From time to time, adjustments are needed in the way we communicate with others. I recall a phase a few years back (when all eight of our kids lived at home) when there was a lot of bickering going on among family members. All of us. Verbal jabs, sarcastic comments, and accusations had somehow become routine forms of communication. But wait, my wife... [Read more...]Saintly Politicians?
I’ve heard lots of commentaries recently by people who are utterly infuriated with politicians. Now, this blog isn’t generally concerned with politics, but I ran across a priceless reflection this week that seems perfectly suited for the times in which we live. As regular visitors to gratefulconvert.com know, the late Fr. Ray Ryland was... [Read more...]Praying for Prodigals
You meet the nicest people while blogging. A great example of this happened just recently. After posting the last installment of my Workplace Witnesses article, I received a very gracious note from a reader who said she liked the section on freewill. She offered to send me her book that deals, among other things, with this topic. I wrote back, and offered... [Read more...]Workplace Witnesses – Part 3
Continued from Part 2… here are more ways our actions can speak louder than words in the workplace. Joy in Tribulations One of my favorite stories in scripture is in Acts chapter 5. The apostles are hauled in front of the Sanhedrin, accused of preaching the gospel. For their troubles, they were flogged. Flogged! Then scripture tells us the most... [Read more...]Workplace Witnesses – Part 2
Continued from Part 1… here are a few ways our actions can speak louder than words in the workplace. Be a Friend I worked with a guy several years ago named Stan, who had grown up Christian but abandoned his faith in favor of Buddhism. It was a bit of an odd relationship. Stan delighted in giving me a hard time about being Catholic, and we had... [Read more...]Workplace Witnesses – Part 1
My wife’s cell phone was just about dead. She really didn’t want a new one, but the battery wouldn’t hold a charge, and it was becoming increasingly difficult for her to call her mom, text our older kids, and perhaps most important – receive calls from her loving husband. That’s why we recently found ourselves reluctantly trudging into the... [Read more...]Thank You, Fr. Ray
I first met Fr. Ray Ryland over twenty years ago. As a new Catholic, perhaps the most striking thing at the time was also being introduced to his wife Ruth. He’s married? And a Catholic priest? How can that be? Boy, did I have a lot to learn. There was this thing called the pastoral provision, and it enabled certain non-Catholic clergy who came... [Read more...]You Want to Convert Me?
I’m a grateful convert, but no one converted me. You may have read about Pope Francis and his recent dialogue with atheist Eugenio Scalfari, founder of La Repubblica. In the published article, the Pope and Mr. Scalfari exchanged comments about whether they would attempt to convert one another. The Pope’s comments on the matter were decisive: Proselytism... [Read more...]Stop Evangelizing Me!
As a kid, it always bugged me when someone was a little too sure about the state of their eternal salvation – and mine. I heard things like, “You haven’t prayed in tongues yet? Be careful when you cross the street…” or “All you need to do is say a little prayer in your heart, and you’re saved!” One way was too hard, another too easy... [Read more...]Baby Steps to Humility
The other day, I was driving home from work and pulled up alongside a pickup truck at a red light. A woman was driving, accompanied by a couple guys in the cab. Nothing unusual, right? Moments later, the light turned green, and I gave my car a little extra gas, since I needed to make a left turn shortly down the road. Much to my surprise, the pickup... [Read more...]