suffering

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 […]

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?

“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 […]

Encountering the Word — Colossians 1:24-26

Photography © by Andy Coan

“Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I complete what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church, of which I became a minister according to the divine office which was given to me for you, to make the word of God fully known, the mystery hidden […]

Encountering the Word — Colossians 1:24-26

Photography © by Andy Coan

“Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I complete what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church, of which I became a minister according to the divine office which was given to me for you, to make the word of God fully known, the mystery hidden […]

Encountering the Word — 2 Corinthians 1:3-6

Photography © by Andy Coan

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, […]