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Simply Holy 027: What is a Lay Dominican? A Chat with author and Lay Dominican, Justin Vanlee McClain

Simply Holy 027: What is a Lay Dominican? A Chat with author and Lay Dominican, Justin Vanlee McClain

June 24, 2020

This is the third episode in the Simply Holy series, “Springtime in the Church,” which explores the unique  and often little-known ways in which lay persons serve the Church through Third Orders, Oblates, Secular Institutes, Prelatures, Associations of the Christian Faithful, Ecclesial Movements, New Communities, Apostolates, and the like. St. John Paul II referred to these men and women as the “Springtime in the Church.” Marge chats with author and blogger Justin Vanlee McClain about his joy in living the life of a Lay Dominican. A husband, father of four (with one on the way), High School Theology and Spanish teacher, Justin tells how his Catholic faith is complemented and his life enriched by his Dominican spirituality.

Simply Holy 026: What is a Secular Franciscan? A Chat with Michael Groark, OFS

Simply Holy 026: What is a Secular Franciscan? A Chat with Michael Groark, OFS

June 17, 2020

How can someone be a member of the Order of St. Francis and a lay person at the same time? What is being a Secular Franciscan all about? Michael Groark is a once-lapsed Catholic who wandered into Lutheranism and was called by God back to Catholicism and into the Secular Franciscan Order along with his wife, Anna Marie. Michael shares his own story and the story of his entire family’s conversion to Catholicism, including the path of his son from drug addiction to the Capuchin Franciscan priesthood.  He explains the spirituality of St. Francis and the lifestyle he and his wife lead as contemplatives in the world. “A Secular Franciscan,” he said, “is a lay person who has studied the life and spirituality of St. Francis and makes promises to follow the Rule of the Secular Franciscan Order.” Learn about what those promises include and the joy it brings to those who follow them.

Simply Holy 025: What is a Benedictine Oblate? A Chat with Margaret Rose Realy Obl. OSB

Simply Holy 025: What is a Benedictine Oblate? A Chat with Margaret Rose Realy Obl. OSB

June 10, 2020

This is the first of a series titled “Springtime of the Church,” which showcases the many and often little-known ways in which lay persons serve the Church through Third Orders, Oblates, Secular Institutes, Prelatures, Associations of the Christian Faithful, Ecclesial Movements, New Communities, Apostolates, and the like. St. John Paul II referred to these men and women as the “Springtime of the Church.” … Their presence is encouraging because it shows that this springtime is advancing and revealing the freshness of the Christian experience based on personal encounter with Christ,” he said in his message to participants of the 1st World Congress of Ecclesial Movements and New Communities in 1998. This week, Marge chats with author and artist Margaret Rose Realy, Obl. OSB about her calling as a Benedictine Oblate.

Simply Holy 024: Morning Coffee Edition

Simply Holy 024: Morning Coffee Edition

June 3, 2020

Have you ever had your prayer completely derailed by God? Don’t let it perturb you! Instead, relax and welcome it as a gift from God. Listen to Marge’s lively recount of derailed prayer and learn about guarding against unprincipled forces in this world and the source of our stability as Christians.

Simply Holy 023: Maintaining a Peaceful Presence in Turbulent Times

Simply Holy 023: Maintaining a Peaceful Presence in Turbulent Times

May 29, 2020

The George Floyd arrest controversy has thrown our country into turbulence with burning, looting, and the spread of hate speech. Regardless of the facts of the case, we as Christians are called to be a peaceful presence in these turbulent times. We can learn much from St. Paul’s Letter to the Romans in which he encourages them to cast aside their differences, ask God to fill them with joy and peace, and abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Whether it’s the current situation or another, we need to be a peaceful presence for ourselves and others. Here’s how.

Simply Holy 022: Ascension to Pentecost: Preparing to Be a Witness to Christ in the Newer Normal

Simply Holy 022: Ascension to Pentecost: Preparing to Be a Witness to Christ in the Newer Normal

May 20, 2020

The Apostles and women – including Mary – gathered and prayed in the Upper Room for nine days from Ascension to Pentecost. They were awaiting the coming of the Holy Spirit and preparing themselves to go out into the world to be a witness to Christ. That’s not unlike the time we’re in right now, as we prepare to move from the “new normal” of lockdowns, shutdowns, and fear into the “newer normal” of going out into the world, picking up the pieces of a life that’s dramatically changed, and returning to the Sacraments. We must prepare to be witnesses to Christ and for that we need the Holy Spirit!

Simply Holy 021: Joy is a Decision: How to Decide to be Joyful

Simply Holy 021: Joy is a Decision: How to Decide to be Joyful

May 13, 2020

Being joyful doesn’t just happen. It’s a decision we make regardless of how tough things might be right now. Here’s how to change your attitude, refocus, and become a joyful person with God’s grace.

Simply Holy 020: COVID-19: Three Things to Remember During Holy Week

Simply Holy 020: COVID-19: Three Things to Remember During Holy Week

April 6, 2020

This is a strange Holy Week. It’s strange not in the sense of the peculiar, but strange in the sense of the unfamiliar. For the first time in memory, there will be no Holy Week services in our churches. It will be strange and it will feel strange. But the strangeness need not ruin the meaningfulness of the holy time that is upon us. It's how you deal with the strangeness that counts. Here are three things to remember during this Holy Week: the fact of the Passion, Crucifixion and Resurrection; the power of God; and our reason for JOY.

