Weekly Blog

What’s the Answer?

This kicks off our monthly posts, which we’ll endeavor to get out the first Wednesday of every month. Consistent with the past, we’ll cover real life stuff, relating it back to our faith. Today’s topic…the significant challenges of our world and the answer to it all. 

Are you a “glass half full” person or “glass half empty”? How do you typically see the world? The circumstances around you? Do you experience challenges as opportunity? Or is everything a crisis, a problem that needs solved? What about your view of the world? Our country? How does what is going on in our communities effect you? Are you nervous about it? Or although a concern, it’s nothing to really lose sleep over. 

I don’t know about you, but I see our current world as being in a bad place. Starting with our country, crime and violence have skyrocketed. Deaths from overdoses are through the roof. Depression and addiction are at all-time highs. There’s a homeless crisis in numerous cities. Regardless of what you may think of immigration, you have to admit that we have no idea who’s entering our country along the southern border, by the tens of thousands. It’s a safety concern, not to mention how the vast numbers are stressing our local governments. 

Inflation is out of control. Gasoline is way more expensive than just 2 years ago. With a couple banks having failed, there’s a lot of uncertainty. Recession is probable. There’s a huge shortage of workers, with many having left the labor market. There are supply chain issues, causing shortages of some products. We have an overreliance on China, which has shown itself to be our adversary.   

Then there’s all the geopolitical stuff…challenges around the globe, including China, North Korea, Iran, and Russia. Just two years ago, who would have imagined war in Europe…there doesn’t seem to be an end to the Ukraine conflict. Or such instability in so many places? It’s nuts.  

If paying attention, the above (and more…my list is brief) can really bring you down. It can depress you. One answer may be to ignore it…don’t watch the news; don’t read the articles. I have a couple friends who practice this approach and it seems to work. For me, I prefer being in the know. Once a real political junky, I can’t imagine tuning it out completely, although I watch and read less about it than I used to. 

And I’ve not even mentioned the personal struggles we all have, that are a part of everyday life. 

The Only Answer

Jesus, Jesus, Jesus…our Lord and Savior. The answer, my answer is Jesus. If I didn’t have my faith, I don’t know what I’d do. There are so many thoughts, expressions, and principals I could include here. That said, it’s all about the love of Jesus; the glory and grandeur of God; the strength given us by the Holy Spirit, who dwells within us. 

All the things that are happening globally and locally, even to us personally…God’s got it. Although He doesn’t create it, especially the evil, God isn’t surprised by it. He’s bigger than all of it. God’s love, His Son’s love is bigger than we could ever imagine. The Holy Spirit is there for us day by day, every hour and every minute. 

There’s a difference between knowing the above intellectually and experiencing a real peace in your life. I believe it begins with understanding and internalizing the unconditional love of Jesus Christ, followed by being heavily engaged in our faith. To me, that includes having an active prayer life and participating in the Sacraments, particularly the Eucharist and Confession; reading Scripture and other faith based books. All of it helps me in staying closer to God and being at a place of peace. 

Do I still worry at times? Yes. Do I not sleep at night periodically? Yes. Those are the times when I double down on prayer. We live in a crazy and scary world, but thank God for God. The only answer is Jesus.  

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

So You Want to Fix the World…?

I thought this week I’d share a story I’ve heard before. I love its message. It goes as follows.

A father is preparing for a meeting, needing a couple hours of quiet time, when his son, a 10 year old, comes into his study, wanting to play. The father encouraged his son to go play outside, but the son returned. The father saw a magazine on the table with a picture of the world on it. He picked it up, ripped off the cover and tore it into many, many pieces. He handed it to his son, encouraging him to piece together the hand-made puzzle, thinking he bought himself a couple hours.

The son went into the other room and spread all the pieces on the floor. He wasn’t familiar with the world and as such, had no idea how to put the puzzle back together. One of the pieces got turned to the other side and the boy noticed the picture of a hand. He then proceeded to turn over all the pieces, guessing that possibly they would create the picture of an entire person.

