gift

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 […]

St. Joseph and the Christ-Child, Belmont Abbey

Four Critical Principles for Catholic Fathers

“It is easier for a father to have children than for children to have a real father.” (Pope St. John XXIII) I often feel completely lost and befuddled as a Catholic father in today’s world. How do I set the right example? How do I help my sons grow up with a strong Catholic faith? How do I prepare them […]

Photo by Simon Maage on Unsplash

Cultivating Gratitude – Even Now

“Everything I have at this moment is a complete gift from God.” There have been several studies on the way gratitude changes our attitude and even rewires our brain. It can relieve stress and anxiety and even increase dopamine production. Doesn’t this sound exactly what we need right now? And yet, precisely when we need it, the crosses and sufferings […]

Graces for Later

“In this darkness, Our Lord has already given you what you need.” One of my favorite parts of the Easter season liturgy is in the preface before the Eucharistic Prayer, when the priest prays, “therefore, overcome with paschal joy…” It’s a reminder to me, every day of Easter, that we are in this season of joy and are called to […]

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

If You But Knew the Gift of God

How do you get to know someone better? When my Dad first became interested in my Mom, he learned where she lived and then went to her home hoping to visit with her. However, my grandmother was not too keen on his attempt to get closer to her and chased him away with a broom!  He didn’t give up though, […]

Finding God in All Things

There is, to be sure, a stress within the Biblical tradition that God is radically other: “Truly, you are a God who hides himself, O God of Israel, the Savior.” (Isaiah 45:15) and “No one shall see [God] and live” (Exodus 33:20). This speaks to the fact that the one who creates the entire universe from nothing cannot be, himself, […]

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

“Have you been saved?”

Have You Been Saved? In Acts 4, St. Peter delivers a powerful sermon. He concludes by saying, “There is no salvation through anyone else, nor is there any other name under heaven given to the human race by which we are to be saved.” I have written before in these pages of the time when I was growing up in the […]

Reclaiming Christmas Magic

Sometimes in secret moments I lament that Christmas has lost its magic.  When I was little—like most other kids I knew—Christmas and birthdays were high points of the year.  Christmas had the added delight of a whole season of preparation and societal festivities.  It seemed forever away and the anticipation was dizzying.  The feast day burst upon a family with […]