"Madonna and Child" (detail) by Sassoferrato"Madonna and Child" (detail) by Sassoferrato

The Prophetic Voice of the Catholic Church — Dignity of the Human Person and the Right to Life

“Any country that accepts abortion is not teaching its people to love, but to use any violence to get what it wants.” (Blessed Teresa of Calcutta) We live in an age that is filled with signs and wonders, many of which are ominous and terrifying—our economies continue in turmoil, wars and the fears of terrorism rage, our environment is being […]


The Power of Encounter

It was a scene replayed over and over during Pope Francis’ visit.  Thousands of arms outstretched, reaching out, straining against barricades… ultimately blocked, not by fences, but by their iPhones and cameras separating them from the Pope.  City block after city block, did the Holy Father search for eyes, only to be greeted by the backs of phones and iPads?  […]


The Joys and Challenges of Modern Fatherhood

Sometimes I can almost imagine myself as a great father to my children… then I do something to mess it up. I vividly recall a past October when the boys and I welcomed my wife home from a five-day trip to California where she had been visiting her sister. What started out as my great adventure with the kids at […]

Photography © by Randy HainPhotography © by Randy Hain

The Eclipse of Happiness

I don’t think I’d be too far wrong in saying that most people in the Western world are not happy campers at the moment. Between the riots in Greece, the Occupy >>>Insert Town/Place Here<<< movement and all the real suffering caused by the economic crisis, it is fair to say that most people’s stress level has gone up and their […]

Statue of Our Lady of Walsingham at the National Shrine (Catholic) in the U.K. of Our Lady of Walsingham at the National Shrine (Catholic) in the U.K.

Mary’s a Blankie Person: Our Lady of Walsingham

It was over ten years ago that I was reminded of the blankie of my youth, the one that had to be pried from my hands and that still remains in my memory as a cherished item. My mother, an avid sewer and enthusiastic grandma-to-be, had made and shipped approximately thirty-five million blankets for her new granddaughter. Nearly three years later, […]

"General Judgment" (detail) by Michelangelo"General Judgment" (detail) by Michelangelo

Practical Steps to Love Jesus More Deeply

We live in difficult times as Catholics. Quite possibly it has always been this way. The culture sends messages to us that are very harmful to our spiritual life. If we have become blind to this truth, it is likely that we are pursuing success as defined by the secular world instead of pursuing the holiness God has called us […]


Families & the Answer to Brokenness

The World Meeting of Families is a global event begun by Pope St. John Paul II.  Similar to World Youth Day, John Paul envisioned such a gathering so that people could come together with other families and be strengthened through prayer, dialogue, and fellowship.  At the end of the conference, which is held every three years, the Holy Father meets with […]

Pope Francis (neneo / Francis (neneo /

How Well Do We Carry the Catholic Brand?

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 […]

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

Johnny Be Good … and Loving

In my last article, I penned a story about Johnny and Sara that was meant to help make concrete the metaphysical and anthropological concepts that we have been discussing so far. Without further ado, let me provide an answer key to see if we’re on the same page. This key is NOT exhaustive. I could write a volume on the […]

Catedral-Basílica de Nuestra Señora del Pilar in Zaragoza, Aragon, SpainCatedral-Basílica de Nuestra Señora del Pilar in Zaragoza, Aragon, Spain

Finding Mary in the Failure: Our Lady of the Pillar

Have you ever planned what you thought was the greatest Bible study or parish event ever, only to have twelve people show up to join you?  Have you ever watched a great idea, flawlessly executed, underwhelm a group of critics?  Have you ever used logic to no avail, finding yourself all but stoned and chased away from the group? I […]