Certain things in life seem common to all men. The physical things are the most obvious: we all need to eat and to sleep, and we all need shelter. But on perhaps even more important levels of psychology, emotion, and spirituality, we need peace, love, truth, and consolation. On one of the most basic levels of humanity, we need someone to put his or her hand on our shoulder and comfort us…
Hello from the Gowans’ family! – Dad Bob, Mom Andrea, son Hugh (age 9), daughter Lauren and twin brother Leo (age 7), and beloved cats Mr. Kitty and Stella. We live on a 300 acre ranch with a vineyard, fruit orchard, pecan trees, chickens, fishing pond, a John Deere tractor, four wheelers, and all the accoutrements that come with living out in the country. Our town’s public schools are rated among the best in the area. Families from neighboring towns vie to have their children transferred into our public schools. There is a Catholic elementary school in the next city, and there are a number of excellent private schools. Our family chooses a different path. We choose to homeschool…
I’m a cradle Catholic, born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland, the premier archdiocese of the United States. Here, when someone asks, “Where did you go to school?” they mean which Catholic high school you attended (e.g. – Mount de Sales, Cardinal Gibbons, St. Joe, etc.), rather than which college or university. Baltimore is a big-small-town, and its Catholic community even more so.
In these difficult times in our country and in our families, when fathers are losing jobs and events around us are causing societal turmoil, we might consider a true story told by Archbishop Thaddaeus Kondrusiewicz.
Christmas is a time to reflect on the incredible willingness of the Son of God to hide His divine glory (but not give up His divinity) in order to become a man in this earthly world. He became a man because He desired to sacrifice His life for us, a sacrifice that opened the gates of Heaven for us so that we may attain eternal happiness with Him. The fact that He allowed Himself to be born of Mary and to grow up as a child was also part of the infinite love He has for us, a love that reached to His sufferings and death on the Cross.
One of the greatest of Catholic poets, Gerard Manley Hopkins, S.J., is best known for his appreciation of the beauty, variety, and individuality (“this-ness”) of God’s creation. As a poet he saw God’s hand everywhere in nature and in human nature. As he wrote in one of his poems, “Christ plays in ten thousand places”: in the world above of stars and sky (“Look at the stars! look, look up at the skies!”); in the world below of the changing seasons (“Nothing is so beautiful as Spring”); in the kingdom of animals and plants, the “brute beauty” of powerful birds like the windhover and of stalwart stallions, and the delicate beauty of the bluebell (“I know the beauty of Our Lord by it”); and in the realm of human nature, whose wonderful diversity and richness he compares to the abundance of tastes and aromas that enhance the art of cooking.
We would first like to pause and briefly reflect on some significant aspects of Mary’s personality, which offer all believers valuable guidance in accepting and fulfilling their own vocation.
January brings a promise of a new year, of a new chance, of remembrances and resolutions. So if you’re in the process of looking for resolutions as a Catholic father, I’d suggest one more: develop a devotion to St. Joseph. Develop a personal relationship with St. Joseph, because as Catholic fathers, we will find no better friend.
There is a book and a movie called God is My Co Pilot, about Col. Robert L. Scott’s duty in China during World War II. The name of the book indicates Col. Scott’s recognition that God helped him during the war. This theme can be adapted for the US Navy and its graduates from the US Naval Academy at Annapolis, MD, even today. Hence, the title of this essay is a modified version of the title of Col. Scott’s book.