Strength to Climb

I love the collect the Church prays on today’s feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. It voices a simple and robust request for God to act in our lives through the Blessed Virgin Mary: May the venerable intercession of … Continue reading

Vacation: Wasting Time Well

Growing up, as we neared the end of school, the longing for no more homework would rise to a fever pitch as we pictured sleeping in and doing nothing all day. But when it came time to do nothing, I … Continue reading

The Reservoir of Love

Letter to a hospital patient… To my brother or sister in Christ, St. Paul wrote with affection to the Christians in Philippi: “It has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ you should not only believe in … Continue reading

Duck Sleep

Ever wonder why you sleep poorly on your first night away from home? Neuroscience has the answer, and it has to do with ducks. A mallard duck can rest one half of its brain at a time. According to an … Continue reading

No Prayer in Vain

Why aren’t my prayers answered? One often hears this question in relation to requests big and small. Why hasn’t St. Anthony found my keys yet? Why haven’t I been able to find a new job? Why did my cancer come … Continue reading

Living in Grace

Life really is like a Sigrid Undset novel. It’s all about grace—receiving it and rejecting it. Undset masterfully crafts her characters to reveal the quiet—and sometimes not so quiet—movements of grace in their lives. God lovingly touches each soul, bestowing upon … Continue reading

The Priesthood and Spiritual Maternity

The vocation to be a spiritual mother for priests is largely unknown, scarcely understood, and, consequently, rarely lived, notwithstanding its fundamental importance. It is a vocation that is frequently hidden, invisible to the naked eye, but meant to transmit spiritual … Continue reading

Short-Term Evangelization

“Let us offer each other the sign of peace.” The amphitheater housing thousands of high school-aged teens erupts in a joyful rumble of handshakes, hugs, and hubbub. The kiss of peace lasts a good five minutes before the sound of … Continue reading

Faith, Hope, and Love Towards Canaan’s Land

Editor’s note: This is the twelfth post in our newest series, reflecting on the Hillbilly Thomists’ recent, self-titled album. The series will run each Tuesday and Thursday throughout the Easter season. Read the whole series here. This post concerns the … Continue reading

The Vision of Friendship

Editor’s note: This is the tenth post in our newest series, reflecting on the Hillbilly Thomists’ recent, self-titled album. The series will run each Tuesday and Thursday throughout the Easter season. Read the whole series here. This post concerns the … Continue reading

In Defence of “Thoughts and Prayers”

After a tragedy, politicians take to Twitter and TV and offer their “thoughts and prayers” to victims and families. For some it seems to be an automatic response to terrible suffering. In the last two months there has been a … Continue reading

The Savior Still Tenderly Pleads

Editor’s note: This is the fourth post in our newest series, reflecting on the Hillbilly Thomists’ recent, self-titled album. The series will run each Tuesday and Thursday throughout the Easter season. Read the whole series here. This post concerns the … Continue reading

The Women Who Brought Spices

The Lord is on my head like a crown, And I shall never be without Him. They have woven for me a crown of truth, And it caused Your branches to blossom in me. For it is not like a … Continue reading

The Liturgy as Formation

Oftentimes friends and family ask me, “Well, how long until you become a priest?” I usually respond with a condensed version of our lengthy and seemingly complicated formation program. More questions ensue, and I continue to explain to them the … Continue reading

Ite Ad Joseph

Ite Ad Joseph. “Go to Joseph.” These were the words of Pharaoh to the people of Egypt during the years of famine (Gen 41:55). These are the words inscribed at the base of the statue of St. Joseph in front … Continue reading

How Lonely Sits the City

How lonely sits the city that was full of people! How like a widow has she become, she that was great among the nations! She that was a princess among the cities has become a vassal. -Lamentations 1:1 In 589 … Continue reading

The Heart of Penance

“Repent, and believe in the Gospel” (Mk 1:15). These words rang out in Galilee when our Lord started his public preaching, and they were heard worldwide last week on Ash Wednesday. Repentance is a definitive turning away from sin, but … Continue reading

Chocolate and Ashes

Can you read my mind and know what I am thinking? You probably cannot without my help. Nevertheless, what others think, especially those with whom we live, work, or love, matters to us. Often we pick up a person’s general … Continue reading

Gaze of Love

We’ve all heard that line. “Did you see the way he looked at you?” This perhaps over-romantic line in films is a common starting point for a story about love. But while it might be a cheesy question posed by … Continue reading

To Be Like Them

Wouldn’t it be nice if being Catholic didn’t make us so annoyingly different from everyone else? If we didn’t have such a strong emphasis on sacraments and hierarchy, while those around us rely on egalitarianism? If Sundays meant football and … Continue reading

Active Learning

St. Matthew introduces the Sermon on the Mount by writing, “Seeing the crowds, [Jesus] went up on the mountain, and when he sat down his disciples came to him. And he opened his mouth and taught them” (Matt. 5:1-2). Matthew … Continue reading

Prayer of the Needy

One of the parts of the Mass in which the Church gives her priests autonomy over word choice is the introduction to the Prayers of the Faithful. There are many fine ways to direct the faithful to prayer, but one … Continue reading

To Forgive Another

“Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.” We pray these words routinely as Christians, yet their weight should give us pause. We all need forgiveness, but to offer forgiveness often feels beyond our ability. This … Continue reading

The Flesh Is Willing

Any Christian wanting to pray will be tested. Difficulties in prayer often manifest themselves in weaknesses of our bodies that get in the way of our hearts and minds ascending to God. The apostles’ behavior in the Garden of Gethsemane … Continue reading