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Integrating the Bible into Your Life

Bible with coffee and Christmas lights in background

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

Offense and Defense

Football players on the scrimmage line

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

Man praying in woods

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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The First Step to Being A Better Spouse

Everyone wants a happy marriage, but not everyone is willing to work for it. We’ve become too self-centered to recognize that we can build the marriage of our dreams. We must have the courage to mend our flaws and then the determination to cultivate a vibrant prayer life. If you want to be a more loving and patient spouse, you’ve got to pray at least 30 minutes each day.
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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 prayin 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

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

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

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

Pray for Those Who Persecute You

But I say to you, love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you. - Matthew 5:44



Jesus’ words always call us on to greater things, to be better people than we are today. Jesus’ words seem hyperbolic, but they are anything but hyperbolic. He was calling us to live the lives we were made to live, to reach the levels of true freedom that God had always intended for us.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

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

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

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

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

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

The Secret to Winning Your Morning

The past six months have been a time of great change in my daily routine. With Benedict now walking and the weather starting to get nice outside, everything about my routine has evolved. I'm thankful to finally be able to walk in the morning again and also that the pace of my work is picking up. All of these changes have had a significant impact on how I plan out my day, although Benedict ultimately holds a veto over the schedule. Essentially, I've found that getting my morning started with just the right mix of prayer, work, and family gives me the best chance of feeling satisfied when I lay my head down at night.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

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

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

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

Praying for Kids Vocations

A few weeks ago, Alison called me on her way home from the hospital. She was listening to Catholic radio and the host had suggested that parents pray a monthly novena for their children's vocations. I instantly thought of the struggles in discerning my own vocation and the benefit that 18 years of constant prayer could gain. We shepherd our children's lives, why not pray for their vocations?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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Keeping Family Prayers Fresh

Family prayers, just like personal prayers, can get a little stale. The problem with stale family prayer is that your little ones will get bored.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

Daily Family Prayer

Now that then Lenten season is over, it’s important for us to remember that while the season is gone, the positive steps we’ve taken in our lives should not be. The whole point of Lent is to refocus our attention and help us get closer to the people that we want to be. When the season is over, it’s still up to us to make decisions that keep us going in the right direction.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

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

Retreats

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.

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Finding Time to Pray Together

Prayer in common is a tradition in Catholicism that goes back to our beginnings. Catholics, though we weren’t called that yet, would gather in each other’s home to pray and break bread. Today we have a more formalized liturgy that is the Mass. We gather together in God’s house to pray as a community. We know that wherever two or more are gathered, God is in our presence. Praying with your wife is an essential practice in your marriage.Read Article

Why You Don't Pray with Her

You don’t make the time.Read Article

Family Prayer Time

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

Praying for Her

As husbands, we are called to support our wives. That support comes in many different forms. It may be materially, emotionally or mentally. It must include spiritually.Read Article

When Prayer Becomes Alive

Your prayer life is a relationship.Read Article

A Rhythm of Prayer

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

Use Your Work to Evangelize

The other day I was in a one-on-one meeting with a local business owner. I met him through my wife. We had a great meeting, one of the most diverse of my career.Read Article

Pray Together

The old saying goes, "The family that prays together, stays together."Read Article

Why is it so Hard to Pray Together?

Why is it so hard to pray with your wife?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

Two Areas of Your Life You Cannot Afford to Neglect

Time is our most precious commodity. For so many things in life, we can change the circumstances and regain what we have lost. Yet, with time, once it is spent, it is gone forever. When transitioning into the married life, you will now have new unique demands on your time.Read Article

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CATHOLIC HUSBAND is a personal blog about marriage and family life, regularly updated since 2013. You may also enjoy the Catholic Husband Podcast. This short-form podcast features new episodes weekly and is available on Apple Podcasts, the Google Play Music Store, or wherever you listen. Let Catholic Husband inspire you to love, lead, & serve your family.

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About the Author

CHET COLLINS is a full-time sidekick to three small humans. He gets his best creative work done during their nap time. He’s the author of the The Transition: A Practical Guide to Engagement for the Catholic Man and Grant Us Peace. Chet also dabbles in web design when time permits. When he catches a break from the kids, you can find him enjoying the silence.

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Get new articles from the Catholic Husband blog sent straight to your inbox. You can expect no more than 3 emails per week.

About the Host

CHET COLLINS is a full-time sidekick to three small humans. He gets his best creative work done during their nap time. He’s the author of the The Transition: A Practical Guide to Engagement for the Catholic Man and Grant Us Peace. He dabbles in web design when time permits. When he catches a break from the kids, you can find him enjoying the silence.