The Mystery of the Priesthood Because I work at a seminary, I have gotten to know quite a few priests over the years. Many of them have become good friends. Some have left the ministry for one reason or another. All of them have grappled with the meaning of their unique vocation. Simone Weil explained
At the end of his treatise on contemplation (also known as his treatise On Consideration), Saint Bernard of Clairvaux observes the dimensions of Christian mental prayer. Specifically, when Saint Paul prays in Ephesians 3:18 that we might come to comprehend and be filled with the breadth and length, height and depth of the fullness of
In the first part of this post, we talked about silent adoration and the movement of prayer that is an ecstasy of love. Today, we will discuss how adoration is a symphony of love and how silent adoration leads to a life filled with love. If we consider adoration as a going out of self,
“Hunger for silence is the sign of spiritual maturity.” This saying is attributed to [Saint] John Paul the Great and reminds me of the program he proposed to the Church after the Great Jubilee of the Year 2000. He called the Church to gaze on the face of Christ. Learning to gaze on the face
The Truth to Which Christ Bears Witness “For this I was born, and for this I have come into the world, to bear witness to the truth” (John 18:37). A Carthusian reflects on these words of the Lord addressed to Pontius Pilate. He believes that these words reveal the most essential secret of Christ’s life.
Temptation to Power and the Prayer of Humble Obedience The merely material, psychological and political make lifeless absolutes when it comes to the history of prayer. The ancient prophets of Israel were subversive when they spoke against the worship of bread, sex, and kings. Against these ever present religious propensities, the Church proposes joining the
“Let me see you, let me hear your voice.” These final days of Advent lift our hearts to the coming of Christ and are meant to move us to pray. How can we not make prayer part of our lives when we consider what it means that the Word of the Father came in history
Christians have the duty to rejoice, to express their joy to the world. Great thinkers like St. Augustine explain to us that joy is love which possesses its object. When we have what we most desire, we are able to enjoy and rest in what we love. We also know that many things we desire,
Spiritual Direction and Evangelization In the Holy Father’s latest Apostolic Exhortation “Joy of the Gospel” (Evangelii Gaudium) he takes time to remind us of spiritual accompaniment as a key part of evangelization (see paragraphs number 169 to 172). Pope Francis begins by noting the paradox of modern culture: on the one hand, people suffer from
Even though she died in 1309, Saint Angela of Foligno helps us appreciate the enlightenment that can come from a life of penance. It was a time not unlike our own. Epicureanism was destroying society even as great saints attempted to help their contemporaries see that there is so much more than the short-term pleasures
Saint Angela di Foligno and St. Elisabeth of the Trinity One of the influences on the thought and spirituality of Saint Elisabeth of the Trinity was a Third Order Franciscan widow from the beginning of the 14th Century, Angela di Foligno. Pope Francis has just included this master of theology in the Calendar of
In our last post we considered the power of God’s love as the ground of married love. In this post, we will ponder the divine love which looks on marriage with resurrected eyes and delve deeper into the kind of prayer faithful marriage requires. Resurrected Eyes. The Gospels invite us to contemplate all marriage, even
In the last post, we looked at St. Hildegard’s vision in which hell is at war with marriage. In this war, human cleverness and resourcefulness are of limited value. Only God can hold together what He has joined. In this post, we will ponder the power of God’s love as the ground of married love.
Venerable Cardinal Francis Xavier Nguyen Van Thuan exhorted the faithful while he was in prison, “If you desire peace, you will have to fight continuously.” This constant struggle is true not only for the heart but also for the sacredness of marriage. Our culture has come to despise the faithful love of husband and wife.
In our last post, we introduced Saint John of Avila’s teaching in his lifetime project Audi, Filia. To help us understand how important it is for us to order our lives to the silence of prayer, Saint John of Avila tells us about the dark languages of this world that can lead us astray. He