Tag Archives: Fatherhood

Marriage Between One Man & One Woman, G.K. Chesterton & The Father’s Role @LovingTheChurch.com

G.K. Chesterton on the role of the father as head of the houseThis week @ LovingTheChurch.com, I reflect upon an article written by G.K. Chesterton, The Head of the House and how it is so applicable to what is unfolding in our modern culture.

Marriage Between One Man & One Woman, G.K. Chesterton & The Father’s Role

May God bless you and keep you!

Why Fathers Need Prayer @ LovingTheChurch.com

Blessed John Paul II with his fatherThis week at LovingTheChurch.com, I discuss why, as a father, I need to pray – Why Fathers Need Prayer.

Christ said “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Mt 11:28). Life comes at me every day, prayer helps me to live life on life’s terms; to live in the present moment; to place my trust in God.

John Thavis, the Rome Bureau Chief for Catholic News Service, once wrote the following about Blessed John Paul II and his father:

“The future Pope would sometimes wake in the middle of the night and find his father praying on his knees. At his death, friends say Karol knelt for twelve hours in prayer at his father’s bedside.”

At the end of the post I include a prayer – A Father’s Prayer for Guidance. It is an excellent prayer and worth passing on to any fathers in your life.

May God bless you and keep you.

Marriage, Fatherhood, and the Cross @ LovingTheChurch.com

The Life of Sacrifice In The FamilyNew article at LovingTheChurch.com – Marriage, Fatherhood, and the Cross.

I share how the family is the great “school” of the cross. Being in the family requires the laying down of my personal wants. It demands a life of sacrifice, of self-donation. It entails dying to self and suffering. And that is Good News!

May God bless you and keep you.

A Husband and Father Comes Home @ LovingTheChurch.com

Being The Best Husband and Father I Can BeHere’s my latest article at LovingTheChurch.com – A Husband and Father Comes Home.

I share some practical advice a good friend of mine gave me on making the transition from the workplace to the home.

May God bless you and keep you.

Spiritual Toolbox: Prayer

Prayer is a Powerful ToolI have tools today. In fact, I have a spiritual toolbox.

As a Catholic, I have been given many wonderful spiritual tools to deal with just about anything life might throw at me.

The whole business of tools can be tricky though. I have discovered that the “world” offers me tools as well.

So for me, how my day goes depends upon what tools I pick up.

It’s something I have to be conscious of every day. What tools do I have to use on a consistent, day-to-day basis? What tools do I need to make use of weekly, monthly, or just in certain situations?

Today, I’m just going to share about one tool, one really important tool.


I’m not going to go into the theology of prayer (CCC 2558-2865). I just want to talk about prayer from a practical perspective.

I have to pray.

In my life, when I’ve abandoned my prayer life I’ve wandered far from God. I get pounded by sin, selfishness, and worldliness. That is a fact.

I’m a stubborn soul. The pain has to get pretty bad. In retrospect, I’m extremely grateful for that. Pain has served a valuable purpose in my life. It got me right where I needed to be…on my knees.

Now I’m no master of prayer, I’m just an average guy trying to do God’s will. That’s my disclaimer. Some of you are certainly more qualified to talk about prayer than me. Yet, as the Psalmist proclaimed, “I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart; I will tell of all thy wonderful deeds” (Ps 9:1). So I feel compelled to share how prayer works for me.


My day has to begin with prayer. I have certain prayers I say each morning. I try to combine the basic forms of prayer – Blessing, Petition, Intercession, Thanksgiving, and Praise. I also try to listen. Prayer is a conversation with God.

Then I use a couple tools that combine prayer and spiritual reading. First, I pray the Daily Meditation offered by Regnum Christi. This is by far the best daily meditation on the day’s Gospel reading that I have found. It doesn’t take much time, and it combines thoughts and questions for meditation with specific prayers. I highly recommend it. Another wonderful tool is the Liturgy of the Hours (this link takes you to a great site for becoming familiar with this prayer of the whole People of God).


During the day, I have incorporated the practice of aspirational prayer. Here are a few of my favorites:

The Jesus Prayer
Lord Jesus Christ,
Son of God,
have mercy on me,
a sinner. Amen.

The Serenity Prayer
God grant me the serenity,
to accept the things I cannot change,
the courage to change the things I can,
and the wisdom to know the difference.

The Divine Mercy Prayer, also the prayer John Paul II recommended for times of difficulty
Jesus, I trust in You. Amen.

