penance

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 […]

St. Lucy’s Reminder in Advent

Photograph by Nicvandum | Shutterstock

“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it” (John 1:5) There are ways to enter into this special time of year and celebrate Advent without jumping the gun and celebrating Christmas prematurely. Rather than celebrating Christmas, we should incorporate into our lives the feasts and rituals that the Church gives us, such as the Solemnity […]

Fast Before Feast

Christmas is a joyous celebration of the birth of Peace.  So why does the Church precede the feast of December 25 with a somber season of fast, penance and repentance?  A meditation for Advent… The Mass readings for the Second Sunday of Advent (Year A) are Isaiah 11:1-10; Psalms 72:1-2, 7-8, 12-13, 17; Romans 15:4-9; Matthew 3:1-12. Christmas cards speak […]

Christmas is Worth Waiting For

“It’s a small reminder to us that the story of my life is much bigger than my pleasure here on earth.” One thing our world doesn’t do well is wait.  To be honest, I fall prey to it as much as the next person.  I lose my temper in traffic jams. Slowly loading websites make me agitated. I burn my mouth […]

Daily Catholic Quote — CDF on Fatima

Lucia, Franciso and Jacinta

“Throughout history there have been supernatural apparitions and signs which go to the heart of human events and which, to the surprise of believers and non-believers alike, play their part in the unfolding of history. These manifestations can never contradict the content of faith, and must therefore have their focus in the core of Christ’s proclamation: the Father’s love which […]

Edith Stein & Reparation

St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross

Today we celebrate the feast of St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross, also known as Edith Stein, her name prior to religious life. On this day in 1942, Edith and her sister Rosa were killed at Auschwitz. That summer, hundreds of Catholic Jews were arrested and murdered in response to the Dutch bishops’ public stand against Nazism. I highly recommend […]

Let’s Begin Praying the Five Prayers of Fatima

Santuário de Fátima Bascilica of Our Lady of the Rosary

Today, May 13, 2019, marks 102 years since the first apparition of Mary, Our Lady of the Rosary, to the three young seers at the Cova da Iria in Fatima, Portugal during 1917. Later that year, on October 13, the Miracle of the Sun was witnessed by up to one hundred thousand people. The children were Lucia de Jesus dos Santos (age 10), Saint […]

The Paradigm for Bishop-Led Church Reform

The bishops of the United States are in Baltimore this week for their annual Fall meeting, but this year’s reunion is anything but routine. It will be focused fundamentally, with prayer, penance, and deliberation, on the response to the new wave of sexual abuse scandals; in particular, on how bishops need to be, not part of the problem, but a […]

How to Go to Confession

Confessionals

Someone approached me recently and asked a very honest, vulnerable question. She said that she reads on blogs and hears on Catholic radio the beauty of the practice of frequent confession, but she hasn’t been to the sacrament in a very long time. She’s intimidated, not even by the fact that she feels she has to a lot to confess, but […]

Daily Reflection — The Lord Stands at the Door

“Christ at 33” (detail) by Hofmann

  The Lord wants to enter into your heart and be with you… yes, YOU! He stands at the door and knocks. Will you open up and let Him in? Jesus wants to be in relation with you more than you can ever want to be in relation with Him. So, when I think of all those times that I […]