How well is Your Ton...

In today’s first reading, the prophet Isaiah says, “The Lord has given me a well-trained tongue, that I might now how to speak to the weary a word that will rouse them.” (Isaiah 50:4) Can we say the same thing about our own tongue? Many of us are better at aggravating the weary than...

Works of Mercy Part ...

This is part VIII of a series on works of mercy which I have written for Lent. You can read part I, part II, part III, part IV, part V, part VI, and part VII first. Bury the Dead and Pray for the Living and the Dead Burying the dead is the only of the Corporal Works of mercy not named in...

Growing in Holiness:...

Today is the 500th birthday of Saint Teresa of Avila, one of the greatest mystics and spiritual writers of the Church. When I think about it, St. Teresa was my first teacher about growth in the spiritual life. It seems strange; we know that we grow physically and intellectually, but we...

Lent, Suffering, and...

Lent causes suffering. The small (perhaps large to us) sacrifices that we make are meant to bring us closer to the cross. They are meant to bring us to greater reliance on Jesus instead of whatever it is we’ve chosen to give up. We can also “offer up” our myriad annoyances and...

The Works of Mercy P...

This is part VII of a series on works of mercy which I have written for Lent. You can read part I, part II, part III, part IV, part V, and part VI first. Ransom Captives and Admonish Sinners Ransoming captives may seem the strangest, the least necessary of the works of mercy today. Oh, it...

Sheep Among Wolves

“‘Thomas! Thomas!’ two snickering friars called, rousing their brother who was bent over his books. ‘Look out the window—there are pigs flying about in the sky!’ Thomas rose at once and bounced to the window incredulously. The friars laughed. Putting the finishing touch on...

The Works of Mercy P...

This is part VI of a series on works of mercy which I have written for Lent. You can read part I, part II, part III, part IV, and part V first. Visit the Sick and Comfort the Afflicted When we hear of “the sick,” we probably think immediately of those who are in the care of...

On Family Mar23

On Family

Family, it seems, is an ever-changing concept in my world as of late. While it is always changing, it is also growing. In an obvious way, it grew when I got married. Before I had no one I could call “sister” in that sense, and now I have two sisters. I’ve got cousins and...

What my Confessor Ta...

I went to Confession one recent Saturday morning, planning on receiving the sacrament before Mass. As I drove to the church, I was doing my examination of conscience, and growing increasingly nervous. When I arrived at the church, it was dark and empty – except for the priest praying his...

Truth in Fiction

Teaching always involves a curve ball. This past fall I taught “Introduction to Moral Theology and Ethics” at The Catholic University of America. For the first class session, I had my students read a casual but thoughtful blogpost titled “The Ethics of Superheroes.” The blogpost draws...

A Church for Sinners

We walked into the large sanctuary of a southeast beach parish and slipped into the back pew. The room was full of retired couples, perhaps a few local families, and some vacationers. A few rows in front, a middle-aged couple sat down. He was wearing black athletic pants with three white...

1st Louisiana Cheste...

About a year ago I was driving through the the small neighboring town of Ponchatoula, Louisiana, and on a side road along the railroad track was a building with a sign that read, “Chesterton Square.” It didn’t strike me as unusual – that is a common enough name in an...

The World Doesn̵...

I remember when I first fell in love with movies. It was 1989, I was four years old and saw The Little Mermaid. While watching those beautiful ocean scenes wash over the big screen in that now-closed Pittsburgh, PA movie theater, something came alive inside of me. I was suddenly attuned to the...

Mercy Part V–H...

This is part V of a series on works of mercy which I have written for Lent. You can read part I, part II, part III, and part IV first. Harbor the Harborless, Forgive Offenses Willingly “Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.” (Luke...

Pull Your Weight

Life has brought a lot of changes for me over the last year. This time last year I was a Green Beret, deployed with my team to the Philippines, doing stuff and things. I was working out two hours a day, training in shooting, explosives, hand-to-hand combat, combat medicine, and other fun...

Works of Mercy Part ...

This is part IV of a series on works of mercy which I have written for Lent. You can read part I, part II, and part III first. Clothe the Naked and Bear Wrongs Willingly A couple of years ago, there was a kerfuffle over the popular clothing maker Abercrombie and Fitch when some remarks made...

Small Things With Great Love: An Interview with James Rosenbloom Mar12

Small Things With Gr...

Recently I had the great pleasure of meeting up with and interviewing an up-and-coming Catholic artist and good friend of mine, James Rosenbloom, to talk about his newly released album Small Things With Great Love. Disclaimer: we had more fun than should be allowed on a Sunday afternoon....

Catholicism Vs. The ...

This week, I was called upon to exercise my civic duty and present myself at the federal court for jury selection. While I was there, a woman said what many seemed to feel: “Democracy is about choice. I should get to choose if I want to be called for jury duty or not.” Now, I...

Interview with Allis...

“The moral causes of prosperity… reside in a constellation of virtues: industriousness, competence, order, honesty, initiative, frugality, thrift, spirit of service, keeping one’s word, daring – in short, love for work well done. No system or social structure can resolve, as if...

Culture War Consider...

Love is our story, we don’t need to rebrand it or market it. We just need to live it.

Created for Good Wor...

