Faith

"King David in Prayer (detail)" by Pieter de Grebber"King David in Prayer (detail)" by Pieter de Grebber

The Qualities of Prayer Taught by the Lord

In my parish ministry and work around the archdiocese, one of the questions I receive most frequently is like the question posed to Our Lord in Luke’s Gospel, “He was praying in a certain place, and when he ceased, one of his disciples said to him, ‘Lord, teach us to pray, as John taught his disciples.’” (Luke 11:1) People simply […]

Photography © by Andy CoanPhotography © by Andy Coan

Encountering the Word — Philemon 1:4-6

A Daily Quote from Sacred Scripture “I thank my God always when I remember you in my prayers, because I hear of your love and of the faith which you have toward the Lord Jesus and all the saints, and I pray that the sharing of your faith may promote the knowledge of all the good that is ours in Christ.” (Philemon […]

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 […]

“The School of Athens” (detail showing Aristotle with the elder Plato) by Raphael“The School of Athens” (detail showing Aristotle with the elder Plato) by Raphael

The Four Causes of Holy Mother Church

“In the Nicene Creed we profess the four Marks of the Church which are one, holy, catholic and apostolic. These four marks are intrinsically intertwined. These are those things by which we can distinguish the true Church from a false one provided all four are properly fulfilled by the true nature and essence of the One True Church built upon […]

"The Madonna of Carmel and the Souls of the Purgatory" (detail) by Giovanni Battista Tiepolo"The Madonna of Carmel and the Souls of the Purgatory" (detail) by Giovanni Battista Tiepolo

“Flower of Carmel” — A Truly Beautiful Prayer

Every year on July 16, Carmelites throughout the world celebrate the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, patroness of the Carmelite Order.  If you want to know how we feel about Mary, our Mother, spend a few minutes reflecting on one of the most beautiful prayers ever written, the Flos Carmeli. Most of us pray—before meals, morning and/or night prayers, […]

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Raising Independent Catholic Kids in an Age of Conformity

Sexting, drugs, alcohol, cyber-bullying, teen suicide, rampant materialism, technology addiction, and me-first mindsets—the list of challenges to young people today can seem overwhelming.  As parents of two boys, ages fifteen and eighteen, I feel like my wife and I are on the front lines of a never-ending war for the very souls of our children.  I would love to tell you […]

Photography © by Randy HainPhotography © 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; […]

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Sharing the Joy of Our Faith with Those Who are Angry with the Church

As joyful witnesses, we are called to share the joy of our faith with everyone, and sometimes that means Catholics who have fallen away from their faith. It might mean talking about our faith with Catholics who are angry and bitter towards the Church. Their reasons may vary, but how we engage with them may mean the difference between their […]

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Life Begins at Conception — The Science is Settled

I was checking out the latest tweets on Twitter… did I really just write THAT!?!  Anyway, I stumbled upon a conversation between a solid, pro-life Catholic and someone who thinks that opposition to abortion is ridiculous. So, did I quietly move on, recognizing that 140 character-limit tweets is no place to enter into debate on the culture wars? Nope. Against all […]

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

Do We Make Christ and His Church Look Attractive to Others?

When I give talks around the country or sometimes in correspondence with readers of my books or blog posts on Integrated Catholic Life, I am often asked what I mean when I encourage others to “be joyful” and share the “light of Christ” with others.  I am referring to the response I typically give when asked for effective ways to […]