Tag Archives: discipline

On Folding Underwear, Running a Marathon and Prayer

My first published article on Catholic Lane has been posted today!

I fold my underwear. That is probably an overshare, so please forgive me. I also fold my socks, but I doubt that makes me unique, because folding socks makes sense, but underwear? What’s the point?!

I have often had that discussion in my head and with my wife (especially when we were first married and she was not a “fold the underwear” girl) and the truth is that the main reason I do it is because that’s the way I always did it. My mom grew up as the daughter of a WWII soldier who brought the practice home and it’s the way she always did it, so it became the way I always did it, too. But why?

It was just last week that I finally got my answer.

Read the rest on Catholic Lane and don’t forget to visit the the neighbors while you are there.

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Posted by on March 16, 2011 in Discipline, Prayer, Virtue


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Our Lenten Journey: Struggle and Satisfaction

Our Lenten Journey: Struggle and Satisfaction

I love the season of Lent! Not that I’m very good at keeping its three tenents of fasting, prayer and almsgiving and not that those three things are meant to be “fun,” but the season of Lent just forces us to sit back and reflect (one of my favorite things to do when I get the chance) and the chances to partake in fasting, prayer and almsgiving become that much more available. So, perhaps, it seems, for at least 40 days, I get to participate more fully in the action of the Church, both local and universal. I feel more connected and the Church seems so much more vibrant.

Blogs become especially rich sources for spiritual development, the USCCB establishes and maintains an entire section of its website dedicated solely to the season, our Holy Father’s weekly addresses are geared specifically to the season, local parishes have mission breakfasts and mission speakers to offer the adults in the parish the rare chance to be more fully educated in the faith, and, of course, the sacrament of penance is offered in much more generous chunks of time and the weekly Friday “Stations” are prayed in nearly every parish. The whole church around the world gets keyed in and unifies its vision, all preparing for one event, THE event: Easter.

And yet, given all this, I believe I am attracted by Lent for still other reasons and the main one is that Lent is filled with struggle, in fact, spiritual battles (as shown in the original Latin of the Collect during the Ash Wednesday Mass)! Perhaps, in a way, I feel like this season is especially geared toward my naturally masculine approach to the faith. I like it when things are difficult, when I have to struggle and fight and hold on with all my might just to make it through because in the end, I will know what I put into it and the satisfaction will be so much more worth it. And what I’ve also found is that, when we constantly struggle to hold onto Christ, His grasp on us becomes that much stronger. When we recognize this season as a particular opportunity to struggle and fight for Christ, we open ourselves to the realization that Christ is constantly struggling and fighting for us. He yearns for us and it is in the season of Lent when I feel a true yearning for Him, a yearning which will be fully satisfied once again on Easter Sunday!

UPDATE: Fr. Martin Fox, a priest of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, has some notes from his great homily  on this topic this past Sunday!

I addressed a point to men, specifically: you have sisters, girlfriends, wives, mothers, daughters. Would any of you turn to them and let them go into battle in your place? Of course you wouldn’t. Yet notice that is exactly what Adam did in the first reading. He stood there while his wife was under assault and said, and did, nothing. How different it might have been had he simply spoken up! Men, you are here; you recognize your spiritual responsibilities and I commend you. But we know that when we gather for Mass or other prayer, a lot of our men are absent; they are letting others go into combat in their place.

So, my prayer for us is that our Lenten journeys be blessed with struggles and temptations so that we might be faced with the daily opportunity to choose Christ and to go into battle with Him! 

We adore you, O Christ, and we praise you, because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.

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Posted by on March 15, 2011 in Discipline, Prayer


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Learning to be Joseph

The first post on a blog is probably the most difficult. I suppose it is a lot like writing the first page of a book. Often times you have a good sense of what you want to do with the book and you know the story that you want to tell, but how to begin? (That’s how I imagine it to be anyway.)

That’s the feeling I’ve got today, and yet here I am and here you are, reading the ramblings of a man who probably needs more help than you in learning and living like the first Catholic Dad on the history of the planet, St. Joseph.

Perhaps that’s not an accurate portrayal. We all know that St. Joseph died before the Catholic Church was officially established, but I have to think that St. Joseph understood who his son was and why he was there. I think he bought into the message of the Savior long before it would be realized in the death and resurrection of his adopted son. This account of his happy death points to this reality, too.

So, who is St. Joseph? In my eyes St. Joseph imbues the qualities that every earthly father should have: humility, wisdom, strength, discipline, perseverance, faith, hope and, above all, love. He lived his life with great temperance and obedience to the will of God. He was a man of great prayer and knowledge of the scriptures (how else would he be able to understand the importance of this “child born of a virgin”) and it was these things which fueled and guided him everyday. He was a great teacher and strove diligently to pass on his faith and his trade to his only son. He cared for and provided for his family and endured great hardships without complaint.

In a word, he is our model and our guide, helping us on our path to sainthood and into the way of life God asks of each of us. So, stick around and join the conversation as we all try our hand at learning to be Joseph!


Posted by on March 11, 2011 in Discipline, Prayer, Virtue


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