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The Tightrope: Reflections for Busy Catholics

English, Christianity, 1 season, 124 episodes, 12 hours, 58 minutes
The Catholic podcast where we take three to five minutes to see and embrace the opportunities embedded in our busy, messy lives that are meant to help us move towards heaven. Together, we walk the tension between living this life fully while being on our way to the next.
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Pursuing Real Freedom

Freedom is tied in the very identity of God and who we as his children made in his image and likeness. Understanding the real meaning of freedom revealed to us by Christ, will help us respond to the evils of our world and build a more just and virtuous society. As Catholics, our liberty must ultimately point to the participation in the Divine life. Snippet From the Show: “Real liberty is the ability to make a gift of oneself.”
12/10/202211 minutes, 17 seconds
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Solidarity and Subsidiarity

Solidarity is the idea that we are one, we are together. It is rooted in empathy for the person or groups who may not have advantages we have. GoFundMe Campaigns are an example of people living out solidarity. It is a way to live out our faith and helps us know we are not alone. Subsidiarity is the idea we are most effective when we start closest to home and heart. From there we can transform our state and our nation. Colin believes that real subsidiarity starts in the heart with virtue. Subsidiarity is to integrate virtue in our own hearts and to live it out in the spaces closest to us. These two, solidarity and subsidiarity, are the way we will fight against injustice, hate, and have an abundant life.
12/9/202211 minutes, 3 seconds
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Commenting with Charity and Clarity

Engaging on social media with charity and clarity in 2020 is not easy. Inspired by St.Thomas Aquinas, I offer a few principles to help us respond to issues and conflict on social media in a productive and charitable manner. If we remember the humanity of those we disagree with behind the screen, we will learn to truly love our enemies as Christ calls us to do. Snippet of the Show “ It's not just about winning arguments, it’s about winning hearts and building relationships.”
12/8/202213 minutes, 44 seconds
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It's the Little Things That Matter

In our pursuit of holiness, we tend to overlook the little things in life. It’s the small moments in life that can either push us upwards towards heaven or pull us down towards evil. Snippet From the Show: “Little things have a great power to move us.”
12/7/202216 minutes, 37 seconds
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Test 2022

12/7/20224 minutes, 18 seconds
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An Assault of Beauty Can Be an Encounter with Christ

Colin talks about a time he had an encounter with Christ while listening to beautiful music that brought him to tears. As he was irresistibly drawn in, he realized that art, music, culture, and beauty can be opportunities for evangelization. Colin calls this invitation to have an encounter with Christ through beauty an “assault of beauty”. It’s not an assault that takes away from our free will, but one that draws us in. This week, find a way to extend this invitation to someone else. Listen to some beautiful music with your family or ask a friend to go visit a beautiful church.
12/7/20224 minutes, 1 second
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Offer It All Up

When we unite our suffering to Christ and offer it all up to the Father the way Christ does, everything changes. Our joys, work, hearts, and sufferings can all be offered alongside Christ and given back to the Father. When we learn to offer it all up, we grow in holiness and experience healing. Snippet of the Show Give every part of your life back to the Father the way Christ does, it changes everything.
8/24/20207 minutes, 12 seconds
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Finding Joy in a Pandemic

Although the pandemic has shifted many of our plans and disrupted our normal routines, we can still choose to rejoice because we know the Lord is close to us in our suffering. Today, I encourage you to choose joy in the midst of the obstacles we face this year. Snippet of the Show In the midst of our trials and sufferings, we rejoice because we trust that the Lord draws near to us in our darkest moments.
8/17/20207 minutes, 17 seconds
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School, Saints, and Little Sacrifices with Leo MacIver

Sainthood is possible no matter the circumstances. Today, I am joined by a very special guest to discuss schools reopening and the gift of the diverse group of saints we have in the Catholic tradition to help us in our walk with Christ. Snippet of the Show We are all capable of becoming saints, no matter where we have been, what we look like, or what we are facing.
8/10/202014 minutes, 39 seconds
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Talking to Your Family About Faith

Research indicates that talking about faith in the family plays a critical role in our commitment to the faith as we grow up. Today, I encourage you to go deeper with your family by having intentional conversations about God and what he's doing in everyone's life. Snippet of the Show Don’t be afraid to talk to your family about faith, the Holy Spirit can move in powerful ways if you simply give him a chance.
8/3/20205 minutes, 51 seconds
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5 Things I've Learned in 2020

2020 has been a challenging year for all of us. In the midst of the uncertainty and chaos of this year, there are still good lessons we can learn from our experience. Today, I reflect on 5 things that I have learned this year. Snippet of the Show “If we don't confront evil with the power of the Gospel, then we're in big trouble."
7/27/20209 minutes, 34 seconds
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Fall 2020: Planning for Uncertain Times

What’s going to happen in the fall? Will kids be in school? What will religious education and sacramental prep look like? In this episode, I discuss the importance of remembering our goal of reaching heaven as we plan for uncertain times in the fall. Snippet From the Show: Our ultimate goal is to become who God has created us to be and to go to heaven, and this goal cannot be thwarted by a pandemic.
7/13/202014 minutes, 20 seconds
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The Saints, Social Media and Cancel Culture (with Aimee MacIver)

Navigating social media with love is a challenge we all face today. Looking at the lives of the saints and Jesus himself, Colin and Aimee MacIver discuss why cancel culture is incompatible with the Gospel and how to use social media in pursuit of holiness. Snippet From the Show “Our goal is not just to share truth but ultimately to love each other”
6/22/202015 minutes, 31 seconds
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Seen Everything but Christ

Near a spot where Colin takes his son fishing, there is graffiti on the side of a building. There was a new one however, which caught his eye. "Seen everything but Christ." Snippet From the Show _For the world to see Christ, we must to make him visible by our words and actions. _
6/8/20208 minutes, 39 seconds
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The Center Did Not Hold

Racism is present in our nation, and there is tension between races and classes. There is a danger of the center not holding politically. When Walker Percy wrote, "the center did not hold," in Love in the Ruins, he wasn't speaking just politically, but the interior state of the person. In today's podcast, Colin gives some pointers on where we can find our center. _Snipped From the Show The center is only found in Jesus Christ's grace and mercy. Our minds and hearts must be fixed on him. He is the only one who will save us._
6/1/20206 minutes, 18 seconds
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Offer Good News and Ask Good Questions

Today, Colin shares how the basics of conversation from his son’s perspective, sharing good news and asking good questions, are the basics to evangelization. _Snippet From the Show Perhaps part of the reason we experience good things is so we can share them with others._
5/25/20205 minutes, 24 seconds
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Identity, Purpose, and Desire: Living as Children of God

This week, we pause to meditate on our identity, purpose, and desires. Identity: We are the children of God. It’s who we are at the center of who we are. Ask God, who am I? Purpose: If we are the children of God, then our purpose is to love and live as God does. There might sense of purposelessness, so we dive deeper into screen time. If so, then there’s a need for restoring the sense of purpose by doing chores and cultivating your relationships with others. Desire: What do you really want? What do you seek? *Snippet From the Show * When we act poorly, it’s often because we’ve forgotten who we essentially are; children of God.
5/18/202011 minutes, 55 seconds
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What Will Happen as Parishes Reopen?

There’s likely going to be two types of people who will need to be reached once the churches reopen. Those who have become used to not going to Mass and won’t come back to church once the doors reopen. Then there’s some who have been doing some soul searching during quarantine. For the former, we will have to work pretty hard to get them back into the pews because they have found they are just fine without Jesus and church. The latter are more spiritually sensitive than before quarantine. They will be looking for churches, looking for God for clarity, purpose, and hope. They will be right there when the doors open again, hungry and thirsty for the Word. This means there will be new faces to welcome and opportunities to evangelize. Either way, we need to preach the gospel with such clarity and conviction that it cuts to the heart and brings people back to Jesus.
5/11/20207 minutes, 9 seconds
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This Is Not the New Normal

If the world is a ship, then right now it’s taking in water. We’re pulled apart right now, keeping in touch through virtual means, but we must acknowledge that we cannot maintain a digital existence in perpetuity. This cannot be the new normal. As a Church, we need to be able to return to the sacraments at some point. It’s wonderful that we’re able to connect online right now, but it’s not something we can continue with forever. This is not where we ought to be, but it’s where we are. Let’s offer up our suffering, and have hope in being reunited with each other, and with the sacraments.
5/4/20209 minutes, 51 seconds
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How Can We Rejoice in Our Sufferings? - Colossians 1:24

