The Breath

catholic poetry room

This week’s poem in the Catholic Poetry Room is by Jeffrey Essmann. The Breath Breathe into me, the Spirit bright instill,That I might taste the sweetness of His willAnd know delightSo reconditeMy soul unfolds to its exquisite thrill. That I might sense and savor the sublimeHe’s tucked into each tiny speck of time,Each moment blessedWith happinessFor those who toward the […]

The House on Kingston Avenue

catholic poetry room

This week’s poem in the Catholic Poetry Room is by Karen D’Anselmi. The House on Kingston Avenue I had no curb appeal, no details to restore and they never could afford an addition or updates to my electrical system, or to tame rattling windows, soothe creaking floors.   Yet I held them while they held their children: child rocking in […]

The Pastoral Malpractice of Liturgical Abuse

"The Baptism" (detail) by Pietro Longhi [Public domain]

Empathy is the capacity to understand what another person is undergoing from within that person’s frame of reference. Much of August I could not help imagining myself in the situation of Father Matthew Hood of the Archdiocese of Detroit. On August 6, presumably after celebrating Mass on the Feast of the Lord’s transfiguration, Hood’s life was changed far more than […]

Carmelite Spirituality—Solitude and Prayer

Photography © by Carmelite Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Los Angeles

“Solitude is not an empty space, a void; it is an encounter with the God who loves us…” Dear Sister, What aspect of Carmelite Spirituality do you find most helpful for your prayer? Dear Friend, The short answer to your question is solitude. Here is the longer answer… Since all prayer begins with adoration, the environment surrounding my prayer must […]

Northern Beauty

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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 […]