Living the Faith

Pope Francis in Philadelphia September 26, 2015
a katz / Shutterstock.comPope Francis in Philadelphia September 26, 2015 a katz /

What I Learned from Attending the Papal Mass in Philadelphia

Since we only live a few hours away, we decided at the last minute to attend the Papal Mass in Philadelphia. Making an appearance with our kids to this event—no matter how historic—made no sense. We did not have tickets. We have six children, one of whom is a toddler capable of shattering glass with his high-pitched screams. Two million […]

St. Teresa Benedicta of the CrossSt. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross

Truth and Love

Peter said, “Master, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.” The words Jesus has for us are “Love your God with your whole heart, your whole soul and your whole mind; and love your neighbor as yourself.” The words are simple but putting them into action is not always easy. For example when we proclaim […]

Art Kitty and stained glass -detail-featured-w740x492

Suicide Prevention—Be COMFORT for those who Struggle

Suicide is a terrible thing, because it is the taking of a life and also because it leaves a lasting, troubling impact on others. Our faith tells us that the taking of one’s own  life is objectively a mortal sin. However, we know that depression clouds one’s judgement and ability to reason and therefore, we understand that God is merciful […]

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

Lift High the Cross

September 14th 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 […]

John-Paul and Annie DeddensJohn-Paul and Annie Deddens

A Chat with John-Paul Deddens of Pray More Novenas

I love novenas…and I hate novenas. I love the focus of them…and I hate the fact that if I forget a day, I’ve forgotten something HUGE AND BIG. Or that’s how it feels. And at this season in my life, I’m finding it’s easier than ever to forget or ignore things that are important, like novenas I want to pray. […]

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 […]


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 […]


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 […]


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 […]