071: Understanding Indulgences…Finally

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We’re not supposed to talk about them.

They’re supposed to be like that embarrassing uncle no one mentions by name at family functions. But that’s crazy.

In this episode of the Art of Catholic podcast we’re going to unveil the beautiful theology and practice of indulgences. Far from being an indefensible leftover we’d rather sweep under the medieval rug, indulgences are a powerful witness to God’s mercy. They are an incredible help in our journey to heaven.

But we need to understand them.

So as to help us make use of the Church’s treasury of merit (and really understand what in the world the “treasury of merit” even is), I brought in Mary Moorman. She’s a brilliant lady who recently wrote a pretty thick book on the topic titled, Indulgences: Luther, Catholicism, and the Imputation of Merit.

Among other issues, we’ll discuss:

  • What an indulgence is and how to obtain one
  • Pope St. John Paul II’s insightful take on indulgences
  • The very important difference between sacraments and indulgences
  • Why indulgences can be a (very) surprising bridge between Catholics and Protestants
  • Why Martin Luther should have loved indulgences…but didn’t
  • The deep connection between almsgiving and indulgences
  • Why you can’t understand indulgences without understanding the nature of sin

As with so many topics we cover on the Art of Catholic podcast, this one is both theologically rich and eminently practical.

And just to round things out, I’m once again bringing in the brilliant Bible scholar, Curtis Mitch, to add a little “somethin’-somethin.'” It’s another incredible installment of Next Level Scripture. He provides some unbelievably cool Old Testament background on the whole subject that brings the whole topic into focus.

Any way you slice it, this is a great episode. Hope you enjoy.

God bless!

Matthew

P.S. If you liked this episode, you’ll probably like these, too:

047: The Secret Back Door out of Purgatory Nobody Talks About

048: How Almsgiving Can Save Your Life…Now & Later


 

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065: Ascending to Pentecost with Pope Benedict XVI

It’s one of the most overlooked miracles in Scripture.

All too often we focus so much on the Passion, death and Resurrection of Our Lord that we breeze right over a pivotal event in our eternal pilgrimage – the Ascension.

That would be a huge mistake.

Not long ago I picked up one of my many books by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI. Not a good idea if you have a lot of items on your “to-do” list.

He’s so incredibly brilliant that I just couldn’t stop reading.

Benedict’s focus was on the importance of the Ascension and how it leads to Pentecost and beyond. It was a real eye-opener. I learned a lot and I can’t wait to share it with you.

Among other things, in this episode I’ll cover:

  • Why the Apostles were strangely “full of joy” after Christ disappeared
  • Where I would’ve loved to have been a fly on the wall before the Ascension
  • How the Ascension points to our divine destiny
  • Why Jesus rose on a cloud (and not something else)
  • Why the people in Lystra weren’t totally wrong about Paul and Barnabas…and what that says about us
  • How the tongues of fire at Pentecost should burn us now

This was not a planned episode. It just happened…perhaps through the Holy Spirit. I think he’s trying to tell us something.

Give a listen and God bless!

Matthew

8 Ways To Jumpstart Your Prayer Life Cover Image

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!

Don’t miss a show! Subscribe to The Art of Catholic by clicking this link and then clicking “View in iTunes” under the picture and then “Subscribe”!  

 

Check out the new video about my pilgrimage to the Holy Land!  It’s the trip of a lifetime!

Click here for more details.

 

 

064: Holy Week Special – Meditations on the Sorrowful Mysteries

The Connection Between the 3 Stages and the Rosary

Holy Week is upon us. Hasn’t Lent flown by? It seems like Ash Wednesday was just a couple weeks ago.

And oftentimes we get to this point thinking we could have done a lot more…So let’s do something about it.

In this episode of the Art of Catholic, we’re not going to just talk about theology. We’re going to enter into it. How?

By meditating on the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary as a kind of progression or maturation in the spiritual life. What do I mean by that?

Well, it seems to me that the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary are a kind of parallel to the 3 stages of the Spiritual Life: the Purgative,

the Illuminative, and the Unitive Ways spoken about by spiritual giants like John of the Cross, Teresa of Avila, and many others.

And if you’ve never heard of those stages, no worries. I give  a brief overview of them in this episode.

I found some Scripture passages that evoke some of the spiritual fruit of the Sorrowful Mysteries and wrote short meditations about how the Mysteries relate to the spiritual life. The aim of this episode is simply to help you enter into the beautiful mystery of Holy Week in a more powerful way. We’re going to let the reality of what Jesus has done seep into our very souls.

We may be near the end of Lent, but there’s still time to prepare for a powerful encounter with the Passion, death, and resurrection of our Savior and Lord. Let’s do it!

God bless and you and have a wonderful Holy Week!

Matthew

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Want to go deeper into prayer?  If you really want to understand the ins-and-outs of deep prayer: what it is, how to do it, the 3 Stages of the Spiritual Life, vocal, meditative, & contemplative prayer in the Catholic tradition – this is the book for you!

Matthew Leonard, in an engaging style, shows how ancient Catholic prayer traditions still meet the needs of today’s Catholics.”—His Eminence Cardinal Donald Wuerl, Archbishop of Washington

We all need help to grow spiritually…Matt Leonard shows us the way.” – Dr. Scott Hahn, author, speaker, and Professor of Scripture and Theology, Franciscan University of Steubenville

 

8 Ways To Jumpstart Your Prayer Life Cover Image

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!

Don’t miss a show! Subscribe to The Art of Catholic by clicking this link and then clicking “View in iTunes” under the picture and then “Subscribe”!  

 

 

Pilgrimage to the Holy Land! Join Matthew on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem, Bethlehem, the Sea of Galilee, the Jordan River, Mt. Tabor, and so many more incredible holy sites! Walk in the footsteps of our Lord! It’s the trip of a lifetime!

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