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The Art of Catholic with Matthew Leonard

English, Religion, 1 seasons, 135 episodes, 4 days 15 hours 45 minutes
Do you truly understand the depth and beauty of the Catholic faith? Do you seek authentic explanations and insight into the Church's doctrine and practice? You've come to the right place. Join internationally-renowned author, speaker, and filmmaker Matthew Leonard for joyful, passionate (and often humorous) explanations of the deep truths of the faith, as well as interesting interviews with Catholic luminaries. This is the art of living. This is the Art of Catholic.
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134 The Terrible Sin of Telling the Truth

If this Art of Catholic Podcast episode whets your appetite to learn more, click below to get access to all of the video courses included in the Science of Sainthood! 🟡 Science of Sainthood Website: 🔴 Watch the FREE Science of Sainthood Course: CATHOLIC MYSTICISM & THE BEAUTIFUL LIFE OF GRACE for FREE! 🟢 Join Matthew on a 5 Star PILGRIMAGE to the HOLY LAND 🔵 SUPPORT Matthew's work to spread the Catholic faith ▶️ Please like and SHARE this video by clicking the SHARE button! While most of us know we’re supposed to watch what we say, a lot of us haven’t yet realized that there are times when it’s actually a dreadful sin to tell the truth. Yep, no joke. There’s lying through your teeth and t
28/09/2023 • 11 minutes 38 seconds
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133 The Powerful Battle Plan to Bring Loved Ones Back to the Church

If this Art of Catholic Podcast episode whets your appetite to learn more, click below to get access to all of the video courses included in the Science of Sainthood! 🟡 Science of Sainthood Website: 🔴 Watch the FREE Science of Sainthood Course: CATHOLIC MYSTICISM & THE BEAUTIFUL LIFE OF GRACE for FREE! 🟢 Join Matthew on a 5 Star PILGRIMAGE to the HOLY LAND 🔵 SUPPORT Matthew's work to spread the Catholic faith ▶️ Please like and SHARE this video by clicking the SHARE button! I’d bet my bottom dollar that you have a loved one or know people who have left the faith. Maybe it’s a spouse, children, friends, or whomever. It’s heartbreaking. They walk away from the very source of eternal
08/09/2023 • 13 minutes 40 seconds
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132 Catholic Psychologist's Take on Inner Healing & Forgiveness w/ Dr. Matthew Breuninger

If this Art of Catholic Podcast episode whets your appetite to learn more, click below to get access to all of the video courses included in the Science of Sainthood! 🟡 Science of Sainthood Website: 🔴 Watch the FREE Science of Sainthood Course: CATHOLIC MYSTICISM & THE BEAUTIFUL LIFE OF GRACE for FREE! 🟢 Join Matthew on a 5 Star PILGRIMAGE to the HOLY LAND 🔵 SUPPORT Matthew's work to spread the Catholic faith ▶️ Please like and SHARE this video by clicking the SHARE button! We all need healing...every last one of us. And the latest Art of Catholic Podcast episode explores a bit of a different, but powerful angle on the topic that can make all the difference when it comes to healing deep e
31/08/2023 • 1 hour 7 minutes 16 seconds
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131 How Should Catholics Respond to AI?

Is anyone else starting to get some Terminator vibes from the whole ChatGPT thing? Am I the only one who hears in their head an Austrian accent when reading back what it spits out? I’m kidding, of course....kind of :). I admit to sometimes asking, "What can this thing really do?" Because while I don’t think Artificial Intelligence is quite to the point where we need to start worrying about robot overlords, there are definitely some legitimate concerns when it comes to the ethics behind this new technology. So how should Catholics respond to AI?  🟡 Science of Sainthood Website: Watch Course #1: CATHOLIC MYSTICISM & THE BEAUTIFUL LIFE OF GRACE for FREE! 🟢 Join Matthew on a 5 Star PILGRIMAGE to the HOLY LAND <a href= "
07/07/2023 • 49 minutes 12 seconds
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130 How a Millennial Mormon Discovered the Catholic Church

When I asked my parish priest who the new guy with the blond ponytail in our parish was, I had no idea his conversion story would be so compelling that I'd end up asking him to be a guest on the Art of Catholic Podcast! In fact, Stephen Johnson's entire life story is a fascinating journey, one that took him from the Mormon faith of his childhood through atheism, New Age beliefs, and Evangelical Protestantism, and finally home to the Catholic Church. And all this while serving in the military as an Air Force Pararescueman, one of the most intense special mission units in the Armed Forces! You've GOT to give this episode a listen. 🟡 Science of Sainthood Website: Watch Course #1: CATHOLIC MYSTICISM & THE BEAUTIFUL LIFE OF GRACE for FREE! Sign up at 🟢 Join Matthew o
01/06/2023 • 1 hour 15 minutes 38 seconds
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129 The True Origin and Essence of the Catholic Mass

Confused by (and tired of) all the arguments about the Mass? Join Matthew Leonard and liturgical theologian Dr. David Fagerberg as they lift the veil and reveal the deeper currents of the Catholic Mass. It's the beautiful essence of the liturgy that no one else is talking about...but they should be.   🟢 Join Matthew on a 5 Star PILGRIMAGE to the HOLY LAND   🟡 FREE SCIENCE of SAINTHOOD VIDEO COURSE! Catholic Mysticism & the Beautiful Life of Grace - FREE! - (No credit card. No cancellation necessary. Just sign up and watch!) “There is NOTHING like this in "Catholic-land" online.” Dave  PLEASE HELP ME SPREAD THE CATHOLIC FAITH BY SUPPORTING THIS CHANNEL & PODCAST! 🔵 https://www.
04/05/2023 • 56 minutes 11 seconds
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128 What We Must Understand About Holy Thursday

Though we often tend to focus most of our attention on Good Friday and Holy Saturday during Holy Week and the Triduum, don't forget Holy Thursday. Join founder, Matthew Leonard, for a spiritual reflection on the immense power and purpose of Holy Thursday. CLICK HERE.> 
05/04/2023 • 5 minutes 56 seconds
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127 Total Abandonment to God's Will - Lesson One

The idea of total abandonment to God can cause a lot of fear and agnst. After all, we like to think we're in control, when we're actually not. Join Matthew Leonard to watch the first full lesson of the FREE Lent series. 🟡 SIGN UP FOR THE FREE LENT STREAMING of Total Abandonment to God's Will -   PLEASE HELP ME CREATE MORE FREE SERIES! 🔵 Donate & get some free stuff! OR 🔵 Tax Deductible NON-PROFIT 501c3 at
12/01/2023 • 17 minutes 1 second
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126 How Scripture Teaches the Immaculate Conception of Mary

Don't think the Immaculate Conception is taught in the Bible? Think again. Matthew Leonard shows this dogma of the Catholic Church is present from beginning to end of Scripture. 🟡 GET THE FREE VIDEO COURSE! Get the first course in the Science of Sainthood - Catholic Mysticism & the Beautiful Life of Grace - FREE! -
08/12/2022 • 28 minutes 37 seconds
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125 The Mystical Teaching of St. John of the Cross

St. John of the Cross is one of the most celebrated, yet misunderstood spiritual teachers in the Catholic faith. But the more we understand the mystical and powerful teaching of this spiritual giant, the more deeply we'll move into relationship with Christ. Join Matthew Leonard and Fr. Donald Haggerty as they unveil the beautiful teaching of the Mystical Doctor.  Topics covered include: • What are some common obstacles to deeper prayer? • What is the real role of asceticism? • The importance of "mental austerity" • The theme of darkness in John of the Cross <span c
10/11/2022 • 55 minutes 59 seconds
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124 How Catholics Read and Interpret Scripture

Ever wondered exactly how Catholics are supposed to interpret and read the Bible? Is there a pattern or priority order we're supposed to follow? Matthew Leonard is joined by Father Michael Mitchell and his brother, Father Jason Mitchell, for a highly informative talk on the 4 senses of Scripture and the basics of interpretation. This is really important because if you don't really know how to approach Scripture properly, not only will your personal reading suffer, but your participation in the mass will suffer, as well...and that would be a tragedy of biblical proportions. 🟡 GET THE FREE COURSE! Get the first course in the Science of Sainthood - Catholic Mysticism & the Beautiful Life of Grace - FOR FREE! - (No credit card. No cancellation necessary. Just sign up and watch!)
04/10/2022 • 54 minutes 48 seconds
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123 Practicing Prayer - A Powerful Guided Audio Meditation from St. Francis de Sales

Prayer is an art that needs to be practiced properly and authentic meditation is an absolutely necessary part of every Catholic's day. As St. Teresa of Avila declared, "How often I failed in my duty to God, because I was not leaning on the strong pillar of prayer." In this episode, founder, Matthew Leonard, provides a primer on Catholic meditation and then provides a guided audio meditation based on the spiritual classic "Introduction to the Devout Life" by St. Francis de Sales.  🟡 EXPERIENCE THE FIRST COURSE IN THE SCIENCE OF SAINTHOOD FOR FREE! - Catholic Mysticism & the Beautiful Life of Grace (No credit card. No cancellation necessary. Just sign up and watch!) For more information about Matthew, go to
30/08/2022 • 21 minutes 31 seconds
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122 The Most Controversial Catholic Teaching About Mary & the Ray Comfort Problem

Ever wondered why the Catholic Church teaches Mary is the Mediatrix of Graces and Co-redemptix? It certainly sounds controversial doesn't it? Even a lot of Catholics don't fully understand it, much less Protestants. In fact, famous Protestant evangelist Dr. Ray Comfort - popular for the "Way of the Master" series with actor Kirk Cameron - recently posted a video that maligned Catholics for our beliefs about Our Lady - a video that showed Matthew Leonard teaching about Mary - so Matthew decided to respond. 🟡  EXPERIENCE THE FIRST VIDEO COURSE IN THE SCIENCE OF SAINTHOOD FOR FREE! - Catholic Mysticism & the Beautiful Life of Grace <a class="yt-simple-endpoint style-scope yt-formatted-string" dir= "auto" spellcheck="false" href= "
30/06/2022 • 30 minutes 24 seconds
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121 How the BOLD Virtue of Prudence Empowers Your Life

Matthew Leonard is joined by Fr. Gregory Pine to dive into the power of the virtue of prudence. Everyone thinks prudence equals pansy. Not even close. This is an extremely enlightening discussion that can help you boldly order your life and understand why prudence has a kind of pride of place in the virtues. 🟡 SIGN UP for the FREE STREAMING of St. Teresa of Avila's 9 Grades of Prayer!
08/03/2022 • 47 minutes 23 seconds
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120 St Teresa of Avila's 9 Grades of Prayer

This is the first lesson of a powerful, FREE Lenten video series by Matthew Leonard and the Science of Sainthood. Let the Doctor of Prayer lead into the inferno of Christ's love! Make Lent matter this year! Sign up at 
09/02/2022 • 23 minutes 43 seconds
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119 A Powerful Introduction to the Spiritual Life with Brant Pitre

Matthew Leonard and Brant Pitre dive into a discussion of meditation and authentic Catholic spirituality that will leave you thirsting for God. The spiritual life is what Jesus calls the "one thing necessary" in Luke 10:42. Topics covered include: What are the Jewish roots of prayer? How specific virtues oppose specific vices What are the Jewish roots of prayer? Why meditation is a key to happiness What does it mean to love the Lord with "all your mind" What is the difference between meditation and contemplation? 🟡  Experience Powerful FREE Video Lessons of Authentic Catholic Spiritual formation in the SCIENCE OF SAINTHOOD!
29/11/2021 • 1 hour 16 minutes 56 seconds
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118: The Dark Power of "Idea Laundering"

Have you ever wondered how is it that new terms you had never heard of like “woke,” “transgender,” “privilege” are suddenly everywhere? It’s like overnight these words just show up and are being spoken about by everyone. Well, it’s not spontaneous. It’s planned…and it’s called “idea laundering.” In a shorter, follow-up to my recent full interview with Noelle Mering on Marxism and the Woke Movement, we discuss the way in which our Catholic faith is being attacked on all sides at once. It’s a quick, fascinating look at things like: How Our Language is So Quickly Manipulated Why Teacher’s Unions are Hotbeds of Activism (Pay attention, parents!) The Destructive Role of John Dewey (yeah…the Dewey Decimal System guy) The Danger of Disney (Sorry Walt) How to Fight Against This Onslaught Attacking Our Families There are people working hard to radically undermine not just our culture, but even our ability to
03/11/2021 • 17 minutes 51 seconds
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117 Marxism, the Real Origins of "Woke," and the Christian Response

How in the world did we get here? How have things gone so far downhill, so fast? Organized violence. Churches burning. Society in chaos on multiple levels. What has happened? Join Matthew Leonard and author Noelle Mering as they zero in on the "woke" movement – what it is, where it comes from, and what it wants. But this isn’t about politics. It’s about spirituality. It’s about the human person. It’s about an attempted radical reshaping of who we are in and of ourselves that is fundamentally flawed and anti-Christian. 🟡  Experience 20 FREE Video Lessons of authentic Catholic spiritual formation in the SCIENCE OF SAINTHOOD!
14/10/2021 • 58 minutes 53 seconds
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Mini-Cast: Proof St. Joseph was NOT an Old Man with Brant Pitre

