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Spiritual Life

Post date: 05/15/2019
During this glorious Paschal season, our churches are decorated beautifully, music is likely full and joyful at the celebration of the Mass, and we are quite aware of the Lord’s Resurrection and celebrating it with devotion. It is easy for us to consider the glory of the Lord’s Resurrection during the Easter season. However, the Gospel on May 19...
Post date: 05/15/2019
In the past two columns, we have looked at the universal call to holiness and its implications for us. We have seen that God calls each of us to be a saint. We have also seen that the grace necessary for holiness is granted to us through prayer. Yet when we think about deep prayer, we still tend to ask, “Can that really be for me?” Now we’ll look...
Post date: 05/01/2019
In our beautiful passage from the Gospel of St. John this Sunday, we hear yet another resurrection account of Jesus appearing to his disciples. This time he appears to them at dawn standing on the shore of the Sea of Tiberias. He stands there as the risen Son shining the light of his merciful love upon the ones he chose to continue his mission of...
Post date: 05/01/2019
In my last column, we established that God calls everyone to holiness. Vatican II teaches this doctrine, following Scripture. How can we become holy?  Holiness is normally impossible without deep prayer. Therefore, the call to holiness is a call to the deep prayer of contemplation. Contemplation is an intimate prayer that God initiates. It brings...

“Portrait of John of Ávila,” oil on canvas, attributed to El Greco, 1580. Housed in the El Greco Museum, Toledo, Spain. PUBLIC DOMAIN/WIKIMEDIA COMMONS
Post date: 05/01/2019
On May 10 the church celebrates the life of a little-known Spanish saint who helped or influenced many more saints we know much better. John of Ávila was born either in 1499 or 1500 in a small town south of Toledo, Spain. The only son of a wealthy family, he was sent off to study law. He left school after a deep conversion and was insistent on...
Post date: 04/18/2019
Two angels greet the women as they arrive at the entrance of the tomb. They ask, “Why do you seek the living among the dead?” What a strange and perplexing thing to say to these poor, terrified and well-intentioned women. But this is the question of this Easter. The response: “He is not here.” Translation: “He is alive! He has been raised up! It’s...
Post date: 04/18/2019
Did you know that God calls you to holiness? God made everyone to be a saint. Every one of us, with all our sins and weaknesses, is called to intimate union with God. The early Christians called all followers of Christ “saints.” When Baptism meant possible martyrdom, people had to take their faith seriously. Even so, not everyone did. Heretics,...
Post date: 04/05/2019
“‘Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?’ She replied, ‘No one, sir.’ Then Jesus said, ‘Neither do I condemn you. Go, (and) from now on do not sin any more.’” – Jn 8:10-11 This Gospel passage shows a powerful image of the mercy of Jesus. He offers the woman mercy while calling her to conversion. When we encounter the living Lord, this...
Post date: 04/05/2019
Christian meditation is a matter of prayerfully pondering the truths of the faith, applying them to one’s life, then entering into a conversation with God based on one’s pondering.  In meditation, we use our minds and our hearts to draw closer to God. Saints and spiritual theologians generally speak of three levels of meditation. When most people...

“St. Isidore of Seville” (1655), depicted by Bartolomé Esteban Murillo, oil on canvas, from the collection of the Seville Cathedral, Spain. PUBLIC DOMAIN via WIKIMEDIA COMMONS
Post date: 04/05/2019
On April 4 we remembered St. Isidore of Seville, bishop, doctor of the church and, among other things, patron of the internet. Isidore was born around the year 560 in Cartagena, a town in southeastern Spain that still exists today. He was born into a family of rare sanctity. His brothers Leander and Fulgentius and his sister Florentina are all...

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