Living the Faith

ConfessionalsConfessionals

Making the Case for Confession

Things were getting out of hand. I let them get that way, and it was time to do something about it. So I did what I often do; I called my mother-in-law. “Can you watch the kids for an hour or so? I need to go to confession.” She agreed, because she’s wonderful that way. And then she said something […]

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A Lesson about Suffering

  What a man who lives in his van reminded me about the suffering world around us… I drove to Walmart one day this week to pick up new goggles and bathing suits for my children’s swim team trials.  As I pulled my van into a spot, I noticed another familiar vehicle, similar to my own, parked across from me.  The […]

"Christ the Consolator" (detail) by Carl Bloch"Christ the Consolator" (detail) by Carl Bloch

O Joyful Catholics, Where Are You?

I believe one of the greatest obstacles to evangelization and sharing our faith with others today is that many of us have forgotten how to be joyful. I know when the stresses of the world weigh me down, I struggle to maintain a joyful attitude in the presence of others. We are often so busy with our hectic schedules and […]

Photograph © by Andy CoanPhotograph © by Andy Coan

Fixing Catholic Boredom in Six Easy Steps

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 […]

"The Exhortation to the Apostles" (detail) by James Tissot"The Exhortation to the Apostles" (detail) by James Tissot

“See How They Love One Another”

“See how they love one another”—this was the observation that the pagans made, to their own bewilderment, about the early Christians. Our earliest brothers and sisters in Christ lived lives of such unprecedented joyful service that it astounded the world around them, a world that had never seen anything like it before. These first Christians lived according to the model […]

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 […]