Dr. Brant Pitre joins Matthew Leonard to discuss why - contrary to popular opinion - we can pretty much know St. Joseph wasn't an elderly man who was simply commissioned to care for Mary like a grandpa. Also, make sure to check out Matthew and Brant's other St. Joseph Youtube video titled Dr. Brant Pitre Reveals the Scriptural Secrets of St Joseph. 🟡  Experience 20 FREE Video Lessons of Authentic, Powerful Catholic Spiritual formation in the SCIENCE OF SAINTHOOD! 🔵  PLEASE HELP ME SPREAD THE CATHOLIC FAITH BY SUPPORTING THIS CHANNEL & PODCAST
21/09/2021 • 10 minutes 23 seconds
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116: Dr. Brant Pitre Reveals the Scriptural Secrets of St. Joseph

Think you've heard it all about St. Joseph? Think again. Matthew Leonard is joined by Dr. Brant Pitre for a scintillating discussion that reveals some incredible Scriptural insights and new revelations about Our Lord's earthly father. You do NOT want to miss this episode! GET 20 FREE Video Lessons of incredible spiritual formation in the SCIENCE OF SAINTHOOD! Text SAINT to 66866 (US Only) OR go to Matthew and Brant discuss: - The secret identity of St. Joseph - The important clues regarding Joseph in the genealogy of St. Matthew - The darkly illuminating backstory that explains the awful Massacre of the Innocents Jesus barely escaped - The vital importance of the census story in Bethlehem and the House of David - How we know the royal line of David in Jesus’ time even though all records had been destroyed - The one powerful word Scripture indicates St. Joseph uttered
31/08/2021 • 46 minutes 30 seconds
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115 How to Fast Correctly and the Spiritual Rhythm of Life

If you've ever struggled with fasting, this episode is going to radically change your whole perspective and practice of this powerful practice of the faith. Matthew Leonard is joined by Dr. Jay Richards on the Art of Catholic to discuss a whole new way to approach the topic of fasting. GET 2 FREE WEEKS of the SCIENCE OF SAINTHOOD! Text SAINT to 66866 (US Only) OR go to 🟠 In this episode we'll discuss: - The critical idea that humans are unique unions of body and soul - Some differences between Catholic and Protestant fasting (and Matthew's tough lesson on fasting at Denny's Restaurant:) - Why feasting should play a big role and what it should look like - How "ketosis" leads to "kenosis" ( might learn some new words in this episode:) - What it means to be "metabolically flexible"
28/07/2021 • 46 minutes 42 seconds
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114: Can You Really Suffer with Joy and Tame the Tongue?

Join Matthew Leonard and Shane Kapler in a powerful discussion of how St. James teaches us to suffer with joy and tame our tongues...and a whole lot more (including why Martin Luther hated this book of the Bible). 🟠 GET 2 FREE WEEKS of the SCIENCE OF SAINTHOOD! Text SAINT to 66866 (US Only) OR go to In this episode we'll discuss: - How to endure suffering joyfully - What to do when we suffer - How suffering is related to deification - How your speech can literally keep you out of heaven - Why Luther called the book of James an "epistle of straw" - Why James's nickname was "Camel Knees"
20/05/2021 • 51 minutes 33 seconds
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113: Deeper Prayer with Archbishop Fulton Sheen

Archbishop Fulton Sheen was one of the greatest Catholic evangelists of our time. He reached millions of souls every week with the gospel of Christ. But it didn't just happen. Sheen had a secret weapon. It was a deep prayer life that took on a very specific form. Join Matthew Leonard and Allan Smith as they discuss the incredible spiritual life of this amazing man of God and how we can learn to pray like him. 🟠  GET 2 FREE WEEKS of the SCIENCE OF SAINTHOOD! Text SAINT to 66866 (US Only) OR go to:  🔵  HELP ME SPREAD THE CATHOLIC FAITH BY SUPPORTING THIS CHANNEL & PODCAST! ✈️ 2022 PILGRIMAGES to the HOLY LAND and POLAND with Matthew ▶️ Need t
20/04/2021 • 1 hour 21 seconds
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112 Developing a Powerful Theology of Home with Carrie Gress

Matthew Leonard and Dr. Carrie Gress discuss the power and evangelistic necessity of a proper theology of home. This is a huge topic for both Catholic men and women. After all, we all live in homes! The relationship between "home" and your spiritual life How modern culture asks men to become like women (and vice-versa) How a Catholic theology of home is different from Protestantism and other faiths The prime role of beauty in the home • Why Scripture emphasizes hospitality and the importance of its role How Our Lady teaches us a theology of home 🔴  2 FREE WEEKS of the SCIENCE OF SAINTHOOD! Text SAINT to 66866 (US Only) OR go to
11/03/2021 • 45 minutes 11 seconds
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111 Church Crisis and the Path Forward with Ralph Martin

It's a legitimate question. Is there a crisis in the Catholic faith? And if so, what exactly is it and where did it come from? Of course, there are a lot of facets to that question, some of them easier to see than others. So I brought in Dr. Ralph Martin, a man with a great deal of experience and insight, to help understand what's happening and why. HAVE YOU HEARD? Text SAINT to 66866 and get 2 FREE weeks of spiritual formation in the Science of Sainthood Course from Next Level Catholic Academy! "SO POWERFUL" <p style="text-align: center
18/02/2021 • 58 minutes 31 seconds
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110 Junkies Jail and Jesus - The Wildly Beautiful Conversion of John Edwards

There are conversion stories and then there are conversion stories. This is one you really want to hear. <p class="first-child" style= "border: 0px; font-family: Georgia, Times, 'Times New Roman', serif; font-size: 1.25em; font-style: normal; font-weight: 400; margin: 0px 0px 1.5em; outline: 0px; padding: 0px; vertical-al
05/01/2021 • 1 hour 33 minutes 51 seconds
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109 Deep Prayer and the Power of Redemptive Suffering

Don’t leave it on the table. Don’t walk away from the transforming power of two of the most important things in the spiritual life…deep prayer and the almost “too good to be true” opportunity of redemptive suffering. They will change your life. So if you’re anxious or uneasy, wondering what in the world has happened and what exactly is to come, take a listen. This is a conversation that will bring you some peace and help you re-focus on the essentials that can change both your life, and the lives of others.
17/12/2020 • 47 minutes 4 seconds
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108: Would You Still Convert to Catholicism?

The Catholic Church is facing a lot of serious difficulties. But should the current problems discourage conversion? Join Matthew Leonard and EWTN morning host Matt Swaim in a conversation about Matt's winding road to Catholicism and an honest discussion of where the Church stands today. Matt’s in the thick of all the news on a daily basis because of his radio show. He’s also constantly dealing with potential converts through his work at the Coming Home Network, so his is a very interesting take. For cradle Catholics, it's a unique look into the Evangelical world. For converts (or potential converts), it's a stroll down memory lane. But at the end of the day, it's a clarion call for each of us to take a hard look in the mirror. 🔵  Sign up for "Introduction to the Psalms" at
18/11/2020 • 1 hour 21 minutes 43 seconds
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107 Understanding the Crisis of Catholic Men

Men have become caricatures in modern culture. And it’s had a big impact even inside the Catholic Church. This has to change...immediately. But for that to happen, we have to recognize the deeper issues. There are issues of language, liturgy, and a true understanding of human nature. But there is a solution. Join Matthew Leonard in an honest, engaging, hopeful discussion with a dynamic young priest named Fr. Patrick Schultz. This is NOT an episode for men only. It’s a topic that deeply affects every single Catholic.
04/11/2020 • 1 hour 4 minutes 51 seconds
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106 Cool Backstories from the Fatima Movie

Our Lady of Fatima is one of the most beloved of all Catholic devotions. It's a powerful story of prayer, penance, and transformation that has inspired the world for more than a century. On this Art of Catholic episode, Matthew Leonard is joined by producer Dick Lyles, to talk about some of the little-known backstories of how the movie was made and the impact it's having even on the Protestant world. Dick is a former EWTN and Relevant Radio host, now serving as producer for Origin Entertainment, the maker of the Fatima movie.
07/10/2020 • 50 minutes 53 seconds
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105: Harnessing the Power of Catholic Mysticism & Deep Prayer

Far too many Catholics are unaware of the transformative power of the Catholic mystical tradition, especially deep meditative and contemplative prayer. There is an urgent need to understand the absolute necessity of diving into authentic Catholic spirituality given to us by spiritual giants like Sts. Teresa of Avila, John of the Cross, Francis de Sales, and many others. If you want your life to be transformed, check out this dynamic conversation between Matthew Leonard, Josh Mazrin, and Kyle VanDuser on the Art of Catholic podcast.
23/09/2020 • 1 hour 6 minutes 23 seconds
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104 Should a Catholic Always Obey?

Is there ever a time when obedience is no longer a virtue? Is there a point when a Catholic can abandon ship? What about when there are doubts concerning particular matters or teaching? These are real issues and can confusing to a lot of Catholics. On this Art of Catholic, Matthew Leonard lays out some basic principles for Catholics to keep in mind. After laying out some preliminary remarks and advice, he then shares a video lesson on the virtue of obedience from the Science of Sainthood in Next Level Catholic Academy. Given all the confusion in the Church right now, we need to know our responsibility as faithful Catholics.
28/08/2020 • 29 minutes 56 seconds
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103 How John Paul II Answers the Modern Crisis

Humanity is having an identity crisis of major proportions. People don’t know who they are. And it’s literally wreaking havoc across the world at this very instant. And St. John Paul II saw it coming. In fact, he provided the answers before many of the questions were even posed. Expanding upon the work of St. Thomas Aquinas and others, he developed a philosophy of the person called, appropriately, “personalism.” It’s a way to make sense of who we are and the dignity each of us possesses. Matthew Leonard and Dr. John Crosby, an eminent philosopher at Franciscan University of Steubenville, discuss the Holy Father's famous way of looking at the human person so that we can understand more deeply who we are…and help the world figure it out, too.
04/08/2020 • 51 minutes 24 seconds
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102: Finding Hope and Divine Mercy Amidst Terrible Tragedy

Even in the face of terrible tragedy like suicide, Catholic doctrine is clear that there is always hope. This is particularly the message of Divine Mercy taught by St. Faustina Kowalska (originator of the Divine Mercy Chaplet). Unfortunately, too many Catholics don't truly understand what the Catholic Church has to say in these matters. It's important not only for those who may have died, but for the sake of those left behind. Join Matthew Leonard and Fr. Chris Alar of the Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception, for an honest and powerful look at hope and Divine Mercy in action.
09/07/2020 • 1 hour 28 seconds
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101 The Virgin Mary and the Catholic Conversion of Harvard Professor Roy Schoeman

17/06/2020 • 1 hour 8 minutes 12 seconds
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006: Bible Basics with John Bergsma

Matthew Leonard interviews Dr. John Bergsma about his conversion to Catholicism, as well as discussing an overview of all of salvation history.
15/06/2020 • 41 minutes 18 seconds
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100: Correcting the Christian View of Death

In this special 100th episode of the Art of Catholic, Matthew Leonard brings 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.
26/05/2020 • 1 hour 2 minutes 24 seconds
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099: Understanding Suffering through the Eyes of St. Paul SCROLL DOWN FOR AUDIO ONLY It's impossible to read St. Paul's letters without coming across the topic of suffering. It's everywhere. And it's because the question of suffering is constantly nagging us. Why do we suffer? What does it mean? If God loves us, how come we suffer? Enter St. Paul. His teaching is absolutely essential to the understanding of suffering and how it can become beautifully redemptive through the Cross of Christ. So to unpack his amazing (very Catholic) teaching, I asked Dr. John Kincaid, an expert on St. Paul, to join me on the Art of Catholic. In this episode we discuss: The essence of the Catholic teaching on redemptive sufferingHow what I was taught as a Protestant about suffering didn't really understand St. PaulHow we can actually "rejoice" in our suffering along with St. Paul (Col. 1:24)Why it's okay to be weak (yep!)The incredible meaning behind Paul's discussion of "labor pains" in Galatians that will totally expand your view of
10/04/2020 • 1 hour 12 minutes 45 seconds
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098: Spiritual Warfare & the Interior Life with Dan Burke

What if I told you the game has changed? What if I told you that things have gotten so serious that there are often-ignored spiritual truths we have to be aware of or we're not going to survive the current climate? The reality is that we are at war. The forces of darkness are trying to destroy your life. They're trying to kill you. And it appears the battle has intensified, which means you have to be ready. And that's why I asked EWTN's Dan Burke to come on to the Art of Catholic and discuss his new book Spiritual Warfare and the Discernment of Spirits. But we're not just talking about the warfare itself. We're going to talk about how to deal with it and protect yourself from the Evil One. Among other things we'll discuss: The current state of spirituality in the ChurchWhy we have to be aware of demonic forcesHow the Ignatian rules of spirituality combat evilThe most important rule of them allThe complementarity of Carmelite & Ignatian spiritualityThe importance of community Spiritual
06/03/2020 • 1 hour 9 minutes 20 seconds
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097: Consecration to St. Joseph: Crazy or Crucial?

