Catholic Husband

Love / Lead / Serve

A Blast of Trumpets

The design of our parish draws heavy inspiration from the great Italian basilicas. A large dome binds together the transepts, and the oversized sanctuary, adorned in stone, creates a huge, open space with the altar perfectly centered. It’s the kind of design that elevates the mind; beauty that shocks the faithful out of the routine of our daily lives and reminds us of the specialness of this place.

To accompany the breathtaking architecture, we also have a robust liturgical music department. At many Masses throughout the year, guest instrumentalists join the organ and choir to truly elevate the music. A few weeks ago, a trumpet and trombone played at Mass on Mother's Day. The musicians are seated right up front, off to the right, but where the expansive sanctuary meets the dome. The result, in addition to the acoustically friendly building materials, is a church-filling sound that resounds throughout the entire space.

It’s been many years since I attended a parish where Mass was a standing-room only occasion, where young families like mine filled the pews, and where songs were sung by more than just the cantor. Add to the mix the sound of brass and stringed instruments, and it’s hard to not get taken up in the transcendent experience.

I’m grateful to Fr. Mike Schmitz and Ascension Press for their Bible in a Year podcast. It was just a few years ago that I completed the journey, and I find myself frequently reaching back to what I heard and learned that year. Having that grasp, that context, of the Bible is enriching to my daily life. Hearing the brass horns blaring at the Mass is one of those times.

We go to Mass weekly, sometimes more often, and that can have the effect of lulling us into complacency. Our encounters with the Divine are expected, scheduled, and presumed. But when you are at Mass, and the entrance procession is welcomed with a trumpet blast, your mind is immediately pulled to Psalm 47 or St. John’s descriptions in Revelation. It becomes so easy to imagine the triumph of Jesus Christ mounting His throne to the fulsome blasts of trumpets. You’re instantly reminded of what it is that you labor for, and why we don’t just give up our values and drift mindlessly through life like most of our friends and neighbors.

When I stand there, surrounded by my family, the blast of trumpets reminds me who I am, Whose I am, and where I want to be. It’s enough to shake me awake, to get back in the game, and to keep fighting for that day when I hope to be admitted to the Heavenly Mass, where the trumpets never stop blasting.

Mercy, Not Justice

Yesterday was the Feast of Divine Mercy, a holy day that Jesus Himself requested in His apparitions to St. Faustina. Mercy and grace are talked about frequently in Christian discourse and music, but it strikes me that many lack the comprehension of the completeness of God’s mercy.

In St. Faustina’s diaries, she records how Jesus describes His mercy. He uses words like “unfathomable” and “torrents.” The true meaning of these words is so deep that it’s beyond our comprehension. It’s akin to contemplating the depth and size of space, but even then, God’s mercy is beyond even that.

We receive God’s mercy for our venial offenses at the beginning of Mass, but to truly encounter the torrents of God’s mercy, we approach Him in the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

On the evening of Easter, when Jesus appears to the 10 Apostles in the Upper Room, His first words to them are the first absolution. Despite their intimate years spent traveling around their region with Him, seeing all the signs and wonders He performed, and living with Him, at His passion they all abandoned Him. So, when He appears in their midst, He forgives them, “Peace be with you.” He then establishes the Sacrament by granting to them to power to bind and loose.

Through the Sacrament of Reconciliation, the torrents of God’s mercy are unleashed on the repentant sinner, and even those mortal sins that have suffocated their relationship with God and destroyed sanctifying grace in their life are forgiven. Like Lazarus, they are brought back from the dead and restored to the life given to them at Baptism. That is truly complete mercy.

In the early days of her encounters with Jesus, St. Faustina brought these experiences to her spiritual director. Seeking to test them, to ensure that they were truly Jesus, her director instructed Faustina to ask Jesus what sins he had confessed in his most recent confession. The next time Jesus appeared to Faustina, she posed to Him that question, to which Jesus replied that He had forgotten. Complete mercy.

The Sacrament of Reconciliation is not a sacrament of justice, but of mercy. In a true encounter with the risen Christ, out of total love for us, He forgives our worst failings so that we might be with Him forever. That is an unfathomable mercy.


Christians, to the Paschal Victim
Offer your thankful praises!
A Lamb the sheep redeems;
Christ, who only is sinless,
Reconciles sinners to the Father.
Death and life have contended in that combat stupendous:
The Prince of life, who died, reigns immortal.
Speak, Mary, declaring
What you saw, wayfaring.
“The tomb of Christ, who is living,
The glory of Jesus’ resurrection;
bright angels attesting,
The shroud and napkin resting.
Yes, Christ my hope is arisen;
to Galilee he goes before you.”
Christ indeed from death is risen, our new life obtaining.
Have mercy, victor King, ever reigning!
Amen. Alleluia.


Every priest has a unique gift that he offers the Church. Young men who go straight from high school to seminary offer their youth, extending their priestly ministry by years. Men who enter in middle age or even later in life bring their lived experience to inform their ministry. Some are great preachers, others stunning academics, and still others are driven to give a profound witness through audacious outreach.Read Article


The nature of the human condition is that we each bear an overriding character flaw. This is colloquially referred to as our crosses to bear, but what it really means is that we will have a singular struggle with sin and failure throughout our lives. It’ll look different from everyone else’s, but it’s our pathway to sainthood.Read Article

Daily Burn

Each time a pilot prepares to fly an aircraft, he does a fuel calculation. Based on the current weather data and flight plan, he’ll calculate fuel burn and determine exactly how much fuel will be required to safely conduct the flight. Once that calculation is complete, he’ll add in a fixed amount of reserves to ensure that, regardless of what happens once aloft, he’ll make it to his destination.Read Article


There are an infinite number of ways that COVID changed the way in which we live our lives. Though we find ourselves four years removed from the initial outbreak, and more than two years from the return to normal, visages of those early days are still with us, regrettably even at the Mass.Read Article

Counterfeit Sacrament

It’s been quite the comedown from the moral clarity of Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict. John Paul stood up to the evils of the communist system and ignited a rediscovery of the beauty and holiness of the human body. Benedict, both as a bishop and then as pope, wielded the sword of truth and the intellectual strength of the Church to destroy the falsehoods that press in on us. They weren’t perfect, and they made many mistakes. Still, they endeavored to ensure that their every word and action was used for the edification of the Church and the salvation of souls.
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Aslan's Roar

The Chronicles of Narnia are legendary in their own right, a series of books worthy of sparking the imagination of any young reader. As noted before on this blog, they also make for a profound spiritual experience reading them as educated adults.Read Article

Moment of Conversion

Life is a series of checkpoints, moments along the path that lead us to our final destination. In our Christian life, many of these checkpoints are moments of conversion. The culmination of perseverance and hard work, winter breaks, and you experience that fresh, new spring.Read Article


Although easily forgotten in the midst of this week’s kickoff of the end-of-year holidays, the intent of Halloween, All Saints' Day, and All Souls' Day is to remind us of our mortality. Nearing the end of the liturgical year, the Sunday readings focus on eschatology, or the end times. Throughout the Bible, and in the ministry of Jesus, the fact that our time on Earth is transitional is never hidden. We are all walking on pilgrimage, with judgement assured when our journey meets its logical end.Read Article

Scriptural Confession

I went to confession last weekend for the first time in many months. I try to go every other week, but things have been crazy busy. The priest was a visitor, whom I’d never met before. In our conversation, he quoted an obscure Bible verse, Malachi 3:8.Read Article

Five Minutes

Spirituality is a major component of what it means to be human. We have a connection with our Creator that is far more personal and intimate than any other in the created world. The main channel of building and developing this relationship is through our prayer life. As with all things in life, it ebbs and flows, and it becomes far too easy to let ourselves get in the way.Read Article

The Genius of Mass

Most Catholics ignore their obligation to go to Sunday Mass. Their reasons are myriad, but it’s a big mistake. Sunday Mass represents the most brilliant and disruptive hour of the entire week.Read Article


I recently finished reading Atomic Habits, the pop culture phenom beloved by productivity hackers in every industry. The premise of the book is simple: success or failure is built in the tiny, every day actions that we repeatedly take. If we string together a series of positive actions, we’ll see a bigger net result. The opposite is true for negative habits.Read Article


