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Making It Through Hard Times

Making It Through Hard Times

March 25, 2020

Hard times, we are all going to have them. And, some of us get through them better than others. Others don’t do so well. They suffer openly, have a negative destructive attitude and feel that their happiness has been shortchanged. In this podcast, Tony discusses hard times.

Scripture: “Then the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” –Philippians 4:7

Quote: “Suffering has to come because if you look at the cross Jesus has his head bending down. He wants to kiss you. And he has his arms opened wide. He wants to embrace you. When you feel miserable inside look at the cross. Suffering, pain, sorrow, humiliation, feelings of loneliness, are nothing but the kiss of Jesus, a sign you have come so close he can kiss you.Suffering, pain, humiliation – this is the kiss of Jesus!” – Blessed Theresa of Calcutta

“Life is not the way it’s supposed to be, it’s the way it is. The way you cope is what makes the difference.” –- Virginia Satir

“What lies behind you and what lies in front of you, pales in comparison to what lies inside of you.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Reflections: How has God helped you through hard times?  What is you feeling about suffering?  Is there anything we can learn from experiencing hard times?

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A Giving Heart

A Giving Heart

March 18, 2020

The father was unemployed, the oldest child was ill, and every penny they had could hardly keep the family together. “Wouldn’t it be nice,” the preacher offered, “if the congregation would all bring in what they could next Sunday and present it to this wonderful family.” In this podcast, Tony discusses The Giving Heart.

Scripture: “When he looked up he saw some wealthy people putting their offerings into the treasury and he noticed a poor widow putting in two small coins. He said, “I tell you truly, this poor widow put in more than all the rest; for those others have all made offerings from their surplus wealth, but she, from her poverty, has offered her whole livelihood.” –Luke 21:1-4

Quote: “The most obvious lesson in Christ’s teaching is that there is no happiness in having or getting anything, but only in giving.” –Henry Drummond

Reflections: Who are the most Christ-like people you know?  Do you believe that generosity has little to do with the amount of money involved?  How do we measure our generosity?

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A Quiet Ego

A Quiet Ego

March 11, 2020

What ever happened to humility? In the past century it has been replaced with the “looking out for number 1” mentality. Americans have become so self-centered, so self-absorbed that they rarely see beyond their own needs. In this podcast Tony discusses having a quiet ego.

Scripture: “..With all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another through love, striving to preserve the unity of the spirit through the bond of peace.” –Ephesians 4:2-3

“When pride comes, disgrace comes; but with the humble is wisdom.” –Proverbs 11:2

“Humble yourself the more, the greater you are and you will find mercy in the sight of God.” –Sirah 3:18

Quote: “Humility, the highest virtue, mother of them all.”–Alfred Lord Tennyson

Reflections: What can you to quiet your ego?  How can we be helpful to others and still maintain a healthy ego?  What can we do to remain humble?

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Even Now

Even Now

March 4, 2020

There is something very appealing about Lent. It calls us to cleanse something from within, to burn away or rend those things that keep us from a wholehearted relationship with God. In this podcast, Tony discusses Lent and our relationship with Jesus that can happen Even Now.

Scripture: Yet even now—oracle of the LORD—return to me with your whole heart, with fasting, weeping, and mourning. Rend your hearts, not your garments, and return to the LORD, your God, For he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, abounding in steadfast love, and relenting in punishment. –Joel 2:12-13

For he says: “In an acceptable time I heard you, and on the day of salvation I helped you. Behold, now is a very acceptable time; behold, now is the day of salvation. –2 Corinthians 6:2

Reflections: What can you do even now to make your lent more meaningful? What do you think of Tony’s list of things to do? Are you trying to make this the best lent ever?

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There’s Power in those Ashes

There’s Power in those Ashes

February 26, 2020

“What brought you to mass today,” I inquired?  “The ashes,” they responded in unison! In this podcast, Tony recalls an encounter with four Non-Catholic college students at Ash Wednesday mass.  In this podcast, Tony explains the power in those ashes.

Scripture: Behold, now is a very acceptable time; behold, now is the day of salvation.  –2 Corinthians 6:2 NAB

Reflection: How does receiving ashes change the way you approach lent? Why do you think these students sought out a chance to receive ashes? What does Ash Wednesday mean to you? Are you willing to take the challenge that Ash Wednesday presents as Lent begins?

