• Living Your Anointing

    I am five years old.  I’m sitting in my bedroom, pondering as I tend to do at this age. “God, I just want you to know that I am here when you need me,” I silently pray as I gingerly caress a favorite image of Our Lady. “I want to do great things for You one day.” This was not […]

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  • The Beauty of a Soul Opened Up by Grace

    For those who love St. John Paul II, Saturday, January 21, 2017 was a big family celebration, when Pope Francis authorized the Vatican’s Congregation for the Causes of Saints to promulgate the decree of heroic virtues for Jan Tyranowski (1901-1947), the Polish tailor who played an indispensable role in helping the young Karol Wojtyla become a man of prayer and […]

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  • “The Crown” and the Fundamental Values of Society

    ***Spoiler Alert*** The Netflix original series The Crown, which has to do with the last months of the reign of King George VI and the first years of the reign of his daughter, Queen Elizabeth II, is just the kind of program that Americans in particular seem naturally to love. It features beautiful photography of palaces, processions, and formal receptions; and […]

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  • The War Between Doing and Being

    Unquestionably, my life is full of continuous, often exasperating battles between doing and being. Culture tells us that we are valuable because of what we do. It speaks to our senses, every moment of every day, telling us we need to do more. Our worth is based on what we accomplish, how we achieve, the number of hours we put […]

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  • Turn the Other Cheek?

    “Love your enemies.”  “Turn the other cheek.”  (Matthew 5:38-40).  This sounds admirable to some, but preposterous to others.  The nineteenth century philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche thought such talk promotes a society of weaklings.  Karl Marx thought these words keep the oppressed under the thumbs of the capitalists. Does Jesus want us to be doormats, suckers who allow ourselves to be taken advantage […]

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  • Love Your Enemies

    I was reading a book about the parables the other day, and a statement by the author struck me – not because I didn’t know it, but because I realized that it had ceased to be revolutionary for me: “Only Jesus insists on loving the enemy … He may be the only person in antiquity to have given this instruction.” […]

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  • On Marriage, Leadership and Honoring Our Wives

    Marriage is in trouble everywhere, especially in our country with over half of marriages ending in divorce. Our culture, so influenced by Hollywood and materialism, has set about creating a society which no longer values marriage and the family in favor of one which glorifies selfishness, greed, and offers false idols for us to worship instead of God. As an […]

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  • The Weight of Glory

    We can believe we are mere mortals dreaming the dream of immortality, while in fact, we are immortals dreaming the terrible dream of mere mortality. We all know what the weight of glory is, whether or not we have read Lewis’ golden sermon. We know it from the magic words of the poets; or we know it from the wordless […]

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  • Yes, Jesus loves me…

    A heavy marine layer fell like a pall over Long Beach, California, bringing colder, damper weather. I had set aside the day to visit my sister and together we were going to visit our mom’s grave in All Souls’ Cemetery, right there on Cherry Avenue, just north of Memorial Hospital. We opened the car doors and began walking slowly to the site. […]

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Into the Deep by Deacon Mike Bickerstaff

Six Keys to fully Surrender to Christ

At the center of Mark’s Gospel, the Transfiguration of Christ (Mark 9:2-10) stands prominently as an encouragement along the walk from Baptism to Resurrection; a walk that must pass through the Cross. Place yourself in the position of the Apostles—they have journeyed with Jesus since he began his public ministry and I am sure that they could not have been […]

Finding Fulfillment Instead of Dissatisfaction

Have you ever felt Dissatisfied and Unfulfilled? Do you ever feel as if you are missing out on something important or falling just short of some goal or purpose? Maybe you are unable to put adequate words to this feeling, you just know there is something out of balance in your life—something lacking. We sometimes experience this as a vague […]

Conversion Stories from the Bible

Nearly everyone loves conversion stories. Over the last couple of decades, the conversion stories of people who have entered the Catholic Church have exploded onto the scene in the form of compilations of short stories found in books such as Surprised by the Truth and more detailed accounts such as found in Scott and Kimberly Hahn’s Rome Sweet Home. But no book contains more […]

Surrender & Strength by Randy Hain

Learning To Accept Help From Others

Back in 2006, shortly after I came into the Catholic Church, a friend and fellow parishioner shared an observation with me after Mass one morning which had a profound effect on me:  “Randy, I have noticed that you really enjoy helping people.  But, you are very uncomfortable when people try to help you.  By not allowing them the opportunity to […]

A Most Difficult Question to Answer

When I give talks around the country or sometimes in correspondence with readers of my books or blog posts on Integrated Catholic Life, I am often asked what I mean when I encourage others to “be joyful” and share the “light of Christ” with others.  I am referring to the response I typically give when asked for effective ways to […]

Regular Feature

“The Crown” and the Fundamental Values of Society

***Spoiler Alert*** The Netflix original series The Crown, which has to do with the last months of the reign of King George VI and the first years of the reign of his daughter, Queen Elizabeth II, is just the kind of program that Americans in particular seem naturally to love. It features beautiful photography of palaces, processions, and formal receptions; and […]

Love Your Enemies

I was reading a book about the parables the other day, and a statement by the author struck me – not because I didn’t know it, but because I realized that it had ceased to be revolutionary for me: “Only Jesus insists on loving the enemy … He may be the only person in antiquity to have given this instruction.” […]

In the Spotlight

Yes, Jesus loves me…

A heavy marine layer fell like a pall over Long Beach, California, bringing colder, damper weather. I had set aside the day to visit my sister and together we were going to visit our mom’s grave in All Souls’ Cemetery, right there on Cherry Avenue, just north of Memorial Hospital. We opened the car doors and began walking slowly to the site. […]

The Feast that is the Sacraments

Four elements stand out in the traditional Catholic doctrine of what a sacrament is. Fundamentalism is suspicious of all four. A sacrament is “a sign that effects what it signifies, instituted by Christ to give grace.” 1. Sacraments are signs and symbols. Fundamentalism is temperamentally wary of symbolism. It has a plain, “no-nonsense” mentality. Symbols are too poetic for its […]

Daily Extras

Daily Catholic Quote — from Pope Saint John Paul II

“Moreover, ‘legitimate defence can be not only a right but a grave duty for someone responsible for another’s life, the common good of the family or of the State’ (CCC 2265). Unfortunately it happens that the need to render the aggressor incapable of causing harm sometimes involves taking his life. In this case, the fatal outcome is attributable to the aggressor […]

Scripture Reflections

Turn the Other Cheek?

“Love your enemies.”  “Turn the other cheek.”  (Matthew 5:38-40).  This sounds admirable to some, but preposterous to others.  The nineteenth century philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche thought such talk promotes a society of weaklings.  Karl Marx thought these words keep the oppressed under the thumbs of the capitalists. Does Jesus want us to be doormats, suckers who allow ourselves to be taken advantage […]

Six Keys to fully Surrender to Christ

At the center of Mark’s Gospel, the Transfiguration of Christ (Mark 9:2-10) stands prominently as an encouragement along the walk from Baptism to Resurrection; a walk that must pass through the Cross. Place yourself in the position of the Apostles—they have journeyed with Jesus since he began his public ministry and I am sure that they could not have been […]

Finding Fulfillment Instead of Dissatisfaction

Have you ever felt Dissatisfied and Unfulfilled? Do you ever feel as if you are missing out on something important or falling just short of some goal or purpose? Maybe you are unable to put adequate words to this feeling, you just know there is something out of balance in your life—something lacking. We sometimes experience this as a vague […]