Catholic Husband

Love / Lead / Serve

Stony Hearts

Certain things stand out to me when I read the news. Lately, it’s been the callous words that journalists use when they write about abortion. It’s not their fault, they’re just putting to words the cultural mood. When I stop to consider the seriousness of the topic, it’s incredible that we’ve allowed our language to become so cold when discussing the dignity of the human person.Read Article

Perfect Heroes

Hero is a common word these days. Healthcare workers are heroes for putting themselves and their families at risk to provide care for the sick. Grocery workers are heroes for taking similar risks and keeping us fed. The list goes on and on.Read Article

Month of the Rosary

It’s hard to believe that October is already here. The dog days of summer are over, kids are back in school, and more pleasant weather is in the forecast. October is my favorite month of the year, as the weather cools and I start to feel more relaxed.Read Article

Do Nothing

My day has a way of getting away from me. For the first 90 minutes that I’m up, I’m in complete control. I walk, read the paper, pray, drink coffee. It’s quiet, still, and orderly. As soon as the first pair of small feet come down the stairs, everything goes out the window.
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Nine

Earlier this month, Alison and I marked our ninth wedding anniversary. In years past, I’d take the opportunity to write a post sharing some new thing that I’d learned. As the date came and went this year, I struggled to write this post.Read Article

When A Child Prays

Franciscan University of Steubenville has a great culture of prayer. After each Mass, everyone kneels for a few moments of prayer. The sanctuary is completely silent as congregants exist as living tabernacles. It’s a practice that my family continues to practice.Read Article

Incremental Progress

Five months ago, Alison and I woke up on a Saturday morning and headed into our front yard. Over the course of the day, we cut down over two dozen bushes. In the weeks that followed, we dug out stumps, repaired water lines that we damaged, ripped down shutters, repainted our front door, and leveled dirt.
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Building Momentum

Just after my birthday this Spring, I started walking again each morning. My most successful streaks start with little planning and no fanfare. My alarm goes off, and I go walk for an hour. I kept up with that habit, day after day, all the way until our summer vacation in July. I took the week off, and I’ve struggled to get back on track.Read Article

The Monk and the Merchant

The pictures coming out of Afghanistan are heartbreaking. We will forever remember the image of the C-17 taxiing down the runway with dozens of people hanging on, desperate to escape the evil that has descended on their homeland. It hurts not just because it was preventable, but because we feel powerless to help. Our elected leadership has failed on the world stage, and we share in the moral fallout.Read Article

Humble Fatherhood

This November is the two-year anniversary of the release of my book Humble Service, a book about the lessons learned on my journey as an at-home dad. The topic of that book, like this blog, is a part of my identity as a student of life.Read Article

Environment

I caught the back to school bug last week. The malaise of summer broke, and I worked through my checklist of projects. I oiled squeaky doors, replaced door handles, and ordered in some extra decor for our schoolroom. I even started easing us back into the regular daily routine.Read Article

Second New Year

August is here and back to school is right around the corner. We limped over the finish line in June, and it’s hard to believe that we’re about to get started again. There’s a bit more planning and organization to do. This year will bring a new challenge. I have two students in my class, with a third in tow.Read Article

Spiritual Wokeism

I’m old enough to remember when being woke was enough to get you made fun of on SNL. What started as a fringe idea has now overrun the academy, government, the armed services, public health, and media. The essential contradiction of wokeism is that while it claims to be awake, to be fully embraced, you must deny reality. One of the clearest signs of this is the pervasive belief in the fallacy that America is no better today than it was in 1776.

