Category: Cover Stories

Washed, Anointed, and Ready for Work

I notice things. So a couple of Sundays after confirmation in my parish, I noticed that Brett, a newly confirmed high school senior, was not with his family. After Mass I approached his dad in the plaza. “Where’s Brett?” I asked. I had a hunch I knew the answer. His...

Rebinding Family Ties

Pope Francis notes, “A perfect family does not exist. We should not be fearful of imperfections, weaknesses, or even conflict, but rather learn how to deal with them constructively.” At a May 26 Mass in the Vatican’s St. Martha guesthouse, Pope Francis told attendees about “three things, three steps that...

Savor the Season

Advent invites us to clear the decks, become vulnerable, befriend our pain, dream great dreams, and gaze upon God’s great unveiling. Does Advent seem like a blur, a frenzied dash to prepare for Christmas? While that experience may be typical, there’s more to the season than that. In fact, Advent...

Eschatology: The Last Four Things

Question: What are the four last things to be ever remembered?Answer: The four last things to be ever remembered are Death, Judgment, Hell, and Heaven. —The Penny Catechism It is a widely accepted axiom among people in publishing circles that books about cooking and dieting routinely draw a far greater...

Wistful Longing

Our souls come from beyond, and that fire of yearning desire we experience is that “beyond” trying to draw us back to itself. Saint Augustine taught that our souls are filled institutes of consecrated life. He also said that our souls are filled with restlessness until they rest in God....

Decades of Healing

In an extraordinary reversal of centuries of anti-Semitism and intolerance, the Catholic Church officially repudiated “hatred, persecutions, [and] displays of anti-Semitism directed against Jews at any time and by anyone” in the Second Vatican Council’s 1965 declaration, Nostra Aetate, Latin for “in our time.” In October, Jews and Catholics will...

Vigils: A Timeless Way to Experience God

Vigils: A Timeless Way to Experience God

Christians keep vigils. They give us an important way to live our faith daily. They allows us to reshape time, put down the clock and encounter God. To keep vigil means that we have a purpose for watching and waiting. To be vigilant requires a level of endurance and patience. It invites us into...

A Profound form of Prayer

A Profound Form of Prayer

Contemplation is one of the most profound, yet often misunderstood, types of prayer in the Christian tradition. Profound because it plumbs the depths of the human soul and exposes it in silence before the mystery of God. Misunderstood because many of us mistakenly believe it pertains to a select few, not ordinary people like us....

Ferguson Healing

Ferguson: Healing Amid Heartbreak

Catholics began helping right after the shooting and continue to serve with Jesus’ word as their guide. Within hours of the shooting on that hot Saturday afternoon in August, Sr. Cathy Doherty, SSND, understood the magnitude of the death of Michael Brown. A shooting death, any death, yields an aftermath...

February 2014

Pete Fountain: A Closer Walk With Thee

Pete Fountain’s face, one of the most recognizable in music, normally glows with a smile, or the corona of one. Not so in the days after Hurricane Katrina. His New Orleans’s home flooded after the levees broke, and his West Indies–style plantation home in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi, was swept...

Bearing Gifts

The Epiphany is the perfect time for a closer look at the Magi and their gifts Cologne’s magnificent cathedral stands on a rise overlooking the Rhine. As is true of so many Catholic churches, the cathedral’s architect designed it in the shape of a cross. On the church roof, at...

To Light and Guard: Angels in the Bible

 Written by Dianne Bergand, CSA Angel of God, my guardian dear, To whom God’s love commits me here, Ever this day be at my side, To light and guard, rule and guide. Amen. Who didn’t recite this prayer as a child? Or what Catholic-schooled student wasn’t told to make room on her or...

Silence Speaks Volumes

“By waiting and by calm you shall be saved, in quiet and in trust shall be your strength.” —Isaiah 30:15 I can’t even figure out what you’re asking in this problem! Where do I start?” moans the chemistry student in my office. Her overstuffed binder perches perilously on the corner of...

Restoring Christian Unity

Fifty years ago, on November 21, 1964, the Second Vatican Council issued a decree that began with the words highlighted on the next page. Unitatis Redintegratio (“the restoration of unity” or the Decree on Ecumenism) was not the first document issued by the Church calling for unity among Christians, but...

Our Lord and Women

A look at what Jesus said and did as he taught, especially about and in relationship to women. And what do today’s women do to bring Jesus’ teachings into action? At the core of the New Testament we find the kerygma: the proclamation of what Jesus Christ did. The confession that Jesus...

Spreading the Joy Within

How Can We Reach Out to Catholics on the Outer Edges of Our Own Church? Throughout his  first year of service, Pope Francis has encouraged Catholics to share the joy of the Gospel with every person they meet, especially those on the periphery of society. Since, as the saying goes, charity begins at home, what...

Full of Grace: What We Can Learn From the Annunciation

David Werthmann Often when we journey into a new lifestyle or job, if we really knew what we were getting into, we wouldn’t get into it. At the annunciation, Mary had serious questions as her future was announced. The angel’s answers may have sounded a little sketchy—even preposterous—to Mary, who...