Matthew Leonard interviews Fr. Don Calloway about why now is the right time to consecrate yourself to St. Joseph.
30/01/2020 • 52 minutes 49 seconds
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096: Unrepeatable: How To Discover Your Unique Calling

This is not a normal interview. While I typically dive into subjects like Catholic spirituality, Scripture, and such, today I'm diving into you. That sounds weird, I know. Allow me to explain. My guests on the Art of Catholic are two gentleman dedicated to helping Catholics find their personal vocation. And before you say, "I'm already married" or "I'm going to be a nun." or "I'm (fill in the blank)."...wait!! I'm talking about something far beyond your "state in life". Luke Burgis and Dr. Joshua Miller have written an amazing book titled "Unrepeatable: Cultivating the Unique Calling of Every Person". It's about you! Right now! Wherever you are! And you don't want to miss this episode. Amongst other things, we discuss: The disastrous consequence of to reducing "personal vocation" to categories of priest, nun, married or singleHow your personal vocation continues regardless of changes to your state in lifeHow every person is "hardwired" with a motivational design by GodThe proper role o
17/12/2019 • 54 minutes 36 seconds
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095: Making Sense of the Dark Passages of the Bible

Featuring Curtis Mitch Have you ever read something in the Bible and thought, "Yikes! That doesn't sound like a loving God!" There are a lot of difficult events (not to mention direct instructions from God) that cause 21st century Christians a lot of angst. Of particular note is the extreme violence ordered by God against seemingly innocent people. So what gives? How does this square with the love taught by Christ and His Church? To provide some answers, I brought in Curtis Mitch. He's one of the sharpest biblical minds in the Catholic Church. (For the last 20 years he's been writing the commentary in the best-selling Ignatius Catholic Study Bible.) He's got serious Scripture skills and I love having him on the show. Among other things, we'll discuss: Why the Israelites engaged in the violent conquest of Canaan (killing everyone and everything...Yeah, I told you this one wasn't easy)What is herem warfare and why did God order itThe whole point of the Promis
12/11/2019 • 1 hour 9 minutes 41 seconds
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094: Unlocking Catholic Secrets of the Dead Sea Scrolls

Featuring Dr. John Bergsma Discovered in 1946 by a guy throwing rocks into a cave, the Dead Sea Scrolls have been called "the greatest archeological find of the 20th century." And they're totally Catholic! Join Matthew Leonard and scrolls expert Dr. John Bergsma as they unlock some very illuminating secrets from these famous scrolls. It's a conversation that may help fill in some cracks you didn't even realize were there. Among other things they'll cover: What the Scrolls teach us about the EucharistThe mysterious Essenes and Christ's relationship to themWhy Matthew, Mark, and Luke say the Last Supper was on a different day than the Gospel of John...and how to reconcile that differenceWhy in the world John the Baptist lived in the wilderness eating weird stuff and wearing animal skinsHow the Scrolls shed light on what books make up the Bible (or don't) This is a jam-packed interview that will help you see the story of Scripture in a whole new way! God bless
08/10/2019 • 1 hour 5 minutes 10 seconds
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093: God & Evolution

Featuring Dr. Jay Richards The confusion is pervasive. The consequences are catastrophic. What is a Catholic supposed to believe when it comes to evolution? Is it okay or not? Can Darwinism be reconciled with Church teaching as many argue (or even assume)? To answer these (and many other related questions), I brought in a man I consider to have one of the most remarkable minds in the Catholic Church. His name is Dr. Jay Richards, a New York Times best-selling author and convert to Catholicism (from Calvinism). Jay is an Assistant Research Professor in the Busch School of Business at The Catholic University of America, a Senior Fellow at the Discovery Institute, and the Executive Editor of The Stream. He's smart. Very smart. And he's got a lot to say on the topic of evolution. In fact, he edited and contributed to a powerful book titled "God and Evolution" which I found very interesting. You will, too. Among other things, Jay and I discuss: The predominant v
05/09/2019 • 52 minutes 49 seconds
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092: The Anti-Mary…Exposed!

Featuring Dr. Carrie Gress Every now and then you come across someone who opens your eyes to the reality behind the curtain a little bit more. My guest just tore the whole curtain down. Dr. Carrie Gress has written an eye-popping exposé titled, The Anti-Mary Exposed: Rescuing Culture from Toxic Femininity. It’s a barn-burner. And before any of you men think, "Well, I guess I'll go find something a little more manly..." STOP! This is something you NEED to hear. There is a war going on for the hearts and minds of your wives, daughters, sons, friends...even yours! And you're about to hear the sounds of battle. In this episode, Dr. Gress and I discuss: The force behind the breathtaking rise of lesbianism and transgenderismThe insidious relationship between the Russian Revolution and the Women's Lib movementThe increasingly popular world of goddess worshipWho is Lilith and why you need to be aware of "her"What popular publications are dangerous and why (This wil
21/08/2019 • 53 minutes 51 seconds
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091: Living with Sheen: A Conversation with the Remarkable Msgr. Hilary Franco

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 showThe 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 Venerabl
31/07/2019 • 51 minutes 35 seconds
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090: Salvation – What Every Catholic Needs to Understand 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 salvationHow
10/07/2019 • 1 hour 24 minutes 38 seconds
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089: John Michael Talbot on Conversion & Community

I've met a lot of converts to Catholicism over the years. But John Michael Talbot is unique, to say the least. And it's not just because he's a multi-platinum selling, Grammy / Dove award winning Contemporary Christian Music pioneer. It's more. Lots of people convert, but John Michael has embarked on a full-fledged movement to transform the way Catholics live...which continues to this day. And the story of his life will both intrigue, inspire, and perhaps even provoke you to take a look at your own life. It did for me. Among other things we'll cover: How he became CatholicHow the Doobie Brothers saved his life (yup!)Why he believes St. Francis of Assisi is the key to renewal (Check out his brand new book "Francis of Assisi's Sermon on the Mount")His take on the direction of AmericaWhy he loves the Eastern Catholic ChurchHis emphasis upon the role of the Holy Spirit (& Our Lady) So sit back and enjoy a wide-ranging and fascinating conversation with John Michael Talbot, an icon for our t
30/05/2019 • 53 minutes 26 seconds
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088: The Astounding Doctrine of Deification

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 deificationWhere deification is found in the prayers of the MassWhy our deification was always God's goalHow prayer relates directly to the process of deif
25/04/2019 • 56 minutes 14 seconds
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087: How To Think Like a Catholic

Featuring Michael Matheson Miller Everything has gone haywire. At every corner our traditional way of life is being undermined by forces that seem to come from every direction. It's a constant assault. And it's extremely easy for a Catholic to get caught up in being a "child of the times" without even realizing it. It's a slippery slope. We've got to be able to identify and understand the danger and consequences of the ideological war that is attempting to re-define truth, freedom, and reality itself. So I turned to Michael Matheson Miller for help. He's a sought after public speaker, writer, and a Distinguished Fellow at the Acton Institute...and he knows what he's talking about. Join us for an expose of the underlying ideas and forces that are seeking to tear apart not just the Church, but the whole world. Among other things we'll discuss: What is a "Catholic mind?"Why Pope Benedict XVI said we live in a "Dictatorship of Relativism"Whether Catholicism provides an answer to every ques
10/04/2019 • 59 minutes 9 seconds
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086: Dr. Brant Pitre Blows Your Mind on Mary I've got ten bucks that says you've never heard a lot of this stuff. When I was coming into the Church 20 years ago, I struggled mightily with the Virgin Mary. Partly, it was because I couldn't find Marian doctrine and devotion in Sacred Scripture. I was blind. Eventually, I came to realize how deeply Mary is woven into the fabric of the sacred text once you know how to really read the Bible. But Brant Pitre just blew my mind on a few things I'd never heard. (That's saying something given the fact that I've produced an entire series on Our Lady.) You're going to love this. So sit back and enjoy a wide-ranging, but pinpoint discussion on some incredible truths about Mary that will make you marvel at the handiwork of God. Among other things we discuss: The deep connection between Israel's Ark of the Covenant and MaryHow the Book of Numbers provides evidence of Mary's Perpetual Virginity and why Joseph was cool!Scriptural proof that Mary could'v
14/03/2019 • 1 hour 11 minutes 18 seconds
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085: Discerning God’s Will with St. Ignatius of Loyola

Decisions, decisions... Life holds a lot of options and it's often hard to know which way to go, especially when it comes to serious, life-changing matters. Thankfully, we've got help. St. Ignatius of Loyola penned his famous Spiritual Exercises to enable people to discern the spirits - discern God's will for their lives. And the great thing is that's it's not pie-in-the-sky. It's super practical and down-to-earth. In fact, understanding his Exercises can save you a lot of headache and heartache. So join me and one of the most intelligent and holy priests I know, Fr. Aaron Pidel, SJ, for an in-depth discussion of St. Ignatius and his guide for our lives. We're covering: A bit of the (wild and wooly) background of St. IgnatiusHis massive conversionAn overview of the famous Spiritual ExercisesHow Ignatius allows feelings to come into play without them taking overThe massive role of consolations and desolationsPractical discernment of God's will Given my love of spiritual theology, this i
14/02/2019 • 1 hour 17 minutes 33 seconds
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084: Heresy or Holy? The Question of Marian Consecration

"'Slaves of Mary?' Are you kidding me?" That was my first (second, third...tenth) reaction to the words of St. Louis de Montfort in True Devotion to Mary, the classic text on our topic.  The whole idea of consecrating yourself to anyone other than Jesus Christ made zero sense to me. Not anymore. I now understand and completely embrace the whole idea of consecration to Our Lady. And I can tell you from experience that it's life-changing. It can change yours, too. So join me for a conversation on the deep power and beauty of Marian consecration with Joshua Mazrin, Director of Evangelization for the Diocese of Venice. Among other things, we're going to discuss: Why Protestants automatically reject Marian consecration as hereticalThe deep theology underlying Marian consecrationHow Scripture lays the foundation for Marian consecrationOur Lady's intimate relationship with the Holy SpiritThe connection between the Immaculate Conception and Marian consecrationHow Marian consecration is related
11/12/2018 • 41 minutes 19 seconds
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083: Archbishop Vigano & the Power of Fear

Not sure if you caught it, but Archbishop Vigano recently told the American bishops they'd better be afraid...very afraid. Why? Because if you want to become a saint, the first thing you need is fear. Fear isn’t typically the first thing that pops into your mind when you think about growth in sanctity, but it's a must. Not any old fear, of course...we're talking fear of the Lord - one of the most powerful gifts of the Holy Spirit (see Isaiah 11). And Archbishop Vigano's recent letter nails it. So in this episode of the Art of Catholic podcast, I'm going briefly unpack why I think the one paragraph letter he wrote is, in a way, the most powerful letter he's written so least on the spiritual level. Among other things, I'm going to get into: Why fear of the Lord doesn't equal terror How fear is directly linked to the virtue of temperance (and why that's so important) Why spiritual fear leads to hatred of sin The beauty of filial fear How the gift of fear moves us to reverence Thi
19/11/2018 • 24 minutes 12 seconds
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082: Historical Holiness: How Religious Orders Illumine the Path to Perfection

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. Why? 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
31/10/2018 • 58 minutes 41 seconds
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081: Kings, Prophets, & Popes

What should we do? That's the question that keeps coming up in my conversations and email exchanges. What is the appropriate response of faithful Catholics to this ongoing crisis? While some are leaving and others are all-out attacking, most of us are caught somewhere in the middle. We’ve always thought of ourselves as faithful Catholics. We’ve always honored our priests and bishops. We’ve always been a bit awed by the papacy. So we’re torn. We want this all to be fixed, but don’t know what tools are really at our disposal. We're not totally sure what attitude and posture should we take. That's what I want to address in this episode. And I'm going to do it with Sacred Scripture. I think it gives us some pretty clear direction. So in this podcast we'll discuss: The Scriptural origins of the Catholic priesthood Why it can never be "us" vs "them" The role of the Holy Spirit in choosing a pope Extremely important takeaways from the story of King Saul and David The powerful tool used by the
26/09/2018 • 57 minutes 45 seconds
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080: On the Current Crisis in the Catholic Church

These are not easy times for Catholics. I've received a lot of emails from people, and had a lot of conversations over the last several weeks with Catholics on the brink of despair. How could this happen? What is going on? What are we going to do? I share your pain and confusion...deeply. And while I'm horrified by daily revelations about the cancer that is eating our Church alive, I also know that Christ is King and His Church will endure. In this episode of the Art of Catholic I'm going to weigh in on where I find myself coming down in all of this. And I want to provide some food for thought and prayer as we continue to watch all of this unfold. It's my desire to give you some hope and a plan of action. The crisis isn't going away. It shouldn't go away. It needs to be dealt with immediately. But I also want to remind you why the Catholic Church is, and will always be, spite of humanity's best attempts to muck it up. Blessings, Matthew P.S. Join me for a time of spiritual re
30/08/2018 • 26 minutes 24 seconds
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079: Clearing Up Confusion About Real Love

There's a lot of confusion about love these days. That needs to change. On this episode of the Art of Catholic, we'll peel back some of the deeper layers of love. In fact, we'll get to the heart of Christian love. My guest wears spectacles and dark socks with his tennis shoes, but can still drain 3's in a pickup game. His name is Dr. Michael Healy and he's the former Academic Dean at Franciscan University of Steubenville. He's smart. And this is his specialty. His "Nature of Love" course at Franciscan literally changed my life. It opened me up to deeper understanding of the reality and demands of love. (And it helped me convince his daughter to marry me:). Now I want to share him with you on this episode of the Art of Catholic. He's an expert in the texts of St. John Paul II, among others, and is going to enlighten us all with some of the philosophy of love that every one of us needs to understand in order to fulfill the Gospel of Jesus Christ. This is obviously a huge topic and there'
01/08/2018 • 58 minutes 4 seconds
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078: Unpacking the Our Father

