St. Teresa of Ávila is the real deal; holy, down to earth, humble and best of all extremely articulate. Her phrases are succinct, to the point yet those few words point to a deep, Divine wisdom. Today, Oct. 15, is the Feast of St. Teresa of Ávila, also called Saint Teresa of Jesus. I love this woman. Although she is a doctor of the … Continue reading St.Teresa of Ávila: Down to Earth, Smart, Holy
Angels’ deeds are more than simply the stuff of legends, children’s bedtime tales, wishful thinking or fantasies of illiterate, ancient minds. If you close your mind to these messengers of God, they sit like gold in a bank, useless unless we give them permission to act. An angel is a pure spirit created by God. The Old Testament theology included the belief in angels: the … Continue reading A True Angel Story for The Feast Day of the Guardian Angels
“Thérèse of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face.” Her quiet, hidden life of devotion to the spirit of childlike trust in God, Continue reading St. Thérèse: My Soul Mate
Twenty-five years ago, my husband discovered a book at a Trappist monastery which questioned my basic premise about the nature of reality, rekindled joy in my drooping spirit then challenged me to change and to live in mystical union with Christ. Although many Carmelites might not recommend this book as a valid description of pure Carmelite spirituality, Guidelines For Mystical Prayer, by a British Carmelite nun, Ruth … Continue reading Mystical Union Is Not a Fairytale — It’s Child’s Play
The Gospel for the Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows is the passage in which Mary, the Mother of Jesus, and the Beloved Disciple, both stand at the foot of the Cross. Continue reading Mary STOOD At The Foot of the Cross
“How I would love a Church which is poor and for the poor.” – Pope Francis Pope Francis consistently proclaims traditional with joy. Even better, he has joyfully lived out what he has preached for decades. Ironically, conservative American Catholics are outraged when they hear Pope Francis criticize individualism and unbridled consumerism. They feel threatened by the pope’s call for government policies which would welcome … Continue reading Pope Francis Challenges Us to Live The Joy of the Gospel
The Power of Images To Change Lives Marie Constantin, the photographer, and author of Finding Calcutta: Memoirs of a Photographer, understands images have power, more power than words alone to impact lives. It was an image in a documentary film that turned Constantin’s life completely around in the early 1990’s. She was a young journalist, completely focused on establishing her career and partying with friends when an … Continue reading For the Memorial of Saint Teresa of Calcutta Through the Lens of a Friend
Anxiety makes us ill in body, mind, and spirit. It can be ingrained in our nature from the moment we are born because of original sin. Babies are not simply empty slates; they are complex little people who just happen to be preverbal. Babies are born with more than simply inherited physical characteristics but personalities and even inherited blessings and curses passed down through the … Continue reading No More Mental Kung-Fu
A good friend, Martha, from Madonna House, “happened” to sit beside a self-proclaimed witch on an old bus heading towards the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico. Noticing Martha’s large cross identifying her as a member of the Lay Apostolate, the witch cynically remarked that most Christians were stupid because they were completely clueless about the potential power that existed within each of them. … Continue reading Are Most Christians Clueless About Their True Identity?
To the casual observer, I appear to be a devoted Catholic mother who has lived a sacrificial life worthy of a modern saint. Little do people realize that although I did pour out my life struggling to raise nine kids on a small farm with little disposable income, I actually missed the core of Christ’s message; I tried too hard to be a perfect … Continue reading So, HOW Do We Live in the Love of Christ?
Every society, every culture has a tradition of a scapegoat: a person or group of people to blame and punish for the sins of that particular society. Centuries ago, old women were blamed for poor crops, cows which failed to produce milk and any birth defects. Less superstitious societies turned on each new group of immigrants to blame for their economic woes and rising crime … Continue reading Why Most of Us Are Scapegoats, Not Saintly Martyrs
Every once in a while, a song, a book or a speaker manages to cut through our pride, our preoccupations with our busy lives to pierce through to our inner longing for God. Continue reading Lord, I Need You
A good friend, Martha, from Madonna House, “happened” to sit beside a self-proclaimed witch on an old bus heading towards the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico. Noticing Martha’s large cross identifying her as a member of the Lay Apostolate, the witch cynically remarked that most Christians were stupid because they were completely clueless about the potential power that existed within each of … Continue reading Are Most Christians Clueless About Their True Identity?
1. The most traditional and popular explanation of the Trinity is St. Patrick’s description The Trinity is like the cloverleaf with three separate sections yet part of the same leaf. I arise today Through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity, Through a belief in the Threeness, Through a confession of the Oneness Of the Creator of creation St. Patrick (ca. 377) 2. I … Continue reading Parables and Images Try to Explain the Trinity
I would wager that mental health issues are especially prevalent among the devout who are serious about their inner life because when people tackle deep inner issues which prevent God from working in their lives, their inner equilibrium is upset by stress, anxiety, and depression. This probably explains why most saints experienced profound periods of depression when they finally looked beneath their pious actions to face the reality of … Continue reading Why Even ‘Normal’ Catholics Need Therapy
Catholicism is, most importantly, an experiential faith. Ironically, most Christians allow fear of deception to impede growth in the Spirit and hinder their participation in the mystical life of the Church. Continue reading Catholicism Is An Experiential Faith
Just like gravity affects us whether we understand it or not, the Communion of Saints, the fellowship between the living and the dead, affects us whether we believe in it or not. There is a spiritual solidarity which literally binds us together. Even though most of us are oblivious to these invisible relationships, we are connected to those who have died in the Mystical Body … Continue reading A Spiritual Solidarity Binds Us To Souls In Purgatory
I tend to rush through my daily duties like a solitary soul, disconnected from God and other people. However, I became aware that humans are actually intimately connected not just to God and the living but also to those who have died and are alive in Christ after recent encounters with birth, death, and dying. There is only a thin veil between heaven and … Continue reading Living With Only a Thin Veil Between Heaven and Earth
Do we grasp the ramifications of this historical event on Holy Saturday? Do we allow the reality of the Resurrection to sink in and save us, transform us into a light? Continue reading Light Just One Candle This Holy Saturday
Everything about God is simple and natural. We are the ones in our pride who complicate our relationship to Him. Continue reading Let’s Surrender to Grace This Triduum