In the Land of Guadalupe



A rather unexpected invitation to build a soup kitchen, followed by several remarkable confirmations, came rolling my way earlier this week. And so, with that, my daughter and I have abruptly left for Mexico to help complete a little “diner for Christ.” As such, I won’t be in communication with my readers until I get back.

The thought came to me to repost the following writing from April 6th, 2008… God bless you, pray for our safety, and know that you are always in my prayers. You are loved. 


Published in: A DAILY JOURNAL, THE GREAT TRIALS | on August 19th, 2016 | No Comments »

Pray for Your Shepherds

for Wednesday, August 17th, 2016

Liturgical texts here

mother-of-priestsOur Lady of Grace and the Masters of the Order of Montesa
Spanish School (15th century)

so blessed, in many ways, by the present mission Jesus has given me in writing you. One day, over tens years ago, the Lord nudged my heart saying, “Put your thoughts from your journal online.” And so I did… and now there are tens of thousands of you reading these words from all over the world. How mysterious are God’s ways! But not only that… as a result, I have been able to read your words in countless letters, emails, and notes. I hold every letter I get as precious, and feel very sad that I haven’t been able to respond to all of you. But every letter is read; every word is noted; every intention is lifted up daily in prayer.


Published in: A DAILY JOURNAL, FAITH AND MORALS, MASS READINGS | on August 17th, 2016 | No Comments »

The Welcoming Church

odoors3Pope Francis opening “doors of mercy”, December 8th, 2015, St. Peter’s, Rome
Photo: Maurizio Brambatti/European Pressphoto Agency


FROM the very beginning of his pontificate, when he refused the pomp that often accompanies the papal office, Francis has not failed to stir controversy. With deliberation, the Holy Father has purposely tried to model a different kind of priesthood to both the Church and the world: a priesthood that is more pastoral, compassionate, and unafraid to walk among the fringes of society to find the lost sheep. In so doing, he has not hesitated to sharply rebuke his confréres and threaten the comfort zones of “conservative” Catholics. And this to the glee of modernist clergy and the liberal media who intoned that Pope Francis was “changing” the Church to become more “welcoming” to gays and lesbians, divorcées, Protestants, etc. [1]eg. Vanity Fair, April 8th, 2016 The rebukes of the Pope toward the right, coupled with the assumptions of the left, has led to a cascade of downright anger and accusations toward the Vicar of Christ that he is attempting to alter 2000 years of Sacred Tradition. Orthodox media, such as LifeSiteNews and EWTN, have openly questioned the Holy Father’s judgment and rationale in certain statements. And many are the letters I’ve received from laymen and clergy alike who are exasperated with the Pope’s soft approach in the culture war.


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1. eg. Vanity Fair, April 8th, 2016
Published in: A DAILY JOURNAL, TIME OF GRACE | on August 16th, 2016 | No Comments »

The Sacredness of Marriage

for Friday, August 12th, 2016
Opt. Memorial of St. Frances de Chantal

Liturgical texts here


SEVERAL years ago during the pontificate of St. John Paul II, Cardinal Carlo Caffara (Archbishop of Bologna) received a letter from Fatima visionary, Sr. Lucia. In it, she described what the “Final Confrontation” would be over:


Published in: A DAILY JOURNAL, FAITH AND MORALS, MASS READINGS | on August 12th, 2016 | No Comments »

The Crisis of the Refugee Crisis



IT is a refugee crisis unseen in magnitude since World War II. It comes at a time when many Western nations have been or are in the midst of elections. That is to say, there is nothing like political rhetoric to cloud the real issues surrounding this crisis. That sounds cynical, but it is a sad reality, and a dangerous one at that. For this is no ordinary migration…


Published in: A DAILY JOURNAL, THE GREAT TRIALS | on August 7th, 2016 | No Comments »

Keeping One’s Eyes on the Kingdom

for Thursday, August 4th, 2016
Memorial of St. Jean Vianney, Priest

Liturgical texts here


EVERY day, I receive an email from someone who is upset by something Pope Francis has recently said. Every day. People aren’t sure how to cope with the constant flow of papal statements and perspectives that seem at odds with his predecessors, comments that are incomplete, or in need of greater qualification or context. [1]see That Pope Francis! Part II


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Published in: A DAILY JOURNAL, MASS READINGS, SPIRITUALITY | on August 4th, 2016 | No Comments »

Mark in Philadelphia


This Fall, Mark will be joining Sr. Ann Shields at…  


Published in: A DAILY JOURNAL, NEWS | on August 3rd, 2016 | No Comments »

The Great Context

clarawithgrandpaMy first grandchild, Clara Marian, born July 27th, 2016


IT was a long labor, but at last the ping of a text broke the silence. “It’s a girl!” And with that the long wait, and all the tension and worry that accompanies child birth, was over. My first grandchild was born.

