Spirituality

You cannot be half a saint! You must be a whole saint or not a saint at at all!
~St Therese of Lisieux

Five Infallible Ways to Keep the Devil at Bay

By |2018-02-06T11:06:06+00:00February 6th, 2018|

A pronounced feature of the countryside surrounding the beautiful city of Cali, Columbia is a set of three crosses perched atop the mountains to the east. But no one can recall who put them up there, or when. The locals call them simply “Las Tres Cruces” (the Three Crosses). They believe, somewhat superstitiously, that the [...]

Advent Lessons From an Old Testament Priest

By |2017-12-08T22:59:45+00:00December 8th, 2017|

The Scriptures in Advent present us with a number of excellent role models of faith, but the father of John the Baptist is not one of them. Zechariah, a priest of the Law of Moses, serves rather as a negative example, at least at the beginning of his intriguing story. The account of how he [...]

A Dozen Simons, One Peter

By |2017-10-30T20:14:06+00:00October 30th, 2017|

Some years ago I walked into a Christian bookstore and a fascinating poster caught my eye. From a distance, it looked like an image of the holy face of Jesus, but as I drew closer I could see that the face was actually a composite of tiny faces that made up the contours and complexion [...]

Angels – Mysterious Guardians of Body and Soul

By |2017-10-07T18:10:29+00:00October 7th, 2017|

Angels may have different meanings to different people, but I can assure you that they are not little chubby babies with wings. Neither are they lifeless doctrines or pious maternal presence that keep little children from falling off rickety bridges into running water. Angels are much more vital than that, and, quite frankly, I do [...]

Distinguishing Angels from Demons

By |2016-05-04T00:42:26+00:00May 4th, 2016|

Years ago, during a foreign study program in Europe, I had occasion to meet people from numerous English-speaking countries, in what amounted to an education in the amazing diversity of English accents. In the program I met Englishmen, Scots, Irishmen, Welsh, and English-speakers from non-European countries such as Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa. I [...]

Athanasius the Exile

By |2016-05-02T00:14:58+00:00May 2nd, 2016|

Feast Day of St. Athanasius: May 2 An extremely bright light and fiery character of the early church was the 4th century Bishop of Alexandria, Egypt, St. Athanasius (AD 296-373). What a champion he was. He almost singlehandedly stood as a pillar of iron and a wall of brass against the very influential churchmen of [...]

Centered in the Eucharist

By |2015-05-28T00:10:56+00:00May 28th, 2015|

As the Church departs the glorious season of Easter and returns to Ordinary Time, we take a moment to pause and remind ourselves how we may grow in holiness during the "normal" course of our spiritual lives. The liturgical seasons of Advent, Lent, and Easter immerse us in the greatest mysteries of our faith, but [...]

Five Antidotes for Presumption

By |2015-03-14T00:00:28+00:00March 14th, 2015|

One of the most withering indictments our Lord meted out to the religious leaders of His day was a simple phrase that dismantled their exalted self-image. When presented with a legalistic challenge concerning the hypothetical case of a woman who had married seven husbands, He took those perversely proud men down a peg by telling [...]

Joseph the Fearless

By |2014-12-23T00:08:50+00:00December 23rd, 2014|

St. Joseph is an integral part of the story of Advent, but let’s not be too facile about his calling to be the foster-father of Jesus Christ. Joseph’s obedience to the Angel’s message, his embrace of the truth of it, and his prompt action were extremely courageous elements of his role in the events that [...]

The Glorious “O” Antiphons

By |2014-12-19T00:06:00+00:00December 19th, 2014|

Despite the fact that we live in an era where the Christ Child is banished from the public square or reduced to a miserable competition with Kwaanza candles, red-nosed reindeer, abominable snowmen, the Grinch, and every obscene Santa Claus devised by the twisted minds of Hollywood or Madison Avenue, Christians have reason to hope that [...]