What Will He Say?: God’s First Word

What would you ask Him? If you had a chance to ask God one question, what would it be? When I was little, I imagined heaven as some eternal question and answer session where we would sit around asking God those impossibly difficult questions that our older siblings couldn't answer.

Do you have room?

In case you haven't seen a calendar, looked at people's front yards, or watched enough of those ridiculous cars-with-huge-ribbons-on-them commercials (because most people we know regularly get a Lexus for Christmas) . . . Christmas is coming soon.

The Church celebrates Advent – a time of preparation – for the four weeks leading up to Christmas. I never really used to get into Advent; it seemed like an unnecessary reminder when we already have radio stations playing Christmas music, Christmas episodes of our favorite TV shows, and those red Starbucks cups to let us know that Jesus' birth is just around the corner.

Do you have room?

In case you haven't seen a calendar, looked at people's front yards, or watched enough of those ridiculous cars-with-huge-ribbons-on-them commercials (because most people we know regularly get a Lexus for Christmas) . . . Christmas is coming soon.

The Church celebrates Advent – a time of preparation – for the four weeks leading up to Christmas. I never really used to get into Advent; it seemed like an unnecessary reminder when we already have radio stations playing Christmas music, Christmas episodes of our favorite TV shows, and those red Starbucks cups to let us know that Jesus' birth is just around the corner.

Take the Risk

This isn't just about dating; I think that a lot of us guys have become so afraid of awkwardness that we never take risks. We're not sure how we might appear if we take a stand for our faith, so we keep silent when the Church is mocked. We know that we're not perfect ourselves, so we feel too hypocritical to challenge someone else for something that they're doing or saying that is wrong.

Long Island Medium: Ghosts, God, and the Church

The show takes a look at Theresa's life as she tries to balance family relationships with her daytime job as a medium, someone who can communicate with the spirit world. She believes that she can communicate with people who have died, so clients come to her looking for closure and answers as they hope to hear from those who have passed away.

It sounds harmless enough. After all, she's just offering help and consolation to people who are still mourning the loss of loved ones, right? What does the Catholic Church say about channeling spirits or communicating with the dead?

Long Island Medium: Ghosts, God, and the Church

The show takes a look at Theresa's life as she tries to balance family relationships with her daytime job as a medium, someone who can communicate with the spirit world. She believes that she can communicate with people who have died, so clients come to her looking for closure and answers as they hope to hear from those who have passed away.

It sounds harmless enough. After all, she's just offering help and consolation to people who are still mourning the loss of loved ones, right? What does the Catholic Church say about channeling spirits or communicating with the dead?

The Answer to Pain

And we know that we're not alone in our questions; suffering is a reality in everyones lives. Especially for us Christians, who believe in a personal God that knows and cares about every detail of our lives, suffering seems to make no sense.

The Answer to Pain

And we know that we're not alone in our questions; suffering is a reality in everyones lives. Especially for us Christians, who believe in a personal God that knows and cares about every detail of our lives, suffering seems to make no sense.

Pray Like a Kid

At some point when I grew up, I stopped praying like a kid. Maybe I was embarrassed to ask God for what I really wanted, or maybe I just wasn't so sure He was able or willing to take care of me. I think one of the reasons that Jesus said that the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to children (Matthew 19:14) is because children still believe in a God who cares about every little detail of their lives. They are still courageous enough to ask for miracles when everyone else tells them to not get their hopes up.

Baby, You’re a Firework… Sort of

But then I thought about it more and I decided that the LAST thing I want to be is a firework. As exciting as they are, fireworks don't really have a long life. There's a high-pitched hum, a crackle, and then a really cool explosion of light that lasts for maybe five seconds.

And that's all there is. Except for the smell of sulfur that lasts for another minute, and the charred out debris that lands somewhere. For all of their glory, fireworks burn out pretty fast. No matter how high they go, no matter how cool the colors are, they're forgotten when the next one goes off.

Have You Heard?

The story we concocted was that Mel's daughter was a high school student who had attended a Steubenville Youth Conference and that she was considering attending Franciscan University the following year. I'll never forget the hope in his eyes when we told him or the profound look of disappointment and betrayal that followed when we admitted a few days later that it was just a joke. Luke's reaction was nothing compared to what was coming . . .

Mary’s List: The 10 Virtues of Mary

How did she do it? How did she manage to remain focused on God while she had the most unique and challenging role in all of human history? And how could I possibly be anything like her, when I get stressed out by the everyday pressures of my comfortable life? Her Immaculate life was so unlike my own awkward existence that I had no idea where to even begin if I was going to try to imitate her.

Do You Feel Like You’ve Failed This Lent?

Then it happened. In a moment of weakness and stress, I found a Coke and failed my annual challenge once again. I was really frustrated. This was supposed to be the year that I finally got it right, the one Lent that I could finally prove to God and to myself that I could do it. I spent a day or two so frustrated that I couldn't bring myself to pray. I couldn't face the God who suffered and died for me when I couldn't give up a freaking soft drink.

Do I Have False Gods in My Life?

Then I realized that I was not much better than those pagan voodoo worshipers.

In my head I know that God was the only one worth my worship, but I still found myself turning to so many other relationships, habits, and even sins to save me when I was overwhelmed and in need of help. I knew that Jesus was my Savior, but often I turned anywhere else but towards Him when I needed to be saved from loneliness, hurt, or boredom.

Relationship: The Answer to Jesus vs. Religion

I have to admit I'm a bit late on this one. I realize that the whole 'Jesus vs. Religion' showdown is sooooo last month, but I think it's worth taking another look at.

Who hasn't thought at one point or another about how great it would be to just have Jesus without all the rules and lists of things we're supposed to do? Why do we need all the rules? Why can't we just have Jesus without all the obligations? Sure, Jesus spoke often about the importance of following His commands (Luke 8:21) but why do we even need religion then? Why do we need labels and definitions? Why can't we just be close to Him and not worry about all the details?