In the most difficult and stressful times of our lives, it’s easy to lose control of our thoughts. The Paleolithic parts of our brains take over, blocking out the logical thinking that has enabled every positive advancement in our lives.Read Article


It can be hard, intellectually, to grasp the transformative power of Jesus. We all know the personal failure that often comes when we try to implement immediate radical change in our lives, even change for the better. Read Article

The Simple Path to Holiness

When I wrote my first book, I didn’t take a month off work and rent a cabin in the woods. That may have been a nice setting, but I wrote in the early morning hours before work and the late evening hours when work was over. The same is true for writing my second book, and my third.Read Article

Start with Listening

For the first time in many years, our parish is holding a weekly Bible study. Although the children get plenty of opportunities to learn about their faith with their peers, adults are often forgotten. The Catholic faith is deep and wide, and we could all use an opportunity to grow.Read Article


It’s been just over sixty days since the joy of Christmas morning, and here we are back in a time of preparation. Though much attention is given to the what and when of Lent, acknowledging that this is a time of preparation has piqued my interest this year.Read Article

Obedient to Prayer

If I were to sketch out a schedule for my ideal day, there would be several opportunities for prayer sprinkled throughout. No matter where I was in any given day, I’d only be a few hours away from a pause. The positive benefits of prayer are well established, spiritually and psychologically. Why is it so hard to commit?Read Article

The Bible in a Year

It took me far too long to set aside the time necessary to read the Bible. I went to Catholic school throughout most of my education, and took numerous theology courses in college. Despite all of that education, I’d only studied the Bible piecemeal, and typically not that well.Read Article

The Prodigal Son

The story of the prodigal son is a famous one because of its relatability. We’ve all acted foolishly, like the prodigal. We’ve also experienced that deep love and relief that touches us through reconciliation. While the prodigal son well known, few of us have spent time thinking about his brother.Read Article

True Gratitude

Thanksgiving is a remarkably calm period in my life. Not only does it signal the final few weeks of the year, but around this time, I get a palpable feeling of renewal. Major projects are winding down, and I start to ruminate on the bigger things in life. I reflect on the year that was, and start to plan for the year that is to come.Read Article

Torrents of Mercy

We have a sanitized view of Jesus’ crucifixion. Although we have visuals of it everywhere, the sheer brutality is almost too difficult to think about. Jesus’ torture and execution were not an academic exercise. It was an act of total love and surrender, a bold statement about the dignity of the human person and the sacredness of life that changed the course of human history.Read Article

Constant Renewal

The great spiritual lesson of St. Francis was that the key to a healthy spiritual life is to have a mindset of constant renewal. We live in a fallen state, among a fallen world, and to enter into the presence of God, we must reclaim the perfection that He intended for us. That is no easy task, nor is it a one-and-done type of objective. It’s the work of a lifetime.Read Article


Temptation is a very personal thing. Each of us struggle with our blend of habitual sin. It’s not that we’re failures in the spiritual life, it’s that we all have our weaknesses. After weeks, months, and years of confessing the same things, it’s tempting to let ourselves be overrun.Read Article

Plese Destroy

I took my son to Confession this weekend. He’s still pretty new to the Sacrament, so each time he goes, I print an Examination of Conscience for him to pray through.Read Article

Behold, Your Mother

Catholics catch a lot of shade from other Christians over the idea that we don’t live the Bible. A closer look under the hood would revel just how intertwined Scripture and Catholicism truly are, and not just because we gave the world the Bible. From the way we decorate the sanctuary, to the priest’s vestments, to the words we pray, the daily life of the Church is deeply linked to the Old and New Testaments.Read Article

Come Let Us Adore

Although I’m a cradle Catholic, I’ve never really read the entire Bible. I learned about parts of it in school, and of course have heard it during Mass, but until this year, I’ve never sat down to study the Bible in a narrative form.Read Article


Last night, when my work for the day was done, I laid down in my very comfortable bed. I recently replaced my pillow, which made for an extra cushy experience. The late summer heat was kept at bay by my air conditioner, backed up by my ceiling fan. I used a supercomputer that easily fits into my pocket to turn off all the lights in my house, arm my security system, lock my doors, and turn on a white noise machine, so no loud noises would disturb my sleep. Read Article

Spring Water

Growing up, I’d drink nothing but milk. Now, for lunch that can’t possibly be true, but I have a distinct memory from childhood of drinking tons of milk. My dad was as big water drinker. He had his own, private supply of water in a Brita filter in the refrigerator that the kids weren’t allowed to us. Naturally, I’ve adopted the same idiosyncrasy in my fatherhood.Read Article

Universal Church

To prepare Benedict for receiving his First Communion and Confirmation, Alison and I thought he should go to Reconciliation the week before. It’s not a hard sell for Benedict. He’s seen me go regularly for years, and every time I invited him to come, he always accepts.Read Article

Sacred Treasure

Benedict is about to receive his First Communion, and he’s very excited about it. We’ve prepared for nearly a year, and the time is almost here.Read Article

A Fresh Look

For over a year now, we’ve lived in our new house. I think that it takes time to get used to your new environment before you deeply understand what changes would improve your lifestyle. We’re at that point.Read Article


Lent is quickly winding down, and perhaps the success of your Lenten rituals is a bit checkered. Sustaining any type of radical life change is often easy at the beginning, but the slightest bit of friction from life can cause the best intentions to crumble.
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Examination of Conscience

Last month, my son received his first confession. As he was preparing to receive the Sacrament again last weekend, I sat down for a few minutes to help him do his examination of conscience.Read Article

A Sense of the Sacred

A few years ago, I watched a documentary about the detention facilities at Guantanamo Bay. They followed the historic rise and fall of the population, along with the complexity of adjudicating cases of those sworn to defeat the United States of America as an experiment in human history. Although I can’t tell you much beyond the scope of the documentary, I vividly recall the coverage of religious life in the facility.Read Article

Never Wasted

Starting or growing a habit of prayer can seem like a big lift. We first have to restructure our day to meet our new objective, and then we have to maintain the momentum each day. The biggest challenge comes when there’s disruption. Like any diet or exercise routine, vacations or illness can throw a wrench into our finely tuned machine and cause us to feel discouraged.Read Article

13 Cents

Lent is upon us, this year's opportunity for us to take a fresh look at our spiritual life. As our thoughts turn to what we're going to take on or give up for the next 40 days, they're also likely to turn back to our character flaws. We are all predisposed to a unique mix of temptation and sin, the ones that come up in confession after confession. Although this constant battle can wear us down, Lent reminds us that the war is already won.Read Article

Icy Slopes

I went skiing for the first time in my life last week. We started discussing a trip in July and firmed up later in the fall. I spent a lot of time thinking about the trip's logistics and surprisingly little on the mechanics of learning this new skill.Read Article


Our vacation plan for this year included a trip to the Great White North to enjoy a week of snow, play, and skiing. Driving north, the landscape turned from winter browns to gleaming white. Unfortunately, flurries and snowstorms met us along the way, as well as road salt and ice.Read Article


I love to drive. Each year, our family takes two or three major road trips. These are highlights of my year, even if occasionally the kids don’t travel as easily as I wish they would. Although our destinations are often places we’ve been before, it takes weeks of preparations to be ready to go.Read Article

Love So Deep

The bright Christmas lights that lit homes in my neighborhood since Thanksgiving have gone dark. For my neighbors, Christmas ended at bedtime on Saturday. Not so for my house. Our Christmas lights shine forth in the December darkness, and the Nativity in our yard continues to cast a massive shadow on our garage. Read Article


In some ways, I think that we like the busyness of life. Sure, everyone complains and uses it as an excuse or justification. I deserve this break because I work so hard, I can’t come to the party because I’m too busy. There are plenty of things to fill our days, but I think we might be using these excuses to let the pitch pass us by.Read Article

Make Straight Paths

Advent is like happy Lent. Both seasons are penitential, and both invite us to prepare our hearts for the two seminal moments of the Church year. Yet, we’re always more excited about Advent. Christmas is the long-promised arrival of the Savior, but Easter is Christ’s victory over death and the opening of our salvation.Read Article

