Lent 2014

‘Monk’s mirror’ helps us pray the short, sharp Jesus Prayer

Columnist Michelle Francl-Donnay takes us further into the desert experience of Lent with the ascetics’ advice to see our sins and humbly pray to God for mercy.

Yes, you can still make the sign of the cross near a church

That old custom -- it dates back to the third century -- still exists, writes columnist Father Ken Doyle. He also answers a sticky question about divorced men checking out the dating website CatholicMatch.com.

Use Lent to shed apathy to sin, poverty, indifference to God, pope says

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Lent is a time to shed lazy, un-Christian habits and snap out of one's apathy toward people harmed by violence, poverty and not having God in their lives, Pope Francis said.

Walk into the starkness of Lent seeking a word in the desert

Spirituality columnist Michelle Francl-Donnay is thinking of deserts these days, and not just because they're warm during this long winter. The desert fathers and mothers of antiquity have much to teach us as we prepare to enter Lent.

Before beginning Lenten retreat, pope cites need for silence, prayer

Pope Francis said retreats should renew the faith of participants, transforming their ministry and their relationships with others.

Confession is good for everyone, even priests

Father Ken Doyle answers a reader's question about how often a priest should go to confession -- like anyone, as often as possible, he says. Also, he hears how at one church non-Catholics were mentioned in the litany of saints at Mass.

Sing the broken, cold, light-filled and holy ‘alleluia’

Spirituality columnist Michelle Francl-Donnay knows the church won’t officially sing “alleluia” during Lent. But she advises us to sing perhaps the world’s oldest song of praise for the Lord at every moment of life.

Prayers offered for peace in Ukraine

The Ukrainian Catholic Archdiocese of Philadelphia invites everyone to pray the following prayers and petitions.

After abusive marriage she’s divorced and happy; can she date again?

A woman was married unhappily in a non-denominational church. Now she is single and content to pray and read the Bible. But if she wants to date, is it OK? Columnist Father Ken Doyle lays out her options.

Go directly to confession, don’t wait, pope says at audience

"If a lot of time has passed, don't lose even one more day. Go," Pope Francis said Feb. 19, promising that "the priest will be good. Jesus will be there and he's even nicer than the priest."