Photograph © 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 […]

The Difference an Hour Can Make

I recall the Monday after Christmas two years ago when I had to work for part of the day to meet a few clients, tie up loose ends for the year and do some preparation for the coming year.  It was challenging to be pulled away from my family over the holidays, especially with my easily bored sons out of […]

“Christ at 33” (detail) by Hofmann

Overcoming Obstacles Between Us and Christ in the New Year

As I considered what to write for today’s post, I reflected on years of well-intended resolutions to lose weight, go to daily Mass, pick up a new hobby, play more tennis, etc. which ended in failure as my desires clashed with the reality of my busy schedule and stubborn resistance to change. I like goals, but I have decided to […]

"Guardian Angel" (detail) by Pietro da Cortona

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 […]

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

Expanding Our Hearts

In these difficult times, it can be very challenging to think of others and not just ourselves. Our personal struggles often become obstacles to helping our brothers and sisters in Christ.  If these words resonate with you, I would like to provide some encouragement to break out of this inward focus and consider our Christian obligation to love and serve […]

When Catholic Hospitals Lose Their Identity and Way (Part II)

On Monday, in the editorial “When Catholic Hospitals Lose Their Identity and Way,” we focused on Phoenix Bishop Thomas Olmsted’s stripping St. Joseph’s hospital of its Catholic status, after it refused to admit that it had done anything wrong and to change its ways after it became known that it had authorized and carried out a direct abortion in November […]

Jesus, Vampires, Zombies and Me

It’s probably best that I set all my cards out on the table to begin with in regards to my feelings about vampires.  My enthusiasm when it comes to the undead begins with a desire to slay them.  Dead things should stay dead, in my opinion; at least until the resurrection, at which point they are assigned their eternal destiny, […]

Five Ideas for Advent

In the early years of our marriage, David and I, like many young, Catholic newlyweds, put a lot of thought into how we would celebrate each liturgical season with our new family. Advent was one time that we wanted to make especially memorable for our children. One year, when our oldest was maybe five, I was browsing the Advent and […]

Happily Ever After: The Truth About Christianity

Some things seem too good to be true. When you fall in love and the person returns your affection – that’s one of those things. Or maybe you win a great prize and this is your first reaction: Why it’s too good to be true! And in many ways the Christian story falls under that heading as well. We believe […]