Catholic Church

When We Struggle in Our Prayer Life

Photography by John Neff | Shutterstock

One of the biggest obstacles for me in the early days of my faith journey was the lack of a prayer life. I knew I needed to pray, but I couldn’t ever remember sincerely praying about anything. I was struggling with the typical male challenge of asking for help, especially asking God for help! I rationalized this by thinking, “Who […]

All Souls Day and Prayers for the Dead

"The Madonna of Carmel and the Souls of the Purgatory" (detail) by Giovanni Battista Tiepolo

I’ll never forget that bleak January day when my father died.  It was very hard to believe in the resurrection as I watched the undertakers carry away his lifeless corpse in a body bag. But imagine this scene.  You are an unborn child who has lived in cozy but cramped quarters with your twin for nine months.  But now you […]

The Powerful Intercession of Mary and the Saints

"The Virgin at Prayer" (detail) by Sassoferrato

Solemnity of All Saints Today is the Solemnity of All Saints, a celebration of those who have died and attained Heaven. We will remember those who are undergoing purgation tomorrow on All Souls Day. Today, I would like to look at the Catholic practice of asking the Blessed Virgin Mary and the saints in heaven to intercede for us. I […]

Five Ways to Escape from Apathy-ville

"St. Michael the Archangel" (detail) - via Wikimedia Commons - Guido Reni [Public domain]

Do you ever feel numb or helpless because of all the problems the world faces each day? One only has to watch the news or follow the events of the day online to feel completely overwhelmed. Some of the challenges facing the world include ever-increasing threats to our Catholic faith. The Church is being accosted on all sides and the culture […]

Familiaris Consortio — A Road Map for Catholic Families

When my wife and I came into the Catholic Church with our two sons in 2006, we were somewhat overwhelmed by the new life we had begun. We had not only entered into full communion with the Church Christ founded, but we clearly recognized how the expectations for our marriage and how we raised our family had changed considerably as […]

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 […]

Struggling with a Restless Heart

“Thou movest us to delight in praising Thee; for Thou hast formed us for Thyself, and our hearts are restless till they find rest in Thee” (St. Augustine, Confessions). I think most writers are naturally introspective and reflective.  While praying in preparation for Lent not long ago, I prayed for strength and courage to stay focused on the path Christ […]

Simplify Your Life

Man at Prayer

Do you ever feel overwhelmed with all of the stress, responsibilities and challenges in your daily life? If I am honest with myself, the times I feel most anxious or stressed are usually caused by my lifelong tendency to overcomplicate things and an inclination towards “busyness”. I am grateful for the occasional insights I have into ways to address this […]

The Pastoral Malpractice of Liturgical Abuse

"The Baptism" (detail) by Pietro Longhi [Public domain]

Empathy is the capacity to understand what another person is undergoing from within that person’s frame of reference. Much of August I could not help imagining myself in the situation of Father Matthew Hood of the Archdiocese of Detroit. On August 6, presumably after celebrating Mass on the Feast of the Lord’s transfiguration, Hood’s life was changed far more than […]