Cross

A God of Surprises

Photo by Simon Wilkes on Unsplash

Please help us continue our mission! We welcome both one-time and monthly donations. A monthly subscriber giving just $10 a month will help cover the cost of operating Integrated Catholic Life for one day! Please help us bring enriching and inspiring Catholic content to readers around the world by giving today. Thank you and may God Bless you for supporting […]

The faith of Dismas

Please help us continue our mission! We welcome both one-time and monthly donations. A monthly subscriber giving just $10 a month will help cover the cost of operating Integrated Catholic Life for one day! Please help us bring enriching and inspiring Catholic content to readers around the world by giving today. Thank you and may God Bless you for supporting […]

How the Weakness of the Cross Makes Us Strong

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

“When I am weak, then I am strong”; “power made perfect in weakness.” Such verses are often cited as key to spiritual growth, but do we really understand what they are talking about? Can anyone ever understand? Yes. If we couldn’t understand it at all, God would not have told it to us. God does not waste words. It is […]

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 […]

There is a plan… even if it’s not yours

 “I will only find peace when I surrender.” Today’s first reading from Ecclesiastes probably sounds familiar, whether you’ve heard it at a funeral or from The Byrds. There is an appointed time for everything,and a time for every thing under the heavens.A time to be born, and a time to die;a time to plant, and a time to uproot the […]

The Gift of 2020

“Let us not waste the graces of this year.“ I have a calendar hanging on the wall of my kitchen. I buy the same one every year—one that features beautiful art each month that can be cut up at the end of the year and framed. As a result, it’s a bit of a splurge … so I wait until […]

Let Yourself Be Duped

It often seems that following the Lord means bigger crosses. How is this fair? A Trickster? The first reading for Sunday’s liturgy might sound a little bold to us. Is Jeremiah honestly accusing the Lord of tricking him? Some translations say “seduced” or “deceived.”  Does the Lord trick us? One of my favorite stories about this reading comes from a bishop I […]

The Time is Short

"St. Jerome Writing" (detail) by Caravaggio

I know it is customary during the Lenten Season for us to start reflecting on the great victories we will experience on Easter Sunday: the victory over sin and death; the victory over the enemy of this world; the victory over pain and sickness, heartache and fear, everything that would rob us of the joy of life. After all, Christ […]

What does his love look like?

Photo by Laura Allen on Unsplash

“Sometimes the gifts God has in store for me are not the gifts I would have chosen for myself.” “He doesn’t do the things he used to do, like buy her flowers.”  A coworker was telling me about a friend of hers, who, after several years of marriage, was lamenting the changes in their relationship.  Their lives were now full […]

Qualities of Life in the Kingdom

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

Today is the final Sunday on the Church’s annual liturgical calendar. Not only is Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior, not only is he our brother and friend, Jesus Christ is our God and our King. And so we celebrate the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe—or Christ the King. This celebration is a recent addition to […]