Living the Faith

Photograph © by Andy CoanPhotograph © by Andy Coan

The Subtle Danger of Catholic Boredom

On a recent Saturday morning my fifteen-year-old son said: “Dad, I’m bored. What are we going to do for fun today?” Knowing my youngest son well, I translated this to mean that he was looking for something new and exciting and I was supposed to provide it. This all too frequent discussion with my children has been the cause of […]

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The Hidden Life

When I retired from a public work life, I found a hidden life had many lessons to teach… When I was a new mom, I slipped away for a silent weekend retreat. Before we adjourned on Sunday afternoon, the organizers invited the participants to randomly pick a holy card. On it, was a virtue we were supposed to cultivate throughout […]

ConfessionalsConfessionals

The Heavy Burdens We Carry

I have been thinking a great deal about my experience at Reconciliation this past Saturday. I felt an intense and unexplainable urge to go and confess my sins when I woke up that morning. I try to go every six weeks or so, but this was no routine visit to the priest for me. I needed to unburden myself of […]

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There’s No Such Thing as “Balance”

I hate the word balance—at least the way our modern culture defines it. For most of my adult life, all I’ve heard (or read) is about how to balance work and family life or finding balance when life seems to get out of control.  It’s as if balance is this magical word that creates a utopian mindset—one that, I’ve come […]

Photography © by Carmelite Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Los AngelesPhotography © by Carmelite Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Los Angeles

Henceforth, You Will be Called

  “I have called you by name; you are mine” (Isaiah 43:1). Such joy! A baby is born. So innocent. So pure. So new. “What is the baby’s name?” you ask. In our Catholic tradition, parents are asked to give the name of a saint to their child. That saint becomes the child’s patron and most Catholic families read stories […]

The Virtual Family: Connected or Disconnected?The Virtual Family: Connected or Disconnected?

Surrogate Gods, Surrogate Parents

It is a gross understatement to say that we live in trying times.  The Church and religious liberty are under constant attack, our country is divided, people are struggling to make ends meet, atheists are one of the fastest growing groups in our country and our families are under siege.  My intent is not to depress you, but focus your […]

"Christ on the Cross" (detail) by Velazquez"Christ on the Cross" (detail) by Velazquez

Lift High the Cross

September 14 is the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross. Each year when it comes around, I remember when Sister Carol Marie lifted high the cross in faith. It was late summer in California. The skies were a limpid blue. A balmy ocean breeze blew across the sand. Children were building sandcastles. Windsurfers cut like knives across the […]

Photography Copyright © by Carmelite SistersPhotography Copyright © by Carmelite Sisters

His Power

“Let us go forth to see ourselves in Thy beauty.” Postulancy is the first stage of religious life and no matter how old one is, or how much life experience one has, this initial introduction to life in the convent has a way of dismantling any existing illusions of self-sufficiency.  Religious life is a supernatural life of faith that is […]

Photography © by Randy HainPhotography © by Randy Hain

Four Practical Ways to Ignite Our Catholic Faith

”You are the light of the world. A city set on a mountain cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and then put it under a bushel basket; it is set on a lampstand, where it gives light to all in the house. Just so, your light must shine before others, that they may see your good deeds […]

"Creation of Adam" (detail) by Michelangelo"Creation of Adam" (detail) by Michelangelo

The Three Most Profound Ideas I Have Ever Had

Ideas are more precious than diamonds. The three most precious ideas I have ever discovered all concern the love of God. None of them is original. But every one is revolutionary. None of them came from me. But all of them came to me with sudden force and fire: the “aha!” experience, the “eureka!” experience. They were all realizations, not […]