Simple Truths

A common assumption is that children, because their minds are still developing, can’t process complex ideas. In trying to convey a point about something, we try to reduce it to the lowest common denominator. It’s true that children need help grasping complex subjects, but in my experience, they’re capable of much more than we give them credit for.Read Article

Scripture Before Phone

I just finished reading _The Common Rule_ by Justin Earley. A former missionary and currently an attorney, Earley lived through the negative consequences of many of our modern daily habits. He pushed himself too hard to gain max productivity, and found himself addicted to his phone.Read Article

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

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

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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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

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


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

A Prepared Heart

Advent is here, that most joyous of seasons. In my neighborhood, everyone put up their Christmas lights on Thanksgiving afternoon, at least those who hadn’t done so by November 1st. There’s plenty to love about December and the festivities that mark the end of our year.Read Article

Thankful for What

It’s been a year. 2020 ushered in a new decade and along with it so much hope. As we've slugged out the past eleven months, it may be hard to find things for which we can be grateful. Our Churches are closed or mostly empty. We’ve been subject to virtual house arrest, fearing a virus and locked down by our governments. In the midst of it all, a national election brought into key positions of power people who have an ideology that’s hostile to our faith.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

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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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

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

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

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


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

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

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

The Joy of the Season

In the blink of an eye, the end of 2019 is just over a week away and we’re at the threshold of the Christmas season. What better way to crown the year than with the joy of Christmas. The joy is so complete that a single 24-hour time period cannot contain it. We’ve spent four weeks in hopeful anticipation and will celebrate the feast for nineteen days.Read Article


I had a dream a few months ago that my family and I were refugees. My dream was vivid. We arrived in a camp with only the clothes on our backs. We were lodged in a plywood dorm, sparsely decorated, and filled with rough characters. Wildfires burned in the vicinity, adding peril to our already difficult journey. We’ve become desensitized over the past decade to the plight of migrants.
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On Retreat

I made my first private retreat in twelve years last weekend. I left all of my electronics at home, and after dinner on Friday night, drove off into the darkness to the retreat center. I had no responsibilities, no commitments on my time, and for the most part, no clock. Even better, I was the only person on retreat on the grounds for the weekend. The peace and rejuvenation that solitude brought me is exactly what I needed.Read Article

Spiritual Health

Spirituality is an integral part of what it means to be a human person. Ignore your physical health, and your emotional wellbeing suffers. Ignore your intellectual health, and your relationships will suffer. Your spirituality is no different. Each component of your personhood needs individualized attention. They all work in concert with one another to form the human person. It should be emphasized that faith is indeed a gift. Our human hearts, like a radio receiver, are attuned to the voice of God in our lives. Our hearts yearn to follow the law that He inscribed on them. Read Article

Little Kids Praying

Praying with little kids is often a difficult experience. While I try to set a good example, my kids often fiddle, wander, or play. As it turns out, they’re not being disrespectful. When little kids fiddle, they’re really engaged in the activity. It’s how they listen, process, and understand things. They may not say the words, but they hear and know them. It can be frustrating when they refuse to pray, but giving them their space has its benefits. One day, the switch will flip, and it’s a beautiful thing. Read Article

Lent Lost

We’ve moved beyond the season of Lent and into the joy of Easter. About this time each year, I reflect on how successful Lent was, comparing my plans on Ash Wednesday to how I crossed the finish line on Holy Thursday. I realize now that this exercise is pointless.Read Article

The Gift of Faith

A few weeks ago, I attended a men’s prayer breakfast at my parish. The speaker gave a short talk on the importance of praying as a family. One of the most challenging roles as a parent is not preparing your children to go out into the world on their own, but rather giving them the gift of faith.Read Article

21 Years

Confession is the gym of Catholic Sacraments. We rarely go, too sheepish to confront the reality of who we are. It’s difficult, embarrassing, and humbling. Of course, there’s the problem of a lack of confession times. When we do muster up the courage to go, we wait for 45 minutes at the back of an endless line of little old ladies who apparently just finished up a serious crime spree.Read Article

Integrating the Bible into Your Life

I want to share something with you that made an outsized impact on my life last year. For me, 2017 was full of change and new circumstances. In the midst of all of that instability, I noticed that I placing my hope for happiness in the wrong places.Read Article

The Impact of A Great Confession

Each time I move to a new place, there are two people that I need to find. The first is a great barber and the second is a great confessor. Finding these two critical people in my life is never easy.Read Article

Offense and Defense

In any sporting event having a strong offense or defense is seldom enough to ensure a victory. If you run up the score on offense, but let the opponent do the same thanks to your weak defense, you’ll likely lose. In the same way, you can only win by scoring points, so having a strong defense isn’t enough. I’m learning that having a balanced approach to any problem is the key to success. This method is a timely resolution with the new year in the air.Read Article

Perfect is the Enemy of Good

As 2016 comes to a close, we’re on the cusp of the New Year Resolutions bonanza. I love the sense of hope that this time of year brings. I also like to share my goals for the upcoming year. The year never turns out how I expect, and each December I get a chance to course correct and start again. 2016 has been a year of great change for me with the arrival of Felicity. In the midst of this season, this idea of “perfect is the enemy of good” weighs on my thoughts.

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Returning to Divine Freedom

The faith of the martyrs has always been an inspiration to me. Throughout history, men and women of all ages and states in life have laid down their lives in defense of the Church and Truth. Their executions have seldom been merciful. Rather, their deaths were calculated to inflict the greatest pain, humiliation, and terror. Miraculously, the opposite has happened. These gruesome executions occur even to this day around the World.Read Article

Take Permission to Pray

I’m a recovering productivity addict. I used to love optimizing everything. I’d find the best apps, the fastest way to get a job done, and I’d proceed with vigor. Every minute had to be scheduled, every task planned out, and every execution flawless. This way of life was taxing on me. A few weeks ago I shared how I struggled to find time to pray in my daily schedule. Perhaps you face the same challenge. I think I’ve figured out how to bring it all together.Read Article

Giving Up on Giving Up Slowly

One of my favorite Relient K songs opens with the lyric, “I’m giving up on giving up slowly.” It’s a song about redemption, resolve, and hope in a better life that is beginning now. It’s the moment we all experience when we walk out of the confessional.Read Article

Making Time for Prayer

Over the past year, I’ve felt an increasing desire to incorporate more prayer time into my day. There’s something cathartic about quiet prayer time. Oftentimes, I'll feel the benefit almost immediately. The challenge with finding these time blocks for increased prayer is that time is finite. Quality prayer takes quality time.Read Article

How to Make God Present to Your Children

Faith is a gift, one that parents try to transmit to their children. Those who have a strong sense of faith understand how it acts as a lever and fulcrum, elevating the common drudgery of our lives into something almost supernatural. The biggest challenge in the transmission of the faith is not explaining complicated doctrine, or even making the mysteries of faith understandable. Rather, the biggest challenge is making the invisible, visible.Read Article

Sin Drags You Down

I’m never more keenly aware of the physical effects of sin in my life than right after confession. I walk out of the Church with a great sense of relief, perhaps even a bit lighter. Truly I feel freed from that which was holding me back. This feeling, replicated each time I go to confession, leads me to wonder, how much does sin really drag me down?Read Article

We're Too Comfortable

When it comes to fallen away Catholics, it seems that each person has a singular event that pushed them over the edge. More likely than not, it was a harsh encounter with a religious. A nun yelling at them or a particularly brutal confessor, the trauma that resulted sadly caused them to leave their home. Like a young runaway, they found themselves in a strange place, cold, alone, and hurting with a possible return truly doubtful. I think that so much of that hurt comes from an experience that didn’t reconcile with their vision of the Church. The Church, and Christians in general, are supposed to be loving, kind, and gentle people, while being compassionately firm when correcting one another. Those in the religious life are supposed to epitomize those characteristics. So when one has a difficult encounter with a religious, they can understandably question the entire system.Read Article

