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Four Critical Principles for Catholic Fathers

St. Joseph and the Christ-Child, Belmont Abbey

“It is easier for a father to have children than for children to have a real father.” (Pope St. John XXIII) I often feel completely lost and befuddled as a Catholic father in today’s world. How do I set the right example? How do I help my sons grow up with a strong Catholic faith? How do I prepare them […]

Encountering the Word — Psalm 25:6-7

Photography © by Andy Coan

Your Daily Quote from the Holy Bible “Be mindful of thy mercy, O Lord, and of thy steadfast love, for they have been from of old. Remember not the sins of my youth, or my transgressions; according to thy steadfast love remember me, for thy goodness’ sake, O Lord!” (Psalm 25:6-7 RSVCE) Please share on Facebook and other social media […]

Identity — Can What We Do Diminish Who We Are?

"Creation of Adam" (detail) by Michelangelo

This thing about identity—there’s more here than meets the eye, more here than most psychologists talk about, more here than we can understand, and what I’m going to present is more questions than answers. But I think it’s a profound point, so I’ll say it. This point that our very selfhood is by nature unstable and in question, this is […]

Hold on to the Peace of the Lord

"Christ the Consolator" (detail) by Carl Bloch

Are you at peace or is your heart troubled? “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You have faith in God; have faith also in me. In my Father’s house there are many dwelling places. If there were not, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare […]

Finding Strength in Surrender

Man at Prayer

Few souls understand what God would accomplish in them if they were to abandon themselves unreservedly to Him and if they were to allow His grace to mold them accordingly.” — St. Ignatius Loyola What is the connection between surrender and strength?  Surrendering to Christ and putting His will before my own for the first time almost 14 years ago […]

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 […]

Daily Quote—for Holy Saturday

“Today a great silence reigns on earth, a great silence and a great stillness.  A great stillness because the King is asleep.  The earth trembled and is still because God has fallen asleep in the flesh and has raised up all who have slept since the world began . . . ‘I order you, O sleeper, to awake.  I did […]

Joy and Sorrow

"Christ's Entry into Jerusalem" by Hippolyte Flandrin

The Cross is the great paradox of Christianity. More than a few people have asked me over the years why the Catholic Church focuses so prominently and persistently on the Crucifix. One inquirer even suggested that the Crucifix hanging above the Altar is too intense a reminder of the sorrow in the world and that she would never join a […]