This is a heavier topic than usual. I like to keep this blog light and digestible, but I think there’s an element of wokeism at play in our spirituality. It’s easy to believe that we are no better today than we were yesterday, or even a decade ago.Read Article

Lazy Summer Days

With deep regret, my vacation is over. A few days at home with just one kid to watch, followed by a cross-country drive to a week at Lake Michigan. This period of time is the most restful I’ve had in over a year. What a wonderful break!Read Article

To the Lake

July at home is a hot, muggy affair. Humidity rarely disappears, meaning even my early morning walks, long before the sun breaks the new day, are hot and uncomfortable. The heat and humidity persist for months on end, the price of a delightful and mild winter. But none of that matters now. As I write this post, I’m sitting in a beach house, high on a bluff above Lake Michigan. The windows are open, and the cool lake breeze is blowing past me.Read Article

A Quiet House

On Saturday morning, I woke up at 5:00am and went for a walk. I came home, sat down, and read the news. This is a pretty normal morning for me. Just after 7:00am, three of my children came downstairs very excited. The day that they were waiting for had finally arrived!Read Article

Regret

Jolting moments happen in a man’s life that inevitably lead to a health kick. An engagement and the birth of a child are two of the big ones. The main difficultly is translating that momentum and turning a kick into a lifestyle. We have enough time each day to include an exercise regimen on our schedule, but doing it consistently over time proves to be the real challenge.Read Article

A Father's Love

What is the measure of a good father? Is it the serenity in his house, the manicured lawn, or perhaps just food on the table every evening? All men contemplate their self-worth. This is an intellectual process that naturally occurs in life. The easiest answer is in the economic value that they produce for their family. While helpful, a utilitarian approach denies the most important contribution a father makes. The true value of a father is his love.Read Article

Sprinting

Alison and I will celebrate our nine-year anniversary this fall. It’s been a very full and busy nine years. In fact, many of the plans that we set for ourselves way back then are just now coming to fruition. As the light at the end of the tunnel comes into view, we’re sprinting to the finish.Read Article

Faith Enrichment

The Catholic faith offers many wonderful experiences and expressions. Pilgrimages, devotionals, even listening to a great sermon. Yesterday was the feast of Corpus Christi and there may have been a Eucharistic Procession at your parish or in your town. Read Article

Team

I’ve been out of school for more than a decade. Alison and I have four kids, own our home, and educate our children. We live far away from our families, so it’s just the six of us. While I’m still a young man, I’m a young man with grown-up responsibilities.Read Article

Kill the Golden Calf

Everyone hates the polarized culture, but no one wants to give an inch. We blame the other side as the source of all of our problems. Perhaps we should try seeing their point of view as being valid. The friction that keeps us from accomplishing anything meaningful together isn’t the mindless droll, it’s our obsession with our golden calves.Read Article

Invest Today

My knowledge as a parent goes only as far as my oldest child. I know how to deal with young kids, but am clueless about pre-teens, teens, and beyond. I understand that the journey of a parent is about growing and nurturing a child to become a healthy, functional adult. There are plenty of pitfalls along the path to autonomy and independence. I can only control so many variables because, in the end, my goal is not control. Like God, I do not want robot children. I want children who can stand on their own two feet, live up to their potential, contribute meaningfully to society, and live a fruitful life.Read Article

Backyard

This is our first house with a fence. A simple wooden structure that encloses our backyard doesn’t seem like much. In fact, it was built years ago and no one ever stained it. To me, it provides a safe place to let the children run free while I supervise through the kitchen windows. To my kids, it’s the boundary around their kingdom.Read Article

Weakness

As a part of my study of St. Joseph and his life, I picked up a copy of Pope Francis’ Apostolic Letter Patris Corde (With a Father’s Heart) that was released in December. In the letter, the Holy Father established this year as the Year of St. Joseph. While reading through, I came across this passage from the second letter of St. Paul to the Corinthians.Read Article

Two Weeks

I was on a roll back in late January. I refocused on my physical health sooner in the calendar year than normal and had a nice streak built up. Then came the deep freeze. What began as a pause turned into a full-blown rout. After weeks of inactivity and poor eating, I was feeling the pain.
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Bribe

There’s a truth that is never clear in the mind of a child: everything a parent does is for a reason. They rarely can see the bigger picture, so an individual request (command?) is easily resisted. They miss the love that is behind the guidance laid out by their parents.Read Article

Mercy

Divine Mercy Sunday was yesterday. This annual jubilee is a reset available for anyone who wants it. More importantly, it’s a reminder of the depths of God’s mercy.Read Article

He is Not Here

What a Lent! After a year of pandemic and lockdowns, this Spring is starting to feel quite refreshing. Vaccine rollouts continue, along with positive studies on their effectiveness. Business is picking up, people are coming out of their homes, and life seems beautiful again.
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Lent. Oops.

