The Secret of a Saint Who Struggled
It’s always something of a relief to me when I learn a saint struggled with a behavior or an inclination because it makes them more human, more approachable, even more understandable. The saints were real people, of course, but many of them seem to have lived so perfectly that it's discouraging to even try to emulate them. So when I read about a saint struggling to overcome human weaknesses—just as the rest of us struggle—I’m more inclined to view that perso...
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What Do I Do with My Anger? How a Community of Faith Can Help
One of the most powerful aspects of the Catholic Church is that it is a community. We’re known as the “community of faith,” and our liturgies and sacraments reflect that emphasis.And can I just say, it’s a good thing? Because, historically, the Church has had to contend with a great many problems, challenges, and even tragedies, difficult and trying times that no member of the community would be able to survive alone, without the support of Christian sisters and brothers....
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We Will Never Forget

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We Will Never Forget
"We will never forget." That's the phrase used most often in connection with 9/11, isn't it? We will never forget.That choice of words is not accidental: they’re words that have been used in association with other terrible times. "Remember Pearl Harbor." "Never forget the Holocaust." Even, for those who know their English history, “remember, remember, the fifth of November.” It’s as though we need words to make sure that these ho...
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Simple Habits that Will Bring You Closer to God
If you’re anything like me, you find bad habits difficult to break and positive ones tricky to establish. I think it would be a great thing to exercise more, and to stop staying up late to read “just one more chapter” in the book I have by my bed, and maybe even to stop by my parish church and spend an hour or two with the Blessed Sacrament from time to time.You can see the problem here: I said: “I think it would be a great thing.” I don’t plan it; I think abo...
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Nothing Can Come Between Us and the Holy Spirit
It feels, lately, that we live in particularly dark times. We’re not the first Christians to live through difficult times. In fact, the whole liturgy of entry into the Church is the story of emerging from darkness into light.Baptism is the sacrament that brings a person—usually a child or even a baby—into the life of the Church. Baptism is so important that it’s the only sacrament the Church permits lay people to perform in an emergency! And it’s perhaps in bap...
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Living in Difficult Times: Lessons from a Soon-To-Be Saint
No matter how you feel about recent geopolitical events, or issues and problems from within our own Church, one thing on which everyone can agree is this: we are living in difficult times. And what difficult times call for, more than anything else, is the help and support of someone who understands.Next month, Oscar Romero, priest, bishop, and archbishop, will be canonized by Pope Francis, and I’d just like to suggest that if you’re looking for guidance in navigating the perilous wat...
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Are Regrets Dead Ends—Or Merely Detours?
I am a Catholic. I am divorced.Those two parts of my being don’t always sit comfortably together, but it is reality for millions of people worldwide, and it’s my reality.My parents stayed married until death did them part, and they were truly miserable for most of their lives together. They made their children miserable. They were determined to not divorce, and they both ended up bitter, manipulative, and extremely unhappy. With that example in mind, I had determined my own vocation ...
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It’s All About Books at Booktalk with the Daughters of St. Paul
There’s nothing quite like reading a terrific book, a book that makes you think, a book that opens up new ways of living a Catholic life, of relating to others, of praying and meditating. Seriously: is there? And what’s even better than finding such a book is being able to get deeper into it, to chat about it, to hear how other people reacted to it.Wouldn’t that be a great idea? A Catholic book club that introduces you to new books, that revisits old favorites, that brings you ...
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Lessons of Faith from a Miraculous Staircase
It can be difficult to teach the kids you love about faith and the power of God’s providence. Often we find that these are abstract concepts, difficult to explain, and we decide to leave them alone, to put off talking about them until children are older. But the true story of the Loretto Chapel in Santa Fe, New Mexico, demonstrates the power of prayer—and can open kids’ eyes to the wonders of God’s work.The story begins when a group of seven sisters set out to build a cha...
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How nature leads us to love God more
It’s summertime, and in the northern hemisphere that means warm—often hot!—weather, longer days, balmy nights. In fact, it’s just the right time to be outside more. We do cookouts, we lie on the grass and contemplate the stars, we swim and hike and do all the things that, come January, we’ll remember with more than a little nostalgia.It’s natural in summer to feel closer to nature—after all, we spend more time outside in the midst of it! And nature,...
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