joy

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 Week of “In-betweenness” and the Kingdom of God

There always seems to be a feeling of “in-betweenness” during the last week of Ordinary Time.  We have just celebrated the great feast of Christ the King, which also signals the end of the liturgical year.  After the great feast we have the Thirty-fourth Week of Ordinary Time, but we’re awaiting the first Sunday of Advent.  In some ways, it feels […]

Photograph © by Andy Coan

What are Obstacles to Catholic Authenticity?

Why is it difficult to be the same person at work, home, church and with our friends? I have observed this problem for several years, but lately I have become more aware of the challenges people have with consistently being “real.” In a few recent discussions with friends, I received blank stares and perceived a lot of discomfort when I […]

Man at Prayer

Radical Acceptance of God’s Will

Not long ago a priest shared some guidance with my wife and me that has been the cause of a great deal of conversation and reflection in our home.  In response to learning that we pray every day about our oldest son’s future and that he be healed of his autism, he encouraged us to pray first for acceptance. Let […]

Photography © by Andy Coan

Encountering the Word — James 1:2-4

A Daily Quote from Sacred Scripture “Count it all joy, my brethren, when you meet various trials, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” (James 1:2-4) Print this entry

Photograph © by Andy Coan

The Subtle Danger of Catholic Boredom

On a recent Saturday morning my fifteen-year-old son said: “Dad, I’m bored. What are we going to do for fun today?” Knowing my youngest son well, I translated this to mean that he was looking for something new and exciting and I was supposed to provide it. This all too frequent discussion with my children has been the cause of […]

Confessionals

The Heavy Burdens We Carry

I have been thinking a great deal about my experience at Reconciliation this past Saturday. I felt an intense and unexplainable urge to go and confess my sins when I woke up that morning. I try to go every six weeks or so, but this was no routine visit to the priest for me. I needed to unburden myself of […]

The Virtual Family: Connected or Disconnected?

Surrogate Gods, Surrogate Parents

It is a gross understatement to say that we live in trying times.  The Church and religious liberty are under constant attack, our country is divided, people are struggling to make ends meet, atheists are one of the fastest growing groups in our country and our families are under siege.  My intent is not to depress you, but focus your […]

Photography © by Randy Hain

Four Practical Ways to Ignite Our Catholic Faith

”You are the light of the world. A city set on a mountain cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and then put it under a bushel basket; it is set on a lampstand, where it gives light to all in the house. Just so, your light must shine before others, that they may see your good deeds […]