Slow Going

"Suffer little children to come unto me" (detail) by Juan Urruchi

Unless You Become Like Children

When Jesus’ disciples asked Him, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” our Lord answered, “Unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”(Matt 18:3). It’s a clear message that aiming for greatness and prestige is not going to help us when it comes to the Kingdom of Heaven. He redirected the […]

Is Good Enough Good Enough When It Comes To Parenting?

Is “good enough” good enough when you’re raising a Catholic family?  Colleen Duggan thinks so.  And she ought to know!  Colleen is a self-professed recovering type-A perfectionist, who has struggled in her quest to become the “perfect” Catholic mom of the “perfect” Catholic family.  And she has succeeded – not in achieving perfection, but in learning that God is only asking her to […]

Sometimes You’re Just Lying There Like a Slug In the Desert

I don’t think I’m the only one who hasn’t been having a very good Lent this year.  By which I mean I haven’t been having a very bad Lent.  I mean, it hasn’t been hard; I haven’t been taking full advantage of the opportunities this liturgical season offers in terms of increased prayer, fasting and alms-giving. As a matter of […]

Do You Hate Small Talk? Maybe You’re Doing It Wrong!

I’ve heard many people claim they hate small talk like it’s a mark of distinction.  I’m not sure that’s something worth boasting of, though.  Small talk gets a bad rap, but making it is a skill well worth having.  It’s a skill that smooths the way for friendships and relieves uncomfortable social situations by getting conversation moving.  It’s like the […]

A Soul’s Hearth

As I walked into the church for Mass last Sunday, I noticed right away the candles had been trimmed too long.  They looked like a half dozen lit bottle rockets lined up on the reredos, in anticipation of the dazzling finale in a Fourth of July pyrotechnic display.  My mind filled with strains of Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture.  Smoke was billowing upward […]

Excuse Me, God, Is There a Family Discount?

It’s not easy to become a saint while raising a family.  Especially for some of us.  Me, for instance.  And I could use a little help.  I heard a priest recommend that we read about and seek the intercession of saints who shared the same vocation as us.  Priests should get to know the lives of holy priests, religious sisters […]

A “Strong Catholic” Adrift

One of the things I most enjoy during visits with my family in Southern California, is visiting the little beach town nearby.  Main Street lies between Pacific Coast Highway and the pier and is lined with restaurants, cafes, pubs, boutiques, ice cream parlors and art galleries.  The shops are all individually owned and have a low profile, preserving the small […]

"Christ and the Woman Taken in Adultery" by Guercino (Public Domain)

When Someone Falls From Grace, Help Them Up!

I once heard someone say, “When a person has fallen from grace, don’t kick him down.  Help him up!” It sounds so obvious, but we really do need to be reminded.  We see it all around us.  “Did you hear what she did???”  Shock and outrage are often our response to accounts we see on the internet, hear on the […]

"Baptism of Christ" (detail) by Perugino

Eight Ways to Be a Better Godparent

It is an honor to be asked to be a godparent.  But choosing a godparent is not merely a way to honor a friend or relative after the birth of a child; it is an invitation to take on a big responsibility in the child’s life.  No, you are not expected to raise the child in the event of the […]

"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 […]