Category: Columns

The Redeemer, Mary, and You

A Sign that Enlightens Us “A great sign appeared in the sky, a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars.” —Revelation 12:1 This Scripture quote that speaks of “sign” and “stars” has been used to proclaim the place...

From the Editor

Behind “I’m fine” Have you ever been next to someone who takes “How are you?” to heart?  As a young adult, I felt humiliated when my stepmother committed the social faux pas of doing just that when a retail-store associate asked how she was doing. After Mom listed her aches...

From the President and Publisher

Divine Love, Forever In the pages of this magazine more than a decade ago, I wrote about the dreaded operations I had as a youngster. They occurred every time I got a splinter in my hand while climbing trees in the yard. When my dad returned from work, he’d ask...

The Importance of Mary’s Rosary

How often have you prayed the rosary, only to feel that you get nothing out of it? The repetition of the prayers can become mechanical and monotonous. Perhaps you have even been tempted to stop praying the rosary. In October, the month dedicated to the rosary (the feast day of...

Supper Invitation

“No man is lonely eating spaghetti,” author Christopher Morley said. “It requires so much attention.” Mamma mia! Those are the words of someone using his noodle!  Such thinking can whet our appetite for gratitude in maneuvering that tricky pasta staple on our plate.  In Jesus’ day, Jewish people basically said,...

Responding to Valuable Advice

I confess! In my downtime I tend to avoid “educational entertainment.” To the chagrin of my husband and my middle daughter, that means history channels and the like aren’t on my “favorites” list. I reason that since I don’t devote a significant amount of time to watching TV, when I...

Holy Pondering

“Mary’s Memories” is a spiritual concept that encompasses more than our Blessed Mother remembering the past. Saint John Paul II used the concept in his apostolic letter On the Most Holy Rosary (Rosarium Virginis Mariae). In the section titled “Mary, Model of Contemplation,” he writes: “The contemplation of Christ has...

What Happened to Manners?

Today, “web to web” readily calls to mind an interlinked system of information accessible through the internet. But it also refers to the point of contact made between two people when they engage in a proper handshake (you know, the web of skin between one’s thumb and index finger). More...

“Criss-cross Applesauce,” with God’s Help

As the summer comes to a close, many will relish in the memories they made—hopefully fond ones that involve sun and sand—and quality time with family and friends. The memory that sticks out in my mind elicits feelings of distress, with a smidgen of pride—the good kind. First let me...

A Preacher’s Prayer

Jesus, spare us from those who make you unrecognizable when preaching in your name! Amen. Lord, like St. Paul, “I am not ashamed of the gospel” (Romans 1:16); however, we preachers of your gospel are surely an embarrassment to you at times when we contort your word. As a priest,...

Turning Another Page

In a few days I’ll be moving my youngest daughter to Denver. The anticipation of the nearly 1,000-mile trek has essentially paralyzed me, emotionally speaking. I never thought I would be one of those mothers who would become distraught when my baby birds flew the coop. In fact, I envisioned...

Conformity as Our Way of Life

Upon the completion of her earthly life, Mary, the Mother of God, was taken to heaven, body and soul. Mary’s assumption into heaven in her entirety is inspirational and relates God’s desire for us—to be united with our Lord, in body and soul, for eternity.  To join God in heaven’s...

A Lesson in Less

It took a mind-shifting experience in Costa Rica to make me realize just how skewed our priorities are in the States—mine included. In March my husband and I vacationed in areas surrounding Tamarindo in the provinces of Guanacaste and Alajuela, the canton of San Carlos, and the district of La...

Another World Is Possible

“Beware the Ides of March.” While the fifteenth of March is best known as the day of Julius Caesar’s assassination in 44 bc, it was traditionally the deadline for Romans to settle debts. Likewise, Americans settled their debts to the federal government on March 15, until the tax-filing deadline was...

The Bridge Between Heaven and Earth

June 27, the feast day of Our Mother of Perpetual Help, is an opportunity for us to spend time reflecting on Mary’s place in our Catholic tradition, especially her role in the life of the Church. The icon of Our Mother of Perpetual Help, in its highly developed symbolism, reveals...

Vive la Différence

Several weeks ago, I attended a coed baby shower. Such couples parties were uncommon when I had my children. Then, it was a women-only event, which (in my experience) most men appreciated. Am I validating gender bias to assume that many men would rather, say, watch sports than check out...

Our Passion

What is passion? Dictionary definitions include “ardent affection, devotion to an activity or concept, overmastering feeling or conviction,” and yes, “the sufferings of Christ between the night of the Last Supper and his death.” Truly, Christ’s was—and is—the greatest passion because it is driven by love of God and humanity....

A High Degree of Certainty

I read somewhere that the sun’s getting hotter every year. It seems that pretty soon the earth’s going to fall into the sun—or wait a minute—it’s just the opposite—the sun’s getting colder every year. Tom Buchanan in The Great Gatsby We can relate to Tom Buchanan’s solar confusion almost a...

The Maternal Tenderness of God

The image of Our Mother of Perpetual Help is a manifestation of the tenderness of God—demonstrated in how the icon is painted (written). I’ve often discussed Mary’s gaze in this column and received many letters relating the effect Mary’s look has had on people as they pray before the icon. ...

Bring Back Common Sense

Things I never thought I’d see: Reports on the prime-time nightly news cautioning viewers not to drive or perform other daily tasks while blindfolded (search “bird box challenge” online if you’re unfamiliar). A warning on a hair dryer that reads: “Do Not Use While Sleeping.” A public-service announcement by a...