082: Historical Holiness: How Religious Orders Illumine the Path to Perfection

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Yes, some look like Jedi hippies. Yes, their giant rosaries look like medieval weapons. Yes, many haven’t worn socks in a very long time.

But they’re the real deal.

About whom am I talking? Catholics with a religious vocation. You know…monks, nuns, and such.

And while most of us aren’t called to their life, we should pay very close attention to them.


Because they can show laity the pursuit of holiness in its essential contours. In other words, they can show us the way to heaven.

So in order to get inside the life and mind of the “religious” and see what we can learn, I brought Fr. Gregory Pine, O.P. onto the program. As you’ll see, he’s an extremely sharp guy and explains the deeper things very clearly.

Among other things, we discuss:

  • What are the “evangelical counsels” and how we can live them
  • A fascinating (and brief) history of religious life (perfect for converts and those who need to brush up on their history a little:)
  • What it means to have a truly intentional life
  • How the religious model of life can restore sanity during our current crisis
  • Why religious life is a kind of second baptism
  • The shocking answer to the question, “Does God love some people more than others?”

All that and a whole lot more in this episode of the Art of Catholic podcast.

God bless!


P.S. I’m leading a pilgrimage to the Holy Land with Jim Caviezel, star of The Passion of the Christ!

We’ll also be joined by Fr. Don Calloway and John Michael Talbot! It’s going to be epic!

CLICK HERE for details!

P.P.S. If you’d rather go to Italy, I’m heading there on pilgrimage, too!

Join me in March 2019 for a time of deep spiritual renewal and amazing adventure in Rome, Assisi, Orvieto, LaVerna, and much, much more! CLICK HERE for details!

Grab your FREE copy of my quick guide to deeper prayer 8 Ways To Jumpstart Your Prayer Life!






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066: Crushing Modernism & Regaining a Catholic Worldview

Ever wonder how we got into the mess we’re in?

Why is the modern world so opposed to the Christian faith?

What went wrong and how do we get back on track?

These are pretty tough questions, which is fine because I’ve got a pretty smart guest.

Today on the Art of Catholic I brought in Dr. Andrew Jones. He’s got a PhD in Medieval History and is an expert on the Church in the High Middle Ages. He’s also the Executive Director at the St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology.

Some of you will remember him from Episode 51 when he spoke about the Crusades.

But as big a topic as that was, this is even bigger.

Dr. Jones is going to use his deep knowledge of Catholic history to drop a bomb on the modern world. Namely, he’ll expose some of the underlying reasons things are the way they are (a fat mess), and give some direction as to the solution.

He spells it all out in his new, fat book titled “Before Church & State” that took 10 years to write. (Yes, 10 years.)

Here’s the thing I love about Andrew. He’s a contrarian. Not just because he likes to argue, but because he loves the truth. Andrew lives to totally destroy the anti-Catholic paradigms and false narratives with which we were all taught to believe…stuff we didn’t realize was anti-Catholic!

Among other things, we’ll discuss:

  • Why the modern categories of Church and State are totally anti-Catholic
  • The lie of “public” and “private” in the realm of faith
  • How the modern world has re-defined religion and boxed us in
  • Why modernism wants everyone to be the same (even while preaching “individualism”)
  • Why the term “religion” is code for “things that don’t really matter” to the modern world
  • How 13th century France points to a better structure founded on charity
  • Why Catholics must forcefully reject modernity’s definition of Christianity
  • Why the term “religious liberty” is a hoax
  • Why all Catholics should understand the notion of “Sovereignty”

I’m sure you’ve noticed this is a big list. Well this is a big episode…a very important episode. I’m guessing you’re going to walk away from this one thinking, “Whoa…I might need to re-think some things.”

God bless!


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 trip details.

061: Music Wars with Mike Aquilina

It sounds like a wild exaggeration.

But according to best-selling author Mike Aquilina (a generally trustworthy source), it was music that saved the ancient world from its descent into despair.

My first thought was “Seriously?”

Yep. He’s not kidding.  It’s all in his book “How the Choir Converted the Word: Through Hymns, With Hymns, And In Hymns” from Emmaus Road Publishing. (The book is worth a look for the subtitle alone.)

Given the state of some current liturgical music, I was skeptical to say the least. (I probably should have told the publisher that before I agreed to blurb the book.) But since everything else I ever read by Mike is pure gold, I agreed. I wasn’t disappointed. This book rocks.

Music really did save world.

But it wasn’t without conflict. Music isn’t always used for holy purposes. (Ever been to a Def Leppard concert? Yeah…me neither.) That’s as true today as it was in the ancient world. In case you haven’t noticed, music continues as a battlefront in modern culture.

And it’s a battle we have to win.

So today on the Art of Catholic, we’ll look at how the Church used music to convert the world, as well as how it can happen again. “If we did it once,” says Mike Aquilina, “we can do it again.” So let’s get to it!

In this 2017 kickoff episode, Mike and I discuss:

  • The deep relationship between music and beauty
  • Why trumpets were the electric guitars of the biblical club scene (and even used as weapons)
  • Why the Israelites made the best music in the ancient world
  • The reason early Christians were strangely ambivalent, sometimes even hostile, about music
  • How music brought down one of the most powerful heresies in the history of the Church

All that and much, much more in this incredibly noteworthy episode of the Art of Catholic.

God bless!



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”! 

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Pilgrimage to Rome and Southern Italy!

Join Matthew on a pilgrimage to Rome, Assisi, Sorrento, Monte Cassino, Siena,  the Amalfi Coast and other amazing sites from October 9-18, 2017! It’s the trip of a lifetime!

Click here for more details.