The Tightrope: Reflections for Busy Catholics

The Tightrope: Reflections for Busy Catholics
The Catholic podcast where we take three to five minutes to see and embrace the opportunities embedded in our busy, messy lives that are meant to help us move towards heaven. Together, we walk the tension between living this life fully while being on our way to the next.

Tech, Parenthood, and TikTok
Nov 11 • 5 min
It’s difficult to protect our kids from everything online, but there’s a simple thing you can do that can have an impact: check their phones. This will 1.) reinforce the fact that nothing posted online is anonymous and 2.) give them an excuse to opt out…
Principles to Make “The Talk” Less Awkward
Nov 4 • 12 min
Many of us are familiar with “The Talk”—the extremely awkward conversation you had with your parents where they vaguely referred to birds and bees and flowers and everyone avoided eye contact. It doesn’t have to be that way! By rooting “The Talk” in…
All Saints and All Souls Day: Our Reminder to Keep Striving
Oct 28 • 6 min
The body of Christ stretches throughout time and space, and the Feasts of All Saints and All Souls Day remind us of that supernatural reality. One of the ways we know the saints are in heaven is because of their good work on earth. On All Saints Day, we…
Christ the Redeemer: Center of Your Universe?
Oct 21 • 7 min
Reflecting on Pope John Paul II’s encyclical Redemptor Hominis, Colin reminds us that Christ the redeemer is the center of the entire universe and all of human history. But is he the center of your own personal universe and your own personal history? As…
Our Prophetic Calling: Afflicting the Comforted
Oct 14 • 7 min
If you were baptized, you are called to be a prophet. That doesn’t mean that you’ll be predicting the Second Coming, but you are called to speak the truth with clarity and charity. This means comforting the afflicted, and afflicting the comforted.…
To What Shall I Compare the Kingdom of God?
Oct 7 • 6 min
Jesus used parables to explain the Kingdom of God to his disciples to help them understand supernatural truths by relating them to everyday occurrences. So what would a modern-day parable look like? Maybe it would involve a backpack, lost in a field, that…
St. Thérèse: A Little Way to Wellness
Sep 30 • 8 min
Isn’t it funny how the things that we consider good for us are also in line with Church teaching? Trendy wellness practices like daily gratitude, fasting, and meditation are all things great Catholic saints have been doing for centuries. St. Thérèse of…
Stigmata, Messy Kitchens, and St. Padre Pio
Sep 23 • 8 min
St. Padre Pio suffered from the stigmata for years, but he’s also the saint who said, “Pray, hope, and don’t worry.” How can a person who suffered from open, bleeding wounds for fifty years just say, “don’t worry”? In uniting his suffering to the cross of…
St. Ignatius Prayer for Generosity
Sep 16 • 4 min
The St. Ignatius prayer for generosity asks God to take away worldly comforts so we can fully rely on him … and it’s quite impactful. You may be thinking, “Why should I ask God to make me uncomfortable?” Catholic prayers and practices that limit our…
3 Steps to Be Less Franxious (Frantic and Anxious)
Sep 9 • 6 min
That feeling when you have a tight deadline, or an unexpected task, or you forgot to do something and are frantically scrambling to get it done … I call that feeling “franxious”. It’s what Martha experienced when Jesus came to visit (I could see that…
Imitate Mary’s Fiat with This Short Prayer
Sep 2 • 4 min
Mary’s Fiat, her “yes” to God to become the mother of the Word incarnate, is the ultimate example of surrender to the will of God. One way we can try to imitate her “yes” is by saying a three-minute prayer three times a day, called the Angelus. The…
There is No Conflict between Faith and Science
Aug 26 • 7 min
Are science and religion opposed? A 2016 Georgetown study revealed that a top reason young people are leaving the Catholic Faith is because of a perceived conflict between faith and science. But the Church has been a patron of science throughout the ages,…
