Difficulties in Prayer

Reading and reflecting on “Guided by the Spirit: A Jesuit Perspective on Spiritual Direction” by Frank J. Houdek, SJ I remember Eugene Peterson once saying that someone wanted to talk to him about their marriage issues.  But before they started, he asked them about their prayer life.  What does prayer have to do with marriage…

Prayer Personality is Real

In all of my years of following Jesus (Christian spirituality), the theme of deserving or proving that I am good enough to be loved by God is a constant in my readings and struggling in my own life.  It is a battle, una batalla.  Why is it so hard to receive and experience the unconditional…

Family Value: Self-Motivated

My childhood required me to be self-motivated and driven. It was in part to survive but also because I wanted something new that I hadn’t experienced before. My wife and I are very self-motivated and driven. This means that we don’t need someone telling us what to do every corner. We do need advice, some…

A Shift In Church is Now Here

A shift in church world is now here. People have been talking about it happening for a while now. But it’s here. The pandemic ushered it in. NOTE: I’m using CHANCE THE RAPPER as an example of someone who is incarnating this model of living. He recently produced a movie and bypassed all the regular…

God’s Self-Revelation and Pastoral Vocations

Some time ago, I had a friend who asked if a family member could call me to discuss chaplaincy (throughout the year, I’ll have a few of these conversations with people who want to know more about corporate chaplaincy). The family member called and shared her interest in the work of the chaplain. As I…

Parenting Ourselves, Faith, and Kids

I love using the end of the year (typically starting late November through the first weeks of January) to assess the previous year and what my hopes and longings are for the following year. Notice I didn’t say GOALS or RESOLUTIONS. My motivation is a lot more focused if I think about my hopes and…

The Lord’s Prayer: OUR and US

 A friend of mine reminded me the other day how communal the Lords prayer is. It is filled with the words “Our” and “Us”. We know that the Spirit of God is at work when there are more signs of community, mutual understanding, and a turning towards God and one another in peace.  This echoes…

The Image of God is the Image of Justice

But you, God of mercy and compassion, slow to anger, O Lord, abounding in love and truth, turn and take pity on me. – Psalm 86 The Lord has made known his salvation; has shown his justice to the nations. Rejoice at the presence of the Lord: for he comes to rule the earth. He…

Morning Prayer

From the Divine Office: (A needed prayer for the rhythms of work) We thank you, Lord, for enlightening us through your Son,— fill us with his light throughout the day.Enlighten us, Lord. Let your wisdom lead us today, Lord,— that we may walk in the newness of life.Enlighten us, Lord. May we bear hardships with courage…

The Art of Dying

When I first started doing ministry and chaplaincy work, I was faced with my own mortality. It didn’t take long for me to learn that death was real. My first funeral I officiated was my baptism into this new reality. I didn’t realize that the person we were honoring that day–that even their death–they were…