Category: Columns

Lord of the Dance

When was the last time you danced? That was the question posed in an Easter Vigil homily this year. For some, it was during Roosevelt’s administration—Franklin’s, not Theodore’s—when jazz and jitterbug were the cat’s pajamas. Although I had asked this question in a health-care facility—primarily to priests and brothers in...

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...

Popular Devotions: Problem and Promise

The parish I live and serve in provides a rich, culturally catholic environment. I am daily surrounded by all that it means to be Catholic, especially popular devotions. Very popular in Latin America, devotions abound celebrating Jesus, Mary, and the saints. In our parish, we have eight different celebrations that...

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...

The Hurtful Sin of Pride

Attributed to Tennessee Williams, who adopted New Orleans as his home, is a version of this quote, “America has only three cities: New York, San Francisco, and New Orleans. Everywhere else is Cleveland.” In a similar biased opinion, after journalist Lafcadio Hearn moved from Ohio to New Orleans in the...

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...

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...

A Formula for Happiness

On the day of Pentecost, the giddy disciples of Jesus were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak about the mighty acts of God in various tongues. “They were all astounded and bewildered, and said to one another, ‘What does this mean?’ But others said, scoffing, ‘They have...

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...

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...

Signed, Sealed, Delivered

An illustrated Catholic Guide to Ashes by Bill Donaghy comically identifies the different shapes and sizes of the dark smudge we receive on our foreheads at the beginning of Lent. Examples include a neatly formed ashen cross as “First in Line,” an amorphous spot as “The Blob,” and an oversized,...

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...

Church, Meet the Force

Catholic author Walker Percy wrote an acclaimed novel in 1961 about a man who seeks and finds spiritual meaning in an increasingly secularized culture. His book, The Moviegoer, was aptly titled to suggest the cultural shift from churchgoers to moviegoers. Yet even Percy himself may not have imagined a religious...

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,...

A Season of Traditions

Christmas traditions vary depending on what part of the world you’re in. Some are endearing. Christians in China call Christmas Sheng Dan Jieh, meaning “Holy Birth Festival”; they celebrate amid bright, vibrant colors, lights, and evergreens. Others are bizarre. In Slovakia, the senior man of the home takes a spoonful...