The Cross is the great paradox of Christianity. More than a few people have asked me over the years why the Catholic Church focuses so prominently and persistently on the Crucifix. One inquirer even suggested that the Crucifix hanging above the Altar is too intense a reminder of the sorrow in the world and that… Continue reading Joy in the Midst of Sorrow
When I was growing up, praying the Stations of the Cross was a staple of every Friday in Lent. We often prayed them in school on Friday afternoons. My family would go to the church on Friday evenings to pray them with the parish. In many places, Fridays in Lent are synonymous with parish Fish… Continue reading Walking the Way of the Cross
The Reproaches The Good Friday Reproaches, or Improperia, are among the most unsettling prayers of the Church’s liturgical tradition. They are fitting for the most unsettling day of the year: that day we dare to call “Good,” the day our churches stand stark and empty, the day when the comforting words of the Holy Mass… Continue reading My people, what have I done to you?
As we approach Palm Sunday and Good Friday, we also approach one of the most difficult moments in liturgy: our call to crucify Christ. For the reading of the Passion accounts in these liturgies, there is the option for the Gospel to be read by multiple readers. I would venture to guess that most parishes… Continue reading Shall I Crucify Your King?
As we near the end of Lent, it’s a good time to stop and assess how we have done thus far. Before the revision of the Roman Missal in 1970, this coming Sunday, the Fifth Sunday of Lent, was referred to as “Passion Sunday” and marked the beginning of Passiontide. In his incredible fifteen-volume work… Continue reading Four Ways to Finish Lent Well
Last weekend I had the pleasure of seeing Pixar’s Inside Out. I was pleasantly surprised by it, not expecting it to be as thought-provoking and multi-faceted as it was. One of the themes—and I don’t think I’m spoiling anything, given that it was mentioned in the first ten minutes of the film—was the purpose of… Continue reading Mobilizing one’s whole being
There are so many reasons that Christ’s Cross should be on our minds as a Christian, especially because we are navigating the season of Lent—that beautiful and prayerful time of year. Holy Mother Church prods us to become more mindful of Jesus’ Passion and Death on the Cross—His unselfish holy sacrifice so that we might… Continue reading The Cross in Our Lives
One of the themes of Pope Francis at World Youth Day 2013 was to “shake things up.” This is quite different from the advice I was given as a child: “In polite conversation, never bring up politics or religion.” This is quite good advice, if your aim is to be well-liked. Politics and religion are… Continue reading Pope Francis (and Jesus) Wants us to “Shake things up!”
“Christians must lean on the Cross of Christ just as travelers lean on a staff when they begin a long journey. They must have the Passion of Christ deeply embedded in their minds and hearts, because only from it can they derive peace, grace, and truth.” (St. Anthony of Padua, Doctor of the Church) Please… Continue reading Daily Quote from St. Anthony of Padua, Doctor of the Church
If ever there was a romance that started off with a bang it was ours. It was love at first sight—the kind of love affair that many have trouble believing exists until they find themselves swept up in one of their own. We fell, rolled head over heels, and saw stars. It was cliché, yes,… Continue reading Refined by Fire