This page lists all my efforts on this blog to “Optimize Your Life Around the Catholic Faith”. My overall life goal is to transform the reader and myself from a casual Catholic believer to a living Catholic saint. This goal will pretty much be impossible to complete, but we should at least try. Nearly everything on this blog has to do with this overarching goal.
- Catholic Insights – Insights that may help the reader improve their faith.
- Catholic Analysis – Analysis of Catholic writings by the Popes, Church, saints, and more.
- Personal Catechism – The ideals I live by, and an example for others to make their own ideals.
- Personal Thoughts – Personal things that affect my outlook on life and the Catholic faith.
- Entertainment Thoughts – Various thoughts on Catholic works and other entertainment.
- The Star Wars Novel Project – Various thoughts about Star Wars novels.
Occasionally, I am just living my life when an epiphany suddenly comes to me that strengthens my understanding of the faith. Others may have already discovered these same insights, but I want to write about them anyways just in case it is new to anyone reading. Sometimes these will be a different way of looking at some aspect of the faith, which can change how a person sees it going forward. Other times these will be short guides with the idea to help both readers and myself become better at practicing the faith.
- Avoiding Perfectionism, 9/28/2017 – The difference between perfectionism and the strive for perfection that all Catholics are called to; Catholics are not perfectionists.
- The Four Catholic Vocations, 5/12/2017 – A brief explanation of vocations recognized by the Catholic faith and how single life fits in.
- There is No Luck but God, 4/17/2017 – What luck really means and how it doesn’t really fit the Catholic faith.
- Simple Living for Catholics Part 2: Examples, 3/27/2017 – A detailed illustration showing how to implement Catholic simple living in your family life.
- Simple Living for Catholics Part 1: Definition and Practice, 3/25/2017 – The basic idea of simple living for Catholics.
- What is Good Prayer?, 3/17/2017 – How to pray with a deep sense of meaning that you will love and cherish your prayer time every day.
- The Importance of Chastity, 3/10/2017 – How the lack of chastity has greatly damaged modern relationships.
- Culpability for Sins Related to Addiction, 3/03/2017 – How to discern culpability for sins related to addiction.
- The Progression of Faith, 2/27/2017 – The stages of the faith journey, where the believer goes from easy beliefs to harder beliefs.
- The Real Way to Make America Great Again, 2/24/2017 – How the family is the bedrock of society and raising good children is required for a great society.
- The Hidden Dangers of Modern Communication for Children, 2/20/17 – How parents need to protect their children from the Internet, including a summary of the many dangers posed to children through this new medium.
- Maintaining the Trinity of Our Health, 2/17/17 – The importance of evaluating the mind, body, and spirit to know where they stand and what to change.
- What Heaven Will Be Like, 2/13/17 – A detailed description of the unimaginable goodness of heaven.
- What Hell Will Be Like, 2/10/2017 – A detailed description of the horrible reality of hell.
- God’s Answer to Concupiscence, 2/06/2017 – Accepting God’s grace to counter our tendency to sin.
- The Way God Works, 2/03/2017 – How God does work in the world and what it means for Catholics.
- The Challenge of Tough Times, 1/30/2017 – Facing tough times and coming out stronger.
- Catholic Responsibility, 1/30/2016 – The unique responsibility God has given to Catholics.
- The Downward Spiral of Sin, 1/16/2016 – How one sin leads to another and one way to fight against this.
- Praying the Rosary with Meaning, 1/15/2016 – Ideas to help your Rosary prayers reach new spiritual heights.
- Using the Rosary for Discernment, 12/28/2015 – The Rosary is a versatile prayer that can be adapted to meditate on things besides the Mysteries, primarily for discernment.
- There is only Good and Evil, 12/19/2015 – Every word, thought, or action is one of two states of morality. There is no such thing as gray.
- God’s Will vs. God’s will, 12/18/2015 – How the same phrase is used in two very different ways.
- Time in Heaven, 12/18/2015 – Unlike many Catholics, I believe time exists in heaven, my defense inside.
- Being Humble in Our Achievements, 12/18/2015 – How much credit we deserve for our achievements.