Celebrating the Catholic Calendar
Aug 19 • 4 min
There may not be many holidays this month, but the Catholic calendar gives us plenty to celebrate and lots to ponder. Last week we celebrated the solemnity of the Assumption and this week we will celebrate the feast days of St. Bernard, St. Pius X, and…
Go to Adoration … Even If You Don’t Feel Like It
Aug 12 • 4 min
After the recent episode about the Mass, I asked my son Leo if he had any other thoughts for the podcast. His response, "Go to Adoration … even when you don't feel like it." Sounds like great advice to me! In light of the recent revelation that many…
You Aren’t in Control of Your Life
Aug 5 • 4 min
Having no control is a fact of life, and it leaves us feeling anxious and stressed. But it’s important to remember that no matter what happens, God is ultimately in power. We’re reminded of that in this prayer from St. Teresa of Avila: “Let nothing…
3 Books You Will Want to Read Over and Over
Jul 29 • 6 min
Summer is a great time for reading! Here are three books that I find myself returning to over and over again (not including scripture). The Great Divorce by C.S. Lewis St. Thomas Aquinas by G.K. Chesterton Love in the Ruins by Walker Percy What’s on your…
Music and Movement in Prayer
Jul 22 • 4 min
Prayer often involves looking for a quiet place to sit still and listen for God’s voice, but it can also happen in loud, active spaces. Like while you’re at the gym, or in the car, or even mowing the lawn. If it’s difficult to find time to pray, using…
3 Reasons We Go to Mass (According to a 9-Year-Old)
Jul 15 • 5 min
Why do we have to go to Mass? Why can’t we just pray at home or read the Bible on our own time? In the midst of playing Mass, my 9-year-old son Leo gave three simple answers to this question. He delivered a “homily” that started with, “I know you don’t…
Church Teaching on Immigration
Jul 8 • 5 min
What does the Catholic Church say in regards to immigration? The answer is in the Catechism. “The more prosperous nations are obliged, to the extent they are able, to welcome the foreigner in search of the security and the means of livelihood which he…
Delayed Gratification Is One of the Greatest Markers of Happiness
Jul 1 • 5 min
Delayed gratification is counter-intuitive. When we’re hungry, we want to eat. Why would we put that off? Because our short term desires are often opposed to our long term goals and ultimate happiness. For example, it may feel good to eat ice cream right…
Fasting Isn’t Just for Lent
Jun 24 • 5 min
During Lent, Catholics abstain and fast at certain times. But the Catholic Church views every Friday (except solemnities) as a penitential day, which means we should abstain from meat or something else we desire every Friday of the year, and not just…
Remember Your Death
Jun 17 • 5 min
There are three reactions to death: trying to forget it by focusing on pleasure (eat, drink, and be merry), panicking and living in fear, or fixing your gaze on God and the promise of life after death. The third option is definitely the best. A number of…
Ordinary Time Resolutions
Jun 10 • 6 min
If Lent is a fast and Easter is a feast, what’s the purpose of Ordinary Time? Even though it’s called Ordinary Time, we can still use this period for spiritual growth. This season is an opportunity for us to take the discipline we learn from Lent and…
The Importance of the Holy Spirit in Your Life
Jun 3 • 5 min
The Holy Spirit pours into our hearts through the sacraments. It unites us at all times, but during Pentecost, we’re invited to focus on the Holy Spirit. Here are three ways to welcome the Holy Spirit this Pentecost. Prepare your home - go to confession…
2019 Problems Are Not Solved with 1980s Solutions
May 27 • 5 min
What does a teen philosopher have to say? I interviewed some of my students about the struggles they face in 2019, and this week we’re hearing from Kelly. Kelly talks about having the desire to hear advice that is directed exactly at the problems of today…
Building a Culture of Life and a Civilization of Love
