Family

Each of These Children is a Blessing

"Suffer little children to come unto me" (detail) by Juan Urruchi

“Those whose lives are diminished or weakened deserve special respect. Sick or handicapped persons should be helped to lead lives as normal as possible.”  (CCC 2276) One of the few issues my wife and I were concerned about when we decided to join the Catholic Church in 2005 was how to include our oldest son, Alex, who has high-functioning autism. He […]

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 […]

The Origin and Sacramental Nature of Marriage

"The Wedding Feast at Cana" by Julius Schnorr von Carolsfeld

Marriage is a principle and guiding theme throughout the Holy Scriptures. It is the symbol and sign of God’s sacred covenant with His people. The Creation and institution of marriage appears woven throughout the Bible, first at the beginning of Genesis and last in the book of Revelation 19:9, where it says “blessed are those who are invited to the […]

Essential Lessons for Dads

Holy-Family"The Holy Family with dog" (detail) by Bartolomé Esteban Murillo [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Our state in life is where we live out our vocation; it is the path by which we journey to Heaven. God has called each of us by name to Himself. In baptism we each received a share in the divine mission and a responsibility to be faithful to that mission. When a man and a woman answer God’s call to […]

For Better or Worse, In Sickness and Health, from Day One

“I promise to be faithful to you, in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health, to love you and to honor you all the days of my life.” On the day of their wedding, most couples make those vows looking ahead to the future, praying that they will have far more happy times than sad, much more […]

Worlds Apart

Michelangelo's "Last Judgment" on the Altar Wall in the Sistine Chapel Photography by Mark Armstrong

I am a father and a philosopher.  This is not necessarily an unusual combination, but it does give me a range of interests that spans two rather distinctive worlds.  I am interested in the family, its challenges and rewards, its hard work and its joyful celebrations.  As a philosopher, I am interested in an array of ideas that range from […]

We Owe Each Other a Terrible Loyalty

St. Peter Chanel Catholic Church, Roswell, Georgia—Photography © by Michael Bickerstaff

Looking back at my childhood, I am thankful for the many gifts the good God sent my way in the form of people who knew and loved Him and chose to share that knowledge and love with me. There are so many examples from the good Catholic sisters and priests who taught me to my Presbyterian friend, James, who announced […]

Lessons from the Holy Family

Holy-Family"The Holy Family with dog" (detail) by Bartolomé Esteban Murillo [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

The Holy Family The Feast of the Holy Family celebrates the holiness and joy of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph of Nazareth. By celebrating this feast during the Christmas season, the Church wants us to see the important link between the birth of our Savior and the family. Pope Francis has said of the Feast of the Holy […]

December by Candlelight

Photography Courtesy of the Carmelite Sisters of the Most Sacred Heart of Los Angeles

Every day we look forward to the gift of another dawn as the sun begins to peek through the curtain of the night to bring the vibrancy of color back to us yet again. It is a ritual of sorts, isn’t it? When the first blush of the dawn greets the dark cloak of the night sky and slowly but […]

On Marriage, Leadership and Honoring Our Wives

Bride and Groom

Marriage is in trouble everywhere, especially in our country where over half of marriages end in divorce. Our culture, so influenced by Hollywood and materialism, has set about creating a society which no longer values marriage and the family, but instead favors one which glorifies selfishness, greed and offers false idols for us to worship instead of God. As an […]