Capturing Joy

Capturing Joy

...Let me explain. It is often difficult to maintain a state of happiness and grace the whole day. Happiness deterrents include traffic, screaming children, bills to be paid, deadlines at work, and the constant struggles of living as a Catholic in today’s culture. You would think that these would rob us of our joy. However, joy isn’t necessarily influenced by the constant state of flux in our lives. Christ offers us joy, just as He has from the beginning of human’s existence...

Horses, Marriage & Communication Styles

Horses, Marriage & Communication Styles

...Stonewalling: This communication trait occurs when one of the spouses (usually the male) feels emotionally overwhelmed by the conversation and begins to retreat and shut down.  By stonewalling, one appears to be indifferent about the themes being discussed, but the opposite is true.  The one stonewalling feels criticized to a level where he or she believes the only option is a silent inward retreat.  A healthy couple will recognize signs of this dynamic happening and catch it early.  When stonewalling is present taking a break to calm down is the best option...

Between Stimulus and Response Is the Answer to Anxiety.

Between Stimulus and Response Is the Answer to Anxiety.

...When we become distracted and our minds are preoccupied with the future, it can be very helpful to bring ourselves back to the present, which is where God’s grace is! The future is not yet, and God gives us the graces we need when we need them, and not a moment before. When we think too much about the future we cannot appreciate the present, which is all we really have. The future, when it arrives, will become our present, and if we do not learn to orient ourselves better to the present moment, the future will never arrive. We will end up spending most of our time and energy directed toward something that does not exist and perpetually miss out on what God is trying to give us right now. ..

Two Suggestions for Surviving the Holidays

Two Suggestions for Surviving the Holidays

...On the flip side, when there are things that can be controlled, control them! Anxiety and stress trick us into believing that we have no power over some scenarios, so we must fight the trap to be idle and take charge. “I can control how early I go to bed to ensure I am not exhausted in the morning.” “I can remove myself from the living room if my family is gossiping.” “I can teach my kids the importance of Christmas even if I don’t see my sibling doing so with their children.” We empower ourselves when we take control!..

Jesus: the Wonder-Counselor

Jesus: the Wonder-Counselor

...During their sorrowful journey, Jesus himself approaches and begins to walk with the two.  The Risen Lord is intuitively aware of their negative beliefs of course, but before admonishing them, he asks them to expound further about their distressed state.  What follows is arguably the longest continual one-way dialog anyone has with Jesus in the Gospels (Luke 24: 18-24).  It appears Jesus is simply allowing them to get grief, frustration, and hopelessness out of their system.  Nevertheless, Jesus knew that catharsis alone was not enough to transform these sojourners.  He understood that only by firmly calling them out on their irrational and unsubstantiated beliefs could progress be made....

Musings on the Heart

Musings on the Heart

...Some commented on social media that it is because people are turning to Satan instead of God. At the core of this there is truth, since evil certainly comes from the devil, and evil at times appears to be winning in our world and in our country. Yet this seems to imply that it takes an overt Satan-worshipper to perpetrate such an atrocity. While this might provide a modicum of comfort in a way, since one would have to go to the extreme of uttering some prayers to the fallen angel or pledging one’s being to him, I don’t believe this is necessarily the case. In the Gospel of Mark we are told that evil can have another source as well. “For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery…” (Mark 7:21) It’s a matter of the heart. The heart is a very powerful thing – much more powerful than any gun...

Why do health professionals use diagnosis and do I need one?

Why do health professionals use diagnosis and do I need one?

...A common factor in determining whether or not a diagnosis is warranted includes the individual’s level of functioning.  If academic functioning is falling below expectations and homework time is negatively impacting the functioning of the family (e.g., a 15 minute assignment takes an hour), that’s a good example of when to seek professional help...