Category: Columns

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...

Hellzapoppin: Satan Speaks

Up next, an exclusive interview during ratings sweeps month. Don’t go away! But first, a word from our sponsor. [Thirty-second commercial from Guns R Us] Welcome back, viewers. Every November, the Church ends its liturgical year by focusing on four last things—death, judgment, heaven, and hell. Joining us now, live-streaming...

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...

For the Love of God

When our Blessed Mother appeared before three shepherd children in Fátima, Portugal, in 1917, Mary said: “Pray the rosary every day.” We cannot emphasize enough the importance of prayer. Without prayer, we cut ourselves off from our Lord’s amazing graces. God’s love is essential, especially in great difficulty. Consider Fátima’s...

A Hunger for Home

Unlike Maycomb—the setting for To Kill a Mockingbird—the place of my youth was not “a tired old town when I first knew it.” On the contrary, Crowley, LA, was arguably in its prime during the 1960s and seventies. Chartered in 1887, a few years after the first railroad connected New...

Lessons from a Marriage

Perhaps it is the presence of Valentine’s Day: February is widely recognized as the month in which people fall in love. (I know this was true for my late husband and me!) Love has many lessons. Some can only be learned in retrospect. I wrote this reflection for a beautiful...

Auditing Racism

The company that manages our electrical service called our parish one day. The agent said the company would do a free energy audit. The audit would produce a report detailing the ways we could save energy and lower our bill. The company also offered us energy-saving light bulbs, free. We’ve...

A Prayer for Anxiety

In the tradition of the Church, we have many forms of liturgical prayers that honor Mary. Litanies, among the oldest forms of prayer, incorporate petitions and titles for God or a saint. In the Roman Catholic tradition, the Litany of the Blessed Virgin Mary is the most well-known of this...

Confessions of a Southern White Man

“Tell about the South,” writes William Faulkner in Absalom, Absalom! “What’s it like there. What do they do there. Why do they live there. Why do they live at all.” As a Southerner, my skin likes the feel of seersucker, and my ears, the sound of “y’all.” Even at my...

Shifting Smoothly

Have you ever been in a relationship—professional, personal, or familial—in which you felt as if you couldn’t do anything right? When faced with overbearing personalities who tend to critique/criticize every minute detail of my actions, I become hypersensitive. Nerves take over. Common sense flies out the window. I become so...

Our Prayers Matter

Though we’ve experienced much uncertainty recently—particularly in relation to the spread of the Coronavirus—when it comes to our faith, there is always one certainty. We can always come together in prayer. Prayer is possible so often…as we walk, as we shop, as we wash our hands, and even as we...

Post-lockdown Liturgies

Hippocrates, the father of medicine, said he would rather know what sort of person has a disease than what sort of disease has a person. If the “sort of disease that has a person” is COVID-19, we’re painfully aware that more than six million people worldwide—and counting—have contracted it while...

The Cherished Familiar

People tend to take things for granted. Americans in particular exhibit an orientation to life that can become so ingrained that it provides the lens through which we understand ourselves and evaluate others. If we fail to widen our focus, we risk becoming ethnocentric, a trait that can be positive...

Quenching Our Thirst for Peace

A ton of turmoil abounds around the globe. From navigating the uncharted waters of the coronavirus that causes the disease COVID-19, to the economic and social hardships the threat of the virus has wrought, to the numerous other challenges people face, many find it difficult, if not impossible, to attain...

A Day of Thanksgiving

June 27 is a special day during which we can especially celebrate a great source of consolation for so many. The annual feast of Our Mother of Perpetual Help enables us to reflect on our veneration of our beloved icon. On this feast day, let us express our gratitude to...

On Eagles’ Wings

On the Sabbath, people in the synagogue were astonished, for Jesus “taught them as one having authority and not as the scribes” (Mark 1:22). How did Jesus’ teaching differ from the lessons of the scribes? Personal character. His authority and integrity were apparent from his authentic relationship with God. Unlike...

Unsurprising Imperfections

Mark Twain quipped, “Man was made at the end of the week’s work, when God was tired.” On the other hand, to rephrase Shakespeare, “The fault is not in our Creator but in ourselves.” Clearly the Bard was closer to the mark, for our first parents were unable to resist...