Colossians 1:24 indicates that Jesus left some things undone, not in himself, but in each of us. St. Paul says, ““I am now rejoicing in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am completing what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church.” Another way of saying it is that God invites us to participate in the salvific action of Jesus through our own suffering. Jesus forever transformed the meaning of suffering through his passion. No longer is suffering meaningless pain, but it can be offered up and joined to the work of Christ to intercede for the good of others. This is why we can rejoice in our sufferings. As we enter into yet another week of quarantine and separation, we can unite our suffering to the cross of Christ. Check out my talk with Fr. Mike on Baptism and Belonging to the Family of God (
4/27/20207 minutes, 50 seconds
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Pandemic Life and Screens: The Battle Intensifies

As stay-at-home orders extend, we’re relying more and more on screens. They’re one thing that keeps everyone pacified, and it’s especially tempting to keep kids entertained in exchange for a few hours of quiet. There are definitely positive uses for screens, like education, communicating with friends and family, and spiritual devotions, but we have to be careful when it comes to mindless entertainment. Here are some ideas to keep a balance in your home: * Pray - Pray the St. Michael prayer often. Keep the Rosary going in your home. * Keep to a schedule - Don’t panic if it doesn't hold, but having some train tracks is a good thing. * Seek a balance of screentime - Find other ways to entertain yourself, and your kids will be likely to follow suit. * Have a list of alternate activities for children. * Filter your internet for porn and bad content. * Make rules about screens in bedrooms and in private spaces. * Don’t let up. Be a force for positive interaction.
4/20/202013 minutes, 56 seconds
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Resurrection and Mission

As we enter into this Easter season, we see that the Resurrection is not just a reason for joy and hope, but invites us to go on a mission to spread the good news and make disciples throughout the world. Snippet from the Show For us, in this unprecedented time, we will be empowered for a mission by the resurrected Christ.
4/13/20205 minutes, 55 seconds
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Holy Week - We Can’t Save Ourselves

If this Lent didn’t go the way you wanted it to, you are not alone. But God can take our disappointments and failures, and use them to do something good in our lives. One good thing is to humble ourselves and realize that we are deeply in need of a savior. We can’t save ourselves, and luckily we don’t have to. Jesus is our hope and our salvation. As we enter into Holy Week, I’m praying for you and your family to experience fully the saving power of Jesus’ sacrifice.
4/6/20207 minutes, 37 seconds
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Urbi et Orbi: At the Threshold of the World

The extraordinary “moment of prayer,” the Urbi et Orbi blessing of March 27,2020 was the first ever of its kind offered apart from the election of a pope, Christmas, or Easter. On a bleak Friday during Lent and in the midst of worldwide pandemic and upheaval we witnessed the Vicar of Christ express the eloquence of his office. He pleaded, intereceded, and blessed. He taught with authority and spoke to weary hearts words to rouse.
3/30/20206 minutes, 38 seconds
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A Rule for Your Domestic Monastery

Catholic parents have become the abbots and abbesses of 1000’s of domestic monasteries. Like all good monasteries yours needs a workable schedule and a focus. Unlike most monasteries, yours may or may not include brooding teenagers, sassy six year olds, or active nine year olds who have just had all of their team sports cancelled. In our home—so far—we’ve experienced lots of trial and error and reset. I’ve learned about weaknesses in my own leadership and have witnessed God’s grace bringing me along day by day. The elements we are trying to balance are: prayer, work, study, and community.
3/23/202012 minutes, 57 seconds
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Love and the Little Prince in the Age of Social Distancing

As many of us are practicing social distancing, we’re confronted by the things right in front of us. For me this brings to mind this line from The Little Prince, “It is only with the heart that one can see rightly. What is essential is invisible to the eye.” This line shows us that while we’re preoccupied with statistics and never-ending news cycles, what’s most important is what’s right in front of us: Our communities, our families, and our God. Snippet from the Show “It’s hard to make sense of everything that is happening, and yet we believe that the God who made the stars made each and every one of us individually.”
3/16/20206 minutes, 16 seconds
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The Holy Spirit as the Origin of Lent

“What does Lent mean to you?” This question really made me think about why Lent exists. We know it’s derived from Jesus’ forty days in the desert, but what caused Jesus to go there in the first place? Matthew 4:1 says, “Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.” So the origin of Lent, the reason Jesus went into the desert in the first place, is because he was led by the Holy Spirit. We too, are prompted by the Holy Spirit to fast, pray, and give alms for these forty days. These practices help us empty ourselves so we may be strengthened by the Holy Spirit as Jesus was. Snippet from the Show “Come Holy Spirit, come and breath into our fasting, prayer, and almsgiving so that what we do this Lenten season would unite us deeply and firmly to Christ.”
3/9/20207 minutes, 21 seconds
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Prefer Nothing to Christ: St. Benedict’s Rule as a Help for Lent

If you’re struggling with your Lenten commitment already, that may be a good thing because the purpose of Lent isn’t to do it perfectly, it is to reveal the things we’re putting before Christ. When we realize that there are things we prefer to Christ, we can go to the root of the problem and ask God to enter into that temptation. St. Benedict recognized this when he established his rule for monks. The rule ensured that their ascetic practices pointed to their ultimate goal of preferring nothing to Christ. If we employ this balance in our own Lenten fast, we find that by the end of Lent, our hearts will be ordered properly, with Christ first. Snippet from the Show “The whole goal of Lent is to orient ourselves so that we prefer nothing to Christ.”
3/2/20206 minutes, 33 seconds
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The Holy Face at the Edge of Lent

A face-to face encounter can be a powerful thing. I experienced this with my own son while praying for someone who was sick and suffering. His sincere prayer for their deliverance brought me to tears. It’s something we can all do. Before Lent, come face-to-face with Jesus, and make a sincere offering. Snippet from the Show “An encounter that’s face-to-face is really the heart of the spiritual life. We seek to look into the eyes of Christ.”
2/24/20205 minutes, 53 seconds
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Preparing for Lent

How should we be preparing for Lent? By enjoying the good things God has made (celebrating Carnival/Mardi Gras) and planning out our fasting, almsgiving, and prayer for the forty days of Lent. Here are some resources to help you plan for Lent! * 25 Weird Things to Give Up for Lent ( * 20 Out-of-the-Box Things to Do for Lent 2020 ( Snippet from the Show “In fasting, we say ‘no’ to things not because they’re bad, but because we love God more. They’re things we hold back from so that we can be empty and God can fill us.”
2/17/20207 minutes, 15 seconds
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Do More, Love More

What is love? It’s seen as a feeling, but more than that, it’s two things: Desire and willing the good of another. The first part craves unity with the beloved, and the second part wants the best for the other. When we love others using both parts of this definition, we are able to do so much more in our relationships. Here are three guidelines to make sure we’re living out the right definition of love. 1. Give, don’t assert. 2. Don’t use people. 3. Surrender to God. Snippet from the Show “Fulfillment is never found when we assert ourselves, it’s only found when we make a gift of ourselves.”
2/10/20208 minutes, 14 seconds
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Pettifogging: When You Lose Sight of the Big Picture

What is pettifogging? It’s what happens when we put undue emphasis on petty details—which many of us do a lot in our spiritual lives. Pettifogging is the first thing St. Ignatius of Loyola warns against in The Spiritual Exercises. He reminds us that we are made to know, love, and serve God. All other things are minor in comparison. Snippet from the Show When we’re anxious sometimes it’s because we’re fixed on some minute detail and we’ve lost sight of the grander scheme of God’s great providence over our lives.
2/3/20206 minutes, 30 seconds
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Not Getting Through? 3 Things to Consider

You’ve repeated yourself multiple times, you’re getting frustrated and flustered, you’re raising your voice—you’re just not getting through to other people. We’ve all been there. By looking at the reasons why we’re not getting through, maybe we can approach these situations differently in the future, both in our homes, and with others. 3 Reasons We’re Not Getting Through 1. The person we’re trying to talk to isn’t in a position to hear us. Maybe they’re tired or hungry or extremely preoccupied, and the present moment just isn’t a good time to talk to them. 2. The person we’re talking to doesn’t understand us. Maybe the language we’re using isn’t ubiquitous and trying a different way of explaining would help. 3. You’re perceived as an adversary, and therefore nothing you say is affective. Anger is a sure way to get someone to shut down.
1/27/20207 minutes, 17 seconds
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Communicating Love Is Core to Parenthood

