Your 3 Negative Voices vs The Voice of God

Every day you are confronted with three negative voices:

  1. microphone squareThe voice of the demons. These are preternatural voices that pop into you head saying such things as: “God doesn’t love you. You’re a terrible follower of Christ. Who could ever love you?”)
  2. The voice of the naysayers. These are people in your family, at work, at church, at school, at the bus stop that complain, rag on other people, and rag on you. They complain all the time about how they are poor, unhappy, sick, sore, demoted, unsuccessful, unfavored, and “catching bad breaks.” They see the world through the grey tint of unhappiness.
  3. Your own negative voice to yourself. These are the words that you say to yourself in moments of quiet: “I’m so stupid. How could I have fallen for that? I don’t deserve ______. Who am I kidding? I’m a failure. Who could love me? Why do I even exist?!”


But there is The Voice above all these voices that says: “You are precious. I love you. I want to reward you. I want to give you things that you never could have imagine. I have a plan for you. I want to know you. I want to make you pure. You are my child. Draw close to me.”

You can only hear This Voice above the others if you read the Sacred Scriptures every day and pray daily. Otherwise, the other voices will get louder and you’ll forget to listen to the most important Voice.

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#065: 40 Days of Joy

My goal this week is to share with you why Lent should be a period of 40 days of Joy.


Click to Listen: #065: 40 Days of Joy


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  • Proverb of the week: Prov 6:22 (Byzantine citation is Prov 6:26, which what I cite in the audio)
  • Featured Segment: 40 Days of Joy
  • Announcements:
    • Take Me to Church Lyrics Guide
    • Catholic in College is coming out soon:
    • 2015 Enrollment for New Saint Thomas Institute is now closed. We had over 400 new students enroll and if you are one of them or one of our existing Member students, thank you so much. It’s going to be a great year in the New Saint Thomas Institute.
    • If you want to join but missed the enrollment deadline, you can sign up to be on our priority waiting list so that you receive priority notification before we make any announcements about future enrollment possibilities.
    • Please visit: for more details.
  • Tip of the week: Ask God to Make Things Clear
  • Latin word of the week: quadraginta

