Heaven

In life, in death, O Lord, abide with me

“Christ at 33” (detail) by Hofmann

“In life, in death, O Lord, abide with me.” Today we will remember the victims of September 11, 2001 in our prayers as we mark the seventeenth anniversary of that tragic day. As I prepare this article, Florence bears down on the Carolina coasts. We should include the victims of the storms of this year, around the globe, in our prayers as […]

Do We Make Christ and His Church Look Attractive to Others?

Mission Dolores Altar (San Francisco) Photograph © by Andy Coan

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 […]

Dads, Do We Have Our Acts Together?

During a recent coffee meeting, a friend said, “You seem to have your act together on the fatherhood front. What’s your secret?” I was surprised and taken aback because I don’t think I have my act together at all. I don’t mean that out of false humility. I pray every day to be a better husband and father because I […]

Practical Ideas for Spiritual Growth

"Supper at Emmaus" (detail) by Caravaggio

What Life’s All About When God created Adam and Eve, He gave them sanctifying grace, that is, they were able to partake in the Divine Nature—they had a share of the Divine Life in their souls. They had no right to this grace; it was freely given them by God. They also were granted what is referred to as the […]

On Living Intentionally

Man at Prayer

“Will-power. A very important quality. Don’t despise little things, for by the continual practice of denying yourself again and again in such things — which are never futile or trivial — with God’s grace you will add strength and resilience to your character. In that way you will first become master of yourself, and then a guide, a chief, a […]

Lessons from Emmaus Road for the Anxious and Discouraged

"Supper at Emmaus" (detail) by Caravaggio

We are all likely familiar with the “walk to Emmaus” (Luke 24:13-35) by two of Christ’s disciples the evening of the Resurrection in Luke’s Gospel.  These two men, overcome with hopelessness and discouragement, were talking about the incredible events they had witnessed over the previous few days as they were walking to their home village of Emmaus outside of Jerusalem.  […]

Why Do We Follow a Secular Compass?

I don’t know about you, but I rarely get through the day without feeling beaten up a little by the demands and pervasive negative influence of the world. It is difficult to find peace and block out the noise. I am challenged to avoid committing the same venial sins over and over each day. In my weakness, I tend to […]

Fighting Our Own Indifference

St. Michael the Archangel

Do you ever feel numb or helpless because of all the problems the world faces each day? One only has to watch the news or follow the events of the day online to feel completely overwhelmed. Some of the challenges facing the world include ever-increasing threats to our Catholic faith. The Church is being accosted on all sides and the culture […]

What Difference Does Heaven Make?

Photography © by Randy Hain

Heaven’s Difference If a thing makes no difference, it is a waste of time to think about it. We should begin, then, with the question, “What difference does Heaven make to earth, to now, to our lives?” The answer to the question is only the difference between hope and despair in the end, between two totally different visions of life; […]

Where are the “Regular” Catholic Heroes?

Man at Prayer

Feeling let down by politicians and public figures who say they are Catholic, but their words and actions are often contrary to the teachings of the Church? Do we seek good examples for ourselves, our children or our grandchildren to emulate because we hope they will demonstrate in word and deed what it means to be authentically Catholic?  Perhaps we […]