Of course parents love their kids, but we may not realize how little we communicate that love to them. Using the five love languages, we can uncover the most effective way to show our love. Whether that’s writing a letter, or sharing a hug, or saying “I’m sorry” for something we’ve done wrong, it’s important to find out what your children respond to. Here are the five love languages: Words of affirmation Quality time Gifts Touch Works of service How do you show love to your family?
1/20/20205 minutes, 12 seconds
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The Three Epiphanies

Epiphany is the feast where the Magi come to pay homage to the infant Jesus, but it can also be used to describe a moment of sudden revelation or insight. In the life of Jesus, there are three epiphanies, and each one reveals a truth about ourselves and how we can grow toward God. 3 Epiphanies and What They Mean for Us: 1. The Magi - the Magi are instructed to go back a different way. * We turn toward Christ and follow his teachings, and follow a different path. 2. Baptism of the Lord - Jesus’ identity as Son of the Father is confirmed. * We recognize our own identity and dignity as sons and daughters of God. 3. Wedding at Cana - Christ is revealed as bridegroom and Mary says, “Do whatever he tells you.” * We follow the commands of Christ. Snippet from the Show “The three epiphanies are three ways in which Christ dawns upon the human condition.”
1/13/20205 minutes, 17 seconds
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Spiritual Resolutions from a 9-Year-Old

One of the biggest witnesses to the gospel in my life is Leo, my nine-year-old son. His strategy for growing closer to Jesus in 2020 is to pray, listen to his parents, go to Mass, and go to Adoration, which sounds like a great plan. He also says that confession is easy because all you have to do is ask a priest. The things Leo talks about in this episode (Mass, confession, Adoration, reading scripture, and evangelization) are cornerstones of our Catholic faith, and worthy of a special devotion this year. What’s your 2020 resolution to grow closer to Jesus? Snippet from the Show “I like being Catholic because you get to receive Jesus, go to confession, and go to Mass.” -Leo, nine-year-old
1/6/20206 minutes, 54 seconds
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Developing a Vision for 2020

This January, don’t just make a list of goals for the new year—try developing a vision. I don’t mean a vision for your career, your finances, or even for your family. I'm talking about a deeper, more integrated vision that encompasses the entirety of who you are and who Christ is. Developing a vision like this is only possible if you understand where you come from, who you are, where you’re going, and how you can get there. If you’re clear on all four of these questions, I guarantee you’ll be clear on what’s important for you in 2020. Snippet from the Show _If you begin this year rooted in the sacraments, rooted in the Scriptures, and rooted in a confident awareness of your identity as a beloved son or daughter of God, God will give you a clear vision for 2020. _
12/30/20193 minutes, 29 seconds
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Have a Holly, Jolly, and Scriptural Christmas

The Nativity is an invitation to learn more about Scripture and ponder it as Mary did. The excitement, beauty, and power of Scripture can be lost on us Catholics if we only hear the Bible at Mass. Let’s dive deeper into the Word this Christmas, and continue through the new year. How is God calling you this Christmas? Snippet from the Show “The Nativity itself is an invitation to study Scripture and to reflect more deeply, as Mary did.”
12/23/20197 minutes, 48 seconds
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Dealing with Christmas Stress

If you’re struggling with stress and anxiety as we get closer and closer to Christmas, you’re not alone. There are stressors that reemerge for each of us this time of year, from family struggles, to holiday preparations, to aches connected to the past or uncertain future, but we don’t have to just push them aside and put on a happy face. We can bring it all to Christ. Here are some ways to actually find joy this Christmas: Make time for prayer 1. Go to confession before Christmas 2. Go to Adoration 3. Do an Advent reflection. Here’s an Advent series from Fr. Mark Toups. ( Snippet from the Show “If we’re not rooting ourselves in Christ, then things will be a drain.”
12/16/20196 minutes, 29 seconds
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3 Lessons from Our Lady

As the feast of the Immaculate Conception passes, we turn to Mary at this point in Advent. Her sinlessness, virginity, and virtue are especially important to us as we look to grow in holiness. Our Lady has many things to teach us, but here are three things that come to mind as we meditate on the immaculate conception. Sinlessness is not boring. We think sin is interesting, edgy, and fun, but in reality it just makes us enslaved. Holiness is what sets us free. Our bodies and souls are united. What we do with our bodies affects our souls, and what we do with our souls affects our bodies. Chastity is not devoid of intimacy. The fulfillment of human life is not dependent on physical intimacy. Snippet from the Show “Mary, in her perpetual virginity, shows us that the fulfillment of human happiness is not dependent on physical intimacy.”
12/9/20197 minutes, 29 seconds
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An Unlikely Advent Meditation

Advent brings forth this image of the perfect family (Jesus, Mary, and Joseph) that few of us can relate to, but we forget the the family tree of the Holy Family is actually pretty messy. If you go back in Scripture, there is a lot of sin and suffering in the lineage of Christ on earth. But God can use our broken family stories to bring about his salvation. In this Advent season, let us pray and hope and invite Emmanuel into our lives. Snippet from the Show “The God who saved us through the blood of his son is not unaware of how terrible the reign of sin and suffering and death is. God is breaking into the brokenness of our family situations, into the mess of the Church.”
12/2/20197 minutes, 17 seconds
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3 Ways to Practice Gratitude

We know we should “Give thanks in all circumstances” (1 Thessalonians 5:18) but what does that look like from day-to-day? It’s one thing to practice gratitude one day a year, but let’s carry this practice in our families, workplaces, and communities. Here are three ways to get in the habit of thanksgiving: Conversational gratitude - talk to others about what you’re thankful for every week. A good way to do this is by talking about the highs and lows you’ve had throughout the week. You can also get in the habit of singling out one person everyday and sincerely thank them for being a gift. Interior gratitude - cultivate an interior practice of thankfulness everyday, especially when it comes to hardships and challenges, because God gives us everything for a purpose—to sanctify our souls. Eucharistic gratitude - “eucharist” literally means “thank offering.” Offer up your gratitude to God at each and every sacrifice of the Mass. Snippet from the Show “As soon as an intentional practice of gratitude becomes a prayer, it becomes apparent to us that our very existence is a gift, that we are loved, and that everything we are going through is an opportunity to be more united with Christ.”
11/25/20197 minutes, 45 seconds
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Jesus is King with St. José Luis Sánchez del Río and Blessed Miguel Pro

The title of Jesus as Christ the King has been at the forefront lately with the release of Kanye’s album, Jesus is King. But Kanye isn’t the first to proclaim the kingship of Jesus. As we look forward to celebrating the Solemnity of Christ the King this Sunday, let’s take a look at a couple of great martyrs who offered their lives up for Jesus Christ: St. José Luis Sánchez del Río and Blessed Miguel Pro. St. José Luis Sánchez del Río was a fourteen-year-old boy who was tortured because he proclaimed Christ to be King. They told him they would stop and let him go if he would just deny Christ, but he refused, even unto death. Blessed Miguel was a Jesuit priest who operated in secret and refused to stop offering the sacraments to his flock. He was caught and executed while crying out, “Viva Cristo Rey!” or “Long live Christ the King!” This Sunday, remember those who so believed in Christ the King that they offered up their very lives for the sake of his kingdom. Snippet from the Show “Proclaiming Jesus to be the king of our lives and our hearts means that our salvation, our power, and our strength come from him.”
11/18/20195 minutes, 45 seconds
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Tech, Parenthood, and TikTok

It’s difficult to protect our kids from everything online, but there’s a simple thing you can do that can have an impact: check their phones. This will 1.) reinforce the fact that nothing posted online is anonymous and 2.) give them an excuse to opt out of questionable sites and behaviors because they know their parents will be periodically checking up on them. This goes for apps like TikTok, YouTube, Instagram, and even gaming platforms. Just having eyes on what your kids are up to on their phones can have a big impact on their online habits. Snippet from the Show “What happens online is not anonymous.”
11/11/20195 minutes, 40 seconds
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Principles to Make “The Talk” Less Awkward

