Tag Archives: Fathers

Fatherhood 101: Raising Catholic Kids @ LovingTheChurch.com

A Father's Guide to Keeping Your Children CatholicThis week at LovingTheChurch.com, I share some of the ground rules Krista and I have focused on in raising our kids Catholic – Fatherhood 101: Raising Catholic Kids

Fatherhood can be very challenging but raising Catholic kids is the primary responsibility of every Catholic father. I can’t give what I don’t have. Living the Catholic Faith is extremely important and takes a “daily” effort. Here are a few simple ways that Krista and I do that.

May God bless you and keep you.

*The photo this week is of my sister, Maria, and her family.

Fatherhood and the Virtue of Justice @ LovingTheChurch.com

Fathers teach kids virtue be their exampleThis week at LovingTheChurch.com I look at the virtue of justice and how it relates to fatherhood and the family.

Follow this link to read the full post – Fatherhood and the Virtue of Justice.

May God bless you and keep you.

Blessed Pope John Paul II: A Model for Husbands and Fathers @ LovingTheChurch.com

Blessed John Paul II holding a childBlessed Pope John Paul II: A Model for Husbands and Fathers

This week at LovingTheChurch.com, I reflect on Pope Benedict XVI’s homily at the Papal Mass on the occasion of the Beatification of the Servant of God John Paul II. The Holy Father’s personal reflections on Blessed John Paul II’s example serves as a model for all husbands and fathers.

The Divine Mercy: A Practical Application for Fathers @ LovingTheChurch.com

The Divine Mercy and FatherhoodThis week at LovingTheChurch.com, The Divine Mercy: A Practical Application for Fathers.

In this post, I reflection on the message of Divine Mercy and how it can be practically applied to fatherhood.

Remember this coming Sunday is Divine Mercy Sunday.

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.