Articles

The Stillness of Waiting and the Beauty of Birth

How does a Christian keep an Advent orientation amid society’s pre-Christmas, frenzied rush? The key is to focus on the right things. The first Sunday in Advent marks the beginning of the liturgical year, and the season in which we prepare … [Read more...]

George Herbert as Advent Exemplar

Painting of George Hebert by William Dyce (September 19, 1806 –February 14, 1864). George Herbert portrayed in a window in Bishop Burton Church, East Riding, England. As both a liturgical season and a spiritual practice, Advent invites … [Read more...]

Do men and women no longer admire and trust each other?

As it is posed, the question is too absolute. And I would not give any absolute answer to it. However, it does imply something; and yes, I think there is less admiration and trust between the two sexes than before. Nevertheless, there … [Read more...]

Thoughts on the Ecclesial Vocation of Women

There is a story of a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire workers for his vineyard. He agreed to pay them a denarius for the day and sent them into his vineyard. About nine in the morning he went out and saw others standing … [Read more...]

Sifting Interior Movements of the Heart

I call heaven and earth to witness against you this day, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse; therefore choose life, that you and your descendants may live, loving the Lord your God, obeying his voice, and cleaving … [Read more...]

Temporary Sacred Architecture

Whether it is a youth conference, rally, weekend retreat, or service project, numerous occasions arise each year in which Catholic communities celebrate Mass, and other liturgies, in a place other than a church. The preparation for these … [Read more...]

Life with God

God cannot exist in any place or at any time, though God is present to anything in any place, and the proposition that God exists will be true at any time that it is uttered or conceived. Thus eternity, which properly belongs to God alone, … [Read more...]

Whom the Lord Loveth, He Chastiseth

There are epochs in every life marked by adversity: times when tragedy strikes, injustice reigns, or when overwhelming pain defies equanimity. One has to wonder at the heartbreak caused by human cruelty, frailty, or even just by nature run … [Read more...]

Restoring Unity Through the Spiritual Works of Mercy

The practice of mercy, emphasized throughout Scripture, is brought together in Tradition and Church teaching via the seven corporal, and seven spiritual, works of mercy. In this Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy, the Pontifical Council … [Read more...]

Revisiting Grace

There is an old Irish saying according to which there is an ebb and flow to every-thing except God’s grace. George Bernanos, in his Diary of a Country Priest, gives a touching illustration of that truth. It is the portrayal of a priest who … [Read more...]

Self-esteem: Biblical or Distracting?

Self-esteem is a relatively modern concept that has been elevated to the point of an all-important virtue by pop psychology, perhaps the virtue in which all others can be found. Christians need to make sense of the word from their own … [Read more...]

The Year of Mercy and the Eucharist

With great joy the world received Pope Francis’s announcement of an extraordinary Jubilee Year focused on the mercy of God. This event was inaugurated by the Bull, Misericordiae Vultus, or The Face of Mercy. The Almighty showed mercy to … [Read more...]

Simony in Spiritual Direction?

When I mentioned this thesis to my classmate, he deemed it “peculiar.” I had to apologize after shouting, “My thesis isn’t peculiar, what’s going on is peculiar!” My thesis is that direct, monetary payment to a spiritual director from … [Read more...]

The Dialectic of Mutual Glorification

In the past century or so, dialectic has become a tool for analyzing many areas of life and thought: we might consider the dialectic between “being-for-itself” (l’être-pour-soi), and “being-for-others” (l’être-pour-autrui) in the philosophy … [Read more...]

Discerning a Call to Priesthood? Some questions you should be asking yourself.

As Catholic seminaries across the country commence a new academic year and re-engage in the crucial work of priestly formation, so too a throng of young Catholic men—some finishing high school, some in college, some into the first years of … [Read more...]