Parts of it should actually scare you. All of it should inspire you. The Our Father is the most famous of all prayers, taught to us by God himself. And while you've probably droned through it a few thousand times, have you ever really dug into what you're saying? For a long time, I hadn't. And my guess is it's the same for many of you. So in celebration of the upcoming (at least in many countries) Father's Day holiday, I thought I'd pay homage to the Our Father on the Art of Catholic podcast, by unveiling the inner logic of Christ's own prayer. Because this isn't just a prayer, it's a deep, rich teaching that provides a window into the very identities of both God and man, and our incredible relationship. I have a chapter devoted to this deep and beautiful prayer in my book, "Prayer Works: Getting a  Grip on Catholic Spirituality." So I thought I'd just do a kind of audio book reading of that chapter for you. In it, we'll cover things like: The incredible power of words The scariest pet
14/06/2018 • 43 minutes 37 seconds
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077: Next Level Queenship of Mary

You may think you've heard it all when it comes to Mary. Think again. I'm betting that my buddy Curtis Mitch is going to lay some new thoughts on you about Our Lady as we continue to celebrate May, the month of Mary, on this episode of the Art of Catholic. Curtis, as many of you know, has been writing the commentary on the Ignatius Catholic Study Bible for about 20 years. I've never met anyone with his depth and breadth of scriptural knowledge. He's the perfect guy to turn to when it comes to going next level about Mary. The truth is, the Virgin Mary is a mystery we've yet to fully unpack. Her God-given power and vital role go so far beyond what we can imagine. But we're going to start to change that. In this special episode of the Art of Catholic, Curtis and I will dive into several different texts to discuss: Why "Queen of Heaven" is totally a scriptural title (and not a medieval invention) How the Annunciation in Luke 1 identifies the Queenship of Mary The multiple levels of meaning
16/05/2018 • 51 minutes 5 seconds
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076: Psalm Basics for Catholics

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 t
24/04/2018 • 1 hour 52 seconds
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075: The Secret to Astonishing Faith: Surviving Your Sea of Galilee

Ever felt yourself sinking? St. Peter certainly did when after he briefly walked toward our Lord on the surging waves of the Sea of Galilee. And you have to hand it to Peter. He jumped out of the boat during a raging storm. All because Christ said, “Come.” That’s exactly what Jesus says to us every day…”Come.” No matter what storm is raging in your life, you can walk over the crashing waves toward our loving Lord. That’s not pious sentiment for a Hallmark card or an "inspirational" cubicle poster featuring cats. There's something in that passage most people totally miss that raises the whole story on a different level. Christ literally says, “Take heart, it is I: have no fear.” These words are far more than mere encouragement. In this brief episode I recorded in Jerusalem, I’ll tell you why Jesus’ word’s to the Disciples can totally change the way you view every struggle in your life. They’re the secret to astonishing faith. God bless! Matthew P.S. If you liked this episode, you might
22/03/2018 • 14 minutes 5 seconds
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074: Taking Your Lent to the Next Level

How about if we do it differently this time? I don't know about you, but it seems like every year Ash Wednesday just sneaks up on me and I'm left scrambling trying to figure out what I'm going to do for Lent. I'm guessing I'm not the only one. But let's make a change. Let's make this Lent the best one ever. How? I'm glad you asked. In this episode of the Art of Catholic podcast we're going to discuss: How to prepare for Lent...and keep it rolling all 40 days How the Catholic liturgical calendar mimics the spiritual life What the pre-Vatican II Church (and current Polish Catholic Church) did to prepare for Lent...(and it sounds like a pretty good idea) Why the Crown of Thorns has to precede the Crown of Life The nuclear power of redemptive suffering (and how it works) The two Lenten practices to avoid All that and more in this power-packed Lenten episode of the Art of Catholic! God bless you! Matthew If you liked this episode, check out these, too: Episode 47 - The Secret Back Door Out
08/02/2018 • 33 minutes 21 seconds
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073: Part 2 Rediscovering the Power of JPII’s Theology of the Body

There are several questions every Christian needs to ask themselves on a regular basis. The problem is that the world has warped most of our minds to the point that even if we answer them, we're not answering correctly. And there are consequences. (More on the questions themselves later...) In our last episode, Number 72, we began our rediscovery of St. John Paul II's theological time bomb known as the Theology of the Body. It's something many have forgotten, but is desperately needed by a culture in steep decline. The Holy Father knew the human condition. He understood it deeply. And he provides not just answers, but a roadmap for recovery. So in this the second (and final) part of our discussion on Theology of the Body, I'll lay out: The questions every Christian needs to ask themselves on a regular basis The Catholic response to the world's twisted notion of freedom How the sense of shame can be both good and bad Why we now have the "battle of the sexes" which we all lose How b
16/01/2018 • 50 minutes 48 seconds
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072: Rediscovering the Power of St. John Paul II’s Theology of the Body

Tick...tick...tick... Famous Catholic author, George Weigel, said Pope St. John Paul's Theology of the Body is  a "theological time bomb set to go off with dramatic consequences sometime in the third millennium of the Church." That time has come. In fact, we're practically past time. Unless you've been under a rock for the last few weeks, you've surely heard about the ever-increasing number of famous figures accused of sexual abuse and immorality. Hollywood moguls, US Senators and Congressmen, famous actors...the list goes on and on. While I'm glad this has all come to light, realize it's nothing new. This has all been going on since almost the beginning of time. But we seem to have reached a crisis point in modern culture. People are starting to realize that something is wrong. Terribly wrong. And they want answers to questions they don't even know how to formulate. St. John Paul II saw it coming a mile away. In fact, right from the beginning of his pontificate he provided the answers
27/12/2017 • 44 minutes 58 seconds
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071: Understanding Indulgences…Finally

We're not supposed to talk about them. They're supposed to be like that embarrassing uncle no one mentions by name at family functions. But that's crazy. In this episode of the Art of Catholic podcast we're going to unveil the beautiful theology and practice of indulgences. Far from being an indefensible leftover we'd rather sweep under the medieval rug, indulgences are a powerful witness to God's mercy. They are an incredible help in our journey to heaven. But we need to understand them. So as to help us make use of the Church's treasury of merit (and really understand what in the world the "treasury of merit" even is), I brought in Mary Moorman. She's a brilliant lady who recently wrote a pretty thick book on the topic titled, "Indulgences: Luther, Catholicism, and the Imputation of Merit". Among other issues, we'll discuss: What an indulgence is and how to obtain one Pope St. John Paul II's insightful take on indulgences The very important difference between sacraments and indulgenc
21/11/2017 • 1 hour 20 minutes 15 seconds
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070: How Mary Can Save Civilization…again

Have we lost? Because a lot of people think so. Earlier this year a book came out called The Benedict Option. It's a runaway bestseller written by a famous former Evangelical named Rod Dreher. He basically says we've lost the culture war and radical change in lifestyle is needed if Christianity is going to survive in the West. And he's right...most of the time. While Dreher's call for a retreat into a kind quasi-monastic existence rings true on many levels, it misses a key ingredient that can change everything...Mary. Enter Dr. Carrie Gress. In this year of the 100th anniversary of the Fatima apparitions, she provides a little different slant...a Marian slant. Her new book "The Marian Option: God's Solution to a Civilization in Crisis" presents what I think is Dreher's missing link. If you don't recognize the hand of Mary in our past then you can't understand her pivotal role for our future. So in this episode, Dr. Gress and I will discuss: What exactly is the Marian Option Why Mary is
16/10/2017 • 1 hour 4 minutes 4 seconds
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069: Answering Luther: Finding (Catholic) Faith in Sacred Scripture

Twenty years ago, I lost my faith. I didn’t lose my belief in or about faith, but I officially gave up the certainty that I had enough of it to be saved. It was Easter Vigil, 1998. That’s when I became Catholic. 2017 is the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Rebell…I mean, Reformation. It’s been a catastrophe. There are now more than 40,000 Protestant denominations…and counting. As a result, Christianity has become the poster child for hypocrisy. The religion that professes one faith in Jesus Christ, can’t even agree what faith is. Not since Martin Luther, anyway. He had some strange ideas about it, ideas most of our Protestant brethren don’t even really understand. And to be honest, a lot of Catholics don’t really have a firm grasp of the topic either. So we’re going to set the record straight. I brought in my biblical bazooka named Curtis Mitch. You remember him. He’s the guy who wrote the commentary in the Ignatius Catholic Study Bible. He was also my guest on the extremely popular
14/09/2017 • 57 minutes 55 seconds
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068: Left…Right…Catholic: Solving the Problems of Environment, Economics, & Morality

By now you've come to expect this. And by "this", I mean challenging topics. Well, this one is a doozy. We're going to talk about nature. And by that I don't just mean forests and rivers and cute little squirrels. I also mean human nature. My guest is the brilliant Dr. Ben Wiker, author of an incredible new book titled, "In Defense of Nature: The Catholic Unity of Environmental, Economic, and Moral Ecology." He's a genius at showing how the respect and care for creation necessarily leads to respect and care for human nature...and vice versa. In other words, it's illogical to be an environmentalist and try to destroy humans at the same time. Similarly, if you are a defender of life and human nature, you need to not forget about the natural world. If the tree hugger alarm bells are faintly ringing in your brain, don't worry. I'm not that guy. (I haven't even worn Birkenstocks since the 90s.) This is an incredibly deep topic and a massive issue between Left and Right, Liberal and Conserva
10/08/2017 • 1 hour 13 minutes 51 seconds
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067: The Catholic Crisis of Masculinity…and what to do about it

I'm tired of people asking, "Where have all the good men gone?" It's not really all that hard to figure out. They've gone where they've been told to...out. Men are meant to play a God-given, pivotal role in the family, in the Church, and in culture at large. It's a role that's too often abandoned or dire effect. We lack children. We lack vocations. We lack men. We are in a crisis that is simply not being addressed by enough people. And if we don't change things quickly, the extensive damage will only get worse. This is not a "let's beat our chests and be men" episode of the Art of Catholic. Nor is it  a "let's hammer on men" episode. This is an episode centered around an epidemic that desperately needs attention from both sides of the gender aisle (and yes, there are only two). It's a topic crucial to the vitality of the Church. To help address the issue I brought in Bear Woznick, a giant of a man who just completed the second season of a new EWTN show called "Long Ride
11/07/2017 • 52 minutes 58 seconds
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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.
08/06/2017 • 1 hour 20 minutes 33 seconds
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065: Ascending to Pentecost with Pope Benedict XVI

It's one of the most overlooked miracles in Scripture. All too often we focus so much on the Passion, death and Resurrection of Our Lord that we breeze right over a pivotal event in our eternal pilgrimage - the Ascension. That would be a huge mistake. Not long ago I picked up one of my many books by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI. Not a good idea if you have a lot of items on your "to-do" list. He's so incredibly brilliant that I just couldn't stop reading. Benedict's focus was on the importance of the Ascension and how it leads to Pentecost and beyond. It was a real eye-opener. I learned a lot and I can't wait to share it with you. Among other things, in this episode I'll cover: Why the Apostles were strangely "full of joy" after Christ disappeared Where I would've loved to have been a fly on the wall before the Ascension How the Ascension points to our divine destiny Why Jesus rose on a cloud (and not something else) Why the people in Lystra weren’t totally wrong about Paul and Barnabas…
05/05/2017 • 37 minutes 35 seconds
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064: Holy Week Special – Meditations on the Sorrowful Mysteries

Holy Week is upon us. Hasn't Lent flown by? It seems like Ash Wednesday was just a couple weeks ago. And oftentimes we get to this point thinking we could have done a lot more...So let's do something about it. In this episode of the Art of Catholic, we're not going to just talk about theology. We're going to enter into it. How? By meditating on the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary as a kind of progression or maturation in the spiritual life. What do I mean by that? Well, it seems to me that the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary are a kind of parallel to the 3 stages of the Spiritual Life: the Purgative, the Illuminative, and the Unitive Ways spoken about by spiritual giants like John of the Cross, Teresa of Avila, and many others. And if you've never heard of those stages, no worries. I give  a brief overview of them in this episode. I found some Scripture passages that evoke some of the spiritual fruit of the Sorrowful Mysteries and wrote short meditations about how the Mysteries rel
11/04/2017 • 37 minutes 38 seconds
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063: Why Beauty Is Crucial…Especially for Catholics

It might seem a bit odd to discuss beauty at the beginning of Lent. Actually, I find it totally appropriate. After all, this is a season of stripping away the outer layers of this world and conforming ourselves to Him who is beauty. If God is the Beatific Vision, then beauty matters all the time...perhaps especially in Lent. The topic of beauty is something I've wanted to address for a long time because it's all too often ignored. I would go so far as to say that it is crucial for Catholics to reacquire a true understanding and appreciation for beauty. Its lacking is not only a major contributor to massive cultural decline in the Western world, but also for the decline of people practicing Christianity. We've forgotten how to make the faith beautiful. And I don't mean just sprucing it up. I mean the essence of our faith. My guest is John Henry Crosby, a cultural entrepreneur and founder of the Hildebrand Project. Promoting a renewed aesthetic is in his blood. After this show, it will b
02/03/2017 • 55 minutes 59 seconds
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062: The Hidden Power of Kindness

