First Mass

A Short Story Clenching the wheel of his community’s beat-up beige Ford Taurus so tightly the color had fully drained from his hands, Father Eugene Felusiak raced up the Jersey Turnpike. As he successfully steered the vehicle from one lane … Continue reading

Repent and Pray

Tomorrow, May 13, the Church celebrates the 100th anniversary of Our Lady’s first apparition to the three shepherd children of Fátima. It is an occasion for us to thank God for the loving care He shows us through His Mother, … Continue reading

Mary’s Peace Plan

Editor’s note: This piece was originally published in Dominicana in September 1947 by Br. Vincent Ferrer McHenry. He was ordained a priest on June 9, 1949. In his almost sixty-five years as a priest, Fr. McHenry served as a college … Continue reading

A Voice I Did Not Know

God never appeared to me and told me in clear and audible words what I was supposed to do with my life. He never told me to be a Dominican. Or maybe He did, and I just didn’t recognize His … Continue reading

A God of Failures

The Presentation in the Temple looks like a failure. In memory of the slaying of the firstborn of the Egyptians—man and beast alike—the Israelites were commanded to sacrifice their own firstborn to the Lord. This in general seems to have … Continue reading

Toward a Spirituality of Sloths

It is difficult to be Catholic and also a fan of sloths. “Why do you like something named after a deadly sin?” I have been asked on no few occasions. When I try to justify myself by pointing out that … Continue reading

O Crux Ave

Editor’s note: This post was originally published on Ash Wednesday, February 22, 2012. Fr. Leo Checkai was ordained a priest in May 2014 and now teaches at Providence College. Today is Ash Wednesday. Lent is upon us once more, and … Continue reading

Luminous Easter

Thursday in the Easter Octave lets us look at everything in light of the Resurrection. Illuminated by the mystery of the Risen Lord, the following post offers a series of reflections for the Luminous Mysteries. My hope is that it … Continue reading

Stay Awake

Today we begin the Holy Triduum, the three-day liturgy, the highest celebration of the church. It is an exhausting enterprise, with waiting, silence, fasting, lots of lines and processions and standing and kneeling. To appreciate it requires both attention and … Continue reading

Know the Forest by The Tree

We can now consider ourselves to be in the liturgical season within the season within the season within the season. On September 14th, the Feast of the Holy Cross, the Church began the traditional penitential period stretching until Easter Sunday. … Continue reading

The Presence of God

Homes are not beautiful if they are empty. Things are beautiful by the presence of God. —St. Thomas Aquinas on Psalm 25 So many today never think of God, and some, even when they do think of God, consider him … Continue reading

Jesus Wants Your Baggage

I love flying on airplanes. As if traveling to a new destination were not exciting enough, my extroverted personality delights in being in the company of complete strangers, packed front to back in a Boeing 787. A cocktail of ginger … Continue reading

Faith and Ordinariness

Christians have faith in the supernatural and live supernatural lives. So why is it that so much of Christian life seems ordinary? Given the extraordinary experiences of the saints, it may seem that they lived a different kind of life … Continue reading

A Thomistic Litany of Humility

Cardinal Merry del Val’s classic Litany of Humility is known to many Catholics. It’s a powerfully worded prayer, one that always makes a splash. However, revisiting it as a Dominican, the litany raises questions for me. There surges within me … Continue reading

Martha or Mary?

To pray or do good? This seems to be the dilemma of anyone trying to live a Christian life. On the one hand St. Thomas Aquinas says that “the contemplative life is more excellent than the active,” but on the … Continue reading

Latin and the Language of God

Prayer can be described as conversation with God, but in what language? What if, when God speaks, it sounds like nonsense to us? Learning to pray, to be with God, to converse with him, is a bit like learning a … Continue reading

The “Secret” Catholic Weapon

As Mother Teresa passed through the airport security checkpoint, she had to endure that embarrassing procedure that is part and parcel of our troubled times: “Any weapons on your person?” Unexpectedly, the childlike yet remarkably bold sari-clad woman replied in … Continue reading

5 Tips on Prayer with St. Thomas Aquinas

Throwback Thursday Editor’s note: This post was originally published on November 25, 2014. Fr. John Sica, O.P. was ordained to the priesthood in May 2016. Prayer, St. John Damascene says, is the unveiling of the mind before God. When we … Continue reading

A Word for Bread

Editor’s note: This is the fourth post in a series commenting on the first words of Christ as presented in the Gospels. It is written,“One does not live by bread alone.” (Lk 4:4) With our modern dietary aversion to gluten … Continue reading

When the Word Speaks

Editor’s note: This is the first post in a series commenting on the first words of Christ as presented in the Gospels. The words of Christ are powerful. In the beginning, God spoke, and through his Word, the heavens and … Continue reading

The Twelve Days of Emmanuel

Behold, a virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and his name shall be called Emmanuel (which means, God with us) (Mt 1:23) The joy of Christmas is the joy of Emmanuel. Our God is not distant from us: he … Continue reading

Living in the Light

Once, in botany class, I conducted a memorable experiment. After planting a number of beans, I placed half of the young sprouts in a greenhouse and half in a dark cupboard. Each day, I would water the young plants and … Continue reading

Do Not Delay

Why is procrastination so appealing? The temptation to put things off can feel irresistible at times, and it always seems like there are good reasons to justify it. There are always other tasks that can be found to keep the … Continue reading

Misunderstanding Marathons

I don’t understand running. I mean, if you’re being chased by a bear, sure, by all means, run. Or playing sports? Of course. But going out to run for fun? I don’t get it. That’s an awful lot of energy … Continue reading