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For Advent, Let’s Focus on Simplicity

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 over-complicate things and an inclination towards “busyness”. I am grateful for the occasional insights I have into ways to address this […]

Surrogate Gods, Surrogate Parents

The Virtual Family: Connected or Disconnected?

It is a gross understatement to say that we live in trying times.  The Church and religious liberty are under attack around the world, our country is divided, atheists are one of the fastest growing groups in America and our families are under siege.  My intent is not to depress you, but focus your attention on today’s realities.  In times […]

The Search for Meaning and Purpose

"The Parable of the Rich Fool" by Rembrandt [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Does Life Have Meaning? What is the meaning of life? This a question each of us asks, sometimes without any awareness at all. The search for the meaning of life has filled books throughout history. At heart, we are all philosophers searching for meaning. At heart, we ought to love wisdom, but too often we play the fool. The book of […]

Sunday Reflection—The Rich Fool

THE PARABLE OF THE RICH MAN The story of the rich man in Luke 12 who gloats over his bumper harvest brings up a good question – is money and success evil?  Augustine, following Paul, says it’s not money but the love of money that’s the root of all evil. The Mass readings for the Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time […]

A Glimpse of God’s Glory on a Morning Run

Photography © by Randy Hain

Every now and then I slow down enough to experience God. The picture attached to this post was recently taken by me on the last day of our family vacation, just before my morning run. The sight of the sun behind the clouds took my breath away as it spoke to me of God’s glory and might, but my frail […]

Why Do We Follow a Secular Compass?

I don’t know about you, but I rarely get through the day without feeling beaten up a little by the demands and pervasive negative influence of the world. It is difficult to find peace and block out the noise. I am challenged to avoid committing the same venial sins over and over each day. In my weakness, I tend to […]

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 […]

Why Do Catholics Abstain from Meat on Fridays and Fast?

"Christ in the Desert (detail)" by Ivan Kramskoy

Our bookstores are filled with books written to help us advance in prayer and the spiritual life. The “secret” we all look for is really no secret at all.  At its heart, the gospel message is one of self-denial and detachment from all things that are obstacles to our growth.  Jesus tells us that if we are to be his […]

What Does the Bible Teach About Fasting?

"Into the Wild" © by Jef Murray—(Click sketch for artist's gallery.)

Lent is fast approaching, so I thought we should revisit self-denial. Fasting and other forms of self-denial, as spiritual practices of materially subduing and controlling the physical appetites of the body, help us, by God’s grace, to enable the soul to more perfectly and freely pray.  This leads to a deeper union with God and thus we become better stewards of the […]

Daily Quote — St. Ignatius of Antioch

St. Ignatius of Antioch

“Do not have Jesus Christ on your lips, and the world in your hearts.” (St. Ignatius of Antioch, Bishop and Martyr, Letter to the Romans) The Memorial of St. Ignatius, Bishop and Martyr (30 – 107) is October 17. Please share this post on Facebook and other social media below: Print this entry