May 20 • 5 min
Sometimes a kindergarten graduation makes you think about the beautiful potential of each and every human life. My children are adopted, so the pro life discussion isn’t political, it’s personal. One thing that we don’t talk about as much as the law is…
Spoiler Alert! Why We Crave Adventure
May 13 • 5 min
Why do we hate spoilers so much? Because they ruin the sense of adventure we feel when we watch thrilling stories unfold, and that feeling is so important to us. We crave adventure. But we look for it on the screen instead of in our lives, and in doing…
Providence and Pianos
May 6 • 5 min
How do you react when everything goes right? It doesn’t happen often, but sometimes God’s providence takes over and things seem to work out on their own. This just happened to me when I was trying to move a piano. After failing on my own to find someone…
The Resurrected Wounds of Jesus
Apr 29 • 4 min
Why did Jesus still have wounds after the resurrection? At the end of the Gospel this past Sunday, we get a look at Jesus' resurrected wounds. Not the gory, bloody wounds of the crucifixion, but the wounds that Jesus retained even after he rose from the…
Easter Is a Season of Testimony
Apr 22 • 5 min
The Gospels tell us that there are more encounters with Christ than all of the books of the world can contain. This is especially true at Easter, when Jesus has risen from the dead, and we bear witness to his resurrection. When we experience the joy of…
Take the Crucifix off the Wall
Apr 15 • 4 min
Holy Week is upon us and we find ourselves faced with the mystery of redemption, symbolized by the crucifix we put on our walls. At this time of year, I always think about a man I knew who would take his crucifix off the wall, and place it right in front…
Veronica and the Face of Jesus
Apr 8 • 4 min
The sixth Station of the Cross is where Veronica wipes the face of Jesus—and her example of reaching out to Jesus, even though she couldn’t change anything, is a powerful statement of love. Wiping Jesus’ face seemed to be a futile effort, since his face…
St. Dismas and Our Wounds
Apr 1 • 4 min
St. Dismas is the good thief who hung next to Christ during the crucifixion, and in my opinion, there’s no better saint to think about in times of suffering. In the middle of Dismas’ agony, he recognizes Jesus as his savior, and asks to enter the kingdom…
What’s Holding Us Back from God? C.S. Lewis Has an Idea
Mar 25 • 4 min
C.S. Lewis, in his book Till We Have Faces, suggests the idea that each of us has one complaint holding us back from God. This complaint is the root of our resistance to God, and it is most certainly based on a lie. This Lent ask the Holy Spirit to reveal…
When You Fail at Your Lenten Fast
Mar 18 • 5 min
Ever had a Lenten commitment that just flopped? Me too. You can have the best of intentions at the start of Lent, but if it doesn’t work out, throwing in the towel all together is a real temptation. But don’t give up! Whenever you find yourself starting…
Chaotic Morning? Try These Prayers
Mar 11 • 4 min
Colin has two non-negotiables when it comes to morning prayers: Some kind of interior prayer. Some kind of family prayer. The interior prayer helps him immediately start the day with God in mind. The family prayer helps him orient the family mission…
Should You Give Up Swearing for Lent?
Mar 4 • 5 min
Should you give up swearing for Lent? Well, yeah. But there’s more to it. Lent is a season of repentance, where we attempt to conform ourselves evermore to Christ. We should always be striving to detach ourselves from sin and bad habits, like swearing,…
Reconciliation and True Freedom
Feb 25 • 4 min
In the sacrament of reconciliation, we are given real freedom. Sanctifying grace is restored, sin is washed away, and the very power of Christ’s cross is given to us. We may know in our heads that reconciliation is important, but it’s easy to take it for…
Instagram, St. Ignatius, and Spiritual Exercises
Feb 18 • 5 min
