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Relics and the Gritty Faith of the Early Church

At the northern tip of Via Giulia in Rome, you’ll find the church of San Giovanni dei Fiorentini. The large dome that crowns this church is one of many that accent the Roman skyline. San Giovanni dei Fiorentini If it’s hot, airy churches like San Giovanni provide the weary pilgrim with a spiritual and physical oasis. Most likely, you’ll be...

Americans: Join Us in Prayer for Our Nation

"Let us always keep before our eyes the fact that here on earth we are on a battlefield and that in paradise we shall receive the crown of victory.” – Padre Pio All great saints and holy teachers of the faith testify that the spiritual life is a continual warfare against three enemies: the world, the flesh, and the devil. In...

Neo-Paganism and Catholic Mystery

I recently visited the website of a popular company that sells products like deodorant and toothpaste with natural ingredients. Curious to learn more about the business, I visited their blog which was purportedly about the latest trends in health and wellness. What greeted me was not what I expected. Rather than tips on exercise or healthy eating, the blog featured...

A Royal Priesthood: Salvation, Election and the Power of Mediation

The history of salvation is in many ways a history of mediation. In the Old Covenant, God raised up mediators in the form of priests and prophets---like Moses, Aaron, and Samuel---to intercede for the salvation of his people. These mediators were specifically chosen, often reluctantly, to carry out the divine mission. These men were types or pictures of the One...

Prayer Takes Practice: Five Ways to Improve Your Prayer Life

How much time and energy is exerted in obtaining a degree from some prestigious University?  How much blood, sweat and tears are expended to win a trophy from some sporting event? How much time and energy can even be consumed in preparing for a surprise Birthday party?   If we can expend so much time, money, emotional and physical energy for such natural pursuits,...

5 Celtic Prayers and Blessings for St. Patrick’s Day

The Celtic Christian tradition has much to offer us living in the modern world. For one, the Celtic people and their descendants possessed an intuitive awareness of God's presence in all creation---an awareness we moderns have largely lost. From the waves crashing against the craggy Irish coast to the ever-present rain and wind, everything was a sign and manifestation of...

5 Reasons to Pray the Rosary Every Day in 2017

The new year is right around the corner, and as it approaches, it is natural to look back at months past and think of resolutions that can improve our lives. While eating healthier, getting up earlier,  exercising, and similar commitments are all good and commendable, I want to recommend one resolution you will never regret: praying a daily rosary. We all...

Praying the Rosary

The post is part of the ongoing #FultonFridays series. From the earliest days, the Church asked its faithful to recite the one hundred and fifty Psalms of David. This custom still prevails among priests, who recite some of these Psalms every day. But it was not easy for anyone to memorize the one hundred and fifty Psalms. Then, too, before...

Ten Reasons to Pray the Rosary

Motivation is the key to carrying out any worthy enterprise. Great men and great women have clear goals and strong motivations. They know what they want and they have a clear plan before their eyes. CEO’s in successful companies know what they want, have goals, deadlines, and concrete steps to attain those goals. Professional athletes have a determined determination to...

St. Romuald, Baby Birds, and Divine Grace

This past week, we discovered a nest in our backyard containing three baby birds. They must have hatched very recently because they are at the stage where they are still quite ugly---no feathers, huge heads, and gaping mouths. Our two boys are absolutely delighted, and they express their excitement by running around the yards shouting, "Baby birds, baby birds!" When...

10 Ways to Grow in Prayer

Prayer is the key to salvation.  St. Augustine says that he who prays well lives well; he who lives well dies well; and to he who dies well all is well. St. Alphonsus reiterates the same principle:  “He who prays much will be saved; he who does not pray will be damned; he who prays little places in jeopardy his eternal salvation.  The same...

The Rosary: The Best Prayer for Men

Devotion to Our Lady may not seem an intuitive thing for some Catholic men. Growing up, I’d occasionally catch my father as he finished praying the Rosary early on Saturday mornings (begun in peace when the rest of us were asleep), or notice he’d left his handsome set of beads lying out on a coffee table. I had the blessing...