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Where There is Love, There is God

Where There is Love, There is God

October 16, 2019

I am in awe of young parents and their never ending battles with keeping up in this fast-paced, always-connected world we live in. With soccer practice, gymnastics, diaper bags, and juggling jobs, family life and their kids busier than ever social schedules, there just isn’t much time for God.  In this podcast, Tony discusses parenthood in 2016.

Scripture: “We have come to know and to believe in the love God has for us. God is love, and whoever remains in love remains in God and God in him.” –1 John 4:16

“There is no fear in love, but perfect love drives out fear because fear has to do with punishment, and so one who fears is not yet perfect in love.” –1 John 4:18

“What you are doing I cannot do, what I’m doing you cannot do, but together we are doing something beautiful for God, and this is the greatness of God’s love for us.” —Mother Teresa, from Where There Is Love, There Is God

“Where God is, Love is.”  –Leo Tolstoy

Reflections: Do you appreciate the challenges that today’s parents face?  Do you think that in today’s fast=paced society parenting has become harder than ever?  What can we do to help parents of young children cope?

A Still Small Voice

A Still Small Voice

October 9, 2019

We often read of that still, small voice that is in each of us. It is a voice guiding our path, discerning right from wrong, helping us make decisions that will forever be part of our lives.  In this podcast Tony discusses a well formed conscience.

Scripture and Catechism: “For man has in his heart a law inscribed by God. . . . His conscience is man’s most secret core and his sanctuary. There he is alone with God whose voice echoes in his depths.” CCC 1776

“Faced with a moral choice, conscience can make either a right judgment in accordance with reason and the divine law or, on the contrary, an erroneous judgment that departs from them.” CCC 1799

“And after the earthquake a fire; but the Lord was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice.” –1 Kings 19:12 KJV

Reflections: Do you ever make a decision that you know is wrong but do it any way?  Do you follow your conscience?  When you follow you conscience do you get a good feeling?

The Power of a Smile

The Power of a Smile

October 2, 2019

Last night, I was looking through some pictures from our recent visit to California. It was a trip to see our 20-month old grandson, Nico. I noticed that in every picture he had a big, slobbery smile. And, as I looked at the pictures, I couldn’t help but smile too!  In this podcast, Tony discusses the power of a smile.

Quotes: “Every time you smile at someone, it is an action of love, a gift to that person, a beautiful thing.” ― Mother Teresa

“The expression one wears on one’s face is far more important than the clothes one wears on one’s back.” – Dale Carnegie

Scripture: A glad heart lights up the face, but an anguished heart breaks the spirit. —–Proverbs 15:13

Reflections: Do you agree that smiles are powerful?  Have you ever had your mood changed by the smile of a child?  What can we learn about smiling that can help us in our everyday lives?

Kindness and Truth Shall Meet

Kindness and Truth Shall Meet

September 25, 2019

A wise rabbi once said that the world is sustained by three things, by justice, by truth and by peace. When justice is done, truth is served and peace is achieved. In this podcast, Tony discusses the way to peace.

Scripture: “Kindness and truth will meet; justice and peace will kiss. Truth will spring from the earth; justice will look down from heaven.” Psalm 85:10-11

Quote: “At the center of non-violence stands the principle of love.” –Martin Luther King, Jr.

Reflections: What are you doing to support peace?  Where do we find the leaders to show us the way to peace?  What are you doing to promote social justice?

Enter into my Rest

Enter into my Rest

September 18, 2019

Every day, as I read Psalm 95 to begin the divine office, the phrase, “enter into my rest” seems to jump off the page.  What is this rest that God speaks of? What did the Israelites do to fail to enter into it? And, more importantly, what can we do to enter into God’s rest? In this podcast, Tony discusses Enter into my rest.

Scripture: Forty years I loathed that generation; I said: “This people’s heart goes astray; they do not know my ways.” Therefore I swore in my anger: “They shall never enter my rest.” –Psalm 95:10-11

Therefore, let us be on our guard while the promise of entering into his rest remains, that none of you seem to have failed. –Hebrews 4:1

“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not from you; it is the gift of God; it is not from works, so no one may boast.”  –Ephesians 2:8-9

“Encourage yourselves daily while it is still “today,” so that none of you may grow hardened by the deceit of sin.” — Hebrews 3:13

“For in fact we have received the good news just as they did. But the word that they heard did not profit them, for they were not united in faith with those who listened.” –Hebrews 4:2

Reflections: We all need God’s rest.  How are you entering into His rest?  How would you define God’s rest?  How does faith help us enter into God’s rest?

 

Making it Through Hard Times

Making it Through Hard Times

September 11, 2019

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?