My sons (the uncles) and I stood in the waiting room of the hospital as the nurses wrapped up their duties. In the room next to us, we could hear the wailing and cries of another mother in the throws of hard labor. “It hurts!” she exclaimed. “Why isn’t it coming out??” The young mother was in complete distress, her voice ringing with desperation. Then at last, after several more cries and groans, the sound of new life filled the corridor. Suddenly, all the pain of the previous moment evaporated… and I thought of the Gospel of St. John:


Published in: A DAILY JOURNAL, THE GREAT TRIALS | on July 28th, 2016 | No Comments »

Love Waits

for Monday, July 25th, 2016
Feast of St. James

Liturgical texts here

magdalene tomb


Love waits. When we truly love someone, or some thing, we will wait for the object of our love. But when it comes to God, to waiting for His grace, His help, His peace… for Him… most of us do not wait. We take matters into our own hands, or we despair, or become angry and impatient, or we begin to medicate our internal pain and anxiety with busyness, noise, food, alcohol, shopping… and yet, it never lasts because there is only one medication for the human heart, and that is the Lord for whom we are made.


Published in: A DAILY JOURNAL, MASS READINGS, SPIRITUALITY | on July 25th, 2016 | No Comments »

Interpreting Revelation



WITHOUT a doubt, the Book of Revelation is one of the most controversial in all of Sacred Scripture. On one end of the spectrum are fundamentalists who take every word literally or out of context. On the other are those who believe the book has already been fulfilled in the first century or who ascribe to the book a merely allegorical interpretation.

But what about future times, our times? Does Revelation have anything to say? Unfortunately, there is a modern tendency among many clergy and theologians to relegate discussion of the prophetic aspects of the Apocalypse to the loony bin, or simply dismiss the notion of comparing our times to these prophecies as dangerous, too difficult, or altogether misguided.

There’s only one problem with that stance, however. It flies in the face of the living Tradition of the Catholic Church and the very words of the Magisterium itself.



Published in: A DAILY JOURNAL, FAITH AND MORALS | on July 21st, 2016 | 3 Comments »

The Christian Martyr-Witness

saint-stephen-the-martyrSt. Stephen the Martyr, Bernardo Cavallino (d. 1656)


I am at the beginning of hay season for the next week or so, which leaves me little time to write. However, this week, I have sensed Our Lady urging me to republish several writings, including this one… 




THIS past year has seen what Pope Francis has rightly called the “brutal persecution” of Christians, particularly in Syria, Iraq, and Nigeria by Islamic jihadists. [1]cf. nbcnews.com; December 24th, Christmas Message

In light of the “red” martyrdom occurring this very minute of our brothers and sisters in the East and elsewhere, and the frequent “white” martyrdom of the faithful in the West, something beautiful is coming to light from this evil: the contrast of the witness of the Christian martyrs to that of the so-called “martyrdom” of religious extremists.

In fact, in Christianity, the word martyr means “witness”…


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1. cf. nbcnews.com; December 24th, Christmas Message
Published in: A DAILY JOURNAL, FAITH AND MORALS | on July 15th, 2016 | 2 Comments »

The Great Ark

Look Up by Michael D. O’Brien


JESUS said that the period before His eventual return in glory would be “as it was in the days of Noah…” That is, many would be oblivious to the Storm gathering around them: “They did not know until the flood came and carried them all away.” [1]Matt 24:37-29 This Storm, as the Church teaches, contains the Passion of the Church, who will follow her Head in her own passage through a corporate “death” and resurrection. [2]Catechism of the Catholic Church, n. 675 Just as many of the “leaders” of the temple and even the Apostles themselves seemed unaware, even to the last moment, that Jesus had to truly suffer and die, so too many in the Church seem oblivious to the consistent prophetic warnings of the popes and the Blessed Mother—warnings that announce and signal a…


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1. Matt 24:37-29
2. Catechism of the Catholic Church, n. 675
Published in: A DAILY JOURNAL, FAITH AND MORALS | on July 13th, 2016 | 4 Comments »