forgiveness

Mercy: The Path to Healing

“Wrath and anger are hateful things, yet the sinner hugs them tight.“ In one of his first homilies as Pope, Francis had some strong words for us. He said, “I think we [are] people who, on the one hand, want to listen to Jesus, but on the other hand, at times, like to find a stick to beat others with, […]

"St. Jerome Writing" (detail) by Caravaggio

The Time is Short

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 […]

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

Jesus Offers You Living Water

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 well.  For the Elect (those preparing for Baptism at the Easter Vigil), this gospel passage is central to their journey as they undergo the First Scrutiny at today’s Mass. This passage is filled with […]

"Return of the Prodigal Son" (detail) by Murillo

The Nature of Forgiveness — Is it Humanly Possible?

The exalted nature of forgiveness is attested to by the fact that it presupposes a number of other virtues.  Consider three virtues in particular: justice, clemency, and mercy. Justice has the nature of an equation: Borrowing ten dollars requires returning ten dollars. When justice is violated, punishment or restitution of some kind is required. Herein is the timeless significance of bringing […]

Be Reconciled

“Be perfect… in mercy.” Today’s Gospel is a hard one. There are so many sayings of Jesus to which we have become desensitized. There are parables and commands that have lost their radicality, simply because we have heard them so often. I think today’s Gospel is one such message. “You have heard that it was said to your ancestors, ‘You […]

"Suffer the little children to come unto me." (detail) by Carl Bloch [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Before the Miracle, I Believed—But Now I Know.

The following story is true. It happened to me. I will never, ever forget it. I had been a Carmelite Sister for many years when this story occurred. It changed my life forever, and I came away from the experience with an explosion of faith bursting within my soul. To cut to the quick and bring forth the significance of […]

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

Would I forgive King David?

“Would I be as merciful as God was towards David?“ Even if you can’t get to daily Mass, I highly recommend using the readings of the day in your daily prayers. It is a way to unite your prayers with Catholics throughout the world, to live liturgically, and to become familiar with the great stories and wisdom of Sacred Scripture. […]

St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross

Edith Stein & Reparation

Today we celebrate the feast of St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross, also known as Edith Stein, her name prior to religious life. On this day in 1942, Edith and her sister Rosa were killed at Auschwitz. That summer, hundreds of Catholic Jews were arrested and murdered in response to the Dutch bishops’ public stand against Nazism. I highly recommend […]

Francis and the Portiuncula

Walking into the vast basilica of Santa Maria degli Angeli in Assisi, perhaps the last thing you might expect to see is another church. But you do expect it, because it is why you have come. Despite its size and grandeur, some pilgrims barely look around the larger basilica. They make a beeline for the small, humble chapel in the […]

St. John Chrysostom

Daily Catholic Quote — St. John Chrysostom

“Let no one grieve at his poverty, for the universal kingdom has been revealed. Let no one mourn that he has fallen again and again; for forgiveness has risen from the grave. Let no one fear death, for the Death of our Savior has set us free. He has destroyed it by enduring it.” (St. John Chrysostom, Bishop and Doctor […]