***To see my featured talk "How Love Defeats Porn" given at the Catholic Information Center in Washington, D.C. click here. ***

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

28 Pieces of Advice to Myself from 28 years of life

Today is my birthday.  Every year I try to reflect on what I picked up each year and what I want to remember and build on.  The following is 28 pieces of advice to myself from my self-reflection of the past year.

16. Continue to fall in love with Jesus in the Eucharist. What a blessing it has been to see and be with Him almost everyday in adoration.

1. Continue to fall in love with God. Take time to be with Him every day.

2. Always shoot for complete and utter honesty and transparency in marriage. It is the highest form of intimacy and trust I can share with my wife.

3. Always post at Mass and a rosary in the morning. Even and especially when I don't feel like it.

4. "Blessed are the pure of heart for they will see God." Purity is a means to God's calling in life, not the end.

5. Fight4Her

6. Be available to God's timing.

7. Be secure that God always provides.

8. ACTS. Adoration, Contrition, Thanksgiving, Supplication.  This type of prayer (who you first learned from dad) at the beginning of the day has been so fruitful.  
Adoration---take a moment to tell Him you adore and love Him.
Contrition---tell Him you're sorry for the things you did or failed to do in the past 24 hours.
Thanksgiving---thank Him for all the things and moments of good of the past day.
Supplication---ask Him and pray for others that are in your heart and mind.

9. Say I'm sorry and thank you to my wife every day. It's always needed. Say it to her eyes.

10. God's mercy will never out do us. Thank God for the Sacrament of Reconciliation and its constant availability at the Shrine. (Hint: always leave near the Basilica, Matt)

11. Joyfully give and give some more when I have the opportunity.  I always feel good after it, and it always comes back ten fold.

12. Try to go to bed and and wake up at the same time. Our 10ish pm and 5ish am wake up seems to be working lately.

13. Always remember how blessed you are, with an amazing God, a supportive wife, loving family and friends, and a job and mission that makes me fully alive.

14. We're called to be faithful, not successful. -Mother Teresa

15. Strive everyday for private victories: moments when you know no one is looking or would know what you're doing, and you choose to do the right thing anyway.

16. Continue to fall in love with Jesus in the Eucharist. What a blessing it has been to see and be with Him almost everyday in adoration.

17. Always continue to humbly ask if what I'm doing and the direction I'm going is what and where God wants me to do.

18. Dude, you are a screwup! Left to your own devices and sin, you could very well waste your life away. You definitely have wasted whole days sometimes. Build that muscle to put yourself in winning positions.

19. Schedule diligently with the gain and maintain method. Remember discipline and consistency is the path to success.

20. Having a plan is always better than not having one.

21. No matter what always give and save money consistently.

22. Soak in how cute and precious Teresa is, she will always outdo herself.

23. As hard as it is, always take time to sit in silence to listen to God. 

24. Always say I love you because today could be the last.

25. Always remember your mission and vision for yourself and for others. Let that true North point your compass.

26. Try to be available to others. We can't go far in life without the help of friends.

27. #KeepPounding -Carolina Panthers motto

28. "Siempre adelante" -Pope Francis

Here's to more birthdays to come!

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Letter to self from April, 2009

[Last time my mom visited me, she dropped off a big box of clothes and stuff that I had in my old room.  I just went through it today and found this letter, written from the end of my junior year at The Catholic University of America.  I consider junior year to be the beginning of discovering my purpose in my life in reaching out to guys.  But I am in awe of this letter I wrote to myself that I am now reading for the first time again.   There are so many truths that I wrote that are telling to who I am still today.  Mimi and I had just started dating at that time.  Anthony and Bobby are still my best friends.  And my desire to still be closer to Him?  Wow.  But what gives me goosebumps are those three words near the end: Fight for her. Whew...]


Dear Matt,

Yo man.  You just finished a year in [student] ministry.  Surprises, expectations, prayer life.  Well, surprises big one is Mimi.  Ha, NO ONE, not even you, saw that one coming.  But you dig her and hopefully still do by the time you read this again.  

Prayer life.  This year, especially last semester, prayer life sky rocketed.  You did novenas, you prayed every night.  Dude, you were personally chaste for months.  Dude, like 3 months.  And the key was about filling our lives with better things and staying busy with it.

