The Corporal Works of Mommy and Daddy: Living the “Little Way” of Family Life

In preparation for our oldest child's First Communion, we were reviewing the various Works of Mercy.  When he heard that they included things like feeding the hungry, giving drink to the thirsty and clothing the naked, he looked up at us and said, "You guys do those things all the time.  They should call them the Corporal Works of Mommy--and Daddy too!"Our son stumbled upon a great spiritual truth.  Family life can be an incredible engine of spiritual growth.  The Works of Mercy as practiced … [Read more...]

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A New Year Resolution: Stop Shaming Yourself

Four steps to graceful change in the new year. Whether or not you've made any New Year's Resolutions, this is a natural time to reflect on the changes we might like to make in our lives.Unfortunately, a lot of efforts to change are driven by self-recrimination.  We try to shame ourselves into the changes we'd like to make.  "What's wrong with me?"   "What can't I just do this already?"The Role of GuiltGuilt can play a part in the change process but there is a difference b … [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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Family Spirituality–Caring for the Heart of Your Home

Spirituality is the heart of our your home.  Are you caring for your family's "heart health"?  Here's my latest article for Our Sunday Visitor's Daily Take. Are you attending to your family's heart health? Your family's spiritual well-being represents the true heart of your family, the spiritual heart that pumps joy, meaning, and connection into your life as a family and as persons. Experts note that the degree to which your family shares a spiritual life actually predicts the degree of s … [Read more...]

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Protecting YOUR Family’s “Heart Health”

Your family's spirituality is the heart of your home.  Do you know how to protect and nurture it?Are you attending to your family's heart health?   Your family's spiritual well-being represents the true heart of your family, the spiritual heart that pumps joy, meaning, and connection into your life as a family and as persons.  Experts note that the degree to which your family shares a spiritual life actually predicts the degree of  satisfaction you can expect from both your family rel … [Read more...]

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Yes, You CAN Raise Faithful Kids

What are your chances your children will own their faith?  Answer these 5 questions in my inaugural post in the National Catholic Register! For the Catholic parent, there is no more important task than communicating our faith to our children. That doesn’t just mean teaching our kids Catholic prayers and rituals. It means teaching them how to have a meaningful and personal relationship with God. How to think and act morally. How to love rightly and intimately. How to celebrate and live life as th … [Read more...]

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Family Spirituality: So What? Who Cares? & What’s In It For You?

If the idea of "family spirituality" sounds indescribably boring, oddly mysterious, or like a total luxury (and not in a good way) then you're not alone.  A recent study by Holy Cross Family Ministries (HCFM) and the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA) found that 83% of Catholic families do not have any kind of shared spiritual life at home.  Here's why you should care.What is "Spirituality" Anyway?Psychologists who study religion and spirituality assert that healthy s … [Read more...]

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New Study Quantifies Spiritual Health Crisis in Catholic Families

My latest article for OSV's Daily Take If your child came home from school with a test grade of 22 percent would you be concerned? How about 17 percent or 13 percent? Sadly, new research by the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA) at Georgetown found that similar numbers reflect the spiritual health "grades" of Catholic families. The first-of-its-kind study was sponsored by Holy Cross Family Ministries, an organization promoting family prayer and family well-being around the … [Read more...]

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