St. Joseph: Human

Placing yourself in Bible stories is one of the most widely recommended spiritual exercises when it comes to reading Scriptures. We’ve been given the gift of our faith and listening to the Readings every week, it becomes all too easy to separate ourselves from the stories. The Bible becomes a collection of bedtime stories, historical events that happened in the past that hold little relevance today. Sure, we take the teachings, well some of them, and implement them in our lives, but most of the subject matter just doesn’t apply. I like to draw parallels between myself and the state of mind of the characters. To Mary and Joseph, they weren’t perfectly modeling the domestic Church. To them, it was just life. They wanted to do God’s Will and they did it, in just the same way that you and I could if we truly applied ourselves. This deep level of humility before God and man is what characterizes the greatest Saints in the Church.Read Article

Eliminate the Possibility

A great struggle in the single life is the lack of permanence. When casually dating, playing the field, or even when you’re in a serious relationship, there’s a tentative bond that can be severed at any time, for any reason. This is extremely healthy because it would be ill-advised to enter into a permanent relationship without really knowing a person. Yet, this wavering state of affairs can also cause much angst as two people continue to move in different directions while trying to maintain a relationship. Therein lies the beauty of marriage; namely permanence.Read Article

The Danger of Despair

There are many obstacles to living a holy life. We must overcome our environment, our past choices, and even our own natural inclinations. While our “fight or flight” nature defaults us to looking after our own self interest, the Christian life demands that we look outward first before tending to our own wants and desires. Perhaps the most difficult obstacle that we must overcome is to dispel the false nature of despair.Read Article

Discounting the Eucharist

In my previous reflection on the intimacy of the Eucharist, I started to write about the insidious nature of complacency in the Catholic life, but realized it would be better to explore this topic separately. The fact is that we all have times in our lives when we don’t give the Eucharist the prayerful respect that we should. It’s a part of our fallen nature to not be able to fully recognize God within us, or even to go to the extreme of viewing ourselves as a god.Read Article

Eucharistic Intimacy

Your faith life has the potential to be the most intimate relationship in your life. It’s a relationship that you have 100% control over. God is waiting for you, unmoved, yearning for you to come out and greet Him. At the center of this relational treasure trove is the Eucharist. Its humility is unmatched and, while the Eucharist presents itself in simple terms, it’s anything but simple.Read Article

A Rich Spiritual Life

What does it mean to have a rich spiritual life? What would your day need to look like in order to achieve that life? We have daily needs in our spiritual life that need to be met in order for us to keep making forward progress and in order for us to live truly free.Read Article

The Sky Rarely Falls

People have been predicting the end of the United States and the collapse of the dollar since the very beginning of our Nation. There are plenty of threats and things to fear out there, but the sky rarely falls. If you find yourself living in constant fear of the economic or political collapse of your society, then you've placed your trust in the wrong god.Read Article

The Daily Struggle for Goodness

When you're trying to live a better life, a holier life, don't expect evil to just roll over and take it. The struggle between God and the Devil is a zero sum game. For every person that lives a holy life, there's that much less capacity for evil in the world. When seeking renewal or change, be prepared for the onslaught.Read Article

Turning Your Thoughts Back to God

We have a lot of mentally idle time. Folding laundry, cleaning the kitchen, running errands, and even doing work that requires low levels of mental resources, and we oftentimes fill those spaces with day dreams, list making, or anxiety. What if instead, we took those times and turned our thoughts back to God?Read Article

Hell Isn't For Me

While I was in Drivers Ed, I learned a valuable lesson. Where your eyes go, the car goes. We're playing the long game here on Earth. In the routine of our daily lives, thinking about where we'll be in the life after this one can be easily overlooked. Yet, at the same time, our actions and choices within our daily routine point to where we're oriented. I've never once been happy as a result of committing a sin, yet sometimes I find myself in a cycle of decisions leading me further away from the life that God has planned for me.Read Article

Ask God for the Big Things

Understanding God with the human mind is impossible. In order to help us bridge that gap into the impossible, we have to equate Him to something we can relate to. At various times and in different situations we may think of Him as our Dad, as a disciplinarian, or perhaps even as Santa Claus. The mistake that we make is that we pull God down to our level, instead of raising our minds to His. When we bring God down to our level, we miss out on the opportunity to truly experience His glory.Read Article

Lean on God

It's human nature to want to be independent. We want to be free to make our own decisions and have the dignity of supporting ourselves. Our quest to be beholden to no one begins early in our development, becoming most evident in our teenage years. While we see dependence as a weakness, the question must be asked: is it? No matter how independent we seek to become, is total independence really something to pursue? Certainly there are some worthy forms of independence such as that of financial independence or the independence of living on your own. Yet, as humans, I think it's necessary for us to be totally dependent in one sense. We must be totally dependent on God.Read Article

Evil is Real

How many times have we witnessed the great falls of those whom claim to be holy and religious? How many times have we heard of televangelists, missionaries, and people that we once regarded to be of high moral standing exposed as being other than what they claimed? For some fraction of these cases, the individuals themselves were perpetrating a fraud. For the large majority of cases, we should walk away with one lesson: evil is real.Read Article

Gratitude is at the Heart of the Christian Life

Today, we celebrate the amazing Thanksgiving. Although this humble holiday tends to get trampled on by shopping deals and the upcoming Christmas season, it’s actually one of the most important days of the year. Thanksgiving is all about gratitude, which is a central theme of the Christian life.Read Article

We're Not Guaranteed Time

In the course of our human existence, we're faced with tragedies, none more sorrowful than the untimely death of someone in our lives. We have a justified belief that all of us will live into our 70s, 80s, or 90s, but the truth remains that none of us are promised any amount of time. That's why it's so important for us to take the time we do have and to make something great out of it.Read Article

A Powerful Confession Strategy

I try to go to Confession once a month, but sometimes my schedule conspires against me. In early September, I was overdue and itching to go, which landed me in a parish half an hour away on a Tuesday night. Confession was preceded by a Novena to Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal, which was something truly beautiful. Afterwards, both priests assigned to the parish heard confessions. Even though it was after 8pm, the lines were quite long.Read Article

Prayer and Flowers

This summer, Alison and I really got into gardening. We had an herb garden on our back porch along with assorted flowers, we had a small garden growing peas, potatoes, garlic, and onions. The biggest challenge we faced was the sun. Our garden had tons of sunlight and, with this summer's heat, lots of difficulty flourishing. We took a trip for about four days and when we came home, most of our plants were dead.Read Article

A Refuge in the World

I don't spend nearly enough time in Adoration. When I was in middle school, my mom and I were members of our local Nocturnal Adoration society. During my two years at Franciscan University, there was perpetual Adoration during most of the academic year, but I didn't often take advantage of it. Before we had Benedict, Alison and I did have a regular adoration shift on Friday nights, but since moving to Virginia, I've only been to our Parish's perpetual Adoration a handful of times. For such an amazing experience, I really ought to go more often.Read Article

The Worst Time to Discern

The absolute worst time to make a discernment is when you're mired in sin. Yet, we do it all the time. Discernment isn't just about the meta-question of what you're called to do with your life. It's about prayerfully listening to what God is trying to tell you in the decisions of your life. Nothing could be more disruptive in the discernment process than habitual sin.Read Article

Incredible Martyrs

I'm encouraged by the stories of martyrs. Their fortitude in the face of unimaginable pain and sufferings is beyond inspiring. Truly their martyrdoms were events full of grace, and yet, their pain was very real. It's doubtful that there's really ever been a time in the Church's history when Her members weren't being killed in hatred of the faith somewhere in the World.Read Article

Fear of Prison

I wasn't planning on revealing my biggest fear in life before an international radio audience, but I did. Earlier this summer, I was part of an in-studio audience on SiriusXM's The Catholic Guy Show with Lino Rulli and was invited up to the microphone. One thing led to another, and I confessed my fear of going to prison.Read Article

The Sign of the Cross

"In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit." Several times a day, we open and close our prayers with the Sign of the Cross. As one of the shortest and most frequently prayed prayers in Christendom, this humble prayer gets little attention. Yet, few combinations of words can pack such a powerful kick in such a small package.Read Article

The Forgiving and Perfecting Eucharist

It’s easy to fatigue on Catholic cliches. We use them ad nasaum until something beautiful and profound becomes trite. The thing is, while I'm tired of them, I recognize that we need these platitudes. Our faith has truths that surpass our understanding and these turns of phrase bring the mysteries of our faith within our grasp. Although they may be common to us now, they carry within them the beauty of our Catholic faith.Read Article