In All Things Give Thanks

In All Things Give Thanks

September 4, 2019

In this podcast, Tony discusses giving thanks as an important element of Christianity.  He uses the beautiful writings of St. Rose of Lima to better understand God’s amazing grace.  The feast of St. Rose of Lima is celebrated this Saturday, August 23rd.

Quote: “If only mortals would learn how great it is to possess divine grace, how beautiful, how noble, how precious. How many riches it hides within itself, how many joys and delights! No one would complain about his cross or about troubles that may happen to him, if he would come to know the scales on which they are weighed when they are distributed to men.”   –From the writings of St. Rose of Lima

“ Our Lord and Savior lifted up his voice and said with incomparable majesty: ‘Let all men know that grace comes after tribulation. Let them know that without the burden of afflictions it is impossible to reach the height of grace. Let them know that the gifts of grace increase as the struggles increase. Let men take care not to stray and be deceived. This is the only true stairway to paradise, and without the cross they can find no road to climb to heaven.’ ” –from the writings of St. Rose of Lima

Scripture: “In all circumstances give thanks, for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus.”  1Thessalonians 5:18

Reflection: Has there been a trying time in your life that God’s grace helped you get through?  Do you agree with St. Rose that grace flows to the afflicted and hurting?

The SIn of Partiality

The SIn of Partiality

August 28, 2019

In this Five Minutes with Tony podcast, Tony shares how we often are quick to judge people and show partiality to some and reject others. Often, we have our priorities backwards or out of order. The books of James guides us in our study of the sin of partiality.

Scripture: “My brothers, show no partiality as you adhere to the faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ. For if a man with gold rings on his fingers and in fine clothes comes into your assembly, and a poor person in shabby clothes also comes in, and you pay attention to the one wearing the fine clothes and say, “Sit here, please,” while you say to the poor one, “Stand there,” or “Sit at my feet,” have you not made distinctions among yourselves and become judges with evil designs? Listen, my beloved brothers. Did not God choose those who are poor in the world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom that he promised to those who love him?But you dishonored the poor person. Are not the rich oppressing you? And do they themselves not haul you off to court?” James 2:1-6

“But if you show partiality, you commit sin, and are convicted by the law as transgressors.” James 2:9

Reflection: Have you ever been guilty of the sin of partiality? Why do we judge people in our lives as being worthy or not worthy of our love and respect?

Authentic People

Authentic People

August 21, 2019

We all know authentic people, we are attracted to them. They exude kindness and compassion, they don’t judge, they are trustworthy, passionate, helpful and genuine. In this podcast Tony discusses Authentic People.

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

“Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us exercise them: if prophecy, in proportion to the faith; if ministry, in ministering; if one is a teacher, in teaching.” –Romans 12:6-7

“But the LORD said to Samuel: Do not judge from his appearance or from his lofty stature, because I have rejected him. God does not see as a mortal, who sees the appearance. The LORD looks into the heart.” — 1 Samuel 16:7

Reflections: Who is the most authentic person you know? Do you find that people often try to be someone they aren’t? How about you?

The Power of Yes

The Power of Yes

August 14, 2019

“Yes” is a word with tremendous power. It can unlock amazing opportunities, open doors, and lead us to a richer, fuller and more vibrant life. In this podcast, Tony discusses the Power of Yes.

Scripture: “Mary said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.” Then the angel departed from her.” –Luke 1:38

Such was his intention when, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary your wife into your home. For it is through the holy Spirit that this child has been conceived in her. –Matthew 1:20

Quote: “Let us look at her, and let us look to her, in order to be more humble, and even more courageous in following the Word of God, to receive the tender embrace of her son Jesus, an embrace that gives us life, hope, and peace.” -Pope Francis

Reflections: Have you said yes to Jesus? How did Mary and Joseph’s yes make you examine your own commitment? How do you say yes every day to Our Lord?

It’s All About Commitment

It’s All About Commitment

August 7, 2019

I am a fan of committed marriages. Whenever I hear of a couple celebrating 50 or 40 or even 25 years together it makes me smile. In this podcast, Tony discusses commitment in marriage and offers 6 things you can do to have a deeper understanding of commitment.

Quote: “God created marriage. No government subcommittee envisioned it. No social organization developed it. Marriage was conceived and born in the mind of God.” — Max Lucado

Quote: “As God by creation made two of one, so again by marriage He made one of two.” — Thomas Adam

Reflection: Do I have a “do what it takes to make this relationship work” commitment with my spouse? What are the thing I am doing to strengthen my marriage? Do you feel that a Christ-Centered relationship give you an commitment advantage?