Make no mistake, this episode is going to challenge you. But it can also dramatically transform your relationships with other people...and God. It's full of deep and practical wisdom that you can start to practice immediately. Our topic is kindness - real kindness - the kindness identified by St. Paul in Galatians. In other words, this is way beyond the "be nice to one another" stuff we learned in pre-school. It's the virtue that radically re-arranges our priorities and changes the world. My guest is Charlie McKinney, the President of Sophia Institute Press. He's on the show to discuss an extremely powerful book titled The Hidden Power of Kindness by an amazing 20th century priest named Fr. Laurence Lovasik. Fr. Lovasik is one of these priests who is so full of wisdom that it seems to radiate out of every statement he makes. He wrote more than 30 books and spoke around the globe for decades, helping people draw closer to the Lord. I've read some of his other works before turning to The
09/02/2017 • 58 minutes 41 seconds
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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? 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
26/01/2017 • 51 minutes 30 seconds
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060: Advent-Christmas Typology Minicast

A little bit of knowledge goes a long way...especially when it comes to prayer and Scripture. In fact, you don't need to have any hardcore theological training or lots of letters after your name to get a lot out of prayer. That said, actually studying the Bible - what Pope Benedict XVI calls the "soul of theology" - will put your prayer life on steroids (which is still legal). And a key to understanding Scripture is known as typology. ("Ty-what?") Typology is a 25 cent word that shows how the people, places and events of the Old Testament point forward to the people, places, and events of the New Testament. It shows connections. In this episode of The Art of Catholic, I share a personal experience from my meditations the other day in my parish's adoration chapel. I thought it a good example of how making connections (i.e. typology) in Scripture can really juice up your time with Our Lord. In this mini-cast, I'll focus in on the 5th Joyful Mystery (The Finding of Jesus in the Temple) an
15/12/2016 • 26 minutes 57 seconds
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059: Unleashing the Rosary with Fr. Don Calloway

In case you hadn't noticed, we're at war. We need a weapon. A powerful one. One feared by the Devil. Most of us already have one. It's called the rosary. And if wielded properly it cuts through the darkness like a light saber (especially if it's glow-in-the-dark:). In this special episode of The Art of Catholic, I interview Fr. Donald Calloway, author, speaker, and Vicar Provincial of the Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception. He knows the rosary. In fact, he wrote a great book on it titled Champions of the Rosary: The History and Heroes of a Spiritual Weapon. So I brought him in to give us all a greater appreciation for the history, beauty, and power of the "Bible on Beads." Among other things, we discuss: The miraculous origin of the rosary through St. Dominic The history of the Marian Psalter (which predated the rosary) How the horrific Black Plague shaped the rosary The epic defeat of the Ottoman Turks in the Battle of Lepanto (because of the rosary!) Why you should know a gu
01/12/2016 • 1 hour 3 minutes 22 seconds
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058: Why the Catholic Priesthood is Totally Biblical

I've heard it. You've heard it. I used to even say it! "The Catholic priesthood isn't biblical."...Wrong! If you were to boil the (so-called) Protestant  Reformation down to its essence, it basically did away with the priesthood. Most Protestants have no sacramental life because there are no priests to give them the sacraments. (Most don't believe in the sacraments at all.) They believe (and I realize I'm painting with a broad brush here) in something called "the priesthood of all believers." After all, 1 Peter 2:5 says, "and like living stones be yourselves built into a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ." Our Separated Brethren take this to mean that every Christian has equal potential to minister for God, thus there is no need for a separate ministerial priesthood. But that's not what the Bible says. In this episode of the Art of Catholic I interview Fr. Tommy Lane, a Professor of Sacred Scripture at Mount S
18/11/2016 • 59 minutes 12 seconds
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057: The Primacy of Mary’s Divine Maternity & Why It Matters

Why do Catholics exalt Mary? I don't mean in general. I mean specifically.  The answer may surprise you.  Is it because she's perfect? Kind of. But there's a deeper reason. So in this "brief" episode, I'll dig in a little to the underlying, foundational reason we venerate Our Lady. In this episode we'll discuss: Why the Immaculate Conception is demanded by Mary's divine maternity The vital role of the Council of Ephesus in 431AD in Marian doctrine Why St. Thomas declared Mary was predestined to be the Mother of God How Mary is intimately united to the hypostatic union The definition and distinction of hyperdulia (and why people who say Catholics worship Mary are nuts) All that and more in this episode of the Art of Catholic! God bless! Matthew 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 Ita
04/11/2016 • 34 minutes 20 seconds
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056: The Scariest Verse in Scripture…and How To Survive It

A lot of passages in Scripture make me uncomfortable. But this one scares the dickens out of me. In Matthew 12:36, Jesus declares "I tell you, on the day of judgment men will render account for every careless word they utter." Uhhh..."every careless word"? (Insert teeth chattering.) Now I don't know about you, but I've said some pretty ridiculous things in my life...things for which I would love to take the eternal Etch A Sketch, turn it upside down, and shake. (By the way, did I ever tell you I was in a 1970s Etch A Sketch commercial with my brothers and sisters? Story for another time...) And I'm betting there are plenty of people reading this that are just as terrified of that verse as I am. Well, fear not! In this special episode of the Art of Catholic, I'm actually the one being interviewed by none other than Marcus Grodi about this very difficult verse. Perhaps you've seen Marcus on his EWTN show The Journey Home. (I was on that show once, too...a long time after the Etch A Sketc
21/10/2016 • 43 minutes 51 seconds
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055: Unveiling the 3 Secrets of Fatima

They're the most talked about "secrets" in the world. But they're often misunderstood. In July, 1917, Our Lady appeared to three children and revealed to them several amazing visions and prophecies that all came true. They've become known as the 3 Secrets of Fatima. And while we know what they are, they're not just part of the past. They're relevant now...more than ever. There's no doubt that truly understanding and applying the message of Mary at Fatima can change the world! So in celebration of the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary (Oct 7th) and the fact that the 100th anniversary is on October 13, 2017, this episode of the Art of Catholic will dive into these secrets including: How Mary foretold World War II What Mary showed the children and how it affects us today How Our Lady can change the course of history Why Mary showed the children a terrifying vision of hell The role of Russia in world events and conversion of the world How the assassination attempt on St. John Paul II in 1981
07/10/2016 • 47 minutes 47 seconds
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054: Understanding Extreme Violence in the Bible

It's not a pretty topic. But it has to be addressed. The extreme violence in Sacred Scripture (particularly the Old Testament) understandably causes a lot of people problems. After all, how are we supposed to reconcile this kind of bloodshed with a loving, merciful God? Why did He command it? How could He command it? Didn't Jesus say to love your neighbor and pray for your enemies? Sometimes what we read just doesn't seem to square with who we know Him to be. And you can't, as some do, simply gloss over or ignore this material. We're not. In fact, we're going to tackle it head on with my guest, Curtis Mitch. Among his other illustrious achievements, Curtis is the main guy behind the commentary in the Ignatius Catholic Study Bible. He's been living, eating, and breathing Scripture for the last 18 years on that project. It's his full-time job. In other words, he knows the Bible like few others. So in this episode of the Art of Catholic, Curtis and I will discuss: The historical context o
23/09/2016 • 56 minutes 13 seconds
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053: The Love That Made Mother Teresa

It's no surprise. Mother Teresa is the newest saint of the Catholic Church. I became Catholic the year after she died. I hadn't paid her much attention. And yet along with the rest of the world, I knew she was holy. Sure, there were detractors. There always are. They're nuts. While most people loved and respected Mother Teresa, she also made them uneasy. Let's be honest, she made a lot of Catholics uneasy! Hers might have been the "little way" of her namesake St. Therese of Lisieux, but it wasn't an easy way. Sainthood never is. In this episode I brought in phenomenal author David Scott. He's been a powerhouse in the Catholic universe for more than 30 years, publishing all over world and holding top editorial positions at the largest Catholic newspaper (Our Sunday Visitor) and Catholic News Service. He's currently the Vice Chancellor of Communications in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. He's hands down one of the best Catholic writers around. And he's written a gorgeous little book abou
05/09/2016 • 51 minutes 32 seconds
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052: Catholic Q&A – Mary/Contraception/Suffering

We've all got questions. None more important then those dealing with our faith. Not long ago, I invited listeners to send me questions or issues with which they're dealing. I got some great responses from all over the world. So in this special episode of The Art of Catholic, we're going to deal with a few of them. (Some of these I deal with in my first book Louder Than Words: The Art of Living as a Catholic...the book which inspired the podcast!) Some of the important issues we'll discuss include: What to do when you really don't feel a relationship with Mary. How Mary makes sense in God's family The underlying reason for contraception in our culture Why contraception isn't even on the radar of most Protestants The insane end result of a contraceptive culture A response to a Protestant's inquiry regarding redemptive suffering including why and how it works The problem with "penal substitution" (a Protestant teaching about the Cross) and its relation to redemptive suffering This is an e
25/08/2016 • 58 minutes 26 seconds
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051: Clearing Up the Crusades

We've all heard it before - "The Catholic Church is all about violence and power. Just look at the Crusades! They're a perfect example!" The problem (for critics of the Church) is that idea is horse-hockey. That said, most of us have little-to-no understanding of the true heart of the Crusades...which is a complete shame. Because the fact is, the reason and rationale for what Pope Urban II began a thousand years ago is way deeper and more spiritual than what most people ever imagine. So to enlighten us all, I brought in Dr. Andrew Jones, an expert on the High Middle Ages. We're going to dive into the incredible history and backstory of the Crusades that no one ever talks about. We're going to uncover what the Crusades were really about. Among other things, in this episode we'll explore: Why the crusaders actually did it (when it cost most their fortunes, not to mention their lives) The deep connection between monasticism and the Crusades The little understood connection between Islam a
11/08/2016 • 1 hour 17 minutes 50 seconds
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050: Scott Hahn Unleashes the Creed

We say (or drone through) it every week – “I believe…” Do we really? Does the amazing truth of the Creed penetrate the fibers of our being the same way it did early Christians who were willing to die for it? If you aren’t quite there yet, you might soon be. Especially after hearing my latest guest. To help us understand this amazing statement of faith I brought in the Catholic supernova - Dr. Scott Hahn. He has just released an exciting new book from Emmaus Road Publishing titled The Creed: Professing the Faith Through the Ages. And in this barnburner episode he unleashes incredible insights into what we profess to believe. Among other things, Dr. Hahn dives into: Where the Creed comes from Why its placement in the Mass is extremely significant The "rule of faith" The difference between the Apostle’s Creed & Nicene Creed The "Discipline of the Secret" The revolutionary notion we profess each time we say the Creed How the Creed actually encourages and fosters science…(what?)! All this a
27/07/2016 • 51 minutes
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049: The 7 Deadly Sins & How To Crush Them

They are the most infamous of sins. Why? Because they will knock you down, beat you up, and kick you to the curb. To put it bluntly, they can send you to hell. Thankfully, there are remedies for fighting these 7 Deadly Sins (aka the 7 Capital sins...perhaps due to their abundance in Washington D.C.) And in today’s program, we’re going to discuss the problems and solutions both. My guest is Dr. Kevin Vost who has written on this very topic. His book titled The Seven Deadly Sins: A Thomistic Guide to Vanquishing Vice and Sin is a perfect introduction to this vital topic. In this episode we’ll: Learn the history of the development of the list of the 7 Deadly Sins Identify what moral theologians call the “daughters” of these deadly sins Discover how there’s an actual pattern of relationship between sins…how one almost necessarily leads to another Learn the difference between sin and vice (they’re not the same) Identify the virtues that overcome vice and help us move toward God This is a to
14/07/2016 • 51 minutes 38 seconds
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048: How Almsgiving Can Save Your Life…Now and Later

Fasting? Powerful. Prayer? Absolutely necessary. Almsgiving? Can save you from death! In our last episode, we discovered the revolution that occurred in the Old Testament with regard to handling the consequences of sin. We saw how it evolved from something we had to wait and endure, to something akin to a debt we could "pay down" proactively. In other words, we discovered you can actually shave time off of purgatory through almsgiving. It was pretty huge. Now we're going to take it one step further. In today's program we're going to unpack the incredible meaning behind a simple little verse in Proverbs: “The treasuries of wickedness provide no benefit, but almsgiving delivers from death" (10:2).  That’s a pretty amazing sentence. And it’s not hyperbole. It’s not exaggeration. It's the truth...and we'll see it in Scripture. In this powerful episode we'll: Discover the little discussed details in the story of the raising of Tabitha from the dead and how they're all related to almsgiving
30/06/2016 • 32 minutes 56 seconds
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047: The Secret Back Door Out of Purgatory Nobody Talks About

If I was to ask you the quickest way out of purgatory, or even perhaps the quickest way into heaven, what would you say? "Be a saint." Good. But what should we do when we fall short? What about when we sin? The book I mention in the podcast. "Get to confession," you reply. Excellent. But then what? Is there a way to make up for what we've done? A way to remedy the damage that we've caused the Body of Christ now, so that we don't suffer later? Absolutely. It's almsgiving. Don't worry, I'm not going to tell you to start giving alms. I'm going to tell you why you're nuts if you don't. Trust me. You want to hear this. Because we're going to: Discuss why you want to spend as little time in purgatory as possible (hint: it hurts...a lot!) Show how Scripture describes sin in terms of a debt to be paid Demonstrate the incredible revolution with regard to payment for sin that occurred in the Old Testament between the time of King David and Daniel Examine Scripture passages that demonstrate the c
23/06/2016 • 38 minutes 51 seconds
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046: St. John Paul II Through the Eyes of a Swiss Guard

