Family

"Suffer the little children to come unto me." (detail) by Carl Bloch [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

All of Life is Bittersweet

Come, Lord, and tarry not; Bring the long looked-for day; Why these years of waiting here, These ages of delay? (Advent hymn) I left the neuropsychologist’s office dumbfounded. If Sarah had received a diagnosis of autism, I would have understood. If ADHD had been a resounding secondary diagnosis to her Apert syndrome, I wouldn’t have flinched. But, in fact, I […]

A Dozen Thank Yous

I can still hear it—the sound of the old car horn and the commotion in the house as my sisters and I scrambled toward the door trying to make it to the car before it drove off without us. It was the same ritual, or shall I say “ordeal,” every morning before school. Mom was always up before the rest […]

Photograph © 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 […]

Give Us Joy

It had been one of “those” weeks. You know the kind: where everything falls apart and even planned family fun crumbles into disaster. I recently gave birth to our third daughter, and her presence in our family, while a sure blessing, has, of course, turned our world topsy turvy. All newborns do this, I know. But it doesn’t make the […]

What We Learn From Darkness

“I will bless the Lord who gives me counsel, who even at night directs my heart.” ~ Psalm 16  For decades I’ve called myself a morning person, an early bird. I am drawn to the light for so many reasons. It reveals truth with such clarity. It renews hope. It warms the soul. On the contrary, darkness veils the earth […]

Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

What are the Obstacles Between 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 […]

"Creation of Adam" (detail) by Michelangelo

Setting Others Free to Love

When I was younger I was overly sensitive in my dealings with others. This hypersensitivity caused me to become offended easily and to refuse to show love to anyone I felt slighted by. Needless to say, this attitude brought about only more pain and it was only once I discovered that I was at fault in these perceived issues that […]

"The Holy Family (detail)" by Murillo

Seven Essential Lessons for Dads

Our state in life is where we live out our vocation; it is the path by which we journey to Heaven. God has called each of us by name to Himself. In baptism we each received a share in the divine mission and a responsibility to be faithful to that mission. When a man and a woman answer God’s call to […]

Your “Most Solemn Obligation”

Without question, parents are the primary influence on the faith lives of their children. Study after study shows that when parents are strong spiritual leaders, and when fathers—yes, dads in particular—teach and witness the faith to their children, the kids are far more likely to grow up and live faithful lives themselves. What kind of role do you want the […]

Scrapbooking Materials

I am His Beloved

I paused before exiting the guest bedroom. It was still new to me, since we had moved only a little over a month prior. But the walk-in closet beckoned me to open it, reminding me that I had thrust every photo album, film negative, loose picture, and scrapbook on the shelves in desperation to get the room uncluttered and somewhat […]