091: Living with Sheen: A Conversation with the Remarkable Msgr. Hilary Franco

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Every now and then you meet a person whose life blows your mind.

I recently met that guy while in Israel.

His name is Msgr. Hilary Franco, a priest of 64 years and unlike anyone you’ve ever encountered.

He’s a living treasure-trove of knowledge spanning the last six decades of Church history.

But it’s his personal history that wows.

(You can read all about it in his incredible memoir Bishop Sheen: Mentor and Friend.)

What makes his life so special?

Only the fact that he lived and worked very closely for years with two of the most incredible Catholics in the history of the modern Church – Pope St. John Paul II and soon-to-be Blessed Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen.

No joke.

And boy, does he have stories. And you’re about to hear some of them. For example:

  • How Sheen prepared for his Emmy Award winning television show
  • The secret identity of the Angel erasing the blackboard on the Life is Worth Living (Sheen’s program that had 40 million viewers…a week!)
  • The beautiful encounter between Venerable Fulton Sheen and St. John Paul II
  • Some inside scoop on Vatican II

And while he’s lived quite the life. Msgr. Franco isn’t not done yet!

He currently represents the Vatican at the United Nations and is helping promote the Catholic faith around the world.

This guy is a total dynamo and you’re going to love him. Enjoy!

God bless!

Matthew

P.S. Doors re-open to the world’s largest online school of Catholic spirituality at the end of summer 2019!

CLICK HERE to check it out and get on the Wait List! (Wait List members are eligible for big Early Bird Discounts!)

If you’ve ever wanted to deepen your life of prayer and actually make some progress in avoiding vice and growing in virtue, look no further.” Dr. Brant Pitre – Renowned theologian & author of Jesus and the Jewish Roots of the Eucharist

Ever wanted to visit Poland & Medjugorje? Now’s your chance! Click here for information!

090: Salvation – What Every Catholic Needs to Understand

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The infection has gone deep.

Case in point…Several years ago I was at a very orthodox Catholic conference on the West Coast. Great talks. Great people. Great event.

Then the wheels came off.

During the homily at Mass, the priest gave a completely anti-Catholic homily. He didn’t do it on purpose, but it was anti-Catholic nonetheless.

I was flabbergasted.

I turned to a friend seated next to me, and asked, “Are you hearing what I’m hearing?” He nodded, just as frustrated as I was.

Later, we proceeded to have a conversation about one of the most misunderstood topics in Christianity – salvation.

That friend with whom I spoke so many years ago, Dr. Michael Barber, is my guest on this episode of the Art of Catholic. He wrote a book on this very topic (Salvation: What Every Catholic Needs to Know). And we’re about to continue that discussion begun so many years ago.

We’re going to discuss:

  • The major difference between Catholic and Protestant views on salvation
  • How exactly the Cross is a revelation of love
  • Why the Cross was even necessary
  • The role of good works in salvation
  • The strange relationship between economics and salvation
  • The big difference between salvation and redemption
  • The controversy over the statement – “There is no salvation outside the Church”

This is one of those meaty episodes for which the Art of Catholic is well-known. And you’re going to love it!

God bless!

Matthew

P.S. Doors re-open to the world’s largest online school of Catholic spirituality at the end of summer 2019! CLICK HERE to check it out and get on the Wait List! (Wait List members are eligible for big Early Bird Discounts!)

The most dynamic, clearest path to spiritual transformation you’ll find anywhere.” – Mike Aquilina, Author & EWTN Personality

The Danger of Forgetting Pentecost

Pentecost is one of my very favorite times of year. (And you’re like, “Matthew, you’re a little behind. That was weeks ago!”)

Yes, I’m aware of the liturgical calendar.

Just because Pentecost is in our rearview mirror doesn’t mean the Spirit has blown by. Trust me, that wind is still operating at gale force.

But too often we lower the sails of our spiritual ship because we think “that season is over.”

People, the Spirit is never subject to a calendar. And it’s extremely dangerous to think He is.

If we’re to grow in the spiritual life, we must continue to move with Him. We must allow Him to fan the tongues of fire that burn in our hearts.

Lots of times when we roll into so-called “Ordinary Time,” we lose proper focus. Yes, we continue to work on correcting faults and growing in virtue, but too often forget who is actually behind our progress.

Namely, the Holy Spirit.

The great Carmelite Fr. Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalen, O.C.D, says that we emphasize the moral work at the expense of the theological work. What does he mean?

Basically, that we often get so wrapped up in trying to correct faults ourselves that we separate ourselves from God, so to speak. We’re so busy trying to be “moral,” that our actual relationship with God suffers.

The irony, of course, is that the Holy Spirit can do a far better job than we can.

But when we forget that, and take our eyes off Him, we’re like a sailor who is so busy rowing, that he forgets to check the wind.

Now realize this doesn’t mean we stop working.

But we can never forget that the quickest way to progress in the spiritual life is through continual dependence on the Holy Spirit. Not only does he tell us what to do, he gives us the power to do it.

God bless!

Matthew

P.S. If you’re a member of Next Level Catholic Academy, our latest Live Q&A just posted in your Library. If you’re not yet a member, we’re re-opening the doors in late summer! Check it out!