How to Combat Pride in Our Daily Lives

The New Normal

My wife and I discussed what concerns us most about the direction our world is heading in. We talked about the transgender movement, wokism, socialism, radical climate change activists, pro-abortion, war hawks, etc. These movements all scare me and are doing tremendous harm to our world and the youth. But these movements are not what concern me the most. It’s something more insidious that we see all around us — self-centeredness.

When I drove to the store the other day I witnessed the following:

  • A driver passed me on a residential neighborhood road and blew through a stop sign.
  • Someone swinging out of their inner lane on a two-lane left-hand turn.
  • Someone cutting in line at a store that clearly had people waiting in it.
  • Someone walking down the middle of a parking lot oblivious to the cars inching behind him.
  • Someone crossing the street against a “Do Not Walk” signal
  • People leaving a table full of trash at a fast food restaurant
  • A cyclist peddling in the middle of the road against traffic

The list could go on and on about all these little things I witness on a daily basis. I know this behavior has always existed. In fact, I may be guilty of them occasionally. However, I feel like they are no longer the exception but are just normal, excepted behavior. And this behavior is what concerns me because it lays the foundation for all these other damaging movements.

Selfishness Drowns Out God

Many of these behaviors show how self-centered we have become as a society. So many people do what is most convenient for them regardless of the burden it puts on others. The unspoken social rules that people have lived by have fallen by the wayside. These social rules and laws are the glue that keeps society together. Without them, society starts to come apart which I believe we’re seeing before our eyes. As I’ve written about in previous posts, we are so much more anxious and unhinged now.

This self-centeredness is a form of the sin of pride. It’s hard to honor God in your life if you don’t see that you are part of something larger than yourself. Consider the Gospel of Matthew where in a parable people ask, “Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you?” Jesus responded, “Whatever you did for the one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me” (Matthew 25:37-38) When we live only for our own desires and comfort, we are neglecting Jesus’ mission for us to serve each other.

The Rosary to the Rescue

The fruit of the Second Joyful Mystery is love of neighbor. I think this is the perfect Rosary mystery to combat this self-centered culture. This mystery professes that we first need to acknowledge that we have neighbors. A neighbor in this case is more than just the person who occupies a dwelling close to yours. Our neighbors are our coworkers, schoolmates, that random driver next to you at the stop light, the person standing next to you at the store, and our brothers and sisters in Christ. Jesus didn’t limit neighbors to just those in his immediate proximity. He included everyone throughout time and place to be his neighbors.

Loving your neighbor requires effort. Mary put in the effort to travel to her cousin Elizabeth’s village. She made an effort to help her cousin through her pregnancy despite being pregnant herself. Similarly, we must put in the effort to love our neighbor. One great way is showing patience towards one another. Living in society requires us to be patient and follow the rules and conventions even when they aren’t the most convenient. God does not call us to a life of convenience. He calls us to a life of service towards one another.

We may look at the world and think that the ills of society are too big for one person to solve or that praying the Rosary won’t have much effect. But I’m reminded of a story about Saint Francis where someone asked him how he could make the world a better place. Saint Francis replied, “You start by closing the door softly.” We can all do small things to make the world around us better. Follow laws and social conventions, be patient, be humble, and clean up after yourself. We’ll never be able to tackle large, global problems if we don’t first tackle problems in our own hearts and minds.

Moral Courage vs. Pride this June

June is coming which means pride month in the USA. No matter where you go, you’ll be bathed in rainbow slogans. But this year, we’ll be subjected to even more propaganda as the “trans” movement will be piggybacking, if not taking the spotlight, of pride month.

This year, I challenge you to not patronize businesses that so aggressively market ideas and propaganda that go against our Catholic faith. We really have to ask ourselves what’s more important to us — our faith and values or cheap goods and entertainment?

Bye Bye Major League Baseball

Case and point. This year the LA Dodgers and Major League Baseball will be honoring the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence at one of their games. This is a group that gets attention pushing transgenderism by mocking the Catholic faith. If this group mocked any other religion as they do, they would be widely condemned as a hate group. But they are being honored and celebrated. Why? What does honoring this group or even having a “pride night” have to do with baseball? Seriously, would anyone have cared if a baseball game was just, you know, a baseball game?

