In the know with Father Joe

How do I love someone I can’t stand?

Dear Father Joe: I know Jesus says we have to love everybody, but I really can’t stand one of the people I work with; we simply can’t work together. I’ve prayed about it, but no matter how hard I pray, I get angry just thinking of them. How can I love them?

First things first, you are not alone! This is a very common problem that, I would imagine, everyone experiences at some point.

How can I help...?

Dear Fr. Joe: How can I help … my friend, coworker or neighbor who is in mourning?

Losing someone we love is such a painful thing, and your desire to help someone in a time of loss can be absolutely life-changing for them. I’ve had a lot of experience with people who are grieving the death of a loved one, and think I can be helpful here.

How can I help...?

Dear Fr. Joe: How can I help … my friends whose marriage is falling apart?

It’s a tough thing to watch a marriage falling apart, and I feel deeply blessed by knowing that you want to help people in that situation.

Will we become angels when we go to heaven?

Dear Father Joe: I’ve heard a lot of things and seen a lot of pictures about heaven and I wonder if that is what it will be like. Will there be mansions and streets of gold, and will we become angels? 

This is such an important issue for all of us – death affects all of us indirectly and will obviously affect all of us personally at some point. We try, as a Church and even in society, to describe the ideas of death, resurrection and heaven because that is important to us. heaven is our goal, but if we forget our goal, we get lost.

How can I ‘do’ Lent better?

Dear Fr. Joe: Every year, Lent happens and I start off really hoping to make something of it. My intentions are the best, but it always seems like, the next thing I know, it's Easter and I’ve missed it. Can you help me do better this year?

I believe I can help you! Let’s start with an important point: You are struggling with something that I think most people do – the inability to “get it right," no matter how good our intentions or plans. What do we do about that?

How do I talk to my kids about sin when they disagree with a lot of the Church’s teaching?

Dear 
Father Joe: My kids don’t always agree with the Church on some moral issues. How can I explain why some things are sinful if they don’t accept the Church’s definition of sin?

Our concern for our kids’ faith is a gift we give them. Too many of us are voluntarily bogged down with that which doesn’t matter and we neglect the things that are eternal. Here you are, wondering how to show your child the wonder and beauty of what we believe and why – bless you. I’m going to present a plan based on you talking to an older high school student up to college.

I feel so distracted at Mass

Dear Father Joe: Sometimes, there are so many distractions at Mass that I can’t concentrate. It’s really frustrating – what can I do?

I love this question because I assure you, that as I am the poster child for ADD, I may be able to offer some help here. Let’s get to it.

First, I want to look at the idea of distractions as normal. After that, I’m going to look at some of the common reasons we are distracted and offer some advice as to how to deal with them.

When we see design, we assume a designer

Q: Some of my Protestant friends insist the Genesis account is to be taken literally – the Adam and Eve story is a factual account and evolution is a fairy tale. There seems to be a lot of scientific evidence for evolution – do I have to disavow that?

Thanks for sending in this question – it’s a good opportunity for us to take a look at how Catholics read Scripture and what we understand about creation.

Why is it still Easter?

Dear Father Joe – I’ve never understood why it’s June and we’re still celebrating Easter at church. Why isn’t Easter over at the end of Easter Sunday?

I think if we take a few minutes to really look at Easter, we’ll understand why it encompasses a whole season in the Church, not just a day. At Easter, we look not just at what Jesus did for us in the resurrection, but also what he did to us.

Should we baptize our grandchildren in the kitchen sink?

Dear Fr. Joe: My wife wants to baptize our grandkids in the kitchen sink. I think we should not interfere with our children’s parenting. What do we do?

Greetings in Christ! I’m glad you asked this question – in every parish I’ve been assigned to, I’ve run into this. It seems to be something many people are really struggling with.

I’d like to walk us through some of the teachings of the Church on baptism in order to help you.

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