Category Archives: Virtues & Vices

Self-Knowledge: What We Should Know

Hello everyone! I sincerely apologize for my absence. I’ve had an extremely hectic past year. I was engaged in a book project with a good friend and mentor of mine through the end of last year. I also took a new job working in a completely new industry. So there has been a lot of adjusting.

Anyways, I just wanted to share with all of you an exert from the book project. Currently, the title of book is Catholic You! Where Self-Knowledge and Fellowship Meet. The following is taken from the Introduction. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated. Enjoy!

The Art of Self-KnowledgeSELF-KNOWLEDGE: WHAT WE SHOULD KNOW

“To know the truth of what I am – the truth of why my body and soul are in conflict – the truth of how they can be reconciled – the truth of how to find Divine Strength to overcome sorrow and sin and Divine Knowledge to overcome my mistakes – would mean I could be free to live.”  - Venerable Fulton Sheen

Who are we? Self-knowledge involves taking an honest look at ourselves – our worldview, our temperament, our predominate sin, our inclinations to the Seven Deadly Sins – and how we relate to reality.

We are in the fight of our lives. Seriously. Not only are we in a fight, with unimaginable happiness or misery at stake, but we are also being soundly thrashed. Believe it or not, we are. We willingly side with our enemy every day. Don’t think so?

    Sin is an offense against reason, truth, and right conscience; it is failure in genuine love for God and neighbor caused by a perverse attachment to certain goods. It wounds the nature of man and injures human solidarity (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1849).

How could an enemy be so powerful and clever as to dupe us into siding against ourselves? Pretty easy really; he seduced our first parents into committing that Original Sin.

Because our first parents failed to live the deeper love of obedience, our human capacity to love has been genetically changed. We became users instead of lovers. We inherited selfishness and self-centeredness, much like we inherited our genetic characteristics, from our parents, grandparents…first parents.

Original Sin explains why we do what we do.

Our bodies, despite their continual demands and desire for fleshy satisfaction, are really the more inferior side of who we are. Through Original Sin the body suffers and dies. Yet the deeper wound caused by Original Sin is to the soul (the more God-like side of us). Our intellects and wills have been seriously damaged. The truth is that without God’s help we would have been hopeless.

Yet we have this great hope – God loves us and sent His only Son to save us from our sins. He offers us His grace, that “free and undeserved gift that God gives us to respond to our vocation to become his adopted children” (ibid. pg 881).

Catholic You! Where Self-Knowledge & Fellowship Meet, through 7 steps, leads us deeper into ourselves and prepares us to become better channels of God’s grace.

I’ll be posting more exerts over the next couple months. I’m also working on making the book available in a downloadable format soon.

May God bless and keep each and every one of you.


Blessed Pope John Paul II and the Catholic Family @ LovingTheChurch.com

A look at Familiaris Consortio, The Role of the Christian Family in the Modern World.This week at LovingTheChurch.com, I discuss Blessed Pope John Paul II and the Catholic Family. Turning to his Apostolic Exhortation, Familiaris Consortio (The Role of the Christian Family in the Modern World), I consider the questions:

What exactly is the Catholic family?

What practical things can the Catholic family do to remain faithful to Christ?

Blessed Pope John Paul II and the Catholic Family

May God bless you and keep you! Blessed Pope John Paul II, pray for us. Amen.


Archbishop Fulton Sheen on the Philosophy of Pleasure

The Way to Happiness by Fulton SheenMost of you know my love for Archbishop Fulton Sheen and how his writings have radically impacted my life.

Yesterday I read the following in his book, The Way to Happiness. Archbishop Sheen provides a proper, dare I say, Catholic understanding of pleasure and why when we make pleasure our goal we inevitably wind up more unhappy. Enjoy!

CHAPTER 13: THE PHILOSOPHY OF PLEASURE

We all want happiness. We should all take the sensible step of learning that there are three laws of pleasure which, if followed, will make the attainment of happiness immeasurably easier.

The first law: If you are ever to have a good time, you cannot plan your life to include nothing but good times Pleasure is like beauty; it is conditioned by contrast. A woman who wants to show off her black velvet dress will not, if she is wise, stand against a black curtain, but against a white backdrop. She wants the contrast. Fireworks would not delight us if they were shot off against a background of fire, or the blaze of the noonday sun; they need to stand out against the darkness. Lilies bring us a special pleasure because their petals rise, surprisingly, on the waters of foul ponds. Contrast is needed to help us see each thing as being vividly itself.

Pleasure by the same principle, is best enjoyed when it comes to us as a “treat,” in contrast to experiences that are less pleasurable. We make a great mistake if we try to have all our nights party-night. No on would enjoy Thanksgiving if every meal were a turkey dinner. New Year’s Eve would not delight us if the whistles blew at midnight every night.

