“Death Be Not Proud” (A Few Words for Wednesday)

I interviewed a devoutly Catholic man yesterday for non-Catholic reasons. He told me that for people like him and me, both nearer 60 than 50, each day boils down to “a choice between Dunkirk and the Alamo.” When you get into a situation, there are two outcomes: You get your boats off the beach and live to fight another day, as at Dunkirk; or you make your last stand, as at the Alamo. Meaning, we’re getting near the end of… Read more

To Pray for Vocations

In 1964, Pope Paul VI launched the World Day of Prayer for Vocations with this prayer: “O Jesus, divine Shepherd of the spirit, you have called the Apostles in order to make them fishermen of men, you still attract to you burning spirits and generous young people, in order to render them your followers and ministers to us.”  Since then, Catholic parishes around the world have been praying for vocations every fourth Sunday of Easter. Despite the prayers of faithful Catholics,… Read more

To Learn How to be Merciful

When someone wrongs me, it’s easy to be right. Being merciful, however, is hard and necessary. What it takes for me to be merciful is to try my best to contemplate that person, who for the moment I consider my enemy, from more than my own perspective. I know I never will be able to behold a fellow human being as God does, because He exists beyond the limited dimension of time and offers us immeasurable love. But I can… Read more

Thanks to Arvo Pärt (Music for Monday)

The beautiful thing about Catholic life, if you love it, is that everything streams into it: literature, music, theater and art, politics, science. Everything can remind one of the beauty of creation. Everything can be a sign of Christ’s presence. Even music you know nothing about.I have written before about the joys of Pandora Radio, a Web service that allows you to build your own customized stations. Like a song? Make it the “seed” of a new station and Pandora… Read more

For All the Saints: Popes Cletus and Marcellinus

Two Popes of the early Church sit on opposite corners of the portico ceiling of Saint Peter’s Basilica in Rome. Today, we celebrate their feast days. The two men served as Popes two centuries apart. What they share is that their pontificates occurred during times of great torture and persecution for professing Christians under Roman rule. Reflecting on the lives of Popes Cletus and Marcellinus puts into perspective the trials the faithful now are facing. To be a Pope in… Read more

For the Joys of Prayerful Silence

Guest Post by Warren JewellThe general quiet and often hushed silence of my solitude is a remedy, consolation, comfort, and luxury, like an unspoken call to prayer a hundred times a day. My effective muezzin is my own heartbeat, you see. I have forsworn TV all my adult life; I own no radio; I long ago gave away my sound equipment. Life can sound so much like the crash and the fury and the cry. And, when my littlest grandchild… Read more

Because He Works Through Us

Today we have another reflection from our guest Julie Cragon of Nashville, Tennessee.  It is a powerful example of how Christ works through His children and allows us to be His partners in the “ministry of reconciliation” as “we are ambassadors for Christ, as if God were appealing through us.” (2 Corinthians 5:18-20)Guest post by Julie CragonI was gently reminded today of one of my favorite prayers by St. Teresa of AvilaChrist has no body now, but yours.No hands, no… Read more

To Recapture the Faith of My Youth

The joint was jumping as I entered the Cathedral of the Holy Cross last Saturday, April 17. The nave was filling for the 2010 Boston Catholic Men’s Conference, and I was attending for the first time. I didn’t expect a rockish sort of band singing faith songs in front of a video screen that flashed the lyrics or hundreds of men on their feet, sort of swaying, sort of clapping, depending on their age and level of inhibition. I certainly… Read more

For All the Saints: George

I live in a time and a country where many Christians take their faith for granted. If it hadn’t been for brave souls such as St. George throughout history, however, despots might have  destroyed that faith.When  I was a child, my parents had a small print in their study of Saint George slaying a dragon whose tail wrapped around the edges of the print. In deep blues and greens, the print hung on a corner wall  near my parents’ dictionary stand… Read more

Because Sorrow Enriches Us

More than once, I’ve had my heart shattered. In my late teens, my first love left me without warning. In my late twenties, I lost my former college boyfriend to a drug overdose. In my late thirties, I nearly lost my beloved husband to a terror attack. Since then, until most recently, I have been haunted by a recurring dream that my wonderful, loyal Greg would not marry me, despite the life we’ve built together. The shock of nearly losing… Read more