Surrender & Strength

"Christ on the Cross" (detail) by Velazquez"Christ on the Cross" (detail) by Velazquez

God is Asking Something Heroic of Us

“The disciple of Christ consents to ‘live in the truth,’ that is, in the simplicity of a life in conformity with the Lord’s example, abiding in his truth. ‘If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not live according to the truth.” (CCC, 2470) I first interacted with Father Roger Landry […]

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

Redirecting my Gratitude

“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 last Tuesday 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 […]

Father and SonFather and Son

On Fatherly Influence and Practical Lessons

I was blessed to grow up with great parents. We didn’t have much, but my parents made sure my sister and I had love, discipline, faith, strong values, and an appreciation for the value of hard work. My mother played a vital role in our family, as all mothers do, but I find as I grow older that I am […]

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Practical Lessons for Integrating Faith and Work

How do we integrate our faith with our work? If you think about it, most of us will likely spend the majority of our adult (awake) lives in the workplace. A typical eight hour work day accounts for a third of the total day, with the other two-thirds devoted to sleeping, family, friends, faith, and so on. In the practice […]

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A Courageous Young Man and a Loving Parish

On a Sunday not long ago, I had an opportunity to witness a very special moment at my parish. A seventeen-year-old man with high-functioning autism was taking his first turn as a lector at the 7:30 a.m. Mass. The lector role is an important one with serious responsibility, but this young man showed confidence and little fear as he read […]

Father and SonFather and Son

A Checklist for Catholic Dads

I have had numerous conversations over the years with other Catholic dads about the challenges of raising kids in today’s world. The discussions usually center on the bad cultural influences affecting our children, our hectic schedules and our well-intentioned desire to be better fathers. We mean well, but how do we move from conversation to action? The stakes are high, […]

Man at PrayerMan at Prayer

The Fruit that Came from Obeying God’s Will

Last September, on the day after turning in the manuscript for Joyful Witness: How to Be an Extraordinary Catholic to my publisher, I went to Eucharistic adoration seeking peace and quiet time before the Blessed Sacrament. I was exhausted, having written three books in 18 months in addition to running my business and performing my normal duties as a husband […]

Photograph © by Andy CoanPhotograph © by Andy Coan

What are Obstacles to Catholic Authenticity?

Why is it difficult to be the same person at work, home, church and with our friends? I have observed this problem for several years, but lately I have become more aware of the challenges people have with consistently being “real.” In a few recent discussions with friends, I received blank stares and perceived a lot of discomfort when I […]

Bride and GroomBride and Groom

On Marriage, Leadership and Honoring Our Wives

Marriage is in trouble everywhere, especially in our country where over half of marriages end in divorce. Our culture, so influenced by Hollywood and materialism, has set about creating a society which no longer values marriage and the family, but instead favors one which glorifies selfishness, greed and offers false idols for us to worship instead of God. As an […]

Man at PrayerMan at Prayer

A Man I Know

I lit a candle and prayed in our parish chapel not long ago for a man I know in his mid-70s who is struggling with various health issues as he gets older.  The candle I lit burned brightly, more brightly than the others, for the hour I was in the chapel.  The light reminded me of his life filled with […]