Jesus’ prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane
Not my will, but Thy Will be done. Amen.

These are just a few I make use of during the day. I also spontaneously pray to God the Father, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit individually and as the Most Holy Trinity. I ask Mary and the saints, especially St. Joseph, for their intercession and thank them for watching over our family and for prayers answered.


Before going to bed I do a brief Examination of Conscience, make an Act of Contrition, and say a few prayers of Thanksgiving for the day and all that God has given me.


My wife and I foster an environment of prayer in our home. The kids have morning prayers they say. We also say “grace” before meals, night prayers with the children, and the family rosary.

That’s a day in the prayer life of this average “Catholic” Joe.

When I “plan” my day around prayer, I have a better day. I’m able to understand situations that used to baffle me; I am better able to hold my tongue (not perfectly by any stretch); I tend to be more focused on where I’m heading and not what I want in this world; I try harder to be more like Christ.

Again, I’m still a work in progress. For me, it’s all about progress not perfection. I know that God is not finished with me yet.

I hope that this sharing will encourage each of you to continue in your own daily prayer life.

I’ll close with this reflection from St. Isidore, from his Book of Maxims:

Prayer purifies us, reading instructs us. Both are good when both are possible. Otherwise, prayer is better than reading.

If a man wants to be always in God’s company, he must pray regularly and read regularly. When we pray, we talk to God; when we read, God talks to us.

Next up, I hope to share about spiritual reading.

May God bless you and keep you.

Children & Sharing @ LovingTheChurch.com

Visit LovingTheChurch.comI wanted to share with everyone a wonderful opportunity I’ve been given to collaborate with LovingTheChurch.com.

LovingTheChurch.com focuses on how faith engages culture.

Loving the Church in Brief…

Commentary on Life, Culture & Faith. Thoughts on Family, Being a Good Father & Mother. Dialogue with the Great Minds of Our Heritage. A Resource for Prayer, Spiritual Life & Holiness…

I hope each of you will take the time to visit LovingTheChurch.com. It is a great site and a wonderful resource for growing in our love and knowledge of the Catholic Faith.

Here is a link to my first post – Children & Sharing: Thoughts from a Father

The Practice of Patience

Kids Teach Us PatiencePatience.

That mysterious, elusive word.

Just when I think I’ve got a little, real life comes crashing through.

It normally goes something like this…

  1. My son decides that it would be a good idea to chase his sister.
  2. My daughter decides that the best way to deal with the brotherly pursuit is to scream at the top of her lungs.
  3. Right before all this…daddy decided it was a good time to make an important business call.
  4. Patience has officially left the building!

I wish I could tell you that this is a rare occurrence but it isn’t. In fact, with both my wife and I working from home it actually happens more frequently than I’d like to admit.

HOWEVER – We are working on it…consciously.

know that I must set a good example for my children. I know I need to practice patience. I know that patience is a fruit of the Spirit, a ‘perfection that the Holy Spirit forms in [me] as a first fruit of eternal glory’ (CCC 1832). I know that patience is an attribute of charity (1 Cor 13:4).

Yet all this knowledge seems to avail me little in the heat of the moment. Why is that? Aristotle is quoted as having said:

Patience is bitter, but it’s fruit is sweet.

Maybe that’s explains why it can be so hard. Bitterness. It’s a hard pill to swallow.

I want things to go the way I think they should go.

I want others to behave the way I think they should behave.

I think “out of control” situations and “perceived” misbehavior demands a response.

Archbishop Fulton Sheen insists that it does, but under certain conditions.

Patience is power. Patience is not an absence of action; rather it is “timing” it waits on the right time to act, for the right principles and in the right way.

I guess it comes back to what Mom repeatedly told me as a kid – Two wrongs don’t make a right.

It’s okay for me to take a minute before responding to any situation or person. I have to check my motives, my disposition.

Is it the right time to respond?

Is the motivation for my response based on the right principle(s)?

By responding now, am I acting in the right way?

This criteria works…whether I’m stuck behind a truck going 20 miles an hour or my kids are going berserk.

The rightness of my timing, my reasons, and my action really does matter. St. Paul admonishing the Romans said:

For [God] will render to every man according to his works: to those who by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, he will give eternal life… – Rom 2:6-7

It is for this reason that I must be in business of trying. Everything is at stake.

Dear God, please help me to faithfully practice patience.

May God bless you and keep you.