Becoming a Better Family

 When life gets busy, family time and family relationships tend to fall by the wayside. We drive our kids to extra curricular activities and run errands, and while these things are important, they often act as distractors from building up our family. When the busyness of life gets in the way of strengthening our familial relationships, we may need to take another look at where our priorities lie.Theology of the Body reminds us that families are schools of love and virtue where we … [Read more...]

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St. Joseph: Our Father? – Part 1

Guest post by Dave McClow.Fatherlessness has become an epidemic in our society:  43% of our kids grow up without fathers (US Census), approaching a catastrophe rivaling the 1918 flu pandemic when an estimated 56% of the world was infected.  Fatherlessness is devastating—legally, morally, psychologically, and spiritually. A shocking snapshot of our fatherless youth shows they comprise 63% of youth suicides (US Dept. Of Health/Census)–5 times the average; 90% of all homeless and runaway child … [Read more...]

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Is Anxiety Sinful? A Faithful Response to the Problem of Fear

Of course, anxiety is not sinful, but saying that is little comfort to Christians who suffer with anxiety and feel that, somehow, they are letting God down by feeling the way they do. If you, or someone you love, is struggling with persistent worry or anxiety, I hope you will find this article I wrote for the latest issue of America magazine a source of comfort and strength.Here is a sample of what you'll find....We are not to blame for our anxiety. But if we can, we must cultivate … [Read more...]

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When Daddy Doesn’t Go To Church….

I was honored to be asked for input on a terrific article by Marisa Sandora at For Her on this painful topic.  Here's a sample.So how can those of us in this situation try to convince our non-practicing spouse to attend church services? “The same way we get our spouse to do anything,” says author and therapist Dr. Gregory Popcak. “We explain how important it is, we insist that we be taken seriously, and we refuse to let it go.” Popcak is the executive director of the Pastoral Solutions Instit … [Read more...]

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HOW CAN I GET THEM TO LISTEN?!? The Secret of Cultivating Discipleship Hearts In Your Children

Every parent wants their children to listen to them, not just about the requests and directives they make, but about the faith and moral lessons they want to pass on.  But how can you get them to listen? Even more importantly, what does it take to get kids to OWN the lessons you teach them and willingly live them out in their own lives?  The key, as we reveal in Discovering God Together: The Catholic Guide to Raising Faithful Kids, is fostering a discipleship heart in your child.Forming D … [Read more...]

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FAITHLESS: Why Don’t Millennials Believe?

           Why are "nones" on the rise?  The answer might surprise you.I recently gave a radio interview about the latest Pew Center finding that "nones" (unchurched/"spiritual not religious") are the fastest growing demographic on the religious scene.  The interviewer asked me if I thought the increasingly secular culture was responsible for both the loss of faith and the breakdown of the family.  I surprised him by saying that the research suggests it just might be the other way around … [Read more...]

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A Response to Prayer Shaming: What Good is Prayer Anyway?

In light of the recent tragedy in San Bernardino, the New York Daily News and other outlets (notably, HuffPo) have challenged believers by, essentially, saying, "spare us your prayers.  God isn't going to fix this."As a pastoral counselor, I hear different versions of this all the time.  Specifically, "What good is prayer if I have to do all the work anyway?"Many people have an incomplete--and frankly, disordered--understanding of the purpose of prayer.  They engage in prayer as if th … [Read more...]

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Raising Faithful Kids: A Cautionary Tale

In Discovering God Together: The Catholic Guide to Raising Faithful Kids my wife and I share research showing that the likelihood that a child will grow up to own their faith is directly related to the degree they experience the faith as the source of the warmth in their home.  Everything else--everything from mass attendance, to catechesis, to family prayer, to moral instruction--is essential, but secondary to the children's experience as the faith as the source of the warmth in their home. W … [Read more...]

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