A Glimpse of God’s Glory on a Morning Run

Photography © by Randy Hain

Every now and then I slow down enough to experience God. The picture attached to this post was recently taken by me on the last day of our family vacation, just before my morning run. The sight of the sun behind the clouds took my breath away as it spoke to me of God’s glory and might, but my frail […]

Learning to Accept God’s Will

Man at Prayer

Not long ago a priest shared some guidance with my wife and me that has been the cause of a great deal of conversation and reflection in our home.  In response to learning that we pray every day about our oldest son’s future and that he be healed of his autism, he encouraged us to pray first for acceptance. Let […]

Extraordinary Faith from Ordinary Catholics

“In the doctrine of Christ there is no invitation to mediocrity, but a clear call to Heaven, to love and to cheerful sacrifice.” (Francis Fernandez, In Conversation with God) Feeling let down by politicians and public figures who say they are Catholic, but whose words and actions are often contrary to the teachings of the Church? Do we seek good examples […]

Four Critical Principles for Catholic Fathers

St. Joseph and the Christ-Child, Belmont Abbey

“It is easier for a father to have children than for children to have a real father.” (Pope St. John XXIII) I often feel completely lost and befuddled as a Catholic father in today’s world. How do I set the right example? How do I help my sons grow up with a strong Catholic faith? How do I prepare them […]

Why Do We Follow a Secular Compass?

I don’t know about you, but I rarely get through the day without feeling beaten up a little by the demands and pervasive negative influence of the world. It is difficult to find peace and block out the noise. I am challenged to avoid committing the same venial sins over and over each day. In my weakness, I tend to […]

Finding Strength in Surrender

Man at Prayer

Few souls understand what God would accomplish in them if they were to abandon themselves unreservedly to Him and if they were to allow His grace to mold them accordingly.” — St. Ignatius Loyola What is the connection between surrender and strength?  Surrendering to Christ and putting His will before my own for the first time almost 14 years ago […]

Do We Make Christ and His Church Look Attractive to Others?

Mission Dolores Altar (San Francisco) Photograph © by Andy Coan

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 […]

Lessons from Emmaus Road for the Anxious and Discouraged

"Supper at Emmaus" (detail) by Caravaggio

We are all likely familiar with the “walk to Emmaus” (Luke 24:13-35) by two of Christ’s disciples the evening of the Resurrection in Luke’s Gospel.  These two men, overcome with hopelessness and discouragement, were talking about the incredible events they had witnessed over the previous few days as they were walking to their home village of Emmaus outside of Jerusalem.  […]

Being Intentional About Our Prayer Lives

As I wrote this post I reflected on my experiences as a Catholic from my conversion in 2005 until now. One of the biggest obstacles for me in the early days of my faith journey was the lack of a prayer life. I knew I needed to pray, but I couldn’t ever remember sincerely praying about anything. I was struggling […]

Powerful Lessons from St. Joseph

As the father of a 21-year-old son with high-functioning autism, I am sometimes challenged to give my oldest child the focus and patience he needs from me.  I frequently feel inadequate when I advise and guide my 18-year-old son through the minefields of today’s culture.  My loving wife should expect my best efforts as a husband, yet I often feel […]