Pope St. John Paul II is one of the most beloved popes of all time. He touched the lives of millions. But his impact is far from over. JPII was a world-class philosopher. He taught us truths about ourselves, and humanity in general, in a way that made sense. He understood our deepest longings and turmoil. He could explain the inner workings of our heart in relation to God.  In a nutshell, he taught us how to be fully human through Jesus Christ. But while most of us learned this from his speeches, encyclicals, and books, Andreas Widmer, former Swiss Guard and now Director of Entrepreneurship Programs at Catholic University of Americas’ Busch School of Business & Economics, received his instruction in person. This giant of a man swore to protect and serve the Holy Father with his life. And in return, he learned what it means to truly live. In fact, he wrote a book about it called The Pope & the CEO: John Paul II's Leadership Lessons to a Young Swiss Guard. In this special episode of the
16/06/2016 • 1 hour 1 minute 11 seconds
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045: Fire From Above: Christian Contemplation & Mystical Wisdom

God didn't just create you...He thirsts for you! His heart is bursting with love for you! Yes, you! That is the underlying message of the mystics. It's also the underlying message of one of the best spiritual theologians in the United States. Dr. Anthony Lilles, Academic Dean at St. John's Seminary in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles can illuminate and discuss the interior life unlike anyone else I've heard or met. (You might remember him from episode 3.) His new book is Fire From Above: Christian Contemplation and Mystical Wisdom...and it's awesome. He is so steeped in the rich mystical tradition of spiritual giants like John of the Cross, Teresa of Avila, and Blessed Elizabeth of the Trinity, that the power of their message almost bursts out of him. To be perfectly honest, I had something totally different in mind when I contacted Anthony to come on show. But then the Holy Spirit took over. Here's where He led the conversation: The mystical relationship between martyrdom and contemplat
09/06/2016 • 58 minutes 10 seconds
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044: Why You Should Thank A Dominican Right Now

Ever met someone who can trace their lineage back to some famous people? My dad's family had an ancestor on the Mayflower. My in-laws brag they're related to Stonewall Jackson. I recently discovered one of my relatives actually translated the spiritual masterpiece The Imitation of Christ a few hundred years ago. Family lines are very important and interesting. While not tied through bloodlines, there's a Catholic family that can trace it's lineage for 800 years...the Dominicans. And the offspring of the great St. Dominic has had an unbelievable impact on the Catholic faith. Just think of all the towering Dominican figures in our history: St. Thomas Aquinas, St. Catherine of Siena, and St. Rose of Lima, among others. In this episode of the Art of Catholic I'm joined by Br. Tim Danaher O.P., to talk a little about the history and impact of this amazing order. Among other things we'll discuss: The heresy that led to the founding of the Dominicans Why Dominicans are called "Hounds of the L
02/06/2016 • 49 minutes 29 seconds
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043: (More) New Testament Basics with John Bergsma

There are 27 books in the New Testament...19 of them came from just two guys. Sts. Paul and John are two of the most influential men in the history of the world. 14 of the books of the most popular book in the history of the world (the Bible...just in case you were scratching your head) are traditionally ascribed to Paul. Not to be outdone, St. John wrote the "greatest piece of world literature, period" says John Bergsma. (Plus four other New Testament books.) These guys are Bible rock stars. Even so, they need some explication. Paul is sometimes clear as mud. (Have you read Romans?) John sometimes soars so high into the celestial mist that he needs to brought back down to earth.  Theologians spend years trying to unpack what both have to say. We don't have that kind of time. But we do have Dr. John Bergsma. Bergsma's famous art! In this rollicking conclusion to my two part interview on New Testament Basics for Catholics, we'll finish off what we started in episode 42. First, we'll con
26/05/2016 • 54 minutes 17 seconds
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042: New Testament Basics with John Bergsma

If you totally understand the New Testament of Sacred Scripture, then you can ignore this podcast. For the rest of us mortals, this show is a gem. Best-selling author and professor Dr. John Bergsma explains the Bible like nobody else. His Bible Basics for Catholics is a masterpiece. While it focused on the overall story of salvation history, particularly the Old Testament, his sequel, New Testament Basics for Catholics illuminates the second half of the Bible. And it's even better than the first one (which sold a gazillion copies). John breaks the New Testament down by focusing on its four major authors. In part 1 of this interview, we'll discuss the first two - Matthew and Luke - and what's happening in their books. Among other things we'll learn: What is the unifying theme of the major New Testament authors? Why does Matthew kick off the New Testament with a genealogy? (John actually calls it biblical Tae Kwon Do) What's so shocking about the women mentioned by Matthew? What is Luke'
19/05/2016 • 44 minutes 55 seconds
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041: Pentecost Special! The Amazing Old Testament Backstory of Acts 2

The Holy Spirit didn't just fall out of the sky at Pentecost. Well, I mean, he did, but all those tongues of fire, heavy winds and such weren't a random occurrence. Nothing God does ever is. There's a backstory. And once you know it, everything makes more sense. In this episode of The Art of Catholic, we dive into the events of the Old Testament that set up the birth of the Catholic Church in Jerusalem at Pentecost. Earth(quakes), Wind & Fire wasn't just a nominally successful 70s band. These elements often accompany theophanies, appearances of God. We're going to see why the crazy events at Pentecost unfolded as they did, looking at parallels to another very similar, very important event in the book of Exodus. Among other things we'll discuss: The ancient origin of Pentecost as a Jewish feast Why the Holy Spirit descended in tongues of fire in Acts 2 Why the Disciples started speaking in other languages What the voice of God actually sounds like (gulp!) Why the number of converts at P
12/05/2016 • 38 minutes 40 seconds
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040: Conclusion of “7 Core Beliefs of Catholicism…in Hebrews?”

If you've ever scratched your head after hearing or reading Hebrews (or even if you just scratch your head), this episode is for you. Unless you're Catholic, it's pretty difficult to make heads or tails of the book of Hebrews. And even if you are Catholic it can seem a bit odd at times. But once you view it through the right lens, the teachings of Catholicism jump off the page like a 3D IMAX movie. In fact, it's a mini Catechism. This is the conclusion of my great conversation with author Shane Kapler who beautifully lays out the Seven Core Beliefs of Catholics in the Epistle to the Hebrews. (His book is great!) Among other things we'll discuss: How Hebrews lays out the Catholic "plan of salvation" in 7 verses (how appropriate) The grittiness of Jesus' humanity and how he learned obedience through suffering What the famous faith "Hall of Fame" in Hebrews 11 teaches us about heaven and the communion of saints Why critics of Catholicism who say there's no mention of the Eucharist in Hebr
05/05/2016 • 44 minutes 19 seconds
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039: The 7 Core Beliefs of Catholicism…in Hebrews?

Every book in the Bible is Catholic...but this one's really Catholic. When I was a Protestant missionary in Latin America, one of my fellow missionaries told me that he was trying to read the book of Hebrews, but he found it "just plain weird." He didn't know what to make of it. And it's no wonder. It's totally Catholic! (Uhhh...maybe that's why Martin Luther wanted to unload it from the canon of Scripture.) In this episode of the Art of Catholic we're going to begin our focus on the 7 core Catholic beliefs that underlie this amazing book of the Bible. My guest is a convert and gifted author named Shane Kapler, who wrote a book on this very topic titled The Epistle to Hebrews and the Seven Core Beliefs of Catholics. This is a great episode to start expanding your knowledge of Scripture. Among other things we'll discuss: Who wrote Hebrews and why it's one of the most argued topics in Scripture study Why Hebrews has special relevance today given the current condition of the world How Heb
28/04/2016 • 46 minutes 40 seconds
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038: The Crucial Role of Catholic Fiction with Fr. Richard Infante

Every so often I get the point where I just can't take it anymore. The Art of Catholic community knows I'm totally into spiritual theology. But every now and then I hit the wall. I just can't read another book on prayer, the 3 stages of the spiritual life, or the virtues. I need something a bit lighter. Enter Fr. Richard Infante, wonderful priest and talented author of Catholic fiction. He's got a new book called “Last Priest Standing” from Lambing Press, which is a collection of short stories and novellas. It's a fascinating peek into the private lives of priests which satisfies questions a lot of us have like: What do priests do in their free time? Do they want to talk about Church stuff with lay people? Do priests hang out together? (In casinos)? It's quite interesting and will certainly humanize priests for a lot of people. But the conversation goes deeper. With four master's degrees, including one in Fine Arts, he knows what he's talking about when it comes to Catholic fiction and
21/04/2016 • 1 hour 11 minutes 2 seconds
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037: The Fulfillment of All Desire with Ralph Martin

Hands down one of my favorite books of all time. Dr. Ralph Martin's The Fulfillment of All Desire played a huge role in my desire to learn about, and grow in, the spiritual life. It's a classic. (I've got hand-written notes all over the margins in my copy.) 2016 is the tenth anniversary of it's publication and it still sells like crazy. Why? Because it presents the path of spiritual growth from the masters of the spiritual life: Teresa of Avila, John of the Cross, Bernard of Clairvaux, Francis de Sales, Augustine, and more. This book blew my mind and helped ignite the fire of love in my life for Christ. If you don't know Ralph, he's the Director of Graduate Theology Programs in the New Evangelization and an associate professor of theology at Sacred Heart Major Seminary in the Archdiocese of Detroit, president of Renewal Ministries, and host of the tv and radio show “The Choices We Face”. In case you didn’t think him cool enough already, Ralph was appointed by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI
14/04/2016 • 58 minutes 29 seconds
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036: The Amazing Life and Power of Angels with Mike Aquilina

"For he will give his angels charge of you to guard you in all your ways" (Psalm 91:11). Since the last show was, shall we say, a bit dark, I decided we needed a burst of light. How much more light can you get than angels? And to shed light on an already bright and beautiful topic, I've got author, speaker, EWTN host, and all around terrific human being, Mike Aquilina. Mike has written a ton about the angels. (Check out his beautiful devotional "A Year With the Angels" when you have a chance.) Today's show includes the following topics: Are all angels alike? Do they have a primary role? How are angels and humans different? The greatest piece of advice ever with regard to guardian angels How to establish a relationship with your guardian angel Can fallen angels (i.e. demons) ever be saved? Does our relationship with angels change in heaven? What do the Church Fathers say about angels? All that and more on this bright, beautiful and powerful episode of the The Art of Catholic! Happy East
06/04/2016 • 56 minutes 47 seconds
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035: Saints Who Battled Satan (and Won)! with Dr. Paul Thigpen

Light the blessed candles, grab your crucifix, and find your biggest bottle of holy water. My guest today on the Art of Catholic is author Dr. Paul Thigpen and our topic is spiritual warfare. In particular, we’re discussing his really fascinating book titled “Saints Who Battled Satan: 17 Holy Warriors Who Can Teach You How To Fight The Good Fight and Vanquish Your Ancient Enemy.” And I’m gonna tell you right now, this is no typical saint book. It’s pretty wild. "Who is Paul Thigpen", you ask? He's the editor of TAN Books and the best-selling author, co-author or compiler of forty-five titles. Among his most popular books are The Burden: A Warning of Things to Come and The Rapture Trap: A Catholic Response to End Times Fever. Paul is a convert to the Catholic faith and has served the Church as an award-winning journalist, historian, apologist, catechist, and member of the National Advisory Council of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. His work has been translated into twe
31/03/2016 • 48 minutes 55 seconds
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034: How the Cross Actually Saves You (and how it doesn’t)

Perhaps the most dramatic and gut-wrenching moment of the crucifixion is Christ's cry of dereliction: "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" But many people have no idea what it actually means. Like so many other converts to Catholicism, I was raised with a misunderstanding of how the Cross of Christ actually saves me. Believe it or not, over the years I've heard some homilies at Mass make the same mistake. (Not in my home parish...just in case my parish priest is reading this:) But it's important. Because if you get the Cross wrong, you get everything wrong. In this special Triduum/Easter episode of The Art of Catholic, I'll briefly discuss: What Jesus actually did on the Cross: both the correct and incorrect views How the way we're saved dramatically impacts our view of salvation and thus how we live How to understand the apparent abandonment of the Son by the Father as he hung on the Cross Why the Cross should fill us with confidence This episode will help you dive more deeply
24/03/2016 • 28 minutes 50 seconds
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033: Boom!! Brant Pitre Totally Crushes Gospel Skeptics (Part 2)

Your eyes were opened...and that's a good thing. If you listened to Part 1 of my discussion with the renowned author and speaker Dr. Brant Pitre (, not only were you probably incensed by the attacks of skeptics on the Gospels, you were heartened by Brant's destruction of their arguments. The truth of the matter is that we can trust in the origin of the Gospels. We can trust that Christ is who he says he is. In Part 2 of our interview, our discussion based around his new book The Case for Jesus: The Biblical and Historical Evidence for Christ includes the following: When the Gospels were written and why it matters How do we explain apparent differences or discrepancies in the Gospels?  Why Jesus knew exactly who he was...God (though Gospel critics say otherwise) The incredible connection between Jesus and the Old Testament book of Daniel (and how the Angel Gabriel plays into all this) The real reason Jesus was sentenced to death by the Jewish leaders Why the first Christi
17/03/2016 • 41 minutes 37 seconds
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032: Boom! Brant Pitre Totally Crushes Gospel Skeptics

