076: Psalm Basics for Catholics

Picture of by Matthew Leonard
by Matthew Leonard

<Scroll to bottom for podcast.>

It’s the book quoted by God the Father.

It’s the book quoted by Christ on the Cross.

It’s the one book we read at almost every Mass.

It’s the Psalms.

While many view the Psalms as merely a collection of beautiful poetry (which it is), there’s a whole more going on in this amazing book of the Bible. In fact, it’s no exaggeration to say it’s one of the most important in all of Sacred Scripture.

Yes, they’re all important, but the Psalms are special.

St. Basil the Great said that the Psalms actually train the soul. He declared they are “the elementary exposition of beginners, the improvement of those advancing, the solid support of the perfect, the voice of the Church” (On the Psalms).

In other words, they’ll help you get to heaven.

So I brought in one of the most popular Art of Catholic guests to illuminate us even more. Dr. John Bergsma is the author of a new book titled Psalm Basics for Catholics. It’s the latest in his line of best-selling “Basics for Catholics” books.

But he’s more than an author.

He’s one of the popular teachers at Franciscan University of Steubenville. (He’s been voted Teacher of the Year…twice!) In this episode we’re going to dive into the book of Psalms.

Among other things, we’ll discuss:

  • Why the Psalms are really five different books
  • How the Psalms are directly connected to the Eucharist
  • Why the Psalm 23 (“the Lord is my shepherd…) is totally Catholic
  • Why St. Athanasius said the Psalms are a synopsis of the entire Bible
  • How the Psalms can form your prayer life
  • A reading plan for the Psalms

All that and more on another bang-up episode of the Art of Catholic podcast.

God bless!



P.S. I’m heading back to Italy!

Join me in March 2019 for an amazing pilgrimage to Rome, Assisi, Orvieto, LaVerna, and much, much more! Check it out here!


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!



Podcast links mentioned:

06: Bible Basics With John Bergsma

043: (More) New Testament Basics with John Bergsma

Speaking Events:

May 3 – Pine Haven Boys Center Gala Dinner, Nashua, NH

May 11 – St. Andrew Catholic Church

May 12 – St. Paul Center event in Arlington, TX

9 Responses

  1. Been waiting for this episode! Thank you Matt! Please do more with Dr. Bergsma, especially because the laughter when you two get together is contagious :’D

    Will you be interviewing him for “Stunned by Scripture” as well? That’s the book I’m currently reading. Psalm Basics is next – already have a copy waiting at my table! NT basics has had a huge impact on me, especially the chapter on St. John’s Gospel. I finished that chapter either on or just before New Year’s Eve 2016. That chapter changed the way I looked at the sacraments and made the Eucharistic adoration that day very moving (to say it in your words from the Bible and the Sacraments – “word leads to Sacrament”). Just the simple idea that St. John’s book of signs implies that the same touch of Jesus which was available to the people following Jesus 2000 years ago is available to us in the Sacraments is really profound and eye opening! During adoration I didn’t just know in my head that I was adoring Jesus but felt it in my bones. It’s changed the way I approach Holy Mass. I’m also indebted to Dr. Bergsma for his weekly posts on thesacredpage.com (best price – Free!). That and Dr. Pitre’s weekly videos on Catholic Productions make the experience at Mass so much richer!

    Speaking of Stunned By Scripture, I thought I remember you saying that you’ll be writing a book on your conversion story (or you didn’t?). Will we see it soon?

    1. Glad you enjoyed it, Ashwith. John is awesome. And you’re reading my mind. While I’m not interviewing John regarding Stunned by Scripture, I just finished recording an episode featuring Curtis Mitch commenting on a couple things from Stunned by Scripture since there wasn’t time in this last episode. And I’m just going to tell you right now…Curtis goes totally next level, especially in the latter stage of the show. Very, very cool insights while playing off of John’s book. You’re going to love it. I’m thinking it will come out in a couple weeks.

      As for my own conversion story…thanks for asking (and the reminder:). I’m so busy with more video production that I haven’t had time to devote to it for a while. It will happen…eventually:). God bless you!

      1. Oh speaking of Curtis Mitch, from a Facebook post by Mike Stark, it seems the OT of the Ignatius Bible is complete! I’m genuinely excited for that! I hope it becomes available in India soon. The NT Study Bible is such a blessing!

        1. Yup. The main portion is finished. Curtis still has some editorial work to do on it, but his heavy lifting is about wrapped up. It will be awesome!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *



8 Ways to Jump-Start Your Prayer Life

I’m ready to pray!
Send me the FREE guide
“8 Ways To Jumpstart Your Prayer Life.”

Privacy Guarantee: We can’t stand spam, either!


“Absolutely profound…Joyous and mind-blowing!”
“I am bowled over…”
“Seriously! Why weren’t we taught this before?”