More of the Same

Recently, as I was driving home, I was reflecting on the day and what a chaotic week it was going to pan out to be. Then I thought to myself, is this how it will always be?  It seems since getting engaged that each week has had its own project. Week 1: Pick a date, find officiants, book the...

Reflection on the Ho...

When visiting my family in March I received many questions concerning “What was your favorite part of the Holy Land?” Perhaps they were looking for certain answers concerning beautiful places. I admit that swimming in the Dead Sea was a neat experience and seeing Middle Eastern markets,...

The End of Lent Ques...

Well, this Lent has been hard. Not that I have ever had an easy Lent since I started taking the spiritual life seriously, so I am not sure what I expected. I think I selfishly wish that my Lent would be full of consolations and insights, but usually right around this time I start to feel...

Resist the Temptatio...

Nearly everything human (and worthwhile) is ritual if you think about it. A purely utilitarian approach to family dining, for example, would consist in standing around a pot on the stove, each person with a spoon in hand – that way we all eat at once and “efficiently” save the most time...

…and the Life ...

***Spoiler Alert for The Good Wife*** The Good Wife is a Sunday night drama about the intricacies of law, life and love. I first became hooked a year ago after watching an episode with my mom. It’s her favorite show, and is now mine. Until last night. I can’t decide if it’s...

Duke’s Porn Star and...

Pope Francis’ Lenten message for 2014 calls all Catholics to confront destitution in its varying forms of extreme poverty, spiritual destitution, and moral destitution. He writes: “Moral destitution…consists in slavery to vice and sin. How much pain is caused in families because one of...

Blessed are They Who Mourn Mar02

Blessed are They Who...

I feel truly blessed by God to be on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land that spans nearly ten weeks. The pilgrimage has afforded me the opportunity to pray at and visit many holy sites throughout this land where Jesus walked in addition to the study of Sacred Scripture and Ecumenism. Recently our...

Catholic Youth, Unit...

Throughout his papacy, Pope Francis has engaged the youth and young adults of the Church, speaking directly to them numerous times, and encouraging them to become significantly more active in their spiritual lives. As a 24-year-old millennial myself, I feel blessed to be among the vast...

Five FREE Activities...

Need something to do for lent? How about these FREE activities. Some are from the best Catholic Universities and Colleges, others are for you and your family. Enjoy 1. Lenten Journey with Jesus: A Virtual Tour of the Geography of Jesus (March 5 – April 17, 2014) Absolutely free course...

When Attending Mass ...

Even the most devout Catholics have to drag themselves to mass on some days. What should we do when attending mass seems more like a chore than the spiritual delight it should be? The short answer: go anyway. The supernatural graces we receive from the mass have nothing to do with the euphoria...

From Precious Moment...

I think I’ve owned a total of three Bibles in my life: 1. My pink Precious Moments Bible from my childhood. 2. The New American Bible (NAB) that showed me Catholics had ‘extra books’, given to me by the TEC community. 3. The one my homegirl, Shawn, the hippie mystic that she...

The Liturgy of ̶...

The Liturgy of the Hours (LOtH) in ancient method of prayer. They have their roots in Jewish traditions where God’s chosen people would gather together to pray during specific times of the day. After Christ’s resurrection, His Apostles, mostly Jewish men, continued this practice until the...

Time to Fly

What is holding you back? It could be something great or small, but we all face hurdles and roadblocks on our journey toward the Lord.  When discerning, it seems that these can’t always be named and some seem unsurpassable.  What is holding you back? St. John of the Cross speaks a great...

You Are Enough

As in seasons past, our recent Advent, Christmas, and New Year’s celebrations are now only distant memories.  The weather remains quite frigid and winter has not yet let go of its grip. But even if the days remain dark, we know that spring is ever closer and the sun will shine brighter with...

An Epiphany about th...

Having just celebrated the beautiful feast of the Epiphany, aka, the Adoration of the Magi, I have been ruminating on some of the things that feast should mean for us as Catholics in the current world, and as harbingers of the New Evangelization. Epiphany comes from a Greek word meaning...

Simon Says & Chr...

“Eh, Bart, I’m glad you had fun, but I wouldn’t get too into that Catholic Church. With all the sitting and standing and kneeling, it’s like Simon Says without a winner.” – Marge “Mom, that’s blasphemy! I’ll say a rosary for you.” –...

Cross My Heart

It was a debate, a debate that dominated my prayer the night before, my getting ready the day of, and the drive there on that day. Was I really in a state of being that was unworthy of receiving Jesus in the Eucharist? My desire for Him was and is so great…but not great enough,...

Why I Don’t Se...

Flecte quod est rigidum. I write inspirational quotes on the dry-erase board in the servers’ sacristy at my parish in illuminated calligraphy whenever I have occasion to go in there. For the Feast of the Nativity, I wrote,“Venite, adoremus.” I am told that a lector, noticing...

My Little One, Am I ...

Today the Church celebrates the Feast Day of Our Lady of Guadalupe, a great appearance of the Blessed Virgin Mary to St. Juan Diego, which forever changed the course of history in the Americas. Her appearance on Tepeyac Hill, Mexico in 1531 helped convert millions and millions of people in the...

Does Jesus Love the ...

We’re in the thick of the Christmas season, well, the secular Christmas season. We all know the Christmas season doesn’t start until after Christmas, right? That was a little obnoxious, but as Christians, some of us might be tempted to think we stand above the “secular”...

Reflections on Gener...