Let's start with two simple, yet crucial questions: "Do you trust the Bible?" and "Do you believe Jesus is God?" Many of you are thinking, "Of course, Matt!" Even so, you certainly know a lot of people in our post-Christian world who don't agree. They're skeptics. And there are a lot of people seeking to create more of them. In fact, some people who spend their professional lives studying the Gospels go around making wild claims about Jesus and the Gospels that just don't pass historical muster: claims such as “We can’t trust the Gospels because we don't have any idea who wrote them," or "Jesus never claimed to be divine." It's crazy! And the awful thing is, they’re using shoddy "historical" arguments to destroy the faith of a lot of Catholics, and people don’t even realize it. They trumpet their “scientific” findings and somberly declare that the Gospels don't stand up to careful scrutiny and call into question Christ’s claims. But it's a sham. Their positions are full of holes so big
10/03/2016 • 53 minutes 59 seconds
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031: Part 2 of Soul Surfing with a Man Named “Bear”

What does the spiritual life of a ninja blackbelt surfer look like? The answer might surprise you. (The dude quotes Aquinas, for crying out loud.) Join me for the conclusion of my conversation with adventurer and EWTN radio host Bear Woznick. We're getting deeper into the practicalities of meditative prayer and the overall trajectory of the spiritual path for Catholics. But that's not all. A big part of the discussion centers around what it means to actually "let go and let God," and what happens when you do. (You'll even hear how in the world I ended up on a mountain in Guatemala three months after leaving the corporate world.) We'll also dissect something a lot of Catholics have never heard of, called penal substitution. It's the theory of salvation that Bear and I used to hold as Protestants, but makes no sense of the Cross or human suffering. God bless and enjoy! Matt P.S. Don't let Lent just slide by. Grab it by the horns! Click the link to get a free, short chapter from my book L
02/03/2016 • 40 minutes 51 seconds
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030: Soul Surfing With A Man Named “Bear”

I meet a lot of people in my line of work...none like this guy. Have you ever talked prayer with a guy who is a World Surfing Champ? Ever discussed the spiritual life with a bona fide ninja blackbelt? How about chatting virtue with anyone who rode their bike (i.e. bicycle) from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic Ocean? Me, neither. That is, until I met Bear Woznick. (Yes, that's actually his legal name.) Bear Woznick is unlike anyone else I know. I met him recently at a men's conference in Florida where we were both speakers. His life, I quickly discovered, is like a movie. That doesn't mean it's perfect. Simply that it's a bit more "exciting" than most of ours. (Seriously, have you ever repelled off the 25th floor of your beachfront condo? He has.) Bear is an author, speaker, and EWTN radio host and who loves the Church and expresses it in a very unique way. You're going to find his story and his message truly inspirational. Blessings, Matthew P.S. Don't let Lent just slide by. Grab it
25/02/2016 • 42 minutes 8 seconds
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029: The Key to True Freedom & Satisfaction Right Now!

I already know the answer, but I'm going to ask anyway: Have you ever been fully satisfied? How about completely free? For how long? How long until you want a new smartphone? How far into the woods do you need to hike to "get away from it all"? How long before the new car smell wears off? (Approximately 3 1/2 minutes for those with children.) Most of us discovered a long time ago that nothing here can satisfy us for very long. It just can't. And it's not only satisfaction we crave. We want freedom. (Why else do people try to fly without a plane or deep sea dive hundreds of feet without an oxygen tank?) We want to crush the barriers in life that hem us in and quench that thirst that comes from deep inside. It's a constant gnawing - a constant struggle. Why? Because we were created for true freedom! We were designed to be fully satisfied! But there's only one way you can achieve it. So in this episode of the The Art of Catholic, I'm going to provide some keys to help you redirect and que
17/02/2016 • 32 minutes 3 seconds
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028: Part 2 – The (Very) Ancient Origins of Marian Devotion

I told you it was good. Part one of my interview with Mike Aquilina about his book Keeping Mary Close: Devotion to Our Lady Through the Ages was awesome. The conclusion is even better. You've got to hear Mike because he really gets fired up showing how even heretics and atheists understood early Christian devotion to the Mother of God, and mocked them for it. He also discusses how love of Mary is channeled to God using a very sweet example from his own life. Our discussion also gets into how the motif of the family life of God is a key to understanding Mary. At one point, he even invokes the Odd Couple! (You're not going to hear that on any other podcast!) Some of the other questions we discuss: They may not have had rosaries, but did early Christians have physical ornaments that expressed their devotion to Our Lady? Given it's intensity, was there ever a danger of Mary eclipsing Christ in devotion in the early days? (Ever heard of the Collyridians? Me, neither!) Do Muslims really vene
10/02/2016 • 36 minutes 30 seconds
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027: Part 1 – The (Very) Ancient Origins of Marian Devotion

I sure wish I'd known this 18 years ago. I'd probably have become Catholic a lot faster. In this episode of The Art of Catholic, I've got one of my favorite people, Mike Aquilina, ready to lay down some serious Early Church knowledge. But we're not just interested in history. We're going to dig into what the Early Church believed and practiced with regard to the Virgin Mary. Adding to the already legendary stack of books he's written is "Keeping Mary Close: Devotion To Our Lady Through The Ages"...and it's awesome. I read a lot of Marian literature when working on The Bible and the Virgin Mary series for the St. Paul Center. What sets this book apart from others is that its focus is upon the Early Church. Speaking as a convert who had serious issues with Mary, this book would have helped me immensely when I was dealing with who she is and what the Church has taught about her through the ages. In fact, I’m a little hacked off that he waited so long to write this. But since this is the Y
03/02/2016 • 32 minutes 48 seconds
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026: 5 Keys to Breaking Bad Habits

Admit it. Just like everybody else, your 2016 New Year's resolutions are already in the toidy. (That's a technical term.) And for most of us,  those resolutions dealt with habits we've acquired and want to get rid of like smoking, drinking, or Jazzercise. Then there are those virtuous habits we want to acquire. Virtuous habits will get their own podcast at a later date. Since most of us remain in the "I've got to stop this or it's going to kill me!" or "I'm tired of confessing this same thing over and over" mode, I want to give you 5 key ideas to help you overcome sinful habits so you can spiritually grow and rocket your way to God. Enjoy! Matt Click here to grab a copy of my free pdf 8 Ways To Jumpstart Your Prayer Life. It's not too late to make a new, New Year's resolution that really change your life!
27/01/2016 • 25 minutes 41 seconds
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025: Why Mary is the Ark of the New Covenant

I've made no bones about the fact that Mary was easily the most difficult issue I faced in becoming Catholic. This show is about the scriptural argument that got me over the hump. In the last two episodes (23 & 24), we dealt with the Immaculate Conception. This time, we're going to fill in some background on the Ark of the Covenant from the Old Testament, and then explore the stunning parallels laid out by the Gospel of Luke between that original Ark and the Virgin Mary. Like I said, the dots I'm about to connect are one major reason I fully embraced Church teaching on Our Lady. It's pretty powerful stuff. But as they say on infomercials...That's not all!" I'm also going to drop a really cool insight from Pope Benedict XVI about Mary's Visitation to Elizabeth that I recently heard at Mass. It literally made me "oooh" out loud. (Trust me when I say there are very few things I ever hear in the cry room that make me say "ooooh"...unless you're referring to every time a one-year-old licks
22/12/2015 • 29 minutes 44 seconds
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024: Part 2 – How To Explain the Immaculate Conception from the Bible

The more you understand it, the more you realize the Immaculate Conception is a fundamental part of the Gospel message. And, yes, it's in the Bible...big time. This is part 2 of what I started in Episode 23. This episode is going to focus on the Angel Gabriel's encounter with Mary in the Annunciation scene from Luke chapter 1. Far more than just a classic scene in every school's Christmas play, it's a necessary scene in the drama of salvation. And it demonstrates the fact that Mary was conceived without sin. Of course, there are always people who will object. St. Thomas Aquinas himself declared that Mary was conceived with original sin in his famous Summa Theologica. So I'm also going to answer some of the common objections to the dogma of the Immaculate Conception, and show why objectors shouldn't be so quick to use Thomas for their position of dissent. I promise this is a very, very interesting and informative show. You're going to walk away with a greater appreciation for the amazin
17/12/2015 • 31 minutes 19 seconds
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023: How To Explain the Immaculate Conception from the Bible

You may love Mary, but can you explain the Immaculate Conception? Better yet, can you explain it from the pages of the Bible? The dogma that Mary was preserved from the moment of her conception from the effects of Original Sin is one of the most important, yet misunderstood Catholic teachings. Many Catholics, not to mention Protestants, don't realize the vital role played by this dogma, much less understand that the roots of the Immaculate Conception are deep in Sacred Scripture. It's totally in there. So this episode of The Art of Catholic is all about beginning to illuminate how the Mother of God is part of the divine thread that God has woven into the fabric of salvation history. How the biblical role she plays in the drama of our salvation actually demands the dogma of the Immaculate Conception. We'll also see how Our Lady's first "appearance" in the opening book of the Bible (Genesis), helps make sense of some of the crazy stuff in the last book of the Bible (Revelation). In other
07/12/2015 • 31 minutes 7 seconds
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022: Why Catholic Bibles Are BIGGER

It's not just because we want to look cool or think bigger is better. Catholic Bibles are simply bigger than Protestant Bibles. (And I don't mean they're printed in a larger font. I mean ours have more books than theirs.) The question is "Why?" It's a huge of, dare I say, biblical proportions. One of the fundamental principles of Protestantism is the doctrine of sola scriptura - the Bible alone. In other words, it teaches that the only sure authority upon which we can base our lives is the Bible because it alone is the inspired, inerrant Word of God. Of course, this belief raises obvious questions. For example, if the Bible is the only authority, then who has the right to interpret it? You? Your pastor? Your mechanic? It's a problem. In fact, the issue of authority was the original impetus behind my eventual move to Catholicism some eighteen years ago. But the problem of authority doesn't just come into play with regard to interpreting Scripture. It has a colossal impact on
03/12/2015 • 47 minutes 44 seconds
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021: Medieval to Modern: From Hope To Despair…And Back Again

This one may be better than the first (which is saying something). In Episode 020 of The Art of Catholic, I began an interview with Dr. Andrew Jones about the very different world of the High Middle Ages. (By different, I'm not only referring to their penchant for body armor and ale.) In particular we talked about the huge impact of the Fourth Lateran Council, and started to dabble in how medievals viewed the 4 Senses of Scripture as a way of life, not just how to approach a book. (If you're thinking, "sounds like a snoozer" you'd be mistaken. It's been a very popular episode. Reports are even circulating about Fourth Lateran Council costume parties since the episode posted.) This is part two of my interview with Andrew. And it might even be better than the first. Among other things we’re going to get into some very interesting material like how the High Middle Ages had a wildly different view of the relationship between Church and State; a much more intimate and integrated relationshi
24/11/2015 • 43 minutes 32 seconds
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020: The Most Important Church Council You’ve Never Heard Of

Okay. I'm about to ask you a question. Be honest...Raise your hand if you've ever heard of the Fourth Lateran Council. Okay...How about Pope Innocent III? For those of you with your hands still up, how many of you can give me any details on either?...Anyone? Bueller? (That never gets old.) Believe it or not, not knowing is a giant hole in our education. Everyone should know something about both because they played a pivotal role in the history of the Church. Lateran Four is every bit as big as Nicea, Trent, and Vatican II. In fact, it continues to heavily influence how we live today. (Full disclosure...I didn't know "jack" about it until this interview. So don't feel bad if you didn't either.) To plug the information hole in my head and yours, I've brought in Dr. Andrew Jones, an expert on the High Middle Ages (which doesn't refer to people in their late 50s.) He knows all about the Church in the 11th to 13th centuries. Andrew has spent years researching this incredibly rich and fascin
17/11/2015 • 49 minutes 51 seconds
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019: The Kenosis Of Christ As Model For Us…What?

