Finding God in Our Secular Age: Ignatian Insights

Ministry in Our Secular Age Any person who preaches regularly, and who is engaged in pastoral ministry in the Western world, does so under the invisible but all-pervasive influence of our secular age. The secular age is the … [Read more...]

Some Reflections on the Spiritual Life for the Lockdown

With much of our ordinary life still affected by the lockdown, it can be harder than ever to keep our heart fixed on the Lord and his divine providence. Rather than prayer, spiritual reading, contemplation and encouraging others, we may … [Read more...]

Addictions: A Pastoral Approach for the Catholic Spiritual Director and Confessor

Saint Paul refers to a thorn in his flesh, a messenger of Satan that is his constant reminder of the need for God’s grace.[1. 2 Corinthians 12:6–7, New American Bible (Washington, DC: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, 2002).]  Al … [Read more...]

The Significance of Signs and Symbols

Our Catholic faith is replete with beautiful signs and symbols that remind us of our heritage, teachings and traditions as followers of Jesus. A Christian sign is something that gives us direction by pointing beyond itself to a spiritual … [Read more...]

Say What You Mean; Mean What You Pray

In one of his characteristically rich catechetical addresses at a general audience in September 2012, Pope Benedict XVI spoke of the rule of Saint Benedict in respect of the psalms.[1. Benedict XVI, general audience, September 26 2012 … [Read more...]

How Does God Forget All the Bad News?

Isn’t it fanciful to think that a prayer somehow wins graces for other people who we don’t know? The bygone era of offering up our day and the sufferings throughout the day, isn’t it an outdated devotion that surely has little merit in our t … [Read more...]

Book Reviews – December 2019

The Girl Who Learned How to Kneel: The Story of Etty Hillesum By Patricia McCarthy. Reviewed by Magdalena Randal. (skip to review) The Bible and the Gospel: The Meaning of Scripture — From the God Who Speaks to the God Made Man By L … [Read more...]

John of the Cross and Exercising Charisms for Evangelization

A Response to Elizabeth Salas

Once in a while I run into statements like: “Catholics shouldn’t seek to exercise the charisms of the Spirit because St. John of the Cross cautioned against them.” Such concerns come in different forms and are usually raised by people who si … [Read more...]

A Sweet Remedy for Our Troubled Times

The Practice of Confession According to St. Francis De Sales

In these tumultuous times in the world and in the Church, we need more than ever to plunge into the mystery of God’s infinite mercy in the Sacrament of Reconciliation and to be inspired by the witness of the saints. What better place to s … [Read more...]

Mary and Prayer

Part III of a Marian Triptych

Mary is not a conceptual counterpoint to Christ, imagined and projected into the Gospels as a kind of semidivine goddess who was made manifest, as it were, in preparation for the coming of the Savior of mankind: a kind of “power of woman” to … [Read more...]

“Power Evangelization”

A Catholic and Carmelite Perspective

I. Introduction “Power evangelization” (hereafter, “PE”) is a rapidly growing trend in charismatic Catholic circles. It can be defined as “evangelizing through signs and wonders,” and promotes the practice of miracle-working by laity and re … [Read more...]

On Mary the Mother of God, Queen of the Universe

To attempt to read the psalms and other texts of the Marian Office in this way is to step into a beam that will require us to see not only the Virgin but indeed the whole of Christianity in a light most modern Christians, not to mention … [Read more...]

The Necessity of Rituals

Although we may not be aware of rituals, they weave themselves into the fabric of our days in one way that defines who we are as individuals. A definition of ritual can be a regular pattern of words or actions. The way we answer the phone … [Read more...]

A Spirituality of Advent

Advent is a time of preparation. It has many parallels to Lent: we don the purple, we suppress the Gloria (awaiting the angels to sing it again for the first time at Midnight Mass), and we are given weeks to allow the Holy Spirit to prepare … [Read more...]

Five Tips for Graduate School

During my first semester of graduate school in theology, the required class on the Trinity nearly “ate my lunch”. To put it simply, I could never study enough to understand the subject more, nor could I seem to improve my papers enough to el … [Read more...]