Catholic Husband

Love / Lead / Serve

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Praying As A Parent

For nearly three years, I’ve done most of my shopping via pickup. From time to time, though, I need to go into the store to make a return. Doing that with four kids plus the item to be returned is no easy task. One night last week, with the kids in their pajamas and ready for bed, I left the house to run some errands. Read Article

What Did We Learn

America’s political class went into Election Day with a very specific idea of how things were going to go. As the returns came in that evening, a clear picture emerged. Americans are much more moderate and level-headed than our social media feeds and the legacy media would have us believe.Read Article

Live Today

Jesus told us to not worry about tomorrow, that it would take care of itself. I wrote a few weeks ago about how it’s time for us to move past the paralysis of COVID. The trap of living in the past or future is that it steals our today.Read Article

Election Eve

Election day is finally here. What a cycle it’s been! In many respects, this election cycle has been just as dramatic as any other. It’s the biggest, most contentious, most important election of your life! We’re either going to have a country or a civil war starting on Wednesday morning. At least that’s what we’re told. The truth is, people have predicted the downfall of America since its beginning. Yet, here we are.Read Article

Off the Reservation

This blog has defended Pope Francis. He told us to go out into the Church and the world to make a mess. His pontificate has certainly achieved that objective. The Vatican’s moral abdication on China is disconcerting. Over a million ethic Uyghurs arbitrarily detained in concentration camps, and the Vatican said nothing. The Chinese Communist Party’s insistence on Sinicization of religion and even the accord allowing the CCP to co-appoint bishops adds to the concern. In addition to issues on the world stage, Pope Francis has regularly minimized the primary troubles of our day to include marriage, family life, and abortion.Read Article

Time to Go

Life in March was paralyzing. The incessant flow of negative news stories crashed over us like a tsunami. Our society endured the first global health threat of our lifetimes, and we did not adapt well.Read Article

Life with Four

I bring a lot of structure and process to my life. During the day, when I’m alone with my children, I need that support. I need to have decisions pre-made for me so that when it’s time to go, I only have to execute. Sometimes I use these ready-made solutions for safety, like the order in which we get into and out of the van (everyone uses a single, passenger side door). At other times, it’s just for simplicity (I always arrange my children’s plates on the counter in the same order).Read Article

Pandemic Confession

I’ve made no secret that I’m a frequent recipient of the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Once or twice a month, I leave my house on a Saturday afternoon to renew myself. Despite years of this spiritual practice, I still find myself in need of a regular spiritual tune-up. I’m grateful to have a confessor locally who is both patient and gentle with me. This year, as with everything, things have been different.Read Article

Reading Together

Filling up every minute of the day with activity for my kids is a real struggle. My kids are always up for adventure or doing something new, but each day presents the same challenge. How can we spend our day in a way that allows my children to grow and me to thrive?Read Article

The New Evangelization Stumbles

Getting to Mass on a weekday is hard for me, and that was before the pandemic. The difficulty is not handling my four kids by myself for half an hour. It’s getting everyone up, dressed, fed, and in the pew by 8:30am. Lately our parish switched Mass times for the weekday liturgies to 5:00pm, another challenge for parents of little ones.Read Article

Troops

I came up in the Boy Scouts program, rising from the 1st Grade Tigers program to the rank of Eagle Scout. Along the trail, I learned many life skills. That achievement was a direct result of the constant support of my parents as I progressed through the ranks. As a military child who moved frequently, Scouts formed the third pillar of external stability in my life, aside from Church and school. No matter where we went, the Scouts were there. Read Article

Default to Yes

A new school year is upon us. For many parents, September is like a second January, a natural point in the year when we review our life, our goals, and our aspirations. For me, I want to change something in my relationship with my children.Read Article

Eight

It’s been a very fast eight years since Alison and I met at the altar and committed ourselves to one another. Each year on this blog, I like to take the opportunity to reflect. As I sat down to write this year’s post, I realized that I have little new to offer.Read Article

Answered Prayers

In the months leading up to my daughter’s birth, I was anxious. Both of her sisters took nearly two weeks to make it home from the hospital. The emotional drain of maintaining two households, even for just that short period of time, weighed heavily on me. 2020 is a year unlike any other. The last thing that I wanted was a two week hospital stay in the middle of the pandemic. So I took it up in prayer.
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Together

It’s amazing what spouses can do when they work together. Alison and I are fast approaching our eight year anniversary. While we’re still in early innings, it’s terribly sad how many marriages never make it to this point.Read Article

Start

I have a subscription to Magnificat that I’ve had for over a year now. It’s a wonderful prayer companion, filled each month with fresh perspectives, profiles, and articles. Central to each day’s prayer routine is morning prayer, evening prayer, the readings from Mass, and a short reflection.Read Article

Four

Certainly children are a gift from the LORD,
the fruit of the womb, a reward.