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I gave it up for Lent

I gave it up for Lent

February 19, 2020

Last year, at Ash Wednesday mass, during the homily, the priest mentioned that he had received several calls in the past few days asking him about the rules for fasting.
“How old do you have to be to not be required to fast?” was the question.
“Well,” said the priest, “it is 59 which includes 99 percent of you!”

In this podcast, Tony discusses giving things up for lent.

Quote: “Fasting makes sense if it really chips away at our security and, as a consequence, benefits someone else, if it helps us cultivate the style of the Good Samaritan, who bent down to his brother in need and took care of him.” –Pope Francis

“Lent comes providentially to reawaken us, to shake us from our lethargy.” — Pope Francis

“As Lent is the time for greater love, listen to Jesus’ thirst…’Repent and believe’ Jesus tells us. What are we to repent? Our indifference, our hardness of heart. What are we to believe? Jesus thirsts even now, in your heart and in the poor — He knows your weakness. He wants only your love, wants only the chance to love you.” –Blessed Mother Teresa

Reflections: What are you giving up for lent?  What can you do differently this year to have your best lent ever? How about doing something different this year?

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Save it for Easter

Save it for Easter

February 12, 2020

As a youngster, I remember on my birthday every year (in February, during or near lent), I would always receive some article of clothing as a gift. Whether it was a sweater, a new shirt, pair of pants or a jacket, as I opened the gift, my mother would say, “Save it for Easter!” In this podcast, Tony discusses the importance of Easter.

Scripture: If there is no resurrection of the dead, then neither has Christ been raised.  And if Christ has not been raised, then empty (too) is our preaching, empty, too, your faith.  …And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is in vain.  1 Corinthians 15:13-14 17

Reflections: Is Easter just another Sunday to you and your family? What have you done to make Easter a special day? Have you explained to your kids the real meaning of Easter?

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The Quest for Rest

The Quest for Rest

February 5, 2020

Do you ever feel guilty when you take some time to rest?  That, somehow, society has convinced you that rest is an indulgence you simply can’t afford.  In this go-go society of never ending to do lists, late night text messages from work, and trying to make partner, we are obsessed with the feeling that , “I should be doing something!” In this podcast Tony discusses the importance of rest.

Scripture: “Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart; and you will find rest for yourselves. For my yoke is easy, and my burden light.” –Matthew 11:28-30

“On the seventh day God completed the work he had been doing; he rested on the seventh day from all the work he had undertaken.  God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work he had done in creation.”  –Genesis 2:2-3

“Return, my soul, to your rest; the LORD has been very good to you.” –Psalm 116:7

Reflections: What do you do to insure you get some rest? Do you ever feel guilty for downtime? Are you getting enough sleep?

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Grace and Gratitude

Grace and Gratitude

January 29, 2020

Gratitude and grace, they just seem to go together. Both derived from the Latin word gratis, gratitude is our response to grace. When someone does something unexpected for us we express our thanks with gratitude, but if we have a grateful attitude, we say thank you even when things are expected. In this podcast Tony discusses Grace and Gratitude.

Scripture: “Everything indeed is for you, so that the grace bestowed in abundance on more and more people may cause the thanksgiving to overflow for the glory of God.”   –2 Corinthians 4:15

“All good giving and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no alteration or shadow caused by change.” — James 1:17

Quote: “Gratitude is the healthiest of all human emotions. The more you express gratitude for what you have, the more likely you will have even more to express gratitude for.”  –Zig Ziglar

“Celebrate what you want to see more of,” –Tom Peters.

Reflections: Do you see the connection between Grace and Gratitude? What can you do to have an attitude of gratitude? What are you grateful for?

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How’s Your Love Life?

How’s Your Love Life?

January 22, 2020

We all have a concept of love. From the time we are very young children we have a strong sense of what love is. Our concept of love changes as we get older. But, what is God’s perspective on love? In this podcast Tony discusses love.

Scripture: “Beloved, let us love one another, because love is of God; everyone who loves is begotten by God and knows God. Whoever is without love does not know God, for God is love. In this way the love of God was revealed to us: God sent his only Son into the world so that we might have life through him. In this is love: not that we have loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as expiation for our sins.”   –1 John 4:7-10

We love because he first loved us.”  –1  John 4:19

“He said in reply, “You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your being, with all your strength, and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.”  –Luke 10:27

God is love, and whoever remains in love remains in God and God in him.”  –1 John 4:16

Reflections: How has your perspective of love changed over the years? What do you do to emulate God’s love? How’s your love life?

