Blogs

Lessons Learned from Hollywood about the Priesthood and Religious Life

What could Hollywood teach us about the religious life?  It’s easy to get discouraged by how badly movies and television portray the Catholic Church.  It was not always the norm, however, and I decided to host a summer movie series to remind everyone that “secular” movies can teach us something about religious life and even… holiness! For the series I […]

Photography © by Randy Hain

A Glimpse of God’s Glory on a Morning Run

Every now and then I slow down enough to experience God. The picture attached to this post was recently taken by me on the last day of our family vacation, just before my morning run. The sight of the sun behind the clouds took my breath away as it spoke to me of God’s glory and might, but my frail […]

"The Cardinal and Theological Virtues" (detail) by Raphael [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Prudence and Knowing When to Quit

“And if any one loves righteousness, her labors are virtues; for she teaches self-control and prudence, justice and courage; nothing in life is more profitable for men than these.” (Wisdom 8:7). “Don’t be a quitter!”  It’s a phrase frequently used to encourage—or belittle.  It goes along with that silly challenge to “Go outside your comfort zone.”  But I have been […]

"The Sower" by Jean-François Millet [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Nurturing the Gift of Faith

Have you ever struggled with your faith? Maybe you love God, but wonder why you don’t love Him more deeply and why that love does not seem to have a greater impact on your life. Maybe you are inspired by the lives of others you know who seem to be so much more deeply in love with Jesus, and you […]

The Three People Who Require Patience

A few weeks ago, I was visiting friends on their farm, and their blueberry bushes were bursting with beautiful, sweet fruit.  As we walked along the rows and picked the berries—more of them finding their way to our mouths than our buckets—the father of the family remarked that they had planted the bushes three years ago, and they were now […]

Confessionals

A Huge Weight On Our Shoulders

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 […]

"Return of the Prodigal Son" (detail) by Murillo

Why Do You Confess Your Sins to a Priest?

Have you ever been asked why you confess sins to a priest? In discussing the Catholic faith with non-Catholics, the doctrine concerning confessing one’s sins to a priest often arises. Indeed, in my experience, the Sacrament of Reconciliation ranks right up there with Marian Dogmas among the Church’s teachings that prompt the most questions from those inquiring about the Catholic […]

After the Convocation

I had the honor last weekend to attend the National Convocation of Catholic Leaders, an unprecedented gathering of diocesan, parish, apostolate, and institutional leaders from around the United States. The Bishops had been planning the convocation for years. Frankly, anticipation would have been high for me… if I had known what to expect. But I’m not sure anyone knew what […]

Raising Independent Catholic Kids in an Age of Conformity

Sexting, drugs, alcohol, cyber-bullying, teen suicide, rampant materialism, technology addiction, and me-first mindsets—the list of challenges to young people today can seem overwhelming.  As parents of two boys, ages sixteen and nineteen, I feel like my wife and I are on the front lines of a never-ending war for the very souls of our children.  I would love to tell […]

Humility: An Unachievable Virtue?

“Every one that exalteth himself, shall be humbled; and he that humbleth himself, shall be exalted” (Luke 14:11). Humility is a rather slippery virtue.  It’s one of the most important to have, but it’s impossible to achieve.  Once you set out to become proficient in humility, it has dissolved!  If you strive to grow in it by your actions, the moment you […]