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Podcast Archive
# Title Released
064 Why did God make you? Luke 19 Gives the Answer 02/11/2015
063 Is Being A Christian Hard or Easy? 01/21/2015
062 Catholic View of the End Times and Tribulation 01/14/2015
061 When Other People Really Hurt You 01/07/2015
060 Is Saint George Still a Saint? 01/01/2015
059 Revolution in Catholic Education – Jennifer Fulwiler Interviews Taylor Marshall 12/31/2014
058 The Hidden Theology in Sword and Serpent with St George and Sabra 12/11/2014
057 Advent Total Consecration to Mary 11/13/2014
056 Top 5 Advent Devotions 11/07/2014
055 Why Do We Baptize Babies? The Covenantal Argument 10/22/2014
054 Is God Male or Female – The Catholic Teaching 10/08/2014
053 Lucifer vs. Saint Michael 10/01/2014
052 1 Year Anniversary Special Edition: Essentialism What is the Essence of Your Life? 09/24/2014
051 The Price of Your Anger 09/17/2014
050 The Seven Sorrows of Mary are the Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit 09/15/2014
049 6 Obstacles in Your Life (How to Conquer Them) 09/10/2014
048 Brain Science, Your Soul & Prayer 09/03/2014
047 Don’t Swallow the Camel 08/27/2014
046 The Secret Life of Thomas Aquinas 08/22/2014
045 Did Saint Paul Teach Once Saved Always Saved? 08/06/2014
044 How to Escape Joyless Catholicism, Part 2 07/30/2014
043 How to Escape Joyless Catholicism, Part 1 07/24/2014
042 Golf Cart Saints 07/15/2014
041 5 Intellectual Virtues and Pornography, Art, and Culture 07/02/2014
040 Taylor and Joy Talk About Their Marriage 06/25/2014
039 How Was the Bible Assembled? (plus Joy joins me) 06/18/2014
038 Should You Budget Time (or Money)? 06/04/2014
037 The Theology of Vacation, Leisure, and Recreation 05/28/2014
036 Noah Movie Review – Rock Monsters? 05/21/2014
035 Children Need Fortitude 05/14/2014
034 Jokes of Saint John XXIII 05/07/2014
033 Divine Mercy: 5 Common Questions 04/30/2014
032 4 Sections of Hell 04/23/2014
031 Meet the Saint Version of You 04/16/2014
030 Should You Be an Optimist? 04/09/2014
029 Finding Fellowship like Samwise Gamgee 04/01/2014
028 Demons, Snakes, and Ticks: Lessons from a Hunting Trip 03/26/2014
027 How to Make an Eternal Impact with Your Life 03/19/2014
026 Thoughts on My Pilgrimage to Our Lady of Guadalupe 02/26/2014
025 Why is the Catholic Church Roman? 02/19/2014
024 The Seven Lies We Believe About Our Failures 02/11/2014
023 How to Restart Your Mental Computer 02/06/2014
022 Top Five Productivity Tips from Thomas Aquinas 01/29/2014
021 Did You Miss God’s Plan for Your Life? 01/23/2014
020 When Prayer Becomes a Chore 01/15/2014
019 12 Attributes of a Baptized Christian 01/08/2014
018 A Podcast Against Bitter Catholics! 12/30/2013
017 Mary’s Painless Delivery of Christ Explained 12/18/2013
016 Our Lady of Guadalupe and Saint Luke (Plus How to Set Goals) 12/11/2013
015 Total Consecration to Mary 12/04/2013
014 What’s Your Apostolate? 11/27/2013
013 6 Items for the Liturgy of Your Life 11/20/2013
012 Why You Should Be More Creative 11/13/2013
011 Why Did They Stop Teaching Virtue? 11/06/2013
010 How Do Saints Hear Our Prayers? 10/30/2013
009 My Opinion of Martin Luther 10/23/2013
008 My Top 5 Daily Prayers 10/16/2013
007 Your Guardian Angel 10/03/2013
006 How You Can Convert 7 Billion People 09/25/2013
005 3 Strategies for a Marriage that Sings! 09/18/2013
004 4 Step Plan When Family Leave the Faith 09/12/2013
003 5 Tools for Deep Daily Prayer Life 09/04/2013
002 Three Tips to Increase Your Passion for Life 08/28/2013
001 How to Find a Spiritual Director 08/18/2013

30% of Catholic College Students Leave the Sacraments for Life – Here’s how you can help:

We’ve got a big problem in American Catholicism:

30% of Catholic college students will go off to college and by the time they reach 22 years, they will never receive Catholic sacraments again. 

Something happens during those four years to convince them to permanently drop out of Catholicism…for life.

College students

I’ve heard Catholic parents lament: “I spent 18 years of effort, prayer, tuition for Catholic private school, sacramental prep, and we tried everything…and my son/daughter lost it all in the first 18 days of life on the college campus. They don’t go to Mass anymore. They just aren’t interested.”

So how do we begin to address this problem effecting 30% of all Catholic College students? What do we do?

I’m hearing more and more voices from both parents and college students (mostly from within the New Saint Thomas Institute) who want to provide dynamic Catholic instruction and community for Catholic college students.

So I’m putting something together called: Catholic in College. It will be an online forum for college age students to receive video instruction in Catholic apologetics, resources, book recommendations, regular reminders via email, and a whole army of people to help them joyfully rediscover Catholicism as a college student. We’ll also help them find Masses and confession opportunities in a way that’s relevant to them.

This is going to the BIGGEST online outreach to Catholic college students. Are you interested? I hope so.

Before we make the huge investment in web design, video courses, and online community, I just wanted to get the pulse of my 100,000+ followers: Is this something that you see as a solution to this problem for Catholic young adults?

We will likely roll out a beta version of Catholic in College for a limited number of parents and college students this year. If you’d like to be part of the initial Catholic in College movement, we want to hear from you.

Please sign up here and I’ll put you on the early bird notification list for news about Catholic in College. Sign Up to learn more about our Catholic in College Support Network by clicking here.