The past month has been, for me, a month of humbling lessons in generosity as millions worldwide answered calls to help my fellow-Filipinos who survived Typhoon Haiyan. I learned, for example, that one need not be rich or powerful in order to be generous. Stories abound of such examples as a...

Tuesday Five: Liturg...

Advent is a season of preparation, waiting and expectation, but society all around us says otherwise. Christmas has been sprawled out in supermarkets and department stores since mid-October, manger scenes spread across suburban lawns and the music, oh the music that is jingle belling and deck...

Sorrowful Mysteries ...

It was a Friday evening as I sat in line for confession. I thought to myself, “This certainly isn’t how the average twenty-something gal spends a Friday night.” I sat in a quiet church with the Blessed Sacrament exposed, waiting for my turn to get my soul scrubbed clean. As...

Three Reasons to Pra...

Farmers pause in their fields at midday and bow their heads in prayer. Businessmen and women overhear the ringing bells of nearby churches during their lunch break in the downtown business district. Neighbors to Catholic Churches hear the church bells toll thrice daily at six, noon, and six,...

Why Is Jesus Bleedin...

My three year old son was a ring bearer in a wedding a few weeks ago. I couldn’t help myself, he just looked so adorable, I think I followed him around all day smiling and snapping photos of him. I was in full on “Mommy Bliss Mode”, when the pre-ceremony tour of the the...

Thousands of Lives t...

By now you probably have heard that a massive typhoon hit the Philippines last Friday. Named Haiyan (or Yolanda), the typhoon is reportedly the strongest ever recorded in history, with winds of 195 miles per hour and gusts up to 235 mph. Early reports coming out of the country say that as many...

How to Discern: a Gu...

If we are truly going to discern by focusing on the Lord, whether it be what our vocation is in life or whether or not we should go on that weekend trip, there are some practical measures we can take so that His will in our lives remains clear. Our friend the great Italian 18th century saint...

Charity for the Holy Souls in Purgatory Nov01

Charity for the Holy...

We ran this lovely guest column from Jessamine last year on All Saints Day. Here it is again. Several years back, I ordered some green scapulars from a Catholic apostolate. Upon reception of the package, not only the green scapulars were in the envelope, but a booklet came with it. I was...

What is Hail Mary?

Well, Hail Mary is a historical and biblical phrase used by an angel of God to a virgin called Mary. This historic event is so important that the most ancient Christian Church has made it into a prayer to remind her members who are the Body of Christ about what the Yes of a Virgin in ancient...

To Close Our Eyes an...

I recently moved to New York City a little less than a month ago to begin a semester-long internship. So far, I’m enjoying the work and consider it a dream come true to be here. New York is one of those cities that no one can quite sum up. There are so many places to see, events to go to,...

The Jonah Experience: Prophets of Life Oct18

The Jonah Experience...

What would it be like for God to send a prophet among us? How would we of today’s society respond? Would it be like in the days of the prophet Zechariah, who pointed out the people’s unfaithfulness, and was stoned in the porch of the Temple (2 Chron 24:20-22)? Or would it be like in the...

Ralph’s Mom

Recently my son and I were at the grocery store. He was wearing a Thomas the Tank Engine shirt and was playing with the cart as we waited in line at the deli counter. He turned the cart in a circle and then smiled up at me and the woman ahead of me.     “Is that Thomas on...

Getting Back to the ...

You’ve graduated from college, found yourself in your (dream) job and find that taking the time to pray just isn’t as easy/conducive as it was in college when you had your cozy Newman family, FOCUS Missionaries, and a quaint little chapel right in your backyard. In your college days you...

For the Hopeless Hea...

Dear child, I see the good in you. Satan would love nothing more than for you to get lost in your sin and shame. I see beyond those things, I see the goodness I created in your heart. Where you see despair, I find reasons for hope and growth. Where you seek weakness, I see an opportunity for...

Opening Hands

Before I left for college, I wrote about how my tendency to control and plan every aspect of my life often hurt more than it helped, leaving me frustrated and stressed because I was counting on my own strength instead of God’s.  As the weeks leading up to college quickly passed, I made a...

The Annoying "Y...

Due to many scheduling conflicts a few Sundays back, I went to Mass by myself without the wife and kids. Over the past month or so we began to notice a curious and regular disruption at the 9:30 a.m. Mass. The weird part was, I began to take a strange pleasure in it. It went something like...

The Experience of Tr...

Foreign languages, I realize, are not for everyone. Many can go throughout their whole lives content to read Scripture in their native language. I certainly don’t blame them for doing so. Translating Scripture can be like portaging through a swamp—a mire of depth, interpretation, and...

Chosen by Jesus to P...

By Joseph Summers Here at Family Missions Company (FMC) we are constantly blessed to see the transforming power of the Gospel! When our missionaries share God’s Word and Truth in sincere love for the poor whom they serve, God shows up and changes lives. This was the case last year, when...

It’s Biblical ...

(This was originally shared here on AnsweringProtestants.com, as part of a longer post.) There is nothing wrong with asking the heavenly saints to pray for us. Many Protestants argue that asking the saints to pray for us is “unbiblical,” while throwing around verses like 1 Timothy 2:5. But...

More than a Feeling:...

By Rebekah L. I’ll let you in on a little secret. Missionaries aren’t always enthusiastically happy. We get tired and crabby. We lose our tempers. We inwardly groan when there’s one more knock at the door. Sometimes the last thing we feel like doing is leading another retreat or helping...