In The Blink of an Eye

In The Blink of an Eye

July 31, 2019

Time flies is an expression we hear all the time. And it’s true. In this podcast, Tony discusses how time flies and how we need to understand that in the blink of an eye things can change. He offers several suggestions. too.

Scripture: To your eyes a thousand years are like yesterday, come and gone, or like a watch in the night. You sweep them away like a dream, like grass which is fresh in the morning. In the morning it sprouts and is fresh; by evening it withers and fades. Psalm 90 4:6 (Grail Version)

“Let your life be free from love of money but be content with what you have, for he has said, I will never forsake you or abandon you.” Hebrews 13:5

Quote: In the blink of an eye, something happens by chance, when you least expect it, sets you on a course that you never planned, into a future you never imagined. –Nicholas Sparks

“Life is a preparation for the future; and the best preparation for the future is to live as if there were none.” — Albert Einstein

“Happiness, not in another place but this place…not for another hour, but this hour.” –Walt Whitman

“Life can change in the blink of an eye. All you have is right now. So don’t ever put off telling someone how you feel about them, don’t assume that they know, because they might not and it might be too late.” ― Alexandra Potter

Reflection: Have you blinked you eyes and a year has goon by or even a decade? What can we do to savor the time we have together? Do you try to live in the moment? How difficult do you find it?

The Crosses We Bear

The Crosses We Bear

July 24, 2019

“Please don’t shake my hand too hard,” one of the prisoners whispered, as I reached out my hand to greet him. “I have cancer.” As we took our seats, with Theresa, George and me facing them, I asked, “tell me about your cancer?” In this podcast Tony discusses the crosses we bear.

Scripture: God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it. [1 Co 10:13]

Reflections: Which of the three crosses would you choose? Or, would you rather keep the one you’ve got now? Are there those whos crosses would be too hard for you to handle?

One Nation, Under God

One Nation, Under God

July 17, 2019

Let’s face it, the Christian monopoly on politics, world views, government and society is over or at least on life support. Our country is no longer rooted in Christendom. We are moving quickly toward national secularism where the Judeo-Christian ethic and especially Christianity has become a personal hobby. In this podcast Tony discusses the end of Christendom.

Quote: “The world in which we live is the battleground of the Church. I believe that we are now living at the end of Christendom. It is the end of Christendom, but not the end of Christianity. What is Christendom? Christendom is the political, economic, moral, social, legal life of a nation as inspired by the gospel ethic. That is finished. Abortion, the breakdown of family life, dishonesty, even the natural virtues upon which the supernatural virtues were based, are being discredited. Christianity is not at the end. But we are at the end of Christendom. And I believe that the sooner we wake up to this fact, the sooner we will be able to solve many of our problems.” —Venerable Fulton J. Sheen

Remind them to be under the control of magistrates and authorities, to be obedient, to be open to every good enterprise. They are to slander no one, to be peaceable, considerate, exercising all graciousness toward everyone. For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, deluded, slaves to various desires and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful ourselves and hating one another. But when the kindness and generous love of God our savior appeared, not because of any righteous deeds we had done but because of his mercy, he saved us through the bath of rebirth and renewal by the holy Spirit, whom he richly poured out on us through Jesus Christ our savior, so that we might be justified by his grace and become heirs in hope of eternal life. This saying is trustworthy. I want you to insist on these points, that those who have believed in God be careful to devote themselves to good works; these are excellent and beneficial to others. –Titus 3: 1-8

Reflections: What are your thoughts about Christians being exiles in our own country? Do you see the increase in secular humanism and how it is affecting everything? How do we live in this new reality?

Church, My Mom Made Me Go

Church, My Mom Made Me Go

July 17, 2019

Faith was the center of my mother’s life. Everything revolved around the church; mass, confession, holy days, and Christmas and Easter. My mom was also a stickler for attending mass and confession. As a kid, I never got away without attending Sunday mass and every week, it was confession on Saturday mornings. It wasn’t really my choice, my mom MADE me go! In this podcast, Tony discusses the positive influence his mother had on his faith.

Scripture: Hear, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord alone! Therefore, you shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength. Take to heart these words which I enjoin on you today. Drill them into your children. Speak of them at home and abroad, whether you are busy or at rest. Deuteronomy 6:4-7

Reflection: How do you share the faith with your children? Do you think that your faithfulness has rubbed off on your children? How important is passing along your faith to your kids?

Persistence in Prayer

Persistence in Prayer

July 10, 2019

Do you ever feel like your prayers are never answered? Do you wonder if God actually hears your prayers? If God knows my needs, then why do I need to pray more than once or at all for that matter? Wouldn’t He just know and answer them? In this podcast, Tony discusses persistence in prayer.

