21 results
April 1, 2015

On Ash Wednesday 2004, I was one of many Christians who stood in line for the opening of Mel Gibson's cinematic passion play, The Passion of the Christ. If I remember correctly, it was a warm, sunny day, and the line was quite long. My friends and I attracted a few stares because we were still wearing our blessed ashes. At the time, I was deeply moved by the film and...

March 18, 2015
The Garden of Gethsemane

Once a year, for the last five years, I have been fortunate to be able to go on retreat with the local secular Carmelite community. Every October, we drive a couple of hours north of San Diego to El Carmelo in Redlands, California, a retreat house run by the Discalced Carmelite Friars of the California–Arizona Province. The retreat runs...

March 11, 2015
The temptations of Christ

Twenty years ago this month, I decided to become Catholic. At the time, it was a rather emotional decision, likely rooted in a bit of rebellion—my family background is Seventh-Day Adventist, which is historically anti-Catholic—but mostly born of a desire for a fresh start. Years later, I was happy to discover that my decision to become Catholic came right about the same time that John Paul...

January 5, 2015

For many American Catholics, the Christmas season pretty much ended yesterday at the Mass for the Feast of Epiphany. Yes, depending on how you reckon the Christmas season, we may yet continue to celebrate Christmas through the...

June 11, 2014

A few days ago, a friend who is the busy pastor of a parish asked if I would take a look at a question that had come in from an inquirer through his parish's website. He hoped that I could take the time he did not have to research the answer and provide some resources for his inquirer. In a nutshell, this person wanted to know why Catholics affirm that believers could both be a part of the communion of saints and yet sin, since the apostle John said of believers:

He who...