What’s Left Over Is What Matters

What is it about giving money to the church that always seems to rile up folks? Do people think the parish runs on good intentions? Why is this topic one of the top subjects in the scriptures and one of the most controversial topics even today? To be honest, it has little to do with actual giving, and even less to do with money itself. The reason financial support of the Church…

Keeping The End in MInd

No matter how long any of us live, there’s something about the changing of the calendar that invites us to look at ourselves. Benjamin Franklin once said, “Be at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let every new year find you a better man.” Great quote. And it’s great advice. But, how do you do it? That, my dear ones, takes a perspective adjustment that is deeply embedded…

Give To Caesar What Is Caesar’s

The development of discernment is a central part of your formation as a Christian. Think of discernment as the ability to do critical thinking, but critical thinking that can actually tell the difference between spiritually healthy and spiritually unhealthy choices. This is why the spiritual disciplines of the Church are vital to your spiritual maturity. It isn’t just rule-keeping; it’s the spiritual formation you need to live life as the person you…

BEING Holy!

“Being precedes doing!” I heard the phrase and thought to myself “I’m not sure I understand what that is supposed to mean?” And, as I listened to the speaker longer, my confusion just grew. I think what the professor was trying to say was our actions flow from who we really are. And he was trying to get us to understand that it is the interior battle of slaying the “dragons” inside…

The Gift of Confession

St. John Chrysostom declares “Be ashamed when you sin, not when you repent.” I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had people confide in me that they don’t go to confession because they are ashamed. What a brilliant trick of the evil one! The very medicine that would cure your heart sickness is the one thing you’re most afraid to do. And, of course, folks tell me they don’t want me…

The Word of God IS NOT Fettered!

She looked at me after I’d shared my own struggles as a priest and a leader and she said “Well, father, you chose this life. So, there’s no use in complaining about it!” Ouch! That’ll teach me to be honest and vulnerable to those who haven’t proven themselves able to bear it! But, as much as her words stung, they were also true. I did exercise my will, my freedom to choose,…

Can You Tame Your Tongue?

Soren Kierkegaard once said, “People demand freedom of speech as a compensation for the freedom of thought which they seldom use.” Frankly, I couldn’t list all the times I wish I hadn’t said this or that in my life. My tongue has gotten me in trouble as much or more than it’s gotten me out of trouble! But Proverbs declares “A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of…

A Eucharistic Life!

“All is gift.” This phrase captures both the simple and profound message that embodies the mystery of living a Eucharistic life. You may ask “What does that mean?” And I understand. We moderns are far removed from a world where mystery and wonder and story dominated our human society. And we are impoverished by this reduction of true mystery in our lives. Although, I will say that our modern world is slowly…

Ancient Faith Survey! Take A Look!

Dear Faith Encouraged Family, Faith Encouraged’s ministry Partner, Ancient Faith Publishing, has asked us all to participate in this brief survey for them. I’m asking my friends to participate. This survey takes about 5 minutes, and it will help Ancient Faith Publishing learn what our readers are looking for. The information we’re seeking will inform acquisitions decisions, what books from other publishers are carried in our store, what authors we might approach…

It’s Impossible to Be Saved! Now What?

As uncomfortable as it may sound it’s just impossible for me to be saved. Of course, that begs the question “What do you mean by ‘saved’?” And that is the question, isn’t it? In my old way of thinking being saved meant not going to hell when I died. Or, to put a more positive spin on it, going to heaven when I died. But the more I learn about the fullness…