Do you agonize over big decisions or get anxious about the future? Are you afraid of commitments? Do you change your mind a lot? These tendencies may be an indication of a lack of prudence. In the previous reflection, we…
"And he came to her and said, ‘Hail, full of grace. The Lord is with you!’" —Luke 1:28 The angel Gabriel greeted Mary with a powerful opening line— but one that may escape the attention of many modern readers. For…
A man eating lunch at a restaurant notices an attractive woman at another table, and is immediately drawn to her beauty. His heart stirs, and he finds himself wanting to see her again. Yet, this is not the first time…
At first glance, one might conclude that Mary is not an important figure in the Gospel of John. After all, she only appears in two scenes (at Cana and the Cross) and she only speaks twice in the entire Gospel…
In our first reflection on Pope John Paul II’s Love and Responsibility, we considered the “personalist principle,” which says that we should not treat other persons merely as a means to an end. In particular, we saw how utilitarianism weakens…
The ways of the Lord are not comfortable. But we were not created for comfort, but for greatness."-Pope Benedict XVIWhen faced with choices in life, do you tend to pursue what is most noble-what will form you in excellence and…
Who Is the Woman in Revelation 12? Decoding the woman in 12 is not an easy task. [1] Although a strong Catholic tradition sees Mary in this woman who appears in heaven "clothed with the sun, with the moon under…
It is routinely pointed out that about half of all marriages end in divorce. But what is not often discussed is the other half of the equation: the marriages that don’t break up. Are those marriages thriving? Do married couples…
The Catholic Church calls the famous passage of Genesis 3:15 the Protoevangelium (which means "first Gospel"), for it is "the first prophetic announcement of the Messiah and Redeemer" (Catechism of the Catholic Church, no. 410). Unfortunately, most Biblical scholars today…
One crucial theme in John’s Gospel can shed much light on Mary’s unique role in salvation history. This theme is so foundational that it will help us see how Mary becomes the "New Eve" and the spiritual mother of all…
In our last reflection, we saw how the woman figure in Revelation 12 should be identified as Mary. Now we are prepared to explore how Revelation 12 reveals Mary as having three beautiful roles in salvation history. She is the…
Mary has only one question for the angel Gabriel. And it’s a question that provides a beautiful window into Our Lady’s unique spiritual life, but one we might overlook if we don’t read the Annunciation account carefully: Mary says to…
To run out of refreshments at a party or to not have enough hamburgers for a summer cookout might be an embarrassing moment for a modern-day host. However, to run short of wine at an ancient Jewish wedding feast would…
Catholics sometimes come across slightly defensive, almost embarrassed, about Mary. When asked by our protestant friends why Catholics worship Mary, we may quickly reply, "We don’t worship her; we honor her." When asked why we pray to Mary, we might…
How could Mr. Right turn out to be so wrong? Many young people have had the experience of feeling that they were in love with someone who at first seemed absolutely wonderful, only later to be greatly disappointed in the…
Mary’s command to the servants at Cana-"Do whatever he tells you" (Jn. 2:5)- represents her last recorded words in the Bible. And they serve as much more than an exhortation to obedience. They echo the Old Testament spousal covenant of…
The virtue of temperance sometimes gets a bad reputation. As the virtue that "moderates the attraction of pleasures" (Catechism of the Catholic Church: Second Edition, no. 1809), many people today object to such a notion: "What’s wrong with seeking pleasure?"…
What can a celibate priest really teach us about love, sexuality, and relationships between men and women? That’s the question a Polish priest, Fr. Karol Wojtyla, addressed in the introduction to his revolutionary book, Love and Responsibility. Published in 1960,…
What was Mary’s life like before the angel Gabriel appeared to her? Mary’s early years are shrouded in mystery. The Bible doesn’t tell us much about her existence before the Annunciation. However, the few details that the Gospel of Luke…
How does a person know if he is in a relationship of authentic, committed love or just in another disappointing romance that will not stand the test of time? That’s what John Paul II— then Karol Wojtyla—addresses in the next…
Do you worry over what others think of you? Do you sometimes say or do things to draw attention to yourself? Do you replay conversations in your mind, wondering if you left the right impression? If so, you might be…