Traditional Roman Catholic Thoughts

Traditional Roman Catholic Thoughts

Reintroducing Logic and Reason to the Age of Sentimentalism

Matthew Kelly

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Rediscover Catholic Celebration in Review

I had the privilege of going to the Rediscover Catholic Celebration event hosted by the Archdiocese of St. Paul/Minneapolis on October 12. I want to share with you some of what I felt were the highlights.

Rediscover Logo

The day started off with Mass and it was a really good Mass. There was a little bit of everything, a little bit of English, a little bit of Spanish and a bit of Latin believe it or not. It was really good to hear the St. Thomas University Schola sing Gregorian Chant. I would’ve preferred a bit more Latin throughout the entire Mass but that’s just me.

Jeff Cavins was the Emcee for the day, making sure that everything stayed on schedule. He provided some good humor in between the events and made some good comments throughout the day. I would have liked to have heard him give a talk, but, I’m sure there will be other times.

Up first was Matthew Kelly, the key-note speaker. Matthew Kelly is the author of the book Rediscover Catholicism, which I reviewed earlier. The Archdiocese has been hitting the “Rediscover: Faith” series very hard in which Matthew Kelly has been very instrumental in getting off the ground.

Matthew Kelly’s talk was very exciting and inspirational. He made some valid points (in bold) along with my comments (not bold).

  • You don’t have to tolerate good things. Today, so often we are told that we need to be more “tolerant of others”, usually in cases in which they are practicing something immoral. This goes hand in hand with the entire homosexual movement in their fight to redefine marriage. If it was so good, why would we need to be “tolerant”?
  • God’s in the business of transformation. When we accept God into our lives, our entire lives are changed. We are transformed. We are no longer who we once were. This especially happens in the Sacraments of Baptism and Confession. In Baptism, our sins are completely forgiven, we are washed clean of original sin and we are born anew. In Confession, we take all of our sins, we confess them with a contrite heart and God in his infinite love and mercy, forgives them. We reestablish that grace with God.
  • Everybody needs game changers. Game changers are those ideas that are different, that are going to make a huge difference. We need to come up with more good ideas to try to share our faith with both our fallen-away brothers and sisters in the faith, and our brothers and sisters outside of the faith.
  • Spend time every day with the Bible, and start with the Gospels. We won’t know Jesus if we don’t read the Bible, especially the Gospels as the Gospels are primarily what Jesus taught and spoke. How do you get to know somebody? By spending time with them and getting to know them. We can accomplish this through reading sacred scripture. On top of that, you gain a plenary indulgence for spending 30 minutes reading the Bible.
  • Pray for our enemies. Jesus taught us that we should pray for our enemies. How come we don’t? Never have we offered Masses for Osama Bin Laden. He was our enemy, yet we never prayed for him. We should pray for our enemies, because that is what Jesus has called us to do.

Matthew Kelly received a standing ovation after his talk was over.

During the day, Archbishop Nienstedt even consecrated the entire Archdiocese of St. Paul/Minneapolis to the Immaculate Heart of Mary and the Sacred Heart of Jesus. I mentioned that in greater detail here.

Father Robert Barron received a standing ovation when he was announced to give his talk. He commented “Wow, a standing ovation before I even give my talk, I wonder what I’ll get when I’m finished? A sitting ovation?” Father Barron gave a talk giving seven ways we can be practical at evangelizing. Luckily, I wrote them all down and similarly as above, I will give the seven suggestions in bold, with my comments not bold.

  1. Lead with the beautiful – Its difficult to argue around truth and goodness when our culture has completely made everything relative. What we can do though, is lead with the beautiful to goodness and truth.
  2. Don’t dumb down the faith – Since the Second Vatican Council, we have seen the faith dumbed down to the point where it is barely even recognizably Catholic. This isn’t the fault of the Council, but the fault of those who have implemented what the Council or the documents had said.
  3. Preach with ‘ardor‘ – Ardor is another word for fire. When we preach, we need to have that fire, that passion in us. We can’t just preach the Word of God with a lukewarm attitude, this won’t bring anybody into the Church. But having passion and excitement will draw in people.
  4. Tell the Great Story – The Great Story is everything from Creation all the way until Jesus Christ, crucified and resurrected from the dead and of course, everything in between. Many people have no clue what the story is of the Bible (I am a perfect example, I had no clue who Jesus was growing up and after I learned who He was, I had to become a disciple).
  5. Emphasize the Augustinian anthropology – St. Augustine said “Lord, you have made us for yourself, therefore our hearts are restless until it rests in Thee.” We need to emphasize that God created us in order for us to worship Him and that no matter what, we will not be happy if we are not accomplishing this.
  6. Stress the Iranaeus Doctrine – The Iranaeus Doctrine is that God does not need us. Harsh? Sure. But, this is good for us, because we know that God will not bribe us in order to get us to follow Him. We have to do this out of our own free will. Love after all, must be freely given.
  7. Spend a  lot of time with old media – A lot of times we want to go dive right in and start hitting the social media, the blogs and everything in between and start sharing the faith. But what we really need to do is spend time reading books, watching videos, listening to talks and everything in between. We have to know the faith before we can teach the faith.