I’m not supporting MLB or their advertisers as best I can. I love the game of baseball. I would like to spend a warm summer’s day with my family, hot dog and soda in hand, watching a game. But I cannot support an organization that clearly hates me and everything that is valuable to me. I can live without major league baseball. I can’t live without God’s grace.

See Ya Target!

Another company I won’t be patronizing is Target. They are aggressively marketing LGBTQ+ apparel. It will be front and center at all their stores. And the Target corporation seems to be doubling down on its anti-Catholic stance. The person who designed their pride apparel is a professed Satanist. She once said, “Satan respects pronouns.” It doesn’t get any more on the nose than that. I’m not going to give my money to a company that knowingly sides with evil forces to market dangerous propaganda to families and children.

Moral Courage

The fruit of the Third Sorrowful Mystery is moral courage. The Romans tortured and mocked Jesus during his Passion. But Jesus endured it because of his love of God and knowing the importance of doing his will. We too, must show moral courage. Mary will give us the strength, through her Rosary, to endure. God isn’t asking us to be martyrs, at least not in this case. He’s asking us to love him enough to abstain from supporting those entities that are attacking his Church.

Let’s make a statement this June. Saint Paul had his “road to Damascus” moment when he realized the error of his ways. If Catholics came together and really rejected companies that openly attack our values, we could force the modern-day road to Damascus moments for these companies. We can make it their “Bud Light” moment where they realize that it doesn’t pay to mock and attack their customers’ core values.

A Rosary Mystery for a Fruitful Day at Work

One constant in life is that we all need to work to survive. For much of human history, that would have meant hunting and farming. Now, it means going to a job to earn money to support ourselves and maybe a family. Or maybe that means taking care of the family. Since work is such an integral part of our lives, it’s something that requires prayer to be meaningful and fruitful. What Rosary mystery fits the modern worker?

Running out of Wine

If you’ve seen the series The Chosen, you may remember the episode about the wedding feast at Cana (Second Luminous Mystery). The show decided to portray Saint Thomas as the one hired to supply the food and wine for the event. While Scripture only mentions that they ran out of wine, The Chosen portrays Thomas miscalculating the amount of wine needed. Mary asks Jesus to help which he does by turning water into the best wine of the celebration.

I like the Second Luminous Rosary mystery as one specifically for workers. It alludes to a logistical problem similar to the ones many of us face daily. Thomas had a job to do and he messed up. He worried that he would ruin the wedding, embarrass the hosts, and fail at doing his job. He probably felt huge levels of anxiety about how this blunder would affect future business and his livelihood. I’m sure many of us can relate.

Including Jesus in our Work Day

Our jobs are often more of a burden than something joyful or exciting. It can be a source of stress and anxiety as we face rude customers, demanding bosses, complex projects, or inflexible schedules. We can sympathize with the situation at the Cana wedding where nothing seemed to be going right.

We know how this story ends. Mary sees what is happening and asks for Jesus’ help. He turns disaster into a miracle. We, too, may run into disasters at our jobs. We may miss deadlines, produce a subpar product, not meet our quotas, or lose our temper with customers. But we can take a queue from the Cana wedding and ask for Jesus’ help through Mary and her Rosary. Asking for Jesus’ intervention can help us navigate those challenges and anxieties we have at work.

Doing What Jesus Asks

I know that many of us pray the Rosary regularly but we still face countless obstacles at work. You may ask, “Why isn’t Jesus producing miracles at my job like he did at the Cana wedding?” I heard a priest on EWTN talk about how filling those jars with water at the wedding feast was probably a laborious process. It’s not like they had facets in the house and they couldn’t lug those large stone jars to a well. The laborers had to make multiple trips to a well with smaller buckets to fill the large jars that Jesus turned into wine.

The idea is that our faith often requires effort, time, and trust. The workers had to trust Jesus that his seemingly ridiculous request had a purpose. They needed to put in the time and effort to make the miracle happen. The miracle didn’t happen instantly. The wedding feast was at the point of disaster before the miracle occurred. In The Chosen, Thomas kept questioning Jesus about how filling jars with water addressed the wine issue. We too often ask Jesus, “How does doing what you ask help me in this situation?”

