children

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 […]

"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 […]

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

The Day the Light Dawned

I am a Carmelite Sister who teaches 200 high school students daily during five class periods beginning at 8:00 a.m. and ending about 2:30 p.m. Each of my classes has forty students. Each student is a cherished, never-to-be-repeated, unique human person. Each one of them has an immortal soul, so I can truly say that there are 400 souls in my […]

Pope St. John Paul II

Daily Catholic Quote — from Saint John Paul II

“According to the plan of God, marriage is the foundation of the wider community of the family, since the very institution of marriage and conjugal love are ordained to the procreation and education of children, in whom they find their crowning.”  (Pope St. John Paul II, Familiaris consortio #14, Apostolic Exhortation, 22 November 1981) The Optional Memorial of St. John […]

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 […]

"Suffer little children to come unto me" (detail) by Juan Urruchi

Rediscovering Integrity for our Children

What is integrity? Integrity is a word that continues to fascinate me, and over the years the depth of its meaning grows within me. Originally, I understood the definition of integrity as an honest person. Later on, I realized that “integral” and “integrated” are forms of this word and have deeper meanings than just “honest” or “fair.” Our society considers […]

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 sixteen and nineteen, 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 […]

Help for My Children in these Perilous Times

Dear Sister, I have a question to ask you. I see a bleak future ahead of us in our country. I grieve over the loss of our traditional American values, slipping away one by one. What kind of a country am I handing over to my children?  What kind of advice, help, support, and tools can I give them that […]