Father Barron received a well deserved second standing ovation for his very good talk.

All in all, the event was very, very good. It was nice to feel in the majority, after all, there were about 5,500 practicing Catholics at this event. Again, this is only the highlights, there were two other speakers, Bishop Daniel Flores and George Weigel were also there, as well as many other events going on. I’m looking forward to next years Rediscover: Catholic Celebration and can’t wait to see who is in the lineup. I have not received a phone call yet, but, who knows, right?

Jeff October 22, 2013 1 Comment Permalink

Archbishop Nienstedt Consecrates Archdiocese

On Saturday, October 12, 2013, Archbishop John C. Nienstedt consecrated the entire Archdiocese of Saint Paul/Minneapolis, Minnesota to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

sacred-heart-of-jesus-_amp_-immaculate-heart-of-mary_001

This was done during the Rediscover: Catholic Celebration that the Archdiocese put on featuring Matthew Kelly, Father Robert Barron, George Weigel and Bishop Daniel Flores. The Archdiocese has been working very hard to drive up passion and excitement about the Catholic faith.

I’ll be writing up a review on that later.

I’m very interested to see how the consecration will affect the Archdiocese, as well as if this was done to coincide with Pope Francis’ consecration of the world to the Immaculate Heart for October 13.

There is a lot of good going on in this Archdiocese right now. Please pray.

Jeff October 13, 2013 Leave A Comment Permalink

Matthew Kelly Successful Surgery

I found out about a month ago that Matthew Kelly, popular Catholic speaker and writer of “Rediscover Catholicism” (you can read my review here) and “The Four Signs of a Dynamic Catholic” (review to come soon), was to undergo surgery to remove a cancerous growth on his right kidney.

The surgery for that was yesterday, and from what I hear, everything went swell. They removed it and the doctors are optimistic that Matthew will not need further treatment.

I still encourage everyone to still offer up prayers for him that this doesn’t come back and that he is able to continue preaching the Good News.

Jeff August 1, 2013 Leave A Comment Permalink

Rediscover Your Catholic Faith

The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis just wrapped up their “Rediscover Faith” series. They worked closely with Matthew Kelly on this in order to help jump start the faith within the Archdiocese. At Christmas this past year, they gave away copies of “Rediscover Catholicism” (which I reviewed last Summer) to everybody that came to Christmas Mass (since many people want to go to Mass on Christmas).

They’ve encouraged book study groups to form through each parish (my wife and I started our own through our Young Adult group) and that has been taking off like wildfire, I don’t recall the exact number, but if memory does serve me right, there were about 400(?) different groups. This is magnificent.

The Archdiocese sponsored a speaker series in which once a week, every other week, we would all meet at a parish and there would be a presentation of a specific topic within our faith. This was highly successful as we went generally to the largest parish in the Archdiocese, and it literally ended up being standing room only.

I wanted to more or less draw attention to the website that the Archdiocese kicked off. Rediscover-Faith.org is the name of the site and they have a numerous amount of resources to help you learn more about the faith, in a very simple and easy to understand way. They have articles, videos, and even a smart phone app for your Apple or Android phones and tablets. I personally have not used the app yet, as I apparently have too old of a phone. I should be getting a new phone shortly though, and am excited to try it out. It shows all parishes within the Archdiocese of St. Paul/Minneapolis as well as confession times. It sounds like a great tool to help you in your faith and prayer life too, allowing you to organize and keep track of what you have been doing. Sounds similar to what I’ve been saying on spiritual discernmentspiritual examination and prayer routine.

The videos range from long to short. The long ones are generally the talk that they gave for the week, so they are about an hour in length. They are well worth the view though. I believe they are downloadable so if you would rather listen you can do that.

