forgiveness

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 […]

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 […]

Encountering the Word — Isaiah 35:5-6

Photography © by Andy Coan

“Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf unstopped; then shall the lame man leap like a hart, and the tongue of the dumb sing for joy.” (Isaiah 35:5-6) Please share this post on Facebook and other social media below: Print this entry

Encountering the Word — John 20:19-23

Photography © by Andy Coan

On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the doors being shut where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.” When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw […]

Encountering the Word — Romans 5:12,15,17

Photography © by Andy Coan

“Therefore as sin came into the world through one man and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all men sinned… But the free gift is not like the trespass. For if many died through one man’s trespass, much more have the grace of God and the free gift in the grace of that one man […]

The Fatherhood of God

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the fatherhood of God. The Gospel last Sunday reminded us to be like children, and this Sunday we’ll hear Jesus call his disciples “children.” Halfway between those two Sundays, on Wednesday we heard the Gospel where Jesus teaches his disciples how to pray, commanding them to call God “Father.” It’s hard to deny […]

How to Go to Confession

Confessionals

Someone approached me recently and asked a very honest, vulnerable question. She said that she reads on blogs and hears on Catholic radio the beauty of the practice of frequent confession, but she hasn’t been to the sacrament in a very long time. She’s intimidated, not even by the fact that she feels she has to a lot to confess, but […]

Daily Quote — from Saint John Paul II

“The essential act of penance, on the part of the penitent, is contrition, a clear and decisive rejection of the sin committed, together with a resolution not to commit it again, out of love which one has for God and which is reborn with repentance…”  (Pope St. John Paul II) The Optional Memorial of St. John Paul II (1920 – […]

Before the Miracle, I Believed—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 […]

What the Pro-Life Movement Needs to Remember

Today, hundreds of thousands of people will converge on Washington, D.C. for the annual March for Life. The crowds will be larger and younger than the media will portray, and the atmosphere will be like that of a family reunion. I remember my first (of many) Marches when I was in high school. I was shocked by the joy I […]