Differences Between Coptic and Catholic Christians: Download pdf guide

I’ve been doing a lot of writing and thinking on the recent ISIS beheading of the 21 Coptic Christians. I recently wrote about my thoughts after seeing the horrific video here.

Coptic Christians Catholic

Many people are asking “So what is a Coptic Christian anyway? Are they like Catholics?”

The word “Coptic” comes from the Greek word for Egyptian:

Aigyptios. Aigyptios > Gyptios > Coptios > Coptic

Here are the similarities between Catholic and Coptic Christians:

Click here to download the free one page pdf:

One Page PDF report on Differences and Similarities Between Catholics and Coptics.pdf

Click Here to Download the 1 page Coptic Report pdf

What is the meaning of the 12 and 7 baskets left over from the feeding of 5000 and 4000?

FeedingMultitudes_BernardoWhat is the meaning of the 12 and 7 baskets left over from Christ’s feeding of 5000 and 4000 in the Gospels? The Evangelists often omit details but they always specify the numbers in these episodes. Christ Himself asks them plainly:

“When I broke the five loaves for the five thousand, how many baskets full of broken pieces did you take up?” They said to him, “Twelve.”

“And the seven for the four thousand, how many baskets full of broken pieces did you take up?” And they said to him, “Seven.” 21 And he said to them, “Do you not yet understand?” (St Mark 8:19-21)

Clearly Christ expects His apostles and us by extension to make an [obvious] conclusion about these numbers. But most of us cannot make a conclusion…because we do not know the Old Testament Scriptures!

Here are the numeric equations:

The Beheading of the 21 Coptic Martyrs by ISIS

This morning during my Bible reading, I read in the Gospel of Saint Mark (patron saint of Egypt) where he described the beheading of Saint John the Baptist. I’ve read it or heard it probably over one hundred times. But today it was more meaningful because we have witnessed recently the beheading of 21 Coptic Christian martyrs by ISIS.

Coptic saints

Pope Francis said “our brother Copts, whose throats were slit for the sole reason of being Christian, that the Lord welcome them as martyrs….” He also prayed for the Patriarch of the Coptic Orthodox Church, “my brother Tawadros, who is suffering greatly…”

I watched the original un-edited version of the beheading of these 21 brave men, and I was sick. (Having seen it, I explicitly recommend NOT watching it if you have not already. You will gain nothing by it and I regret seeing it.) I immediately felt rage, but I soon realized that the soul of the martyr is at peace and he prays for his enemies. I was also angry at his taunt against destroying Rome, as well.

But vengeance is not the posture of sanctity. In fact, my natural inclination toward hatred and revenge is the evil mindset of the Muslim men hiding behind black masks and hacking at the necks of these holy and God loving Christians.

Our Lord Jesus Christ and the Apostles had a love and respect for Saint John the Baptist. John, too, was brutally beheaded. The mystery of Christianity is that this detail leads us to honor and revere him. He became more holy and powerful in death than he ever could have been before that moment. [According to Thomas Aquinas, the highest glory in heaven is that of a martyr and they receive a special crown – We’ve covered all that here.]

How do we stop ISIS? Well, ISIS wants to attack Rome. But they are foolish in their plans. Nero once beheaded a former rabbi named the Apostle Paul outside the walls of Rome. And Nero had Simon Peter crucified upside down by the Vatican Hill. These barbaric murders of holy men gave life to a culture of life that spread across Europe and then the entire world.

We should protect and guard every innocent human life regardless of religion. But if somehow ISIS martyrs the Pope or a Cardinal, or a nun, or you or me, they will only be unlocking more divine power and more grace. God will not be mocked.

These demonically minded men of ISIS must be found and brought to justice. Yet we Christians should also perceive with theological eyes, that it is the courageous Martyr of Jesus, not the US President or Navy Seal, who will ultimately bring about the lasting transformation and the wave of justice.

Here is the voice of the martyrs from Revelation 6:9-11

When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the witness they had borne; they cried out with a loud voice, “O Sovereign Lord, holy and true, how long before thou wilt judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell upon the earth?” Then they were each given a white robe and told to rest a little longer, until the number of their fellow servants and their brethren should be complete, who were to be killed as they themselves had been.

