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

What Kindness Really Means

We exited the restaurant with exuberance still lingering from our family dinner conversation. It was a rare treat to take everyone out to eat, so we relished the time spent ordering what we wanted, listening to catchy tunes, and watching diners gather on the dance floor for mid-meal entertainment. I’d forgotten that Sarah had Apert syndrome, as I tend to […]

A Helping Hand

Exploring the Paradox of Help

Back in 2006, shortly after I came into the Catholic Church, a friend and fellow parishioner shared an observation with me after Mass one morning which had a profound effect on me:  “Randy, I have noticed that you really enjoy helping people.  But, you are very uncomfortable when people try to help you.  By not allowing them the opportunity to […]

Daily Reflection — Love of one’s Neighbor

“He alone loves the Creator perfectly who manifests a pure love for his neighbor” (St. Bede the Venerable). Who is our neighbor? Do we even know our neighbor? In both urban and suburban living, it is clear that we know less about our neighbors than just a generation ago. Sociologists and others who study such things may have many theories […]

A Courageous Example and a Loving Parish

I recall a Sunday Mass in 2016 when I had an opportunity to witness a very special moment at my parish. An eighteen-year-old young man with high-functioning autism was taking his first turn as a lector at Mass. The lector role is an important one with serious responsibility, but this young man showed confidence and little fear as he read […]

Struggling with a Restless Heart

“Thou movest us to delight in praising Thee; for Thou hast formed us for Thyself, and our hearts are restless till they find rest in Thee” (St. Augustine, Confessions). I think most writers are naturally introspective and reflective.  While praying in preparation for Lent not long ago, I prayed for strength and courage to stay focused on the path Christ […]

St. Michael the Archangel

Fighting Our Own Indifference

Do you ever feel numb or helpless because of all the problems the world faces each day? One only has to watch the news or follow the events of the day online to feel completely overwhelmed. Some of the challenges facing the world include ever-increasing threats to our Catholic faith. The Church is being accosted on all sides and the culture […]

"Sermon on the Mount" St. Matthew's Church altarpiece by Henrik Olrik

Practical Lessons for a Deeper Faith this Lent

An Invitation to Enter the Desert with Christ As we begin the Lenten season today, we are called to enter the desert with Christ; to turn away from sin and towards our God. Many of us realize that we are called to face difficult questions during this penitential season.  The challenge we face is not only for us to ask those questions, […]

A Call to Live in God’s Kingdom

“What is it that you most want right now?” If I were to take a survey, I would probably receive a variety of answers. Some would say a new job or better job security, maybe better pay or just the respect of their employers. Others might speak of health issues, concern for their children or the need to get their finances […]

The Virtual Family: Connected or Disconnected?

Surrogate Gods, Surrogate Parents

It is a gross understatement to say that we live in trying times.  The Church and religious liberty are under attack around the world, our country is divided, atheists are one of the fastest growing groups in America and our families are under siege.  My intent is not to depress you, but focus your attention on today’s realities.  In times […]

Photography © by Randy Hain

What Difference Does Heaven Make?

Heaven’s Difference If a thing makes no difference, it is a waste of time to think about it. We should begin, then, with the question, “What difference does Heaven make to earth, to now, to our lives?” The answer to the question is only the difference between hope and despair in the end, between two totally different visions of life; […]