- Compensating for Sinful Actions, 12/18/2015 – Good deeds cannot compensate for bad deeds, yet good deeds still helps indirectly.
I dedicated a whole chapter to study of the faith in the Personal Catechism book (see below). What better way to study the faith than to analyze Catholic works by the Popes, Church, saints, and other religious people? While I primarily study Catholic writings, I leave the option open to study other works like movies. It is easiest to study writing as the author has the time to really dig deep into theology. In most cases, I analyze the meaning of these writings line by line on my own, then write a report that boils down the lengthy text into the main points. Whereas my Catholic Works Thoughts are based on my personal opinions, I seek to be more objective in my Catholic Analysis.
- Wise Words in “Amoris Laetitia” – A multipart series that explores all the words of wisdom contained in this lengthy apostolic exhortation by Pope Francis.
- 27 Easy Questions to Prepare for Confession According to Fr. Larry Richards’ Speech on Confession, 3/29/2017 – A list of questions to ponder before the Sacrament of Confession that covers the most common serious sins.
- The Depth of the Commandments According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1/10/2016 – A short explanation of the progression from general to specific commandments with the opposing sins. Includes a chart that summarizes the text.
- The Top Ten Qualities of Jesus According to the Bible, 12/17/2015 – I read all four Gospels writing down the qualities Jesus exhibited in all his actions and how often. I then ranked them to get a list of Jesus’ most dominant qualities. Inspired by an exercise in Be a Man by Fr. Larry Richards.
This project was the original reason I created this blog. As I started to think about how I needed to change, I came up with several things I wanted to be doing on a regular basis. I decided to put them on a website for convenience. Then I could easily give people I met the link to explain why I acted the way I did. The initial result of the work I did was this “book”, listing out all my ideals. Even though it is finished, I still need to update it as my life situation changes. Additionally, I post a yearly examination, where I look at how good or bad I did at living up to my ideals. I encourage readers to create their own Personal Catechism with the ideals they need to be a saint. Feel free to use anything I have written as a starting point.
Personal Catechism Book:
- Chapter 1: Prayer
- Chapter 2: Study of the Faith
- Chapter 3: Teaching of Others
- Chapter 4: Service
- Chapter 5: Work
- Chapter 6: Health
- Chapter 7: Leisure
- Chapter 8: Money
Yearly Examinations of Ideals:
Not everything I post is directly about optimizing. Sometimes I write about more personal things to give readers a fuller picture of who I am and how that influences my efforts to optimize the reader and myself around the Catholic faith. Personal Thoughts is mostly a catch-all for any post that doesn’t fit in the above Projects. This blog will never become a journal, but I do want people to have some idea who I am.
- The Suffering Servant, 3/06/2017 – How I reflect Jesus.
- Social Anxiety, 1/31/2016 – Information about a health problem I am living with.
- The Games I Don’t Play, 1/09/2016 – A few rules I follow when deciding which video games to play.
- What Being Catholic Means to Me, 1/03/2016 – The reasons I chose the Catholic faith.
A big part of optimizing my life is reducing my attachments to material goods. I realized early on a key part of this was not holding on to all the entertainment I had at home. Once I saw a movie, I didn’t really need to keep it around. I could give it away or sell it and donate the money to charity. So I wrote thoughts on all the movies, music, books, and video games I had. Going forward, when I write my thoughts on something I experience, I am free to give it away and never think about it again.
- Entertainment Thoughts – The main archive of all my thoughts on entertainment.
- Catholic Thoughts – A subcategory containing my thoughts on Catholic entertainment, mostly books.
The Star Wars Novel Project
This is the only project not related to Catholicism. I simply had the idea one day to read all the Star Wars books and write my thoughts on them. I don’t know if I will ever finish because most of my reading time is spent with Catholic writings. I can probably read one book a month, so it will be years if I ever finish all the books. On top of that, new books are released every year, adding even more to the list. This project is technically part of Thoughts on Entertainment (see above), but its importance is very low. It stays at the bottom of the list.
- The Star Wars Novel Project – The main index, listing all books with links to my thoughts on them.
- “star wars” Tag – I recommend using the main index above, but this is the WordPress archive of all my Star Wars book thoughts.