Catholic Commute S02E13 5 ways to fight the darkness

What to do when everything seems broken

Recently things haven’t been going as smoothly as I’d like.  There have been difficulties with work and at home.  When everything feels broken, and I cannot seem to get anything to actually work, it’s hard not to just give in to frustration.  Yet, in those moments, there are still things that we can do to fight against the darkness.

We all hit those periods of darkness, periods when life just doesn’t seem to make sense.  It’s basically a guarantee right from the gospel.  This is my first episode in quite some time, I hope you find it helpful.  I discuss a lot of what has been going on in my life recently.

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Catholic Commute S02E09 Two Roots of Sin

We fall in pretty simple ways

I recently heard the phrase that we only sin in two ways: We either reduce people to the level of animals, or we raise ourselves to the state of a god.  What does this actually mean, and what good does it do us?  I think there is something basic here about the way humanity works – and by extension, the way the evil one plays upon us.

In this episode, I explore how the 7 deadly sins all break down to some component of these two roots.  Understanding these breakdowns is only the first step.  In order to make practical improvement, we also need to discuss how to avoid them.  I propose several questions to ask when feeling tempted to help sort out what the right thing to do is, thus avoiding these type pitfalls.

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Catholic Commute S02E08 Hope of Lent – Interview with Diane Houdek

How you can have a lent that matters

In this episode I am joined by Diane Houdek, author of the book The Hope of Lent.  It features a lot of wisdom and teaching from Pope Francis, and is a great guide to your lenten journey.  Whether you are just starting or trying to recover, I recommend the book!

Diane does a great job making each daily meditation really practical to that day.  I found myself connecting with the comfortable wisdom that Pope Francis can offer.  In this episode, Diane and I discuss what everyone could gain from this book, in order to find a lent that accomplishes real change.

I recommend the book, and encourage you to go check it out!  You can download the episode here!

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Catholic Commute S02E01 Book Gates of Fire – 4 Lessons a modern man can learn from the ancients

The real lessons of the 300 spartans who died at thermopylae

New season!  I’m excited to have you all along for this, I hope you enjoy it.  We now have a “Saint of the episode” and some new music.  I’m leading off episode 1 with a review of a truly phenomenal book.  The book is called “Gates of Fire.”  It’s basically a story of the Spartans death by King Xerxes at the battle of thermopylae.  Yes, it is the battle that the movie “300” is based upon – but all similarity ends there.

This books is really great, I strongly encourage you to read it.  It goes into great depth about the meaning of bravery, courage, and sacrifice.  It speaks to the heart of what makes a man, what man is.  I also think it is a great testimony to the truth and power of living a Christian life.

In this episode, I highlight 4 specific truths that I learned from reading this book, and also that all modern men (and women too!) can learn from the ancients.  I hope you like it.

New music is from:

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Catholic Commute S01E58 4 Specific Last Things to Think About

In the right perspective, everything of the world is finite

In the last episode, I spoke about why last things are important.  In this episode, I want to really dive into 4 specific endings that can help give perspective.  When we consider endings, we gain meaning and purpose for the “now.”  Without considering endings, it’s very easy – especially for men – to become lost and distracted by the daily pursuits, challenges, and “to-do” lists.  This is the rabbit hole that we can pour our lives into without almost any return.

In order to pull our heads back out of those rabbit-holes, we need to consider the endings.  The endings help us to really focus on just how important the relationships we have with other people are.  People are the only infinite objects our senses encounter.  In ten trillion years (or perhaps even a bit longer), the only thing that will remain will be people – yet that will only be but the smallest blip of the eternity to come.

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Catholic Commute S01E57 5 Reasons to think about Last Things

Looking at the end gives you the tools you need to make it happen

At the time of recording, we are nearing the end of the year.  Rather than dwell on that particular ending, I am forced to ponder the larger picture of endings and last things.  So much of our world is focused upon the “now.”  We lose sight of where we are going, and thus also lose perspective on what is important.

