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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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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?

Old Wineskins

Old Wineskins

November 6, 2019

There is a saying I have been using in business for over 40 years, “You can only coast in one direction.” So often, as I talked with new clients they would say, “if only we could keep the status quo, things would be great.” The problem with the keeping everything the same is that things are always changing. In this podcast, Tony discusses Old Wineskins.

Scripture: “Likewise, no one pours new wine into old wineskins. Otherwise, the new wine will burst the skins, and it will be spilled, and the skins will be ruined. Rather, new wine must be poured into fresh wineskins. [And] no one who has been drinking old wine desires new, for he says, ‘The old is good.’” –Luke 5:37-39

Reflections: Are you guilty of clinging to the old and familiar?  How can we reflect on younger Catholics and find ways to communicate with them in a way that makes our faith attractive?  Are you guilty of the saying, “if we could only keep things the way they were?

Humility, The Lost Virtue

Humility, The Lost Virtue

October 30, 2019

What ever happened to humility?  Once valued in our culture, humility just isn’t practiced at all.  Instead, we have a self-centered, chest-thumping, braggadocios, pat yourself on the back generation with an exaggerated self-importance.  In this podcast, Tony discusses humility.

Scripture: “Humility is not thinking less of yourself, it is thinking of yourself less.”  –C.S. Lewis

“Let another praise you, not your own mouth; a stranger, not your own lips.”  –Proverbs 27:2

“Do nothing out of selfishness or out of vainglory; rather, humbly regard others as more important than yourselves.”  –Philippians 2:3

Reflections: When you have the opportunity, are you humble?  Do you give credit to associated when you accomplish a goal?  How can we be more humble?

The Opposite of Ego is Love

The Opposite of Ego is Love

October 23, 2019

We all have two voices playing in our consciousness, our ego and our sacred self. Sometimes, who we think we are and who we really are don’t match. And, the bigger the gap between the two, the bigger our ego becomes. Our physical self (ego) gets in the way of our sacred self.  In this podcast Tony discusses ego.

Scripture: “I have been crucified with Christ. I live, no longer I, but Christ lives in me; insofar as I now live in the flesh, I live by faith in the Son of God who has loved me and given himself up for me.”  Galatians 2:20

“Then he said to all, “If anyone wishes to come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it.” Luke 9:23-24

Reflections: Do you ever let your ego get in the way of your happiness?  Do you think that arguments and misunderstandings are caused by ego?  What do you do to empty yourself of ego?

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?