Among the countless joys of working with The Coming Home Network is meeting the many wonderful guests on the Journey Home program. In certain blessed cases, these individuals have become good friends – among them, Randy Hain. I first came to know Randy through our mutual friend Tom Peterson of Catholics Come Home, who told me about an extraordinary web initiative called The Integrated Catholic Life. Deeply impressed, I then learned that Randy was writing a book on – guess what – living our Catholic faith in the workplace! As readers of this blog know, I loved The Catholic Briefcase: Tools for Integrating Faith and Workand would consider starting a fan club for Randy if not for the challenge to his humility!
Given this background, I was thrilled to read an advance copy of Randy’s second book that just came out, Along the Way: Lessons for an Authentic Journey of Faith. It’s a great read, graced with the same humble, practical and authentic approach I appreciate so much from Randy. I had a chance to interview him about the book recently, our conversation follows – enjoy!
Randy: I actually started working on Along the Way before The Catholic Briefcase. It has been a work in progress (much like my faith life!) and I felt the time was right to share it with readers, especially as we are in the Year of Faith. I often transparently share my personal challenges and observations about my faith experiences in my writing and I am hopeful readers will find something of meaning in this new book.
GC: What is the main thing you would like readers to take away from reading the book?
Randy: We are blessed to have a God who loves us and we are made for Heaven, not this world. With these thoughts firmly in mind, I would hope and pray that the reader will find encouragement and practical ideas on how to live out their faith in a courageous and authentic way and connect (or reconnect) to what is true and beautiful about our Catholic faith.
GC: I love the way you share practical tips throughout the book. Are there any particularly hard-won pieces of advice that stand out in your mind?
Randy: Hard-won is a great way to describe them! First and foremost for me was my surrender to Christ at a Mass in 2005 which allowed me to place Him first in my life and put my pride aside. Also, understanding that this surrender and conversion experience needed to be ongoing and that I need to pray for it daily has been a life changing revelation. I am also grateful for the Sacraments, especially the Eucharist and Reconciliation. The powerful gifts of Christ’s body in Mass and the relief I feel after unburdening myself during confession have kept me on track with my faith in ways I may never fully understand, but for which I am truly grateful. Lastly, after saying “no” for the two decades I spent in the spiritual wilderness, I have learned that saying “yes” to Him has made my life immeasurably better. I have much to be grateful for in these powerful lessons!
GC: Do you expect that your non-Catholic friends and business colleagues will be open to what you have to say in the book? Why or why not?
Randy: I think they will be very open! I gave my first book, The Catholic Briefcase: Tools for Integrating Faith and Work, to numerous non-Catholics who enjoyed the book and started using some of the book’s lessons in their own lives. I think Along the Way may be ideally suited as a tool of the New Evangelization. As a former Southern Baptist who experienced two decades of no faith before coming come home to the Truth of the Catholic Church, my conversion story may offer a guide for those interested in learning more about the Church. I will be praying for this to happen!
GC: In the chapter on stewardship, I was struck by your listing of the corporal works of mercy, followed by the line, “Nowhere in the scripture or this list do I see instructions to “write a check” or “donate online.” In today’s world, how can we do a bit better at practicing generosity and detachment?
Randy: I think we start by loving our neighbor. Reach out to those we encounter each day with a spirit of generosity and no strings attached. This generosity may take the form of a friendly greeting, a listening ear, an introduction to your network for a job-seeker or more material support if there is a need. The detachment question is a constant struggle in our society. We are inundated with false messages from the media to buy! buy! buy! in order to attain a happy life, yet material things can never satisfy our hearts. We should spend less time keeping up with our friends and neighbors and put more focus on attaining Heaven.
GC: What’s next for you in terms of your writing? Do you have any future projects in mind?
Randy: Well, in addition to my weekly blog posts for Integrated Catholic Life eMagazine, I have a new book coming out March 1st titled: Something More: The Professional’s Pursuit of a Meaningful Life. The book is a road map of sorts to help professionals get on the right path towards a more meaningful life. Something More is filled with my 20+ years of experiences and observations from working with thousands of professionals and the stories of 15 men and women around the country from various backgrounds who have attained or are trying to attain, more meaningful lives. I am excited about the project and believe it will resonate with anyone in the workforce today.
GC: Thank you so much for taking the time to answer my questions! Is there anything else you’d like to say about the book in order to encourage people to pick up a copy?
Randy: I am grateful for the opportunity to share my thoughts with you. If your readers are looking for a resource filled with practical ideas about living out our Catholic faith and an honest sharing of struggles and lessons learned, Along the Way may be the book they are seeking. Especially in the Year of Faith as we are called to go deeper in our faith, Along the Way can be an ideal companion for the journey.
Thank you Randy! By the way, if you missed it, here is Randy’s Journey Home episode – a highlight from last year.