Did You Have a R-ASH Wednesday?

“I’m giving up all tv (except for March Madness), Facebook, and coffee is a thing of the past.Super Catholic

In fact, nothing edible will grace my gullet for forty days. And I’m going to read the entire Bible front to back in Hebrew and Greek 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!

Matthew

 

P.S. As a special Lenten gift, I’m giving you “Beer, Chocolate & Value-Added Suffering” for FREE. It’s chapter 5 of my book Louder Than Words: The Art of Living as a Catholic. 

Click the image of the book or the link above and it will come right to your inbox. God bless!

 

074: Taking Your Lent to the Next Level

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How about if we do it differently this time?

I don’t know about you, but it seems like every year Ash Wednesday just sneaks up on me and I’m left scrambling trying to figure out what I’m going to do for Lent.

I’m guessing I’m not the only one.

But let’s make a change. Let’s make this Lent the best one ever. How? I’m glad you asked.

In this episode of the Art of Catholic podcast we’re going to discuss:

  • How to prepare for Lent…and keep it rolling all 40 days
  • How the Catholic liturgical calendar mimics the spiritual life
  • What the pre-Vatican II Church (and current Polish Catholic Church) did to prepare for Lent…(and it sounds like a pretty good idea)
  • Why the Crown of Thorns has to precede the Crown of Life
  • The nuclear power of redemptive suffering (and how it works)
  • The two Lenten practices to avoid

All that and more in this power-packed Lenten episode of the Art of Catholic!

God bless you!

Matthew

If you liked this episode, check out these, too:

Episode 47 – The Secret Back Door Out of Purgatory Nobody Talks About

Episode 48 – How Almsgiving Can Save Your Life…Now and Later


P.S. As a special Lenten gift, I’m giving you “Beer, Chocolate & Value-Added Suffering” for FREE. It’s chapter 5 of my book Louder Than Words: The Art of Living as a Catholic. 

Click the image of the book or the link above and it will come right to your inbox. God bless!

 

 

073: Part 2 Rediscovering the Power of JPII’s Theology of the Body

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There are several questions every Christian needs to ask themselves on a regular basis.

The problem is that the world has warped most of our minds to the point that even if we answer them, we’re not answering correctly.

And there are consequences. (More on the questions themselves later…)

In our last episode, Number 72, we began our rediscovery of St. John Paul II’s theological time bomb known as the Theology of the Body. It’s something many have forgotten, but is desperately needed by a culture in steep decline.

The Holy Father knew the human condition. He understood it deeply. And he provides not just answers, but a roadmap for recovery.

So in this the second (and final) part of our discussion on Theology of the Body, I’ll lay out:

  • The questions every Christian needs to ask themselves on a regular basis
  • The Catholic response to the world’s twisted notion of freedom
  • How the sense of shame can be both good and bad
  • Why we now have the “battle of the sexes”…in which we all lose
  • How both prudishness and promiscuity are related to the heresy of Manicheanism…and why it matters
  • John Paul II’s key ingredient for overcoming humanity’s use and abuse of each other
  • The secret weapon that crushes lust of the flesh (which might totally surprise you)

This is another power-packed episode that will help you both understand the problem faced by our culture today, and provide a guide to recovery.

You don’t want to miss it.

Of course, all of the above is just the first part of the show! I’m also joined once again by my trusty companion, the great biblical brain, Curtis Mitch. (He’s the genius who writes the commentary for the best-selling Ignatius Catholic Study Bible.)

Curtis will continue to lay down some of the biblical background for the issues we’re discussing from Romans 12. This guy’s amazing and explains scripture beautifully.

God bless!

Matthew

All who have been lost were lost because they did not pray.” St. Alphonsus Liguori.

Don’t be lost! 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!

 

 

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Walk in the footsteps of Jesus! Check out the new video about my Pilgrimage to the Holy Land in March 2018!  It’s the trip of a lifetime!

Click here for trip details.