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Lord, If You Had Been There

Lord, If You Had Been There

January 15, 2020

While on vacation in Florida, I had a chance to talk with one of the neighbors, also a vacationer. We talked briefly about baseball, the beach, and getting away from the winter snow, but then the conversation became serious. n this podcast Tony discusses the loss of a loved one and the grieving process.

Scripture: “When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went to meet him; but Mary sat at home. Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.”  John 11:20-21

“Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise.” Martha said to him, “I know he will rise, in the resurrection on the last day.” Jesus told her, “I am the resurrection and the life; whoever believes in me, even if he dies, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?” John 11:23-26

“When Mary came to where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet and said to him, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.”  John 11:32

“So Jesus said to them, untie him and let him go.”  John 11:44

Reflections: Does that fact that Jesus wept give you consolation that even He felt the great loss of a friend?  Do you need to untie a loved one and let them go free to the arms of Jesus?  What is the tomb of your life that has separated you from God?

If you have enjoyed listening to this podcast, please subscribe by clinking the Follow Link on the lest hand side of the page. Don't miss a single Five Minutes with Tony Podcast!

 

Spiritual Resolutions

Spiritual Resolutions

January 8, 2020

In this podcast, Tony offers seven spiritual resolutions for your new year.  We are either on one of two trajectories, growing in our relationship with God, or frankly, we are growing away from God (toward the devil).  As we are reminded in the book of Romans; we are either moving toward darkness or moving toward the light.

Scripture: And do this because you know the time; it is the hour now for you to awake from sleep. For our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed; the night is advanced, the day is at hand. Let us then throw off the works of darkness [and] put on the armor of light.  Romans 13:11-12

Quote: “The object of a New Year is not that we should have a new year. It is that we should have a new soul. –G.K. Chesterton

Prayer:

 

O Jesus,
through the Immaculate Heart of Mary,
I offer You my prayers, works,
joys and sufferings
of this day for all the intentions
of Your Sacred Heart,
in union with the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass
throughout the world,
in reparation for my sins,
for the intentions of all my relatives and friends,
and in particular
for the intentions of the Holy Father.

                                                                                                                               Amen.

Reflections: What are your resolutions for the new year?  Have you included some spiritual goals?  What is the one things that you can resolve for 2020 that will change your spiritual life for the better?

If you have enjoyed listening to this podcast, please subscribe by clinking the Follow Link on the lest hand side of the page.  Don't miss a single Five Minutes with Tony Podcast!

More or Less

More or Less

January 1, 2020

I’m not a fan of New Year’s resolutions, but I do like to take some time at the end of the year to set goals. Resolutions are great; except we rarely follow through on them and that can make us feel like failures.  Why not try something different this year? Decide what you want to do less, then, find something opposite and positive that you want to do more.  In this podcast, Tony discusses more and less.

Scripture: “Do not conform yourselves to this age but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and pleasing and perfect.” — Romans 12:2

Only if you thoroughly reform your ways and your deeds; if each of you deals justly with his neighbor; if you no longer oppress the resident alien, the orphan, and the widow; if you no longer shed innocent blood in this place, or follow strange gods to your own harm, will I remain with you in this place, in the land which I gave your fathers long ago and forever.” –Jeremiah 7:5-7

Reflections: What do you want to do more and less?  What are a few of your more or less goals? What changes do you want to make in 2020?

No Nativity, No Eucharist

No Nativity, No Eucharist

December 25, 2019

Our living room is rarely used. It has become a place to go to make a quiet phone call, read or just get away from the noise and activity of the day. It’s our quiet room. It is also the place where my wife, Diane sets up the nativity scene each year, a place where I enjoy going to pray and reflect on the birth of our Savior. In this podcast, Tony discusses the nativity and its relationship to the Eucharist.

Scripture: “And she gave birth to her firstborn son. She wrapped him in swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.” –Luke 2:7

Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me will never hunger, and whoever believes in me will never thirst. –John 6:35

Reflections: Have you ever thought about the nativity and the Eucharist? what do you think of Tony’s comparison?  Can we truly have Christmas every day in the Eucharist?

My Christmas Train

My Christmas Train

December 18, 2019

Before I could open the box my parents sat me down and told me that a neighbor boy’s father had been laid off and they couldn’t afford presents for my friend. Wouldn’t it be nice if I gave up one of my toys, so that he would have something under his Christmas tree?  In this podcast Tony discusses the tough decision he was forced to make on Christmas morning and the Christmas lesson we can learn from little children.