If you can recall, I started Lent with a lot of confidence. Well, I planned for it with a lot of confidence. My plans relied on a faulty expectation that I would live this Lent perfectly. As it happens, my titling the post “IRL,” or “in real life,” made it as real as it gets.Read Article

The Family Home

Alison and I bought our first home last year. Leading up to the purchase, I failed to anticipate how much different ownership would make me feel. I figured it was a simple transaction in which we traded one house we were living in for another. I was so wrong.Read Article

Milestones

This week will mark the eighth anniversary of this blog. We live in a hurried and distracted culture, one in which we assume that longevity means success. I don’t think that’s true in general, and it’s certainly not true with this blog.Read Article

A Day of Play

This weekend was pretty special. My father-in-law is in town for the week. He came for a visit and to assemble a playground for my kids in our new backyard. On Sunday, we came home from Mass and went outside to play for a bit and eat our lunch. We then stayed outside until dinner time.Read Article

I Know What to Do

I know what I need to do. I know what habits and activities leave me feeling rejuvenated, and which leave me feeling sluggish. Waking up on time and taking those precious pre-dawn hours for myself always leaves me ready to serve my family. Drinking water and fueling my body with the right foods prepares me to tackle the challenges of the day. If I know what I need to do, why don’t I do it?Read Article

A Week of Warmth

It was a week of snow and ice, sleet and freezing rain. It was a week of downed power lines, rolling blackouts, and water boil advisories. Not only that, but it was a week of blistering cold, scarce food, and misery. But in my house, it was a week of warmth.Read Article

Lent IRL

We’re two days away from the start of Lent. Over the past decade, my views on the Lenten season have evolved to the point where I’m excited to get started. The redemptive and purifying nature of the season, the call to universal holiness and constant renewal, really appeal to me. I’ve pondered my game plan for weeks. This Lent, I’m swinging for the fences.Read Article

Building Your Domestic Church

What’s the difference between a priest and a husband? In a word: scale. What the priest does for his community, a husband must do for his family. We tend to think of the Church in the macro: a global movement with hierarchy, structure, customs, and laws. In reality, the Church is both macro and micro: what happens on the large scale is closely mirrored in the daily lives of its families. In fact, when you consider just how closely the life of the family imitates the life of the Church, it becomes evident just how inseparable the two are. Read Article

Scripture Under the Stars

Many times on this blog, I’ve shared my love of walking. It’s the exercise that I most enjoy, and I’m now eight years into this routine. The habit comes and goes, but there are two truths that I’ve gained from my experience. After two weeks of walking every day, I notice a real difference in how I feel and my momentum is hard to stop.Read Article

Off the Wagon

After years of practice and observation, I know the keep components that I need to build up physical health. I need to walk for an hour daily, drink lots of water, read in the evening before bed, and go to sleep and wake up at about the same time. These are not new ideas, they are not even really negotiable. When I do them all over a sustained period of time, usually two weeks, I feel the difference.Read Article

These Days

Over the weekend, I finished reading a book. The last time I accomplished that feat was in August. I’ve started a walking streak, another habit that I’ve let slide in the past 90 days. My sleep schedule is out of whack, and I’ve lived day-to-day. I could just blame it on everything that was 2020, but in my experience, this is something cyclical. I fall into and out of routine.Read Article

Uncertainty

Something remarkable happens when you engage in a daily habit of prayer. I’ve written before about attunement, being more aware of God’s presence in your life. When you take the time to make prayer a priority in your life, you experience these moments when you feel as if God is speaking directly to you and to your circumstance. I had that experience at Mass yesterday.Read Article

Taste

Our senses guide us as we move through the world and animate our path as we go. We see colors, objects, and people. The background noise of our home and neighborhood plays on as if a soundtrack to our lives. We experience the tactile nature of things around us, and even smell the delicious aroma of our kitchens. We’re driven by our senses, and can sometimes be led into sin by them.Read Article