Weekly Blog

The Sacrament…What’s In Them For Me? 

Two weeks ago, we spoke about how most Christians compartmentalize their faith…it’s a Sunday thing, with many of us living the other 6 days of the week devoid of God. In the following week’s blog, we established how God is more loving, knowing, and present than anyone possibly can be in your life.   

Transitioning, I’d like you to imagine yourself a professional athlete or Olympian, or in the arts, i.e., artist, singer/musician, or actor, where you only become your best and most fulfilled in following specific disciplines. You’re wildly successful, fulfilled in the progress you make with all the hard work you put in, further gratified in how you perform in the big game or on the main stage. 

Here’s how that applies to you…while you probably don’t (I don’t) have the notoriety or fame of a superstar athlete or artist, like them you were given very specific and unique gifts and talents from our Lord. Also like them, you were given a special God given purpose for your life and made for greatness. 

What we’ve also established in this series is that in addition to understanding your identity in Christ, knowing your “why”, and embracing and pursuing your talents and purpose, that the only way to live a life of peace, joy, and fulfillment (wanted by all of us), is to avail ourselves to God’s love, grace, mercy, and wisdom. 

Prayer is obviously a big part of the above. So are the Sacraments. Let’s start with the Sunday Mass. Some suggestions. Learn about the Mass. Do an internet search. Buy a book. Mark Hart wrote “Behold the Mystery”…great read. Dr. Scott Hahn has written books on the Liturgy….very good as well. The Mass came alive for me once I understood all the Mass parts. Some other things: 

  • Get a Mass Journal and take notes, especially related to the Homilies. 
    • You become an active listener, not being distracted…noting what’s important to you
    • There’s always a nugget for future reference. Regardless of your past experience, there’s always something in the Homily or Readings worth noting. Try it.  
  • Pray through the Mass parts. I say this following the consecration of the bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Jesus…”My Lord, My God, Jesus Christ, body, blood, soul, and divinity, come into my mind, heart, body, and soul”.  
  • Sing…worship our Lord – singing is praying twice. 

Doing all of these things will make you more engaged. The more engaged you are, the more you’ll get out of the Liturgy. Try it. Another thing to try is going to Mass more than just on Sundays. Now going daily, I love the simplicity of the daily Liturgy. There’s a beauty to it. Everyone knows one another…great community. Receiving the Eucharist daily strengthens me spiritually and emotionally. Try it if you can…you may be surprised. 

Speaking of the Eucharist, one thing I didn’t mention last week…for me tying prayer to the Eucharist. While the specific place isn’t critical, I’d suggest picking a place and time you can do it daily…setting your watch to it, just like how you schedule your meals or possibly your workouts. The place I love to pray is in Church, prior to daily Mass, in front of Jesus in the Eucharist. It’s always my best prayer time. 

There’s a story of a Peasant from Ars, France, who daily prayed in front of Jesus in the Eucharist, exposed in the Monstrance. When asked about it he responded, “He looks at me and I just look back at Him”. It can be that simple. Jesus wants nothing more than for us to be in relationship with Him…pray as you’d like. He loves it all.  

Confession – I feel sorry for our non-Catholic Christian brothers and sisters, who don’t have this Sacrament. Going to Confession only sparingly prior to my conversion, my first afterwards was life changing. With me a blubbering mess, Fr. Steve was so kind, patient, loving, and “in Christo” forgiving. It was so cleansing and freeing. While the Church indicates that we need to go at least annually, I now go monthly…thank God!!!  

If you would have told me 15 years ago that the Sacraments would change my life, I would have said you’re crazy. Well, they have. Not only have I grown spiritually, but I’m a better husband, father, son, brother, friend, and mentor. My faith has also been instrumental in me honing my talents and fulfilling my purpose. Lastly, my faith, our God, is critical to me living a life of peace, joy, and fulfillment. Praise God!!!!

As always, please email me at with any questions, comments, concerns, suggestions (of future blog posts or other), or prayer requests. 

God Bless you on your Path to Peace, Joy, and Fulfillment!!!

Remember…God made you for Greatness!!!

Mark Joseph

News Weekly Blog

Our Biggest Fan and Supporter

Consider this. What if you had someone in your life who knows you so intimately, that He knows all of your gifts and talents, faults and failings? He knows you so well and has so much experience that He knows what you should be doing with your life… what your purpose is, how your gifts should be leveraged. He loves you so much that He doesn’t care if or how much you fail, always there for you, helping pick you back up and learn lessons of life. Lastly, this person loves you so much that He spends endless time with you, relentlessly investing, daily helping, virtually guaranteeing you success.

