Pope Benedict XVI: Pontiff of Light

General Audience 2005

My first chance to see the Pope in person and before I had a good camera.

April 19th is a dark day for Oklahomans. It is the day we solemnly remember the Murrah Federal Building bombing in Oklahoma City that killed 168 people including 19 children. On April 19, 2005, I was sitting in my Oklahoma City apartment in a pretty dark state myself. My beloved grandma was becoming chronically sick, and it was tearing me apart because I knew what was coming. I was also 18 months removed from completing my master’s degree and still without a job. The economy was tough. Jobs were too few and too far between. I was unemployed, basically broke, and had nothing to do but watch TV. My life was in a bit of a depressing lull. Continue reading →

Don’t underestimate Pope Benedict’s digital legacy

Over the past few days, I have watched and read pundits and prognosticators try to label Pope Benedict’s pontificate and outline his accomplishments. As the mainstream media is discovering, due to the size of the Church and nature of the Papacy, it is often hard to determine what accomplishments and failures can be attributed to a given pope1.

However, one area of this Holy Father’s legacy that does have definable accomplishments is in new media and the “digital church”. It might be hard and almost laughable to think of an 85-year-old church leader leaving a digital legacy, but what Pope Benedict has done is really quite amazing. Here are four major accomplishments that I point to in order to support this.
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Why I Love My Wife

In a tweet earlier this week, Joel Schmidt from The Practicing Catholic laid out a challenge to married men who write on blogs to celebrate St. Valentine’s Day by spending some time reflecting on the love they have for their wives. I’m still learning this whole blogging thing, but this is one subject that I hope any married man can easily write about.

In my reflections, I figured out something kind of funny, even if very common. Most of the qualities that I most love in my wife, Juliana, are qualities that help counteract some of the qualities that I dislike most in myself. She challenges me in subtle, non-combative ways that make me a better person. With this in mind here are five of many reasons that I love my wife. Continue reading →

A very brief reflection on Pope Benedict’s resignation

I am still a bit shaken by the news this morning of Pope Benedict’s resignation. Obviously, this story has many different layers that time will expose, but for now, I wanted to leave this simple, short reflection on where my affection for “Papa Benny” began.

Pope Benedict XVI is the only Bishop of Rome that I’ve known since becoming Catholic and his writings prior to being elected played a major part in my intellectual conversion. The engagement ring my wife wears was blessed by him during our first trip to Rome just three months after my reception into the Church. We became engaged in St. Peter’s Square on that trip.

While many of my Catholic friends rightfully call Blessed John Paul II “their Pope”, Pope Benedict will likely always hold that title for me.

Stillness: From Advent Lesson to New Year’s Resolution

It’s probably because I’m not good at keeping them, but I’m not much on New Year’s resolutions. I usually try to adjust things as the year goes on rather than keeping to some master list of goals. This year, however, it just so happens that one of the adjustments that I feel I need to make coincides with the New Year.

For much of my life, I’ve joked that I am addicted to worry and anxiety, and while said in jest, it really is true. Sometimes no matter how small or large the worry, I tend to let it consume my thoughts. That has been the case for me the last couple of months. For various reasons, my life has been filled with an unusual amount of anxiety lately. Continue reading →