joy

Photograph © by Andy CoanPhotograph © 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 […]

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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 […]

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Sharing the Joy of Our Faith with Those Who are Angry with the Church

As joyful witnesses, we are called to share the joy of our faith with everyone, and sometimes that means Catholics who have fallen away from their faith. It might mean talking about our faith with Catholics who are angry and bitter towards the Church. Their reasons may vary, but how we engage with them may mean the difference between their […]

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

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

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 […]

"Sermon on the Mount" St. Matthew's Church altarpiece by Henrik Olrik"Sermon on the Mount" St. Matthew's Church altarpiece by Henrik Olrik

Six Ways to Avoid Being a “Stealth” Catholic

I have had numerous conversations with friends and professional acquaintances over the years on the subject of openly sharing our Catholic faith. I am always a little surprised at how often many of them express strong reluctance to being open about their beliefs. The reasons given have included many you may have heard before. “I don’t want to offend anyone.” […]

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 […]

"The Vision of St. Francis" (detail) by Jusepe de Ribera"The Vision of St. Francis" (detail) by Jusepe de Ribera

Catholic Quote of the Day — from St. Francis of Assisi

“Where there is charity and wisdom, there is neither fear nor ignorance. Where there is patience and humility, there is neither anger nor vexation. Where there is poverty and joy, there is neither greed nor avarice. Where there is peace and meditation, there is neither anxiety nor doubt.” (St. Francis of Assisi, Deacon and Confessor) The Memorial of St. Francis […]

"Christ the Consolator" (detail) by Carl Bloch"Christ the Consolator" (detail) by Carl Bloch

O Joyful Catholics, Where Are You?

I believe one of the greatest obstacles to evangelization and sharing our faith with others today is that many of us have forgotten how to be joyful. I know when the stresses of the world weigh me down, I struggle to maintain a joyful attitude in the presence of others. We are often so busy with our hectic schedules and […]

"The Exhortation to the Apostles" (detail) by James Tissot"The Exhortation to the Apostles" (detail) by James Tissot

“See How They Love One Another”

“See how they love one another”—this was the observation that the pagans made, to their own bewilderment, about the early Christians. Our earliest brothers and sisters in Christ lived lives of such unprecedented joyful service that it astounded the world around them, a world that had never seen anything like it before. These first Christians lived according to the model […]

"Into the Wild" © by Jef Murray—(Click sketch for artist's gallery.)"Into the Wild" © by Jef Murray—(Click sketch for artist's gallery.)

In the wilderness I will make a way

“In the beginning, when God created the heavens and the earth—and the earth was without form or shape, with darkness over the abyss and a mighty wind sweeping over the waters—Then God said: Let there be light, and there was light” (Genesis 1:1-3). The Right Perspective What do I have to offer that is worthwhile for others to read? What […]