Evangelizing through the Catholic Arts

Understanding God’s Word

God's WordIn today’s Gospel, we hear Jesus tell the parable of the sower. Jesus knew that the Apostles did not completely understand what He tried to convey. He responded to them by asking, “Do you not understand this parable? Then how will you understand any of the parables” (Mark 4:13)? Understanding God’s Word requires some interpretation.

As you read Scripture, do you confidently think you truly understand what God conveys in the passages that you read? Odds are the answer is no, and if you answered no, then you are in good company. Some passages are easy to discern. Then there are others that have multiple meanings, or multiple layers to discern. How, then, are we to discern the Continue reading

Wisdom from the Western Isles – Book Review

Wisdom from the Western IslesIf you want to grow in spirituality, and learn the mystic way, then you will want to get a copy of David Torkington’s Wisdom from the Western Isles.

In this thought provoking book, we meet the main character, Peter Calvay, a mystic in his own right. He acts as a spiritual guide for a young man named James. Torkington does a masterful job at interweaving the stories of the two men’s lives, who are completely different. James is Protestant, searching for meaning in his life. Peter is a middle-aged Catholic, who experienced much spiritual growth and is considered a mystic.

Through Peter’s kindness and willingness to share his experiences and knowledge with James, we all get the benefit of Continue reading

The Importance of Fasting

 

importance of fastingIn today’s Gospel, from Mark 2:18-22, we see Jesus ask the people, “Can the wedding guests fast while the bridegroom is with them” (Mark 2:19)?  He asks this question in response to an inquiry about why Jesus’ disciples are not conducting the proper fast. This question has many layers of understanding behind it. So, let’s first set the stage with some proper background information. This will help us better understand where this question stems from, and why fasting is important.

In typical Jewish tradition, the Jews fasted on the Day of Atonement, asking forgiveness of sins. They would do this because they knew that sin separates us from God. Fasting reminds us of our need for Continue reading

Embracing Temperance in the New Year

Embracing temperanceWe’re two weeks into the New Year, and many of us have already failed to live up to our New Year’s resolution to lose weight, and/or to get fit. Why? Because we lack the virtue of Temperance. Embracing Temperance helps us to gain control over our passions, even the passion for food and the lack of passion for exercise!

I love to eat good food, and I detest any exercise. As a result, all the weight that I lost a few years ago returned – every pound of it! I know this is not healthy for me. Yet, when your “Temperance Tank” is running on empty, it is very difficult to make positive change. That’s why we fail to live Continue reading

Embracing Fortitude in the New Year

Embracing FortitudeWhat have you been afraid to tackle in this new year? Is it a tough conversation with a loved one, a conversation you would rather ignore? Or, maybe it’s summoning the courage to get that physical you have been putting off? Perhaps you haven’t been to Confession in a while. As this new year gets underway, now is the time to address those things you conveniently put out of your mind. By embracing Fortitude, you can succeed in addressing those uncomfortable situations.

What Can Embracing Fortitude Do?

Fortitude strengthens our resolve. It will also help us to achieve our New Year’s resolutions. How so? Well, Fortitude gives us the courage and strength to be brave in moments of fear; to Continue reading

Embracing Justice in the New Year

embracing justiceJustice, in the eyes of God, is viewed a bit differently than we, humans, view Justice. Giving God His due through worship, praise and thanksgiving is justice in God’s eyes. Respecting one’s neighbor’s goods and family is justice in God’s eyes. Embracing Justice, as God would like us to do, is not as easy as it sounds.

The number of people who take the time on Sundays to worship God; to give Him praise and thanksgiving, is dwindling as each decade passes. We, as humans, are not giving God His due. In addition, we, as humans, fail to give the rightful respect due to our fellow men. Look at all the bickering you see on the news; the divisiveness rising Continue reading

Embracing Prudence in the New Year

embracing prudenceMany of us make New Year’s resolutions, mainly because we want to see positive change in our lives. Perhaps we haven’t always made the wisest food choices. Or, maybe we haven’t been that good at handling our finances. We want to change for the better. By embracing Prudence, we can accomplish our New Year’s resolutions with success.

True Goods versus Apparent Goods

Prudence is the application of practical reason to the decision-making process, so that one may determine the true good every time, as well as choose the proper means of achieving the true good.

Let’s first differentiate between a true good and an apparent good. A true good has no disguise. Take Christ, as an example; sinless and morally Continue reading

Wishing You Christ’s Hope in the New Year

Christ's HopeIt’s a new year, with new possibilities, and new beginnings. This new year offers us the opportunity to hope that our lives will be more fruitful and blessed. Perhaps you are hoping to get a new job this year. Or, maybe you hope to have a baby. Whatever you hope for in this new year, my wish for you is that you align it with Christ’s Hope for your life.

What is God calling you to do? Have you sensed a pull in a certain direction? Maybe you are developing an interest in a certain ministry in your parish. Or, perhaps, you feel a tug toward getting that degree you’ve always wanted. What is holding you back from saying “yes” Continue reading