Mass

Practicing Acceptance and Seeing Burdens as Blessings

A few years ago a priest shared some guidance with my wife and me that has been the cause of a great deal of conversation and reflection in our home.  In response to learning that we pray every day about our oldest son’s future and that he be healed of his autism, he encouraged us to pray first for acceptance. […]

Why do we call it Mass?

“The dismissal of Mass marks the beginning of our mission.” Have you ever wondered why we call what we do on Sunday “Mass”? We aren’t referring to a large amount of something nor to a scientific measure. It doesn’t matter how massive the crowd is, either. We get the word “Mass” from the very end of the liturgy, when the […]

Finding Strength in Surrender

Man at Prayer

Few souls understand what God would accomplish in them if they were to abandon themselves unreservedly to Him and if they were to allow His grace to mold them accordingly.” — St. Ignatius Loyola What is the connection between surrender and strength?  Surrendering to Christ and putting His will before my own for the first time almost 14 years ago […]

Being Intentional About Our Prayer Lives

As I wrote this post I reflected on my experiences as a Catholic from my conversion in 2005 until now. One of the biggest obstacles for me in the early days of my faith journey was the lack of a prayer life. I knew I needed to pray, but I couldn’t ever remember sincerely praying about anything. I was struggling […]

Are we too casual at Mass?

“If a non-Catholic witnessed my behavior before, during, and after Mass, would they know what I believed?”  Traveling recently, I found myself at a Sunday Mass that seemed remarkably casual. The people were friendly and the priest was welcoming, but there was a marked feeling of imprecision or even complacency that hung in the church like incense. I came away […]

The Invitation

Photograph © by Andy Coan

“Here we go again,” Steve thought to himself as Brian walked across the parking lot towards his car. “Hey Steve, looks like we’re both running a little late today!  How was your weekend?” “It was ok.  Before you say anything Brian, I will go ahead and tell you I didn’t make it to Mass yesterday.  I meant to, but I […]

Renewing Our Faith in the Eucharist

This Sunday we celebrate the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ. Although it would take several decades for the feast to be universally celebrated, the development of the feast begins with a young woman named Juliana, who had a great devotion to the Eucharist. She began seeing a vision of a full moon with a dark […]

My new favorite prayers

As Catholics, we are often criticized for our ritual worship and rote prayers.   While at times I do wish I was more poised when leading public impromptu prayers, I am grateful for the treasury of prayers at our fingertips.  Far from lifeless, these prayers come from our rich heritage—thousands of years of holy men and women, from the writings […]

Extraordinary Faith from Ordinary Catholics

“In the doctrine of Christ there is no invitation to mediocrity, but a clear call to Heaven, to love and to cheerful sacrifice.” (Francis Fernandez, In Conversation with God) Feeling let down by politicians and public figures who say they are Catholic, but whose words and actions are often contrary to the teachings of the Church? Do we seek good examples […]