The Sublime Image of Our Lady in Art

“Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.” -Archangel Gabriel (Luke 1:28) The thought and history of the Blessed Mother in art is a magnificent subject that has enraptured Christians for over twenty centuries. Art is inseparable from Mary and reflects the high place she holds in global world…

Piety is the Virtue of the Warrior

Visualization is a powerful tool. Whether an athlete envisions the shot he is about to take or the entrepreneur pictures his business in a future state, visualization of a desired outcome hones the mind in a way that no external stimulus can. Therefore, Loving Parent, visualize your child as a young man or woman before…

Humility: A Hidden Source of Strength

Humility is the virtue which is perhaps more easily misunderstood and underappreciated than any other. Our culture values personal confidence, self-belief and resolution, and rightly so. And we are acutely aware of the psychological dangers of low-self-esteem, with which so many people struggle today, especially the young. Yet true humility is not in opposition to…

Mary as the Special Patroness of the United States

“Nothing is more distinctly Catholic than devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary, and it is largely because of this devotion that Catholics remain deeply convinced of the divinity of Christ, and vividly conscious of His humanity.” —Msgr. J. D. Conway Students of Church history know well the devotion expressed to Our Lady from the beginning…

The Weighty Subject of God’s Judgment

Bring the powers of your imagination to bear: your adorable, sweet baby matures into a young man who unpredictably commits a wicked crime despite all your efforts to raise him as an honorable citizen. You once clothed him in cute overalls, dressed him in a fine suit for his first Communion, helped him buy his…

Matrimony as a Sacred Contract and Sacrament

“Love must be real, it must cost, it must hurt, it must empty us of self.” —Mother Theresa of Calcutta From the very beginning of the human race, Matrimony has been a natural contract between husband and wife.  For Catholics, it is also something more. A valid marriage is one of the seven sacraments, and…

A Call for Courageous Priests

Saint John the Baptist was a precursor for the many holy priests who are being persecuted for preaching the unadulterated Gospel. As the son of a priest, St. John the Baptist’s preaching led to his beheading. Yes, preaching the fullness of the truth comes at a great price, sometimes costing one’s priestly ministry or even…

Preparing Your Child for Death

There is perhaps no more counterintuitive notion for a parent than this: you must prepare your child for death.[1] From the moment you learned of the child in the womb, you have directed all your God-given instincts, your energy, and passion into keeping that child alive. You would move mountains to keep your son healthy;…

Our Lord’s Hidden Wound

While working for the Little Sisters of the Poor at one of their nursing homes, I encountered many devout Catholics, whose joy, perseverance, and piety inspired me. Their strong Catholic Faith had guided them through the trials of raising many children, two World Wars, the sexual revolution, Vatican II, the sex abuse scandal, and ultimately…

God Wills You to Be Happy

He and he alone, whose will is perfectly united to God’s possesses “the peace of God which surpasses all understanding” (Phil. 4:7). Happiness and conformity to the will of God work in tandem and have always been a common theme for Catholic theologians and spiritual writers on the subject of joy. Saint Thomas Aquinas, following…

The Annunciation (Part III)

You did it, O Lord. You actually did it! Your idea of the Incarnation was incarnated. Your Father’s Word was spoken. It was a Word brighter than His word, “Let there be light,” for the abounding darkness of our sinful world was darker than the abyss of nothingness. In the beginning of our universe, You…

Tips to Cultivate the Interior Life in the Family

Nearly a century ago, English writer G. K. Chesterton remarked that the “coming peril” of civilization was “standardization by a low standard.” Today, we can see this pervasive influence, even in the prayer lives of many Catholic families. Beleaguered in a storm of secular influences, many Catholics choose not to pray together as a family. …

Battle Ready: No Mental Prayer, No Holiness

“Nonne militia est vita hominis super terram, et sicut dies mercennarii dies eius?” —Job 7:1, Vulgate The book of Job asks, “Is not the life of man on earth warfare, and are not his days like that of a hireling?”  He seems to think that the answer is obvious, since the question is less a…

TAN Academy: Voyaging Through Read Aloud Land as a Family

It’s 8:00 a.m. and you are packing up for a seriously groovy adventure.  I suppose you could say you are planning a sort of mature escape from the lovely humdrum of homemaking, or taking a day off to visit a literary amusement park in the midst of the daily grind of homeschooling.  You are really…

A Utilitarian or Saintly Marriage?

Years ago, my mother caught my father off guard with a most profound question.  She asked what he would miss about her after she died.  That night, my father stayed up for hours writing a litany of things as tears poured down his cheeks. Sadly, many of us take our loved ones for granted.  Many…

Parents as Primary Teachers

“In the work of education, the family forms man in the fullness of his personal dignity according to all his dimensions, including the social dimension. The family, in fact, constitutes ‘a community of love and solidarity, which is uniquely suited to teach and transmit cultural, ethical, social, spiritual and religious values, essential for the development…

TAN Academy as the Living Order of Creation

“The meaning of human life is to serve God in this life and to enjoy Him forever in the next.” —Dr. Alice von Hildebrand In an age of secularism, relativism, and nihilism, it is more important than ever for Catholic youth to be preserved in their innocence and prepared for adulthood while being brought up…