Heaven

What have you been given?

Our culture loves to make up fake holidays. National Hot Dog Day, National Get Out Your Guitar Day, World Nutella Day … every food, occupation, habit, or weird hobby has a day. This past week was the annual celebration the world has named Satisfied to be Single Day. It might sound funny, but every February 11 for the past thirteen […]

Baptize the baby

A few things in the last week prompted further thoughts about baptism. In addition to the feast this past Sunday, I also recorded an episode for my weekly series “3 Minute Theology,” on the theological theory of limbo. I receive a lot of questions about limbo. This probably can be attributed to the fact that people think it was a […]

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 […]

Expectations & Fulfillment

"Baptism of Christ" (detail) by Perugino

This coming Sunday is the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord. In the readings for Mass, an option for the first reading is from Isaiah 40. The passage is ripe with imagery that perhaps sounds a little more like our Advent readings. In fact, this same reading is the reading for the second Sunday of Advent in Year B […]

Too Busy for God?

For years I have heard people say they don’t have enough time to pray, get involved in parish ministry, attend daily Mass, take part in Eucharistic adoration, be involved in children’s activities, serve in the community, etc. I believe our misconception about time is one of the biggest obstacles, along with living in “silos” and failing to surrender to Christ, to […]

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; […]

Heaven and Hell—What Every Catholic Must Know About The Four Last Things

Photography © by Randy Hain

In the first two installments of this series on the Four Last Things, we examined what every Catholic needs to know about death and judgment. In this third installment, we will look at what follows judgment: Heaven or Hell. Who goes where? Heaven and Hell Popular, secular opinion seems to conclude either: 1) there is no after-life or 2) everyone and […]

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 […]