You hope to be a better man.  You want to get to a point where you are praying to Him all the time.  Discipline in the morning, at night, less clutter in the room, less in the head.

You love Mimi.  You love Anthony and Bobby.  You love your House.  Casey, Josh, Kelsey, JJ, Kara, Colleen, Jules.  You have bad grades but hope to raise them (Let’s hope you did!).

You know your vocation is fatherhood.  You are crazy about Mimi.  You want to fight for her.

You want God first in your life again though.  Be intimate.  Do you still ask Him to speak to you?  
Love Him.

Also, Matt, you had trouble loving yourself this semester.  Loving yourself enough to care about your grades.  Do you now?

That’s it.



Thursday, July 2, 2015

A Catholic who loves those with same-sex attraction

Being Catholic and a person who authentically loves and cares for a number of friends who happen to be in same-sex relationships, the 5-4 ruling last week and its residual societal response has given me a heavy heart. So here are my two cents.
First, is a quote from a priest on the topic that I completely agree with:
"It's not about us versus them. It's just about us." Meaning, our identity is not first based on sexual orientation, but based first on that we are all brothersand sisters of Christ. His love is not just for those who believe in Him but for all believers AND non-believers. This means that WE (intentionally vague) are called to love each other. We don't have to agree with actions, but we are still called to love people.
Second, I am convinced that all misunderstandings on the issue have to do with one's beginning philosophy of the meaning of sex, what it is for and how it's intertwined in marriage.
Third, I am even more convinced that most people, even most Catholics, have not been fully informed of this beginning philosophy of sex and marriage. Below is a link that reads best. For a fuller answer, read Humanae Vitae.
Lastly, I believe that true love doesn't have to involve sex or even marriage. True love only leads and comes from God. Our brokenness cannot be filled by anyone but Him. Most importantly, we must let His ‪#‎lovewin‬.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

I have a vision for my daughter

I have a vision for my daughter...that she will be raised up in a world where there are many dutiful, responsible, and faith-filled men for her to choose from and court her.

I have a vision for my daughter... that she will be surrounded by a world of purposeful men who know who they are and whose they are and where they are going.  A world of men who are passionately living the path God has called them to.

I have a vision for my daughter... that she will be surrounded by a world of gentlemen who take initiative when pursuing a woman, who court, and who are capable in leading in the dance of friendship and romance.

I have a vision for my daughter... that she will  be surrounded by a world of men who respect in awe the body, soul, and mind of women for who they are and whose they are---God's.  I have a vision that this world of men will treat her like a precious gem simply because she IS and will treat all women likewise.

I have a vision for my daughter... who grows up in a world of men who know how to take charge, who are responsible for their actions, men who say sorry, men who don't make excuses, and men who always offer ways to reprimand their mistakes.

I have a vision for my daughter... who surrounds herself around a world of men who know and love God first. A group of men who understand that love is not what we get from women, but what we get from God to offer women. 

I have a vision for my daughter... that she will get to pick among a plethora of men who understand that to love a wife is to love her the way Christ loves the Church---with full sacrificial love.

I have a vision for my daughter... that she is surrounded by a world of men who understand right from wrong, falsehood from truth, who don't give in to relativism or political correctness.  She will be surrounded by men willing to make bold statements based in truth and have the ability to hold strong convictions, enough to disagree with seemingly popular opinion.

I have a vision for my daughter... that she will find a man who is aware that he needs to do the right thing even when he thinks he's alone and knows no one is looking.

I have a vision for my daughter... that she is surrounded by men who tell the truth, admit their mistakes, and listen well to others.

I have a vision for my daughter... that she will be surrounded by a world of men who see pornography for its false lie, step over it, and seek the Truth of authentic love. 

This is my vision.  And I will fight for it.  I will fight for her.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Why God becoming Man is a BIG deal

[This evening I gave a talk to my UMD students on God the Son, specifically breaking down the Nicene Creed that we say on Sundays, what the Incarnation is, why it's such a big deal, and the historical awesomeness of the what the Eucharist means.  The Holy Spirit flowed and people stayed in small groups longer than I expected discussing and digesting who is God the Son and how that matters to them personally.  For me to be an instrument  to this light makes me believe I have one of the best jobs in the world.  Praise God!  The following was my outline.  I should've recorded it, but this is the next best thing.]

This... is a big deal.