suffering

Uncomfortable Christianity

“It’s time to recognize that Christianity is not a comfortable religion. The doctrines we profess are stumbling blocks, and the demands are uncomfortable.” We have gotten too comfortable. Walking around as baptized Christians, we probably don’t often think about what that means. Christianity is radical. If we really profess what Christianity professes and live what Christianity demands, we will not […]

Learning to Accept God’s Will

Man at Prayer

Not long 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. Let […]

The Triumph of Tragedy

This reflection addresses one of the most challenging issues any of us might encounter in our lives. It is the all too common experience of dealing with a significant disability or serious illness. If we or a loved one have had to go through this experience, we may wonder just how to reconcile this challenge with the reality of a […]

Trials and Unity

Photography © by Andy Coan

If God provides, then why does Murphy’s Law seem to apply even to devout Christians?  Why do bad things happen to good people?  Why so much resistance, even from fellow Christians, when we try to do God’s will?  This article seeks to show how trials fit into Divine Providence and actually lead to joy, love and unity.   The Mass […]

Joy and Sorrow

"Christ's Entry into Jerusalem" by Hippolyte Flandrin

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 she would never join a […]

Lord, Enter Into the Mess

“No other religion has a god who created and also entered into time and space, entered into that creation. No other religion has a god that enters into the mess.”  I like to try to pretend I’m not an adult, but it’s getting harder and harder to deny that I’m growing up. And with all the perks of being adult, […]

Why Do Catholics Abstain from Meat on Fridays and Fast?

"Christ in the Desert (detail)" by Ivan Kramskoy

Our bookstores are filled with books written to help us advance in prayer and the spiritual life. The “secret” we all look for is really no secret at all.  At its heart, the gospel message is one of self-denial and detachment from all things that are obstacles to our growth.  Jesus tells us that if we are to be his […]

What is my role?

There is a Scripture verse many people are probably familiar with, but it seems to have taken on a new significance in light of some of the recent trials we are facing in our modern society. It is one you do not hear mentioned very often by ministers, perhaps because it is somewhat difficult to understand, and certainly very difficult […]

Being Grateful for… my Challenges?

"Christ the Consolator" (detail) by Carl Bloch

“If God sends you many sufferings, it is a sign that He has great plans for you and certainly wants to make you a saint.” (St. Ignatius Loyola) I woke up last Tuesday not feeling very grateful.  I am not sure why, but I started my day in a “mood.”  Maybe it was the stress of having too much on […]