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“Hi-yo, Silver! Away!”

“Hi-yo, Silver! Away!”

May 20, 2020

In this podcast Tony reminisces about the super heroes of yesteryear and how they remained humble and grateful to do God’s work. We explore what has changed today.

Scripture:
“[But] take care not to perform righteous deeds in order that people may see them;otherwise, you will have no recompense from your heavenly Father. When you give alms, do not blow a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets to win the praise of others. Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right is doing, so that your almsgiving may be secret. And your Father who sees in secret will repay you.  Matthew 6:1-4

Quotes:
Forget about applause, honors, or awards. Do great things simply because it’s the right thing to do! –Tony Agnesi

Reflection:
What can we learn from the code of conduct of the old 1950’s superheroes like The Lone Ranger?

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Blessed, I’m Blessed!

Blessed, I’m Blessed!

May 13, 2020

In this podcast, Tony remembers an old friend who when asked,  “Ace, how are you?”  Would always answer,” Blessed, I’m Blessed!”  Let’s look at our blessings.

Scripture:
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are they who mourn, for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the land.
Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness,for they will be satisfied.
Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the clean of heart, for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.
Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”   Matthew 5:3-10

Reflection:
If someone asked, “How are you?”  Would you answer blessed?  Do you feel blessed?  What do you think of my friend Ace’s answer?

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Evening in Paris

Evening in Paris

May 6, 2020

In this podcast, Tony talks about Mother’s Day and the gift he bought his mother every years, Evening in Paris perfume. Do you have a memory of something thoughtful that someone gave you. Maybe it’s your Evening in Paris!

Reflection: Do you have a found memory of your mother on this mother’s day? When you remember your mom, what is the one thing that sticks out above all the rest?

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To Have a Father

To Have a Father

April 29, 2020

In this Podcast, Tony relates a story of a young man going to prison for 25 years. How passing judgement on this young man proved to be an eye-opening experience for Tony. Let’s not be so quick to judge. We never know the circumstances that get someone to a particular point in their lives.

Reflection: As you listened to the story, did you pass judgement on this young man? Once you understood the circumstances, did it change the way you will approach judgement in the future?

Scripture: We have become orphans, fatherless; widowed are our mothers.  Lam 5:3

Note: *Dr. Ray Guarendi is the father of 10, clinical psychologist, author, public speaker and nationally syndicated radio host. His radio show― “The Doctor Is In” can be heard on EWTN.

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What Do We Gain From Prayer?

What Do We Gain From Prayer?

April 22, 2020

An unattributed quote about the benefits of prayer has been making its way across the internet via social media the past few weeks. Reading it, I was moved to reflect on the question, “What do we gain from prayer?   In this podcast, Tony asks the question, “What do we really gain from praying?”

Quote: Once a man was asked, “what did you gain by regularly praying to God?” The man replied, “Nothing…but let me tell you what I lost: anger, ego, greed, depression, insecurity, and fear of death.” Sometimes the answer to our prayers is not gaining but losing; which ultimately is the gain. –Anonymous

Scripture: Amen, amen, I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in my name he will give you. –John 16:23

But if any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God who gives to all generously and ungrudgingly, and he will be given it. –James 1:5

Again, [amen,] I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything for which they are to pray, it shall be granted to them by my heavenly Father. –Matthew 18:19

Reflections: Do you ever ask Jesus for help with your problems?  What do you do when you realize you can’t handle a situation on your own?  Do you have an example of how God met your needs through prayer?

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The Power of Hope

The Power of Hope

April 15, 2020

Faith, Hope and Love are the three theological virtues by which we participate in the divine nature of God. But hope is the least understood of these virtues. Hope is often confused with optimism, of an attitude that things will turn out for the best. Hope is not the result of positive thinking, expecting a good outcome, or denying the reality of a situation. In this podcast, Tony discusses hope.

Catechism: Into everyone’s heart, God has placed a search for happiness. Hope responds to this desire. It sustains man, frees him from discouragement, preserves him from selfishness, and leads to happiness on earth and in heaven. –CCC 1818

Scripture: “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” –Romans 15:13

For I know well the plans I have in mind for you—oracle of the LORD—plans for your welfare and not for woe, so as to give you a future of hope. When you call me, and come and pray to me, I will listen to you. Jeremiah 29:11-12

Quote: “We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.” –Martin Luther King, Jr.

Reflections: Do you understand the difference between optimism and hope? How do we stay positive and still hope for God’s will?  What does it mean to have our hope in God’s promise?

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Leave It at the Altar

Leave It at the Altar

April 8, 2020

Today, as many of us get ready to go off to Easter mass we are heavily burdened. Easter, the most joyous day of the year, seems to be tainted by the burdens we are carrying. In this podcast, Tony discusses leaving your problems at the altar this Easter Sunday.

Scripture: Have no anxiety at all, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God. Then the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7

“Cast your care upon the LORD, who will give you support. He will never allow the righteous to stumble.” –Psalm 55

“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”   2 Timothy 1:7

Reflections: What burdens are you laying at the altar this Easter Sunday? Do you place your burdens in God’s loving care? How can we use Tony’s thoughts to have a happier Easter?

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Enter Into My Rest

Enter Into My Rest

April 1, 2020

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?

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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?

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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?

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