Reconciliation

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 […]

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 […]

The Sacrament of Mercy

Photography © by Andy Coan

Divine Mercy Sunday or the Octave of Easter presents us with one of the most famous of gospel stories — the story of Doubting Thomas. But it shows us how and when the sacrament of pena This post focuses on the relation between Divine Mercy Sunday, the unbelief of Doubting Thomas, and the sacrament of penance, reconciliation and confession.  The […]

Starting the New Year with a Huge Weight On Our Shoulders

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.  I try to go every six weeks or so, but this was no routine visit to the priest for me. I needed to unburden myself of […]

Is There Something Attached to Your Giving?

“What’s wrong?”  Jennifer asked as Rick walked in the house with a sour look on his face. “Nothing… everything… I don’t want to bother you with something this petty.  I’ll be okay in a few minutes.” “Oh no you don’t!  I want to help… please tell me what’s wrong.  Clearly something is weighing on you.” He looked at his wife […]

Fixing Catholic Boredom in Six Easy Steps

Photograph © by Andy Coan

On a recent Saturday morning my sixteen-year-old son said: “Dad, I’m bored. What are we going to do for fun today?” Knowing my youngest son well, I translated this to mean that he was looking for something new and exciting and I was supposed to provide it. This all too frequent discussion with my children has been the cause of […]

What is the Answer to Suffering, Pain and Loss?

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 […]

Why Do You Confess Your Sins to a Priest?

"Return of the Prodigal Son" (detail) by Murillo

Have you ever been asked why you confess sins to a priest? In discussing the Catholic faith with non-Catholics, the doctrine concerning confessing one’s sins to a priest often arises. Indeed, in my experience, the Sacrament of Reconciliation ranks right up there with Marian Dogmas among the Church’s teachings that prompt the most questions from those inquiring about the Catholic […]

Encountering the Word — John 20:19-23

Photography © by Andy Coan

A Daily Quote from Sacred Scripture On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the doors being shut where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.” When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples […]

The Subtle Danger of Catholic Boredom

Photograph © by Andy Coan

On a recent Saturday morning my fifteen-year-old son said: “Dad, I’m bored. What are we going to do for fun today?” Knowing my youngest son well, I translated this to mean that he was looking for something new and exciting and I was supposed to provide it. This all too frequent discussion with my children has been the cause of […]