 Photo by Sharon Snider from Pexels


The boy assembled the puzzle, knowing what a person looks like. He then got some clear tape to ensure that all the pieces stayed in order. He placed a piece of paper over the “person” puzzle, then turning it over, exposing the picture of world, perfectly put back together. All of this took him all but 10 minutes.

The boy rushed back into his dad’s office, incredibly excited about what he did. Looking at his watch, his dad was amazed. Knowing that his son couldn’t possibly know how the world would fit together, he asked how he did it so quickly. His son explained finding the picture of the hand, then turning over all the pieces, followed by assembling the puzzle of the person. He then explained how he taped it and turned it over, showing the world assembled perfectly.

Absolutely amazed, the dad expressed his incredible pride in his son, hugging him and telling him so. The father said, “Son, how in the world (no pun intended) did you figure this out?” The son then responded, “Dad, I figured if I took care of the person, the world would take care of itself”.

Out of the mouths of babes…such a true statement. In so many ways, if we had happy, healthy people, we’d have a better world. In reading my blogs, it won’t be a surprise to you that I think that the best measure of these things is our spiritual lives. In the Great Commandments (Matthew 22:36-40), Jesus instructs us to love God and love our neighbors as ourselves. I think that those reading these posts would agree that men and women adhering to the Great Commandments are arguably our best people…and I’d suggest the happiest.

So again, “if we take care of the person”, if the person is the very best he or she can be, then “the world will take care of itself”. Huh!!! How about that. Go God!!!

As always, please get in touch with me at with questions, comments, concerns, challenges, or prayer requests.

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

Mark Joseph

Weekly Blog

Christian Considerations for Voting

Be clear, I will not share with you how I’m going to vote, nor tell you how you should vote. That is a point of conscious for all of us individually. 

As indicated in my September 9th blog, although I have very strong political views, those that I believe are consistent with my faith, I’ve never published a single word on politics. I’ve never expressed my political views or affiliation on this platform…because I’ve not wanted politics to get in the way of what I consider to be an incredibly important message…that is the unconditional love of Jesus Christ.

Not changing my approach, I’ve tackled some tough issues over the last several weeks. On September 9th, I wrote about the importance of integrity, given the current climate in our country. On September 23rd, I addressed our call to act in the face of so many challenges. Today I feel called to identify the things that Christians are to consider in determining how to cast their votes. Again, I’m not telling you how to vote. 

Given my Catholic faith, I’m going to reference what has been provided by the Bishops of the Catholic Church, published by the United Stated Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). Knowing what I do about the faith of my non-Catholic Christian brothers and sisters, I believe what is below will speak to all of us.

In “Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship – Applying Catholic Teaching to Major Issues: A Summary of Policy Positions of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops”, the Catholic Bishops point to the following as what the faithful need to consider in determining how to vote. For practical purposes, I am paraphrasing much of the content. The material in its entirety can be found here.

This blog is literally three times as long as usual. As such, I’m going to provide brief summary points for each in red. If you’re so inclined, I’d encourage you to read as much as you can or at least skim each.

Photo by Snapwire from Pexels

Human Lifeall human life, from the unborn to the elderly, is to be protected. Abortion and euthanasia have become preeminent threats to human life and dignity because they directly attack life itself, the most fundamental good and the condition for all others. Cloning and destruction of human embryos, assisted suicide and euthanasia, the death penalty, genocide, torture, and the direct and intentional targeting of noncombatants in war or terrorist attacks are always wrong.

Promoting PeaceCatholics must work to avoid war and promote peace. This is of particular importance, as there is a danger in the present time of becoming indifferent to war because of the number of armed conflicts. War is never a reflection of what ought to be but a sign that something more true to human dignity has failed. The Catholic tradition recognizes the legitimacy of just war teaching when defending the innocent in the face of grave evil, but we must never lose sight of the cost of war and its harm to human life. Nations should protect the dignity of the human person and the right to life by finding more effective ways to prevent conflicts, to resolve them by peaceful means, and to promote reconstruction and reconciliation in the wake of conflicts.

