May 28th, 2020 | 7 mins 13 secs
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Throughout the Gospels Jesus says, “Remain in me” or “abide in me,” which—in simplified terms—means whatever you do, invite Jesus along. Ask him to “come with.” This is a way to grow in your relationship with him, but it’s also a smart thing to do because, after all, Jesus said:
“I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in me, and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing” (John 15:5).
May 21st, 2020 | 7 mins 44 secs
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When someone says something hurtful to you, it is wise to give them the benefit of the doubt. What does that mean? It means ask yourself, “Do I firmly believe that this is a person of good will?” If so, is there anything that can help you better understand their behavior?
May 14th, 2020 | 5 mins 53 secs
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You know you should be praying. But do you ever wish someone would show you how? Fr. Mike starts by showing us how to pray with the Bible with a time-honored method called lectio divina.
May 7th, 2020 | 7 mins 48 secs
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Vanity is not what many people think it is. It can come in many forms, and is not necessarily an infatuation with yourself. Vanity is an inordinate preoccupation with what other people think about you—which is different.
April 30th, 2020 | 6 mins 21 secs
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In a previous episode, Fr. Mike said that all Catholics grow in the same “soil” together, but the fruit we bear is unique. But what is this common soil? What are the essentials for every Catholic Christian?
April 23rd, 2020 | 8 mins 31 secs
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Fr. Mike talks about how to navigate discussions with your partner about sexual sin—whether it’s pornography, masturbation, or other impurity.
April 16th, 2020 | 9 mins 25 secs
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Fr. Mike makes the case that, before you claim a certain “style” in practicing the faith, you have to master the basics. He tells a story about when he was learning guitar. The teacher told his students to hold their guitar on an angle with their left knee higher than their right. This way they could play all kinds of music. Some of the students decided they wanted to hold the guitar their own way. This limited what they could play. Living the Faith is the same way.
April 9th, 2020 | 8 mins 36 secs
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Fr. Mike explains how even partial healing from the wound of sin is still worth the effort. Don’t give up just because you know your sins will leave some stains and scars. God’s mercy can do amazing things in your life, even if it is just partially healed.
April 2nd, 2020 | 6 mins 24 secs
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When we pray “lead us not into temptation”, it may seem like God has the capacity to tempt us. But that’s not the case. God does not tempt us, but he can and sometimes must put us through tests. Here are a four helpful ways to look at this part of the Our Father.
March 26th, 2020 | 5 mins 30 secs
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Fr. Mike describes exactly how God works with us, even though God’s ways are not our ways. It’s like when a person you’re living with asks “What do you want for dinner?” and you say, “Whatever you want.” He then starts offering suggestions, but you turn them all down. After a few minutes of back and forth you both notice that what you really meant was not, “Whatever you want,” but, “You tell me what you want, and then give me the freedom to choose among those options.”
This is a lot like the process God uses when you tell him, “Lord, just do what you need to do in my life.” People may not like the process, but it often works.
When we tell God “just do whatever you want” more often than not he tells us to choose from a list of options. He respects our free will. If you ask him to purify your heart, that’s going to require breaking it so he can heal it. Trust the process, even if it’s going to hurt, and God will lead you to greater things.
March 19th, 2020 | 10 mins 27 secs
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Fr. Mike gives us some advice about how we should respond to the coronavirus pandemic.
March 12th, 2020 | 5 mins 56 secs
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A great way to make this Lent even better spiritually is to offer up not only something you chose, but also to offer up your inconveniences. Give God those moments when you’re stuck in traffic, or when someone says something bitter to you, or when you have to run an errand you just don’t want to run. Offer up those inconveniences that you didn’t choose, and God will make you stronger in them.
Intentionally receive these moments, and let them provide the opportunity to die to self. The Lenten commitment we chose is an active mortification, but these inconveniences you didn’t ask for are passive mortifications. They’re powerful because we have no control over them, and yet we can have control over what we do with those moments. Accepting these passive mortifications is a way for us to grow in freedom, because through them we learn to accept and live graciously in the moments that would otherwise have control over us.
In the words of St. Paul:
“Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I complete what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church” (Colossians 1:24).
For full episode shownotes, visit AscensionPress.com
March 5th, 2020 | 8 mins 2 secs
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Starting strong is easy, but staying strong—perseverance—is a mark of holiness. It’s easy to be excited about a new relationship, ministry, job, or school, but enduring through the dull times when that newness wears off is difficult.
February 27th, 2020 | 6 mins 56 secs
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Lent is about transformation, but that transformation will be incomplete if we make it about ourselves. Instead of aiming for self-mastery alone this Lent, what is the key to living this Lent for others? In 2 Samuel 7, when King David says he will build a house for the Lord, the Lord says to David through Nathan that he will not be the one to build the temple—but his son will. Learning from this story, we see that we may want to do a good and noble thing for Lent, but that doesn’t mean it’s what God wants us to do. Ask God what he wants from you this Lent. Discipline is great, but there’s a step after that: being generous. Asking God what he is asking of you, instead of deciding on your own, is a step from discipline to generosity, from self-mastery to deeper relationship. Aim to do your prayer, fasting, and almsgiving out of generosity.
February 20th, 2020 | 8 mins 24 secs
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Why is Ash Wednesday not a holy day of obligation? A holy day is a day that has been consecrated for God, so in that sense Ash Wednesday is a holy day. At the heart of a holy day of obligation, however, is the Resurrection. For this reason holy days of obligation are times to celebrate and feast.
February 13th, 2020 | 8 mins 24 secs
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Just because you desire something deeply doesn’t mean it’s God’s plans for you. Sometimes our desires and God’s will are different. Our desires are not predictors of the future and they’re not the voice of God. We are supposed to tend to our desires and discern what is being revealed through them, but letting them dictate your path in life is not wise.