The Gift of Private Confession

I'm thankful for private confession. If I had to confess my sins publicly, in front of my own community, I probably wouldn't seek out God's mercy. Instead, the Sacrament draws me in. I can go to God directly, ask for His forgiveness, and gain the graces to do better. It respects my dignity and allows me to work through my weaknesses without bearing a heavy burden of public shame. We're lucky to have private confession!Read Article

Keep the Fires Burning

As Catholics, there are many things that we too easily take for granted. Our regular encounters with the Risen Christ begin to wash over us as something totally commonplace. Sunday Mass, the cornerstone of our week, is just another appointment on our calendar. Many of us struggle to keep the flame of faith alive.Read Article

Coping with Loss

It's said that we tend to experience God in times of tribulation more than in our daily life. People who have no trials, sorrows, or sufferings struggle to know God because human instinct says that there's no need of God when all is well. The mark of a saint is one who relies on God in all seasons of life, both good and bad. At one time or another, we'll all experience loss and in those times, we should both pray and celebrate lifeRead Article

Stop Sin in its Tracks

In aviation, all mishaps, crashes, and fatalities are the result of a chain reaction of decisions. Each link in the chain contributes to the overall accident, and yet, breaking a single link is all that would have been required to avert disaster. The same is true in our spiritual lives. Sin doesn't just happen. Rather, it's the culmination of bad decision making and missed opportunities to choose a different outcome.Read Article

Don't Let Vice Kill You

You're likely a pretty good person. You go about your life doing the right thing every day. You have responsibilities to your wife and your family, and you do them admirably. You're an above average husband and a dedicated father. This is the image the that World sees, and it's the one that you hope you're presenting. Your interior life, your spiritual life, is probably somewhere around average, though it does have one thing weighing it down. It's a common struggle that we all share. We have a vice, a singular sin is holding us back, but we can't seem to shake it. I call it our "principal sin."Read Article

Try A Different Mass

We all have personal preferences. Our personality usually shows forth when we choose to act on those preferences. For example, when it comes to loading the dishwasher, I have a very specific way that I like to have things organized. It's partly because I like order and partly because I’m incredibly inefficient when I don’t load as I normally do. Our personal preferences even show forth at Mass. Each Mass has its own culture, so if you don't like the atmosphere at your Mass, try a different one.Read Article

Small Blessings Lead You

God's plan for your life is multidimensional. Thousands of small events, shifts, and changes of plans lead you to the exact right spot, at the exact right moment for you to do what you were made to do. I grew up all around the world, and it took some pretty big roadblocks to divert me to Franciscan University where I met Alison. The rest is history. Had Benedict not come along two years ago, I'd probably still be at the non-profit, working a job that I didn't absolutely love, and held back from realizing my true potential. Yet, all of these small blessings, though some were challenging to accept at the time, have brought me here, where I belong.Read Article

Do the Right Thing

I once had a boss who told me that it's never too late to do the right thing. Oftentimes when we realized that we've made a mistake, our first reaction is to attempt to shift the blame or cover it up. We're usually not that successful and a small mistake grows into a big problem. Our anxiety levels rise and things spiral out of control. Instead of procrastinating, when you realize that you've made a mistake, just fix it.Read Article

Dress Up for Mass

Growing up, my family always dressed up for Mass. Though I recognize how expensive it must've been for my parents to dress three growing kids in nice clothes for Church, my brother and I always had on slacks and occasionally a blazer while my sister wore nice dresses. These days, Sunday is just about the only day during the week when I dress up. As my small business has me mostly doing web design for clients during the week, I'm typically wearing a graphic t-shirt and some plaid shorts. There's something really nice about Sunday morning putting on a suit, tie, and some nice shoes.Read Article

Endure Misery

Life is full of a range of emotions. There are days when we're over the moon and others when we're down in the dumps. There are events that lift our spirits and others that drag us to dark places. While we're sure to have periods of great joy and fulfillment, we'll also have prolonged periods of deep misery. We seem to easily acknowledge that our good feelings are temporary, yet we fail to do the same to bad feelings. Misery is temporary.Read Article

Embrace Confession

In what I suspect is a universal experience among Catholics, I always get nervous in the Confession line. Despite my years of frequenting the Sacrament, there's always a bit of a pit in my stomach that eases the moment that Confession is over. While this pre-Sacrament anxiety is a momentary discomfort, I’d hate to think that it alone is keeping people away from the grace of Confession. When you consider the power of the Sacrament, what's the worst that could happen?Read Article

Nocturnal Adoration

When I was in Middle School, my Mom and I signed up for the local chapter of the Nocturnal Adoration Society. Once a month, we'd get up and go to a Holy Hour in the early morning hours, I believe it was around 2am. Since then, I've been a member of multiple parishes where 24-hour adoration was offered. There's something really special and still about scheduled Adoration at night.Read Article

Give to the Beggar

Earlier this summer, Alison's family was in town and we made the trek into DC. While there, I was particularly struck with the number of beggars on the street. Certainly there were more on the street than in previous trips due in part to the nicer weather. Yet, for whatever reason, I was particularly struck with compassion. At one point, I saw a man literally eating trash off of the street, right here, in our Nation’s capital. I think that many of us refrain from giving beggars money for a number of reasons, but lately my thinking has been evolving.Read Article

Refuse to Fall

There comes a point in our lives when we have to stand up to sin. Sin, both great and small, has the ability to divert us away from the path that we wish to follow. We're only overcome by sin when we consent to it, and so we must summon the courage to say no more.Read Article

Know Your Mother

I find it easier to understand God's surpassing mercy now that I am a parent. The love that I feel for Benedict, and my deep seated desire to do all that I can to make him comfortable, causes me to do things that are borderline irrational. Although he's not at an age where he appreciates treats, when he's sick I want to go to the store and buy things to bring him comfort. When I get frustrated with his occasional bad behavior, I get over it pretty quickly. All things in my mind are directed toward his care and well-being. This irrational parental love is something that God has for us. Understanding how I can overlook any of Benedict's flaws gives me a small insight into God's ability to forgive our transgressions. He simply has a parent's love.Read Article

Spiritual Springs

Growing up, my grandparent's house was our vacation destination of choice. My Dad was often stationed on the East Coast, so the trip to south Georgia wasn't a big deal. I can remember one Easter trip in particular. On Easter Sunday, we went to the sunrise Mass held outdoors in a field. The grass was wet with dew, the sun was just barely peaking over the horizon, and there was something incredibly refreshing about the entire experience. Although I was just a little boy, there was something profound and lasting about uniting the celebration of Easter Mass outside with a quintessential Spring morning.Read Article

Sin Isn't A Foregone Conclusion

There are many myths surrounding sin. These myths are lies that we've either told ourselves or have entered into our mind in some other way, perhaps by way of a book we read or something we were told. I've believed, for too long, that sin will happen as a foregone conclusion. I'm human, I'm flawed, therefore despite my best efforts, I'll sin. Yet, that isn't entirely true. In fact, the belief that habitual sin is a foregone conclusion is false. One has only to look to the saints to recognize that reality. It isn't an easy place to get to, but it has been proven possible.Read Article

With Your Help

I'm not God. I didn't rise from the dead of my own volition. I didn't save countless souls from Hell, open the gates of Heaven, or defeat sin and death. If I'm not God, and if my track record confirms that reality, why would I ever have an expectation that I'd be able to defeat sin and amend my life of my own accord?Read Article

Finding Time to Pray

My daily prayer time is often a moving target. Depending on what the day has in store for me, I could find myself praying at any number of junctures during the day. My goal is to spend about half an hour when I first wake up, 15 minutes or so praying the Rosary with Benedict during our morning play time, meditation for a few minutes at noon, the Divine Mercy Chaplet during the 3 o'clock hour, and finally prayers with my family before bed. It's a pretty rigorous plan, that's for sure, and one that's proven elusive. Yet, when I add the time up, it ends up being about an hour during the day, during which I'll have 14 waking hours. Considering how much time is wasted throughout the day, it's a very reasonable plan. Yet, even with the best laid plan, it's still a daily challenge to actually do it.Read Article

