7 Effective Ways to Respond to Crisis in the Catholic Church

Crisis, accusation, and the revelation of sin has left a wake of sorrow and devastation in the Catholic Church over the last few weeks. Bill Donaghy and Christopher West have collaborated to write a short resource to guide us through these times. This resource intends not to fix the problems in the Church today, but rather forms a path ahead for believers who are a mixture of righteous anger, frustration, horror and hope for justice…

Until Death Do Us Part

What Death Taught Me About TOB   This month, on the Feast of the Visitation, marks the fourth anniversary of my father’s death. After many years of studying St. John Paul II’s Theology of the Body, experiencing the death of my father gave me a deeper understanding of this beautiful teaching. Pope St. John Paul II was a phenomenologist. He approached theology from a perspective of the direct lived experience of truths. When we learn…

Lent, Looking and the Lord: Reflection for the First Sunday of Lent

You and I are blind. Due to the pain of sin and the fear that comes from these wounds, our perception of reality is greatly distorted. The Good News is that one of Jesus’ “job descriptions” is to give sight to the blind. That is to say, to help us see reality according to the Father’s loving gaze and His original plan for creation. This is why Jesus is a Redeemer, while creation was originally…

Virgin, Spouse, and Mother

Today, we celebrate the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the day that honors the Blessed Virgin Mary, conceived without sin. In 1854, with the Bull Ineffabilis, Pope Pius IX solemnly proclaimed the dogma of the Immaculate Conception: “…We declare, pronounce and define that the doctrine which asserts that the Blessed Virgin Mary, from the first moment of her conception, by a singular grace and privilege of almighty God, and in…

St. Gertrude the Great & the Divine Gaze

On November 16th, the Catholic Church celebrates the memorial of St. Gertrude the Great (1256-1302). In a General Audience on October 6, 2010, Pope Benedict XVI spoke of her as “one of the most famous mystics, the only German woman to be called ‘Great’, because of her cultural and evangelical stature: her life and her thought had a unique impact on Christian spirituality… She was in close communion with God both in contemplation and in…

HOMILY FOR THE TWENTY-SEVENTH SUNDAY OF ORDINARY TIME – YEAR C

In today’s second reading from the second letter of Saint Paul to Timothy we hear the beautiful words that should remind everyone of us of the great gift of priesthood. Paul asks Timothy “to rekindle the gift of God that is within you through the laying on of my hands” (V. 6). I invite you to reflect on the amazing Church we belong to, that is the Catholic Church that is Apostolic. It is through…

TOB and the Freedom to Sip a Beer

The Theology of the Body let me order a beer. After studying TOB for two years at the suggestion of my wonderful bride Katie, I recently found myself in Germany at a restaurant nursing a traveler’s thirst. Without thinking twice, I ordered a Radler (a lager mixed with lemonade). When I say that TOB let me order a beer, perhaps I need to clarify. You see, the FIRST time I ordered a Radler in Germany was…

Homily for the Twentieth Sunday of Ordinary Time – Year C

  The Opening Prayer for this Sunday’s Holy Mass for the 20th Sunday in Ordinary Time is “pregnant” with themes from St. John Paul II’s catechesis called “Men and Women He Created Them-A Theology of the Body.” We just prayed for God to “fill our hearts” with the warmth of His love to attain the promises He has made to us “which surpass every human desire.” But, what is this “human desire” or human ache?…

Homily for the Nineteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time – Year C

  Archbishop Fulton Sheen often spoke in his retreats of God’s tendency toward “love’s delays,”[1] examples by which our heart is expanded with longing as we wait patiently for the Lord to make good on His promises. Our needs are not immediately fulfilled, our desires are not immediately satisfied, and our prayers are not immediately answered. God delays his arrival while we grow more anxious for his presence. The deeper the hunger, it seems, the…

When a Rising MTV Star Discovered TOB

In the Fall of 2007, I was in the process of hitting a “bottom” of sorts. Everything seemed great – my rock band, Army Of Me, had just released our first major label album on Atlantic Records. A video was in heavy rotation on MTV, our single was playing on radio stations nationwide, and we were playing concerts with artists such as Dave Matthews, Switchfoot, and Coldplay. But just three weeks before that album release,…