family

woman-praying-profile-featured-w740x493

The Hidden Life

When I retired from a public work life, I found a hidden life had many lessons to teach… When I was a new mom, I slipped away for a silent weekend retreat. Before we adjourned on Sunday afternoon, the organizers invited the participants to randomly pick a holy card. On it, was a virtue we were supposed to cultivate throughout […]

woman-praying-profile-featured-w740x493

There’s No Such Thing as “Balance”

I hate the word balance—at least the way our modern culture defines it. For most of my adult life, all I’ve heard (or read) is about how to balance work and family life or finding balance when life seems to get out of control.  It’s as if balance is this magical word that creates a utopian mindset—one that, I’ve come […]

family-silhouette-featured-w740x493

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 […]

"The Holy Family (detail)" by Murillo"The Holy Family (detail)" by Murillo

Seven Essential Lessons for Dads

Who Introduced You to the Lord? The first question I would like to pose, is simply this: “How did you come by your faith, whether it be weak or strong, new or old? Where and when did you first come to encounter Jesus and his glorious Gospel?” For many of us, the answer would be, “I first came to know […]

Father and SonFather and Son

A Letter to My Children

“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. From now on there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that Day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing” (2 Timothy 4:7–8). Have […]

Pope St. John Paul IIPope St. John Paul II

Catholic Quote of the Day — from Pope St. John Paul II

“The economic, social and cultural transformations taking place in our world are having an enormous effect on how people look upon marriage and the family. As a result many couples are unsure of the meaning of their relationship, and this causes them much turmoil and suffering. On the other hand, many other couples are stronger because, having overcome modern pressures, […]

mother-daughter-garden-featured-w740x493

Is Motherhood a Choice?

I recently stumbled upon a series of memes about womanhood and motherhood.  They were posted on Facebook by a friend’s daughter, and the one that immediately caught my eye was: “Rose decided not to have kids.  That’s okay, Rose.  Motherhood is a choice.”  In a string of comments following my “Motherhood is a gift and blessing” opening, I realized that […]

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

Did Mary Ever Have Days Like This?

I didn’t have a good excuse. No sudden death, news of great tragedy, or personal fall-through. The clock just met 4:00, the kid of choice started with the customary late afternoon ranting, and it all unraveled from there. Somehow, the everyday things—the weight of my worries, the onslaught of my duties, the trial of just getting through the rest of […]

"Creation of Adam" (detail) by Michelangelo"Creation of Adam" (detail) by Michelangelo

When Truth is Abandoned

Merchants of Death — Alfred C. Kinsey I recently came across an article on Mercatornet.com which introduced me to an interview of Camille Paglia in Spiked, a British publication. Ms. Paglia is a radical feminist and lesbian who isn’t afraid to go counter to the “mainstream” politically correct views dictated for acceptance today. In the course of the interview she said […]