Holy Spirit

Abide in Christ

“Christ at 33” (detail) by Hofmann

“I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch of mine that bears no fruit, he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. You are already made clean by the word which I have spoken to you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the […]

Carmelite Spirituality—Solitude and Prayer

Photography © by Carmelite Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Los Angeles

“Solitude is not an empty space, a void; it is an encounter with the God who loves us…” Dear Sister, What aspect of Carmelite Spirituality do you find most helpful for your prayer? Dear Friend, The short answer to your question is solitude. Here is the longer answer… Since all prayer begins with adoration, the environment surrounding my prayer must […]

How the Weakness of the Cross Makes Us Strong

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

“When I am weak, then I am strong”; “power made perfect in weakness.” Such verses are often cited as key to spiritual growth, but do we really understand what they are talking about? Can anyone ever understand? Yes. If we couldn’t understand it at all, God would not have told it to us. God does not waste words. It is […]

Man’s Best Friend

chair-peter-holy-spiritDetail of Chair of St. Peter Dnalor 01, Rom, Vatikan, Petersdom, Cathedra Petri (Bernini) 4, Detail, CC BY-SA 3.0

Despite what many dog lovers may believe, it turns out that man’s best friend is not our canine companions, although they are certainly high on the list. Instead, the greatest friend to man is someone most of us spend precious little time getting to know, and this ‘Person’ was someone whom Jesus Christ introduced us to before He ascended to […]

Know and Love the Mystery of the Holy Trinity

"The Holy Trinity" (detail) by Antonio de Pereda

We are able to know certain eternal truths without the light of faith. According the Church for example, the greatest truth of all—God exists—is knowable from the light of human reason and the works of creation alone. But there exist truths that we cannot discover until God reveals them to us. The doctrine of God as a Trinity of Divine Persons is […]

It’s Just the Trade Getting Into Him

There is an old story out of France, from around the early 1900s. It seems a young man had begun his new job in a factory where the work was known to be quite physically demanding. The young man, believing himself to be the equal of any man in the factory, did his best to maintain the same level of […]

Pentecost—God’s Love Ablaze

"La Pentecôte" (The Pentecost) by Jean II Restout - detail

“Therefore I want you to understand that no one speaking by the Spirit of God ever says ‘Jesus be cursed!’ and no one can say ‘Jesus is Lord’ except by the Holy Spirit” (1 Corinthians 12:3). “Nevertheless I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Counselor […]

The Gifts and Charisms of the Holy Spirit

Photography © by Andy Coan

Without Pentecost, the Gospel is not truly Good News.  For the seven gifts and Pentecostal charisms given by the Holy Spirit on this birthday celebration of the Church Catholic are essential for the success of our mission and indispensable for a joyful, victorious Christian life. This essay on the seven gifts and Pentecostal charisms of the Holy Spirit is a reflection […]

The Holy Spirit and the Old Testament

"Pentecost (detail) by Josef Ignaz Mildorfer [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

“The readings at the Vigil introduce us to the Holy Spirit and His mission through Old Testament typology and prophecy.” The Extended Vigil for Pentecost Many years ago while studying in Rome, I was able to attend an extended Vigil Mass for Pentecost. While not many parishes take advantage of the option, the current Roman Missal has brought back an extended option […]

Life After the Ascension

“God does not call us to a mission without giving us what we need to accomplish it.” Right before the Ascension in Matthew’s Gospel, Jesus says something intriguing before leaving:  I am with you always. An interesting way to say goodbye. I am with you always. Seems a big contradictory, doesn’t it? Jesus has spent three years with these men, […]