Scripture: “Then, he told them a parable about the necessity for them to pray always without becoming weary. He said, “There was a judge in a certain town who neither feared God nor respected any human being. And a widow in that town used to come to him and say, ‘Render a just decision Persistence in Prayer for me against my adversary.’ For a long time the judge was unwilling, but eventually he thought, ‘While it is true that I neither fear God nor respect any human being, because this widow keeps bothering me I shall deliver a just decision for her lest she finally come and strike me.’” The Lord said, “Pay attention to what the dishonest judge says. Will not God then secure the rights of his chosen ones who call out to him day and night? Will he be slow to answer them? I tell you, he will see to it that justice is done for them speedily. But when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?” –Luke 18:1-8

Therefore, my beloved brothers, be firm, steadfast, always fully devoted to the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain. –1Corinthians 15:58

Reflections: Do you feel your prayers go unanswered? Does God really hear my prayers? What can I do to be more persistent in my prayer life?

Walk the Talk

Walk the Talk

July 3, 2019

“Put feet under your faith.” I hadn’t heard that phrase since the late 1970’s. It’s a phrase that we used when we discussed putting our faith in action, to reach out to those less fortunate and offer a helping hand. In this podcast Tony asks, “You can talk the talk, can you walk the talk?”

Scripture: For, I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me, naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me. Then the righteous will answer him and say, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? When did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? When did we see you ill or in prison, and visit you?’ And the king will say to them in reply, ‘Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.’ —Matthew 25:35-40

“For the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many.” — Mark 10:45

“As each one has received a gift, use it to serve one another as good stewards of God’s varied grace. –1 Peter 4:10

Quote: “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” –Mahatma Gandhi

Reflection: How are you walking your talk? Are you putting you faith into action? What can you do to put your talents to work for the betterment of others?

Who Are You?

Who Are You?

June 26, 2019

Have you ever asked yourself the question, “Who am I?” What are the things that most define my personal identity? What are my talents, passions, and strengths? In this podcast, Tony discusses who you really are.

Scripture: But you are “a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people of his own, so that you may announce the praises” of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. –1 Peter 2:9

For we are his handiwork, created in Christ Jesus for the good works that God has prepared in advance, that we should live in them. –Ephesians 2:10

Exercise: Here is an exercise to try.

1. Make a list of all the things that define you both externally and internally.

2. Eliminate anything that is negative from your list.

3. Scratch off the list those external things that might change in the future.

4. Look at what is left and ask the question, “What remains on my list that really defines me?”

Reflection: Have you tried Tony’s idea on discovering the real you? Do you like hat person better than the one you portray? What can you do to live the person you really are?

On Father’s Day

On Father’s Day

June 19, 2019

Father’s Day; it is the one day each year that we honor fathers, a day to tell dad just how much he means to us. But, it is a shame that over 24 million kids, one in three children, growing up in the United States today, have no father present in the household to honor. In this podcast, Tony discusses the Father crisis in America.

Quote: People “look at a child in need, in poverty or failing in school, and ask, ‘What can we do to help?’ But what we do is ask, ‘Why does that child need help in the first place?’ And the answer is often it’s because [the child lacks] a responsible and involved father.” –Vincent DeCaro

Tony’s Prayer: Heavenly Father,

…Help me to become a better father.

…Make the way I treat their mother be a model for their future relationships.

…May I find quality time to spend with my children and understand that “any time” is better than waiting for the “right time.”

…May I nurture and guide my children, passing along my faith by making God, church, and service to others, a priority.

…Lord, give me the ability to provide for my wife and children and protect them for any harm.

…And, may my kids look at me as a shining example of God’s love, that one day they will say, “I want to be just like dad!”

Amen.

Reflections: How do your kids view your relationship with their mother? What do you think of Tony’s comment that kids spell father T-I-M-E? Do you view yourself as a role model?

 

What Defines Character

What Defines Character

June 12, 2019

The dictionary defines character as the mental and moral qualities distinctive to an individual. It’s our defining presence, honed by our actions, integrity, honesty, and the choices we make. Our character is one of the few things in life that can’t be taken away from us. In this podcast Tony discusses Character.

Scripture: “You are the salt of the earth. But if salt loses its taste, with what can it be seasoned? It is no longer good for anything but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot. You are the light of the world. A city set on a mountain cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and then put it under a bushel basket; it is set on a lampstand, where it gives light to all in the house. Just so, your light must shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly Father. –Matthew 5:13-16

Be diligent in these matters, be absorbed in them, so that your progress may be evident to everyone. –1 Timothy 4:15

“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”