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...]

On Prayer

Let me share some reflections by Baroness Catherine de Hueck Doherty and St. Francis de Sales, including inspirations in prayer, liberty of spirit, prayer and solitude, dryness and prayer, prayer and mystical theology, methods of prayer, … [Read more...]

Fallen from Our First Love

“Could you not watch with Me for one hour?… Keep watch and pray” (Matthew 26:40-41) There are many sources of evil plaguing our society. However, we as a Church must be reinvigorated by the consoling certainty of God’s Word, especially wh … [Read more...]

Praying on Cue

It's 3:10 on Friday afternoon and your boss hands you an urgent request. It’s from an important client, and you have to handle it by close of business. You’re already managing way too many tasks and projects, but the boss insists, so you add … [Read more...]

The Philosopher’s Reflections on the Rosary

“I Don’t Know How You’ll Help Me, But I Know You Will” Why would a philosopher go to bat for the Rosary? I’d better ‘fess up right off. I’ve never been able to convince myself that I’m a philosopher, even though I own a Ph.D. in that disc … [Read more...]

Prayer as Energy for the Road

Every man has two journeys to make through life. There is the outer journey, with its various incidents and milestones. There is also an inner journey, a spiritual odyssey, with a secret history of its own. (William Inge) Like our physical … [Read more...]

Helping the Souls in Purgatory

Her husband had died some months previously when she asked a priest, “How can I get Bill into heaven?” The priest responded, “You attend Mass every day: offer your Mass for him. That’s very powerful.” The Council of Trent taught that t … [Read more...]