Marriage and Family LifeMarriage is to be between one man and one woman; the family structure is fundamental to society and is to be protected. The family founded upon marriage is the basic cell of human society. The role, responsibilities, and needs of families should be central national priorities. Marriage must be defined, recognized, and protected as a lifelong exclusive commitment between a man and a woman, and as the source of the next generation and the protective haven for children. Policies on taxes, work, divorce, immigration, and welfare should uphold the God-given meaning and value of marriage and family, help families stay together, and reward responsibility and sacrifice for children. Children, in particular, are to be valued, protected, and nurtured.

Religious FreedomUS policy should promote religious liberty vigorously, both at home and abroad: our first and most cherished freedom is rooted in the very dignity of the human person, a fundamental human right that knows no geographical boundaries. In the US, religious freedom generally enjoys strong protection in our law and culture, but those protections are now in doubt, i.e. the longstanding tax exemption of the Church has been explicitly called into question at the highest levels of government, precisely because of her teachings on marriage.

Preferential Option for the Poor and Economic Justice Welfare policy should address both the economic and cultural factors that contribute to family breakdown. Economic decisions and institutions should be assessed according to whether they protect or undermine the dignity of the human person. Social and economic policies should foster the creation of jobs for all who can work with decent working conditions and just wages. Barriers to equal pay and employment for women and those facing unjust discrimination must be overcome. Welfare policy should reduce poverty and dependency, strengthen family life, and help families leave poverty through work, training, and assistance with childcare, health care, housing, and transportation. It should also provide a safety net for those who cannot work.

Health CareAffordable and accessible health care is an essential safeguard of human life and a fundamental human right. Despite an increase in the number of people insured, millions of Americans still lack health care coverage. Health care coverage remains an urgent national priority. The nation’s health care system needs to be rooted in values that respect human dignity, protect human life, respect the principle of subsidiarity, and meet the needs of the poor and uninsured, especially born and unborn children, pregnant women, immigrants, and other vulnerable populations. Employers, including religious groups and family-owned businesses, should be able to provide health care without compromising their moral or religious convictions, and individuals should be able to purchase health care that accords with their faith.

ImmigrationRecognizing a nation’s right to control its borders and maintain the rule of law, immigrants are to be treated fairly and compassionately. The Gospel mandate to “welcome the stranger” requires Catholics to care for and stand with newcomers, authorized and unauthorized, including unaccompanied immigrant children, refugees and asylum-seekers, those unnecessarily detained, and victims of human trafficking. Comprehensive reform is urgently necessary to fix a broken immigration system and should include a broad and fair legalization program with a path to citizenship; a work program with worker protections and just wages; family reunification policies; access to legal protections, which include due process procedures; refuge for those fleeing persecution and violence; and policies to address the root causes of migration.

Catholic Education Parents, the first and most important educators, have a fundamental right to choose the education best suited to the needs of their children, including public, private, and religious schools. Government, through such means as tax credits and publicly funded scholarships, should help provide resources for parents, especially those of modest means, to exercise this basic right without discrimination. Students in all educational settings should have opportunities for moral and character formation consistent with the beliefs and responsibilities of their parents. All persons have a right to receive a quality education.

Promoting Justice and Countering ViolenceAn ethic of responsibility, rehabilitation, and restoration should be a foundation for the reform of our broken criminal justice system. Promoting moral responsibility and effective responses to violent crime, curbing violence in media, supporting reasonable restrictions on access to assault weapons and handguns, and opposing the use of the death penalty are particularly important in light of a growing “culture of violence.”

Combatting Unjust Discrimination It is important for our society to continue to combat any unjust discrimination, whether based on race, religion, sex, ethnicity, disabling condition, or age, as these are grave injustices and affronts to human dignity. 

Care for Our Common HomeProtecting the land, water, and air we share is a religious duty of stewardship. Care for creation is a moral issue and reflects our responsibility to born and unborn children, who are most vulnerable to environmental assault. We must answer the question that Pope Francis posed to the world: “What kind of world do we want to leave to those who come after us, to children who are now growing up?”

