Scared to Become a Saint

    Once upon a time, not long ago, I prayed that God would make me a Saint. Now, I don’t go around divulging the innermost conversations I have with God lightly, but hear me out. In the midst of the topsy-turvy world we live in where one stress replaces or compounds another, there is something heartening not only in the Truth found in our Catholic Faith, but in the Saints who lived it out most fully. St. Thomas More, St…. Read more

On Pilgrimage & Sacramentality – Hilaire Belloc’s “The Four Men”

Author’s Note: This piece was written for Joseph Pearce’s St. Austin Review (November/December 2015 edition), please link here to peruse and subscribe. Recently, upon reading Hilaire Belloc’s classic The Four Men, I came to a new appreciation: the virtue of “re-reading”. The first read, I have learned, always tells you what happened, but each subsequent read tells you what it means. There is no better work to re-read than a book about a pilgrimage. Especially one described by Hilaire Belloc…. Read more

God’s Revolutionaries

He smelled. Of course he did. He slept in caves and crevices, but could always see the heavens. He sweated through his day’s work and yet was constantly in the river’s current. Wiry, yet exceedingly strong. Wild-eyed, yet disarmingly clear. The Baptist. When he looked at you, it was impossible to hide. And part of you was relieved to know that you had been found out. He knew, and you knew, it was time. Time to quit hiding. It was time… Read more

“Be Not Afraid” – Suffering & St. John Paul II

  As he kindly surveyed them, he smiled. And without saying it, he seemed to exude it. “Be not afraid.” In the village of El Rincon outside of Havana, under the sweltering Cuban sun, the aging pontiff with his pale blue eyes, stooped posture and sweetly pained face fought the grip of Parkinson’s disease in order to express himself. And he smiled. For before him were his people. Not dignitaries and opinion-makers, cardinals and bishops, philosophers and playwrights. No. He… Read more

Law, Mercy & Controversy at the Synod on the Family

The Adulterous Woman Alone with Jesus by James Tissot   In case you hadn’t heard, there is a meeting being held at the Vatican right now. Yep. It has a daunting title. The “14th Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of the Bishops on the Family” which is the follow up meeting to the equally daunting “3rd Extraordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops on the Family” held in October of 2014. Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz Okay, WAKE UP! Let me give… Read more

“Never Give In” – What We Can Still Learn From Winston Churchill

Winston Churchill   It was a homecoming. Of sorts. He had been there only a year before. Had it even been that recent, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill wondered? Yes. Yes. It had been, but it seemed a lifetime ago. His last visit to his alma mater, Harrow, was during the chill of December, 1940 after the blackest of falls. Having ruthlessly dispatched with most of Western Europe in the matter of weeks, the Nazi war machine had unleashed its… Read more

My Midnight Monastery

  It never fails. *Ding!* My phone lights up and illuminates a once dark room. Sometimes I am up typing at 1:30 in the morning. Other times I am in bed at 11:30. *Ding!* But I recognize the bell. Oh, it could be a page from a patient. Or it could be an emergency call. But, generally, it isn’t. That bell is my Midnight Monastery. Or, to be more precise, my Virtual Midnight Monastery (as dubbed by one of our creative… Read more

Pope Francis & the Answer to “Radical Loneliness”

    They were young, but inspired. How could they not be? After all, this priest was on fire. He was young, charismatic and passionate for the Lord. And he thrived in being with them. So, likewise, these college students were eager to spend time with him. “We felt completely free with him, without any burden. His presence led us to express ourselves. While he was among us, we felt that everything was all right…We felt we could discuss any… Read more

On Being Fair to Pope Francis

 Pope Francis I am exhausted. But smiling. As Pope Francis limped his final steps up the stairs, waved goodbye and disappeared in the hull of the plane, there seemed a collective moment of relaxation. After all, watching a ebullient 78 year-old pontiff dart from engagement to engagement, kissing babies, blessing children, encouraging the downtrodden, and holding the powerful accountable was enough to make me weary, if not a bit worried. After all, I take care of 78 year-old patients. And… Read more

Joy Is On Tour – How Pope Francis Stunned Me & America

  Pope Francis   You know you have heard about it. The stories of the Pope shaking things up. Gingerly paying his own hotel bill, diving deeply into crowds to shake the furthest hand, warmly engaging the stray child in the middle of a Mass, and kissing the infirm, the repellent, the forgotten. You know you have heard about it. But it is utterly stunning to see it. For one week, Joy has been on tour. The United States and… Read more


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