Should the feast of St. Joseph be moved out of Lent?

Q: Some people think that celebrating saints’ days during Lent draws our attention away from the Great Forty Days of preparation for Easter. Do you think that the feast of St. Joseph should be moved out of Lent? A: No. It is true that where the solemnity of St. Joseph “is not observed as a…

Finishing Lent strong by relying on God’s mercy

I want to go from knowing about God to knowing God. I want God to be my No. 1 friend that I turn to anytime, anywhere — all the time. I want to be able to pray to God more confidently and effectively in any situation or circumstance. Holy Spirit, join me each and every…

No one exempted from the ‘cries of finitude’

Knowing and accepting our finitude can help quell a lot of frustration, restlessness and false guilt in our lives “What most moves your heart?” I was asked this question recently at a workshop. We were asked to respond to this question: “When do you most naturally feel compassion in your heart?” For me, the answer…

The failure of all-or-nothing politics

Too many elected officials today are mired in a political environment of hyper-partisanship and ideological rigidity Even one as accustomed to political victory as Otto von Bismarck said that “politics is the art of the possible, the attainable — the art of the next best.” But too many elected officials today, mired in a political…

International clergy: Blessing locally and around the world

As a mission territory for many years, the United States first saw priests from Spain, France and Portugal arrive as early as 1523 to bring the sacraments and liturgy to the immigrant populations settling on our coastal shores. Within a few hundred years, priests continued to arrive from England, Italy, Sweden, Germany, Poland, Yugoslavia and…

Oh, what a tangled web: rising above Instagram envy

Melina Birchem has uploaded 777 images to her Instagram account over the past two years: sushi, Starbucks, her new tattoo, rosary beads, cowboy boots. Sometimes the juxtaposition is jarring. A glowing monstrance, a chilled margarita. A snapshot from waitressing, a prayer journal documenting her consecration to the Blessed Mother. As a freshman at the University…

What opportunities for growth do you have this Lent?

What is God trying to teach me now? A few weeks ago, he blessed us with beautiful new snow. Then, soon after, the thermometer read 40 degrees. That was 60 degrees warmer than just 10 days before. Incredible. Yes, the warmth is nice; however, for cross-country skiing, not so much. The snow is too sticky….

Bringing Christ to the caucus

Venturing into the political realm today can be an unappealing prospect. Sometimes it seems that American politics appeals to our base fears and prejudices while advancing only the special interests of a powerful few. Often sound bites, faux controversies and empty gestures take the place of true civil discourse and a deeper understanding of how…

What ingredients make for a good mealtime prayer?

Wisely, the Jewish tradition of prayer holds it unthinkable to ask anything of God without first offering praise and thanks Q: In my family, as I grew up, we prayed before and after meals. Before eating, without fail, we prayed, “Bless us, O Lord, and these thy gifts which we are about to receive from…