When we see something beautiful, are we concerned with the encounter with God, or with taking a picture to post online? When we put more emphasis on the means the the end, we’re missing out on something great. St. Ignatius talks about this. He says, “The…
God’s Love Letter Specifically for You
Feb 11 • 5 min
Scripture is God’s love letter specifically for you. Have you ever encountered a verse from the Bible that seems to follow you around? This happened to Colin with the verse from 1 Corinthians 13:13, “So faith, hope, love remain, these three; but the…
Be the Real Deal: Venerable Carlo Acutis
Feb 4 • 4 min
“All people are born as originals but many die as photocopies.” - Venerable Carlo Acutis Colin unpacks this quote from Carlo Acutis, a fifteen-year-old boy who died from leukemia in 2006. Carlo was normal kid who loved computers, film, and comics. He also…
Charity Begins at Home: A Cliche Because it’s True
Jan 28 • 4 min
It’s easy to be charitable to people we don’t see very often, but if we really want to grow in this virtue, we have to make sure that charity begins at home. Home is the place where you want to let your guard down and relax, so it’s easy to get annoyed…
Look, Love, and Challenge
Jan 21 • 3 min
We all want to speak the truth with love and walk the line between being a habitual enabler and a judging Pharisee. In the Gospels, Jesus carried out this task of admonishing the sinner with three steps: looking, loving, and challenging. Look - see the…
Episode 39: Joan of Arc’s 607th Birthday Party
Jan 14 • 4 min
Colin’s family celebrated the 607th birthday of St. Joan of Arc—New Orleans style. To kick off the carnival season, New Orleans celebrates the birthday of this great saint with a big parade, songs, good food, and fellowship. The parade even featured…
Episode 38: Carnival Celebration
Jan 7 • 5 min
The day of Christmas has passed, but the Carnival celebration has just begun. Colin talks about the Carnival season in Louisiana that starts on Epiphany and lasts until Mardi Gras. This season is often associated with excess and vice, but there are all…
Episode 37: The Key to Keeping Your New Year’s Resolution
Dec 31, 2018 • 3 min
Colin doesn’t have a lot of hope in New Year’s resolutions…but he does have a lot of hope in God’s grace. Our resolutions have a higher likelihood of sticking when we don’t have to do it entirely on our own willpower. Grace is the gift from God that gives…
Episode 36: Candy Corn and Gift of Self: A Christmas Special
Dec 21, 2018 • 5 min
One of the best gifts you can give at Christmas is a gift of self. Colin was touched by this kind of gift when he encountered a man who had little to give, but did so anyway. His involvement with homeless ministry led Colin to develop a friendship with a…
Episode 35: An Assault of Beauty Can Be an Encounter with Christ
Dec 17, 2018 • 4 min
Colin talks about a time he had an encounter with Christ while listening to beautiful music that brought him to tears. As he was irresistibly drawn in, he realized that art, music, culture, and beauty can be opportunities for evangelization. Colin calls…
Can God be Found in Entertainment Culture?
Dec 10, 2018 • 4 min
Entertainment culture has a pretty bad reputation in Christian communities, but is there a way for us to find God when we go to the movies? Even though there is a lot of brokenness in entertainment culture, we can’t help but point to something greater…
The Immaculate Conception and Real Freedom
Dec 3, 2018 • 4 min
The feast of the Immaculate Conception, the day that Mary was conceived, turns our thoughts toward Mary as we begin Advent. Mary, the New Eve, is not a holy robot. She isn’t boring or predicable. Sometimes our narrow vision of what it is to be without sin…
Episode 32: It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like … Advent
Nov 26, 2018 • 4 min
Christmas has been unleashed, but it’s not even Advent yet. How can we give Advent it’s due without belittling any early Christmas celebrations? Colin’s family has come up with a few ideas: Light candles on an Advent wreath Add straw to a Nativity scene…
Episode 31: Should Sisyphus have been Grateful for his Suffering?
