Draw Near: A Divine Invitation

He was here, as a man, to walk with us and speak to us and live and die for us. We discovered that our God had some skin in the game. The Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us.

And during this Advent season, as we remember the anticipation of His birth in Bethlehem as a reminder that we still anticipate His coming again, we have the chance, every day, to draw nearer. And He is doing the same. He’s coming closer still.

It is Better for You That I Go.

I sometimes wonder what the disciples felt like when Jesus told them that he had to leave them. Probably a little confused, startled, and worried. I don’t blame them, the man they came to know and love was no longer going to be by their side. In fact, Scripture says that because of this news, grief filled the disciples hearts (John 16:6), and yet Jesus still tells them that it is “better for you that I go” (John 16:7).

Thank You God: Being the Grateful Leper

We walk into confession as spiritual lepers, wounded and scarred by sin. In the case of mortal sin, we’re even spiritual outcasts of heaven, living outside of the state of grace. But we walk out of Confession as people brought back to life and made new.

If we were to truly recognize what God is doing in us, our reaction would be one of wonder and awe followed by humble gratitude.

Understanding Paul: An Introduction to the Writings of St. Paul

Use the summaries as an introduction for private study. Use them in a group study as you begin to discuss the various overarching themes of each work. The point is this: use them. There is no reason to avoid St. Paul's writings. They are a beautiful gift from God and are meant to be explored. Prayerfully read through these sections in conjunction with the letters of St. Paul themselves, and watch how the second reading at Sunday Mass ‘Ìâ‰âÂÌâ‰Ûù and, most importantly, your soul ‘Ìâ‰âÂÌâ‰Ûù comes to life.

I Hope You Give Everything

We’re in a time where our leaders and beliefs are under a lot of scrutiny. It’s not always a popular thing to stand up for the Gospel these days. However, it wasn’t easy to stand up for the Gospel back in the days of the Early Church, either.

It’s ironic because I think it should have been easier back then. I have to pull out scripture to show people what Jesus said and did. The Apostles just had to say “Guys, don’t you remember two weeks ago on the boat when Jesus said this and that?”

Carry On

I'd probably be on my way home, too. Because, in a way, I have felt like they felt. Maybe you have, too.

We've been on the great retreats, attended the amazing youth conferences, heard the killer homilies, felt the graces of Confession, gotten into the power of the Triduum. We've heard His voice and felt His presence. Everything is working according to plan.

And then, a little time goes by . . . a couple hours, a couple days, a couple weeks. And the feelings are gone. And it feels like Jesus is gone, too.

The Man Who Won’t Condemn

Jesus Christ is both justice and mercy. The Law of Moses required for the woman to be stoned; He didn't fail to invite others to stone her. He even opened up the opportunity for others to condemn the woman, but only if they met the qualification that He knew no one (besides His mother & Himself ) could meet: 'let the one among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her' (John 8:7).

Among all the people that were present, Christ could've immediately condemned her by His own standards. But He did not condemn her; He showed her mercy.

Jesus and the 3 Wise Guys

Have you ever noticed that the Bible doesn't specifically say how many wise men showed up in Bethlehem? We're told that wise men from the East followed a star, interacted with Herod, and made their way to the manger (bearing gifts) but nowhere does it say how many men there actually were. So, how exactly did this idea of the 'three magi' begin if Matthew 2 doesn’t give an explicit number? Is this just the byproduct of an overzealous songwriter thinking that 'We Three Kings' sounded better than 'A couple of Kings' or 'About Four Kings'?

Mayan Mayhem: Are We Gonna Die Young?

Christ Himself told us that nobody knows the day or the hour that He will return to judge the living and dead on earth. Not the Mayans, not a television preacher, and certainly not Ke$ha. This means that tomorrow Christ could show up. Would your soul be ready, or would you wish you had more time? The truth about 'living like you are going to die young,' is that we should be living like today is our last day, but realizing that there is eternal life after death. We should be making the most of our lives today … but not through sin, but virtue.

Mayan Mayhem: Are We Gonna Die Young?

Christ Himself told us that nobody knows the day or the hour that He will return to judge the living and dead on earth. Not the Mayans, not a television preacher, and certainly not Ke$ha. This means that tomorrow Christ could show up. Would your soul be ready, or would you wish you had more time? The truth about 'living like you are going to die young,' is that we should be living like today is our last day, but realizing that there is eternal life after death. We should be making the most of our lives today … but not through sin, but virtue.

Is Your Faith Dead or Alive?

Every Sunday morning my routine is the same: wake up, brush my teeth, fix my hair, put on a pretty dress, and head to 8:30AM Mass. But sometimes, when 9:30 rolls around, I realize I've completely missed it all. I missed the Creed, the readings, and even Jesus, Himself, coming down from Heaven onto the altar!

Now, I don't mean that I sometimes press the snooze button so many times that I end up missing Mass. I mean I physically show up, but too often I am still spiritually sleeping throughout the entire Mass.

Is Your Faith Dead or Alive?

Every Sunday morning my routine is the same: wake up, brush my teeth, fix my hair, put on a pretty dress, and head to 8:30AM Mass. But sometimes, when 9:30 rolls around, I realize I've completely missed it all. I missed the Creed, the readings, and even Jesus, Himself, coming down from Heaven onto the altar!

Now, I don't mean that I sometimes press the snooze button so many times that I end up missing Mass. I mean I physically show up, but too often I am still spiritually sleeping throughout the entire Mass.

Blessed the Beggar: Who Are the “Poor in Spirit”?

Ìâ‰âÂÌâÅÒBlessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.' (Matthew 5:3)

This is one of those Scripture passages that many people 'know' (meaning, they've heard it before) but countless people fail to understand. My own parochial school teacher taught us that it simply meant God loves poor people 'more.'

Ummm, to put it as charitably and bluntly as possible . . . no, that's not what it means . . .

Pentecost Should Make You Uncomfortable

It seems a little unfair honestly. There are all these crazy and dramatic details in the story of Pentecost, and my life is so mundane in contrast. I want the Holy Spirit to work in powerful ways in my life too.

So what's stopping Him?

Me. I'm stopping Him. I'm scared and I'll admit it . . .

How to Read 1st & 2nd Timothy

The letters of St. Paul to Timothy are unique among the apostle's writings. Timothy was stationed in the Church at Ephesus in order to help it recover from the damage of some false teachers who had been deceiving God's people (1 Timothy 1:3-7; 6:3-5). In a very loving way, the Apostle encourages Timothy to remain […]

How to Read Ephesians

The 'mystery' of Jesus Christ is both the key to our salvation and the central theme in St. Paul's letter to the Ephesians (Ephesians 1:9; 3:4, 9). The mystery of Christ has various dimensions. Jesus is the Savior of the world, and he came to die on the cross for the sins of all people ‘Ìâ‰âÂÌâ‰Ûù no matter what their background

How to Read 1st & 2nd Thessalonians

The letters of St. Paul to Timothy are unique among the apostle's writings. Timothy was stationed in the Church at Ephesus in order to help it recover from the damage of some false teachers who had been deceiving God's people (1 Timothy 1:3-7; 6:3-5).