Category: Cover Stories

Listening: The Highest Form of Love

Listening: The Highest Form of Love

Consider the rhetoric heard during any political ad season, whether prior to a municipal, midterm, or presidential election. Bear in mind, I live in Texas, where the laws of the old Wild West resonate throughout as “Texas values.” My ears are assaulted with a myriad of attack ads from the...

A Whirlwind of Care and Hope

A Whirlwind of Care and Hope

In the cosmos of wounded kids at children’s hospitals, some hearts pound with joy; others come to rest at a butterfly memorial Home from the Air Force, I was standing in the kitchen preparing breakfast when I heard someone at our back door. Mary, our next-door neighbor, was frantically looking...

Awaken to a Life in Christ

Awaken to a Life in Christ

The Essential Role of the Laity in the Church Today In this year of our Lord 2022, what is your experience of Church? Unquestionably, COVID-19 has shifted the reality. We have experienced the lockdown of churches for weekend Masses. It’s now common for Sunday celebrations of the Eucharist to be...

Saint Patrick

Cover Story: Saint Patrick

His little-known true story of courage—in his own words I spent a St. Patrick’s Day in County Limerick, Ireland, a few years back as a house guest of my aunt, Kay. She awakened me on the holiday with a cheery “top of the mornin’,” a safety pin, and a shamrock....

The Science of Religion

The Science of Religion

Following years-long studies, doctors link going to church to good health for body and soul. A belief commonly held today goes something like this: doctrine or orthodoxy is synonymous with religion, which is based on faith, and in turn rejects science. There is a natural proclivity to see science and...

Sonnets for Church Seasons

Sonnets for Church Seasons

Journey through the liturgical seasons of the Catholic Church with inspiring poems and photos. Pause, immersing yourself in prayerful reflection. Then, during each liturgical season in real time, meditate anew with this piece to enrich your experience with God. Advent through Christmastide Rejoice, my Soul, in promises of spring,  in...

The Brightest Days of Advent

The Brightest Days of Advent

If you “miss” the early part of the season, make its last week memorable with reflections, Scripture, and prayers. The weekend after Thanksgiving began 2021’s season of Advent. Our attention will dart from carving the turkey to trimming the tree. Before we know it, Christmas Day will dazzle us. Often,...

Dreams: A WIsh Your Heart Makes

Dreams: A Wish Your Heart Makes

Analyzing and interpreting dreams has fascinated people through the ages. Theories and speculation about their purpose abound while disputes among neuroscientists, psychologists, and philosophers continue. However, for people of faith, the answer may lie in the Judeo-Christian history of dreams as vehicles for divine communication. The Book of Genesis says...

Fractured Sacraments

Dear Padre, • At reconciliation, can a penitent begin by saying grace? • Can a person sit in a dentist’s chair and receive the anointing of the sick? • And is the Eucharist the same if the “altar” is Mom’s table? The answers? Yes, yes, and YES! In his book...

Holy Monuments

Holy Monuments

Today’s Rome is home to about 900 churches, with twenty-four—referred to as tituli—tucked away in the Eternal City’s historic center. These two dozen houses of worship are among the world’s oldest and most fascinating, but pilgrims who travel to Rome may miss visiting them because they are unaware of their...

Understanding Alcoholism

A Focus on the Erosion of Lives and Relationships Due to Alcohol Addiction First of a five-part series What would it be like to have an active volcano one hundred yards from your home? You never know when the volcano will erupt and destroy everything you own and everyone you...

Got Happiness?

Americans live in the land of opportunity. Our rights to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” are practically written in blood in the Constitution. We are surrounded by things that exist for the sole purpose of making us happy: food, drink, entertainment, vacations, endless apps on our electronics, and...

A Real Wonder Woman: Mary Magdalene

A Real Wonder Woman

Mary of Magdala Blazes the Trail to Easter Mary Magdalene was one of the named women in the group who traveled with Jesus from Galilee. Many modern scholars believe her ministry during Jesus’ life on earth was as significant as Peter’s, albeit in different ways. Jesus said to her, “Mary!”...

God's Conduit of Care

God’s Conduit of Care

Unlike previous Holy Weeks, the landscape for 2020’s prayerful remembrances last April was bleak and barren. Pope Francis celebrated the Eucharist without a congregation due to restrictions caused by the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic. The photos and video from inside virtually empty St. Peter’s Basilica spoke volumes about the global impact...

Life As a Lentent Journey

Life as a Lenten Journey: Are We There Yet?

Often during this holy season, we lose direction and focus. Our spiritual GPS just stops working. We took umpteen road trips with our five boys when they were young. The question most often heard on those journeys was: “Are we there yet?” Close in age—all born within a seven-year span—our...

Love is Everything

Love is Everything

Being one global family means we are “us”; there is no “them”. 1 Corinthians 13 reveals the key ingredient that our global family needs now more than ever. I don’t know if there has ever been a year that more people have wished was over than 2020. If you’re like...

The Infancy Narratives

The Infancy Narratives

In the New Testament, only Matthew and Luke tell us about Jesus’ birth and youth. Our Christmas cribs harmonize and intermingle details from those two Gospels, but if you read the accounts without that conditioning, you will find that they diverge on many points, for neither evangelist was simply recording...

Homelessness: Catholics Respond

Homelessness: Catholics Respond

Catholics in two regions exemplify how to answer the call of Christ Jim Graves Today the number of homeless people in the United States is higher than the number of people who have their own home in America’s 32nd-largest city (Albuquerque, New Mexico, population 560,000). US data says the total...

Heroes for God and All His Children

America’s first Army chaplains supported soldiers during the American Revolution. They provided religious and pastoral care for the living and the dead, administered rites, and sometimes carried arms to join their congregations into battle. Chaplains have been by the sides of US soldiers and sailors ever since, in peace and...

The Faithful Vote

At a Mass I attended recently, the priest gave an interesting homily on Luke 12. He explained that, depending on our choices in life, God’s spiritual fire could either be cleansing or destructive. While this seemed reasonable, his comments about voting during this election season were debatable. He challenged the...