When we focus on the Last thing, or the endings, we gain perspective.  We gain more than that.  This focus isn’t limited merely to the end of our life or current project, but also includes endings of projects, parenthood (at least in the house), employment, etc.  All things must pass.  When we forget that fact we can be consumed by attention to the unimportant.

In this episode I consider several last things, starting with the ending of the Old Testament and the beginning of the day of Jesus.  I offer you 5 reasons why you should think about the last thing of whatever project you are working on right now.  Start with the end, and gain important perspective about what to do in the “now.”

You can download the .mp3 here!

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Catholic Commute S01E56 6 Steps to release offense at Jesus

We cannot be open to love when we are offended

In the last episode, I discussed many practical ways that we can be offended by Jesus.  While no one is offended by healing the blind, lame, deaf, etc., we can very well be offended when God doesn’t give us what we think we want.  In those moments, our hearts are closed to His love.

In this episode, I discuss 6 steps to take to help release that offense. God is infinite, God is perfect, God is awesome.  He will not change – but we can.  By changing how we view both Him and our own lives, we can release our sense of offense at God.  When that is released, we are open to the love that He wants to give us.

You can download the .mp3 here!

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Catholic Commute S01E55 Are you offended by Jesus

5 ways we all take offense at Jesus

In Matthew 11:6, our Lord says “And blessed is anyone who takes no offense at me.”  What does this mean?  It’s easy to see how much of the secular world takes offense at Jesus, but do we?  What does this even mean?  Most of what Jesus taught was good and loving.  Who would take offense?

At the time of recording, we are almost at Christmas, 2016.  In order to help prepare our hearts for this Christmas – or any time of year – I want us all to ponder where we take offense at the teachings of Our Lord.  It is a virtual certainty we do somewhere – we are all selfish.  I know that I certainly do, though it surprised me to discover so.

In this episode, I discuss 5 ways I found that I am offended by Jesus.  I did not expect to find this when I first encountered this verse.  I hope that you will learn something about how you think and feel by going through these ways.  In the next episode, I hope to offer some ideas to help let go of this offense, and thus ready ourselves for Him to truly come.

You can download the .mp3 directly here!

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Catholic Commute S01E54 Interview with Father Dan Horan

Review of his latest book "God is not fair, and other reasons for gratitude"

This week we have a very special episode.  I am very excited to present to you an interview with Father Dan Horan, author of the book “God is not fair, and other reasons for gratitude.”  Father Dan is a very gifted writer and speaker who does a great job of bringing the catholic faith into the 21st century.

This book is different from most books – instead of one consistent narrative, it is a series of almost unrelated reflections.  I do not recommend trying to read them all back-to-back, but instead something like one per day.  Each deals with a modern topic or viewpoint that is relevant to today.  Each will challenge you a little bit in how you live your life.

I really enjoyed this interview, and it went a bit longer than usual.  This week we’ll only have one episode because it went so long.  I hope you enjoy the conversation, and that you learn a lot.  I know I did!

You can download the file here!

Catholic Commute S01E52 5 Questions to identify your own fruit

The ax is even now lying at the foot of the tree

In this Sunday’s gospel reading, John the Baptist tells us that we must produce good fruit.  Speaking to the pharisees, he says that “Even now the ax is lying at the root of the trees; every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.”  This warning applies to us even now – perhaps especially now.

Those of us who are fortunate enough to live in a modern first-world country are so blessed.  We have lives of comfort and convenience that are unmatched in all of history.  Yet, even in the midst of our comfort, we must be vigilant.  Our Lord promises us that we will be judged by our fruit.  Yet, how are we to know what our fruit is?

I think it’s important to step back and really identify what the true impact of our choices are.  In this episode, I attempt to help you identify what your fruits are, and what the results of your choices really mean.  Next episode I’ll discuss how to improve those fruits.

As always, you can download here!

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