What Sort of Story Are We In?

08/15/2016 Comments (4)

Joy, said Chesterton, is the small publicity of the pagan, but the gigantic secret of the Christian. This somewhat mysterious remark was brought into sharp clarity for me by, of all things, the memory of a Twilight Zone episode I saw long ago. A two-bit thieving murderer gets gunned down in a back alley after a heist and wakes up in some snazzy place resembling Las Vegas, full of glitter, girls and gold. He is informed by his impeccably dressed host that he has come into his eternal reward, so he proceeds to make it with the ladies, gamble to his heart's content, and generally live the high life. However, he begins to notice something: he's bored. The chicks all swoon for him, the dice all...READ MORE

Filed under

"Why Me?" Why Not Me?

08/12/2016 Comments (10)

Paolo Veronese (1528–1588), “Jesus and the Centurion”

One of the curious side effects of my line of work as a Catholic writer is that people will sometimes confess very odd phenomena they normally won’t discuss with people who aren’t known for believing in miracles. Some years ago, a woman I know cleared her throat awkwardly, looked very sheepish, asked me, “If I tell you something that happened to me once, will you promise not to laugh at me?” and (when I promised) told me a very strange Tale of the Unexplained.

She was a diabetic. She found out she was diabetic, she said, when she had gone into a diabetic coma a few years before and had to be rushed to Ballard Hospital in Seattle. She soon came around, but for a day or so, she was well...READ MORE

Filed under

Catholic Converts and Cradle Catholics

08/08/2016 Comments (22)

Once upon a time, I was talking with a friend, a fellow convert who (as is common with us) was wondering why on earth Catholics who don't believe much of what the Church teaches stay. He was greatly puzzled about the tendency of many life-long Catholics to remain quite proudly Catholic despite the fact that much of what the Church insists we must believe is something they flatly reject in favor or whatever the latest Oprahism is on the tube. Equally puzzling, both during this pontificate and the last one, is the common tendency of many Catholics--usually cradle Catholics--to say all sorts of rubbish about the teaching of the Pope (he's "reactionary" doncha know), yet to go on treating him...READ MORE

Filed under


08/05/2016 Comment

As you read this the Sheas are chilling in a tent on the shores of the mighty Pacific Ocean here in our beloved Washington State.

I love every part of this annual sojourn.  I love the packing.  I love the excitement of the kids.  I love the drive to the campground.  I love the salt wind, the water, the seabirds, the rocks and weathered driftwood.  I love the sound of laughter around the fire.  I love the quiet pokey country roads out in the southwest of the state.  I love all the hurly burly of checking in, unpacking our stuff, setting up camp, blowing up air mattresses, and getting all the gear where it needs to be.

And best of all, I love that, after that, there is not going to be much...READ MORE

Filed under


08/01/2016 Comments (6)

The center of our Faith is Eucharist. Eucharist means “thanksgiving”. That means that the center of our Faith is thanksgiving. It is in the form of a thanksgiving meal that our Lord chose to make Himself present to us. And He did so, shockingly, “on the night He was betrayed”. In other words, he defiantly gives thanks and praise to His Father in precisely the place where we humans immediately turn to make the most obvious case for atheism—the place where the enraged atheist cries out and says, “If there is a loving God, why do the innocent suffer horrors and die in torments with nobody to help them?” Jesus was that innocent one. A few hours after His defiant act of thanks, He would sweat...READ MORE

Filed under

Priests are Men, Not Vending Machines

07/25/2016 Comments (10)

When I was a kid I believed my family knew everything. My brother Mike, after all, could work wonder by turning me invisible with a mere “Abracadabra!” I’d run around the house waving at everybody and making faces and they would all stare right through me saying, “I hear you, Mark, but I can’t see you! Where are you?”

More than that, my parents knew everything there was to know about anything from ancient history like World War II to all the names of airplanes to dinosaurs. My oldest brother, Rick, was a fountain of information on subject that came to hand. They were gods—until the day I asked “Who invented shoes?” and was flummoxed to discover none of them knew.

And as time wore on, I...READ MORE

Filed under

Love Meeting Love: Ecumenism For Us Ordinary People

07/22/2016 Comments (5)

St. Paul is staying in the house of Aquila and his wife Priscilla, the family are making tents and St. Paul is writing. (Engraving by J. Sadeler after Jodocus Winghe/CC BY 4.0/Wikimedia Commons)

I run into lots of Catholics who feel bad about the divided state of Christendom yet also feel powerless to do anything about it. "After all, this is the 20th Century. Don't most Protestants know what we believe already?" they say. "So why should I talk about my faith with them? Besides, I'm a layperson. All that ecumenism stuff is for theologians, not laypeople."

Well, let me tell you, when I was an Evangelical, I lived for years in the most media-packed, multicultural society on earth. Yet my knowledge of Catholics was just road-kill on the information superhighway. I didn't know diddly. That was because I thought I knew all that was worth knowing about them already. Catholics, you see,...READ MORE

Filed under

What I Learned on a Walk With My Little Boy

07/18/2016 Comments (5)

Severin Nilsson (1846-1918), “In Daddy's Arms”

Long, long ago--when the giant man in my house named Peter (who just turned 21) was only 3 and his kid brother Sean was only 2--it was a daily occurrence that (barring rain) I would be summoned "owside" as my two year old Sean said and bidden to take his and Peter's hands and get going. It didn't really matter where we went as long as we saw certain important sights.

The first important sight was "the doggie by the gate" (a creature sufficient to satiate Sean's fascination with dogs yet safely locked behind a gate at the end of a 50 foot driveway and therefore capable of causing thrills without terror). The second critical sight was "the fire hydrant" which Peter thought intensely...READ MORE

Filed under

Page 1 of 96 pages  1 2 3 >  Last ›

About Mark Shea

Mark Shea
  • Get the RSS feed
Mark P. Shea is a popular Catholic writer and speaker. The author of numerous books, his most recent work is The Work of Mercy (Servant) and The Heart of Catholic Prayer (Our Sunday Visitor). Mark contributes numerous articles to many magazines, including his popular column “Connecting the Dots” for the National Catholic Register. Mark is known nationally for his one minute “Words of Encouragement” on Catholic radio. He also maintains the Catholic and Enjoying It blog. He lives in Washington state with his wife, Janet, and their four sons.