"King David in Prayer (detail)" by Pieter de Grebber"King David in Prayer (detail)" by Pieter de Grebber

Lesson One in Prayer

Let’s get very, very basic and very, very practical about prayer. The single most important piece of advice I know about prayer is also the simplest: Just do it! How to do it is less important than just doing it. Less-than-perfect prayer is infinitely better than no prayer; more perfect prayer is only finitely better than less perfect prayer. Nancy Reagan was criticized […]

Meditating on the Life of Christ while Praying the RosaryMeditating on the Life of Christ while Praying the Rosary

Holding Mary’s Hand in the Rosary

As Our Lady of the Rosary, Mary smiles at me the same way I smile at my seven-year-old struggling to learn to spell words and write sentences or my four-year-old beginning to form shapes and lines that make sense. She was given the title after appearing to Saint Dominic in 1208 in a church in Prouille, France. Later, in 1571, Pope Pius […]

Pope Francis (neneo / Francis (neneo /

How Well Do We Carry the Catholic Brand?

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 […]

Pope St. John Paul IIPope St. John Paul II

Catholic Quote of the Day — from Pope St. John Paul II

“The rosary, though clearly Marian in character, is at a heart a Christ-centered prayer. It has all the depth of the gospel message in its entirety. It is an echo of the prayer of Mary, her perennial Magnificat for the work of the redemptive Incarnation which began in her virginal womb…It can be said that the rosary is, in some […]

Father and SonFather and Son

A Letter to My Sons

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 you […]

"Christ on the Cross" (detail) by Velazquez"Christ on the Cross" (detail) by Velazquez

Lift High the Cross

September 14th is the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross. Each year when it comes around, I remember when Sister Carol Marie lifted high the cross in faith. It was late summer in California. The skies were a limpid blue. A balmy ocean breeze blew across the sand. Children were building sandcastles. Windsurfers cut like knives across the […]

Photograph © by Andy CoanPhotograph © by Andy Coan

Five Ways Catholics Can Make a Difference

“Think about the possibilities if we all made a sincere daily commitment, no matter how small, to make a positive difference in the lives of those around us.” Do we sometimes feel overwhelmed in the face of the relentless assault on the Church, our beliefs and our families by the media and modern culture? Is it difficult to stand up […]

Father Jacques PhilippeFather Jacques Philippe

Are You Thirsting for Prayer?

Have no anxiety at all, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God. (Phil 4:6) For many of us prayer doesn’t come easily. Spontaneous prayer in time of trouble or crisis often takes the form of singular pleading, “God help me.” This direct cry to Him indicates our thirst for Him. It is […]

Man at PrayerMan 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 […]