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...

Spiritual Antibodies

“And hearing this, Jesus said to them, ‘It is not those who are healthy who need a physician, but those who are sick; I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners.’” —Mark 2:17 When I was three years old, I had a terrible case of the chicken pox. So terrible, in fact, that my...

Help Mary in Her Mis...

Fr. Emil Neubert, SM, one of my favorite Mariologists, wrote many books on Mary including Mary and the Priestly Ministry and My Ideal, Jesus, Son of Mary. Recently, the Franciscans of the Immaculate, through their publishing house, Academy of the Immaculata, have renewed interest in Father...

Baptism: God’s Humil...

This past Sunday, we celebrated the Feast of our Lord’s Baptism. Meditating on the Gospel reading gives a glimpse into the profound reality of this great sacrament. The most high God went to the Jordan River to be baptized by His servant John the Baptist. The Creator lowered Himself before...

Clinging to Traditio...

This time of year is usually filled with traditions: both family traditions and liturgical traditions, which shape our experience of Christmas. Traditions serve a great purpose in our lives. We are creatures of habit, and circling back to favorite traditions year after year helps us focus on...

An Open Letter to Pr...

Dear Fathers, In Evangelii Gaudium, Pope Francis wrote, “The Church must be a place of mercy freely given, where everyone can feel welcomed, loved, forgiven and encouraged to live the good life of the Gospel.” When I read this, I thought of all of you priests who spend hours in the...

God’s Temples are Un...

“Under Construction”—those were the words that greeted me as I arrived at my diaconal assignment this past summer. On account of the church’s renovation, Masses were held in the school gymnasium. This environment, perhaps, was not the most spiritually uplifting, but it was necessary in...

Pope Francis Marryin...

Last month Pope Francis seemed to shock the world by marrying twenty couples in a ceremony at St Peter’s Basilica. Aside from the fact that Popes don’t get the opportunity to preside at weddings all that often, what provided the real shock value was that amongst the couples, some had...

Characters of Cana

With the month of October underway, the Catholic world has commenced the Month of the Rosary. During this month, Catholics are encouraged to pray the rosary more often and meditate on the mysteries of Christ’s life.  In 2002, Pope John Paul II gave the faithful a fourth set of...

Marriage Formation: ...

Marriage. A journey with the person you love, giving yourself freely, without reservation, in a life giving relationship for the rest of your lives. A marital relationship is the essence of what a family is based on, and a family is the building block of society. Professional development. The...

Now, Make Your Act o...

My God, I am sorry for my sins with all my heart. In choosing to do wrong and failing to do good, I have sinned against you, whom I should love above all things. I firmly resolve, with Your help, to do penance, to sin no more, and to avoid whatever leads me to sin. Our Savior Jesus Christ...

Reconsider the Chape...

Over the summer my dear friend and roommate put together a gorgeous video about why many Catholic women are returning to the old custom of wearing a chapel veil to Mass.  I personally started wearing a veil in high school, and often thank the Lord that He lead me to do so.  I highly...

On Polished Wedding ...

I always thought that wedding rings should be simple, like tiny little handcuffs that you would use to happily shackle yourself to another person for the rest of your lives. And so, choosing a wedding band was easy when my husband and I married nearly five years ago. It was a simple, white...

The Priest’s Sacrifi...

“You received Holy Communion this morning and that is well, but you must do more, make a general confession and offer your communion for the conversion of sinners.” These were the words the Queen of Heaven spoke in 1859 to a Belgian immigrant named Adele Brise in Champion, Wisconsin. In...

Four Things Faithful...

We orthodox Catholics tend to be a tight-knit bunch. We’re great at complaining about unfaithful Catholic politicians, and we love to compare shock stories about the worst liturgies we’ve attended. (“Oh yeah? Well, when we were on vacation last summer, we went to a parish and the priest...

Who Died And Made Yo...

I hear a lot of talk these days from laymen and women in the Catholic blogosphere who would like to see the Eucharist withheld from certain politicians because of their stance on certain social issues. I won’t disagree that many politicians who claim to follow the Catholic faith are guilty...

What Happens When We...

Since becoming mobile, my one-year-old son has developed a rather terrifying habit of climbing up and diving off anything he can get a leg up on. Of course, I’m always right there to catch him before he face-plants in to the carpet, in which he repays me with heart melting laughter and a...

Six Reasons It’...

The Huffington Post recently released an article titled “10 Reasons It’s Totally Fine to Never Get Married.”  The reasons are as bad as you might be thinking. Reasons like: – “For men, being married could be connected to being overweight.” –...

In Defense of the Fa...

Divorce is an unnatural occurrence. At least, it should be. Unfortunately, we don’t all view marriage through the lens of the Church. We don’t all see marriage as an unbreakable commitment, a Sacrament, or a holy union created by God. Instead, in these modern times, many of us see it as a...