I think we can act a little like Saint Thomas regarding prayer at times. We want Jesus to fix the problem ASAP. We tell ourselves that there is no time for prayer and that it’s just wasting our time instead of solving the problem. How many of us justify not spending a few minutes in prayer or walking into a church to sit in silence in front of the Blessed Sacrament because we’re too busy? I think Jesus’ solution to our work-related problem includes stepping back occasionally to focus on him, not the challenge at hand.

Don’t Lose Heart

At our work, we often have to grind away at our tasks. We are like the servants fetching water — entrusting our labor to Jesus. Our efforts at work may seem pointless and Jesus doesn’t seem to help us. We just toil away, day after day, without any relief. It’s in those moments God wants us to put our faith in him, not in our own abilities. We need to learn to let go. When everything is going smoothly, we tend to think too highly of ourselves and not of God. Perhaps, I hard day at work is God’s way of reminding us that we need to include him more into our lives. If we put our trust in God to see us through our work, and work is what we spend a good portion of our day doing, then we’ll remember that God is with us throughout our day.

How to Pray the Rosary All Day Long

Feynman’s 12 Problems

On the Art of Manliness website, I read this article about Renaissance man, Richard Feynman. It talks about how he always kept 12 problems to solve in the back of his mind. They ranged from the very random to the very complex (he was a Nobel Prize-winning physicist after all). He didn’t deliberately try to solve these problems. Rather, he had insights going about his day that helped him slowly get closer to solutions. Even if he didn’t completely solve a particular problem, he enjoyed the process of thinking about it.

Feynman’s “12 problems” is one manifestation of the ongoing projects many of us have. Maybe you have a car you’re restoring that you tool away at a few hours every week. Maybe you’re building something in the garage or restoring an old piece of furniture. Or you’re like me and discover new ideas to write about. But any of us can make prayer into an ongoing project that we work on throughout the day.

The Rosary as an Ongoing Practice

I often do something similar to Feynman’s 12 problems with prayer and the Rosary. As I go about my life at home and at work, I come across various articles, shows, books, and podcasts. Many times, those articles remind me of aspects of Rosary mysteries. I can then integrate them into my Rosary meditations. They provide me with “prayer fuel.” This way, I’m not praying the Rosary in a vacuum of thoughts.

For example, I may read the daily Gospel and then listen to a meditation about the value of patience. That provides meditation content for when I pray the Fourth Sorrowful Mystery of the Rosary whose fruit is patience. One practice, reading Scripture, reinforces the other practice, praying the Rosary. This practice doesn’t need to confine itself to drawing exclusively from spiritual sources. I draw inspiration for Rosary prayer from secular news, books, and shows. My life provides fuel for my prayers and conversely, my prayers provide fuel to face the challenges in my life.

Facing Your Day through the Rosary

This is what I meant in my books’ introductions about the Rosary being the lens through which I see the world around me. No matter the situation, there’s probably a Rosary mystery I can look to that will provide me with guidance or comfort. This is why daily Rosary prayer is so important. You need to constantly add new thoughts and experiences to your prayers so they will grow with you. In a way, the 20 Rosary mysteries act like spiritual scaffolding. What you build on top of it will be uniquely personal because everyone has different experiences.

I challenge you to make the Rosary something persistent in your day. When you consume media and information, try to think about what Rosary mysteries they relate to. When you pray the Rosary, draw on all your experiences and present them to Mary. Feynman may have had 12 problems always on his mind to keep him engaged but you will have 20 mysteries!

The Power and Beauty of Reverence

Starting Out Right

I often tell my boys that getting into the right mindset in the morning is crucial for a successful day at school, home, and activities. It starts with a good night’s sleep, eating a healthy breakfast, making sure their uniforms are in good shape and are worn neatly, etc. Starting the day organized, polite, and presentable goes a long way in living a successful day. The day goes so much smoother than one when they oversleep, are disorganized, chaotic, and aren’t prioritizing getting ready for the day.

I think the same goes for how people approach the holy Mass. Are you adequately prepared to fully participate in the Mass in reverent prayer? Or are you scrambling out the door only to arrive 10 minutes late, sit in the back, and stare at the wood beams of the church?