Fun rests on contrast, and so does the enjoyment of a funny situation…

Our enjoyment of life is vastly increased if we follow the spiritual injunction to bring some mortification and self denial into our lives. This practice saves us from being jaded; it preserves the tang and joy of living. The harp strings of our lives are not thin, made slack by being pulled until they are out of tune; instead we tighten them and help preserve their harmony.

The second law: Pleasure is deepened and enhanced when it has survived a moment of tedium or pain: this law helps us to make our prized pleasure last for whole lifetime. To do so, we must keep going at anything we do until we get our second wind. One enjoys a mountain-climb more after passing through the first moment of discouraged exhaustion. One becomes more interested in a job or work after the first impulse to drop it has been overcome.

In the same way, marriages become more stable only after disillusionment has brought the honeymoon to an end. The great value of the marital vow is in keeping the couple together during the first quarrel; it tides them over their early period of resentment,
until they get the second wind of true happiness at being together. Marriage joys, like all great joys, are born out of some pain. As we must crack the nut to taste the sweet so, in the spiritual life, the cross must be the prelude to the crown.

The third law: Pleasure is a by-product, not a goal. Happiness must be our bridesmaid, not our bride. Many people make the great mistake of aiming directly at pleasure; they forget that pleasure comes only from the fulfillment of some duty or obedience to a law – for man is made to obey the laws of his own nature as inescapably as he must obey the laws of gravity. A boy has pleasure eating ice cream because he is fulfilling one of the “oughts” of human nature: eating. If he eats more ice cream than the laws of his body sanction, he will not longer get the pleasure he seeks, but the pain of a stomach ache. To seek pleasure, regardless of law, is to miss it

Shall we start with pleasure or end with it? There are two answers to the question: the Christian and the pagan. The Christian says, “Begin with the fast and end with the feast, and you will really savor it.” The pagan says, “Begin with the feast and end with the morning-after headache.”


The Joe & Joe Show: Episode 3 – IS ANXIETY NORMAL?

Are you anxious? Joe and Joe discuss anxiety.This week on THE JOE & JOE SHOWIS ANXIETY NORMAL?

Do you suffer from anxiety?

Is anxiety normal?

What does Jesus Christ say about anxiety?

What is at the root of anxiety?

Joe & Joe discuss these and other questions surrounding the ever popular topic of anxiety. So listen in as they answer the question – IS ANXIETY NORMAL?

May God bless you and keep you.


It’s Between You and God: Blessed Mother Teresa On Doing Everything For God

Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta Poem - It's Between You and GodThis poem, It’s Between You and God, by Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta, is such a good reminder that I’m to be living for God, that I’m not to worry about what others might think, say or do.

It was part of the morning meditation I did today, and I just wanted to share it with all of you.

All for Jesus through Mary!

People are often unreasonable, illogical and self-centered.
Forgive them anyway.
If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives.
Be kind anyway.
If you are successful, you will win some false friends and some true enemies.
Succeed anyway.
If you are honest and frank, people may cheat you.
Be honest and frank anyway.
What you spend years building, someone may destroy overnight.
Build anyway.
If you find serenity and happiness, others may be jealous.
Be happy anyway.
The good you do today, people will often forget tomorrow.
Do good anyway.
Give the world the best you have, and it may never be enough.
Give the world the best you have anyway.
Why?
Because in the final analysis, all of this is between you and God….
It was never between you and them anyway.

Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta, pray for us. Amen.

May God bless you and keep you.


The Vanity of Reason: Human Reasoning and Unhappiness @ CatholicHappiness.com

Frustrated Man - Good Thoughts Need Good ActionCatholic Happiness Sr. Life Coach Joe Gill, on his JOE KNOWS blog, discusses The Vanity of Reason: Human Reasoning and Unhappiness.

Joe looks at how our reasoning affects our happiness, the relationship between thinking and action, and what we must do in order to be truly happy.

This is an awesome article, so do check it out – The Vanity of Reason: Human Reasoning and Unhappiness


Becoming A Better Husband: A Reflection on Good Habits @ LovingTheChurch.com

Good habits make a good husband!This week at LovingTheChurch.com I discuss Becoming A Better Husband: A Reflection on Good Habits.

Habits matter…in fact my habits will determine whether I’m a good husband, an “okay” husband, or a lousy husband.

In this article I share a few good habits that I try to practice. Becoming a better husband takes work, it takes God’s grace.

Becoming A Better Husband: A Reflection on Good Habits

May God bless you and keep you.


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