Living the Faith

Photograph © by Andy CoanPhotograph © by Andy Coan

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 […]

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How to Be a Better Disciple

There is a section of Luke’s Gospel known as the Travel Narrative. In this section, Jesus and his disciples journey to Jerusalem where redemption will occur and the Church will be born. St. Luke uses nearly ten chapters (9:51-19:27) to record this journey to Jerusalem. Along the way, Jesus prepares his disciples for the work to which he has called […]

ConfessionalsConfessionals

Why We All Need this Powerful 2,000-year-old Catholic Weight Loss Plan

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 […]

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

Memoirs of a Nihilist—or What I Learned in College

I had to snicker. There was my college roommate, across the room from me, and she was on her knees by the bedside, saying her nightly prayers. I was over all that. I had attended Catholic schools for twelve years, and had been thoroughly immersed in every nuance of “The Baltimore Catechism.” One of the first questions had been, “Why […]

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A Reflection on the Desire to Feel Superior

On a rainy afternoon not too long ago, I took the kids to grab a bite to eat at the large food warehouse near our house.  We were all a bit stir crazy from being cooped up, so the seven of us braved the hellish weather with nary a yellow slicker or umbrella. (In our family, slickers, rain boots, and […]

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The Cross in Our Lives

There are so many reasons that Christ’s Cross should be on our minds as a Christian, especially because we are navigating the season of Lent—that beautiful and prayerful time of year. Holy Mother Church prods us to become more mindful of Jesus’ Passion and Death on the Cross—His unselfish holy sacrifice so that we might have Eternal Life. We practice […]

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Precepts of the Church: Is Getting Our Foot in the Door Enough?

When we receive the sealing of the Holy Spirit at Confirmation, we are expected to know and live by the precepts of the Church. I was not as interested in the details of our faith when I was younger, so it’s possible I missed this, but I don’t remember hearing any mention of this growing up and I’d venture a […]

"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 […]

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Hugging Jesus

I thoroughly enjoy my work and ministry of writing and speaking about the Catholic faith and God’s amazing love for us, as well as meeting the countless fascinating people along the way throughout my travels. One such captivating encounter occurred in an airport as I was traveling to do a speaking event. I ended up chatting with a woman (I’ll […]

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From Memory to Hope

In the modern world people often talk about the importance of harmonizing mind, body and spirit. But in the 1500s, St. Teresa referred to a different three. She said we need to train the “faculties of the intellect, will and memory.” Her breakdown, regarding divisions of the Self, is more useful for the true spiritual journey. In her framework, these […]