Scripture: “Amen, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever receives one child such as this in my name receives me.”  Matthew 18:3-5

Reflection: Do you think that the six year old’s in your life would pass the test?  How about your teenagers? Have you ever given up something that you wanted to help someone in need? How did that make you feel?

The Winter Coat

The Winter Coat

December 11, 2019

Growing up in a blue collar family, having a new coat for winter was truly a welcomed gift.  That is one of the reasons I remember my Aunt Jay so fondly.  Each year she would scrimp and save from her 90-cent an hour job at the dry cleaners to buy winter coats for my cousins, Diane, Steven, and Susan, and my sister Angie and me. In this podcast, Tony discusses sacrifices and a new coat.

Scripture: Give and gifts will be given to you, a good measure, packed together shaken down and overflowing, will be poured into your lap.  Luke 6:38

Reflections: Was there someone in your life who sacrificed for you?  How did it make you feel when you realized how much love was involved?  Have you ever been the “angel” for someone?

Christmas, the Happiest and Saddest of Times

Christmas, the Happiest and Saddest of Times

December 4, 2019

Christmas day is fast approaching.  For many people, it is the happiest and most joyful time of the year.  For others, Christmas can be the saddest time of the year.  In this podcast, Tony give some helpful advice if you find yourself sad or lonely at Christmas and what you can do to help others that are alone, lonely or sad at this time of year.

Quote: he Christian faith can never be separated from the soil of sacred events, from the choice made by God, who wanted to speak to us, to become man, to die and rise again, in a particular place and at a particular time. — Pope Benedict XVI

I am not alone at all, I thought. I was never alone at all. And that, of course, is the message of Christmas. We are never alone. Not when the night is darkest, the wind coldest, the world seemingly most indifferent. For this is still the time God chooses. –Taylor Caldwell

Reflections: Have you ever been sad at Christmastime?  What did you do that helped you get through the holiday?  Is there someone in your life that you can help overcome loneliness this Christmas?

Welcome to Secular Advent

Welcome to Secular Advent

November 27, 2019

In this podcast, Tony discusses Secular Advent. For those of you who are not familiar with the holiday season, it began several years ago and has grown into the biggest secular holiday of the year. But, it’s not OUR Advent!

Scripture: And do this because you know the time; it is the hour now for you to awake from sleep. For our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed;the night is advanced, the day is at hand. Let us then throw off the works of darkness [and] put on the armor of light.  Romans 13:11-12

QuotesThe worst moment for the atheist is when he is really thankful, and has nobody to thank.–Dante Gabriel Rossetti

Reflection: What has happened to the real meaning of the Advent season?  Have you found yourself getting swept away in the commercialism?  What can we do to keep the real meaning of the season alive?

The Empty Chair

The Empty Chair

November 20, 2019

Thanksgiving and Christmas are the happiest times of the year. We get together with family and friends, exchange gifts, share wonderful meals, and enjoy the holidays.  But, for many of us, the loss of a loved one makes this a sad and even depressing time. Let’s face it; every one of us will have a holiday where there is an empty chair. In this podcast Tony discusses the loss of a loved on at the holidays.

Quote: “I am not alone at all, I thought. I was never alone at all. And that, of course, is the message of Christmas. We are never alone. Not when the night is darkest, the wind coldest, the world seemingly most indifferent. For this is still the time God chooses.” –Taylor Caldwell

Scripture: “He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there shall be no more death or mourning, wailing or pain, [for] the old order has passed away.” –Revelations 21:4

“The LORD is close to the brokenhearted, saves those whose spirit is crushed.” –Psalm 34:19

Reflections: What do you think of Tony’s ideas for

Are You The One

Are You The One

November 13, 2019

Doubts, we all have them at times.  As Christians, we are embarrassed by our doubt.  Is the story of Jesus true?  Did he really die for my sins? In this podcast, Tony discusses doubt.

Scripture: When John heard in prison of the works of the Messiah, he sent his disciples to him with this question, “Are you the one who is to come, or should we look for another?” –Matthew 11:2-3

“Everything is possible to one who has faith.” Then the boy’s father cried out, “I do believe, help my unbelief!”–Mark 9:24-25

“So he got up and went back to his father. While he was still a long way off, his father caught sight of him, and was filled with compassion. He ran to his son, embraced him and kissed him.” –Luke 15:20

Reflections: Do you think your doubt is a lack of faith?  What do you think of Tony’s idea that doubt can actually lead to a greater faith?  What will you be doing during Advent to grow your faith?