I highly recommend going through the site if you can. I am only one man, who works full time and has many other responsibilities. I do my best to update this blog as often as I can, and I think of lots of interesting things to talk about, but, here is a site that goes down to the basics and can probably explain it better than I can. However, I think its important that if you ever have a question about the faith, please, please, please don’t hesitate to ask. Leave a comment on pages (I allow anonymous posts (for the time being)). I really do enjoy talking about Jesus and His Holy Catholic Church. So, again, don’t be afraid to ask.

Starting Over in Prayer

As I mentioned in my post on our spiritual reflections and spiritual discernments, I talked about how we should constantly be analyzing how we are doing (whether it be weekly or monthly) and when we are doing great we should be adding more “reps” or “weights” to help build our spiritual muscle. I did also mention that we should also decrease if we are overburdened.

Unfortunately, I haven’t really been keeping up on my end of the bargain with decreasing. I’ve felt an incredible sense of guilt with the idea of dropping some of my favorite prayers. The thought for me is “its important to do this, I shouldn’t just drop it”. But, of course, I’m not listening to my own advice! I’ve been praying a lot of maybe I should just start over from scratch, get back in touch with my earlier days when I started off light and build from there, but of course the guild would come right back.

The other day I had one of those moments that just stopped me in my tracks. On my way to work and back home, I listen to religious talks by different Catholic speakers. I swap between these talks and my own personal CDs as I get tired of radio. However, listening to Archbishop Fulton Sheen give a talk on prayer, I was floored as I heard what he had to say regarding prayer. He said “do not be afraid to remove the dead wood of our prayer lives. Sometimes it is best to just start fresh. God will not be angry, in fact, we might even find a bit of renewal in this starting over.”

I just couldn’t believe how I’ve listened to this talk several times before, never even paying attention to this part, and BAM! I get smacked across the face with a spiritual 2 by 4. I’ve found that these talks are incredible. They always hit you at the right time when they are needed, and I always seem to grow from them even if I don’t “need” them.

After hearing this, I reflected upon it throughout the work day. On my way home from work, I listened to what Archbishop Sheen said again. It resonated with me so true, that I decided right then and there to do just that, start over. Not just, dropping my prayer life down from 8 things to 5 or 6, but starting over. I wrote down everything I was trying to do and put it on the list of prayers to begin when I’m ready to add weight. Immediately, I felt a burst of energy. On top of that, I felt that I was doing what God wanted.

It is no coincidence that that CD was chosen to be heard at that precise time. No, God’s providence always reigns supreme. For those that open their hearts and lend their ears to God’s Will, incredible things are revealed. God knows what is best for us. Even when we think we know better, when we surrender our will and let God take control, we find ourselves in an even better and happier place than we were before.

To top it off, on my drive today, I was listening to a talk by Matthew Kelly titled “A Call to Joy”. I highly recommend anything by Matthew Kelly as he has a charm and a style that strips away most of the “technicality” of the faith (without stripping away the faith) and translating it in a way that allows us to grow using today’s language. I’ve listened this CD…a lot, and thanks to God’s providence, BAM! Another spiritual 2 by 4 across the face. This one wasn’t nearly as stop dead in your tracks as Archbishop Sheen’s, but it was still noticeable.

I got my idea of spiritual examinations whether it be monthly or weekly or whenever (but often), from Matthew Kelly’s idea of how his faith blossomed from a friendship. His friend always challenged him and when Matthew had gotten used to the added prayer, his friend challenged him to add something else. Similarly, my prayer life grew like this too. It seemed though, and as I recall thanks to my friends Stephen and Jonathan, that we both would add something on a more monthly basis. So, of course, I’m back to the maybe monthly is better side again. Its a work in progress, but it may be something that depends on the person, as well as that person’s state in life.

If you have been struggling with your prayer life and keeping on top of it. I’d first suggest removing a couple of prayers from your list and seeing if that helps. But, after how just taking Archbishop Sheen’s words to heart, I am amazed at how my list of about 8 or 9 items, down to 1, has made that 1 time of prayer so much more…intense. It allows me to refocus my mind and soul onto that one moment and really pray. It is revitalizing and I’m excited to see how things will grow.

However, if your prayer life is blossoming, great job! Keep up the awesome work! Just remember not to overburden yourself, and really get in the moment of the prayer.

When you pray, you are giving God everything. Just make sure that you take a moment and listen, and let God do some of the talking.

I am a member of Lighthouse Catholic Media‘s CD of the Month Program. CatholiCity has some great talks as well.

Jeff October 1, 2012 Leave A Comment Permalink

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