Many of us are familiar with “The Talk”—the extremely awkward conversation you had with your parents where they vaguely referred to birds and bees and flowers and everyone avoided eye contact. It doesn’t have to be that way! By rooting “The Talk” in JPII’s Theology of the Body, we can hopefully change the conversation to be less about sex, and more about the beauty of God’s plan for men and women. More than a single conversation. Don’t wait until your kid is in high school to begin talking about this. There are ways to talk about the goodness of the body and marital love in age-appropriate ways. Call it like it is. Refer to body parts by their actual name. Let them know that these things are not bad things, they are private things, deserving of respect. Reinforce that the body is a good. What we do with our bodies is how we express love. Sex is an extension of what we are and who we are. We were made for love, and union, and sex gives us the opportunity to partake in the creative power of God. That is a very good thing. Pay attention to the questions. If your kids have questions, and don’t get satisfactory answers from you, they will look elsewhere. Be aware of your own views and past experiences of sex. If you have been hurt in this area, acknowledge your brokenness and seek healing and help. Seek advice when needed. Talk to other parents about how they approach this topic. You may find support and ideas that would be helpful.
11/4/201912 minutes, 25 seconds
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All Saints and All Souls Day: Our Reminder to Keep Striving

The body of Christ stretches throughout time and space, and the Feasts of All Saints and All Souls Day remind us of that supernatural reality. One of the ways we know the saints are in heaven is because of their good work on earth. On All Saints Day, we praise God for the example of the saints and we ask them to intercede for the souls on earth and in purgatory. On All Souls Day, we pray for the “saints-in-waiting”—the souls who are in purgatory. These souls wait to behold the face of God, but the pain they experience in purgatory is productive, perfecting them and preparing them to meet their creator. Those of us on earth who hope to be saints deal with difficulty each day, but there is nothing we go through that is wasted suffering. Our striving on earth can be offered for our salvation and for the salvation of those suffering in purgatory. Let’s all strive to be saints. Let’s offer everything we experience in union with the Mass so we can become the saints we were created to be. And if you think you can’t be a saint, remember: your mess is not more powerful than the power of the death and resurrection of Christ. Snippet from the Show: “There is only one tragedy in the end, not to have been a saint.” -Leon Bloy
10/28/20196 minutes, 7 seconds
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Christ the Redeemer: Center of Your Universe?

Reflecting on Pope John Paul II’s encyclical Redemptor Hominis, Colin reminds us that Christ the redeemer is the center of the entire universe and all of human history. But is he the center of your own personal universe and your own personal history? As Catholics, we need to re-situate Jesus Christ as the center of our reality. Everything we do, say and believe should orbit around him. The devil is looking to sidetrack us and lead us to focus on anything other than Christ the redeemer. For Catholics, it might be Church politics, our families, our work— even a specific spiritual practice— but if we place any of these at our center, we need to re-calibrate our lives and put Christ back in his rightful place. Only when our lives are reordered around him will we be fully redeemed. _ Snippet from the Show:_ Christ the Redeemer is the center of the entire universe and of human history, but is he the center of your universe?
10/21/20197 minutes, 18 seconds
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Our Prophetic Calling: Afflicting the Comforted

If you were baptized, you are called to be a prophet. That doesn’t mean that you’ll be predicting the Second Coming, but you are called to speak the truth with clarity and charity. This means comforting the afflicted, and afflicting the comforted. Comforting the afflicted often mean reassuring people of God’s love for them, and his plan for their life. Afflicting the comforted often means speaking harsh truths that people don’t want to hear. 3 Steps to Afflicting the Comforted 1. Make sure you’re actually speaking the truth of God, and not just your personal opinion. 2. Be willing to be rejected and even ridiculed. 3. Be genuinely charitable. Snippet from the Show “A prophet doesn’t speak their own words, they listen to the Word of God and then speak it with clarity and charity.”
10/14/20197 minutes, 46 seconds
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To What Shall I Compare the Kingdom of God?

Jesus used parables to explain the Kingdom of God to his disciples to help them understand supernatural truths by relating them to everyday occurrences. So what would a modern-day parable look like? Maybe it would involve a backpack, lost in a field, that is finally restored after much searching and anxiety. Perhaps there is more joy in finding one lost backpack than in having 99 at hand. Snippet from the Show “When Jesus taught about the Kingdom of God, he used familiar things.”
10/7/20196 minutes, 1 second
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St. Thérèse: A Little Way to Wellness

Isn’t it funny how the things that we consider good for us are also in line with Church teaching? Trendy wellness practices like daily gratitude, fasting, and meditation are all things great Catholic saints have been doing for centuries. St. Thérèse of Lisieux’s Little Way is a great example. By focusing on heaven, St. Thérèse was able to radiate joy in this life. Here are three good practices for wellness and heaven from St. Thérèse. * Gratitude - not just gratitude for the good things in life, but also for our suffering. * Acts of love - looking for opportunities to serve others throughout the day, no matter how small. * Building up others - going out of our way to seek the company of those who are on the margins. Snippet from the Show “Those who live for heaven are far more joyful than those who are looking for satisfaction here on earth.”
9/30/20198 minutes, 17 seconds
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Stigmata, Messy Kitchens, and St. Padre Pio

St. Padre Pio suffered from the stigmata for years, but he’s also the saint who said, “Pray, hope, and don’t worry.” How can a person who suffered from open, bleeding wounds for fifty years just say, “don’t worry”? In uniting his suffering to the cross of Christ, St. Padre Pio was able to find peace. Suffering is inescapable, but this great saint showed us how Christians are called, not to try and avoid suffering, but to use it as a way to grow closer to Christ. So bring all your sufferings, from the inconvenience of a messy kitchen, or bigger problems, like illness and injury, to the altar, and offer them up like Padre Pio. St. Padre Pio, pray for us—and happy feast day! Snippet from the Show - “The experience of Christianity is not to find a way out of suffering, but to find a way through suffering.”
9/23/20198 minutes
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St. Ignatius Prayer for Generosity

The St. Ignatius prayer for generosity asks God to take away worldly comforts so we can fully rely on him … and it’s quite impactful. You may be thinking, “Why should I ask God to make me uncomfortable?” Catholic prayers and practices that limit our desire for earthly comfort (like fasting, or the Litany of Humility) help us discover that true comfort and peace are in Christ alone. Snippet from the Show “A prayer for generosity is a prayer to lose yourself, and find yourself again in Christ.” St. Ignatius Prayer for Generosity Dear Lord teach me to be generous; teach me to serve you as you deserve, to give and not to count the cost, to fight and not to heed the wounds, to toil and not to seek for rest, to labor and not to ask for reward, save that of knowing that I do your will. Amen.
9/16/20194 minutes, 40 seconds
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3 Steps to Be Less Franxious (Frantic and Anxious)

That feeling when you have a tight deadline, or an unexpected task, or you forgot to do something and are frantically scrambling to get it done ... I call that feeling “franxious”. It’s what Martha experienced when Jesus came to visit (I could see that being stressful) and it happens when you have so much anxiety over something that you’re running around like crazy trying to pick up the slack and it feels TERRIBLE.* Organizational skills aside, getting in the habit of prayer can help alleviate that feeling when you find yourself getting anxious. Make your rest rooted in prayer. When you take a break, do it intentionally with the aim of giving true rest to the body and soul, which can only be found in God. Practice the presence of God. Keep in mind that God is always with you throughout your day. It helps keep things in perspective. Begin and end with God. Start a routine of morning prayer and prayer before bed so your day begins and ends with a conversation with God. *Disclaimer: This episode refers to anxiety that is experienced periodically by everyone. If you experience frequent intense, excessive, and persistent worry or panic attacks, talk to your doctor.
9/9/20196 minutes, 8 seconds
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Imitate Mary's Fiat with This Short Prayer

Mary’s Fiat, her “yes” to God to become the mother of the Word incarnate, is the ultimate example of surrender to the will of God. One way we can try to imitate her “yes” is by saying a three-minute prayer three times a day, called the Angelus. The Angelus is said at 6am, 12pm, and 6pm and is structured around three things: the invitation of God to Our Lady, her “yes”, and the incarnation of Our Lord, Jesus Christ. By reflecting on these three things throughout the day, we hold them at the forefront of our minds all day long, and are able to continuously tie everything back to Christ. Angelus ( The Angel of the Lord declared to Mary: And she conceived of the Holy Spirit. Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen. Behold the handmaid of the Lord: Be it done unto me according to thy word. Hail Mary . . . And the Word was made Flesh: And dwelt among us. Hail Mary . . . Pray for us, O Holy Mother of God, that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ. Let us pray: Pour forth, we beseech Thee, O Lord, thy grace into our hearts; that we, to whom the incarnation of Christ, thy son, was made known by the message of an angel, may by his Passion and Cross be brought to the glory of his Resurrection, through the same Christ Our Lord. Amen.
9/2/20194 minutes, 50 seconds
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There is No Conflict between Faith and Science

