Separating the Fruit from the Nuts

Yesterday I commented on the phenomenon of seemingly good spiritual fruit coming from questionable sources in the Church. Today, I would like to offer a few biblical observations to help us make more sense of this situation as lay Catholics. (1) As St. Paul writes, “Test everything; retain what is good” (1 Thess. 5:21). At least for […]

Continue reading →

Our Parish Family

“Father, hear the prayers of the family you have gathered here before you” (Eucharistic Prayer III). What do we think of when our parish priest reads these words at Mass? Are we alert enough to hear and embrace this petition? Do we consider this reference to our being a “family” a merely poetic expression or […]

Continue reading →

Fighting Poverty

I was flipping through a recent issue of Newsweek, and the cover story caught my attention. Its focus is “giving globally”—how we can help bring basic vaccines, clean water, food, and health care (among other things) to impoverished people throughout the world. The photos and captions are a rallying cry and a reminder that we […]

Continue reading →

Depart from Me

In today’s Gospel, Peter, James, and John had been fishing all night and had caught nothing. Our Lord instructs them to “put out into the deep” and, after some balking–after all, these fishermen think they know their trade better than this carpenter–they cast their nets back into the water and caught a tremendous amount of fish. Then Peter falls […]

Continue reading →

Homeland Defense

The Second Vatican Council (1962-65) frequently referred to the Church on earth as the “pilgrim Church.” This image emphasizes the truth that we are a people who are on a journey to our true home. We need the supernatural virtue of hope—the virtue of the pilgrim—to remain faithful to the Lord, trusting in His infinite […]

Continue reading →

The Family That Overtook Christ

Today is the feast day of St. Bernard of Clairvaux (1090-1153). For many people, unfortunately, St. Bernard is merely a big, lovable breed of working dog. Even those of us with Catholic sensibilities might not know too much about him. Maybe we remember that he was devoted to Our Lady (which saint wasn’t?), and that […]

Continue reading →

Got Wine?

Since Pope John Paul II introduced the Luminous Mysteries of the Rosary a couple years ago, it’s been a joy and sometimes a challenge for my family to embrace these new mysteries. We are always on the lookout for new ways of approaching these rich episodes in Christ’s life. As we’ve given more attention to […]

Continue reading →