The Power of Reverence

Fr. Michael Rennier wrote this article on the Catholic Exchange on the beauty and power of a reverent Mass experience.

He points out that Mass doesn’t need to be solemn and silent to be reverent. Family Masses with small kids aren’t usually quiet. But reverence isn’t about the volume level. You can have a quiet church and still have an irreverent Mass. Being late, chatting with your neighbor in the pews, not listening to the priest, leaving early, and not participating in the Mass really aren’t showing reverence to God.

I’ve had conversations with people who attend Mass occasionally because they said they just don’t find the priest’s homily interesting. This again misses the point of a reverent Mass. It’s not a show or lecture. As Fr. Rennier says, a reverent Mass makes room for the sacred. It’s knowing that something very important and special occurs in that hour that does not happen in the other 167 hours of the week.

Reverence in the Rosary

When you pray the Fourth Joyful Mystery of the Rosary, picture Simeon in the temple holding the baby Jesus. Imagine the reverence Simeon must have shown after waiting and praying for so many years before seeing God’s Chosen One. His entire life built up to that one miraculous moment. He prepared for that moment through prayer and a constant connection to God by being physically present at the temple.

We need to imitate Simeon if we want a reverent Mass. That means being physically present at Mass. It’s time for parishes to disconnect those webcams and insist on people’s presence. The various parts of the Mass prepare us for the ultimate culmination of our faith — the Eucharist. That means we need to be mentally and spiritually present at Mass; listening, praying, and participating. Simeon prepared himself to encounter the baby Jesus. Similarly, we need to prepare ourselves to accept Jesus in the Eucharist.

Benefits of Reverence

A reverent Mass experience will help you connect with God on a deeper level, grow in faith, increase your sense of hope, find peace, and feel connected to other Catholics in the universal Church. Showing reverence is not always easy and takes effort. But God will fill you with spiritual goodness beyond anything the world can offer when you make room for Him through reverence.

Here’s What You’re Missing When You Skip Mass

I’m always saddened when I go to Mass on Divine Mercy Sunday and see all the empty pews. Just a week earlier, the church was full of people to the point where it was standing room only and we nearly ran out of the Eucharist. I hoped and prayed that those who only showed up for Mass on Christmas and Easter felt inspired to come back. And maybe some did, but not in the droves I hoped for.

Lately, seeing all these empty pews at Mass bothers me greatly. I’ve been reading a lot about the deadly effects of sin from Father Spitzer’s books. Prayer, the sacrament of the Eucharist and Reconciliation, and regular Mass are all ways we protect ourselves from sin. I’m saddened to see so many people not take advantage of what the Church freely offers to all of us. Sin is like an illness with a well-known cure. And yet, so many of us choose to remain ill.

The Effects of Sin

Father Broom outlines the five effects of sin and how it affects the individual, our neighbors, our church, and our world. Give it a read.

The good news is that protecting ourselves from sin is rather straightforward. See that church? Walk inside it! Here are some specific ways that attending Mass can protect against sin:

  • Reminds us of God’s love and mercy: When we hear the words of the Gospel, we are reminded of God’s great love for us. This love can help us to resist temptation and to turn back to God when we have sinned.
  • Provides us with grace: The sacraments of Mass, especially the Eucharist, give us grace to grow in holiness and to overcome sin.
  • Helps us to connect with other Catholics: When we attend Mass, we are part of a community of believers who are all striving to live a holy life. This community can provide us with support and encouragement when we are tempted to sin.
  • Helps us to grow in our faith: When we attend Mass, we are exposed to the teachings of the Church. This can help us to grow in our understanding of our faith and to live a life that is more in accordance with God’s will.

Fighting Sin through the Rosary

The Rosary is an excellent tool that protects us against sin. Remember, Mary is the Queen of Heaven (Fifth Glorious Mystery) and one of our principal protectors against Satan and his minions. She offers us the Rosary as a way to remain in God’s grace and protection. As I’ve written before, many of her promises are for protection against Satan.