Psalm 127:5Read Article

Focus

The opportunity to gain clarity in your life is rare. The busyness of the world and daily distractions easily get us to lose focus on our objectives. We’ve got too much going on in the present to be concerned about tomorrow, the broader future, or even what’s just on our periphery.
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A Few Extra Minutes

Taking care of children is no easy task. Apart from the heavy lifting of moral and character education are the daily mundane tasks. These are the repeating things that I do every day without a thought, like getting dressed, taking a shower, or brushing my teeth. When I do them for myself, it requires almost no effort, but doing them for all three of my children is a heavy lift.Read Article

Our Responsibility

Once or twice a month, I’ll take an hour or so on a Saturday afternoon to go to Confession. Occasionally, I’ll throw in an additional errand or two that is better done without the kids. For many of these outings, I’d spend my entire time away from home feeling guilty. I’d feel guilty about leaving my wife, who worked hard all week, alone to watch the kids. I was wrong to feel that way.Read Article

Daily Preventative Medicine

Virtue is the antidote to sin. It’s not enough to avoid sin, whether by white-knuckling it or avoiding triggers. The only way to truly avoid sin is to live a virtuous life. The best way to live a virtuous life is to build prayer into your day.Read Article

Opening the Domestic Church

The center of the daily life of the Church is the Eucharist, but it’s not the whole life. Most of us have been unable to physically access the Mass for the past several months, leading to great sorrow. In the midst of this suffering, we’ve experienced the beauty of opening the domestic church.Read Article

Beyond Routine

For a few weeks now, I’ve felt like I was adrift. While considering my daily routine and struggling to get back on the horse, I came to a deeper insight. A daily routine without purpose is monotonous. If I’m going through my daily repeating task list with no aim or goal, I should feel bored and lost. If the tasks that I’m accomplishing day in and day out aren’t oriented towards some larger goal, then how can I expect fulfillment?Read Article

Safety and Stability

We live comfortably, but that’s rarely the experience of Catholics. Many, if not most Catholics throughout history lived very rough lives. They’ve been outcasts, despised, reviled, jailed, tortured, and killed. In this pandemic, we too share in this experience of discomfort. How will we respond? Read Article

First Communion

I made my First Communion more than two decades ago. In that time, I’ve rarely been more than seven days without receiving the Eucharist. As I sit here at my desk in early June, it’s been over 90 days since I’ve been to Mass and celebrated the Sacred Liturgy in person.Read Article

Contemplating Life

Change is on the horizon for my family. Later this summer, we’ll be welcoming our fourth child home. The Book of Psalms describes children as a “gift from God” and as “a reward.” As I watch these young lives blooming before my eyes in slow motion, I’m seeing the wisdom of the author.Read Article

Some Gave All

Memorial Day marks the official start of summer. While the holiday weekend is typically filled with travel and cookouts, this year the celebrations are muted. In this time of upheaval, it’s a wonderful chance for us to rediscover the meaning of the holiday. Read Article

The Lessons Learned

Back in January, I had high hopes and expectations for 2020. The future was bright as a new decade dawned. Even just saying 2020 felt hopeful. In March, all of those illusions came crashing down. While the global lockdowns are starting to lift, I’m coming to the realization that things aren’t going back to the old way.
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Resisting Structure

Sticking to a routine and a list of daily habits is much easier to do when I have momentum. Building up that momentum over a series of weeks propels me to continued success. Ideally, that routine and those habits are all oriented to completing the things that I want to accomplish. They’re guardrails that keep me heading to my goals. When I fall out of that routine, it’s remarkable just how hard it is to get back into the swing of things.Read Article

Dive Into Something

What a difference three months can make! Back in January, I felt completely overwhelmed with all of my ongoing projects. I committed to trimming my obligations in recognition of the little time I have each day to devote to my own activities. Now, eight weeks into self-isolation, I find myself utterly bored.Read Article

Do What Works

Last year, I had the most incredible breakthrough in my life. I achieved health and fitness goals that I set for myself a decade ago. The hardest thing in managing our health is maintaining it. We can do all of the hard work, only to watch it all disappear with sloppiness.Read Article

Family Walks

When I was in high school, we had neighbors who went for a family walk almost every evening. The family of four, along with their dog, could reliably be seen moving slowly through the neighborhood after dinner. I presume that they spent those evening walks reflecting on their days and chewing on life’s big questions.Read Article

