Category: Columns

Riddled with Faith

On his eighty-first birthday in 1962, Saint John XXIII said, “Any day is a good day to be born and any day is a good day to die.” Six months later, he was dead. On the other hand, according to Margaret Mitchell, there’s never a convenient time for “death and...

Check the Sources

Not all Catholic videos are worth viewing. I was buying a new suit. I wanted to make sure it was black and not navy blue, so I asked another shopper about the color. I’m color blind. I often have to ask someone about colors. Blue, pink, purple, and black can...

Our Lady of Light

As I noted in my January column, this year we will explore in detail the apparitions of our Lady. My hope is that this practice of reflection and prayer with the Blessed Virgin will awaken a deeper understanding of the meaning of these events in you and bring to light...

Painful, Necessary Work

This month marks a full year since COVID-19 was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization. Many, myself included, never would have predicted that this virus would still be a topic of international concern today. Yet here we are, more than halfway through a new school year with parents...

Tarnished Treasures

The poet John Keats wrote, “A thing of beauty is a joy forever.” However, several art restoration projects gone awry in recent years suggest otherwise. Consider, for example, the seventeenth-century Spanish artist Bartolomé Murillo’s painting of the Virgin Mary disfigured by a furniture restorer in 2020; a wooden fifteenth-century statue...

Family Life: Lessons in Work

When my girls were younger, I established rules for when they would be paid for successfully finishing a particular chore. I never favored a “no obligations” allowance, so they understood that money they acquired from me in their youth would have to be earned. I classified some chores as their...

New Life for Sacramentals

Saint Blaise day arrives February 3, close to the beginning of Lent, when Catholics set aside meat and take up eating fish on Fridays. You may recall he saved a boy from choking on a fish bone, making the day easy to remember. The use of candles for the blessing...

Prayers, Perseverance, Patience

If someone asked me, “What helps you keep your faith from wearing out?” I would sum up my answer in three words: prayers, perseverance, and patience. Of course, our best role models are our Savior Jesus Christ and Mary the Blessed Virgin. Jesus and Mary patiently prayed and persevered throughout...

All Are Refugees, Going Home

Epiphany, when we remember the Wise Men who knelt before the Son of God to pay him homage, will always be a personal favorite day on our Church calendar. On one momentous January 5—the eve of Epiphany fifty-nine years ago—my parents, my brother, and I left our Cuban hometown of...

“I Do Solemnly Swear…”

Prescribed by the US Constitution, the oath of office of the president is a key part of the inauguration ceremony. It symbolizes the peaceful transition of power. The National Constitution Center, located in the cradle of US liberty—Philadelphia—offers a list detailing the use of the Bible at presidential inaugural ceremonies....

Much Ado about Everything

As we limp from the upheaval and uncertainty of 2020 and tip-toe carefully into 2021, do you think we should dub the first full year of COVID-19 as the worst twelve-month span of time in US history? Or is the pandemic going to get worse? In an article published in...

Exploring Marian Apparitions

We Redemptorists follow the example of our founder, St. Alphonsus Liguori, in his love for Mary, as we continue to preach and provide resources on the place of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Catholic tradition. Since the 1950s, those who devote their life to teaching about Mary in Catholic practice...

“Do Not Be Afraid”

When the Blessed Virgin said to the angel Gabriel, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word” (Luke 1:38), her life changed forever. Mary fully embraced our Savior in body and mind, heart, and soul. Our Lady embraced the new...

Shipshape Communication

Navigating a relationship without effective communication is like trying to steer a sailboat with a torn sail, a damaged rudder, and no wind. The result is little to no progression, frustration, and fear. Poor communication exacerbates relationship problems and lessens the likelihood of success for everyone involved. While we may...

Shut-eye’s Rewards

I received a peculiar gift at a recent parish visit. It’s a statue of St. Joseph, asleep. Joseph is curled up with his head on his traveling bag. His eyes are closed. He’s peaceful and still. I was told the image depicts Joseph dreaming. That could be. Angels appeared to...

Grieve with the Grieving

COVID-19 has upended our grieving and mourning rituals, but as parishes begin to reopen, there are actions Catholics can take to enable those who have lost loved ones to mourn in a safe place.

The Dwelling Place of God

In recent articles I wrote about the Litany of Our Lady of Loreto. In this litany we address many titles of prayer to Our Lady, one of which is “Ark of the Covenant.” As we know from Exodus 25:10, God requested Moses to build an ark and sanctuary where he...

The Color of Perception

Liguorian published an article on voting in September titled “The Faithful Vote: Taking a well-informed con-science to the polls.” In the past couple of months, this article generated more letters, emails, and voicemails than all our content from the past two years combined—the equivalent of about 120 columns and eighty...

Our Sacred Duty

After Mass, a parishioner approached me. Her words reached me well before she did. “Father, this time around the question isn’t which candidate to vote for, it’s, ‘Should I vote or not?’” I wondered how many people are mulling over the same thought. This presidential election year, it’s no surprise...

The Stress of Yes and No

At the heart of most stress-filled experiences is a premature or, at the very least, a half-baked yes. We can all relate to finding ourselves in a situation where, once fully immersed, we question how or why we got there. Recall the times you’ve agreed to do something and later...