102: Finding Hope and Divine Mercy Amidst Terrible Tragedy

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The Lord wanted me to record this episode. I don’t say that lightly. He arranged it very deliberately…and now I know why.

In this episode of the Art of Catholic, Fr. Chris Alar of the Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception joins me to share a tragically beautiful story of suicide, suffering, and Divine Mercy that will certainly bring hope to any and all who are experiencing difficulties (large and small).

Some of the topics touched on include:

  • Why Divine Mercy always provides hope…even in cases of serious sin like suicide
  • Understanding the parameters and power of Divine Mercy
  • The humble beauty of St. Faustina
  • The 5 channels of grace given to St. Faustina
  • The powerful connection between the Virgin Mary and Divine Mercy
  • Spiritual principles of dealing with suffering

This is an episode that is going to really help a lot of people. Please share it!

God bless,

Matthew

P.S. Help me produce more powerful, free Catholic teaching (and get exclusive interviews, books and other great stuff) by supporting the Art of Catholic on Patreon! Even $5/mo goes a long way! Thanks!


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100: Correcting the Christian View of Death

Yes, He is risen! Yes, Christ has conquered death! But are we ignoring the obvious?

Have Christians lost sight of the powerful natural and supernatural aspects of dealing with the end of our earthly life?

In this special 100th episode of the Art of Catholic, I bring back John Henry Crosby, founder and president of the Hildebrand Project for a fascinating discussion revolving around a small, but powerful book titled Jaws of Death: Gate of Heaven by famous 20th philosopher Dietrich von Hildebrand.

You might remember both John Henry and von Hildebrand from my very first episode of the Art of Catholic. In that episode, we discussed how von Hildebrand was a major thorn in the side of Adolf Hitler.

In this episode we’ll discuss some thought-provoking insights from von Hildebrand about our passing out of this life and into the next, such as:

  • Why too many Christians take the “horror of death” too lightly
  • Identifying hints of the eternal in natural life
  • How the death of a loved one points to eternity
  • Why natural life without death would be a kind of Hell
  • The vital role of beauty in preparing us for a faithful death
  • How the virtue of hope prepares us for death

It sounds weird, but dwelling on death was never so enlightening:).

God bless!

Matthew

P.S. Help me produce more free Catholic teaching (and get exclusive interviews, books and other great stuff) by supporting the Art of Catholic on Patreon! Even $5/mo goes a long way! Thanks!

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