Are science and religion opposed? A 2016 Georgetown study ( revealed that a top reason young people are leaving the Catholic Faith is because of a perceived conflict between faith and science. But the Church has been a patron of science throughout the ages, and, many of the greatest scientists (including Galileo) were men and women of strong Catholic faith. In fact, the two go hand-in-hand. St. John Paul said, “Science can purify religion from error and superstition; religion can purify science from idolatry and false absolutes. Each can draw the other into a wider world, a world in which both can flourish.” _Snippet from the Show “It has been the case for a very long time that the development of science (especially in western civilization) has come largely through the Church. It is a myth that there is some long standing grudge match between faith and science.” _
8/26/20197 minutes, 53 seconds
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Celebrating the Catholic Calendar

There may not be many holidays this month, but the Catholic calendar gives us plenty to celebrate and lots to ponder. Last week we celebrated the solemnity of the Assumption and this week we will celebrate the feast days of St. Bernard, St. Pius X, and the Queenship of Mary. September and October will continue a parade of great observances. There are lots of ways to bring the calendar to life in your family. Prayers, reading the lives of the saints, sure ... but also fun traditions, special dinners, and decorations can help us to focus on saints and celebrations and bring the monotony out of daily life. (How about blue cupcakes for Marian feast days?) What are your favorite Catholic feasts and how do you celebrate? Let us know. Snippet from the Show “It’s left to our creativity to come up with cultural expressions of the great feasts and focuses of our faith.”
8/19/20194 minutes, 59 seconds
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Go to Adoration … Even If You Don’t Feel Like It

After the recent episode about the Mass, I asked my son Leo if he had any other thoughts for the podcast. His response, "Go to Adoration … even when you don't feel like it." Sounds like great advice to me! In light of the recent revelation that many Catholics in the US do not believe that Jesus is truly present in the Eucharist (, time spent before Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament is just what the doctor ordered. The more time we spend before Jesus in the Eucharist, the more our hearts will grow in Eucharistic amazement, and the more our Catholic culture will grow and spread. Adore Jesus and make frequent stops to him in the monstrance, if possible, or the tabernacle in your parish church. What should you do when you get there? St. John Vianney once asked a daily Mass goer, who spent hours in church after each Mass, what he did each day. His simple response, "I look at him and he looks at me." So today, if possible, look into the eyes of the one who sees, knows, and love you the most, Jesus Christ, our Eucharistic Lord. Snippet from the Show “Even short visits to the Blessed Sacrament can be powerful.”
8/12/20194 minutes, 56 seconds
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You Aren’t in Control of Your Life

Having no control is a fact of life, and it leaves us feeling anxious and stressed. But it’s important to remember that no matter what happens, God is ultimately in power. We’re reminded of that in this prayer from St. Teresa of Avila: “Let nothing disturb you, let nothing frighten you. All things are passing away: God never changes. Patience obtains all things. Whoever has God lacks nothing; God alone suffices.” Snippet from the Show “Ultimately, we will be OK, because the one who loves us and made us is in control.”
8/5/20194 minutes, 53 seconds
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3 Books You Will Want to Read Over and Over

Summer is a great time for reading! Here are three books that I find myself returning to over and over again (not including scripture). 1. The Great Divorce by C.S. Lewis 2. St. Thomas Aquinas by G.K. Chesterton 3. Love in the Ruins by Walker Percy What’s on your summer reading list? Snippet from the Show “The Great Divorce is a book the catalogues our own brokenness and the pitfalls we need to watch out for if we desire to enter the kingdom of God.”
7/29/20196 minutes, 29 seconds
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Music and Movement in Prayer

Prayer often involves looking for a quiet place to sit still and listen for God’s voice, but it can also happen in loud, active spaces. Like while you’re at the gym, or in the car, or even mowing the lawn. If it’s difficult to find time to pray, using these active times can be a good place to start. Snippet from the Show “Our works, joys, and sufferings are all connected to his. Our wounds can be joined to his wounds. Our brokenness attracts his mercy.” Questions or comments for Colin? Email us at [email protected]
7/22/20194 minutes, 42 seconds
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3 Reasons We Go to Mass (According to a 9-Year-Old)

Why do we have to go to Mass? Why can’t we just pray at home or read the Bible on our own time? In the midst of playing Mass, my 9-year-old son Leo gave three simple answers to this question. He delivered a “homily” that started with, “I know you don’t like coming to Mass, but … ” and then gave three (pretty good) reasons why we go to Mass. He said: 1. Going to Mass is just what we do. 2. We get to receive Jesus. 3. We love Jesus. Going to Mass is a huge part of our obligation and privilege as Catholics, becuase the Eucharist is the source and summit of the Christian life. And, simply put, we love Jesus. Snippet from the Show “The word ‘liturgy’ means ‘work’. Mass is the work of Christ first and foremost, but it’s also the joining of our works, and joys, and suffering, to that work of Christ.”
7/15/20195 minutes, 38 seconds
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Church Teaching on Immigration

What does the Catholic Church say in regards to immigration? The answer is in the Catechism. “The more prosperous nations are obliged, to the extent they are able, to welcome the foreigner in search of the security and the means of livelihood which he cannot find in his country of origin. Public authorities should see to it that the natural right is respected that places a guest under the protection of those who receive him” (CCC 2241). This policy is neither Republican nor Democrat because the Church isn’t aligned to a political party. It’s aligned to the moral principles of the gospel.
7/8/20195 minutes, 10 seconds
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Delayed Gratification Is One of the Greatest Markers of Happiness

Delayed gratification is counter-intuitive. When we’re hungry, we want to eat. Why would we put that off? Because our short term desires are often opposed to our long term goals and ultimate happiness. For example, it may feel good to eat ice cream right now, but if I keep doing that all the time, my health will suffer. When we put our immediate goods before our long-term goods, we will make ourselves unhappy in the long run. St. Thérèse’s Little Way is all about this concept. Choose a small sacrifice to offer up and delay gratification and set your eyes on the ultimate goal of heaven. Snippet from the Show “We sell out our inheritance for what will satiate us for a moment.” Check out this episode at
7/1/20195 minutes, 13 seconds
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Fasting Isn’t Just for Lent

During Lent, Catholics abstain and fast at certain times. But the Catholic Church views every Friday (except solemnities) as a penitential day, which means we should abstain from meat or something else we desire every Friday of the year, and not just during Lent. If you’re confused about the difference between abstaining and fasting, just remember: * Abstaining = not eating a particular food * Fasting = not eating any food Canon 1250 states, “All Fridays through the year and the time of Lent are penitential days and times throughout the entire Church.” The Church prescribes this for three reasons: We find solidarity with Christ. We are moved toward virtue by reordering the passions. Our prayers are deepened. Do you fast during Ordinary Time? Comment below! For a great video on the benefits of fasting, check out “Why Should Christians Fast?” by The CFRs and Jackie Mulligan of Reform Wellness.
6/24/20195 minutes, 53 seconds
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Remember Your Death

There are three reactions to death: trying to forget it by focusing on pleasure (eat, drink, and be merry), panicking and living in fear, or fixing your gaze on God and the promise of life after death. The third option is definitely the best. A number of years ago, I encountered a woman who was very sick, and was planning her own funeral. She had such faith and was living her last days in complete trust in God and the promise of heaven, which is exactly how we should strive to live everyday. Snippet from the Show “When we remember our death our anxieties actually shrink because we realize the great promise of what’s before us.”
6/17/20195 minutes, 5 seconds
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Ordinary Time Resolutions

If Lent is a fast and Easter is a feast, what’s the purpose of Ordinary Time? Even though it’s called Ordinary Time, we can still use this period for spiritual growth. This season is an opportunity for us to take the discipline we learn from Lent and apply some of the principles to live with intention. To that end, I’ve made three resolutions. Find asceticism in the midst of the ordinary by connecting with God in the quiet moments, or days, where I would normally be on my phone or computer. Be more open to the Holy Spirit and ask to be sent on a mission. Reorient my inner expectations about joy and suffering, knowing that both have the potential to lead me to heaven. What resolutions do you have for this not-so-ordinary season? Email me at [email protected] Snippet from the Show “Don’t save spiritual intentionality for the season of Lent or Advent. Ordinary Time is a time to get serious about living your faith.”
6/10/20196 minutes, 21 seconds
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The Importance of the Holy Spirit in Your Life