Look to St. Joseph

One of the traditions in my line of Collins men is that each of us share the same middle name, Joseph. It's a tradition that started at least six generations ago, although I'm sure that the further I dig, the more Josephs I'll find. I'm not sure of the particular reasons as to why it was started, but I'm confident it was meant as a prayer for the intercession of St. Joseph. Joseph is a strong and silent character in the Bible, and the more we know about life in Nazareth in his day, the more we grow to respect him.Read Article

One Step Closer to Holiness

The battle for self-control is one that's waged daily. We’re constantly being pulled in two directions. On the one hand, we want to do what's right and on the other, we want to do whatever will selfishly benefit us. At times, good is winning and at other times, evil is winning. This is our daily experience. Yet, it's possible, with time and discipline, to do more good than evil. Beating temptation today makes you stronger tomorrow.Read Article

At Home in Church

I try to make it to Confession at least once a month and typically end up making it about twice per month. With the long lines at my parish, I have lots of time to think and meditate while I wait for my turn to receive absolution and a fresh start. I usually go on Saturday mornings when Confessions are heard right after the morning Mass. While in line, I'm able to observe fellow parishioners and their families soak up the replenishment that God's house offers. I feel a real sense of peace waiting in that line, one that reminds me that God's house is my home.Read Article

The Burden of Freedom

Freedom is a wonderful thing. Since you're reading this, you're one of the lucky ones who has the freedom to use the Internet. You have the freedom to read uncensored content. You have the freedom to determine the course of your life. As Catholics, we also have freedom. We can choose the right or the wrong. We can do good or we can do evil. Freedom, in all of its glory, is morally neutral. In fact, freedom is a curse if you can't control yourself.Read Article

Even Jesus was Tempted

I hate temptation. It's always so exciting and alluring, especially if I give it any attention at all. All temptation needs is a moment of consideration and, like a fish going after the bait, it's got me hooked. Not every fish ends up in the boat, however. We have innumerable chances to fight back and break the line before it's too late. In those times, it can be helpful to remind ourselves that even Jesus was tempted.Read Article

Holy Week

As we enter into Holy Week and make our final Easter preparations, I think the spirit of this week presents us with an accurate picture of who we are. The rapidly changing and confusing nature of the events of this week can easily be seen as fitting into our modern world. We've seen stars rise and fall in relatively short amounts of time. We can also see ourselves in the events of this week. Like the Apostles, we cheer for Jesus on Sunday, only to abandon Him on Friday.Read Article

When is it Enough?

The lives of the saints are a great mystery to us. How is it that ordinary men and women, both lay and religious, can slip the surly bonds of sin and fall in love with Jesus so deeply that they give up their selfish nature, pick up their cross, and follow Him?Read Article

Read God's Book

Last Fall, Alison, Benedict, and I traveled to my cousin's wedding. While there, I saw one of those ubiquitous Catholic media CD displays in the back of the Church. A talk by Matthew Kelly caught my eye, so I picked up a copy knowing how much my sister enjoys his work. Alison and I listened on the drive home and something really stood out to me as Matthew was talking about what he thought our particular judgement would be like. He mused that God would ask us, "Did you read My book?"Read Article

Idle Hands

I recently watched an interview with a Benedictine monk done by a local TV station out West. They were profiling this monk and his jam-making business that he'd started on the monastery grounds. The reporter walked us through the monk's day, starting with prayers and then going immediately out into the fields to begin working. One of the lines from the story was the monk saying, "Idle hands are the Devil's tools."Read Article

Daily Prayer List

We all have many things in our lives that we like to pray for. A list of intentions floats around in each of our minds and it changes constantly. New intentions are added, fulfilled intentions are subtracted, and all along the way, we're hopefully putting our trust in God and not in ourselves. This is very much a living list and it reflects our most closely held relationships and needs.Read Article

Support Our Priests

Growing up, priests were a constant presence in my house. My parents were very diligent in cultivating relationships with the priests at our parish, even as we moved across the country and around the world. Perhaps more notably, they made sure to continue these relationships, even when a particular priest was reassigned or we moved. I think that having the opportunity to get to know our priests on a more personal level, besides just seeing them at Mass, was instrumental in me discerning a possible vocation to the priestly life. Knowing them, I was able to better see myself being one of them.Read Article

Sublime Forgiveness

The struggle with the Sacrament of Confession is a lifelong one for Catholics. Our struggle is a deeply human one in that the Sacrament requires us to look at our lives and voice our failings. We're not perfect people, and Confession is a stark reminder of that. We love the feeling of cleanliness after Confession, but we struggle with comprehending God's great mercy.Read Article

How to Grow this Lent

Unbelievably, today is Ash Wednesday. In just a few hours, the hunger pangs will start to set in as we observe the first of two fasting days this year. Masses today will undoubtedly be crowed by the faithful looking to mark the beginning of this penitential and fruitful season.Read Article

Falling Forward in Lent

With Lent just around the corner, another opportunity for us to refocus our energies and prayer life on God is about to arrive. Lent provides an excellent opportunity for us to do some spring cleaning in our soul.Read Article

Avoid Whatever Leads You to Sin

I'm usually not very forgetful, but there's one time that I am. During Confession, after the priest says "Now say your Act of Contrition," I typically blank. It's not that I don't know the words, or even that I'm nervous. It's that I do much better praying out loud with a bunch of other people.Read Article

Make this Lent Matter

It's hard to believe, but in a little over three weeks, we'll begin our annual journey called Lent. While Easter is the biggest liturgical holiday/party of the year, the season of Lent leading up to it is, well, less fun.Read Article

Hospital for Sinners

It's no secret that I love the Sacrament of Reconciliation. I don't love the feelings of anxiety while waiting in line, but I love what it does for me personally, physically, and psychologically.Read Article

Beat the Devil Out of You

No one likes being a failure.Read Article

The Constancy of God

We’ve all experienced a time of great betrayal in our lives. An instance when we were comfortable and happy in our world, only to have it turned upside down by someone very close to us. Perhaps it was a devastating divorce of your parents or a shocking betrayal by a very close friend.Read Article

Reclaiming Peace

Our lives are filled with boundless triumphs and difficult trials. If you look back at the past 10, 15, or even 20 years of your life, there were extended periods of time when you flourished and had a deep sense of peace. You’ll also see periods of extended difficulties, perhaps compounded by multiple negative life events. This is the rhythm of life, and no matter which season you’re experiencing today, it doesn’t change the one immovable truth: you were meant to live with a peace that surpasses understanding.Read Article

Christmas Reflection

Merry Christmas!

The days of preparation of Advent are over and we're now finally celebrating the birth of Christ. I had a particularly fulfilling Advent this year and I hope that your preparations helped you reach today with a greater sense of peace and joy.Read Article

Live A Saintly Life

When it comes to fitness, it’s easy to tell when you’re out of bounds. That fateful day when you hop up on the scale and the number shocks you is the clear sign that you need to make a change. You get on the internet and find outstanding resources and training plans. You get on the App Store and download fitness apps and trackers to help you stay on target. You make a clear decision and then execute. Why don’t we treat our spiritual life the same way?Read Article

Outsmart Temptation

Temptation is a fork in the road. We either freely choose to avoid sin, or we freely choose to commit sin.Read Article

Out of Sight Should Be Kept in Mind

A few weeks ago, Alison, Benedict and I attended my sister’s wedding in Pittsburgh. Maree’s wedding was particularly special because of its location. She was married in the historic St. Anthony’s Chapel. St. Anthony’s has the largest collection of relics outside of the Vatican. There are over 6,000 individual relics of saints housed in ornate reliquaries and stored in glass cases surrounding the altar. As I was at the Wedding Mass, it hit me. This is the reality of the Mass!Read Article

The Divine Office: What is It?

