Heaven

The Exaltation of the Holy Cross

Photography © by Carmelite Sister of the Most Sacred Heart of Los Angeles

Then Jesus told his disciples, “If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.” (Matthew 16:24-25) But Jesus said to them, “You do not know what you are asking. Are […]

Lord, will those who are saved be few?

"Universal Judgement" (detail) by Michelangelo

I once heard a comment from a friend who was preparing a homily for today’s passage from Luke’s Gospel (see Luke 13:22-30). He was finding it difficult to “preach that there will be so few in heaven.” He has no problem on preaching about death, judgment, Heaven and Hell; but, he is disturbed and sad that, in his understanding, there will be […]

Why Do We Follow a Secular Compass?

I don’t know about you, but I rarely get through the day without feeling beaten up a little by the demands and pervasive negative influence of the world. It is difficult to find peace and block out the noise. I am challenged to avoid committing the same venial sins over and over each day. In my weakness, I tend to […]

Do We Make Christ and His Church Look Attractive to Others?

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

When I give talks around the country or sometimes in correspondence with readers of my books or blog posts on Integrated Catholic Life, I am often asked what I mean when I encourage others to “be joyful” and share the “light of Christ” with others.  I am referring to the response I typically give when asked for effective ways to […]

Lessons from Emmaus Road for the Anxious and Discouraged

"Supper at Emmaus" (detail) by Caravaggio

We are all likely familiar with the “walk to Emmaus” (Luke 24:13-35) by two of Christ’s disciples the evening of the Resurrection in Luke’s Gospel.  These two men, overcome with hopelessness and discouragement, were talking about the incredible events they had witnessed over the previous few days as they were walking to their home village of Emmaus outside of Jerusalem.  […]

What have you been given?

Our culture loves to make up fake holidays. National Hot Dog Day, National Get Out Your Guitar Day, World Nutella Day … every food, occupation, habit, or weird hobby has a day. This past week was the annual celebration the world has named Satisfied to be Single Day. It might sound funny, but every February 11 for the past thirteen […]

Baptize the baby

A few things in the last week prompted further thoughts about baptism. In addition to the feast this past Sunday, I also recorded an episode for my weekly series “3 Minute Theology,” on the theological theory of limbo. I receive a lot of questions about limbo. This probably can be attributed to the fact that people think it was a […]

Where are the “Regular” Catholic Heroes?

Man at Prayer

Feeling let down by politicians and public figures who say they are Catholic, but their words and actions are often contrary to the teachings of the Church? Do we seek good examples for ourselves, our children or our grandchildren to emulate because we hope they will demonstrate in word and deed what it means to be authentically Catholic?  Perhaps we […]

Expectations & Fulfillment

"Baptism of Christ" (detail) by Perugino

This coming Sunday is the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord. In the readings for Mass, an option for the first reading is from Isaiah 40. The passage is ripe with imagery that perhaps sounds a little more like our Advent readings. In fact, this same reading is the reading for the second Sunday of Advent in Year B […]

Too Busy for God?

For years I have heard people say they don’t have enough time to pray, get involved in parish ministry, attend daily Mass, take part in Eucharistic adoration, be involved in children’s activities, serve in the community, etc. I believe our misconception about time is one of the biggest obstacles, along with living in “silos” and failing to surrender to Christ, to […]