Is your prayer life rightly ordered? Over time, I’ve gained some insight into the benefits of ordering the different kinds of prayer we pray a certain way. Here is what I’ve learned.
What Does Offering Our Work to God Look Like?
On this feast of St. Joseph the Worker, I thought it fitting to share some reflections on an short, potent prayer written by Pope St. Pius X.
In this prayer, St. Pius X mentions the virtues necessary to employ in our work, the specific faults we’re inclined to commit, and the spiritual mindset with which we should approach our work.
Two Forms of Pruning in the Spiritual Life
I’ve been reflecting a lot on this image of pruning from the Gospel. To prune a plant is to cut away excess growth from it to make it more healthy, productive, or attractive.
What does God “pruning” us look like? How does He do it?
Do You Give Thanks No Matter What?
Gratitude is one of the easiest virtues to display. Anyone can say “thank you” and the occasions for doing so are innumerable.
Gratitude as a habitual disposition is rarer and far more radical.
What do you say “thank you” for? Do you mean it? Do you give thanks no matter what happens?
Prepare the Way! A Guide to a Holy Advent
Advent and Lent are both seasons of penance and preparation. Yet they are meant to be celebrated in unique ways. How? And what specifically might we do so that Advent isn’t merely a time-marking season leading up to Christmas?
Do You Appreciate the Gift of Yourself?
We often aspire to be like those we perceive as possessing desirable good qualities. But is this desire always healthy? How can we imitate the virtuous example of others while appreciating who and what we are?
More Than Repaired—Transformed
Have you ever felt broken beyond repair?
Fr. J. shared a story of how he once broke a precious vase. He could have fixed the vase, but to no avail. Even if every piece were glued back into place, you’d still see the multitude of cracks running through the vase.
Sometimes, we resemble that vase and we wonder: Can God fix me and, if so, why doesn’t He?
Contemplating the Good in Others
I had coffee recently with my friend Frances. We were talking about the struggle all of us encounter at times when people fail to understand us. Frances then shared with me a beautiful image God planted in her mind regarding this difficulty.
Pride: Setting Ourselves Up as God
Pride is the summit of self-love and the greatest of the seven deadly sins. Every sin contains a germ of pride. Besides, sins directly springing from pride come in a multitude of forms. Each of us is inclined to some of them. It is necessary to…
Greed: Worshipping Worldly Goods
Greed is an excessive love of worldly goods that leads to an unrestricted desire to acquire material things. We tend to associate it with money, but it can also be manifested in a love of clothes, jewelry, frivolous gadgets, etc. Greed is often a subtle vice, one we easily excuse.
Envy: Desiring the Destruction of Another
Envy is a sin alive and well in our society. Its venom courses through social media and news programs, school and work environments, and even into our churches and homes. Despite this, I’ve heard little mention of this sin. What is it exactly? How does it differ from jealousy? And what makes it so dangerous?
Lust: Misusing God’s Gift of Sexuality
“The sin which causes most souls to go to Hell are sins of the flesh.” That awful sentence was by Our Lady of Fatima. In a world where sensuality and the appeal to sex are omnipresent, that sentence chills us to the bone.
The Sweet Duty of Gratitude
A friend was thanking me for praying for him when he said something most striking. He remarked on how we ask people to pray for us, but forget to thank them later on.
What a profound thought. We say thank you to someone who’s done us some favor, and…
Thanksgiving: It is Right and Just
In school, children are taught that the first Thanksgiving took place when Native Americans brought food to Puritan settlers. No one really thinks about the idea of giving thanks in a Catholic context. Since we celebrate Thanksgiving every year, it is important
Moving through Life’s Seasons: How to Face Change
It would be nice if I could hit a “Pause” button on life right now. I’m in such a pleasant situation, and have been for many months. Oh sure, I have my struggles, but they seem small compared to past ones. Meantime…