Communications, Media, and Culture Regulation is needed that respects freedom of speech yet also addresses policies that have lowered standards, permitted increasingly offensive material, and reduced opportunities for non-commercial religious programming. Print, broadcast, and electronic media shape the culture. Regulation should limit concentration of media control, including the internet, resist management that is primarily focused on profit, and encourage a variety of program sources, including religious programming.

Global Solidarity The United States has a unique opportunity to use its power in partnership with others to build a more just and peaceful world. The increasing interconnectedness of our world calls for a moral response, the virtue of solidarity. In the words of St. John Paul II, “Solidarity is a firm and persevering determination to commit oneself to the common good” (Sollicitudo Rei Socialis, no. 38). A more just world will likely be a more peaceful world, a world less vulnerable to terrorism and other violence. The United States has the responsibility to take the lead in addressing the scandal of poverty and underdevelopment. Our nation should help to humanize globalization, addressing its negative consequences and spreading its benefits, especially among the world’s poor.

Additional resources offered by the USCCB include:

1.    Seven Themes of Catholic Social Teaching can be found here.
2.    Catholics Care/Catholics Vote can be found here.

As you prepare to vote, I’d encourage you to take your discernment to prayer. May God bless you as you make this very important decision. God Bless the United States of America.

As always, please feel free to contact me at, with questions, comments, concerns, or challenges. Prayer requests are welcome too.

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

Mark Joseph

Weekly Blog

Satan Must Be Pleased

Given what’s occurring in our country, I thought I’d write about two things this week that have been on my heart:

  • Destructive nature of Division
  • Importance of Unity

Regarding the first point, Jesus tells us in Matthew 12:25 “Every kingdom divided against itself will become desolate. And every city or house divided against itself will not stand”,

Abraham Lincoln made a very similar point, on June 16, 1858. When running for the US Senate and addressing the issue of slavery, Lincoln said, “A house divided against itself cannot stand” (recognized by many as related to Jesus’ message in the Gospels).

Our country is about as divided as it can be. Most can’t believe what is happening, whether in our streets, in our government, within our Churches, or our families. We as a nation are divided and individuals are divided.

Unless things change dramatically, it’s difficult to see how we’re going to recover from this moment in history. The words of both Jesus and Abraham Lincoln would appear to ring true.
I’m sure our country’s adversaries are enjoying what’s happening. So is Satan, who must be very pleased, with one of his primary strategies being division, in addition to deception, diversion, discouragement.

Photo by Brett Sayles from Pexels

Importance of Unity

The older I get, the more I point to Scripture and the Church for the answers to life. Related to unity (and all other things), examples are numerous:

  • Jesus prayed for our unity prior to Him being arrested and crucified, in John 17:20-21, “I pray not only for them, but also for those who will believe in me through their word,Anchor so that they may all be one, as you, Father, are in me and I in you, that they also may be in us”.
  • The Catechism of the Catholic Church states in paragraph 817, “Where there are sins, there are also divisions…where there is virtue, however, there also are harmony and unity, from which arise the one heart and one soul of all believers”.
  • Colossians 3:12-14, “Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience, bearing with one another and forgiving one another, if one has a grievance against another; as the Lord has forgiven you, so must you also do, and over all these put on love, that is, the bond of perfection”.
  • 1 Corinthians 3:4-8, Love is patient, love is kind. It is not jealous, [love] is not pompous, it is not inflated, it is not rude, it does not seek its own interests, it is not quick-tempered, it does not brood over injury, it does not rejoice over wrongdoing but rejoices with the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails.

Tying the above together, Jesus prayed for our unity, knowing its importance. Sin (we need to resolve to be better) creates division, whereas virtue (we need to resolve to be better) causes harmony and unity. We need to forgive others with compassion and kindness. Lastly, we need to love, as characterized above.

Given what’s transpiring in our country, I continue to discern what God is calling me to do. Regardless of where my prayer takes me, from the above I think it’s obvious that I need to first love those around me and bring unity wherever I can, balanced by the truth of our Lord, Jesus Christ.
Please join me in praying for our country!!!

As always, feel free to contact me with questions, concerns, or comments at

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

Mark Joseph

P.S. Cling to the Cross….our only source of TRUE PEACE!!!