While You Were Sleeping

I recently baptized a two month old. He slept through the whole ceremony, barely stirring as I poured water over his head three times (admittedly, it was warm water). On a natural level, this may be rather unremarkable. Babies sleep, … Continue reading

Rise, and Have No Fear

Peter, James, and John were terrified at the Transfiguration, and rightly so. After all, according to the Gospels, it was a pretty scary scene. Their friend, Jesus, was transformed before their eyes, his face shone like the sun and his … Continue reading

A Terrible Time

The third century AD was a terrible time. Like, really terrible. The prosperity and relative peace of the second century went down in flames. Well, flames, assassinations, civil war, revolts, famine, plague, and invasions, to be more precise. From the … Continue reading

The Preacher of the Incarnation

Christianity is no mere ideology, a set of human goals with no power to save. Nor is it a natural religion, the aggregate wisdom of the sages who through long experience learned to get along in the world. It is … Continue reading

The Limits of Flesh and Blood

Have you ever been told of someone who had a purely intellectual conversion? The stories I have heard go something like this. So-and-so reads up on some philosophy, debates some atheists, conducts some historical research, then concludes for himself, “Yeah, … Continue reading

The Treasure of the Church

Where are the treasures of the Church? Perhaps you have seen some in art museums. There are stunning reliquaries, beautiful chalices, and intricately decorated liturgical books. And yet behind glass these treasures appear dead. They sit sadly empty, no longer … Continue reading

The Untamed Lion

“Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the King, I tell you” (Mr. Beaver, The Lion Witch and the Wardrobe). A personal relationship with Jesus Christ is not a hunky-dory friendship with a buddy. Jesus is the God-man, and … Continue reading

Eat What Is Before You

Feeding children what is good for them is sometimes difficult. The healthy foods that will nourish them and support their growth often seem unattractive or foreign. It may take some time for the kids to learn to enjoy true nourishment. … Continue reading

Undefiled

Sooner or later, my body will become a corpse. A corpse looks alien. It’s both strangely familiar (so clearly my body), yet utterly unrecognizable (so clearly not me), putting on display the jarring indignity of death, the separation of my … Continue reading

You Shall Be a Sign for Them

Poor Ezekiel. Obedient to God’s request, the prophet packed a bag, dug through a wall with his hands, and, in the evening, scrambled through that hole and wandered off into the darkness while other people looked on. Many of them … Continue reading

Many Hearts, One Love

To gaze on Mary with Mother Teresa and her sisters is to look into Mary’s Immaculate Heart. “I put all my trust in her heart,” Mother Teresa confided (Come Be My Light, 135). Writing to a spiritual director, she pleaded, … Continue reading

Many Hearts, One Love

To gaze on Mary with Mother Teresa and her sisters is to look into Mary’s Immaculate Heart. “I put all my trust in her heart,” Mother Teresa confided (Come Be My Light, 135). Writing to a spiritual director, she pleaded, … Continue reading

The Faculty of Wonder

The mother of Holy Father Dominic allegedly discerned an “odor of holiness which always clung to” the preacher of grace. Bl. Jane of Aza must have reared her son with wonder and admiration, rejoicing at the mysterious designs of divine … Continue reading

Watching the Corn Grow

For rural communities, keeping tabs on the corn crop is simply part of life. This makes a good deal of sense: the success or failure of the crop hugely impacts the economic well-being of the community, so it is quite … Continue reading

Building Shields

In all circumstances, hold faith as a shield, to quench all the flaming arrows of the evil one. –Eph. 6:16 Faith, like a strong shield, is our protection for spiritual combat. Shields are needed in the heat of battle, and … Continue reading

Christian Kindness

What makes Christian kindness to be Christian? The substance of Christian kindness doesn’t seem different from any other kindness. The corporal works of mercy, for example, are things that most people who aren’t Christians would still consider to be kindnesses. … Continue reading

Cultivating and Tilling the Heart

Cultivating and Tilling the Heart In gardening, one speaks of both cultivating and tilling. The two activities are similar, but there are some differences. Cultivating is the process of breaking up and loosening the soil in a garden. The purpose … Continue reading

Unrelenting Contrition

Saint Teresa of Calcutta famously said to her Missionaries of Charity, “God does not call us to be successful but to be faithful.” Really, these words provide a panacea for anyone tempted toward perfectionism as well as a stimulus for … Continue reading

You Don’t Know What You’re Asking

Swish! Swish! Swish! lap the waves. 12:15 AM reads the my watch beneath the silver star light. What am I looking for? What do I want? I think to myself as I knead the sand with my toes.   Beep! … Continue reading

Indeed You Love Truth in the Heart

The Acts of the Apostles recounts a startling run-in between the apostles and Ananias and Sapphira. Having sold property and presented the proceeds to the early Church community, the couple then failed to present all the proceeds and then lied … Continue reading

What I Did for Love

The sufferings of this present time are as nothing compared with the glory to be revealed for us (Rm 8:18). Why would someone give up something that they love? Giving up something you are addicted to makes sense. Giving up something … Continue reading

1.2 Billion

In the Midwest, July is the official month for fireworks. The moment venders begin selling fireworks directly into the hands of patrons, quiet evenings spent outside in the balmy summer heat are a thing of the past. The sounds of … Continue reading

The Adventure of Obedience

God writes the best adventures. From Abraham to the Apostles, God draws unsuspecting men out of their routines and sets them on unexpected journeys. Moses was tending his father-in-law’s flock, but after meeting a burning bush, he eventually found himself … Continue reading

The Power of Mourning

“Blessed are they who mourn, for they will be comforted” (Mt 5:4). With this beatitude Jesus gives us the promise that tears can count for something. But what do they count for? We might think that those who mourn will … Continue reading

Woe and Praise

I recently met a young person who told me, “You’re the first person I’ve met who is my age and actually believes in God.” With the growing number of “nones”—those who identify as having no religious beliefs—many Christians worry that … Continue reading