Weekly Blog

What Does the Church Know? 

Last week I asked you to imagine yourself a professional athlete or Olympian, or an actor, musician, or artist, pointing to the disciplines needed to excel. I then related that to our talents and purpose, making the point that the only way we find our greatness and live lives of peace, joy, and fulfillment, is to avail ourselves to God’s love, grace, mercy, and wisdom. We do so all 7 days of the week (not compartmentalizing our faith) in knowing our identity in Christ…knowing His unconditional love. We also do it in relationship with Him, the Holy Trinity, which is through prayer and the Sacraments. 

I’m hopeful that those connections ring true to you. They do to me and have changed my life. 

With me knowing my identity in Christ, knowing His unconditional love, in embracing my talents and purpose, I’ve developed a deep thirst to grow in faith. The longest 12” in the world is between the head and the heart…we need both on this spiritual journey

  • The heart feeds the mind as guided by the Holy Spirit
  • We can’t be catechized until we’re evangelized. 

Related, believe it or not, it’s only following what the Church teaches(disciplines), that you’ll find peace, joy, and fulfillment. What we’ve not discussed yet is the what the Church has to offer us in this regard. Tons of things can be found within the Church proper and other places:

  • Holy Scripture – so many ways to read and pray through it
  • Catechism of the Catholic Church – rich with historical perspective and information on our faith; comes in several forms
  • Encyclicals by our Popes, documents by Doctors and Fathers of the Church
  • Books by Scripture Scholars and Theologians…hundreds of years old to current day  
  • Faith-based books like mine, where the author has a significant spiritual experience(s) and wants to share it to help others 

Where to Find this Stuff

In today’s world, it’s not just books. There are videos, podcasts, blogs, vlogs, websites, social media posts, internet searches, conferences, virtual events, seminars, webinars, video conferences, Parish Missions, Retreats, teaching series, individual talks, online and on ground education, including graduate level, certificates, certifications, and more…I’m sure I’m missing something. You name it and you can avail yourself to it…really anytime day or night. 

No matter who you are, you can find things that speak to you. There is so much out there, on so many topics related to our faith, those that:

  • Feed the heart 
  • Feed the mind

“Back in the day”, I used to follow Zig Ziglar, famed sales trainer and motivational speaker, who said that by listening to cassette tapes (aging myself) for 30 minutes a day, you could gain a master’s degree in 2 years. Although I’m not sure exactly how true that is, I’ve also heard that reading just 15 minutes a day can change your life. I read 45-60 minutes a night and I believe it has changed mine. Consistent with our current times, I think that applies to listening and watching too…good stuff that helps form yourself into being your very best. 

There’s an expression…you can judge the character of a person by the books he/she reads and people he/she associates with. Prior to my conversion, I read books on wealth creation and management, leadership, organizational health, sales and sales management. I hung out with a bunch of guys that wanted to make gobs of money. Today I read mostly faith based books and surround myself with brothers in Christ. 

I believe all the answers to life are taught by the Church and can be found in Scripture. We’ve covered a small part of it here. Keep looking though. The more I learn, the more I find I want to learn. And one thing I’ve learned is this. We know the end of the story. We know that Jesus won victory for us. What many don’t know is that not only are we made for greatness, but…there is a practical reality to living that greatness all 7 days a week, instead of compartmentalizing our faith. 

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

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

Weekly Blog

Three Ways to Strive, Not Just Survive

Have you ever felt stuck? Like you can’t get any movement? Make any progress? Do you have an interest in how you might change that? How you might excel, thrive?

Before we identify the three ways to thrive as promised in the title of this blog, let’s establish something foundational. Bear with me. All of the following is truer than true:

  • God loves you more than you’ll ever know, no matter what you’ve ever done.
  • He loves you unconditionally and forgives you unconditionally.
  • He is our creator, knowing you better than anyone else can.
  • God made you with special gifts and talents, with a very specific and divine purpose.
  • He, more than anyone, knows what will make you happy and fulfilled, what will provide you with peace and joy.

Add to the above that His message is incredibly compelling, as demonstrated in Scripture, the Sacraments, the Saints, and so many great books that speak to the heart and/or the head.

Question – who in your life, with the above attributes, would you not want to be communicating with on a regular basis? For me, anyone who knows and cares for me that much, and can offer me so much, I want to be talking to as much as possible.

So now, the three ways to thrive, not just survive:

  1. Prayer
  2. Sacraments
  3. Scripture and Faith Based Books

Please stick with me here. Each can change your life….really.


Just 10 minutes a day…take whatever is on your mind to our Lord, i.e. challenges, desires, dreams, relationship issues…whatever. Start out by describing to Jesus what it is you want to solve for…

  • Explain the situation, followed by defining your ideas related to it.
  • Identify all that you know or are thinking to Jesus, including any proc and cons.
  • Pose any questions you might have to Him and then in silence, listen for His voice in your heart, His Will for what you might do.

Guess what, the above really works. Whenever I do it, which is quite often, Jesus helps me in figuring out my challenges, desires, dreams, relationship issues, typically bringing to mind something I hadn’t previously thought of.

Interestingly, the secular world tells us how good meditation is, how much it can help to visualize or exercise real forethought for something. My suggestion is the same, while bringing God into it, the One who knows and loves you more than anyone else in your life.


The Sacrament of Reconciliation (Confession) has become a very important part of my faith journey. Going monthly (sometimes I slip to every 6-8 weeks, although rarely), it is so gratifying to talk to someone confidentially, the Priest who is in Christo (the person of Christ), about the challenges I’m having. Going to the same Priest on a regular basis allows me to discuss with him the progress or challenges I’m having. Then, receiving absolution is this feeling of being cleansed…creating a new beginning, by the Grace of God.

Over a year ago, I began going to Mass daily.  There is something about the simplicity, the Liturgy of the Word and the Liturgy of the Eucharist. And it’s special to me to receive Jesus, His body, blood, soul, and divinity every day in Holy Communion. My first prayer immediately afterwards is always “come into my heart, mind, body, and soul”. What a great and fortifying way to start each day.

Reading Scripture and Faith Based Books

There’s an expression, “it’s one thing to know the Bible, it’s another to know its Author”. The only way to know God our Creator, Jesus who died on the Cross for our sins, and the Holy Spirit, who dwells within each of us, is to read and pray through Scripture. Yes…some of it is dry, but so much of it is intriguing and inspiring.

The other way to grow in your faith and as a person is to read good faith-based books. There are SO MANY good ones that feed the heart and the head. In addition to mine (I know…self-serving), I list several recommendations in my book, which are listed here.

  • Jason Evert, Saint John Paul the Great, His Five Loves (Ignatius Press, 2014)
  • Miriam James Heidland, SOLT, Loved As I Am: An Invitation to Conversion, Healing, and Freedom through Jesus (Ave Maria Press, 2014)
  • Matthew Kelly, Rhythm of Life: Living Every Day with Passion and Purpose (Matthew Kelly, 1999)
  • Michael Scanlan, Let the Fire Fall (Servant, 1986)
  • Deacon Keith Strohm, Jesus: The Story You Thought You Knew (Our Sunday Visitor, 2017
  • Rev Rick Warren, Purpose Driven Life (Zondervan, 2002)
  • Jacques Philippe, Searching for and Maintaining Peace (Alba House, 2002

Or pick another. Reading just 10-15 minutes a day (I’d suggest right before you turn out the lights at night) will be so impactful….it can change your life.

You do these three things and I GUARANTEE that you will thrive, not just survive.

As usual, please feel free to get back to me with your comments, questions, or concerns.

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

Mark Joseph