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. … Read more

New report in the British Medical Journal The Lancet.  H/T HuffPo New research highlights the economic advantages of exclusive and continued breastfeeding in rich and poor countries alike, and the enormous cost of failing to support it writes Dr Flavia Bustreo, WHO Assistant Director-General. As a young doctor working with refugees in the former Yugoslavia and Iraq, I saw how breastfed babies can prosper even under such challenging circumstances, and even when they are sick or small. So I am… Read more

Guest post by Dave McClow, M.Div, LMFT.  Clinical Pastoral Counseling Assoc. of the Pastoral Solutions Institute The immensity and beauty of the Grand Canyon are an inexhaustible mystery for me.  This natural wonder must be experienced from different vantage points to be fully appreciated.  I have hiked along the rim and taken different trails into the canyon; I have flown over it in a plane!  Each perspective reveals something different, but all inspire awe! Journeying through this Year of Mercy,… Read more

No one wants to be bitter.  It sneaks up on us.  Bitterness is unforgiveness fermented.    The more we hold onto past hurts the more we become drunk on our pain and the experience can rob us of the joy we can find in anything.   Bitterness occurs when we feel someone has taken something from us that we are powerless to get back.  We hold on to the hurt in an attempt to remind ourselves and others of the injustice we’ve experienced in… Read more

My latest for OSV’s Daily Take 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? Why can’t I just do this already?” The Role of Guilt in Change Guilt can play a part in the… Read more

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,… Read more

WARNING:  POST FEATURES DESCRIPTIONS OF SEXUAL ACTS AND STRONG LANGUAGE. The movie Spotlight highlights the media’s rightful role in holding the Catholic Church accountable for the abuse scandals.  It does seem, however, that the media can be selective in choosing whom it holds accountable.  David Bowie was a brilliant artist, a vaunted sexual icon and, according to several accounts, a serial child rapist (or, to use a word that became popular during the priest scandals, an ephebophile; that is, one… Read more

Michigan State criminal justice professor Thomas J. Holt, found that about one in four children said they were pressured by their friends online to talk about sex when they didn’t want to. The study included 439 middle- and high-school students aged 12 to 16. “This is not to downplay the danger of pedophiles acting online, but it does draw attention to the potential threat of child sexual victimization by the people our kids are closest to, the people they spend… Read more

For the study, 555 Palestinian adolescents between the ages of 12 and 18 were presented with a classic “trolley dilemma” that involved a Palestinian man being killed to save the lives of five children who were either Jewish-Israeli or Muslim-Palestinian. The participants responded from their own perspective and then again from Allah’s perspective.  The results showed that although Muslim-Palestinian participants valued their own group’s lives over Jewish-Israeli lives, they believed that Allah preferred them to value the lives of members… Read more

Why children MUST be welcome at church HuffPo has an article praising parents who bring their little ones to church.  It is generating a lot of heat so I thought I’d revisit a post I did on this topic back when a very passionate debate erupted at Patheos about this very issue. For those who are interested, Lisa and I offer a TON of practical help for families who wish to worship together in our books, Discovering God Together: The Catholic… Read more

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