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!

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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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052: Catholic Q&A – Mary/Contraception/Suffering

catholic_FINAL_150We’ve all got questions. None more important then those dealing with our faith.

Not long ago, I invited listeners to send me questions or issues with which they’re dealing. I got some great responses from all over the world. So in this special episode of The Art of Catholic, we’re going to deal with a few of them.

(Some of these I deal with in my first book Louder Than Words: The Art of Living as a Catholic…the book which inspired the podcast!)

Some of the important issues we’ll discuss include:T1324

  • What to do when you really don’t feel a relationship with Mary.
  • How Mary makes sense in God’s family
  • The underlying reason for contraception in our culture
  • Why contraception isn’t even on the radar of most Protestants
  • The insane end result of a contraceptive culture
  • A response to a Protestant’s inquiry regarding redemptive suffering including why and how it works
  • The problem with “penal substitution” (a Protestant teaching about the Cross) and its relation to redemptive suffering

This is an episode for Catholic and Protestant alike. Share it with friends!

God bless!

Matthew

8 Ways To Jumpstart Your Prayer Life Cover ImageP.S. Don’t just listen to us talk about it. Do it! 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!

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Want to tour Catholic Europe’s most beautiful holy sites? Join Matthew on a  St. Paul Center pilgrimage to Fatima, Spain, Lourdes, and other amazing holy sites this October 23rd to November 1st. Click here for details.

Did You Have A “Rash Wednesday”?

“I’m giving up all tv, Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter…Super CatholicNothing edible will enter my body for forty days. And I’m going to read all 150 Psalms daily while wearing a hair shirt that would bring Bigfoot to tears.”

Sound familiar? We’re all big talkers at the beginning of Lent, aren’t we? We’re going to get really holy, get really in touch with our Lord’s sacrifice on the Cross. We’re strong enough! Who needs food! (It’s a scientific fact that most rash Lenten resolutions are made on a full stomach.)

So how’s it going? Uh-huh…thought so.

If you’ve struggled to keep up with your lenten resolutions just take a deep breath and relax. It’s hard to sacrifice. It’s meant to be hard. And for those of us who bit off more than we could chew, it can be discouraging because we weren’t able to perfectly keep our promises. We failed!

But let’s keep a couple things in mind.

First of all, be realistic. If you’re trying to do too much, take a step back and get real. I’m not trying to get anyone off the hook, because the whole point is to be sacrificial and it’s never easy. But at the same time, it would do us good to recall the famous line from Clint Eastwood’s Dirty Harry character in Magnum Force: “Man’s got to know his limitations…”

Second, the Lord is merciful. He’s not mad at you for failing. He might be chuckling at your inability to put down the Oreo and walk away, but he’s not mad. He’s the most merciful person in the world!

Remember, Lenten sacrifice isn’t for him. It’s for us. It’s meant to help us take our eyes off of this world and focus on the next. It’s meant to help us love Christ more, not get down on ourselves.

So if you’ve fallen a few times already, stand up and brush the Little Debbie crumbs off your pants. Then pick up your Lenten cross and start again…but maybe with one made from a little lighter wood.

God bless!

Matt