Maximize Your Time

With this latest edition of Caffeine and Catholicism, a new video series designed to be your quick jolt for living out the Catholic Faith, which we’re producing at my job, I dive into the preciousness of time, and how to make the most of it.

Jim Croce wanted to bottle it and The Rolling Stones said it was on their side. Everyone it seems from the Foo Fighters to Pink Floyd and even Cyndi Lauper have sung about the impermanence of TIME.

We’ve had decades of books and movies from Back to the Future to the Terminator that explore the ramifications of tinkering with time.

But what about right now?

Even the Catechism of the Catholic Church in paragraph 1007 reminds us that “Our lives are measured by time, in the course of which we change, grow old and, as with all living beings on earth, death seems like the normal end of life.”

The end of time.

That aspect of death, the Catechism says, lends urgency to our lives: remembering our mortality helps us realize that we have only a limited time in which to bring our lives to fulfillment.

Your local parish is one of the best places your TIME can produce the greatest fruit for Christ. Maybe you’re not called to lead religious education or be a lector at Mass, but each of us have been given gifts that God calls us to use for the service of others. And what a great feeling it is when those gifts are fully realized!

My own mom could sew you a tuxedo if you needed her to. For years she’s given of her talents in repairing vestments and ironing the cloths used during Mass.

Maybe you’re handy with a saw, or a lawnmower, or are a good listener, or a powerful prayer warrior.

Chances are your parish could find a place for you to put these gifts from God to amazing use, even if in the quietest of ways.

So make a commitment to put your gifts to work, by giving up time for the sake of serving others in your local parishes.

Remembering Our First Colorado July

This was us two years ago today. Makes me want to pack up the truck and head for the mountains.

5 Best Meals at a Catholic Parish

With this latest edition of Caffeine and Catholicism, a new video series designed to be your quick jolt for living out the Catholic Faith, which we’re producing at my job, I share the FIVE Best Meals at Your Local Catholic Parish.

Yeah, that’s right. Food. We love to shove it in our mouths while zipping through the drive through, but let’s be honest: Food shared amongst friends and family is always better and actually has surprising benefits. Our friends, Fr. Leo Patalinghug from Grace Before Meals and Jeff Young from Catholic Foodie, have been attesting to this for years.

In fact, one Columbia University survey showed that teenagers who eat with their families at least five times a week are much less likely to have substance abuse problems and more likely to get better grades in school.

Food shared amongst people with common beliefs and common goals and a common focus on knowing, living, and sharing our faith is infinitely more enriching than eating alone.

So what are the best meals to find at your local parish?

Starting with Number Five is Spaghetti Dinners. Not my personal favorite, but they’re easy, kid-pleasing, festive, and casual, with great opportunities for impromptu conversations.

Number Four would be Pancake Breakfasts, often put on by your local Knights of Columbus who use the proceeds to support important initiatives. So you get your griddlecakes with a heaping helping of service to others.

Number Three is the perennial Lenten fish fries, which now often come in healthier options. But I’ll still take my fish fried.

Number Two is after Mass Coffee and Donuts. To this day, my parents are still extremely close friends with people they met at my childhood parish while sharing Krispy Kremes and bad coffee.

But the number one shared meal offered at every single Catholic parish is The Eucharist, the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Jesus Christ which we as Catholics receive as a Community at the shared table of The Lamb’s Supper each time we receive Communion at Mass.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church says that the Church – The People of God – “is made real as a liturgical, above all a Eucharistic, assembly. She draws her life from the word and the Body of Christ and so herself becomes Christ’s Body.”

This is not just symbolic thing, but as Lumen Gentium teaches, truly The Eucharist is “The source and summit of the Christian Life.”

Paragraph 1324 of the Catechism says, “The other sacraments, and indeed all ecclesiastical ministries and works of the apostolate, are bound up with the Eucharist and are oriented toward it. For in the Eucharist is contained the whole spiritual good of the Church, namely Christ himself.”

So yeah, partake of donuts and pancakes, spaghetti dinners and fish fries, but the number one best meal to be found at your local parish is the meal found in the Eucharist at every Mass.

It’s at this meal that we’re brought together as One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church. It’s the best meal in town.

VIDEO: My Full Talk at the 2014 Atlanta Eucharistic Congress

Screen Shot 2014-07-17 at 2.21.48 PMWhat an honor it was to speak once again at this year’s Eucharistic Congress in Atlanta, Georgia!

This year I was the first speaker of the day for a lineup that included Jeff Cavins, Mother Dolores Hart, Patty Schneier, Donna Cori Gibson, and Fr. Dave Dwyer.

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This is the event that well over a decade ago completely re-ignited my faith.

Now the Archdiocese has posted the full video on my talk:

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Interested in having me talk at your next event? Get more details on my speaking page!

Talking to Teens About New Media

This morning I had the privilege of talking to a class of 8th graders in New Orleans about the differences between New Evangelization and New Media.

We used Google Hangouts, which I’ve used with just a few people at once, but this was the first time I used it to talk with a large group of people in a single location.  I’m very curious about other topics and ways of using this technology that would benefit others in using their own God-given skills to help others.

How do you use Google Hangouts? I’d be curious to hear of other ways you’ve used it in a training environment.

How to Subscribe to a Podcast

Despite having become such a prominent form of media first becoming mainstream in 2004/2005, listening to podcasts still confuses many people who are used to just turning on a radio and passively listening to whatever is being broadcast.

Having recently moved from hosting a daily talk show on satellite radio and back to the world of podcasting, many of our radio listeners have been left feeling unnecessarily frustrated at their confusion as to how to even start listening to a show.

To alleviate this, I put together this short video to demystify the experience.  I sincerely hope this helps.  If there are other similar questions you may have about new media (from subscribing to a blog, creating a website, etc.), let me know and maybe I can be of assistance, even if it’s just in making videos similar to this.