witness

If my life was radiant…

“My life, speech, and actions will be those of someone who is living for Someone else.” There’s a famous quote of St. Francis, “Preach the Gospel, and if necessary, use words.” The problem is… he never said that.  Even though it’s one of the most ubiquitous quotes attributed to him, there is no evidence of the quote in any of […]

Holy-Family"The Holy Family with dog" (detail) by Bartolomé Esteban Murillo [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Essential Lessons for Dads

Our state in life is where we live out our vocation; it is the path by which we journey to Heaven. God has called each of us by name to Himself. In baptism we each received a share in the divine mission and a responsibility to be faithful to that mission. When a man and a woman answer God’s call to […]

"La Pentecôte" (The Pentecost) by Jean II Restout - detail

Pentecost—God’s Love Ablaze

“Therefore I want you to understand that no one speaking by the Spirit of God ever says ‘Jesus be cursed!’ and no one can say ‘Jesus is Lord’ except by the Holy Spirit” (1 Corinthians 12:3). “Nevertheless I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Counselor […]

"Ascension of Christ" (detail) by Garofalo

The Ascension of the Lord and Our Mission

Years before that first Ascension Thursday, God entered into His own creation as the God-man, Jesus. He came as a humble babe, conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. His birth took place in a stable that housed livestock. Little is recorded of His early years; He was a thirty-year-old when He began His public ministry. […]

"Christ and the Rich Young Ruler" (detail) by Heinrich Hofmann / Public domain

Do People See Christ When They Look at You?

“As I have loved you, so you also should love one another” (John 13:34). In John 14:15, Jesus tells his apostles, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.”  In this passage, Jesus is preparing His Apostles for His departure and the coming of the Holy Spirit. After three long years with them, these are among His final words […]

St. Peter Chanel Catholic Church, Roswell, Georgia—Photography © by Michael Bickerstaff

We Owe Each Other a Terrible Loyalty

Looking back at my childhood, I am thankful for the many gifts the good God sent my way in the form of people who knew and loved Him and chose to share that knowledge and love with me. There are so many examples from the good Catholic sisters and priests who taught me to my Presbyterian friend, James, who announced […]

Pope Francis | giulio napolitano / Shutterstock.com

Spending Time With My Spiritual Father

I write these words from the Eternal City of Rome, whither I’ve come with my brother bishops from Region 11 (California, Nevada, and Hawaii) for our ad limina visit. This is a regular and canonically required trip to pray at the limina apostolorum (the threshold of the Apostles), the tombs of Saints Peter and Paul, and to meet with the successor of Peter. Yesterday […]

"St. Michael the Archangel" (detail) - via Wikimedia Commons - Guido Reni [Public domain]

Five Ways to Escape from Apathy-ville

Do you ever feel numb or helpless because of all the problems the world faces each day? One only has to watch the news or follow the events of the day online to feel completely overwhelmed. Some of the challenges facing the world include ever-increasing threats to our Catholic faith. The Church is being accosted on all sides and the culture […]

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

Ready to Lay Down Your Life

“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, […]

"The Beheading of Saint John the Baptist" by Caravaggio [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Life-Changing Lessons from St. John the Baptist

“In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judea, ‘Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.’  For this is he who was spoken of by the prophet Isaiah when he said, ‘The voice of one crying in the wilderness: Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.’” (Matthew 3:1-3) St. John the Baptist is […]