The Holy Spirit pours into our hearts through the sacraments. It unites us at all times, but during Pentecost, we’re invited to focus on the Holy Spirit. Here are three ways to welcome the Holy Spirit this Pentecost. 1. Prepare your home - go to confession and make your soul a dwelling place for God. 2. Make a dangerous prayer - ask the Holy Spirit to radically reorient your life to Christ. 3. Seal your mission - ask the Holy Spirit to guide you in fulfilling your mission to become a saint. Snippet from the Show “The Holy Spirit has been poured out into our lives and our hearts through the sacraments. At Pentecost, we ask the Holy Spirit to stir into a flame what is already there because of the sacraments that we receive.”
6/3/20195 minutes, 37 seconds
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2019 Problems Are Not Solved with 1980s Solutions

What does a teen philosopher have to say? I interviewed some of my students about the struggles they face in 2019, and this week we’re hearing from Kelly. Kelly talks about having the desire to hear advice that is directed exactly at the problems of today and is unclouded by unresolved issues or baggage. Snippet from the Show “How easy it is for us to carry our unresolved issues into our parenthood and ministry and interactions with teens.”
5/27/20195 minutes, 50 seconds
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Building a Culture of Life and a Civilization of Love

Sometimes a kindergarten graduation makes you think about the beautiful potential of each and every human life. My children are adopted, so the pro life discussion isn’t political, it’s personal. One thing that we don’t talk about as much as the law is the love and support that we should be offering to women in crisis pregnancies. We are made for a culture of life and a civilization of love, so let's not just protect human life, let's also love it. Snippet from the Show “It’s not just about the law (although the law needs to protect the unborn) it’s about building what St. John Paul II calls a culture of life and a civilization of love.”
5/20/20195 minutes, 50 seconds
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Spoiler Alert! Why We Crave Adventure

Why do we hate spoilers so much? Because they ruin the sense of adventure we feel when we watch thrilling stories unfold, and that feeling is so important to us. We crave adventure. But we look for it on the screen instead of in our lives, and in doing so, miss out on the cosmic struggle that happens in and around us every day. Rededicate your life today to living the adventure God has in store for you. The choices you make today will have real consequences, more important than the fate of a fictional world. Snippet from the Show “Live the adventure of your daily life today.”
5/13/20195 minutes
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Providence and Pianos

How do you react when everything goes right? It doesn’t happen often, but sometimes God’s providence takes over and things seem to work out on their own. This just happened to me when I was trying to move a piano. After failing on my own to find someone to hire, I ran into a random person who offered to help me free of charge. It’s not always as obvious as my encounter with the piano man, but when it happens, it’s a reminder of the resurrected Christ working in our lives. Snippet from the Show “There is evidence of God’s providence in your path today that you haven’t noticed.”
5/6/20195 minutes, 43 seconds
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The Resurrected Wounds of Jesus

Why did Jesus still have wounds after the resurrection? At the end of the Gospel this past Sunday, we get a look at Jesus' resurrected wounds. Not the gory, bloody wounds of the crucifixion, but the wounds that Jesus retained even after he rose from the dead. I think that he retained his wounds because it is through those wounds that we are saved. Those wounds are beautiful because they reflect our salvation. Do you have wounds that God has healed? Don't hide them, but allow them to bear witness to the power of God.
4/29/20194 minutes, 42 seconds
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Easter Is a Season of Testimony

The Gospels tell us that there are more encounters with Christ than all of the books of the world can contain. This is especially true at Easter, when Jesus has risen from the dead, and we bear witness to his resurrection. When we experience the joy of Easter, the next step is to share it with others. It doesn’t have to be a forced conversation where you admonish them for their sins, but just a normal exchange where you bring up something that God has done to change your life for the better. Snippet from the Show “You and I have encountered the Resurrected Jesus.”
4/22/20195 minutes, 11 seconds
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Take the Crucifix off the Wall

Holy Week is upon us and we find ourselves faced with the mystery of redemption, symbolized by the crucifix we put on our walls. At this time of year, I always think about a man I knew who would take his crucifix off the wall, and place it right in front of him as we worked. The physical reminder of putting Christ at the center of our lives is powerful. This week, try to meditate on the crucifix. Take it off the wall, and think about a particular station of the cross that speaks to you. Snippet from the Show “Christ died for our sins. The crucifix needs to come off the wall and be placed squarely before our eyes.”
4/15/20194 minutes, 46 seconds
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Veronica and the Face of Jesus

The sixth Station of the Cross is where Veronica wipes the face of Jesus—and her example of reaching out to Jesus, even though she couldn’t change anything, is a powerful statement of love. Wiping Jesus’ face seemed to be a futile effort, since his face would be bloody and sweaty again soon, but that small act of human kindness can actually count for a lot. To look into someone’s eyes, and let them know that they are loved, even if it’s all you can do, can be an enormous comfort. _Snippet from the Show Even when you can’t fix the problem, know that it’s not always about that. We are called to wipe the face of Jesus, just like Veronica, even if it’s going to be bleeding again in a few moments._
4/8/20194 minutes, 50 seconds
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St. Dismas and Our Wounds

St. Dismas is the good thief who hung next to Christ during the crucifixion, and in my opinion, there’s no better saint to think about in times of suffering. In the middle of Dismas’ agony, he recognizes Jesus as his savior, and asks to enter the kingdom of heaven alongside him, and Christ himself canonizes him as a saint when he says, “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise” (Luke 23:43). We can follow St. Dismas’ example and invite Jesus into our suffering, not to ease the pain, but to find meaning by uniting it to the cross of Christ. Snippet from the Show “No matter what your suffering is, you can take a cue from St. Dismas, and as you hang on your cross, know you do not hang alone. Christ is right there next to you.” “One of the criminals who were hanged railed at him, saying, ‘Are you not the Christ? Save yourself and us!’ But the other rebuked him, saying, ‘Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? And we indeed justly; for we are receiving the due reward of our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong.’ And he said, ‘Jesus, remember me when you come in your kingly power.’ And he said to him, ‘Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise”’ (Luke 23:39-43).
4/1/20194 minutes, 12 seconds
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What’s Holding Us Back from God? C.S. Lewis Has an Idea

C.S. Lewis, in his book Till We Have Faces, suggests the idea that each of us has one complaint holding us back from God. This complaint is the root of our resistance to God, and it is most certainly based on a lie. This Lent ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to you what the issue really is. Do you think you’re unworthy of God’s love? Do you think God is uncaring and distant? Are you questioning God’s plan for your life? What is taking you away from God? Snippet from the Show “In order to attack weeds, you have to pull up roots.” RESOURCES Till We Have Faces ( by C.S. Lewis Abiding Together Podcast ( -
3/25/20194 minutes, 25 seconds
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When You Fail at Your Lenten Fast

Ever had a Lenten commitment that just flopped? Me too. You can have the best of intentions at the start of Lent, but if it doesn’t work out, throwing in the towel all together is a real temptation. But don’t give up! Whenever you find yourself starting to slip, stop yourself right away. Put your phone down as soon as you realize you picked it up without thinking, or wrap up the rest of the hamburger you started to eat on Friday. God doesn’t expect us to be perfect in our fasts, but he does expect us to keep trying. GREAT NEWS! We’ve reached over 100,000 downloads of the Tightrope! This is a huge landmark that I’m excited to share with you!! Let me know what you think in the comments of this episode over at Snippet from the Show _ “When we fast and fail, it reminds us that we are in need of a Savior.”_
3/18/20195 minutes, 35 seconds
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Chaotic Morning? Try These Prayers

Colin has two non-negotiables when it comes to morning prayers: Some kind of interior prayer. Some kind of family prayer. The interior prayer helps him immediately start the day with God in mind. The family prayer helps him orient the family mission towards God. Though the MacIvers attempt to say a decade of the Rosary every morning, they sometimes need something a little shorter for those days when nothing goes right. Check out Colin’s prayers below, and tell us about your morning prayers in the comments! Snippet from the Show “If you can start off the day with interior prayer, it’s more likely that your inner monologue will turn into an inner dialogue.” Interior Prayer Here I am Lord, I come to do your will. My intellect is dark and my will may be weak, but it’s you oh God I’m after, your face oh Lord I seek. Family Prayers Jesus I love you, Mary I love you. Help us to be more like you. Little Flower, Little Flower, show your power in this hour. We adore you oh Christ and we praise you, because by your holy cross, you have redeemed the world. (for Lent)
3/11/20194 minutes, 41 seconds
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Should You Give Up Swearing for Lent?