When we pray the Rosary, we are connected to a very exclusive community of saints and angels. They will guide us away from our sinful desires and instead desire what is good and heavenly. God will give us the strength to overcome our weaknesses and do his will. Picture Jesus in the Garden of Gesthemne (First Sorrowful Mystery) and how he leaned on God to see him through his Passion and Crucifixion. We too can lean on God to help resist sin and stay connected to the Church, saints, and angels.


Through the Rosary and our commitment to God through the sacraments of the Church, hopefully, we can bring more people into God’s grace. This will increase love, mercy, and compassion and decrease the guilt, shame, and despair of sin.

Don’t Give Satan an Opportunity

Do you know what it’s like to have a good idea or plan and then to see someone not follow it at their peril? For example, if you have kids then you’ve probably seen them go ten rounds fighting over something that could have been resolved with 30 seconds of conversation. When we don’t follow rules, we introduce so much unnecessary chaos. Well, I feel like the world is enduring so much self-imposed misery when the path to happiness and meaning is right there in front of us!

Christ Versus Satan

I recently read Father Robert Spitzer’s Christ Versus Satan in Our Daily Lives. I recommend this book to anyone wanting to boost their spiritual defenses. I’m not going to lie, it’s a scary book as it outlines all the ways Satan tries to control us. Fr. Spitzer discusses Satan’s tactics, demonic possession, and the eight deadly vices. He makes it clear that there are demonic forces at play in our lives waiting to attack the undefended.

There is, however, a sense of hope in the book. Try as Satan might, his powers are still bounded by God. Fr. Spitzer shows how Satan’s temptation of Jesus in the desert failed because he was no match for the power of God. We too can defeat Satan and resist temptation when we call on the protection of God. The problem is that many people do not call on God’s protection and invite Satan into their lives.

A World Falling Apart

I mention this book because it relates to what we see in our world. Our society has abandoned the values and principles that have protected us from evil. We are currently undergoing a radical, worldwide experiment of replacing values such as religion, family, and community with an almost “anything goes” attitude. And poll after poll shows us that people are feeling less happy and satisfied as a result.

If you read Fr. Spitzer’s book or just read Catholic doctrine, the erosion of society shouldn’t come as a shock. We open the doors to Satan’s control when we abandon God’s protection and seek fulfillment in worldly pursuits. Whether we admit it or not, we are spiritual beings with eternal souls with an innate sense of good and evil. And when we turn our back on the good, Satan will fill that void.

I’m not saying that the world was perfect in the past or that everyone who practiced a religious faith was an angel. After all, we fought horrific wars and people’s behaviors in their private lives weren’t anything to brag about. But I feel like we, as a society, knew what was right and wrong even when we failed to live up to them. We tried to steer our laws and behaviors toward the good. We’ve gone so far off the rails as a world now that we don’t acknowledge basic facts about human anatomy or basic ethical and moral principles that most religions, philosophies, and societies have recognized for thousands of years.

What is Truth?

Jesus’ scourging and crowning of thorns took place under the direction of Pontius Pilate. He notoriously asked Jesus, “What is truth?” He would have felt right at home in today’s world where everything can be doubted and explained away if it’s inconvenient. There are thousands of “Pilates” in our world condemning those who live by God’s Truth under the pretense that the truth is hurtful and bigoted. Like Pilate, so many people find it easier to dismiss truth and hence, dismiss God, because it is often hard to live up to.

Like Jesus falling under the cross in the Fourth Sorrowful Mystery, we will fall under the weight of sin. We can complain whenever we fall to sin about how unfair it all may seem. There are so many rules and restrictions that our crosses impose on us. Wouldn’t we be so much happier if we threw off the weight of religion and dismiss all her teachings on vice, sin, Satan, Heaven, and Hell?

The reality is we cannot pretend our crosses do not exist. Jesus didn’t magically make his cross disappear although he had the power to do so. He didn’t complain about how unfairly he was being treated during his Passion and Crucifixion. Let’s imitate Jesus and acknowledge God’s Truth and plan for us even if it’s hard for us to follow. Just because we fall short at times, doesn’t mean God is wrong and needs to be replaced with a truth that is easier to follow. Instead, God calls us to dig deep and find the strength to do his Will that he infused in all of us.

