Faith

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

The Problem of Suffering

I remember sitting in my Introduction to Moral Theology class as a college undergraduate and being asked, “What is the problem of suffering, and how do we respond to it?”  We were then introduced to Rabbi Harold Kushner, who wrote a book called When Bad Things Happen to Good People.  Rabbi Kushner explained that there are three basic premises we […]

"Into the Wild" © by Jef Murray—(Click sketch for artist's gallery.)"Into the Wild" © by Jef Murray—(Click sketch for artist's gallery.)

In the wilderness I will make a way

“In the beginning, when God created the heavens and the earth—and the earth was without form or shape, with darkness over the abyss and a mighty wind sweeping over the waters—Then God said: Let there be light, and there was light” (Genesis 1:1-3). The Right Perspective What do I have to offer that is worthwhile for others to read? What […]

"King David in Prayer (detail)" by Pieter de Grebber"King David in Prayer (detail)" by Pieter de Grebber

Five Keys to Living an Integrated Life

Have you ever played a part, taking on a role of someone else? Some might think back to an occasion when they participated in a school play. Others might think about their roles in business or sales, or even within the home as parents when they might have employed the “good cop / bad cop” approach to resolve a problem. […]

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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 […]

The Way of the CrossThe Way of the Cross

The Challenge of Being Counter-Cultural

It is often said that it is counter-cultural to be a follower of Christ.  No believer who hears that statement disagrees with it, but few of us take it completely to heart.  And that is a deceptively dangerous thing. Before I explain, let’s first clarify what it means to say that to be a Christian is to be counter-cultural.  I […]

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Perspective — Going Back

  “A humble soul does not trust itself, but places all its confidence in God” (St. Sister Faustina). I registered my eighth child at the high school of my youth today. A familiar smell which brought me back to being a 15-year-old faintly and suddenly filled my nostrils as I opened the same heavy doors that were opened in the […]

"Return of the Prodigal Son" (detail) by Murillo"Return of the Prodigal Son" (detail) by Murillo

Can you explain Purgatory to your friends?

Keeping it simple! On a recent Friday morning, while leading a bible study for retirees, the question of purgatory, the punishments due to sin, and salvation came up. They already possessed a good understanding of this important doctrine. But, the discussion reminded me that Purgatory remains one of the most misunderstood teachings of the Church, and maybe one that is least […]

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The Right Perspective—Raising Children Who Will Turn to God

“Remember not the events of the past, the things of long ago consider not; See, I am doing something new! Now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?” (Isaiah 43:18) Country music singer Joey Feek died recently after a long, hard battle with cancer. She left behind her husband Rory and their little daughter Indiana, “Indy.” Rory wrote on […]

"Christ's Charge to Peter" (detail) by Raphael"Christ's Charge to Peter" (detail) by Raphael

“Do You Love Me? Feed My Sheep.”

In the twenty-first chapter of St. John’s Gospel, we find a gut-wrenching encounter between Jesus and Peter that defines the essence of Peter’s mission. To make this encounter unforgettable, Jesus takes Peter to the point of deep distress as he asks him not once, but three times, “Do you love me?” It is hard to imagine what this must have […]