joy

Is Holiness Weird?

“Holiness requires a counter-cultural life.” This weekend we celebrate one of my favorite feast days: All Saints Day. I love thinking of the giant party that is happening in heaven as we celebrate the feast days of all those people who are not formally canonized by the Church. Remember, a saint is simply someone in heaven. Every person ever created […]

The Power of the Morning Offering

“We place it in His hands – no matter what comes.” Sometimes we make prayer more complicated than it needs to be. A few days ago, I finished my cup of coffee and my brief morning time of prayer by kind of muttering under my breath, “I don’t know about this day, God. So it’s yours.” It wasn’t a traditional […]

O Joyful Catholics, Where Are You?

"Christ the Consolator" (detail) by Carl Heinrich Bloch (1834-1890) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

I believe one of the greatest obstacles to evangelization and sharing our faith with others today is that many of us have forgotten how to be joyful. I know when the stresses of the world weigh me down, I struggle to maintain a joyful attitude in the presence of others. We are often so busy with our hectic schedules and […]

If my life was radiant…

“My life, speech, and actions will be those of someone who is living for Someone else.” There’s a famous quote of St. Francis, “Preach the Gospel, and if necessary, use words.” The problem is… he never said that.  Even though it’s one of the most ubiquitous quotes attributed to him, there is no evidence of the quote in any of […]

From Suffering to Joy

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

Many years ago, I taught a fourth grade CCD class for my parish religious education department. It was the first evening of classes and I was starting the process of getting everyone introduced to one another when one boy blurted out, “I am going to be your worst nightmare.” He was speaking to me. You could say that I was […]

The Heavy Burdens We Carry

Confessionals

I have been thinking a great deal about my experience at Reconciliation this past Saturday. I felt an intense and unexplainable urge to go and confess my sins when I woke up that morning after having been deprived of this Sacrament during the coronavirus pandemic. I try to go every six weeks or so, but this was no routine visit […]

Joy and Hope During A Pandemic

"The Baptism of the Eunich" (detail) by Rembrandt / Public domain

The world has been on lockdown and edge for nearly two months as a result of the COVID-19 Pandemic. Lives have been disrupted in significant ways. Although this is not unheard of in a human history that is marked with war, disease and natural disasters, it is new to many people alive today. And such disruptions are a severe blow […]

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 […]

Before the Miracle, I Believed—But Now I Know.

"Suffer the little children to come unto me." (detail) by Carl Bloch [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

The following story is true. It happened to me. I will never, ever forget it. I had been a Carmelite Sister for many years when this story occurred. It changed my life forever, and I came away from the experience with an explosion of faith bursting within my soul. To cut to the quick and bring forth the significance of […]

Joy

Photography by Bannafarsai_Stock | Shutterstock

Joy is more than happiness, just as happiness is more than pleasure. Pleasure is in the body. Happiness is in the mind and feelings. Joy is deep in the heart, the spirit, the center of the self. The way to pleasure is power and prudence. The way to happiness is moral goodness. The way to joy is sanctity, loving God […]