surrender

Practical Lessons for Integrating Faith and Work

Man at Prayer

How do we integrate our faith with our work? If you think about it, most of us will likely spend the majority of our adult (awake) lives in the workplace. A typical eight hour work day accounts for a third of the total day, with the other two-thirds devoted to sleeping, family, friends, faith, and so on. In the practice […]

Eliminating Obstacles Between Christ and Us in 2020

"Christ the Consolator" (detail) by Carl Heinrich Bloch (1834-1890) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

As I considered what to write for this post in the first week of 2020, I reflected on years of well-intended resolutions to lose weight, go to daily Mass, pick up a new hobby, play more tennis, etc. which ended in failure as my desires clashed with the reality of my busy schedule and stubborn resistance to change. I like […]

Joy

Photography by Bannafarsai_Stock | Shutterstock

Joy is more than happiness, just as happiness is more than pleasure. Pleasure is in the body. Happiness is in the mind and feelings. Joy is deep in the heart, the spirit, the center of the self. The way to pleasure is power and prudence. The way to happiness is moral goodness. The way to joy is sanctity, loving God […]

Remembering the Holy Innocents

"The Flight to Egypt" (detail) by Carl Spitzweg

On the fourth day of our Christmas celebration, the Church reminds us that not everyone is joyful; that there exist those who are not of goodwill who do not wish to receive the season’s glad tidings. Today is the Feast of the Holy Innocents in which the Church recalls and honors those baby boys whose lives were taken in a […]

Ready to Lay Down Your Life

"The Stoning of St. Stephen" (detail) by Rembrandt

“But he [Stephen], filled with the holy Spirit, looked up intently to heaven and saw the glory of God and Jesus standing at the right hand of God, and he said, ‘Behold, I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.’ But they cried out in a loud voice, covered their ears, […]

Justice, Mercy and Peace

"Parable of the Good Samaritan" (detail) by Jan Wijnants [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

“He who says he is in the light and hates his brother is in the darkness still. He who loves his brother abides in the light, and in it there is no cause for stumbling. But he who hates his brother is in the darkness and walks in the darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the […]

Advent Reflection — It is never too late for God’s Love

The Annunciation of the Angel to Saint Zechariah (detail of fresco) by Domenico Ghirlandalo

“In the time of Herod king of Judea there was a priest named Zechariah, who belonged to the priestly division of Abijah; his wife Elizabeth was also a descendant of Aaron. Both of them were righteous in the sight of God, observing all the Lord’s commands and decrees blamelessly. But they were childless because Elizabeth was not able to conceive, […]

Advent Reflection—Lord, I am not worthy…

"Jesus Heals the Centurion's Servant" (detail) by Paolo Veronese [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

An Advent Reflection on the Scripture Readings at Mass… “But the centurion answered him, ‘Lord, I am not worthy to have you come under my roof; but only say the word, and my servant will be healed.’” (Matthew 8:8) Another Advent Season has begun and we must be sure we know who and where we are. Before we can journey […]

Self-Satisfied or Self-Aware

"Conversion of Saint Paul" (detail) by Caravaggio

“We must ask ourselves a question. Which attitude do I represent? Am I self-satisfied in how I live? Or am I honest and self-aware about my weakness and sins and committed to my humble efforts to live in faith and strive for holiness?” The Mass readings for the Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year C) are Sirach 35:12-14, 16-18; Psalms 34:2-3, […]

Practicing Acceptance and Seeing Burdens as Blessings

A few years 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. […]