Living the 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. […]

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 […]

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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 […]

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

The Love Story that Brought Me Home to Jesus

It was a young man who brought me home.  He did it without fanfare and without argument.  He simply lived his faith. And he loved me. I think of that young man whenever I meditate on a crucifix. I see Jesus hanging there, sterile and mostly clean, and I try to imagine what it must have really been like.  I […]

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

The Nature of Forgiveness — Is it Humanly Possible?

The exalted nature of forgiveness is attested to by the fact that it presupposes a number of other virtues.  Consider three virtues in particular: justice, clemency, and mercy. Justice has the nature of an equation: Borrowing ten dollars requires returning ten dollars. When justice is violated, punishment or restitution of some kind is required. Herein is the timeless significance of bringing […]

The Way of the CrossThe Way of the Cross

The Danger of Human Respect

A persistent danger we Catholics face in this declining age is succumbing to the sin of human respect. We live in a climate of narcissistic self-promotion, rampant moral relativism and the constant intolerant call for tolerance of vice. The Catholic Church is diametrically opposed to all three positions and for a Catholic to publicly oppose any one of them is […]

Man at PrayerMan at Prayer

Simplify Your Life

Do you ever feel overwhelmed with all of the stress, responsibilities and challenges in your daily life? If I am honest with myself, the times I feel most anxious or stressed are usually caused by my lifelong tendency to overcomplicate things and an inclination towards “busyness”. I am grateful for the occasional insights I have into ways to address this […]