12 Catholic retreats held in the most beautiful settings

To drop everything for a weekend, and spend time in solitude (and maybe silence!), prayer and reflection is the perfect antidote to our busy, distracted lives. As we look forward to a frenetic holiday season, with Thanksgiving around the corner, this may be the perfect time for a spiritual retreat. If things are a little too busy now, consider scheduling a retreat for after Christmas, when you are ready to make the most of it.

Spiritual retreats are not just for priest and religious. In fact, the United States Council of Catholic Bishops urges lay people to take advantage of opportunities to go on a retreat: “In the midst of your busy lives, a retreat opportunity affords you time of silence and clarity that cannot be found in the world.”

Evidence for God from Science

CredibleCatholic.com is a website dedicated to providing convincing explanations on a whole host of common challenging questions to the faith.  In today’s module, there is evidence from science to provide support for the existence of God.

It’s Coming to an End: Homily for Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Readings for Today

It should not be surprising that as we come to the end of the Church year the readings too focus more on the end of time. We will hear from the Book of Daniel this week, and the gospels for this week also focus on how we need to prepare ourselves for the final judgment. The importance seen today is our inner disposition of faith and trust in God. Yesterday we had a miraculous example of trust from the widow.  Today the invitation is to us.

When people approach the end, they search for meaning. Sometimes this meaning takes the form of a life review, such as can happen when someone dies. The end of centuries and millennia can give rise to predictions about the end of the world. This week will help us to prepare for the end of the world, and for the coming of Christ.

Knowing your persepective: Homily for Thanksgiving, November 23, 2017

Readings for Today

So much of our lives revolves around how we see things.  Our perspective on life makes all the difference.  Are we optimistic? Sad? Do you seek the good in others? Do you mistrust everyone? Is God loving or judgmental? Do we trust God or doubt? Questions like these, and others, have a lot to do with how it is we see life.

Today’s gospel shows how easy it is to miss what is really important.  Nine are cured of leprosy, and for whatever reason, they cannot go back to thank Jesus.  Maybe they were too excited to see family.  Maybe the wonder of life returning to normal was too distracting.  For whatever reason, it was only one who said thank-you to Jesus. Being grateful for what we have makes it more likely we see other reasons to be thankful.  Give thanks to God today. You will find more blessings than you knew you had.

We are made for more: Homily for Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Readings for Today

We tend to belittle ourselves.  We tend to put ourselves down.  We often cannot see ourselves for what we are.  God made us for so much.  We are made to live forever.  We are made in God’s image and likeness.  And yet, we often settle for so much less than that.  Fleeting pleasures, quick and fading glory.  We often treat ourselves badly, when God wants to treat us so well.

But when we trust in God, when we live justly, we are in God’s hands.  We then experience a glimpse of what God longs to give us.  We can experience, for ever so briefly a moment, a small share of the immense glory of God.  If we can remember what the taste of that glory is like, we will never settle for anything less.

Getting More than you bargained for: Homily for Sunday, October 29, 2017

Readings for Today

There are moments when we think we are asking about one thing, and we get an answer to the question that we did not expect.  Today’s gospel is just one such occasion. The question asked of Jesus concerns the greatest commandment.  Namely, we should love the Lord our God with everything we have.  But what the person asking the question did not expect was to be given the second commandment.  We are also to love our neighbors as ourselves.

Sometimes then we get more than we have bargained for.  We cannot say we love God if in fact, we do not love our neighbor.  We must see the connection.  And we learn this connection is both the type of love that is action, and the type of love that is forgiveness.  Be careful what you ask Jesus.  You might just get an answer you were not expecting.

Loyal to Whom: Homily for Sunday, October 22, 2017

Readings for Today

It would be interesting to see what example Jesus might give to the question about what the state deserves and what God deserves. What exactly is the appropriate relationship between being a good citizen of a country, and a good Catholic? How do we balance the obligations of both? To whom are we called to be most loyal? What do we do when it appears the laws of our country clash with the laws of our faith? How do we sort it all out?

Jesus is asked, in an attempt to trick him, what the relationship is between what is due Caesar, and what is due God. Jesus gives a clear answer that on the surface may be viewed one way, but with the eyes of faith, a completely different. Can you repay God for anything? Is not being a good citizen required?

The World Around Us: Homily for Friday, September 29, 2017

Readings for Today

Today’s readings serve as a reminder that the world around us is both physical and spiritual.  This can be easy to forget.  And yet, by going to Mass, or confession, or at a baptism, we are reminded of this fact.  Moreover, it is the case that it is precisely through the ordinary (water, bread, wine) that the extraordinary becomes part of our lives.

By celebrating the angels, especially those who had very important roles in the world and in our life of faith, we celebrate the desire to have God all around us.  And knowledge of these good spirits serve as a powerful protection against the evil in the world.

Unsatisfied: Homily for Wednesday, September 20, 2017

To listen to the entire homily, click here.

Readings for Today

Have you noticed the excitement any time Apple announces something new? I face the challenge of being tempted by something new.  I am not satisfied.  It seems that regardless of the circumstance, I want something more, something better, something new.  There simply never seems to be a moment where I can be satisfied.

But this is not something new.  Saint Augustine said as much centuries ago. “You move us to delight in praising You; for You have formed us for Yourself, and our hearts are restless till they find rest in You.” Because all of the moments of dissatisfaction have one thing in common:  they do not have anything to do with God.  And only in God can our hearts be truly at rest.