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 Andy Coan

Encountering the Word — Ephesians 6:1-4

“Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. ‘Honor your father and mother’ (this is the first commandment with a promise), ‘that it may be well with you and that you may live long on earth.’ Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.” (Ephesians […]

Photography © by Carmelite Sisters of the Most Sacred Heart of Los Angeles

How Can I Become a Better Catholic Husband and Father to my Family?

Dear Sister, I’ve been reading your answers to questions on Integrated Catholic Life™ and have been playing with the idea of writing you a question that I’ve been thinking about for many years. It’s about my family. I don’t consider us bad Catholics, nor do I consider us to be devout “pillars of the parish”. We are just a regular […]

Saint Hilaire of Poitiers

Daily Catholic Quote — from St. Hilary of Poitiers

“Little children follow and obey their father. They love their mother. They know nothing of covetousness, ill-will, bad temper, arrogance and lying. This state of mind opens the road to heaven. To imitate our Lord’s own humility, we must return to the simplicity of God’s little ones.” (St. Hilary of Poitiers) The Optional Memorial of Saint Hilary, Bishop and Doctor […]

"The Parable of the Good Samaritan" (detail) by Jan Wijnants

Is There Something Attached to Your Giving?

“What’s wrong?”  Jennifer asked as Rick walked in the house with a sour look on his face. “Nothing… everything… I don’t want to bother you with something this petty.  I’ll be okay in a few minutes.” “Oh no you don’t!  I want to help… please tell me what’s wrong.  Clearly something is weighing on you.” He looked at his wife […]

On Smiling Angels and Joy Filled Hearts

It is difficult to be a parent today, especially if you have a child or children with special needs. The days are emotional roller coaster rides often filled with frustration and only fleeting glimpses of progress. These families often push the pause button on their old lives as the focus becomes all about therapists, adaptive learning, fighting with schools for […]

Pope St. John Paul II

Daily Catholic Quote — from Saint John Paul II

“Much remains to be done to support those whose lives are wounded and to restore hope to those who are afraid of life. Courage is needed to resist pressures and false slogans, to proclaim the supreme dignity of all life, and to demand that society itself give it its protection. A distinguished American, Thomas Jefferson, once stated: ‘The care of […]

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 […]

Blessed Virgin Mary with Roses (detail) Artwork © by Jef Murray

Ask for a Sign

I wasn’t looking for anything—not a sign from God, anyway. Long before that moment, I had abandoned asking God for signs. Maybe it was that it seemed superstitious or petulant or…maybe it was my lack of faith. I didn’t really believe God was speaking to me through such simple acts of providence each day—signs. But my oldest, Felicity, so gingerly […]