Stephen Barany

Stephen Barany
Stephen is a freelance designer and illustrator, a dreamer, and a thinker. He's ever-playful at heart and maintains (and frequently amends) a mental list of nonessential life goals that includes writing and illustrating a children's book, designing a deck of playing cards, and building a canoe.

Recent Posts

The Imperishable Crown of St. Stephen, King of Hungary

Posted by Stephen Barany on Aug 16, 2019 10:00:00 AM

Today the Church celebrates the feast of St. Stephen, King of Hungary. History remembers him for his unification and establishment of Hungary around the year 1000, but the Church venerates him because of his dedication to God and the welfare of his people.

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Topics: saints, liturgical year, St. Stephen of Hungary

Integrating prayer and action, the works of mercy

Posted by Stephen Barany on Jun 12, 2019 7:03:00 AM

The works of mercy are loving acts of service and compassion directed towards the spiritual and material needs of our neighbors. At first glance, it may seem odd to include them alongside other forms of prayer, but we must remember that prayer and the Christian life are inseparable. The love of God that leads us into prayer is the same love that leads us to serve our neighbor. Consider the words of Jesus: “You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and the first commandment. The second is like it: you shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:37-39).

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Topics: prayer, spirituality, downloadable resources, prayer enrichment series

How to pray through fasting

Posted by Stephen Barany on Jun 5, 2019 7:02:00 AM

Fasting is a voluntary abstinence from something good, usually food. It’s a familiar spiritual practice for most of us, but it’s also a practice we tend to take up only during Lent or only when the Church tells us we have to. That’s unfortunate because fasting is, in the words of St. Basil the Great, a powerful “weapon of protection against demons.” Similarly, Christ tells his disciples that certain kinds of demons can only be cast out by prayer and fasting (Mark 9:29). With this in mind, we should want to be well-practiced at fasting and have this form of prayer in our spiritual arsenal at all times.

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Topics: prayer, spirituality, downloadable resources, prayer enrichment series

How to pray with Taizé music

Posted by Stephen Barany on May 29, 2019 10:00:38 AM

Taizé (pronounced: tay-zay) is a prayerful form of music known for its simple, yet rich and meditative character. Taizé music often takes the structure of an ostinato (a simple melody that repeats over and over) and is meant to serve as a kind of musical centering prayer. Because Taizé music itself is intentionally simple, it provides a great way to move our prayer from the head to the heart. 

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Topics: prayer, spirituality, downloadable resources, prayer enrichment series

How to pray with a labyrinth, a walking meditation

Posted by Stephen Barany on May 22, 2019 10:31:21 AM

Praying with a labyrinth is a form of walking meditation, a physical expression of the interior journey towards Christ that characterizes all Christian meditation. Like a pilgrimage, forms of walking meditation evoke our earthly journey towards heaven while simultaneously giving us time and space to listen and respond to the Lord.

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Topics: prayer, spirituality, downloadable resources, prayer enrichment series

Living and Handing on the Faith

The McGrath Institute Blog helps Catholics live and hand on their faith in Jesus Christ, especially in the family, home and parish, and cultivates and inspires everyday leaders to live out the fullness and richness of their faith in the simple, little ways that make up Church life.

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