forgiveness

Jesus Offers You Living Water

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

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 […]

The Nature of Forgiveness — Is it Humanly Possible?

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

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 […]

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

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

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 […]

Would I forgive King David?

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

“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. […]

Edith Stein & Reparation

St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross

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 […]

Daily Catholic Quote — St. John Chrysostom

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 […]

Why Should I Confess My Sins To A Priest?

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

Have you ever been asked why you confess your sins to a priest? Have you ever wondered why you should confess your sins to a priest? In discussing the Catholic faith with non-Catholics, the doctrine concerning confessing one’s sins to a priest often arises. Indeed, in my experience, the Sacrament of Reconciliation ranks right up there with Marian Dogmas among […]

Costly Grace and the Woman Caught in Adultery

Photography © by Andy Coan

The adulterous woman to whom Jesus said “neither do I condemn you” was the recipient of the free gift of a grace that was costly, not cheap.  She was called to leave behind the sin of adultery.  And the pardon of the adulteress cost Jesus his life. The Mass readings for the Fifth Sunday of Lent (Year C) — Isaiah […]