God

How the Weakness of the Cross Makes Us Strong

Mission Dolores Altar (San Francisco) Photograph © by Andy Coan —Christopher West

“When I am weak, then I am strong”; “power made perfect in weakness.” Such verses are often cited as key to spiritual growth, but do we really understand what they are talking about? Can anyone ever understand? Yes. If we couldn’t understand it at all, God would not have told it to us. God does not waste words. It is […]

A Checklist for Catholic Dads

St. Joseph and the Christ-Child, Belmont Abbey

I have had numerous conversations over the years with other Catholic dads about the challenges of raising kids in today’s world. The discussions usually center on the bad cultural influences affecting our children, our hectic schedules and our well-intentioned desire to be better fathers. We mean well, but how do we move from conversation to action? The stakes are high, […]

Discovering God in Silence

A prayerful, meditative silence is the mother of truth. by Sister Mary Clare, O.C.D. Carmelite Sisters of the Most Sacred Heart of Los Angeles God cannot be found in noise and agitation. His true power and love are revealed in what is hardly perceptible, in the gentle breeze that requires stillness and quiet to detect. In silence, God listens to […]

What Difference Does Heaven Make?

Photography © by Randy Hain

Heaven’s Difference If a thing makes no difference, it is a waste of time to think about it. We should begin, then, with the question, “What difference does Heaven make to earth, to now, to our lives?” The answer to the question is only the difference between hope and despair in the end, between two totally different visions of life; […]

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 […]

Six Ways to Avoid Being a “Stealth” Catholic

"Sermon on the Mount" St. Matthew's Church altarpiece by Henrik Olrik

I have had numerous conversations with friends and professional acquaintances over the years on the subject of openly sharing our Catholic faith. I am always a little surprised at how often many of them express strong reluctance to being open about their beliefs. The reasons given have included many you may have heard before. “I don’t want to offend anyone.” […]

Practical Lessons for Integrating Faith and Work

Man at Prayer

How do we integrate our faith with our work? If you think about it, most of us will likely spend the majority of our adult (awake) lives in the workplace. A typical eight hour work day accounts for a third of the total day, with the other two-thirds devoted to sleeping, family, friends, faith, and so on. In the practice […]

The Heavy Burdens We Carry

Confessionals

I have been thinking a great deal about my experience at Reconciliation last Tuesday evening. I felt an intense and unexplainable urge to go and confess my sins when I woke up that morning.  I try to go every six weeks or so, but this was no routine visit to the priest for me. I needed to unburden myself of […]

Joseph’s Consolation

St. Joseph and the Christ-Child, Belmont Abbey

The rhythmic sound of a man steadily hammering away at work always brings to mind our dear St. Joseph. What a man! St. Joseph was a strong workman as so many good men who labor to provide the basics for their families today. Like them, Joseph came home tired after a long day at work. How happy he must have […]

Abide in Christ

“Christ at 33” (detail) by Hofmann

“I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch of mine that bears no fruit, he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. You are already made clean by the word which I have spoken to you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the […]