A Day Without Him

One of the few memories I have of both of my grandfathers is of their reverence for the Blessed Sacrament.  When we would drive past a Catholic Church, my dad’s dad would always tip his hat (I love that he always wore hats) and my mother’s father would inevitably cross himself. I...

‘Consuming the...

A Book Review on Scott Hahn’s “Consuming the Word” I have always enjoyed Scott Hahn’s writing style. He makes theology personal and relatable. Almost anyone can pick up one of his short books and get an awful lot out of them. Depending on where one is on his or her faith journey would...

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...

Gatecrashing the Tri...

Don Miller is a prominent Evangelical Christian writer. And he doesn’t go to church much… at all. But wait, I hear you saying, don’t all Christians go to church? Isn’t that kind of a non-negotiable? I mean, how could he not!? Don says he doesn’t go to church...

It’s Okay If Y...

In my last article I talked about a personal revelation from God dealing with the Eucharist. I mentioned that while, at the time, I understood and believed Church teaching on the Sacrament, it took me a while to really get it. I ended by saying that this revelation helped me to understand that...

Charismatics in Cont...

“Certain signs point to a weakening in the sense of mystery in those very liturgical celebrations that should be fostering that sense. It is, therefore, urgent that the authentic sense of the liturgy be revived in the Church. The liturgy…is a means of sanctification; it is a...

Marriage as a Vocati...

Following the continuation from What Evangelical Catholics Can Learn from Protestants... Protestants don’t typically acknowledge any of the Sacraments except for the older denominations. Though they have valid baptisms, which the Church recognizes, they do not participate in the other...

Salvation Outside th...

“There is no salvation outside the church” What a frightful assertion. You have probably heard it, but do you know where it comes from? This maxim, as best we know, originates with St. Cyprian of Alexandria, who wrote in a letter that “not even the baptism of a public confession and...

Why Was Jesus Baptiz...

This coming Sunday is the Baptism of Jesus, which one of the most confusing topics for Christians. We have Jesus, the Man-God, a person of the Trinity, who sought baptism. It confuses people today and confused John the Baptist as well. Then Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan to be...

Treason, Good Cathol...

I got a neat book for Christmas called Treason, published by Sophia Institute Press and written by Dena Hunt. I was doubly interested in this book: first because I love historical fiction, especially one with a Catholic milieu, and second because I am slowly working on my own historical...

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...

What I Gleaned From ...

As always Father Robert Barron displays a masterful command of his subject matter in the latest documentary and study from Word on Fire Catholic Ministries. If I’m correct in what I’ve gleaned, he and his crew are fully in tune with the Church’s call to modern Christians. My...

A Biblical Look at C...

A friend of mind had just learned of my decision to join the Catholic faith. He was nice about it, that is, he didn’t give me the “whore of babylon” reaction. He dropped me off after a slice of pizza and said, “You know, there’s just one thing I could never...

“I’m Gon...

The title is a Facebook status that one of my friends once posted. When I saw it, I thought she was asking for prayers because she was about to receive the sacrament of confession. Only after several other friends posted the same status did I realize that some Facebook game, meme, or even...

To Kneel or Not to K...

                To receive Communion… that is the question. I was recently confronted about this, at a parish I will be teaching religious education through my job this year. At this parish, all children are made to kneel in order to receive Communion. When the explanation behind...

Welcoming Sinners

  The various recent interviews and op-eds by Pope Francis—and the subsequent misinterpretations thereof—have given me reason to ponder a pair of related questions. Would a practicing and unrepentant sinner be welcomed into the Church? And also, what does it mean to welcome a...

The Queen of October...

October 9th came and went. An important anniversary for the Church in the United States passed and very few people realized the significance of the date. My own life was consumed with the busyness that surrounded me, leaving me unable to write for the momentous anniversary. 154 years ago in...

Series on the Sacram...

 Confession is one of the greatest proofs of God’s love for us. Even though we crucified Him, denied Him, and didn’t follow His laws, He still waits for us every day in the confessional box, waiting for us to repent in order to show us His mercy. He takes into great consideration...

Series on the Sacram...

The third sacrament is the most Holy Eucharist. The Holy Eucharist is the most admirable sacrament, simply because it is Our Lord Himself. Jesus always wanted to be with us, so He gave us the Eucharist. Even in these times when many don’t even believe He truly is in the Eucharist, He...

Rubricism, Juridical...

I have been nerding out since I discovered that archive.org has digitized the 1912 edition of the Decreta Authentica Sacræ Congregationis Rituum, which contains all 4,284 decrees the dicastery had issued since its establishment by Pope Sixtus V in 1588 up to that time, answering countless...