joy

The Theology of Bob Ross

What is the deal with Bob Ross?  A cultural icon from the 80s and 90s, Bob Ross is a painter best known for his fro, pet squirrel, and crazy ability to turn a line of paint into a pine tree.  How does a guy who paints landscapes on public television gain a cult following? I remember my sister watching him […]

Man at Prayer

Learning to Accept 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 […]

A Triple Chocolate Pound Cake

A Very Southern Weekend

I’m not from The South, unless you count Southern California (which you can’t), but I’ve been a resident of South Carolina for almost a decade.  It’s a place with a culture—which I mostly enjoy from the periphery, not having grown up here.  Just this weekend though, I had peek into an unfamiliar slice of Southern culture, thanks to a visit […]

Photograph © by Andy Coan

A Most Difficult Question to Answer

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 […]

Contagious Evangelists

There are people who just make the world more pleasant to live in.  I remember one such person from my first year in college.  Her name was Claire Crosetti.  She didn’t live in the dorm as I did, but it was a very small college and she came to visit now and then.  Everyone loved her.  Everyone.  I don’t even […]

The Difference an Hour Can Make

I recall the Monday after Christmas two years ago when I had to work for part of the day to meet a few clients, tie up loose ends for the year and do some preparation for the coming year.  It was challenging to be pulled away from my family over the holidays, especially with my easily bored sons out of […]

"Conversion of Saint Paul" (detail) by Caravaggio

When are We Who We Are Meant to Be

When I was seventeen-years-old, I wanted to be the next Jim Morrison. I was actively seeking to feed only my sensual delights through a hedonistic framework built in order to cope with insecurity and make my social experiences more comfortable for myself. To make matters worse, I was increasingly affirmed in my impression that I was truly myself (and at […]

“Christ at 33” (detail) by Hofmann

Overcoming Obstacles Between Us and Christ in the New Year

As I considered what to write for today’s post, I reflected on years of well-intended resolutions to lose weight, go to daily Mass, pick up a new hobby, play more tennis, etc. which ended in failure as my desires clashed with the reality of my busy schedule and stubborn resistance to change. I like goals, but I have decided to […]

"The Flight to Egypt" (detail) by Carl Spitzweg

In Memory of the Holy Innocents

On the fourth day of our Christmas celebration, the Church reminds us that not everyone is joyful; that there exist those who are not of goodwill who do not wish to receive the season’s glad tidings. Today is the Feast of the Holy Innocents in which the Church recalls and honors those baby boys whose lives were taken in a […]

Christmas Mass at St. Peter's Basilica, Vatican City

Thinking About Christmas & Easter Catholics

I admit it: I love Disney World.  My parents took me as a child and my wife and I have taken our kids a few times.  The theme parks make me reminisce about the fun adventures I enjoyed as a young boy and I experience a degree of nostalgic longing every spring for my family to experience Mickey and friends […]