On The Shelf

To Light a Fire on the Earth: Proclaiming the Gospel in a Secular Age Robert Barron with John L. Allen, Jr. Image Books $27 (hardcover) As a Bishop Barron fangirl, I was excited to dive into this book, which is as much a biography as it is an outline of Barron’s...

The Value of Self-Control

There is an obvious power struggle taking place in my household. It’s not between my husband and me, and none of our children are involved. It’s between our dogs. Envision a six-year-old, eleven-pound, white, long-haired Chihuahua/Papillion mix with giant brown eyes. He’s Chester, affectionately referred to as Chestnut by the...

ACTS Missions

Adoration. Community. Theology. Service. Editor Elizabeth Herzing interviews Deborah Alaniz Estrada, executive director of ACTS Missions in San Antonio, about its mission to spread the gospel message and its vision to “ignite Catholics worldwide with the eternal flame of the Holy Spirit…and bring about the New Evangelization by fostering love...

Mary: A Firsthand Witness

I haven’t always been devoted to Mary. Not only was I dismissive of her role as intercessor, but I also inferred that it was easy for her to be perfect because she was free from original sin. I couldn’t understand how Mary was relevant to my faith until I became...

If I Had Coffee With Mary

I run a lifestyle blog for women called Her Story Goes in which I sometimes interview inspiring women in my community. While the conversation typically revolves around their passions, accomplishments, and daily rituals, I always end on the same question: “If you could have coffee with one woman, living or...

Always in Our Midst

This year, the feast of Pentecost takes place in May. It is a wonderful day to reflect on the place of Mary in the beginning of the life of the Church. In the Acts of the Apostles, St. Luke writes about a pre-ascension meeting of Jesus and his followers. “While...

Putting the Old Self Away

Many a feverish debate has been had over whether the toilet paper roll should dispense over or under; if there is a right way to fold towels and load the dishwasher; and how to pinpoint the preferred coordinates of where to squeeze the toothpaste tube. Are these points of contention...

Easter: A Season of Plentiful Redemption

In his father’s household, the father never stopped seeing him as a beloved child. The son was greeted with a party, a ring on his finger, and the finest clothes on his back. The son’s betrayal did not dilute or change the love of his father. The father welcomed his...

Jesus, the Sacred Meaning of Our Lives

Everything about Jesus, every action flows out of his experience and relationship with God. This is why Jesus repeatedly sought out moments of intimate, silent encounter with his Father. He was motivated, not out of obligation, but by a longing to drink from the well of Divine Presence that nourishes...

Open Your Heart to Clarity

Recently CNN reported that courts in California are debating whether to put cancer warnings on coffee. On the flip side, late last year, I read that drinking three to four cups of coffee a day could have significant benefits, including improved liver and heart health. Of course, java isn’t the...

Lent: Immersed in the Journey

Inspiring insights and Scripture for February 14 through March 28 On winter mornings, I find myself looking for more light and life. Although now hidden, both will soon return with the onset of spring. Lent aligns with this seasonal change of the earth’s renewal, and I’m driven to seek something...

The Golden Splendor of God’s Reign

Jesus’ life and his awareness gave his followers hope for a change of heart that could perceive the Divine Presence that brought them all together. They caught this from Jesus and followed him because they realized they were better people just by being with him. Through his presence, Jesus was...

Compare Not, Judge Not

Recently, while offering what I thought was pragmatic parenting about a video game to one of my young nieces (I still believe that “it takes a village….”), another parent overheard me. The mother looked at her child and said, “Did you hear that?” Referring to my talk with my niece,...

And Another Thing…

Growing up, when I would talk with Grandma and have a temporary lapse of memory while saying something, she’d always respond to my “I forgot what I was going to say” with, “Well…it must have been a lie!” In my youth, I remember desperately trying to defend my integrity by...

Maternal and Miraculous

In the icon of Our Mother of Perpetual Help we encounter a particular understanding of Mary in the mystery of Christ and the Church. The iconography we read and pray opens the door to an avenue of miraculous experiences. In recognition of the 150th anniversary of the restoration of the...

Unpacking a Masterpiece

Visitors to the Museo del Prado in Madrid, Spain, will invariably stop in their tracks when they enter the gallery. Many stand affixed to their original point of entrance, eventually inching closer to the painting that has captured them. In the time they have, they try to scrutinize every minute...

You’re Invited…

Happy New Year! 2018 marks Liguorian’s 105th year in circulation—that’s more than 1,200 issues exclaiming the good news! It’s also quite a feat in the publishing world, especially considering the influx of digital media, and as a direct parallel, the decline in print products. I’m “old school.” I prefer print...

Mary, Teacher of Discipleship

The writings we’ve shared in this column have opened the door to explore the in-depth meaning of the elements that comprise the composition of the icon imagery of the Mother of God. This message illustrates a clear path to walk toward Jesus, hand in hand with Mary, our guide. Ultimately,...

Lighting the Way to Interfaith Peace

Our faith calls us to warmly accept those we encounter in our lives from different faiths. While this is our reality in Catholicism, current U.S.policy and public sentiment show alarming increases in anti-Muslim activity, and many hate crimes in America target Jews. More than ever before, we need to stand...