Catholic Husband

Love, Lead, Serve

Reflections

God, Hell, & Timeouts

Box of matches ignighting in a field

One of the areas of parenting that I didn’t anticipate being uncomfortable with is timeouts. I wouldn’t say that Benedict has a case of the terrible twos, but I would say that he is certainly learning how to process his emotions. He’s a very easy going little guy whose bad moods can generally be managed by a simple change of scenery. Otherwise, he’s a joy to be with and lots of fun. Yet, like any toddler, his actions merit a timeout a few times per day.Read Article

St. Joseph: Human

Antique woodworking tools lined up on a work bench

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

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

The Radical Early Christians

For perhaps the first time in my life, I'm reading the Acts of the Apostles. Alison gave me the fantastic Ignatius Catholic Study Bible for Father's Day this year and I've been working my way through the Gospels and other books of the New Testament. I wrote earlier this year about how I've been reading the Bible footnotes along with the actual text and how much richer of an experience it is.Read Article

Christian Animosity Towards Catholics

During Pope Francis' recent visit to the United States, I was inundated with news articles, Tweets, and Facebook posts about the Church, often from people who aren't Catholic. Some of the reporting was quite pitiful, and a few of the Tweets and Facebook posts were inane. One of the most shocking Tweets I read was about the Papal Mass at Madison Square Gardens. The twit asked why they made the Mass a ticketed event when it should be open to anyone who wants to go.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

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

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

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

Get Your Wife to Heaven

If you want to be a really good husband, direct all of your actions towards getting your wife into Heaven. Essentially, that's our mission in the married life. Certainly our love is meant to be shared completely and we're to accept and raise any children that come into existence as a result. Yet, at the end of the day, everything points back to getting your wife into Heaven. What are you doing to accomplish that mission?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

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

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

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

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

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

Grace

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

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

Faith of the Martyrs

I have a difficult time imagining a physical persecution of happening in the United States. I have difficulty imagining how far we’d have to fall to get to a point where the citizenry accepted mass executions of people based on their faith alone.Read Article

Be Transparently Catholic

In the 8th grade, I read the great American Classic, “To Kill A Mockingbird.” One of the scenes in the book that has stuck with me all of these years is Atticus Finch explaining to his daughter Scout that he can’t be one person in public and another person at home. That integrity of character is something we should all be striving for.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

Marriage Rules, Secularism Drools

Many people, perhaps a good segment of your friends and peers, have a negative view of marriage. Some believe it’s modern slavery, others see it as a roadblock to fulfilling their dreams, and a few even find the idea of having a single sexual partner for life impossible, or at the very least undesirable. Your experience of marriage is shaped by your attitude towards the Sacrament, not the petty opinion of someone else.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

Last Thoughts of the Day

A few weeks ago, I wrote about your last words of the day. (Link) In that article, I talked about how you should dedicate the last words you have each day to prayer. But what about the last thoughts of the day?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

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

Be Adventurous

Marriage isn’t the end. It’s the beginning.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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Work is Holy

“I work so that I can live.” That is the mantra for my generation.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

Reflecting Christ's Love to the World

When you get married, you take on two responsibilities. First, you take responsibility for the care of your wife and any children you may be given. Second, you take on the responsibility for reflecting Christ’s love for the Church.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

The Beauty in the Ordinary

I have been spending quite a bit of time recently thinking about what it is actually like being married on a daily basis.Read Article

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

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

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

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

Traveling Mass

I travel a fair amount for work. Perhaps you are like me. One of my favorite unofficial games is “Find the Catholic Church.” If you want to get an idea for the universality of the Church, notice how you can’t go far in any direction without running into one.Read Article

Rejoice

The day of my wedding will live forever in my memory. It was a magnificent day. I can so vividly replay all of the scenes, all of the emotions, all of the senses. 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