After presenting the above, I ask “who would like to spend as much time with this person as possible?” I then add, “I have some bad news and some good news”. 

  • The bad news first…there’s not a person on this earth who meets that criteria. No one. 
  • The good news…the only One who can do that for you is the person of Jesus Christ, God His Father, and the Holy Spirit, who dwells in each of us.

We just established how much God loves you, how He knows you better than anyone else, and is always there for youall loving, all knowing, ever present.  The way we talk to God, availing ourselves to His love, mercy, wisdom, and grace is through Prayer, which is critical to our living a life of peace, joy, and fulfillment.  

I’d like to share some things about prayer that changed my life. I’ve always said rote prayers, first learning the Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory Be prior to my First Communion, if memory serves me. To that list I’ve added the Serenity Prayer and a prayer I wrote in 2009 titled, Thank you God, Thank you Jesus. The difference between then and now is how I say them. Always starting with the Our Father, I often have to repeat it several times to slow my mind. I then pray through each of those prayers very slowly, hanging on and praying through every single word. My prayer life has changed in praying this way. BTW, in terms of the time it takes, I do it in the shower every morning. 

I give credit to Dynamic Catholic’s Matthew Kelly for this next prayer tip. He refers to it as the Classroom of Silence, 10 minutes a day. He suggests taking Jesus a challenge, an issue, or a desire, something that you want help with. You then fully explain it to Him, detailing the alternatives you’re considering. You articulate all your ideas, listing the pros and cons. Then ask, “Lord, what should I do?” Sit in silence and you’ll be surprised at the results. It’s worked for me for a long time now. 

With so many ways to pray, the above is just a sampling. You choose what’s best for you. Happy to provide you with additional options if you’re interested. The thing to remember is this…God loves you more than you’ll ever know, no matter what you’ve ever done. More so than anyone in human history, God loves you, knows you, and is always there for you. It is only in going to Him, availing ourselves to His love, mercy, grace, and wisdom, that we can live true lives of peace, joy, and fulfillment. 

As always, please email me at with questions, concerns, comments, or prayer requests. 

God Bless you on your Path to Peace, Joy, and Fulfillment!!!

Remember…God made you for Greatness!!!

Mark Joseph

Weekly Blog

Do You Compartmentalize Your Faith?

Here’s the thing, most of us Christians compartmentalize our faith, doing it on Sunday and living our lives without considering God much the other 6 days of the week. My lived experience is that there is a very practical reality to our faith. Recognizing and embracing our God given talents, understanding and pursuing our God given purpose, brings us the peace, joy, and fulfillment we all strive for. 

There’s a practical way of getting there. Consistent with God’s call on our lives, which comes from the Great Commandments and Great Commission, both from Scripture, we need to understand our “why”. You may have heard of Simon Sinek, author of Start with Why and Find your Why. Simon writes and speaks about our “why”, as opposed to our “how” or “what”. He indicates that our “why” is what motivates us, gets us up in the morning, drives us, and keeps us going. 

In addition to his books, you can find YouTube videos by Simon on how to develop your “why”. I can send you a document that will guide you through the process, should you desire. Just email me. I’d recommend watching The Golden Circles, where Simon describes the concept:

Having gone through Simon’s process, my “why” is to share the unconditional love of Jesus Christ and the lessons God our Father taught me with as many people as possible, so that they can live lives of true peace, joy, fulfillment, and find their greatness. I’d invite and encourage you to understand your “why”.

The next step in the process is to understand your talents, your unique gifts, given to you by God. Should you desire, there are several tools that you can use to determine your talents, motivations, personality types. You may have heard of: 

  • StrengthsFinder
  • DISC
  • Myers Briggs
  • Predictive Index

There are many more. No matter how inane the questions seem, the assessments always peg you. My talents from StrengthsFinder are:

  • Activator
  • Achiever
  • Arranger
  • Relator
  • Responsibility

My motivations from MCODE are: 

  • To Overcome
  • Bring to Completion
  • Make an Impact

These are secular assessments, which is intentional on my part. I think most often we dismiss Church stuff, believing in the secular…after all, it’s what we experience in helping us in real life. I think it’s marrying the two, Faith and Reason, where we find our Greatness. Two authorities on this are St. Albert the Great and St. Thomas Aquinas. BTW, God created it all. 