The Divine Office is the universal prayer of the Church. It’s also know as the Liturgy of the Hours or the Breviary. Ordained priests, deacons, and religious are required, to varying extents, to pray the Divine Office every day. There are five different times of prayers, also known as “Hours” during the day. Given the worldwide usage and differing timezones, the Liturgy of the Hours is literally being prayed at every moment of the day.Read Article

Starting Fresh

We all love a fresh start. New beginnings are always full of hope, excitement, and promise. We feel refreshed, able to take on the world and whatever challenges life sends our way. Fresh starts can be hard to come by. In relationships, past hurts get in our way. First impressions are lasting impressions and, if you make a mistake, it can be extremely difficult to overcome. What if there was a way to get a true fresh start? What if there was a reset button you could press that would wipe the slate clean and get you back on track?Read Article

Grow in Patience

Patience is a virtue that I’m not very good at.Read Article

Primary Devotion

The Church is a wide and open road. While there are essential components of the spiritual life, such as the Sacraments, the Church provides limitless expressions of faith. One type of prayer is devotions.Read Article

Disbelief with Faith

As a part of the Catholic Church, we are members of an extraordinary community. We routinely have miracles happen within our group. We have relics that not only share our story, but also facilitate God’s grace. Sometimes, it’s almost too incredible for our minds to comprehend.Read Article

Why Do You Go to Mass?

Why do you go to Mass? In our lives, the intent behind an action is sometimes more important than the action itself. What are your motivations?Read Article


Grace is a gift. It’s given freely to us by God, available to us the moment we choose to accept it. What does the decision to accept or reject grace mean for us?Read Article


The fear of Confession is deadly. It’s healthy to have some amount of fear of the Sacrament. That fear means we know that we’ve seriously hurt God and we need to make amends. However allowing your Confession-phobia to keep you from the Sacrament will leave your relationship in shambles and will prevent you from living the life that God wants you to live.Read Article

No Shortcuts

A few weeks ago, we heard at Mass the Gospel in which Peter tried to get Jesus to skip the Passion. Shockingly (or it should be quite shocking), Jesus replied strongly with, “Get behind me Satan!” Whoa. Jesus responded in this way because Peter was asking Him to take a shortcut and Jesus knew that there was no shortcut to saving humanity.Read Article

Make A Pilgrimage

There’s an ancient practice in Christianity that’s lost some of it’s spice. That’s the practice of making pilgrimages. While the other two great monotheistic religions still incorporate pilgrimages into the rites of passage for their members, pilgrimages have a diminished role in Christianity. Catholicism actually offers the best opportunity for pilgrimages because our holy sites aren’t in just one region of the world. In fact, there are pilgrimage sites in every nation around the world where Catholicism has taken root.Read Article

Use the Church

Life can be a challenging journey. While we have amazing highs, we also have deeply dark lows. Part of the splendor of the Church, and being a member of the Church, is that we actually are kind of cheating. With access to the Sacraments and the Treasury of Graces, we’re able to soar higher than we would otherwise, and we’re able to find light in the darkest times of our lives.Read Article

Mass Journal

What would it be like if at every Mass you attended, you had a breakthrough moment? What would it be like if at every Mass something impacted you in a way that you really needed. Perhaps it would be some inspiration in a time of darkness or some encouragement for your life? Adopting the habit of a Mass Journal could be the game changer for you.Read Article

How to Ease into Daily Prayer

Any time you try to establish a new habit, the best implementation is gradual. If you start too quick, you’ll peter out. If you start too slow, you’ll lose interest and move on. The approach that will give you the best results is one that eases you into the habit.Read Article

What if We Lived the Way We Ought?

When did being pious start being perceived as pretentious?Read Article

3 Reasons to Pray the Rosary Daily

The Rosary is an amazing prayer. While it may be easy to discount it as rote, there’s a real beauty in the repetition. There are compelling reasons for us to pray it more often.Read Article

Get Off the Broken Road

Our spiritual walk is a marathon, not a sprint. That means that there are going to be a lot of times when you’re doing things right, and a lot of times when you’re not quite on point.Read Article

Be Merciful

We all love mercy when we’re the recipient. When we’re the giver, however, it’s much more difficult.Read Article

Be A Saint, Now

I think that we have a pretty unhealthy view of Heaven. I’d venture to guess that most Catholics, myself included, take the St. Augustine view… “Lord make me holy, but not yet.” How different would our lives be, how different would our marriages be, if we instead took the approach, “Lord, make me holy now."Read Article

Pray and Don't Worry

Prayer and worry are incompatible. If you pray and then worry, your prayer is cancelled out. Prayer is the first step of faith.Read Article

Meet A Saint

We’re card carrying members of the Communion of Saints. While we spend quite a bit of time rubbing elbows with fellow members on this planet, how much time do we spend kicking it with members who’ve made it across the finish line?Read Article

Schedule A Fast Day

We fast twice per year, both days during Lent. Out of the 365 days of the year, 363 are essentially a food fest. So why does the Church ask us to spend the other two days limiting our food intake?Read Article

Managing Your Daily Prayer Time

Do you ever go entire days without talking to your wife? Of course, not! Yet, we often find ourselves going days without spending quality time in prayer.Read Article

Examine Your Conscience Nightly

The other weekend at Mass, the priest gave a fabulous homily. It was one of those homilies that you want to stand up and applaud. It was one of those homilies that really calls people out. It took a spiritual theory and brought it into our lives.Read Article

Building Our Own Prisions

Temptation is difficult to endure. You’re actually not doing anything wrong by being tempted. It’s only when you indulge that you get into trouble. The real problem comes when you start actively seeking temptation.Read Article

Holy Baby Steps

When we’re ready to change our lives, we want it to happen fast. We want to lose the weight, today. We want an answer to our dispute, now. We want to be the best father to our children, instantly. The problem with the demand for the instant is that it doesn’t last.Read Article

Stop Treating Mass Like a Drive-Thru

Our lives are busy. We have work, family obligations, and personal goals that we’re trying to balance. With this time overload, we look for ways to be more efficient and corners to cut. Unfortunately, sometimes during this schedule review, we try to find ways to cut our time at Mass short.Read Article

Where Are You Going?

We weren’t made for life on Earth. We were made to know, love, and serve God in this life and be with Him forever in the next (Baltimore Catechism).Read Article

Doing the Right Thing

It’s never too late to do the right thing.Read Article

Trust the Lord

Life is definitely not always easy. In the human experience we each have times of extreme joy and of extreme sadness. How we deal with the problems in our lives says a lot about who we are as people. One of the people that we often don’t seek out for assistance is God.Read Article

Last Words

Yesterday we talked about giving each day to God at the moment you wake up. But what about at the end of the day?Read Article

First Words

There’s a curious phenomena in driving that involves your eyes. When you look in a direction other than straight ahead, you will start to drift in that direction. So, if you look for too long at the side of the road, you’ll soon find yourself there. This occurrence is intriguing because the same thing happens with your thoughts. If you think about things that are good, just, holy, and worthy, you’ll find that your days seem to go a little bit better. If you think about things that are near occasions of sin, you’ll find it’s really quite easy to fall into that sin.Read Article

Rest on the Sabbath

Every year, it seems to go the exact same way. Just a few days before Ash Wednesday and I still haven’t decided what I’m going to do for Lent. I know that Lent is coming, I know that I need to take time to consider what changes to make in my life, and I still don’t give it the time it deserves. This year, I went with something really special.Read Article

Keeping it Clean

Secrecy is the enemy of love. Secrecy drives us to lie, obscure facts, and not be true to ourselves. In fact, it’s one of the greatest tools of the Devil. I’ve been really encouraged lately with the outpouring of publications and discourse on the true nature of pornography in our culture. Pornography feeds on secrecy. It’s a private act that has very public effects. The fact that we’re able to start bringing it to the light is extremely encouraging. While my intention today isn’t to discuss pornography, I do want to tackle the issues that can easily lead to it.Read Article

Be Persistent

Persistence is a virtue that is lost among many today. We see something we want, we try to get it, and when we fail on our first attempt, we walk away. This attitude towards life is wholly inconsistent with the kind of virtues we need in the married life.Read Article

Be Generous

We tend to think of generosity as costing us something.Read Article

Prayer Corner

We all have a way of giving physical spaces certain designations. The gym is the place where we work out. The library is where we read. The Parish is where we pray. While certainly those activities are all appropriate for those locations, we should still try to get a broader view of them. We can work out in our neighborhood, we can read at home, we can pray where we are.Read Article


