Home Alone? You Wish.: 10 Tips for Readjusting to Family Life Over Break

College kids – you did it! Finals are over, you’ve survived the semester, and now it’s time to kick off your shoes, relax, and… move back in with Mom and Dad? Oh, joy to the world, y’all.

You might be psyched to get back to the comforts of home, or perhaps you’re less than excited to leave the dorm behind. The transition of coming home and bunking up with the ‘rents is never easy.

When Children Save Their Parents

I got rocked at Mass this morning while celebrating the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception. For the first time, God revealed to me that Jesus died on the cross for His Mother. I thought Mary never sinned. Why would she need her Son Jesus to save her? Let me explain. “The most Blessed Virgin Mary […]

Fight the Good Fight: The Importance of Affirmation

“You know, when I see these things, I always am reminded of how we need to live our lives. Sometimes I forget that,” my friend told me as we stood in front of the Twelfth Station of the Cross, the station in which Jesus dies upon the tree. “Well we can either be dead fish […]

Just For You

But, yes, I am getting older, and with that age has come a realization of things I took for granted when I was in high school.

As an adult, and even more as a parent of a little boy who is just over a year old, I have come to appreciate all that my parents went through. So, as we sit in between Mother's Day and Father's Day, here's a list of a few things you may not recognize that your parents have done for you:

The Crying Chair

The chair had a problem though. While I could sit in it, drink coffee, talk on the phone, and do homework unaffected, I was the only one. For everyone else, it was the 'crying chair.' Girls that had been frolicking through the hallway singing N'Sync (which was our One Direction) would see that my door was open and, upon entering and sitting down, would burst into tears. I would sit on my standard-issue desk chair and nod, sympathetically, while they poured out their hearts.

The Power of An Invitation

In about three weeks, my wife is going to give birth to our first child. This is beautiful, overwhelming, humbling, and more than anything, exciting.

That Awkward Silence: Sharing Your Faith With Your Family

The reality is that if you live out your faith there will probably be some conflict and moments of very awkward silence. Like that moment when your aunt tells you all the things 'wrong' with your Church . . . or your condescending cousin drills you on Catholic Church teaching and asks why you so 'mindlessly' follow it? Or when your Mom pulls you aside in the kitchen before family dinner and encourages you to avoid talking about certain topics like abortion or politics?

That Awkward Silence: Sharing Your Faith With Your Family

The reality is that if you live out your faith there will probably be some conflict and moments of very awkward silence. Like that moment when your aunt tells you all the things 'wrong' with your Church . . . or your condescending cousin drills you on Catholic Church teaching and asks why you so 'mindlessly' follow it? Or when your Mom pulls you aside in the kitchen before family dinner and encourages you to avoid talking about certain topics like abortion or politics?

Bold Manhood

As a result, 'loving your neighbor' has become more of a general accepting of someone for everything they choose to be and do. This idea is summed up as the great 'virtue' of tolerance. On the surface, it seems like a great and honorable ideal. Everyone can do what they want without being judged and nobody hurts anyone else’s feelings.

Yet we find something radically different in the biblical vision of love. In the gospel of John, Jesus says 'No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends' (John 15:13).

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 . . .

Mother’s Day Bible Verses

How exactly do you thank your mother for being your mother? This year, I wanted to drop some Biblical wisdom that you might want to take to prayer and share with mom this weekend (or anytime, for that matter).

Here are some verses you might want to share within a card or note and some ideas for how you can tie them into a message fo’ yo’ mama . . .

Community Matters

Throughout my life, I've always enjoyed doing things on my own. I couldn't stand group projects. I never enjoyed relay races, and I would rather play Madden '04 on my Playstation against the computer than against another person. So, when I set out to run a marathon, I thought this was going to be another thing I was doing on my own. Once again . . . I was wrong (a recurring theme in my life).

Parents: How to Love ‘em

Let's be real, I think the Lord had teenagers in mind when He came up with the fourth commandment. It's no secret that the teen years are often the hardest when it comes to the parent-child relationship.

But does it have to be that way?

Not at all! When we realize that we have a responsibility to honor our parents, the relationship becomes a lot easier. Here's a little piece of my experience with the 4th commandment.

Friendship and Conversion: Just Jesus and Me

It was a Saturday night and I was completely alone. I had cash in my pocket and gas in my truck but I had no friends ‘Ìâ‰âÂÌâ_ anymore. The phone was not ringing. The silence was a deafening reminder to how 'sad' my social life had become in a very short amount of time. This had never happened to me in my previous three years of high school. My senior year was supposed to be epic! Instead it was growing increasingly lonely and there was only one person to blame: Jesus.

Help for Those Who Struggle Through Father's Day

Being a teenager without the presence of my father was a struggle. I often felt a void, longing for someone who would show me what it was to be a true man of God. As I travel around and meet a lot of teenagers, I know that many young men and women struggle in their relationship with their fathers. For those of you who have a great relationship with your dad, please take some time to honor him this Sunday. For those of you who struggle, here are some thoughts from someone who's been struggling as well.

The Death and Love of My Father

Late in 2010, my dad was diagnosed with cancer. In March of this year his doctors said he only had weeks to live. Suddenly, My Culture, my faith, and my relationship with my dad were all flipped upside down. I held my dad and my siblings as we cried in the hospital room that day. The next 8 days we spent laughing together and acting like it was any other weekend visit. But that time was definitely more special than anything I had experienced. The difference was that this time we were free to pray together and share our faith. The chaos and confusion of the past all seemed unimportant.