This coming Sunday, March 15th, 2015, is the Fourth Sunday in Lent (it is a bit crazy that we’re already there, but we are). You can see the readings on the USCCB website here. The readings for this Sunday are: First Reading: 2 Chronicles 36: 14-16, 19-23 Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 137:...

Works of Mercy Part ...

This is part III of a series on works of mercy which I have written for Lent. You can read part I and part II first.   Give Drink to the Thirsty and Instruct the Ignorant Hunger may be among the worst forms of physical suffering by sheer magnitude, for many people go hungry. On the other...

The Other Side of Pi...

Many of us have been pilgrims, walking the paths saints have trod before us. How many of us have been saints, treading paths worthy of pilgrims yet to come? We can fly over land and sea, at great discomfort, and greater expense, to see the places sanctified by Brother Francis’ simple...

Maria Lactans: Sacre...

Images carry great power with them, and the images we surround ourselves with reflect something of who we are. The family photos we choose to display, the art we prefer, the placement of decor in our homes and offices speak something of our hearts. In the context of our faith, the images we...

My Facebook Holiday

Over the Christmas break I decided to take my real first Facebook holiday since joining the social network site back in 2007. I was sensing the need for an electronic rest and so completely switched off Facebook for one month. I am back on Facebook now but the short absence was invaluable and...

Works of Mercy Part ...

This is part II of a series on works of mercy which I have written for Lent. You can read part I first.   Feed the hungry/Counsel the Doubtful Hunger is one of the greatest causes of sorrow in this world, though not the greatest. And the hungry are everywhere, and in all times: there...

Of Astronomy and a J...

Blowing out the Catholic Cool-O-Meter is a Jesuit brother by the name of Br. Guy Consolmagno. If you haven’t heard of him yet, do yourself a favor and pick up one of his books.  Br. Guy is an American born research astronomer and planetary scientist at the Vatican Observatory. Yes, a...

Patience in the Dese...

For forty days Christ suffered in the desert, fasting and depriving Himself of comfort, choosing to undergo hardship and temptation for the sake of teaching us the importance of fortitude, penance, and trust in God alone.  Christ made Himself uncomfortable to show us the importance of doing...

Minimalism

Minimalism takes work and effort. It is an exercise of saying no to many things in order to focus on saying yes to the important ones. It is well worth it since minimalism also brings many benefits to both body and soul. Lent is a season for minimalism, both inside and out. We are invited to...

Entering into the Si...

Throughout Lent, we often focus on the things we are giving up or the extra things we are doing. Maybe we are fasting from chocolate, praying a weekly holy hour, or volunteering more at the soup kitchen. Often our Lent becomes filled with things to do instead of drawing us closer to God. To...

Works of Mercy Part ...

One of the pillars of Lent is almsgiving (and by extension, almsdeeds). On the surface, almsgiving and almsdeeds mean only to give away money or goods to those in need. However, almsdeeds go beyond this: they are the works of mercy. I will be posting about the works of mercy each week during...

From Worry to Prayer

“Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?” Luke 12:25-26 Life is filled with troubles. Our temporary sojourn on earth reveals to us the imperfection of this life. Each season of life comes...

The Witness of Our L...

The image of the ISIS’ beheading of Egyptian Coptic Christians has provoked various reactions: sympathy, outrage, exhortations to prayer, demands for action, and symbolic displays of solidarity. I think the most important reaction it is self-examination. Pope Francis said of the slain...

Beyond My Comfort (F...

It is very appropriate, I think, that I received my diagnosis of wheat and milk allergies during Lent, three years ago. After all, I was already in a mode of Lenten sacrifice, and it felt good and natural to cut out these foods from my life and stick to a very basic diet. Also, I had been very...

The Whisper of the S...

The whisper of the Salve Regina echoes in my heart, a distant memory of chant at the Benedictine Monastery. …the January night sky glittered above with the sparkling of lighted stars. The long endless country road that dips and winds to the brothers’ abode. The moonlight shining on the...

A Clean Heart

A clean heart create for me, O God, and a steadfast spirit renew within me. Psalm 51 The heart is one of the most essential organs in the human body because it pumps blood to every extremity. When it does not function properly and effectively, negative side effects occur. If we do not eat a...

My Husband Isn’...

My husband isn’t trained to pause his video game and come downstairs to greet me when I get home after a long day. My husband isn’t trained to take out the trash. My husband isn’t trained to put his dishes in the dishwasher and set it to run. My husband isn’t trained to...

Why Do We Pray, Fast...

This is a lesson for which I will be forever in debt to Dr. Brant Pitre.  He taught it to me, and I’m passing it on.  But I have to say up front that if you enjoy this post, check out his presentation on it here.  It is amazing stuff! Lent is a fantastic spiritual opportunity for...

The Ultimate Planner Feb21

The Ultimate Planner

I’m a planner. While I cannot remember when I first developed this identity, my affinity for planning, having a plan, and keeping a plan has grown significantly over the past few years. I love lists, knowing what’s happening ahead of time, and looking forward to planned events. Surely,...

When Waiting is Real...

In reaction to the increasing physical immorality spreading through society today, and in an attempt to counter the message  constantly being sold through advertising, movies, music, and even best-selling books that says sexual intimacy is not only okay, but expected, outside of marriage,...