Nov 19, 2018 • 2 min
Life without God can feel like pushing a boulder uphill all day and seeing it back at the bottom every morning, which was the punishment of Sisyphus. But life in Christ offers so much more. With God, we have a destination, and every stress, struggle, and…
Episode 30: The Feminine Genius of St. Scholastica
Nov 12, 2018 • 4 min
We’ve all heard of St. Benedict, but people often neglect to mention Benedict’s twin sister, St. Scholastica. Colin talks about what we know about St. Scholastica (suffice to say, she made it rain) and how she is a fantastic example of what St. John Paul…
Episode 29: Lay Down Your Burdens
Nov 5, 2018 • 4 min
We hear this all the time—just lay down your burdens at God feet and he’ll take care of it—but it takes on new meaning when you hear it sung by your little daughter. _I cast all my cares upon You I lay all of my burdens Down at Your feet And any time I…
Episode 28: Remind Halloween of its Baptismal Promises
Oct 29, 2018 • 4 min
Catholics have the ability to celebrate Halloween better. Halloween can be reduced to a glorification of gore, terror, fear, and even the demonic, but it really points to something much greater. When Christians think of death, we recall that Jesus…
Episode 27: St. John Paul II and Who You Really Are
Oct 22, 2018 • 3 min
“You are not who they say you are. Let me remind you of who you really are.” St. John Paul II reminds us that our identity does not lie in fear, anxiety, or any extrinsic force. This quote is an echo of what Christ teaches us, reminding us of our real…
Episode 26: 3 Life-Changing Catholic Ideas
Oct 15, 2018 • 4 min
Here are three big ideas central to St. John Paul II’s Theology of the Body that can keep us balanced in everything we do—from our work to the way we love. _Snippet from the Show: Life is an epic love story The meaning of life is found in self-gift Every…
Your Guardian Angel Wants to Help You
Oct 8, 2018 • 5 min
Angels are an important part of…well…reality! There are, God knows how many, creatures out there lighting, guarding, ruling and guiding. (There are others, fallen angels, seeking the ruin of souls.) Don’t forget that when you are seeking daily balance and…
God is Good, Not Just Fine
Oct 1, 2018 • 5 min
The difference between “good” and “fine” can have a big impact on how we view God. When someone says, “it’s fine” they often mean, “I will grit my teeth and accept this, but below the surface I’m harboring a lot of resentment.” God is good, but we often…
Pray With Someone
Sep 24, 2018 • 5 min
Colin talks about the time he was stuck in traffic and called Brian Butler to talk business, but instead, he was invited to say a Rosary, and had a beautiful moment of peace with God in the middle of a stressful situation. Check out Colin’s brand new…
How St. Thérèse Can Lead You to Heaven
Sep 17, 2018 • 4 min
As we approach St. Therese's feast day, learn how her "Little Way" can help lead you to heaven.
St. Therese - Malaise, Hurricanes, and the Little Way
Sep 10, 2018 • 6 min
How exactly can you live out St. Therese’s Little Way in your daily life? Snippet from the Show: The most important thing I can do is find ways to be present in the moment and offer small sacrifices of love every day.
The 3 Basics of Christian Life
Sep 3, 2018 • 4 min
Colin lays out these three basics from his son’s second grade religion class that every Catholic needs to actually do to live faithful, holy lives. Daily prayer - We really need prayer, now and always. Let’s talk and listen to God everyday. Receive the…
You Don’t Have to Get Married to Make a Gift of Self
Aug 27, 2018 • 5 min
5 Virtues of St. Joseph to Imitate
Aug 20, 2018 • 5 min
Stop, Connect, and Ask God What to do Next
Aug 13, 2018 • 5 min
The Dog that Doesn’t Do Anything
Aug 6, 2018 • 4 min
Shark Week and Fear of the Lord
Jul 30, 2018 • 5 min
Moana and Finding Who You Are
Jul 23, 2018 • 4 min
The Incredibles and C.S. Lewis
Jul 16, 2018 • 4 min
Home with the Kids
Jul 9, 2018 • 3 min
Independence Day, Freedom, and the Catholic Faith
Jul 2, 2018 • 4 min
Blood Transfusion
Jun 25, 2018 • 5 min
Two Hands
Jun 18, 2018 • 4 min
Ricky the Dragon
Jun 11, 2018 • 5 min
Jun 4, 2018 • 5 min
May 29, 2018 • 3 min
Yanny or Laurel?
May 18, 2018 • 3 min
May 14, 2018 • 4 min
Intro: Balance, Tension, and the Tightrope
May 14, 2018 • 4 min
Colin explains the two major themes—tension and balance—that will show up in each episode of the Tightrope. He points out that tension isn't always a bad thing, and that balance isn't something we ever achieve once and for all.
Tacos for Breakfast
May 14, 2018 • 5 min
Episode 1: Stay Tuned for The Tightrope- Coming May 14!
May 2, 2018 • 1 min