All you holy twenty-one Coptic Christian Martyrs, pray for us.

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The names of the 21 Coptic Martyrs are:

1. Milad Makeen Zaky
2. Abanub Ayad Atiya
3. Maged Solaiman Shehata
4. Yusuf Shukry Yunan
5. Kirollos Shokry Fawzy
6. Bishoy Astafanus Kamel
7. Somaily Astafanus Kamel
8. Malak Ibrahim Sinweet
9. Tawadros Yusuf Tawadros
10. Girgis Milad Sinweet
11. Mina Fayez Aziz
12. Hany Abdelmesih Salib
13. Bishoy Adel Khalaf
14. Samuel Alham Wilson
15. Worker from Awr village
16. Ezat Bishri Naseef
17. Loqa Nagaty
18. Gaber Munir Adly
19. Esam Badir Samir
20. Malak Farag Abram
21. Sameh Salah Faruq

My Review of the Film Little Boy by Alejandro Monteverde

Last night in Dallas, our friends David and Lisa Fischers invited us to experience a prescreening of the film Little Boy. It was a great time and after chewing on it some, I’d like to share some reflections on the film.

Little Boy

In 2006 I was able to have lunch with Eduardo Verástegui in Washington DC to learn more about his involvement with a movie called Bella. It was directed by Alejandro Monteverde and produced by Metanoia films. You cannot help but like Eduardo, and the team around Bella back in 2006 had a lot of buzz and fun. There was a recognized need to make beautiful Catholic films that didn’t scream: “This is a preachy Catholic movie!” I was a new Catholic so it was great to watch Bella go from an indie film to a movement. So with that background, it’s worth noting that this film Little Boy is their second run at independent film success.

In the first few minutes of Little Boy, I was thinking: “Okay. This is going to be a like that film Life is Beautiful: a World War II context featuring a playful dad and a boy who follows the father around like a puppy.”

Like Life is Beautiful, Monteverde’s Little Boy is a feel-good movie that requires a kleenex (okay, I admit to tearing up in this film). It also touched a nerve with racism. In Life if Beautiful it was Jews and Nazis; in Little Boy it’s “Japs” and Americans. The horrors of war and racism are revisited for the audience through the eyes of the [little] boy.

The key difference is that Little Boy incorporates the biblical concept of the Acts of Corporal Mercy and brings the idea of faith to the plot. Don’t worry, though. Little Boy avoids being preachy. It does not come off as a Christian movie for Christian consumption. Instead, it shows how right action speaks louder than right words; and we see this in the transformation of the characters.

I don’t want to spoil the end, but I was deeply moved and pleasantly surprised. As an author, I’m always interested in plot development and storytelling. Let me just say that the story telling is fantastic in the last 30 minutes of the film. Monteverde skillfully poured in his efforts into the final portion of the film. I wish I could explain how and why, but I don’t want to ruin the end for you. Just trust me on it.

There are scenes that could trouble a child under ten years old. However, I can see teens coming to appreciate acts of mercy after seeing this film. It’s a reminder and a challenge to the viewer: “Does faith change things? And how do you know that you have it?”

I recommend this movie. Go see it. Go support it.



Fr Longenecker’s 50 Days with the Devil

Screen Shot 2015-02-16 at 1.07.28 PMFather Longenecker recently sent me his new book Slubgrip Instructs: 50 Days with the Devil and I’ve enjoyed it. My eight-year-old was deeply worried about the book when it arrived. “Dad, why do you have this book? It has a demon on it. Its 50 days with the devil! That’s bad!”

The book follows the tradition of CS Lewis’ Screwtape Letters, the account of a senior demon advising a junior demon in the art of human temptation. Lewis crafted this uncanny presentation of the enemy’s “playbook” so that we human could benefit by seeing the demonic strategies for sending us to hell.

Fr Longenecker continues the tradition but in a Catholic way in his new contribution to the genre.

Looking for a book this Lent? Check out Slubgrip Instructs: 50 Days with the Devil.

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Who was the real Saint Valentine?

So who was Saint Valentine?

In this short video I quickly explain how this Catholic Saint became associated with courtship, romance, and marriage.

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