Catholic Church

vending-machine-featured-w740x493

Vending Machine Prayers

  I just finished up the St. Anne novena, a prayer prayed over the nine days preceding her feast day. Those nine days are a time when single Catholic girls storm heaven in hopes that a tall, dark, and handsome man will come knocking on their front door on the ninth day. Well, maybe that’s a bit of an exaggeration. But […]

head-and-heart-front-cover-detail

Turning Around the Crisis of Spiritual Leadership in Families

I’m sure you were as dismayed as I was at the recent, sobering findings of the CARA study on the spiritual health of Catholic families. Dr. Gregory Popcak wrote an important article about it here and will continue to explicate the findings of the study, which all Catholics should take interest in. Basically, in Dr. Popcak’s words, “Catholic homes are […]

Villa Serenella MonasteryVilla Serenella Monastery

St. Charbel and lessons of the universal Church

I’ve had the opportunity to live in Rome twice, once as an undergraduate and once as a graduate student. There’s nothing like living in the Eternal City, and both semesters impacted my faith in incredible ways. I find myself getting “Rome-sick” pretty frequently, so I have to constantly remind myself that it wasn’t just sunshine, roses, papal Masses and gelato. […]

Photograph © by Andy CoanPhotograph © by Andy Coan

A Most Difficult Question to Answer

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 […]

“Saint Thomas Aquinas” by Diego Velázquez
The Angelic Doctor is girded with the Mystical Belt of Purity“Saint Thomas Aquinas” by Diego Velázquez The Angelic Doctor is girded with the Mystical Belt of Purity

Catholic Quote of the Day — from St. Thomas Aquinas

“In the life of the body a man is sometimes sick, and unless he takes medicine, he will die: even so in the spiritual life a man is sick on account of sin; wherefore he needs medicine so that he may be restored to health; and this grace is bestowed in the Sacrament of Penance: Who forgiveth all thy iniquities, […]

family-silhouette-featured-w740x493

My Number One Parenting Tip

A friend of mine came to visit last week with her small army of young children. We chatted while I slathered peanut butter and jelly on slices of wheat bread and threw them at the masses. Every five minutes, we filled requests for cups of water and changed diapers and broke up scuffles over broken toys. In between the commotion […]

praise-god-featured-w740x493

How to Be a Better Disciple

There is a section of Luke’s Gospel known as the Travel Narrative. In this section, Jesus and his disciples journey to Jerusalem where redemption will occur and the Church will be born. St. Luke uses nearly ten chapters (9:51-19:27) to record this journey to Jerusalem. Along the way, Jesus prepares his disciples for the work to which he has called […]

ConfessionalsConfessionals

Why We All Need this Powerful 2,000-year-old Catholic Weight Loss Plan

I have been thinking a great deal about my experience at Reconciliation this past Saturday. I felt an intense and unexplainable urge to go and confess my sins when I woke up that morning. I try to go every six weeks or so, but this was no routine visit to the priest for me. I needed to unburden myself of […]

woman-praying-profile-featured-w740x493

Extraordinary Faith from Ordinary Catholics

“In the doctrine of Christ there is no invitation to mediocrity, but a clear call to Heaven, to love and to cheerful sacrifice.” (Francis Fernandez, In Conversation with God) Feeling let down by politicians and public figures who say they are Catholic, but whose words and actions are often contrary to the teachings of the Church? Do we seek good examples […]

"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 […]