Should you give up swearing for Lent? Well, yeah. But there’s more to it. Lent is a season of repentance, where we attempt to conform ourselves evermore to Christ. We should always be striving to detach ourselves from sin and bad habits, like swearing, but this time of year we go even further. There are three things we should do during Lent: fasting, almsgiving, and prayer. * Fasting: This is the part where we give something up. We fast from things that are good (like chocolate, or coffee) and move them to the side to make more room for God. * Almsgiving: This is the part where we give something to others. Whether it’s money, time, or kindness, we should give from the heart. * Prayer: This is the part where we root it all in God, knowing that this period of repentance is possible because of his loving mercy. What are you doing for Lent? Do you have a question or comment about the show? Email Colin at [email protected]
3/4/20195 minutes, 50 seconds
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Reconciliation and True Freedom

In the sacrament of reconciliation, we are given real freedom. Sanctifying grace is restored, sin is washed away, and the very power of Christ’s cross is given to us. We may know in our heads that reconciliation is important, but it’s easy to take it for granted. We stand in line, doing a quick examination of conscience, because we know it’s good and necessary, but we don’t always recognize the magnitude of it. Colin witnesses to the power of this sacrament. He talks about overcoming a habitual sin after receiving an outpouring of grace from reconciliation, and the experience of watching his son go to his first confession. Experience the freedom of sanctifying grace—go to confession this week!
2/25/20194 minutes, 18 seconds
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Instagram, St. Ignatius, and Spiritual Exercises

When we see something beautiful, are we concerned with the encounter with God, or with taking a picture to post online? When we put more emphasis on the means the the end, we’re missing out on something great. St. Ignatius talks about this. He says, “The human person is created to praise, reverence, and serve God and by so doing to save his or her soul.” God created these things to have an encounter with him, but they are just a means to an end, and the end is God. Colin struggles with this himself. He plans to use this time before Lent to reorient himself toward God, and to put him as the focus of his life. What did you think of the podcast? Let us know at [email protected]
2/18/20195 minutes, 34 seconds
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God’s Love Letter Specifically for You

Scripture is God’s love letter specifically for you. Have you ever encountered a verse from the Bible that seems to follow you around? This happened to Colin with the verse from 1 Corinthians 13:13, “So faith, hope, love remain, these three; but the greatest of these is love.” After his mother died, Colin found himself holding her Bible, and he opened it up to this passage from 1 Corinthians. He found the page so easily because there was a rose pressed into it. Upon further inspection, Colin discovered that the rose was the boutineer he wore at his First Communion. So if there is a part of Scripture you encounter again and again—know that God is speaking to you, and he’s trying to show you his love.
2/11/20195 minutes, 45 seconds
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Be the Real Deal: Venerable Carlo Acutis

“All people are born as originals but many die as photocopies.” - Venerable Carlo Acutis Colin unpacks this quote from Carlo Acutis, a fifteen-year-old boy who died from leukemia in 2006. Carlo was normal kid who loved computers, film, and comics. He also loved God, Mary, and the Church, and showed his love by doing three simple things: going to mass, going to confession, and praying the Rosary. If we want to become the person God has planned for us to be, we can follow Carlo’s example and stay close to Christ and the Eucharist. How? Go to Mass, go to confession, pray the Rosary. For more information on Venerable Carlo Acutis, check out Photo credit:
2/4/20194 minutes, 13 seconds
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Charity Begins at Home: A Cliche Because it’s True

It’s easy to be charitable to people we don’t see very often, but if we really want to grow in this virtue, we have to make sure that charity begins at home. Home is the place where you want to let your guard down and relax, so it’s easy to get annoyed when family members disturb that peace. When Colin found himself getting irritated with his daughter about a really minor problem, he realized the necessity of being more charitable toward his family. We can apply the three steps from last week’s episode to grow in charity: look, listen, and challenge.
1/28/20194 minutes, 50 seconds
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Look, Love, and Challenge

We all want to speak the truth with love and walk the line between being a habitual enabler and a judging Pharisee. In the Gospels, Jesus carried out this task of admonishing the sinner with three steps: looking, loving, and challenging. Look - see the person as they truly are, with full acknowledgement of their wrongdoing. Love - remember that they are loved and deserve to be treated with dignity and respect. Challenge - challenge them to do better for themselves, which will ultimately make them happier. We see these steps in action in John 8:3-11, when Jesus interacts with the woman caught in the act of adultery. “...and Jesus was left alone with the woman standing before him. Jesus looked up and said to her, ‘Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?’ She said, ‘No one, Lord.’ And Jesus said, ‘Neither do I condemn you; go, and do not sin again.’ ” When Jesus meets the woman caught in adultery, he looks her in the eye, shows her compassion and mercy, and then challenges her by saying, “go, and do not sin again.” This method of truth spoken in love (look, love, and challenge) is a great way to carry out the spiritual work of mercy of admonishing the sinner. For more tips on admonishing the sinner, check out Fr. Josh’s podcast episode, Admonishing the Sinner, Regretting Abortion, and Marriage in Heaven at “Do not accept anything as the truth if it lacks love. And do not accept anything as love which lacks truth! One without the other becomes a destructive lie.” -St. Edith Stein (source)
1/21/20193 minutes, 48 seconds
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Joan of Arc’s 607th Birthday Party

Colin’s family celebrated the 607th birthday of St. Joan of Arc—New Orleans style. To kick off the carnival season, New Orleans celebrates the birthday of this great saint with a big parade, songs, good food, and fellowship. The parade even featured quotes from St. Joan, including this one: “Hold up the cross higher so I can see it through the flames.” Catholics and non-Catholics alike participated in this festive event. It was an amazing opportunity to share the richness of the Catholic faith with others. What are some more ways we can be creative and bring Catholicism out into the streets?
1/14/20194 minutes, 45 seconds
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Carnival Celebration

The day of Christmas has passed, but the Carnival celebration has just begun. Colin talks about the Carnival season in Louisiana that starts on Epiphany and lasts until Mardi Gras. This season is often associated with excess and vice, but there are all kinds of worthwhile traditions that Catholics love. The colors of the season, for example, represent the three liturgical seasons it intersects: Gold for Christmas, green for Ordinary Time, and purple for Lent. Using moderation, you can really appreciate this season and use it to continue the celebration of Christ’s coming. Grab some friends and some king cake and have a blast!
1/7/20195 minutes, 36 seconds
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The Key to Keeping Your New Year’s Resolution

Colin doesn’t have a lot of hope in New Year’s resolutions...but he does have a lot of hope in God’s grace. Our resolutions have a higher likelihood of sticking when we don’t have to do it entirely on our own willpower. Grace is the gift from God that gives us the strength to do his will. Being open to grace is what can make our resolutions stick – especially those resolutions that are helpful to our faith journey.
12/31/20183 minutes, 39 seconds
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Candy Corn and Gift of Self: A Christmas Special

One of the best gifts you can give at Christmas is a gift of self. Colin was touched by this kind of gift when he encountered a man who had little to give, but did so anyway. His involvement with homeless ministry led Colin to develop a friendship with a man named Joseph, who stored his few possessions in a suitcase he carried with him wherever he went. Colin’s last interaction with Joseph occured at Christmas, shortly after Joseph’s suitcase was stolen. When Joseph handed Colin a brown paper bag, he opened it to discover candy corn and sugar packets. It wasn’t the candy corn and sugar that Colin valued, but the fact that this man, whose only possessions had just been stolen, could be so generous and thoughtful. Strive to give someone the gift of self this year. Give your time, your prayers, or something near and dear to your heart.
12/21/20185 minutes, 46 seconds
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Can God be Found in Entertainment Culture?

Entertainment culture has a pretty bad reputation in Christian communities, but is there a way for us to find God when we go to the movies? Even though there is a lot of brokenness in entertainment culture, we can’t help but point to something greater when we encounter a good story. We tell stories over and over again about redemption, love, sacrifice, and hope. These all point back to the gospel story. We can use this to start conversations about faith with others. Watch the next Marvel movie you see with the gospel in mind and find out how it can prepare you for God’s love.
12/10/20184 minutes, 49 seconds
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The Immaculate Conception and Real Freedom

The feast of the Immaculate Conception, the day that Mary was conceived, turns our thoughts toward Mary as we begin Advent. Mary, the New Eve, is not a holy robot. She isn’t boring or predicable. Sometimes our narrow vision of what it is to be without sin sabotages our vision of Mary who was alive, dynamic and truly free. As you hear her story over these next few weeks allow a three-dimensional vision of her to come alive in your mind, heart, and imagination and know that she—who is your mother—is right there with you as your step forward on your tightrope.
12/3/20184 minutes, 44 seconds
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It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like … Advent

Christmas has been unleashed, but it’s not even Advent yet. How can we give Advent it’s due without belittling any early Christmas celebrations? Colin’s family has come up with a few ideas: Light candles on an Advent wreath Add straw to a Nativity scene manger every time you do a small act of charity Sing an Advent song, “Come Lord Jesus, come and be born in our hearts” Trim the tree with Jesse tree ornaments and purple and rose decorations.
11/26/20184 minutes, 34 seconds
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Should Sisyphus have been Grateful for his Suffering?

