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!

088: The Astounding Doctrine of Deification

<Scroll to bottom for podcast.>

There is one doctrine of the Church that changes everything…and I mean everything!

And once you get it, your understanding of salvation is radically transformed.

I’m talking about deification.

Yup! You and I are were created to be divine!

St. Peter declares very clearly that we are destined to become a “partakers” of the divine nature of God (2 Pt 1:4). But that’s not the only place in Scripture this amazing doctrine is found.

It’s all over the place!

So to unpack what it is and where it’s found in the Bible, I invited Curtis Mitch on to the Art of Catholic podcast. (He’s the guy who wrote the amazing commentary in the very popular Ignatius Catholic Study Bible.)

There’s nobody I’d rather have on the program to address this from a scriptural point of view.

Here are just a few of the highlights of this episode:

  • Christ’s words about deification
  • Where deification is found in the prayers of the Mass
  • Why our deification was always God’s goal
  • How prayer relates directly to the process of deification
  • How deification sheds light on Adam’s Fall in the Garden of Eden
  • Why the Incarnation of Christ is the key to understanding deification

I loved this conversation with Curtis, and so will you.

So sit back, hitch up your pants, and get ready to hear why you are destined to be a god…literally.

God bless!

Matthew

P.S. It’s coming MAY 1st! CLICK HERE to be notified so you get in before the doors close!

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

The Tragic Beauty of the Cross

There is only one way to be saved….period.

“I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but by me.”

These words of Christ in John 14:6 are some of the most famous in all of Scripture.

But what most people don’t realize is that Christ declares them at the Last Supper, shortly before the start of his brutal Passion.

In fact, at the end of this chapter, he and the Disciples leave for the Garden of Gethsemane.

And understanding this context puts a little deeper spin on how we understand apply Christ’s declaration. This is no generic call to “seek Christ.”

It’s something far more intense.

He’s calling us to the tragic beauty of the Cross. He’s telling us that in order to be saved, we must be nailed to our crosses in union with His.

We must crush our self-love and mimic the humility of Christ, who

though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form he humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even death on a cross.”

Phil. 2:6-8

And realize that this union with the Cross – this dying to self – to which we’re called is not a one-time event.

It’s a daily picking up of our crosses and following Christ to Calvary.

St. John of the Cross describes our entire to journey to God as a kind of “Dark Night,” in which we are more and more conformed to the crucified Christ.

It sounds a bit scary, doesn’t it? But thank goodness, it’s not the end of the story.

The tragic beauty of the Cross lies in the fact that it’s only the first half of the story.

After the Crucifixion comes the Resurrection.

Good Friday is always followed by Easter. Salvation is at hand!

And the joy of our new life in Christ far outweighs the difficulties and crosses of this earthly life.

That’s the beauty of the Cross. It prepares us for eternal ecstasy.

As St. Paul declares in Romans 8:18, “I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.”

So cling to the tragic beauty of the Cross of Christ! Don’t let go! The Son is on the horizon.

Have a blessed Triduum!

Matthew

P.S. It’s coming shortly after Easter! CLICK HERE to sign up for the wait list to be notified when it goes live.

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