021: Medieval to Modern: From Hope To Despair…And Back Again

catholic_FINAL_150This one may be better than the first (which is saying something).

In Episode 020 of The Art of Catholic, I began an interview with Dr. Andrew Jones about the very different world of the High Middle Ages. (By different, I’m not only referring to their penchant for body armor and ale.)

In particular we talked about the huge impact of the Fourth Lateran Council, and started to dabble in how medievals viewed the 4 Senses of Scripture as a way of life, not just how to approach a book.

(If you’re thinking, “sounds like a snoozer” you’d be mistaken. It’s been a very popular episode. Reports are even circulating about Fourth Lateran Council costume parties since the episode posted.)

This is part two of my interview with Andrew. And it might even be better than the first.

Among other things we’re going to get into some very interesting material like how the High Middle Ages had a wildly different view of the relationship between Church and State; a much more intimate and integrated relationship between priests and laity; and even why medievals only received the Eucharist a few times a year (even though they were at Mass).Knights Halls in Acre, Israel

This is not about romanticizing the past.

Yes, Andrew does have a “I’m A Monarchist and I Vote” bumper sticker on his car. But aside from that (and the coat of arms on all of his sweaters), you’d never know he was a avid medievalist.

In fact, we’ll discuss some of the dangers inherent to the worldview of the High Middle Ages. But also what we can learn from it, too.



P.S. Don’t forget to 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 guide to help you rocket to God!

8 Ways To Jumpstart Your Prayer Life Cover Image

For Love Of Our Lady

It seems appropriate. After all, this morning in Adoration as I was praying the Liturgy of the Hours, I realized it was the feast of Blessed Miguel Augustin Pro, one of the martyrs of Mexico’s famous Cristero War in the late 1920s.


More than 90,000 people died in this war, perhaps the most severe persecution of Catholicism in modern times. (Check out the movie “For Greater Glory”, which was about this war.)

I was a Protestant missionary in Fresnillo, Zacatecas, in the mid-1990s. And one of the things I noticed was I never saw Catholic priests wearing their collars in public. I’d no idea it was outlawed by the Mexican Constitution back in 1917. (I believe that restriction, along with many others, was finally lifted in 1992. But old habits die hard.)

Anyway, when praying my Magnificat this morning, I read that Blessed Miguel Pro was from Guadalupe, Zacatecas, about an hour from where I lived and worked as a missionary. At that point I chuckled inwardly. Why? Again, it just seems appropriate since he’s on the itinerary of my upcoming pilgrimage to visit the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe.1531_Nuestra_Señora_de_Guadalupe_anagoria

If you’ve ever heard me talk about my conversion, you know that I had a terrible time with Mary. She was so foreign to the way I was raised. I considered any veneration of Mary to be flat out idolatry. That’s all changed. I fall more in love with her every day. In fact, I really believe Marian devotion is a key to deep spiritual growth. You can’t get intimately close to Jesus without getting close to His Mother.

So I’m leading a St. Paul Center pilgrimage to visit her in sunny Mexico this coming February (when everyone else is shivering), and I’m inviting you to come along.

Check out the little video I put together about an amazing trip I’m leading to visit and pray at the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe, the tomb of Blessed Miguel Pro, and a host of other incredible places. It’s going an incredible time of spiritual growth and joyful celebration of Mary, the most amazing woman who ever lived!

For details on the pilgrimage click here.


020: The Most Important Church Council You’ve Never Heard Of

catholic_FINAL_150Okay. I’m about to ask you a question. Be honest…Raise your hand if you’ve ever heard of the Fourth Lateran Council. Okay…How about Pope Innocent III?

For those of you with your hands still up, how many of you can give me any details on either?…Anyone? Bueller? (That never gets old.)

Believe it or not, not knowing is a giant hole in our education. Everyone should know something about both because they played a pivotal role in the history of the Church. Lateran Four is every bit as big as Nicea, Trent, and Vatican II. In fact, it continues to heavily influence how we live today.a_jones

(Full disclosure…I didn’t know “jack” about it until this interview. So don’t feel bad if you didn’t either.)

To plug the information hole in my head and yours, I’ve brought in Dr. Andrew Jones, an expert on the High Middle Ages (which doesn’t refer to people in their late 50s.) He knows all about the Church in the 11th to 13th centuries. Andrew has spent years researching this incredibly rich and fascinating time period and is going to share with us why it was so important.

Medieval Templar Castle of year 1178 in Ponferrada, SpainWhat I think you’re going to find is that much of what took place back then is incredibly applicable to our present circumstances. So go put on your suit of armor, grab an ale, and enjoy.


P.S.Click here to help more people experience solid Catholic material by leaving The Art of Catholic a rating and review.