In the last episode, I spoke about why last things are important. In this episode, I want to really dive into 4 specific endings that can help give perspective. When we consider endings, we gain meaning and purpose for the "now." Without considering endings, it's very easy - especially for men - to become lost and distracted by the daily pursuits, challenges, and "to-do" lists. This is the rabbit hole that we can pour our lives into without almost any return.
In order to pull our heads back out of those rabbit-holes, we need to consider the endings. The endings help us to really focus on just how important the relationships we have with other people are. People are the only infinite objects our senses encounter. In ten trillion years (or perhaps even a bit longer), the only thing that will remain will be people - yet that will only be but the smallest blip of the eternity to come.
At the time of recording, we are nearing the end of the year. Rather than dwell on that particular ending, I am forced to ponder the larger picture of endings and last things. So much of our world is focused upon the "now." We lose sight of where we are going, and thus also lose perspective on what is important.
When we focus on the Last thing, or the endings, we gain perspective. We gain more than that. This focus isn't limited merely to the end of our life or current project, but also includes endings of projects, parenthood (at least in the house), employment, etc. All things must pass. When we forget that fact we can be consumed by attention to the unimportant.
In this episode I consider several last things, starting with the ending of the Old Testament and the beginning of the day of Jesus. I offer you 5 reasons why you should think about the last thing of whatever project you are working on right now. Start with the end, and gain important perspective about what to do in the "now."
In the last episode, I discussed many practical ways that we can be offended by Jesus. While no one is offended by healing the blind, lame, deaf, etc., we can very well be offended when God doesn't give us what we think we want. In those moments, our hearts are closed to His love.
In this episode, I discuss 6 steps to take to help release that offense. God is infinite, God is perfect, God is awesome. He will not change - but we can. By changing how we view both Him and our own lives, we can release our sense of offense at God. When that is released, we are open to the love that He wants to give us.
In Matthew 11:6, our Lord says "And blessed is anyone who takes no offense at me." What does this mean? It's easy to see how much of the secular world takes offense at Jesus, but do we? What does this even mean? Most of what Jesus taught was good and loving. Who would take offense?
At the time of recording, we are almost at Christmas, 2016. In order to help prepare our hearts for this Christmas - or any time of year - I want us all to ponder where we take offense at the teachings of Our Lord. It is a virtual certainty we do somewhere - we are all selfish. I know that I certainly do, though it surprised me to discover so.
In this episode, I discuss 5 ways I found that I am offended by Jesus. I did not expect to find this when I first encountered this verse. I hope that you will learn something about how you think and feel by going through these ways. In the next episode, I hope to offer some ideas to help let go of this offense, and thus ready ourselves for Him to truly come.
This week we have a very special episode. I am very excited to present to you an interview with Father Dan Horan, author of the book "God is not fair, and other reasons for gratitude." Father Dan is a very gifted writer and speaker who does a great job of bringing the catholic faith into the 21st century.
This book is different from most books - instead of one consistent narrative, it is a series of almost unrelated reflections. I do not recommend trying to read them all back-to-back, but instead something like one per day. Each deals with a modern topic or viewpoint that is relevant to today. Each will challenge you a little bit in how you live your life.
I really enjoyed this interview, and it went a bit longer than usual. This week we'll only have one episode because it went so long. I hope you enjoy the conversation, and that you learn a lot. I know I did!
Trees that produce bad fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire. The message is consistently repeated throughout the Gospel. Yet, we rarely pause to consider this warning. Many of my actions are incredibly selfish and lazy - they cannot possibly create good fruit.
Hopefully you listened to last week's episode and were able to identify the fruit you create. If you are at all like me, there are probably some areas that need improvement. In this episode, I try to give some practical advice for different areas of life. Hopefully you can find a few things that will make a difference. We all have our rotten apples, but with God's help, we can start to create fresh ones.
In this Sunday's gospel reading, John the Baptist tells us that we must produce good fruit. Speaking to the pharisees, he says that "Even now the ax is lying at the root of the trees; every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire." This warning applies to us even now - perhaps especially now.
Those of us who are fortunate enough to live in a modern first-world country are so blessed. We have lives of comfort and convenience that are unmatched in all of history. Yet, even in the midst of our comfort, we must be vigilant. Our Lord promises us that we will be judged by our fruit. Yet, how are we to know what our fruit is?
I think it's important to step back and really identify what the true impact of our choices are. In this episode, I attempt to help you identify what your fruits are, and what the results of your choices really mean. Next episode I'll discuss how to improve those fruits.