Why We Must Attend Mass According to the Saints

I’ve been sitting on this article for almost two months now trying to think of what to say. However, maybe there isn’t anything for me to add to the wisdom of the saints regarding the power and beauty of the Mass. I’m going to link to the article in its entirety.

First, Easter is only a few days away. You’re going to see packed churches soon as the Twice-a-years come to Mass. Here’s some advice if you see someone at Easter you know who doesn’t attend Mass regularly. Show that you’re excited to see them at Mass. Tell them you hope to see them at Mass in the upcoming weeks. Plant the seed of joy and the idea of the importance of Mass in their hearts. God will take care of the rest.

Now over to Fr. Broom and his article on Catholic Exchange.

Strong Body, Strong Spirituality

I know you don’t typically visit RosaryMeds for fitness and diet advice. However, with us being in the middle of Lent which is a season of fasting and sacrifice, I thought it would be interesting to discuss how our physical state affects our spirituality.

I think it’s important to reflect on our physical well-being during Lent as we fast and sacrifice. We can reflect on our health every time we refrain from eating that cookie, pastry, candy, soda, or other treat. Are you feeling better from a healthier diet? Are you getting more exercise? Praying more? If you’re feeling better overall, maybe your Lenten practices have something to do with it.

Taking Care of Yourself All Year

I took up the practice of intermittent fasting several months ago. For those who don’t know about intermittent fasting, it’s the practice of not eating anything for 16 hours (typically between 8 PM to noon the next day). At first, it wasn’t easy but it has gotten easier over time as my body has adapted to this new baseline. My labs have never looked better as a result!

I bring up intermittent fasting to show that your Lenten practices don’t need to end on Easter. If your Lenten practices show benefits, whether that be physically, emotionally, or spiritually, then by all means, you should consider extending them. For example, if you gave up soda for Lent, maybe you can continue to cut back on it after Easter. The key is not to give up entirely on beneficial practices when Lent ends. Over the years, Lent has become a great way for me to establish new, healthy habits that extend throughout the years.

Exercise is More than “Looking Good”

At first, exercise and diet may seem like practices geared toward the vanities of this world. After all, one of their aims is to look more attactive. But there’s more to exercise than enhancing physical appearances. You are able to offer more to God when you feel better physically. If you have the endurance and discipline to exercise and resist unhealthy foods, then that develops that same ability to fast, pray, and practice your faith. Furthermore, our physical health aids our mental health. When we feel better physically, our brains can focus on deeper contemplation, meditation, and action of serving God.

Here are some other ways exercise and good physical health positively affect our spirituality:

  1. Boosting mental health: Regular exercise helps reduce stress, anxiety, and depression, which can make us more receptive to spiritual experiences.
  2. Providing space for reflection: Physical exercise can provide a temporary escape from the hustle and bustle of daily life, allowing space for introspection and meditation.
  3. Helping us connect with others: Participating in group fitness classes or sports can increase our social connections, which can contribute to a greater sense of community and compassion.
  4. Providing a sense of empowerment: Achieving physical goals through exercise can boost self-esteem, confidence, and a sense of purpose, all of which can contribute to a deeper sense of spirituality.

The Rosary and Exercise

The fruit of the Second Sorrowful Mystery, The Scourging at the Pillar, is mortification. The word’s Latin root means “death.” Jesus calls us to put to death our sinful habits and vices that are part of our fallen human nature. Lent is a time of mortification. Other Rosary texts refer to the Second Sorrowful Mystery’s fruit as “purity.” Again, the idea is that we make ourselves pure by taking up our crosses and following Christ. We can better handle our “crosses” when we take care of our physical needs. Jesus, by all accounts, was physically strong. That allowed him to persevere through his ministry and Passion.

The scourging was an incredibly torturous practice. Jesus suffered a great deal. While we shouldn’t inflict harm on ourselves or others, our Lenten sacrifices echo this call to embrace hardship to detach us from the riches of this world and focus on the riches of God’s Heavenly Kingdom. When you meditate on the Second Sorrowful Mystery, ask God for the strength to take care of your physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health. They all act in concert to bring us into deeper communion with God. Doing so may feel painful, but it’s vital.