Distractions in Prayer, Alcoholic Spouses, and Racism in the Church

Fr. Josh answers questions about being distracted and easily bored by daily prayer, what to do if your spouse is a verbally abusive alcoholic, and how to respond to racism in the church. If you have a question, comment, or response for Fr. Josh, email us at askfrjosh@ascensionpress.com. You may hear your question or comment in an upcoming podcast episode!


Snippet from the Show

I don’t want to worship the gifts of God, I want to worship the God who gives and takes away gifts.




Glory Story (0:53)

Fr. Josh shares a bit about the beauty he encountered during his recent pilgrimage to Assisi.


Listener Feedback (4:16)


Distractions in Prayer (5:56)

Thank you for your awesome podcast. Not only is it educational, but it is also uplifting! Keep up the good work! My question is about persisting in the habits of daily prayer when I am easily distracted and easily bored. I know that daily prayer is essential to growing in holiness, but sometimes it seems like drudgery. What do you do to “keep on keeping on”in your prayer life?



Racism in the Church (14:41)

Love, love, love your podcasts!  Thank you for the time and dedication you put into your work/call! You are enriching the lives of many Catholics and bringing many back to the Church! Praise God! I am super excited about your book too! I can’t wait to order a copy! Ok…here we go!

Several podcasts ago, you spoke briefly about racism… We are in the midst of one of the biggest scandals in the lifetime of the Church with the sexual abuse and cover-up by the hierarchy. Is there any part of you that knows that the hidden sin of racism in the Church is the next veil to be lifted? How do you think the Church should practically respond to this? What are some practical ways we can begin to unravel the sin of racism at the parish level? Gosh, I hope I make the cut! I hope more people write in about this topic. We need to keep this convo alive!  🙂 Thanks! God bless you!

-Sally Sue


Alcoholic Spouses (28:37)

I recently listened to your podcast for the first time. You ended with the verse love endures all things. I have a question about this. As a married person, do I have to endure ALL things?

My husband and I have been married for 27 1/2 years. We experienced a very traumatic event 181/2 years ago, in which two of our kids almost died and I was hospitalized as well.  We all survived physically, but within the year, my husband started drinking heavily. When he is sober, he is my best friend, confidant, and love of my life. When he drinks, he becomes a different person. He is mean, can be verbally abusive and tries to pick fights.

Over the years, I’ve tried my best to support him. We’ve attended marriage encounter, counseling, and talked to priests. His drinking has impacted our life financially, emotionally, physically (I am worried about the impact on his body) and spiritually.

Recently, our kids have moved out and are in college. I decided that although I’ve tried to support him in every way I can think of, I no longer have to endure certain things, like sleeping in the same bedroom. For years, I’ve put up with him talking in his sleep and saying extremely mean words, excessive snoring due to his alcoholism and our bedroom smelling like an old stale bar, so I now sleep in a different room.

It has been somewhat life changing. Getting adequate sleep has positively impacted my health, work, and overall well being. My husband doesn’t care for this and is upset. He won’t change, but he wants me to continue deal with the negative impact his drinking has on me. Does love really endure ALL things? I am so weary of watching his self destruction and so tired of waiting for him to turn this around. I am moving forward, while he remains stagnant.

-A Tired Sister in Christ


Universal Points (35:05)
  1. Distractions in Prayer – Use the five W’s to help you be more consistent in your relationship with Jesus.
  2. Racism in the Church – Fast, especially from speaking. Listen to people’s stories so that we can together transform policies and practices that perpetuate division.
  3. Alcoholic Spouses – Pray and fast for your spouse to get to heaven. Put up whatever healthy boundaries need to be put up for your spouse to grow in a deeper intimacy with Jesus.




Fr. Josh smiling
Meet Your Host, Fr. Josh Johnson:                            

While Fr. Josh was raised Catholic, he didn’t like the Church growing up. One day, in adoration, he fell in love with Jesus and received the call to become a priest. Now, Fr.Josh is the pastor for Our Lady of the Holy Rosary Catholic Church in Louisiana, and he is a presenter in two of Ascension’s programs: Altaration, and YOU: Life, Love, and the Theology of the Body.

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