078: Unpacking the Our Father

The Inner Logic of the Most Famous of All Prayers

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Parts of it should actually scare you.

All of it should inspire you.

The Our Father is the most famous of all prayers, taught to us by God himself.

And while you’ve probably droned through it a few thousand times, have you ever really dug into what you’re saying?

For a long time, I hadn’t. And my guess is it’s the same for many of you.

So in celebration of the upcoming (at least in many countries) Father’s Day holiday, I thought I’d pay homage to the Our Father on the Art of Catholic podcast, by unveiling the inner logic of Christ’s own prayer.

Because this isn’t just a prayer, it’s a deep, rich teaching that provides a window into the very identities of both God and man, and our incredible relationship.

I have a chapter devoted to this deep and beautiful prayer in my book, “Prayer Works: Getting a  Grip on Catholic Spirituality.” So I thought I’d just do a kind of audio book reading of that chapter for you.

In it, we’ll cover things like:

  • The incredible power of words
  • The scariest petition ever
  • All the forms of prayer
  • The order in which we should ask for things from God
  • The meaning and theology underlying each petition of the Our Father

After listening to this episode, my guess is that you’ll never pray the Our Father the same way again.

Happy Our Father’s Day!

Matthew

P.S. I’m heading back to Italy! Join me in March 2019 for an amazing pilgrimage to Rome, Assisi, Orvieto, LaVerna, and much, much more!

Check it out here!

 

 

 

 

 

Grab your FREE copy of my quick guide to deeper prayer 8 Ways To Jumpstart Your Prayer Life! 

 

 

 

 

 

How to Be Sure You’re Being Led by the Holy Spirit…

Have you ever met someone who said they did something because they felt “led by the Spirit”?

Sometimes it ends in disaster.

(I’m pretty sure that guy who thought God told him to paint his body blue and illegally run across the football field at halftime shouting “Hail, Mary!” wasn’t really tuned into God’s channel. The Spirit apparently led him to jail.)

And yet there’s certainly a reality to being led by the Spirit. It’s what we should be doing every day.

After all, Christ did.

At his baptism, the Holy Spirit descended upon our Lord in the form of a dove. Then Matthew 4:1 tells us he was “led by the Spirit into the wilderness.” In other words, the Holy Spirit directed his actions.

And this is the example we’re all to follow. But how? How can we know we’re actually being led by the Spirit?

Well I’ve got one word for you…”Mary.”

Those of you who have been reading my posts or listening to my Art of Catholic podcast lately know we’ve been talking about how intimately Mary is united with the Holy Spirit.

In fact, St. Maximilian Kolbe makes an incredibly stunning statement that brings this mystery into sharp focus. Back in 1936, he declared that “the Holy Spirit and Mary are two persons who live in such intimate union that they live but one sole life.” Whoa!

That idea would have totally freaked me out when I was coming into the Church some twenty years ago.

Not anymore.

After all, we’re talking about the woman “overshadowed” (​episkiazo​ in Greek) by the Holy Spirit in the same manner the powerful Old Testament Ark of the Covenant. 

We’re talking about the one woman God chose to carry within her womb and give birth to his only Son. She’s the one woman who is the very Mother of God and Spouse of the Holy Spirit.

So while one is creature and the other is the Third Person of the Trinity, it’s virtually impossible to overestimate the depth of the relationship between Mary and the Holy Spirit. She literally conceived God in her womb because of Him!

Anyone who argues against the special relationship between Mary and the Holy Spirit simply isn’t being true to Scripture. That’s some of what Curtis Mitch and I spoke about in my last podcast on the Queenship of Mary in Revelation 12.

And because of their intimacy, Mary is the key to us being led by the Spirit.

The Wedding at Cana is a perfect example. The same Spirit that led him into the wilderness, worked through Mary in order to instruct him in his first miracle.

Why else would Christ perform his first miracle when his “hour has not yet come” (Jn 2:4)? He knew she was intimately united with the Spirit. He knew the Spirit was working through His Mother. So he listened and obeyed.

So did the servants.

After instructing her Son, she turns to them and says, “Do whatever he tells you” (Jn 2:5). They immediately obey and so played an intimate role in a beautiful miracle.

And it’s the same with us.

If you want to be led by the Spirit, get close to Mary. Pray your rosary. Recite your litanies. Throw yourself into her maternal care and beg for her intercession.

And once you’re tuned into her voice and do what she says, you’ll be acting just like Jesus Christ. You’ll be led by the Spirit into the divine life of God.

God bless!

Matthew

P.S. I’m heading back to Italy! Join me in March 2019 for an amazing pilgrimage to Rome, Assisi, Orvieto, LaVerna, and much, much more!

Check it out here!

 

 

 

 

 

Grab your FREE copy of my quick guide to deeper prayer 8 Ways To Jumpstart Your Prayer Life! 

It’s an easy, step-by-step summary of the spiritual giants of the Church designed to help you rocket to God!

 

 

 

 

 

 

077: Next Level Queenship of Mary

Featuring Curtis "the canonical canon" Mitch

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You may think you’ve heard it all when it comes to Mary.

Think again.

I’m betting that my buddy Curtis Mitch is going to lay some new thoughts on you about Our Lady as we continue to celebrate May, the month of Mary, on this episode of the Art of Catholic.

Curtis, as many of you know, has been writing the commentary on the Ignatius Catholic Study Bible for about 20 years. I’ve never met anyone with his depth and breadth of scriptural knowledge.

He’s the perfect guy to turn to when it comes to going next level about Mary.

The truth is, the Virgin Mary is a mystery we’ve yet to fully unpack. Her God-given power and vital role go so far beyond what we can imagine.

But we’re going to start to change that.

In this special episode of the Art of Catholic, Curtis and I will dive into several different texts to discuss:

  • Why “Queen of Heaven” is totally a scriptural title (and not a medieval invention)
  • How the Annunciation in Luke 1 identifies the Queenship of Mary
  • The multiple levels of meaning of the woman “clothed with the sun” in Revelation 12
  • Why the 10th son (not the 1st) of David came to the throne and how his mother is connected to Mary
  • Why Bathsheba was given a throne and how it points to the royal role of Mary
  • How the crucifixion of Christ actually points to Mary’s Queenship

Really understanding how the Queenship of Mary changes everything. Your mother is literally the Queen of Heaven and Earth!

And it’s right out of the Bible itself.

God bless and enjoy this great episode!

Matthew

P.S. I’m heading back to Italy! Join me in March 2019 for an amazing pilgrimage to Rome, Assisi, Orvieto, LaVerna, and much, much more!

Check it out here!

 

 

 

 

 

Grab your FREE copy of my quick guide to deeper prayer 8 Ways To Jumpstart Your Prayer Life! 

It’s an easy, step-by-step summary of the spiritual giants of the Church designed to help you rocket to God!

 

Other episodes you might enjoy:

06: Bible Basics With John Bergsma

043: (More) New Testament Basics with John Bergsma

054: Understanding Extreme Violence in the Bible with Curtis Mitch