Lent

Journey with St. Joseph

St. Joseph and the Christ-Child, Belmont Abbey

This year the first day of spring falls on March 19, 2020.  St. Joseph’s Day!  Spring brings a certain stillness to the earth. A waiting. A time of hushed expectancy. Seeds are planted and their growth is a quiet one – a hidden growth deep in the soil followed by the tender shoots stretching through the earth and reaching for the sun. […]

Suffering Transfigured by Love

"The Transfiguration" (detail) by Raphael - Alvesgaspar / CC BY-SA

Reflection on the Mass readings for the Second Sunday of Lent (Year A) — Genesis 12:1-4; Psalms 33:4-5, 18-19, 20, 22; Second Timothy 1:8-10; Matthew 17:1-9. The love in which God embraces each of us is one of the great truths revealed to us throughout salvation history, but especially through and in Jesus Christ. To come to a better and deeper understanding of […]

Be Reconciled

“Be perfect… in mercy.” Today’s Gospel is a hard one. There are so many sayings of Jesus to which we have become desensitized. There are parables and commands that have lost their radicality, simply because we have heard them so often. I think today’s Gospel is one such message. “You have heard that it was said to your ancestors, ‘You […]

The Desert in Carmelite Spirituality

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

“What did you go out to the wilderness to see?” (Matthew 11:7) These were Jesus’ words to the crowd. John took to the desert to draw people out into solitude to prepare their hearts for the coming of the Messiah. For many years the desert had become a place of encounter. In 1 Kings 19:1-8 a long time before John’s […]

Daily Lenten Reflection — From the Heart

“This day the Lord your God commands you to do these statutes and ordinances; you shall therefore be careful to do them with all your heart and with all your soul.” (Deuteronomy 26:16) God has loved and blessed us. Each of us has been placed in this life as pilgrims on a journey. The gift of Salvation is freely offered. […]

Becoming More Human This Lent

Photo by Gabriel Jimenez on Unsplash

“You weren’t created for this world- so for the next forty days, live like it.” This Sunday, the first reading might surprise us. It’s Lent, so we might expect to hear about fasting or penance. Perhaps we expect the first reading to be about sacrifice or suffering. Instead, we start at the beginning. We’re back in the Garden, with the […]

Christ in the Desert

"Crossing of the Red Sea" (detail) by Hans III Jordaens / Public domain

“…if anyone wishes to seriously exercise the spiritual life, he had better know that the company of people that hold our own faith and worship in our own churches is a most difficult company to keep. And we ought not to pretend we can follow God very far unless we know that it is a desert like asceticism.” I write […]

The Penance of Every Day

“Perhaps you have an impressive plan of intense penances that you are convinced will make you holy by the Easter vigil … but what do your daily activities, obligations, and vocational demands look like?” If you’re a planner, you’ve already begun to think about what you’re going to “do” for Lent. When I was growing up, it was in vogue […]

The Magi and the gifts of …. Lent?

"Adoration of the Magi" (detail) by Sébastien Bourdon [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

What shall we give him?  I have always been intrigued by the magi.  Their story forms the majority of Matthew’s account of the birth of Jesus Christ, and yet there remain so many questions about these mysterious figures. Where did they come from? How did they know to follow the star? What did they think when they found the Holy […]

Obsessed with the Passion of Christ?

Photography © by Andy Coan

This post on the passion of Jesus was originally written as a commentary on the scripture readings for Palm Sunday but makes for a great read anytime during the Lenten Season, especially Holy Week.   The suffering and death of  Christ reveals the depths of sin and the intensity of divine love. The Mass readings for Passion (Pal) Sunday (Year […]