Out of the Tomb

After an epic Lent, Easter has finally come. The earth is teeming with the new life of Spring and we enter into the joyful season at the center of our Catholic faith. Unhappily, we must do so from the confines of our homes. While Christ has risen and left the tomb, many of us are sadly still left, dithering in darkness.Read Article

Mind Your Diet

We become what we consume. The uncertainty that we all experience now is only intensified when we marinate in the news of the day. To be sure, we all have a part to play. We all need to do what we can to limit the human toll that the current pandemic will take on us. But don’t let it steal your hope.Read Article

In the Desert

What a Lent this has been. We’re familiar with the story of Jesus going out into the desert for 40 days, but never before have we had such an acute experience of that kind of isolation. While in the desert, angels ministered to him and Satan tempted him, but he was truly alone. No humans to keep him company.Read Article

Renewal

Last week kicked off Spring. Not many of us are feeling the usual cheerfulness and refreshment that this change of season brings. Instead, we find ourselves trapped in our homes, separated from the Sacraments, and coming to terms with the fragility of our world.Read Article

St. Joseph

While I normally post once per week, I wanted to write today because it’s a special day. While the World grapples with the Coronavirus pandemic and the United States economy grinds to a halt, we find ourselves celebrating the first day of Spring. Panic, fear, and uncertainty run through our minds, while nature seems not to have noticed. My azalea bushes are in full bloom, birds are chirping and building their nests, and the trees bring forth their new leaves.Read Article

Connecting While Isolated

Difficult times for Catholics are here. From the founding of our Church, community has been a central aspect of our faith. We gather, from our many walks of life, on a daily or weekly basis to celebrate the Eucharist, together. Increasingly, civil and health authorities are recommending the suspension of large gatherings. How do we celebrate our communal faith when we’re precluded from gathering in our parishes?Read Article

Specter of Pandemic

In late December and early January, the Wuhan virus was a distant trouble. It was an outbreak isolated to a province of China that few of us had ever heard of. As the virus crosses borders and continues to spread, we can now see the clouds forming on our own horizon. No longer is this a problem for people we’ve never met; it’s rapidly approaching our own communities.
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Kids and Lent

I’m always caught off guard by my kids gaining new abilities. They rarely tell me that they’re ready to take on new challenges. Then one day, O ask them to do a job, and they just go off and do it. Teaching them about our faith happens in the same way.Read Article

Let Us Go to God's House

I spent a few hours on Saturday morning at a men’s retreat. The theme of this year’s retreat was “faith alive.” As a part of Morning Prayer, we prayed Psalm 122. In that Psalm, the people are rejoicing because they are going to God’s house.Read Article

Teaching Kids Why

Our society is suffering from an intellectual sickness. We lack curiosity. Ideas are no longer challenged and explored, but instead are accepted on their face. This lack of curiosity is leading many to believe the false notion that faith has no role to play in the life of the post-modern man.Read Article

Preparing for Lent

Ash Wednesday is a little more than two weeks away. The joy of the Christmas season is fading as we prepare for forty days of fasting and penance. Not quite as exciting. The truth is, Lent isn’t gloomy at all. It’s like the Catholic New Year, an opportunity not to flippantly give up something, but rather to become better people.Read Article

Consistency

About the time that dinner ends each evening, I crash. My energy runs out, and I want nothing more than to get the kids into bed and sit down. Bedtime is a special time for little ones, and a golden opportunity to wrap up your day. It’s hard to embrace it for what it is when you need a break.Read Article

Normalcy

It’s the last week of January, which means just about everyone’s New Years resolutions are forgotten. Gyms have emptied out, restaurants have removed their healthy menu options, and budgets sit on computers never to be touched again. How did the hope of 2020 fade so quickly? For many, it was because their life change was built on the fallacy of normalcy.Read Article

Cherish Your Children

After several months of vacation, I’ve gotten back into my routine of walking each morning before the kids get up. My day can be very exhausting, so by getting my mind and body right before the sun comes up, I’m better prepared to take on the challenges of being a stay-at-home parent.Read Article

Seeking Rest

As the stay-at-home parent in my family, I struggle with the tension of rest. There are some days when I feel completely drained and I can’t wait for Alison to walk in the door so that someone else can take over watching the kids. The dilemma is that I know that Alison has been busy working all day, too. How can I reconcile handing off the kids when I know that she’s been through more than me? What do you do when you feel exhausted and know there’s no break on the horizon?Read Article

Twenty Twenty Focus

The constant rushing of life can feel crushing. Like the overwhelming power of a waterfall, events and information come at me in a daily deluge. There’s so much to do, a set amount of time, and my energy levels are not always aligned to my workload. Last year, I began paying closer attention to the things to which I was giving my attention.Read Article