Our feelings change constantly; yet, we allow them to control our lives. Knowledge of the truth concerning right and wrong, rather than unreliable feelings is to be the basis of decision-making. Feelings are real but may not be accurate or true. Real and true are not the same when it comes to feelings. Judas felt Jesus could not forgive him; the feeling, while real, was not true.READ MORE
The word religion means relationship. Adam and Eve had a perfect relationship with God who was present as the most perfect, loving Father, giving them everything. Like selfish children, they turned away from their loving Father in disobedience and all future generations have suffered from their prideful disobedience.READ MORE
When questioned, Jesus was clear about divorce: “God created them male and female” (Gen. 1:27) and “The two shall become one flesh; what God has joined together, let no man separate” (Mt. 19:6).
Our toxic culture does not care about God or truth. Instead, the lie is promoted that love is fun, should always feel good and when love becomes work, leave! This has resulted in serial relationships, broken promises, insatiable lust and the victimization of women and children. Sacramentally married Catholics must be aware of and protect themselves from this mentality. The sacramental nature of Catholic marriage means that a man and a woman freely present themselves to Christ and His Church on their wedding day, vowing faithful, fruitful, permanent, exclusive unity and love for life. Christ then becomes a part of their lives in an unbreakable covenant bound together by Him.READ MORE
When questioned, Jesus was clear about divorce: “God created them male and female” (Gen. 1:27) and “The two shall become one flesh; what God has joined together, let no man separate” (Mt. 19:6).READ MORE
"Judge wisely the things of the earth and hold firm to the things of heaven." These words, from a prayer for the second week of Advent, can be difficult to live by in our toxic culture. Scripture says, "The love of money is the root of all evil" (1 Tim 6:10). The right priority is to love people and use money. Unfortunately, we love money and use people. Unnatural desire for money is the worship of an idol and leads to greed, one of the seven deadly sins. God becomes unimportant as materialism, self-indulgent pride and the desire for more money takes over a person's thinking and life. Lottery winners often face bankruptcy, divorce, even jail or suicide. Money is a tool to be used with restraint, wisdom, self-discipline and deferred gratification.READ MORE
Is your marriage filled with peace and joy as Jesus intended? Jesus said, " My peace I give to you, my peace I leave with you" (Jn. 14:27).
Jesus, the Prince of Peace, knows the way to true peace and joy is by living the two great commandments in obedience and selfless love: love God first and then your neighbor, remembering your first neighbor is your beloved spouse. This is the right order of relationships and we live both as a gift of love to both God and spouse.READ MORE
At baptism, parents promise to raise their children in the faith. To fulfill this promise, children attend Catholic school or religious education at their parish. However, these sacrifices are only part of passing on the faith. A true relationship with Jesus is fostered in the home by loving parents who themselves have a real faith lived out in obedient love.READ MORE
Sin is to be confessed to a Catholic priest in reconciliation, not to your children. Well-meaning parents presume if they share sinful behaviors from their own youth with their teen, they will protect them from making the same bad decisions and engaging in the same dangerous behaviors. Sexual sins and substance abuse are terrible chapters in one's life. Teens don't understand their parent's haunting memories of peers who did not survive such behaviors. Teens rationalize, "Mom and dad are good people. They got away with this bad stuff, so will I." Avoid scandalizing your children; don't create an interest in sin that may never have been there before.READ MORE
We live in a secular culture that excludes God and faith. Therefore, parents must be ever vigilant about the influences that can affect their children's love of God, faith in Jesus and obedience to the Catholic Church He founded.
One secular error designed to negatively influence parents and turn children away from Jesus and His Church is that children should be able to make their own decisions about what religion they will follow, including whether they want to practice any religion at all.READ MORE
"If anyone should cause one of these little ones to lose their faith in me, it would be better for that person to have a large millstone tied around his neck and be thrown into the sea" (Mk. 9:42).
Sixty years ago our society adhered to the Ten Commandments. Intact families ate, talked, prayed and went to church together on Sundays. Mothers and grandparents were home most of the day while fathers worked to support their families. Children were raised to love God, respect authority and parents looked to the schools to provide a sound, healthy education. Crime was rare and divorce was for movie stars.READ MORE
"I am the Lord your God. You shall not have other gods before me" (Ex.20:2-3). This commandment is skipped over by well-meaning American families because it is presumed God was referring to pagan cultures that worship nature or handcrafted objects such as animals. However, too many times parents lead their family and innocent children into a kind of fanatical worship of money, prestige, electronics, fashion, celebrities, sports or education. Too much emphasis is placed on material goods, pop culture or education for the sake of wealth. No importance is given to the love and worship of God.READ MORE
God allows mankind to co-create new life with Him in His image and likeness. Catholic parents promise at their child's baptism to raise them to know, love and serve God through faithful obedience to Catholic teaching.
Unfortunately, we have become a secular culture, excluding God and faith. Our Christian identity is challenged every day. Jesus warned us about "The wolf in sheep's clothing" (Mt.7:15) who will always attack the faithful. Parents, be aware of the secular ideas meant to derail your children's faith! Statements such as, "Children should be exposed to everything so they can grow and learn from their experience of the world and not be sheltered" or simply, "Try it, you'll like it" are typical of our culture.READ MORE
Have you ever spoken and said something you wished you hadn't and wanted to take it back? Do you say things to your spouse in anger, frustration or just not thinking that are hurtful, causing rifts between you? "But no one has ever been able to tame the tongue. It is evil and uncontrollable, full of deadly poison" (Jas 3:8). Words are important. God created everything through the power of His Word: Jesus is the Eternal Word made flesh; scripture is the life giving Word of God.READ MORE
Jesus said, "Why do you see the speck in your neighbor's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye. You hypocrite! First take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will be able to see clearly to take the speck out of your neighbor's eye" (Mt 7:3-5). How awful it would be to have Jesus say these words to us at the moment of our death. Each of us is imperfect; complaining about our spouse instead of working on our own personality flaws is hypocritical.READ MORE
"Work out your salvation in fear and trembling" (Phil 2:12). This scripture quote is ignored by those who think salvation is a onetime decision. St. Paul knew that living the life Jesus taught is hard work, hence, this quote. Our toxic culture presents marriage as a fun adventure with a fun partner. The idea that marriage is for sanctification is a foreign concept.READ MORE