Fall From Grace

The Irish rock band, The Pogues, sing a ballad entitled “If I Should Fall from Grace with God.”  To a Christian, the words might suggest that when we do things contrary to our faith commitments or unbecoming to our nature as God’s children–the kind of sins that are public and therefore shameful–we ought to remember that […]

A Call to Holiness

Last month, Pope Francis released an Apostolic Exhortation entitled “Gaudete et exsultate.”  A little different from a papal encyclical—a formal document addressing a universal church teaching—an apostolic exhortation presents a reflective discourse on an important topic.  The topic of this letter is On the Call to Holiness in Today’s World.  The title translates: “Rejoice and […]

Better Because of Christ

One aspect of classical education in a religious school that I like most is the emphasis that’s put on doing what we do in a better manner, on a higher level, or in a more integrated way, because we know Jesus: both the man of history and the God of faith. The learning community—which includes […]

Stages of Spiritual Development

Just as there are stages of development for nearly every aspect of living: physical, moral, mental, psychological…so are there stages for spiritual development. Various experts present their variations.  Basic to all is the classic three-level states of spiritual life: purgative, illuminative, and unitive.  Today, James Fowler’s six stages of spiritual development are a popular reference […]

10 Commandments & 7 Cardinal Sins

From Mount Sinai, Moses presented The Ten Commandments to God’s chosen people.  Such commandments, or legal formulations, were common to most nations or tribes at that time in history.  But what made Israel unique is that it believed these laws originated with God, not humans—and that made them more precious than gold. The first three […]

Cut Down The Net & Join The Dance

March Madness hits a high point in the middle of the month as conference basketball champions cut down the nets and punch their ticket to the annual NCAA Tournament.  It’s called The Big Dance because no less than sixty-five teams are invited to the court and among them is always a Cinderella underdog that rises […]

Hearts & Ashes

Though rare that Valentine’s Day and Ash Wednesday are the same, in this twenty-four hour period we are offered a time for lovers and given a mark for the love of God. It’s a day of hearts with a mark of ashes: a perfect time for us to locate where we have progressed on the […]