Image: Nicolas Poussin, Et in Arcadia ego. Remember Death

We are all going to die. We were reminded of this on Ash Wednesday when the priest put ashes on our heads saying, “Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return.” We need to be reminded about the reality of our death because we forget so easily. Our culture desensitizes us to the fact of dying. It makes death seem so commonplace as to... [Read more...]

Lawrence Lew, O.P., Ashes from Palms Pixie Dust and Ash Wednesday

The Disney film adaption of Peter Pan ends (unsurprisingly) happily-ever-after. Gathered before the nursery window in a loving embrace, the Darling family fondly watches Peter and Tinkerbell fly their golden, pixie-enchanted ship through the moonlit clouds to Neverland. In the background, a 1950s chorus croons the reprise to “You Can Fly”: When... [Read more...]

Image: Pascal Frei Lent, Subterranean

Yesterday, Ash Wednesday, we planted the seeds of our Lenten observance. We committed to prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. We resolved to give something up. Today is our first chance to check in on our progress. How’s it looking? We evaluate and see… a bare patch of earth. If one area of dirt, having been newly turned over, didn’t display a darker,... [Read more...]

Fr. Lawrence Lew, O.P., Look and Live! (Copyright © 2014 Dominican Province of Saint Joseph) The Memory of His Passion

Why does the Catholic Mass focus so much on Jesus’s death on the Cross? For someone unaccustomed to Catholic worship, this may seem morbid or even embarrassing. Does not Christianity claim to be a religion that holds out the power of God’s love and the promise of eternal life? Yes! But let’s back up a step. Drawing a basic analogy will help make... [Read more...]

Bittersweet Mysteries

All Souls’ Day, the Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed, is the day the Church recalls in a special way “those who have died and have gone before us marked with the sign of faith.” Today is naturally a very somber day, especially for those of us who have lost a loved one recently. Praying the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary can reveal... [Read more...]

At the Bedside

This summer, I visited hospital patients in New York City. Over the course of these eight weeks, I met people of various faiths and traditions. Among Catholic patients, it was not uncommon to see a rosary at their bedside. As they endured the trial of their hospital stays, they kept their beads within arm’s reach. For many patients, their rosary was... [Read more...]

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