Holy Spirit

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 […]

Six Ways to Avoid Being a “Stealth” Catholic

"Sermon on the Mount" St. Matthew's Church altarpiece by Henrik Olrik

I have had numerous conversations with friends and professional acquaintances over the years on the subject of openly sharing our Catholic faith. I am always a little surprised at how often many of them express strong reluctance to being open about their beliefs. The reasons given have included many you may have heard before. “I don’t want to offend anyone.” […]

The Mystery of the Most 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 […]

The Love of the Trinity

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

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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 […]

Gifts and Charisms of the Holy Spirit

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

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. As a teen, I thought the clergy were supposed to do everything. We laity were […]

Disposed to Receive His Spirit

Minolta DSC

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The Joy of the Ascension

Photography © by Andy Coan

The celebration of the Ascension used to leave me a bit flat.  It was clear what Good Friday did for me.  And Easter Sunday’s benefits were indisputable.  But as for the Ascension, what’s in it for me? Christianity is about a kind of love we call agape or charity.  It is love that looks away from itself to another and […]

The Ascension of the Lord and Our Mission

"Ascension of Christ" (detail) by Garofalo

Years before that first Ascension Thursday, God entered into His own creation as the God-man, Jesus. He came as a humble babe, conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. His birth took place in a stable that housed livestock. Little is recorded of His early years; He was a thirty-year-old when He began His public ministry. […]

Saint Matthias and a Church at Work

"The Exhortation to the Apostles" by James Tissot [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

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