The entire Catholic faith boils down to one thing - be like Christ. That's the point of prayer and the purpose of the sacraments. It's the whole enchilada. And if you want to know what it means to be like Christ, look no further than Philippians 2. The opening verses of St. Paul's letter to the Church at Philippi are the key to unlocking his inner life; the self-sacrificial, self-emptying, life-giving love of of Jesus Christ. Of course, St. Paul wasn't alone in his discussion of the incredible, loving humility of Our Lord. Another beautiful description is given by St. Leo the Great. These days they're joined by theologians with lots of letters after their names who call this self-emptying of Christ kenosis.  I just call it hard. In this episode of The Art of Catholic, we'll go through this important and beautiful passage of Scripture, showing how it provides the foundation for the way we are supposed to live. God bless! Matthew “All who have been lost were lost because they did not pra
11/11/2015 • 21 minutes 5 seconds
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018: The Bible & the Church Fathers (Part 2)

Do you believe in the Trinity? Do you believe that Jesus Christ is both all God and all man at the same time - consubstantial with the Father? Do you believe the Bible is the Word of God? Most of you are nodding your internal head, saying "Yes, Matt, of course we do." These are issues most Christians take for granted. We believe them because they are fundamental to our faith. We believe them because they are what have been taught to us, handed down from generation to generation. But why? The quick answer is very simple: Because of Christ. He founded the Catholic Church and gave the Apostles authority. But then what? Acts 1:20 tells us: "His office let another take." In other words, their authority was passed on. And many to whom they passed the torch were the men who, through the power and guidance of the Holy Spirit, formulated many of the doctrines and beliefs we now take for granted. The belief system of Christianity didn't drop down out of the sky in a catechism. The truth that exi
03/11/2015 • 27 minutes 54 seconds
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017: The Bible and the Church Fathers

We all want to know where we come from. What are our biological roots? Who are we related to? People spend a lot of money every year tracing their family tree (hoping it forks!). As Christians, we should desire to know our family tree, too. Like in our natural families, we should want to know who has gone before us in the Faith and what they believed. We should want to know our history. Now's our chance. In this Art of Catholic episode, I'm featuring the first half of Lesson One of The Bible and the Church Fathers. This study is part of the St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology's Journey Through Scripture Bible study program...and you're going to love it. It's a great primer on the men upon whose shoulders we stand. I've been presenting Journey Through Scripture all over the country (and world) for more than eight years. While I wrote the study, much of it is based upon Mike Aquilina's book The Fathers of the Church (3rd edition). As I mentioned, what you're about to hear is part 1 of
27/10/2015 • 37 minutes 44 seconds
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016: Hey! What About The Youth? (with Mark Hart)

Are you concerned about your children and grandchildren? Do you worry whether or not they'll stay in the faith? Have they already left? Allow me to introduce you to someone who has devoted his life to doing everything he can to help them stay, or bring them back. His name is Mark Hart, and he's the Executive Vice President of Content and Identity at Life Teen, one of the leaders in evangelizing young Catholics. Join us as we discuss the current state and future of our youth...the future of our Church. And we're not just talking problems. We're talking solutions. God bless! Matthew “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!   Please take a moment to leave the show a rating! Doing so helps promote the podcast and gets Catholic materi
21/10/2015 • 56 minutes 56 seconds
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015: Exploring The Mystery of Redemptive Suffering with Jeff Cavins

You can have all the money in the world, but you can't buy suffering insurance. Doesn't matter if you're Catholic, Protestant, Pagan or Martian. Everybody experiences it. And when Jesus offered himself back to the Father for our sake, he didn’t merely deal with the consequences of sin. Rather, he struck at the root of suffering - Original Sin - the sin of Adam. But he did it in a way that seems crazy in the eyes of the world. He took the very consequences of sin - suffering and death - experienced them as one of us, and made them the path to salvation. This is the mystery of the Cross...a mystery he invites us into through Redemptive Suffering. To dig into this deep subject, I brought in Jeff Cavins. You may know Jeff from his stint as host on EWTN's Life on the Rock, or his Bible Timeline videos, or even his books and speaking gigs. He's one of the most well-known Catholic evangelists in the world. And his preferred topic is suffering. Why? Because as he'll share, he's suffered. And h
14/10/2015 • 1 hour 2 minutes 21 seconds
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014: The Gospel Accordion to Bob Rice

Question: What do adoption, 80s singer El DeBarge, and the spiritual life have in common? Answer: Bob Rice. Any man who plays the accordion (and has an album starring said instrument titled "The Gospel Accordion to Bob Rice") is just a little on the unusual side. But if by "usual" you mean boring and predictable, I'll take unusual any day. And trust me when I say this show was anything but boring and predictable. It goes in a lot of crazy directions, all of which point up to Christ. In addition to the oddities of his instrumentation, Bob is an author, speaker, musician, and theologian. Many of you have experienced his dulcet tones at a summer conference at Franciscan University or another venue. For those of you who have not, you're about to. Five will get you ten that you've never heard some of the things you'll hear on this podcast anywhere else. Grown men aren't supposed to have this much fun. So buckle up, prepare to smile, and click the "play" arrow below for a good time. God bles
07/10/2015 • 54 minutes 22 seconds
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013: The Question of Hell with Dr. Michael Healy

"Oh my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell, lead all souls to heaven, especially those in most need of thy mercy. Amen" We say that "Fatima prayer" at the end of every decade in the rosary. But what exactly are we begging deliverance from? This is probably the deepest podcast I've done to date. How could it not be when dealing with the scariest topic in the world...hell. Nobody wants to think about eternal damnation, but many of us have questions like: Does hell actually exist? How is a place of eternal, unending pain and punishment compatible with a God of perfect love and mercy? How can we be truly happy in heaven if those we love are suffering in hell? Is it possible we'll all end up in heaven eventually? Do some people actually choose hell? Is it true that the constant repetition of Barry Manilow's greatest hits play a role in eternal suffering? To answer these questions and more, I've brought in Dr. Michael Healy, a professor of philosophy at Franciscan Univ
30/09/2015 • 56 minutes 51 seconds
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012: “Son of a Preacher Man” – Kevin Lowry

Question: What do you get when you take a Canadian Presbyterian pastor’s kid and send him to an orthodox American Catholic university where he has to take a Natural Family Planning class with a pretty girl? Answer: A convert with eight kids! That's what. But unlike a lot of Catholic converts in the public eye, Kevin Lowry is a businessman. That doesn’t mean he doesn’t do the normal convert stuff. His conversion story, which we’re going to hear a good bit of, is in Surprised by Truth 2. He’s also the author of a book titled Faith at Work: Finding Purpose Beyond the Paycheck. Kevin speaks at parish missions and conferences, too, and even serves as a consultant for The Coming Home Network for Marcus Grodi. But as I said, he’s a little different than many converts with a platform. Kevin’s full-time gig is that of Chief Financial Officer for a digital marketing company (not to mention being a father to all those kids). What does that mean? It means he’s a practical guy that a lot of people
23/09/2015 • 52 minutes 59 seconds
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011: Born Fundamentalist, Born Again Catholic – David Currie

Paul got knocked off his high horse (maybe). Augustine heard a voice say "take and read." David Currie got a catalog. The Lord moves us to conversion in mysterious ways. If you're thinking "a catalog doesn't seem like the most interesting of manners in which to convert", you're wrong. I love this conversion story. I mean, how many convert stories have you heard where a guy who really, really wants to become Catholic is refused entry? And David Currie is not only the author of some very popular books (e.g. Rapture: The End Time Error That Leaves The Bible Behind and Born Fundamentalist, Born Again Catholic), he is one of the most genuine people I've ever met. This man loves the Catholic faith like few others. You can literally hear it in his voice. So sit back and enjoy the beautiful, heartfelt, often humorous journey of one man (and his family) into the arms of Mother Church. God bless! Matthew “All who have been lost were lost because they did not pray.” St. Alphonsus Liguori. Don't b
16/09/2015 • 43 minutes 11 seconds
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010: How To Share Your Faith With Anyone! – Terry Barber

Do you consider yourself an evangelist? Can you easily share the Catholic faith with others? Does the phrase "New Evangelization" conjure up images of people knocking on your door? Even if your answers were "No." "No." "Yes.", you can relax...but not too much! My guest on this edition is Terry Barber, founder and President of St. Joseph Communications, and founder and chairman of Lighthouse Catholic Media. Many regard him to be the godfather of Catholic apologetics and evangelization in the United States. In fact, if you've ever listened to a Catholic cd featuring someone like Scott Hahn, Jeff Cavins, or a host of other speakers, odds are it's because of Terry Barber.  As you're going to see, this guy is a fireball. And he's got a lot of practical tips and advice for how anyone - even a wallflower - can effectively share the faith. No joke. In fact, he’s got a new book out titled – “How To Share Your Faith With Anyone – A Practical Manual for Catholic Evangelization”. We all know peopl
09/09/2015 • 55 minutes 40 seconds
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009: We Choose Life! The Amazing Story of Shak and Robin Hill

Lots of people have stories. Few of them are as exceptional and inspirational as this one. Shak Hill is a former Air Force fighter pilot pilot who flew classified Top Secret missions, including combat in Desert Storm.   He finished off his military career serving as a flight commander in the presidential wing at Andrews AF Base, MD, providing congressional and VIP support. He made a run at the US Senate in 2014 in the state of Virginia. He’s authored two books and is a public speaker, as well. That's the bio. But you've got to hear the story. God bless! Matthew “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! Don't forget to head over to iTunes and leave the show a rating! Doing so helps promote the podcast and gets Catholic material in
02/09/2015 • 55 minutes 47 seconds
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008: Finding God Through Meditation with Dan Burke

Lots of saints make strong statements about prayer. St. Alphonsus Ligouri is probably the scariest. Referencing St. Teresa of Avila, he once stated that "He who neglects mental prayer needs no devil to carry him to hell. He brings himself there with his own hands." Yikes! Lucky for you (and me), we're not talking prayer with him today. Instead, Mr. Dan Burke is the featured guest in this episode of The Art of Catholic podcast. While not a saint (yet), Dan is definitely a sage when it comes to the spiritual life and loves to quote Teresa of Avila, too. In fact, he's the founder and president of The Avila Institute, as well as the Executive Director of EWTN's National Catholic Register. He also blogs and podcasts over at Dan has written a wonderful series of books under the heading of "Navigating the Spiritual Life" through Emmaus Road Publishing. And in this episode we're discussing some of the contents of one of those books titled, "Finding God Through Meditatio
26/08/2015 • 50 minutes 29 seconds
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007: The Joys (& Challenges) of Family Life w/ Brandon McGinely

Everybody comes from some kind of family. Some are good. Some are bad. Most are crazy in some way or another. Regardless, family is the building block of all society because our families image the family of God. And as we all know, families are under attack. In fact, one of the biggest problems men face in today’s society is that we’re constantly being fed this ludicrous idea that men are idiots. Family life, particularly the role of father, needs to be reclaimed. Join Matthew this week on The Art of Catholic podcast as he interviews activist and author Brandon McGinely about the importance of family life, particularly from the perspective of fatherhood. Brandon's work has appeared in print in National Review, Fare Forward, and the Pittsburgh Catholic and online at First Things, The Federalist, Public Discourse, and Acculturated. He's also the editor of a new book from Our Sunday Visitor titled The Joys and Challenges of Family Life: Catholic Husbands and Fathers Speak Out... a book to
19/08/2015 • 50 minutes 35 seconds
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005: Curveball – The Conversion of Taylor Marshall

This is a great conversion story. Dr. Taylor Marshall is the president and founder of the New St. Thomas Institute. But in a previous life he was an Episcopalian priest who found the Lord through a chance encounter with a baseball card. You heard me right...a baseball card. Give it listen and don't forget to please leave the show a rating! God bless! Matt “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!
05/08/2015 • 59 minutes 5 seconds
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004: Is Your Charity Actually Hurting The Poor?

Did you know that check you just wrote to your favorite charity may actually be hurting the very people you're trying to help? It's true! How is that possible? In quite a few ways, actually. In fact, certain kinds of aid can actually devastate them. In the 4th episode of The Art of Catholic podcast, I interview Michael Matheson Miller from the Acton Institute about the harm that can actually come from some of the forms of charity with which we've grown familiar. Odds are this episode will totally change your view (and actions) regarding foreign aid. God bless! Matthew “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! Don't forget to PLEASE head over to iTunes and leave the show a rating! Doing so helps promote the podcast and gets Catholi
28/07/2015 • 52 minutes 27 seconds
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003: 30 Days With Teresa of Avila

Can you think of anyone better? I don't think so. Teresa of Avila is one of greatest spiritual theologians in the history of the Church. In fact, this 16th century Spanish mystic is the "Doctor of Prayer". Join me in discussion with Dr. Anthony Lilles about the spiritual legacy of this dynamite Carmelite nun on her 500th anniversary. But this episode isn't all history. Not even close. The spiritual life is meant to be practiced! And nobody is more practical than St. Teresa of Avila. So listen up and be transformed! God bless! Matthew Oh yeah...PLEASE head over to iTunes and leave the show a rating! Doing so helps promote the podcast and gets Catholic material in front of people who may never otherwise be exposed to the faith. Thank you! “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 o
16/07/2015 • 52 minutes 18 seconds
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002: You Say You Want A Revolution?

Remember that old Beatles lyric: "You say you want a revolution?" There are a lot of people feeling that way these days. And today I interview the incredibly prolific, Mike Aquilina. Mike has written more than 50 books and co-hosted more than a dozen EWTN specials with Dr. Scott Hahn. He knows the Fathers of the Church and early Church history like no other. Along with Jim Papandrea, Mike wrote a book called Seven Revolutions: How Christianity Changed the World and Can Change It Again. As you can see from the title, this isn't just an exploration of the past. It's a prescription for the future of our Church, society, and the world. Join me and dive into Mike's deep well of knowledge about the early Church, and much, much more. God bless! Matthew “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
08/07/2015 • 56 minutes 20 seconds
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001: My Battle Against Hitler

On the first edition of The Art of Catholic, Matthew interviews John Henry Crosby, founder of the Hildebrand Project. The discussion is about the incredible life and beliefs of Nazi fighter and Catholic philosopher Dietrich von Hildebrand. It's a pretty incredible story and, given recent cultural and political events, contains a warning for our present circumstances. Pope Benedict XVI thought von Hildebrand to be one of the most important voices of the 20th century. I think you'll agree. God bless, Matthew       “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!
07/07/2015 • 53 minutes 33 seconds