Life without God can feel like pushing a boulder uphill all day and seeing it back at the bottom every morning, which was the punishment of Sisyphus. But life in Christ offers so much more. With God, we have a destination, and every stress, struggle, and trial is imbued with purpose through him. Instead of meeting our daily cross with dread, let’s approach it with gratitude, knowing that it brings us closer to God. “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” (1 Thessalonians 5:18) Happy Thanksgiving!
11/19/20182 minutes, 58 seconds
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The Feminine Genius of St. Scholastica

We’ve all heard of St. Benedict, but people often neglect to mention Benedict’s twin sister, St. Scholastica. Colin talks about what we know about St. Scholastica (suffice to say, she made it rain) and how she is a fantastic example of what St. John Paul II called the feminine genius. For more on St. Scholastica, check out Colin’s article The Scholastica Option: Women Who Make it Rain (
11/12/20184 minutes, 52 seconds
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Lay Down Your Burdens

We hear this all the time—just lay down your burdens at God feet and he’ll take care of it—but it takes on new meaning when you hear it sung by your little daughter. _I cast all my cares upon You I lay all of my burdens Down at Your feet And any time I don't know what to do I will cast all my cares upon You -Cares Chorus by Kelly Willard Colin connects his own desire to take care of his child to that of God the father, who wants to take care of us. When you don’t know what to do, sing this song unto God and let him carry your worries.
11/5/20184 minutes, 28 seconds
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Remind Halloween of its Baptismal Promises

Catholics have the ability to celebrate Halloween better. Halloween can be reduced to a glorification of gore, terror, fear, and even the demonic, but it really points to something much greater. When Christians think of death, we recall that Jesus conquered death, and has purchased for us the rewards of eternal life. In fact, we should remember our death everyday, and allow it to spur us toward holiness. So don’t turn off the lights and stay home. Celebrate in the right way, a way that reminds Halloween of its baptismal promises.
10/29/20184 minutes, 3 seconds
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St. John Paul II and Who You Really Are

“You are not who they say you are. Let me remind you of who you really are.” St. John Paul II reminds us that our identity does not lie in fear, anxiety, or any extrinsic force. This quote is an echo of what Christ teaches us, reminding us of our real identity as children of God. Reflect on this quote today in adoration. Silence all the false voices and listen to God.
10/22/20183 minutes, 56 seconds
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3 Life-Changing Catholic Ideas

Here are three big ideas central to St. John Paul II’s Theology of the Body that can keep us balanced in everything we do—from our work to the way we love. _Snippet from the Show: Life is an epic love story The meaning of life is found in self-gift Every person is an end in and of themselves_
10/15/20184 minutes, 14 seconds
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Your Guardian Angel Wants to Help You

Angels are an important part of…well…reality! There are, God knows how many, creatures out there lighting, guarding, ruling and guiding. (There are others, fallen angels, seeking the ruin of souls.) Don’t forget that when you are seeking daily balance and progress. Pray to your guardian angel. Pray that powerful St. Michael prayer to ward off evil and plant yourself firmly in the service of God in the war for souls. Angels are with you, on either side of your tightrope, trying to keep you upright.
10/8/20185 minutes, 25 seconds
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God is Good, Not Just Fine

The difference between “good” and “fine” can have a big impact on how we view God. When someone says, “it’s fine” they often mean, “I will grit my teeth and accept this, but below the surface I’m harboring a lot of resentment.” God is good, but we often think of him as fine. We gloss over the cliche “God is good, all the time. All the time, God is good,” but it wasn’t always so widely accepted. In [Story of a Soul](, St. Therese always refers to God as the _Good God. She did this in response to Jansenism, the idea that we have to earn God’s approval through our own merit. But we don’t have to do anything to earn God’s love, because he is good, not just fine. Take ten minutes of prayer today to reflect on God’s goodness. "The idea that we’ve got to earn God’s approval by doing good things is a low view of human nature, and a really low view of God. God is good, he’s not just fine." - Colin MacIver
10/1/20185 minutes, 25 seconds
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Pray With Someone

Colin talks about the time he was stuck in traffic and called Brian Butler ( to talk business, but instead, he was invited to say a Rosary, and had a beautiful moment of peace with God in the middle of a stressful situation. Check out Colin’s brand new collaboration with Fr. Mike Schmitz, Quick Catholic Lessons! ( We should intercede for our loved ones, the whole Church, the whole world, even our enemies. As Matthew 5:44 says, “But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” Praying with others, though, can be even more effective, even if it is a bit intimidating. It is one thing to pray for someone. It is another to stop and pray with someone on the spot. But most things worth doing are hard. Colin shares some ways to overcome that feeling of weirdness or uncertainty and just do it! Incorporate your family into your prayer life by setting an attainable goal and following it through for a solid month. It might be something as simple as changing the time and place of family prayer, or adding a new dimension to it. Instead of offering to pray for someone at some indistinct point in the future, stop, take a deep breath, and offer to pray with them on the spot. Caught in traffic? Call Brian Butler…or any Ascension presenter … or any good friend, really…and ask them to pray the Rosary with you. Check out Brian’s work with Ascension! YOU: Life, Love, and The Theology of the Body ( and Theology of the Body for Teens: Middle School Edition ( "If you stop and pray with someone, especially somebody who is not expecting it, who knows what can happen!"
9/24/20185 minutes, 21 seconds
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How St. Thérèse Can Lead You to Heaven

As we approach St. Therese's feast day, learn how her "Little Way" can help lead you to heaven.
9/17/20184 minutes, 15 seconds
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St. Therese - Malaise, Hurricanes, and the Little Way

How exactly can you live out St. Therese’s Little Way in your daily life? Snippet from the Show: The most important thing I can do is find ways to be present in the moment and offer small sacrifices of love every day.
9/10/20186 minutes, 11 seconds
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The 3 Basics of Christian Life

Colin lays out these three basics from his son’s second grade religion class that every Catholic needs to actually do to live faithful, holy lives. Daily prayer - We really need prayer, now and always. Let’s talk and listen to God everyday. Receive the sacraments - Having a clear conscience before God in confession and being nourished by the Eucharist are essential. Practice virtues - Do what is good and resist what is evil. Look at the example of Jesus and let him lead you forward in morality. "Get back to the basics and practice sound fundamentals – sounds pretty obvious right? Why aren’t we doing it? Getting back to the basic core of Christian life is the key to holiness."
9/3/20184 minutes, 51 seconds
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You Don’t Have to Get Married to Make a Gift of Self

8/27/20185 minutes, 8 seconds
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5 Virtues of St. Joseph to Imitate

8/20/20185 minutes, 30 seconds
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Stop, Connect, and Ask God What to do Next

8/13/20185 minutes, 12 seconds
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The Dog that Doesn't Do Anything

8/6/20184 minutes, 22 seconds
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Shark Week and Fear of the Lord

7/30/20185 minutes, 23 seconds
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Moana and Finding Who You Are

7/23/20184 minutes, 22 seconds
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The Incredibles and C.S. Lewis

7/16/20184 minutes, 52 seconds
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Home with the Kids

7/9/20183 minutes, 29 seconds
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Independence Day, Freedom, and the Catholic Faith

7/2/20184 minutes, 2 seconds
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Blood Transfusion

6/25/20185 minutes, 30 seconds
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Two Hands

6/18/20184 minutes, 29 seconds
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Ricky the Dragon

6/11/20185 minutes, 23 seconds
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6/4/20185 minutes, 18 seconds
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5/29/20183 minutes, 4 seconds
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Yanny or Laurel?

5/18/20183 minutes, 38 seconds
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5/14/20184 minutes, 5 seconds
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Intro: Balance, Tension, and the Tightrope

Colin explains the two major themes—tension and balance—that will show up in each episode of the Tightrope. He points out that tension isn't always a bad thing, and that balance isn't something we ever achieve once and for all.
5/14/20184 minutes, 56 seconds
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Tacos for Breakfast

5/14/20185 minutes, 31 seconds
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Stay Tuned for The Tightrope- Coming May 14!

5/2/20181 minute, 10 seconds