In the Catholic Church, we spend a considerable amount of time educating our youth about the Faith. It’s almost a universal that youth ministry programs have, as their annual cornerstone, some type of a retreat. Retreats are a time for us to get away from our daily lives and focus solely on our relationship with God.Read Article

The Transition

Today is an amazing day. Today is March 19th, the Feast of St. Joseph. One year ago today, Catholic Husband launched.Read Article

Why I Love Lent

For many years growing up, I hated Lent. I hate the color purple and everything liturgical was so gloomy. There was no festivity, no excitement, no sizzle! I was, of course, wrong.Read Article

Be Responsible

The era of immaturity is dead.Read Article

When God Says "No"

There is an experience that is common among all of us. There is something that you really want and so you pray for it. You pray your heart out. Then you don't get it. Ouch.Read Article

Why You Don't Pray with Her

You don’t make the time.Read Article

Ponder Your Mistakes

Pride is one of the seven deadly sins. It’s a fatal character flaw that is regularly found in men. Certainly women can be guilty of the sin of pride, but it seems to almost be ingrained in the male psyche. Pride blinds us to our shortcomings, robbing us of our chance to become a better person.Read Article

The Benefits of Regular Confession

Every 3 months or 3,000 miles, you’re supposed to take your car in for routine maintenance. It’s a normal routine to keep your car in tip top shape. If you ignore it long enough, your car can experience bigger problems which end up costing you big money.Read Article

Destroying Bad Habits

Over the course of our lives, we develop many habits. Some of these habits will take us further than we ever thought possible. Others will chip away at our core, little by little. The tricky thing about habits is that sometimes they sneak up on us. We slide into them until it’s too late. Then we’re stuck. Habits can be remarkably easy to form, and nearly impossible to break.Read Article

Trusting God

You really can’t go wrong placing your trust in God. Still, it’s one of the hardest things we can do as people. Trusting in God means letting go of control and we really like control.Read Article

Blessings At Mass

Sunday Mass is a beautiful thing. It neatly wraps up one week and begins the next, all in one giant prayer. It’s a time for us to be safe, away from the world, refocusing our life on the One who loves us most.Read Article

Finding Contentment

Contentment. It’s a rare beast in our world. Contentment represents something that we all want, but look for in the wrong places. We think if we could only get that promotion, buy that piece of technology, or have one thing change in our marriage, everything will be perfect. Then we reach that step, and it’s not what we thought. So we set our sights higher and keep pushing. We don’t take the time to realize that things don’t fulfill us.Read Article

Keeping God's Hands Full

Our personal relationship with God can be difficult to manage. While God is always present, it can be easy for us to fall into “out of sight, out of mind” syndrome. Things almost get to be like a long distance relationship. You are full of love and fervor when you’re together (i.e. in the Sacraments), but when you’re “apart” (daily life) it can be hard to keep your tank on full.Read Article

Why Are Hotels Temples of Temptation

Hotels. As a kid, you were probably excited to stay in them. A new place to sleep, an adventure! As an adult, they can be incredibly oppressive. Perhaps the hotel means you’re on the road working, away from your wife and family. For some reason, hotels seem to be temples of temptation.Read Article

Dealing with Different Spiritualities

Being Catholic is spicy. It’s spicy because there isn’t only one way to be Catholic. In fact, there are countless ways to express and live your faith! We all have our own traditions and favorite methods of prayer. When you get married, you might find that your variety of Catholicism is different from your wife’s.Read Article

The Holy Family Reflection

Merry Christmas! As we celebrate and reflect on the birth of our Lord, I had a unique thought. I’d like to share it with you on this great feast!Read Article

Family Prayer Time

Prayer is the bond that keeps the family together.Read Article

Understanding Christ's Wounds

Living in Western Society today, we can easily have a sterilized view of Christ suffering and dying for our sins. For the most part, our experience with the death penalty is very clean. To the best of the ability of modern science, those who are condemned suffer very little, and do it mostly in private.Read Article

Faith is A Gift

The term “Cradle Catholic” is a phrase that is tossed around quite a bit. It refers to those Catholics who were given the Faith at their birth. This is, of course, as opposed to “Converts,” or people who converted.Read Article

Heroic Virtue

Sainthood is our goal. But, sometimes we start to believe it is impossible. In those times, we fall into sin.Read Article

Holding Hands During the Our Father

When I was going to Mass as a single man, I'd go to the 7:00am Mass on Sunday mornings. It was the best because it was quiet (read "peaceful"), it gave me a great boost to my day, and the Mass was about the Liturgy, not about everyone catching up with each other.Read Article

Nature is A Love Letter

We’re busy, I get that. We’re men. All day we charge, we fight, we win. We're always on the move, always striving for our goals.Read Article

When Prayer Becomes Alive

Your prayer life is a relationship.Read Article

Risk Management

There is a term in insurance called “risk management.” Risk management essentially acknowledges that with a given activity, they are inherent possibilities that might lead to an undesirable outcome, but we put in place procedures that lower the risk to its lowest possible level.Read Article

To Avoid Whatever Leads Me to Sin

There are many things that society has decided are weak in men.Read Article

Community of Prayer

One evening I was traveling home from work. It was a nice summer evening, the sun had set and the city streets were alive.Read Article

Let's Fail at Sin

We spend too much time trying to fix our spouse.Read Article

Go Ahead and Fail

GK Chesterton once said, “Anything worth doing is worth failing at.” He wasn’t suggesting that we strive to do things poorly. He was saying that if a task is worth doing, then it is worth taking the risk of getting it wrong.Read Article


Of all the virtues in the human race, today, contentment seems the furtherest off. We are consumers and that is what we do. We consume things. We consume people. A lack of contentment is a society illness.Read Article

A Rhythm of Prayer

We have a lot on our plates. We balance work, family life, and leisure activities.Read Article

Live the Life You Want to Model

We are a culture of complainers. We complain about work. We complain about family. We complain about our parents. We complain about our Bishops and Priests.Read Article

Confessing to Christ

I have made no secret that I believe that the Sacrament of Confession is critical to your success as a husband. We fail. A lot.Read Article

When You're in a Drought, Turn on the Sprinklers

There will be dry days. Not just outside, but inside.Read Article

Avoid the Dangers of the Internet

The internet is awesome. With the internet, you are able to connect with people in ways never before possible.Read Article

You Must Decrease

Men usually don’t like to be humble. We can see humility as a weakness. That is foolish of us.Read Article

The Church Sustains Us

The election of Pope Francis earlier this year was exciting. I was sad to see Pope Benedict retire, but there was a magnetism about Catholicism. All of the media and blogs were talking about the Church again.Read Article

Keep Holy the Sabbath

We all hate Mondays. I get it. But, do we really have to?Read Article

When to Go to Confession

Going to the Sacrament of Reconciliation (Confession) is hard. It’s not that it’s inconvenient, it’s that it is uncomfortable.Read Article

It's Time to Be Men

There is a growing chorus among young ladies today. They are recognizing a trend in our society. We have a society full of boys. Women don’t want to marry a boy; they want to marry a man.Read Article


Lent is a great season. I used to hate it. It was dark and boring. A few years ago, I finally unlocked the key to the season. It came from a deeper understanding of what it takes for God to love us who hurt Him so much, so often.Read Article

Phone Home Daily

We live busy, hectic lives. When you first get married, you both might be young professionals. Both of you are working hard on your careers. It is a great phase of life to be in.Read Article

Traveling Mass

I travel a lot for work. While exploring new towns, I like to find the local Catholic Church while on the road. I can't go far in any direction without seeing a parish.Read Article


My wedding day is a happy part of my memory. It was a glorious day. I vividly replay all of the scenes, all of the emotions, all of the senses in my mind. It was a day of joy.Read Article

The Ultimate Sacrifice

Today is Good Friday. My thought for today is very simple. Christ died because of what I have done. His passion was because I chose to not love Him fully. He suffered because I am selfish.Read Article

The Secret to Getting Up After You Fall

We have a deadly disease. It's a disease whose effects rage throughout society; the symptoms are everywhere. Pride strikes us all.Read Article