6 results
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...

April 2, 2014

Nearly twenty years ago, when I was a baby Catholic, I read Purgatory Explained by Fr. F.X. Schouppe, S.J. In sometimes lurid detail, Fr. Schouppe paints vivid accounts of the sufferings of the holy souls in purgatory, as reported by the saints, and tells of the wondrous effects of our prayers to speed the holy souls on their way to heaven. Not to mention the...

March 5, 2014

The other day I was visiting with some friends at a party. One of them, a Catholic, mentioned that she and her husband had recently embarked on a cleansing diet, and had good results. Then she remarked, "It's amazing how much easier it is to avoid certain foods when you are not doing it for spiritual reasons."

Lent is here, that penitential season on the liturgical calendar when Catholics give up all sorts of things for spiritual reasons. And it is again that time of year when the...

March 1, 2013

In the Q&A department here at Catholic Answers, year in and year out we get what I like to think of as the seasonal questions. At Christmas someone will ask "What time is the midnight Mass?" (No kidding, and not as obvious an answer as you might think in many American parishes.) At Halloween, someone will want to know if the holiday is pagan. And, at Lent, not just "someone" but everyone seems to ask "Why do Catholics eat fish on the Fridays of Lent?"

The short answer has...