Sacred Heart

The New Secular Puritan Covenant

Thanksgiving brings back memories for Americans of the Pilgrims and Puritans, carrying out their “errand into the wilderness” to build a “city on a hill,” surviving that first bleak Massachusetts winter of 1620-21. As a kid, I remember that cutting out Puritan hats from black construction paper and taping them to the school windows was [...]

St. Margaret Mary Alacoque and the Reception of the Sacred Heart

“I will adjust my graces to the spirit of the Rule [of your religious order], and I want you to give it priority over everything else.”  ∼ revelation of Christ to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque St. Margaret Mary Alacoque (1647-1690) is well known as the nun whose revelations helped popularize devotion to the Sacred Heart [...]

Catholic Parapsychology: An Apostolate to the Holy Souls

Man's inborn religious instinct tells him that there is more than the sensible world; indeed, it "never feels natural to accept only natural things," as Chesterton said. But about the afterlife we have more than just an intuitive inkling. Throughout history there have been manifestations -- some vague, others more concrete -- to support this [...]

Just Say ‘No’ to Brimstone

    Last week I made melancholy tribute to the shrinking cadre of men who heed the call to serve Christ's Church as priests, and tried to think of ways we can offer them human support while they go about God's business. Whenever I think about the question of calling, I'm reminded of my own [...]

The Gift

"You're a married priest? I didn't know we had married priests. I think the Church should let all her priests marry."   Words like these have greeted me frequently since my ordination to the priesthood in 1983, with dispensation from the rule of celibacy. I always assure those who favor optional celibacy that both my [...]

Meeting the Sacred Heart

Yesterday was the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, a traditional feast that goes back centuries. As a private devotion, it was commonplace by the sixteenth century and grew even more popular after a series of visions experienced by French visitation nun, Mary Margaret of Alacoque. Pope Pius IX made the devotion a feast [...]

Remembering Abita: Life and Faith in a Southern Town

Because my parents' marriage failed early, I spent my childhood with my great-aunt Mamie Schlumbrecht and her husband, Albert, on a five-acre chicken farm outside Abita Springs, Louisiana. Abita, which is about 35 miles north of New Orleans in St. Tammany Parish, is now a chic town -- the famous home of an excellent microbrewed [...]

MENU