Surrender & Strength

"The Parable of the Good Samaritan" (detail) by Jan Wijnants"The Parable of the Good Samaritan" (detail) by Jan Wijnants

We Cannot Excuse Ourselves

As Catholics, we have a wonderful opportunity over the next week as we patiently await the arrival of Jesus to show our co-workers, friends, family, community and the world the beauty of our faith and the great capacity for love in our hearts.  As we prepare ourselves, what are we doing to help others?  How do we keep our focus […]

Father and SonFather and Son

These Children are a Blessing

Those whose lives are diminished or weakened deserve special respect. Sick or handicapped persons should be helped to lead lives as normal as possible.  —CCC 2276 One of the few issues my wife and I were concerned about when we decided to join the Catholic Church in 2005 was how to include our oldest son, Alex, who has high-functioning autism. […]

Father and SonFather and Son

On Smiling Angels and Joy-Filled Hearts

It is difficult to be a parent today, especially if you have a child or children with special needs. The days are emotional roller coaster rides often filled with frustration and only fleeting glimpses of progress. These families often push the pause button on their old lives as the focus becomes all about therapists, adaptive learning, fighting with schools for […]

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

On Being Grateful for Our Challenges

“If God sends you many sufferings, it is a sign that He has great plans for you and certainly wants to make you a saint.” (St. Ignatius Loyola) I woke up yesterday not feeling very grateful.  I am not sure why, but I started my day in a “mood.”  Maybe it was the stress of having too much on my […]

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When We Struggle in Our Prayer Life

One of the biggest obstacles for me in the early days of my faith journey was the lack of a prayer life. I knew I needed to pray, but I couldn’t ever remember sincerely praying about anything. I was struggling with the typical male challenge of asking for help, especially asking God for help! I rationalized this by thinking, “Who […]

Mission Dolores Altar (San Francisco)
Photograph © by Andy CoanMission Dolores Altar (San Francisco) Photograph © by Andy Coan

On Being Authentically Catholic in Today’s World

I had an interesting encounter during a talk I gave this week to MBA students at an Atlanta public university.  We were discussing Advanced Linkedin strategy and I commented several times on the need to connect with others on this helpful social media tool who share our backgrounds or interests.  I cited my own example of seeking people on LinkedIn […]

Man at PrayerMan at Prayer

What are the Obstacles Between Catholic Men and Christ?

As long as we live in the world our life is a constant struggle between love for Christ or giving into lukewarmness, to our passions, or to comfort-seeking, which destroys love. Faithfulness to Christ is forged each day by struggling against what separates us from him, and by an effort to make progress in virtue. Then they will be faithful […]

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Familiaris Consortio — A Road Map for Catholic Families

When my wife and I came into the Catholic Church with our two sons in 2006, we were somewhat overwhelmed by the new life we had begun. We had not only entered into full communion with the Church Christ founded, but we clearly recognized how the expectations for our marriage and how we raised our family had changed considerably as […]

Man at PrayerMan at Prayer

The Hidden Lessons of Acceptance

Not long ago a priest shared some guidance with my wife and me that has been the cause of a great deal of conversation and reflection in our home.  In response to learning that we pray every day about our oldest son’s future and that he be healed of his autism, he encouraged us to pray first for acceptance. Let […]

Pope Francis (neneo / Shutterstock.com)Pope Francis (neneo / Shutterstock.com)

Six Practical Steps to Catholic Joy

I recently had coffee with a fellow Catholic who gloomily shared his ongoing struggles with overtly living out his faith in the real world and reluctance to discuss his faith with others. He made it clear that going to Mass on Sunday was all he could or should be doing. Unfortunately, this is a very common tale. The conversation became […]