Category: Current

Lentil and Rice Loaf

The vegetarian equivalent of meat loaf—perfect for the Lenten season. From A Monastery Kitchen: The Classic Natural Foods Cookbook Brother Victor-Antoine d’Avila-Latourrette Ingredients: 1 cup of lentils 1 cup of rice Olive oil 4 cups of water 1 large onion, sliced 2 tomatoes, chopped 10 mushrooms, sliced 2 garlic cloves,...

Year of Mercy: God’s Call to Us All

When Pope Francis announced his intention to call for an Extraordinary Jubilee, he said, “It shall be a Holy Year of Mercy,” a time for animating “a new stage in the journey of the Church on its mission to bring to every person the Gospel of mercy.” He decreed that...

Be Strong, It’s Election Time

It’s hard being an American Catholic in an election year. Humans are tribal, and American political parties—and factions thereof—are sometimes brutally tribal. If you’re not a member of the tribe, you’re looked on with distaste, disdain, contempt, fear, and worse. Such polarization makes it easy to show what tribe you...

The Romance of Lent

The Romance of Lent

Prayer: The Deep Breath of Reflection Pope Francis says we must also cultivate time for prayer, “interior space,” amid our daily lives. And he has in mind something more than saying a few occasional prayers, or devotions such as the rosary. He envisions something in addition to the liturgical life...

The Easter Vigil: Liturgical Nectar

The night-blooming cereus flower is famous for its stunning, ethereal, starlike blossom. It blooms at night, once a year. If you’ve never seen one bloom, you’re missing a rare experience. The Easter Vigil is like that. It blooms once a year, on the evening of Holy Saturday. As liturgy goes,...

December 2015 The Lighter Side

Out of the Crayons of Babes Christmas approached, a Sunday school teacher asked the children in her class to draw pictures of the Nativity scene. The children eagerly began to draw pictures of the stable, Mary, and Joseph, Baby Jesus, the shepherds, the wise men, and animals. She noticed that...

The Most Wondrous Gift

Derek Becher Lights of color beautify the church this holy night; Poinsettias ’round the altar with their petals, soft and bright. Everlasting evergreens adorn the sanctuary, Behind the wooden Joseph and the Blessed Mother, Mary. In front of them is resting the divine Nativity; A simple grotto shelters heaven’s Holy...

Madonna in Lavender

The Christmas gathering was their annual attempt to foster family warmth and congeniality that seemed mysteriously elusive. It would be safe to say that when the three Parnsley families gathered for the Christmas season, the result wasn’t likely to generate material for a heartwarming Hallmark Channel special. At least…never mind....

Comforting the Afflicted

A winter storm of the dreaded type had descended on our town in the deep South. Ice was glossing tree limbs, power lines, and anything else above ground while sleet pelted roads and driveways. I was hoping to get through it all without losing electricity. As usual, I came down with...

Our Cross, Our Calvary

Each of us has a cross to carry. Some are quite visible. Others are not. How we carry them may lead others to Christ or steer them away. Jesus said, “Take up [your] cross, and follow me”(Matt 16:24). Today my thoughts are on a young friend who is having a wisdom...

“Ladybug, ladybug, fly away home…”

In this life, we see only fragments of God’s plan. God sees the whole of his creation, and it is good. Holding nine-day-old baby Peter, my daughter Sharla lingered with me at the table in her Chicago town-home kitchen. Her husband, David, washed lunch remainders from three-year-old Michael’s face. The...

The Redemptoristines

The Red Nuns, as they are called, see themselves as global missionaries  connected to the world through their fervent offerings to Christ on behalf of others. A sense of fulfillment, joy, and community seems to be the recurring message shared by the Redemptoristine nuns. Their eyes were bright, their smiles broad, and their spirits...

Important Saints

In recognition of the Year of Consecrated Life, here’s a look at six not-so-well-known saints that started religious orders. Ignatius. Francis. Elizabeth Ann. Do you know the religious order each one established? In order, the Jesuits, the Franciscans, and the Sisters of Charity are well-known among Catholics and non-Catholics alike....

Counseling the Doubtful

It was the summer before my senior year of college. I decided not to work that summer so I could take a handful of credits to ensure my graduation the following spring semester. So like most students, I went looking for that “throwaway” course. I found it in an art...

The Power of “I Don’t Know”

Iwould like to know how a text message gets from one cell phone to another. And how does it get there without getting mixed up with other text messages? Where do text messages go after they are deleted? Is there a “text message landfill” somewhere with old texts, emoticons, and...

Joy Can Shape Our Future

It’s no secret that the idea of dedicating one’s life totally to God is deeply countercultural. It can be disheartening to see the nearly universal depiction of priests and religious on prime-time TV as people who have failed to live up to their vocations. When we see the aging face...

Honoring Their Vows

This is a year to celebrate consecrated life. It’s a year to be thankful that so many women and men have given themselves to the Lord’s service through evangelical councils. By taking the vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience, men and women have deepened their baptismal calling and given their lives...

A Defining Moment

I am pretty sure I know the exact moment when I blew my chances at a college scholarship. I was a senior in high school enduring an interview with the scholarship committee, and I fumbled my answer to a question about a defining moment in my life. My answer concerned...

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....