• Our Lady, Archetype of Missionaries

    We often think of Mary in the domestic sense, caring for us as she cared for and raised our Lord, or we think of her as a regal Queen of Heaven, an image which gives us comfort and strength as we consider our powerful intercessor before the throne of God. We don’t, however, think of Mary as a missionary.
  • The Gift of Saint Joseph

    Despite landing on a Friday in the middle of Lent, today is a day of celebration throughout the Catholic Church, when we are not only allowed but expected to shake off our Lenten disciplines and celebrate. So, while I understand if you want to walk away now and break those fasts, I wanted to take this space to explain why it is that we feel St. Joseph is so worth celebrating, beyond the obvious reasons.
  • Our Model of Fatherhood

    St. Joseph is one of the most remarkable figures in the Bible. He is a man who is truly defined more by his actions than his words. His core function in the Gospels is to be the protector of Mary and the human father of the Lord. Scholars even suspect that the reason why Joseph later disappears from the Gospel narrative is because he had died sometime between when Jesus was a 12-year-old boy in the temple and before the Lord’s adult ministry began. God, in His providence, appears to have chosen Joseph for this exact purpose: to care for His Son and Our Mother. Joseph is therefore a model to us, chosen by God, for what fatherhood and masculinity ought to be. 
  • Will You Hold Him?

    Several years ago, I came home from college and spotted a picture in my house that hadn’t been there before. I saw the small portrait on my mom’s nightstand while I was walking through the hallway, and from far away, I thought it was my own mother in her late 20s holding my oldest sister as an infant. “Why haven’t I ever seen that photo before?!”, I thought as I walked in her room to get a closer look. But as I got nearer, I noticed that either my mom was wearing a strange outfit (even if it was a photo from the 80s) or it wasn’t her at all - it was Mary. As it turns out, the picture was a prayer card from a monthly edition of the Magnificat featuring artist Stephanie Morris’ original painting titled “Visitation”. 
  • Welcome to the Family

    Saint John the Apostle has been a frequent friend of my soul during the past year. During the Lent, I marveled at his steadfast presence below the cross of Christ; at Easter, I ran to see the empty tomb with him; at each celebration of the Eucharist, I try to recall the way he leaned on Christ’s beating heart at the Last Supper. As the youngest apostle, he’s someone in whom my own youthful heart can find solace. Known as the “Beloved Disciple”, Saint John is a powerful intercessor for each human heart’s journey into deeper intimacy with Christ. 

    Getting to know this saint a little better over the past several months led me to discover that his feast day is celebrated on December 27th. So, when I opened my Magnificat to the daily Mass readings for that day, I expected to see “Saint John the Apostle” at the top of the page, indicating his memorial. Instead, I found “The Holy Family of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph” printed there. I was, admittedly, a little sad that my new saint friend’s feast was overshadowed, but I’m quite sure that Saint John would be more than happy to share a celebration with the Holy Family. In fact, I soon found the overlap of feasts to be extremely fitting.

  • Joyful Encounters

    “During those days Mary set out and traveled to the hill country in haste to a town of Judah, where she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth.” Luke 1: 39-40

    During those days. During those days of waiting, growing, suffering, wondering, and preparing, Mary did something I probably would never have dared to do. In the midst of a great mystery unfolding and in a state of vulnerability, she set out. She did not wait until Jesus was grown and neatly groomed to share Him with those around her. Rather, she began revealing His goodness to the world even while He was still hidden in her womb. What was the result? Joy set free in the human heart. 

  • St. Joseph's Silence

    Recently, Pope Francis announced that this would be a jubilee year of devotion to St. Joseph, a year for us to all grow in knowledge and love for the foster father of the Lord. 

    St. Joseph, famously, does not play a speaking role in the gospels, rather, his entire time “in focus” is spent either sleeping, considering what God is telling him, or acting on those commands. He is portrayed as one of the first great contemplatives, a prayerful man whose way of life can be summed up in the benedictine maxim ora et labora, prayer and work. This is one of the many reasons St. Joseph is such an important figure for us to consider as Advent draws to a close and Christmas draws near: By teaching through his example, and through his silence, we can learn the value of silence and action in a world which would like to turn Christianity into a private intellectual pursuit, devoid of real-world action or practice. Through meditating on his work, we learn to honor the dignity of the worker. Through meditating on his prayer, and his closeness to Jesus and Mary, we grow in desire for the contemplative life to which we are all called. It’s incredible how much meaning is packed into one man’s silence.