Holy Mass

Jesus Christ Truly Present

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

The Altar of Sacrifice of the Old Covenant The passage from Exodus used for today’s first reading recounts the sealing of the Old Covenant mediated by Moses between God and Israel. The blood of the offering sprinkled upon the altar (representing God) and the people of Israel, consecrated the Israelites to right living, right belief and right worship. They were […]

Be a Witness for Christ!

"The Incredulity of Saint Thomas" (detail) by Caravaggio

Do you know that you are a witness for Christ? When I was growing up in the southern part of the United States, I would from time to time encounter young, protestant teens and adults who would excitedly take to the streets to witness for Christ.  That is how they would refer to their efforts to evangelize. “Let‘s go witness!” These […]

Joy in the Midst of Sorrow

"Christ's Entry into Jerusalem" by Hippolyte Flandrin

The Cross is the great paradox of Christianity. More than a few people have asked me over the years why the Catholic Church focuses so prominently and persistently on the Crucifix. One inquirer even suggested that the Crucifix hanging above the Altar is too intense a reminder of the sorrow in the world and that she would never join a […]

The Gift I Want to Give Back

"The First Eucharist" by Juan de Juanes

I’m a dry-eyed gal most of the time, and I have always prided myself on that trait. Then I started going to Mass. I certainly didn’t mean to turn into a blubbering mess.  At the time, I was a tough know-it-all college graduate, and I was only there because this good-looking Prince Charming of mine insisted that he had to […]

Eucharist—Will You Stay or Leave?

"Super at Emmaus" (detail) by Caravaggio / Public domain

Today we celebrate the Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ—Corpus Christi. Jesus began to prepare us for this great gift of the True Presence of His Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity in the Most Holy Eucharist when He performed the miracle of the Multiplication of the Loaves and Fishes and by His Bread of Life Discourse. This teaching […]

Gratitude for the Eucharist

Photo by Josh Applegate on Unsplash

“May we never receive the Eucharist again in a distracted manner, bring Him into lukewarm hearts, or take Him for granted.” What he did at supper seated,Christ ordained to be repeated,His memorial ne’er to cease: And his rule for guidance taking,Bread and wine we hallow, makingThus our sacrifice of peace. This the truth each Christian learns,Bread into his flesh he […]

Our Deepest Desire is Satisfied on the Road to Emmaus

"Super at Emmaus" (detail) by Caravaggio / Public domain

Reflection on the Mass readings for the Third Sunday of Easter (Year A) — Acts 2:14, 22-28; Psalms 16:1-2, 5, 7-8, 9-10, 11; First Peter 1:17-21; Luke 24:13-35. Deep within each and every one of us there is a hunger and a thirst.  We all experience this yearning of the soul—a heart that burns with longing, but we don’t always recognize what […]

Going to Jesus Through Mary at Cana

"The Marriage at Cana" by Gaetano Gandolfi [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

There have been many famous weddings in history, but I would argue that none more so than the Wedding Feast at Cana. This vignette in the life of Jesus is found in John’s Gospel and is traditionally held to record his first miracle – what John refers to as “the beginning of his signs.” We can better understand the importance […]

Saint Thérèse, Teacher and Thaumaturga

St. Thérèse of Lisieux

Twenty years ago today was one of the most remarkable days of my life. It occurred during a phone call with my mother. And I would challenge those who doubt that miracles happen to provide a more plausible explanation for the series of events I’m about to relate. This article originally appeared in The Anchor, the weekly newspaper of the Diocese […]

To Whom Should We Go?

This Sunday, we are given a choice. We can stay or we can go. As we finish the Bread of Life discourse, we see the result of the hard teaching that Jesus has been preaching the last few Sundays. “As a result of this, many of his disciples returned to their former way of life and no longer accompanied him.” […]