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 S02E12 Interview with Ragan Sutterfield – The Given Life

What modern Americans may be missing in life

This week I offer you a rather different topic.  I do believe that we often confuse what is important in life, and end up drifting around.  We move from place to place, and drift from topic to topic.  Wendell Berry is a well-known author who started many of the modern grass-roots movements, and he has a lot to offer on this phenomenon.  This week, I interview Ragan Sutterfield, who has written a biography on Wendell Berry.

What is the value of staying in one location and growing roots?  What are the dangers of modern technology?  Berry offers his views – via Sutterfield – on these topics.  Join our conversation!

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Catholic Commute S02E11 6 Reasons why you need to stop watching sex on TV

Skin isn't as innocent as the media suggests

This is a difficult topic, one we all struggle with.  We are bombarded daily with a mass of skin-revealed content.  Society around us says that there’s nothing wrong with a little bit of skin.  After all, we do have some limits, right?  Yet, deep down inside, we get this sense that something isn’t quite right.  Perhaps we enjoy it a bit too much – or perhaps we feel awkward watching it.

I’m going to advocate a difficult choice.  I think we, all Christians, should stop watching sexual scenes on television.  This isn’t easy – without great tools like VidAngel, it may mean just giving up certain movies and TV shows.  Still, I think it’s important.

I invite you to listen to my reasons and, if you feel moved, send me a response with what you think.  This may be one of my most controversial episodes yet.

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Catholic Commute S02E10 Separation and Divorce with Lisa Duffy

Healing and Hope for those in separation

Lisa Duffy returns to the show for a third time to conclude the series.  We wrap up our theme of marriage with a discussion about what to do when your spouse has left.  This episode opens up very painful and difficult subjects.  It is not an easy discussion, and only those who are in this situation understand just how yucky it can be.  I am so thankful for Lisa’s wisdom and perspective.

Although the topic of discussion is separation and divorce, I believe that this episode contains a great deal of wisdom for all of us, married or not.  Those of us whose marriage is still intact need to remember just how valuable it is, how precious.  We need to fight for it.  But we also need to pray for those whose marriage is not intact.  Their path is a difficult one, and all our hearts must go out to support them and work for resolution.

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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 S02E07 Practical ways to improve your marriage

Interview with Lisa Duffy #2

Mrs. Lisa Duffy is an expert on the subject of marriage and divorce.  In order to help us guys out a bit more (and who doesn’t need the help with marriage?) I have invited her back again for another interview.  The last time she was a deep well of great ideas, and this time I think she was even better.

I think it’s hard for us men – we genuinely do want to try to love our wives, but we often don’t know how, or we mis-fire somehow.  In this episode, we really zoom in on some practical steps that men can do, in many different phases of marriage, to effectively tell our wives that we do love them, that we want to serve them.  I know that I learned a lot in this episode!

If you enjoy what Lisa has to offer, you can read more from her books!

You can download the episode here!

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Catholic Commute S02E06 Do you look like Jesus?

Look for what is good, and you will find it

I just got back from attending the Idaho Catholic Men’s conference.  What an amazing event, and my special thanks to those who helped make it possible!  We were blessed with a lot of great speakers, including Father Mike Schmitz. He was particularly awesome, and suggested a neat way of looking at the world.  Literally, are you looking in the same direction, and at the same thing, as Jesus is.

I want to expand that idea.  I believe that God is particularly good at seeing the Good.  He can see “good” in almost any nasty, icky, or yucky situation we humans create.  Precisely because He sees the good, he is able to react to that good.  Our very existence is continual proof that He can see the good.

I want to challenge all of us to look for the good as well.  When we find the good in our wives, children, jobs, houses, and indeed ourselves, it shapes our reality, and our understanding of what the world is like.  We become more like Jesus.

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Catholic Commute S02E05 5 Ways to be Present

You can't influence someone who you aren't with

Today we have distractions all around us.  Multiple pieces of technology constantly attack our attention.  Phones are beeping, email is calling, and news updates are flashing.  It’s harder than ever to actually be in one place at one time.  Yet, it is critical that we are present with other people to enable real relationships.  I can think of no greater challenge in the technological age than truly being present with people amidst the noise of technology.

In this episode I explore the topic of Presence.  People cannot connect to us or believe that we think they matter if we aren’t actually present with them.  This concept isn’t new – what’s new is that it’s now possible to be physically present but not mentally present in totally new ways.  To establish meaningful relationships, to truly affect the change we desperately want to affect, we must be present with people.  In this episode I present my thoughts about how to do that.

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Catholic Commute S02E04: 4 Reasons why your attitude is critical – and how to improve it

You cannot win at life without a good attitude

I’m currently reading the book “Developing the leader within you” by John Maxwell.  The book is fantastic, and one point he really drives home is how important your attitude is to every aspect of your life. It’s not enough to sit back and wait for something good to happen.  Those who succeed at their dreams are the ones who chose to make the best of their lives – every day.

In this episode, I discuss 4 reasons why our attitudes are so critical.  It probably affects more of our day than we realize.  I also add in the 6 steps that Maxwell offers to change our attitude.  With proper motivation and the right steps, we can salvage any attitude and make the impact we want to our lives.

You can download the episode here!

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