The Paradox For a Happy Marriage

Sacrifice = Joy

Remember: The joy you experience in your marriage is contingent on the amount of sacrifice you're willing to make.

How Do You Define Success?

How do you define success?

This question matters, because how you define it determines whether or not you consider yourself successful or a failure.

If you define success in terms of money, and then you don't make very much money, then you've failed to be successful. If you define success in terms of power or prestige, but you fail to "win friends and influence people" then you'll consider yourself a failure.

But there's another way to measure success. A way much more important (and longer-lasting) than the ones I just mentioned above.

The way of holiness.

Augustine of Hippo was a popular young speech teacher and had an outstanding political career in front of him, but he gave it all up when he became a Christian, and then a religious, and ultimately was made bishop of a town in the middle of nowhere. Through it all he heroically loved and cared for the people God put in his way, and became known throughout the ages as one of the greatest saints in history.

Francis of Assisi tried to be a soldier but got captured on his first campaign. When they finally released him he went home to work in the family business (he turned out pretty bad at that too). But when Francis found his vocation in and through the poor, his message of complete abandonment to Christ spread, continuing all around the world today.

You see, these guys didn't measure success in the temporal. Rather, they measured success in the eternal

And we should, too.

Prayer "Time"

Commit yourself to time, today, with God.

Not in a some generic, "we'll see if I get around to it" kind of way, but in a specific, "10:00am Rosary walk" kind of way.

Could be five or ten minutes. Could be an hour.

Commit. Schedule. Repeat.

How Do You Know?

Knowing Jesus is much more important than knowing about Jesus.

Knowing about Jesus wins the debate.

Knowing Jesus wins heaven.

When You Don't Know What To Say In Prayer

When you want to pray, but don't know what to say, you're in a good place.

Simply, rest. Rest in his love.

Remember, the Lord wants your heart much more than he wants your words.

What We Need

We all need heroes.

And the Church has them in the saints.

The saints aren't just people who live in stained-glass windows. No, the saints are those heroes in the faith whose lives we admire and whose example we imitate because they stir up the best in us. We admire what they did, and pray we can do it ourselves.

That's why a healthy spiritual life will always include a devotion to the saints in general and some special saints in particular.

If you're struggling to find some for yourself, I've listed a few of my favorites below and a link to inspiring resources.

St. (Padre) Pio - Padre Pio: The Stigmatist

Saint Teresa of Calcutta - Beginners Guide To Mother Teresa of Calcutta (Paperback)

Pope St. John XXIII - Journal of a Soul

Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati - A Man of the Beatitudes

St. Rita of Cascia - Saint of the Impossible

How To Get Someone Back To The Church

Invite them.

The best way to bring someone you know back to Mass is to, simply, invite them.

Be specific and personal in the invitation (yes, text or email works). Give them a date and time. Tell them to meet you there or offer to pick them up.

If they decline, give it a week and invite them again.

It's Difficult To Be Selfish When...

It's difficult to be selfish when you're busy being grateful.

Therefore, from morning to evening...

Thank God.

Try This, First.

In addition to sharing the content of the faith with someone - the substance of it - try sharing your experience as well.

In fact, try sharing your experience first.

Tell the story of how the Lord has changed your life, your marriage, your family, your hope for tomorrow and faith for today (even in the smallest of ways), and how The Lord can change theirs, too, if they let him.

"Where Does God Live?"

After dinner the other night my three-year old son Joseph asked me a question.

"Where does God live, Dad?"

I said the first thing that came to my mind: "He lives in your struggles, Joseph." Then he went back to playing with his truck.

Okay, so I went a little deep. But I want my son (and daughter) to learn something from an early age.

Something so many of us fail to realize...

God is not distant from you. He's not "there" when you're doing well, and "not there" when you're struggling. (In fact, some of the wisest saints have said He makes himself even more present during your times of suffering).

Think of it this way, God wants to live in your mess.

No, really; He doesn't want to live in your perfect life, in the imaginary, never-quite-gonna-get-there version that we all dream about. All He wants is all you've got-right here and now.

So invite God into your mess: into your problems and your worries and even the sins you still struggle with. Let Him live there, let Him be present to you there. Then, you might just start to see things different, to see things the way He does, the way He's always wanted us to.

What Humility Is (And Isn't)

What humility is not:
- False modesty
- Poor self-esteem
- Lack of gratitude for God's gifts
- Lying about self

What humility is:
- Genuine modesty
- Gratitude for gifts and opportunities
- Awareness of Divine Providence
- Telling the truth about ourselves and God