Once I gave my three-year-old niece a certain toy for Christmas. When she opened it, she was happy. Shortly thereafter her five-year old sister opened another present from me: the same toy, along with some play jewelry. The three-year-old cried out: “That’s not fair! Why’d she get the jewelry, too?!”READ MORE
“Could you not watch one hour with Me?” (Matthew 26:40) These words caught my attention on the Holy Hour of Reparation prayerbook sitting in the pew as I entered the Adoration Chapel one day a few years ago. As a convert to Catholicism almost 20 years ago while in college I feel like I missed out on the importance of Eucharistic Adoration.READ MORE
Isn’t it easy to relate to Peter? One moment Jesus announces Peter’s deep communion with God the Father. The very next, when he rejects the logic of Jesus’ suffering and death, Jesus calls Peter Satan. We Christians shouldn’t be too shocked when we experience both spiritual highs and lows, when we perceive breathtaking contradictions in our hearts.READ MORE
Isn’t it a bit weird that Catholics call the Pope “papa,” father? This Sunday provides us with essential Scriptural background on the papacy, the petrine office. Jesus gives Peter the “keys to the kingdom of heaven,” after witnessing to the special grace Peter has to know Jesus’ true identity. Many have pointed out that the “keys” refer back to the figure of Eliakim, King David’s prime minister. True enough.READ MORE
The suffering of a child symbolizes uniquely terrible evil as well as despair about the future. This week’s Gospel gives a “limit” case in which Jesus encounters this evil in the form of a mother with a suffering daughter. What he does is stunning and massively helpful for us if we bravely ponder the details.READ MORE
A man at my parish was struggling to overcome a habitual sin. He said to me, “Father, I know the chance that I will commit sin again is really high. Why should I keep confessing my sins? Isn’t that dishonest?” Anyone who has felt the tyrannical power of sin — and who hasn’t? — has pondered this kind of question.READ MORE
What is Christianity finally about? These days if you ask almost anyone who doesn’t know the Bible you’ll probably hear an answer like this: “Being a good person” or “following the golden rule.”
No offense to the golden rule, but our faith is simply much stranger than that. This week’s feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord is a luminous example of this. Jesus becomes radiantly and overwhelmingly beautiful. The glory of God literally shines forth from his body and even his clothes.READ MORE
At a church meeting, a very wealthy man rose to tell the rest of those present about his Christian faith.
“I’m a millionaire,” he said, “and I attribute it all to the rich blessings of God in my life. I remember that turning point in my faith. I had just earned my first dollar, and I went to a church meeting that night. The speaker was a missionary who told about his work. I knew that I only had a dollar bill and had to either give it all to God’s work or nothing at all. So at that moment, I decided to give my whole dollar to God. I believe that God blessed that decision, and that is why I am a rich man today.”READ MORE
Life, like the church, is often burdened with evil, smallness, and impurities. The Lord’s parables give us a hope-filled perspective on all three.
Evil: in Jesus’ parable about the good farmer whose enemy plants weeds at night, Jesus tells us that God is not the cause of evil but permits evil to exist with good out of his patient love. He will finally deal with it, but his love lets things stay messy for a time.READ MORE