Practice makes permanent

The season of Lent is a time of hope and renewal. We examine our interior spiritual lives, consider our imperfections, and work to improve on them. We commit to prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. These practices no doubt have a positive … Continue reading

Painting the Contemplative Life

Today we celebrate the feast of our Dominican brother, Blessed John of Fiesole (more commonly known as Fra Angelico). His paintings are some of the most enchanting depictions of the life of Christ and of the Church, and they continue … Continue reading

An Open Ear

There is more to the Mass than the ear can hear. When the faithful settle back into their pews after the Gospel proclamation, for example, the priest or deacon, having reverenced the Book of the Gospels with a kiss, recites … Continue reading

The Glorification of Andrei Rublev

In 1998, the Russian Orthodox Church “glorified” (the formal process of canonization in the East) the celebrated iconographer, Andrei Rublev (c. 1360-1430; feast day, January 29 or July 4). Little is known about his life, and still less is known … Continue reading

The Voice of God

Today at Mass we hear, “If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts” (Ps 95:8). What does the voice of God sound like? How will I know that it is him when I do hear it? Does God … Continue reading

Misplaced in the Woods

I once got lost in the woods. I had spent the day hiking with much of my novitiate class, and four of us toured an off-trail route later in the afternoon. Because of a hurt ankle, I lagged behind at … Continue reading

Loving God Is Useless

Something is useless if it fails to produce whatever product we use it to produce. For instance, if the head breaks off of a hammer, the hammer can no longer be used to produce what we use it to produce—namely, … Continue reading

A New Song

A New Song Sing to the Lord a new song.– Psalm 96:1 Carols are a staple of the Christmas season, and I’m sure everyone will be singing at least a couple today. They can be an effective way to help … Continue reading

Have Yourself a Hangover-Free Christmas

Advent is a hangover. Hear me out now. “There are only two philosophies of life: one is first the feast, then the headache; the other is first the fast and then the feast.” Alright, so that was not me, technically. … Continue reading

Recognizing the Lord

As the first season of the new liturgical year, Advent possesses a twofold character. Having just ended the liturgical year celebrating the solemnity of Jesus Christ reigning over the universe in glory, we begin the cycle again with a dynamic … Continue reading

Strengthen Me With Raisin Cakes

Some people say that the Bible is like a “love letter” from God. That’s hard to take when you’re sitting in the pew, listening to a lector mumble a reading filled with ancient names and places, and you suddenly realize … Continue reading

Poor Wayfaring Strangers

November is a month of hope for the Christian. In this time, both in the saints and the sinners, we remember those who have gone before us on this earth—those who have now crossed the threshold into eternity. We reflect … Continue reading

Roused by Hope

Pray without ceasing.(1 Thes 5:17) Sometimes we confuse what God wants with what we think God wants or expects from us. Take prayer, for example. It’s disappointing when you try to pray but all you do is doze off. You … Continue reading

A Good End

“He who endures to the end will be saved” (Mt 10:22) It is good to start something, but it is better to finish it (see Eccl 7:8). To endure to the end, our ultimate end, means to die well, to … Continue reading

Holy Souls?

Today we pray for the holy souls in purgatory. This idea of the holy souls in purgatory seems an odd notion to contemporary ears. One tends to think of heaven as the place where the holy souls go. Purgatory, one … Continue reading

Your Guardian Angel

Just as parents rightfully seek the very best care for their children, God has done so in assigning us guardian angels. Since these creatures quite naturally evade direct human sensation, too often this gift goes unrecognized! However, Jesus himself draws … Continue reading

Unanswered Prayers?

God always answers our prayers. He doesn’t always give us what we ask for. If we ask for something bad, God will of course not give it to us. However, even if we ask for something good, it is often … Continue reading

The Spirit of Truth Novena

The Dominican Confraternities of the Angelic Warfare and the Holy Rosary in the Province of Saint Joseph are teaming up to co-sponsor a Novena for the intention that the Spirit of Truth would descend upon the Church with great power. In … Continue reading

Repent: A Cry of Hope

In the opening scene, and recurring many times throughout the 2006 Russian film, The Island, a monk named Anatoly cries out in anguish over and over again, “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me.” He is tortured … Continue reading

He Casts Down the Mighty and Raises Up the Lowly

As a religious, one of the most beautiful parts of my daily prayer is singing the Magnificat at Vespers. The humility of the Blessed Mother’s prayer always strikes me. Rather than accepting the praise for herself,  her “soul proclaims the … Continue reading

Lord, Have Mercy

Lord, have mercy. Christ, have mercy. Lord, have mercy.Rise up, O Lord, and save your people whom you have redeemed at the price of your own blood.Good Shepherd, save your sheep who are ravaged by wolves. Raise up shepherds after … Continue reading

The Blood of Christ

A few weeks ago, I was contemplating Jesus on the cross. It’s not hard to image the pain he was experiencing: the nails, thorns, and scourging rip your own soul wide open. One common tradition understands that Jesus was offered … Continue reading

Praying Amid Scandal

How do we pray amid Church scandals? One helpful way is to return to the basics: The Our Father. For this meditation, I’ll look to the various parts of the prayer in reverse order. Deliver us from evil — Father, … Continue reading

Clinging to the Cross

These past few weeks have been filled with suffering. The revelation of scandal has caused an immense amount of pain among the members of the Body of Christ, both the victims and all who love the Church. It raises a … Continue reading

The Seven Prayers of St. Gregory

A certain woman used to bring altar breads to Gregory every Sunday morning, and one Sunday, when the time came for receiving communion and he held out the Body of the Lord to her, saying “May the Body of our … Continue reading