Regardless of whether you’ve done assessments like the ones I just mentioned or not, I’d suggest taking this to prayer. Pray through what you believe your talents to be. Make a list, writing them down. Think through the things that you’re good at. God made each of us with specific and unique talents. The things that you really enjoy would be a good indication. Then listen for His voice…what’s God putting on your heart

Then do the same for your desires, the things that you like to do, desire to do, or achieve in your life…big things, little things, short and long-term. What mark do you want on this world? Again, listen for God’s voice…what’s He putting on your heart

Do the same thing for your needs. You may categorize them as the physical, emotional, spiritual, intellectual, and even financial. Again, make your list and pray through them. 

In addition to the above, I’d suggest discussing these things with others…advisors, mentors, those you can trust. Ask them to speak into them. 

Marrying these things…your talents, desires, and needs to your “why” will give you your God given purpose…the “what” and “how” to your life. Next week, we’ll learn how we hone those talents and find our greatness. 

As always, please email me at with comments, concerns, questions, and prayer requests. 

God Bless you on your Path to Peace, Joy, and Fulfillment!!!

Remember….God made you for Greatness!!!


Mark Joseph 

Weekly Blog

The Missing Ingredient 

Conversion is not a one-off event. While the initial moment of conversion may have been very powerful for many of us, the reality is that conversion takes place over a period of time and sets us on a journey to becoming who we’re meant to be. The next critical step on the journey is healing.

We all need healing. Regardless of who we are or what our experiences have been, we carry wounds. There are tragedies we’ve endured, hurts we’ve experienced, and fears we’ve lived with, all contributing to the wounds we’ve allowed to build up over time. If we truly want to live a fulfilling life, we need to allow ourselves to heal, and that takes some work. The first step is to let it all go, which is much easier said than done. The process of healing is some of the heaviest lifting you’ll do on this journey. It requires a lot of self-reflection and vulnerability. It means examining your faults and failings, your character flaws, your weaknesses. It often means asking for help.  

Why Forgive?  

It isn’t easy, yet refusing to forgive keeps us stuck in old patterns of self-loathing, fear, and resentment — all of those things that keep us feeling overwhelmed by life. Not forgiving leaves us stuck in the past. It causes emotional, physical, and spiritual issues. Forgiveness is first of all for our benefit, not the benefit of anyone who hurt us. It is only when we forgive that we can be free from the pain and hurt of the past. Forgiving helps us to grow. It is empowering. 

For me, the biggest challenge in forgiving others was owning up to my role in the situations that had hurt me. Coming to terms with that responsibility required a hard look in the mirror. To finally begin to forgive others in my life, I had to go through a process, which included first forgiving myself. Not easy, it took time. Thankfully, God was there to help me through it, just as he will be for you.


Forgiveness Begins with You

Forgiveness isn’t just about forgiving others. We also need to forgive ourselves, which often is the first step. Not forgiving yourself for past mistakes, constantly beating yourself up for them is exhausting.  

Refusing to forgive ourselves basically says that Jesus’ sacrifice was a waste of time. God forgives all, so if I refuse to forgive myself, I place myself above God. Our identity is who we are as God’s creation, put on this earth out of his love, restored through his Son’s sacrifice, made to be great and to live for his glory. 

None of this came quickly. I went from beating myself up several times an hour to once an hour. Then to every eight hours, then twenty-four hours, to every couple days,, and once a week. It was a process and a slow one. With all the progress I’ve made, I still occasionally go to that dark place, albeit rarely. If it’s slow for you, too, that’s okay. Just take it one day at a time, be patient with yourself, and continually renew your trust in God’s love.

Why Forgive Others?

When we’re caught up in seeking validation and love from other people, it can be really tough to forgive. The more we can rest in the conviction that God loves us, the easier it becomes to understand that other people’s faults and failings are owned by them and not a reflection of us. The fact is, most often people who hurt us aren’t maliciously attacking us, but dealing from a place of their own inadequacy and their own wounds. The more we can understand God’s love for us and for those who hurt us, the easier it becomes to let go of resentment. 

Although at times we will express it verbally, that doesn’t mean we have to say, “I forgive you” for it to count. And forgiving someone doesn’t mean condoning or endorsing their behavior. They can truly be in the wrong and you can (and should) still forgive them. Given my experience, there’s a freedom to doing it. It brings about peace, even joy. 

I hope all this helps. There’s so much more to say on this subject, with me dedicating an entire chapter to it in my book, including a powerful story about the process I went through. 

As always, please email me at with any questions, comments, concerns, or prayer requests. 

God Bless you on your Path to Peace, Joy, and Fulfillment!!!

Remember…God made you for Greatness!!!


Mark Joseph