society. It is nothing new, but this idea does seem to have reached a fever pitch in the past few years. People are demanding their right to do as they please. Everyone is demanding to be free. Unfortunately, many people are working with […]

What Difference Does Heaven Make?

Photography © by Randy Hain

Heaven’s Difference If a thing makes no difference, it is a waste of time to think about it. We should begin, then, with the question, “What difference does Heaven make to earth, to now, to our lives?” The answer to the question is only the difference between hope and despair in the end, between two totally different visions of life; […]

Morning Prayer

This week’s poem in the Catholic Poetry Room is by Jeffrey Essmann.                                                                                                                                                  Morning Prayer We can’t be surely, Lord, the only fiveIn all the world who call to you today.In Africa or Asia—Sheepshead Bay—There must be more who keep Your Name alive.There must be more who on their knees deriveSome transient hope within the world’s dismay;Some kinder light to […]