Compare and Despair

We all fall into that trap of comparing ourselves to one another. How do we stack up against the competition? Whether we’re measuring ourselves against our siblings, classmates, teammates, best friends, or even total strangers like celebrities, we’re constantly sizing up the competition. Where do I rank? Am I as good as he is at __? Am I better than her at __?

Everyday Evangelization: Locker-bays and Catacombs

The word “evangelization” reminds me of a time I was ambushed in a parking lot. One summer afternoon I was sitting in the parking lot of Starbucks with my windows rolled down, ready to pull out. I had my iced coffee, I buckled my seatbelt, turned on my country music, glanced in my rearview mirror […]

From Bored to Blessed: On Mission with God

I had never seen the Gospel so vibrantly lived out! Every day… Even every meal started with songs of praise. Throughout the day, needy people knocked on the mission base door to seek help. Help for feeding their children. Help for paying their medical bills. Sometimes, just an ear to listen. The missionaries prayed with them and helped them in whatever way they could.

Got Joy?: The Story of the Joker Saint

Philip Neri's prayer life is what kept him so joyful. His entire life became a prayer. He only ate once a day and, even then, it was only bread and water. Though he had a bed, he usually opted to sleep on the floor, without a pillow. He had few possessions, endured great spiritual attacks, and daily, during his intense prayers that lasted hours, it was not uncommon for him to experience ecstasies and visions.

I love a good prank (as long as I'm the one pulling it), and, over the course of my 9-year career as youth minister I pulled a few on the teens. My favorite of all-time took place when our retreat kicked off on a Friday night that also happened to be April Fool's Day: