Your Shack and Mine

Everybody has a shack: a place of pain, regret, and what-ifs, a canyon of terrible sadness and hidden rage at unsustainable loss, the kind of loss that makes you wish you’d lost everything. Everybody has a shack, a place you…

Lent: Not What I Expected

Lent is not going the way I planned. I feel as if I’m failing at all the goals I set to accomplish this Lent, from the study to finding more time to spend with God.  My life has been a…

A Parish That’s Thriving, But Irrelevant?

Would the community be impacted if your parish ceased to exist? Would there be a decline in concrete acts of love? Would fewer people experience transformed lives in the power of the Risen Lord? There’s no such thing as a…

Spiritual Direction

Faith is awareness of God as a personal God, with our personal response to the love in which we have come to believe. It is a personal encounter, a contact with the divine Persons into which we are taken by…

Three Questions for Lent and Beyond

Popular Catholic speaker Matthew Kelly often begins his presentations with this phrase: “There’s genius in Catholicism.”   That couldn’t be truer. There are so many things about the Church that make perfect sense and one of them is the calendar.  The…

That’ll Leave a Mark

It’s Lent not November.  By now you have at least pondered how you will try to alter your prayer and faith life for the good.  You may or may have not been successful up to this point, the first week…

Have a Chestertonian Marriage

A few years ago, a former student invited me to lunch. He was discerning the married life and he wanted my advice as a married man. I was shy to give it. It is not because I have a bad…

Christ winning our freedom on the cross

For freedom He set us free

“For freedom Christ has set us free.” (Gal 5:16) Why has Christ set us free? For freedom. Think about that; parse it. Christ did not set us free for some other reason and we got freedom as a bonus or…

Marathon Runners

Lent is Time to Get in Shape through Prayer, Fasting and Almsgiving

Christianity is not a cheap religion. Being a Christian is difficult, and it takes sustained effort. Yes, Jesus freely offers salvation (we do not need to “earn” God’s love), but that doesn’t mean living a Christian life is easy: the…

Edging God out?

Are you excited about Lent this year? Making long lists of sacrifices, prayers and goals? Or do you hesitate to take on a new discipline to add to your packed schedule? When we take on a new goal to improve…