Simply Holy 019: COVID-19 and Evangelization

Simply Holy 019: COVID-19 and Evangelization

March 28, 2020

This is an amazing time for the entire world. Even amid the hardship of the COVID-19 pandemic, despite the illness, isolation, and fear, we have much for which we can be grateful. In this present time, we have access to technology that didn’t exist in previous eras, and we have the ability to use that technology to reach out to others. If we take these small opportunities and truly be Christian in all of our interactions, we can do a great deal of good and lift the hearts of many, many people without even going out of our way. Our world is suffering, and we can help to abate that suffering with godly words and gestures. This is an amazing time for the entire world and COVID-19 could be our best chance ever to evangelize.

Simply Holy 018: Looking Within and Doing Without: COVID-19 and Living in the Spirit of Poverty

Simply Holy 018: Looking Within and Doing Without: COVID-19 and Living in the Spirit of Poverty

March 19, 2020

Who would have thought a few weeks ago that we’d be facing the reality of empty store shelves? Or the suspension of holy Mass and the other Sacraments? Or the isolation of quarantine and social distancing? COVID-19 has caused many inconveniences in our daily lives to say the least. This is the opportune time for a major attitude adjustment toward both material and spiritual things. It’s the perfect time to re-assess our real needs vs. perceived needs and enhance our relationship with God. In this episode, Marge offers practical ways to not just survive through these times, but to thrive through them.

Simply Holy 017: Three Things to Remember about Coronavirus (A Blessing in Disguise)

Simply Holy 017: Three Things to Remember about Coronavirus (A Blessing in Disguise)

March 12, 2020

Coronavirus has now been classified as a pandemic, but it shouldn’t become a panic-demic. The evil one wants us to panic so that we doubt God’s power and goodness and lose hope. Here are three important and helpful things to remember about coronavirus laid out in simple, practical terms that will lead you to greater holiness and trust in God. This show includes ways to filter the media hype and reduce isolation from quarantines, cancellations, and imposed virtual classrooms and offices. It also discusses the changes in our Church due to coronavirus and the dire need to keep holy water in our homes. This podcast will lead you to see that the coronavirus pandemic can be a blessing in disguise, spiritually speaking.

Simply Holy 016: Do You Suffer Chronic Inflammation of the Soul?

Simply Holy 016: Do You Suffer Chronic Inflammation of the Soul?

March 5, 2020

Chronic inflammation of the body causes pain, disease, and damage to joints, tissues, and even internal organs. It slows us down and diminishes life. It’s aggravated by consuming foods, beverages, and other substances that aren’t good for us and that our immune systems recognize as enemies. Did you know that we can suffer chronic inflammation of the soul as well? It’s aggravated by consuming things from the world around us that aren’t good for us. Chronic inflammation of the soul causes pain, sorrow, damage to our consciences, and diminishes our spiritual life. Find out St. Paul’s prescription for curing chronic inflammation of the soul in this episode.

Simply Holy 015: Lenten Journey: Spiritual Poverty and the Reordering of Attachments

Simply Holy 015: Lenten Journey: Spiritual Poverty and the Reordering of Attachments

February 25, 2020

Jesus said, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” But he was talking about far more than whether we own anything of material value. He was talking about embracing humility, meekness, and love and a right attitude toward the world around us. This is the essence of spiritual poverty and the basis for a fruitful, blessed Lenten journey. Learn how to re-order your attachments in imitation of Christ.

Simply Holy 014: Discovering Your Stumbling Blocks to Holiness

Simply Holy 014: Discovering Your Stumbling Blocks to Holiness

February 6, 2020

What makes one person stumble on the path to holiness may not be a stumbling block for another person. Your stumbling blocks to holiness are unique to you and can lead you closer to Christ and his Mother when you approach them in the right way. How do you discover your stumbling blocks? How do you deal with them? These are important questions to ask – especially now, as Lent nears – and Marge has the answers. A simple, practical guide to preparing for Lent and growing in holiness.

Simply Holy 013: Dealing with Difficult People and Situations (Dedicated to Dad)

Simply Holy 013: Dealing with Difficult People and Situations (Dedicated to Dad)

January 29, 2020

Sometimes what you think are the dumbest things your parents ever did turn out to be the most profound and useful life lessons. Marge dedicates this episode to her dad and describes a vital life lesson she learned from him about dealing with difficult people and situations.

Simply Holy 012: Coming Down the Home Stretch of Advent with the O Antiphons

Simply Holy 012: Coming Down the Home Stretch of Advent with the O Antiphons

December 16, 2019

Feeling like you blew Advent this year? Christmas is coming closer – fast – and you’re feeling like your Advent striving has fizzled. Don’t despair! True, we’re coming down the home stretch of Advent, but there’s much you can do to make the most of it even if you’ve hardly done anything spiritually fulfilling these past weeks. Marge describes the beautiful ancient verses known as the “O Antiphons” and explains how they can help you make the absolute most of this home stretch to Christmas.

Simply Holy 011: Have You Heard the Voice of Jesus?

Simply Holy 011: Have You Heard the Voice of Jesus?

November 19, 2019

Some people have had the great gift of hearing Jesus’ voice in their hearts during a special moment. Others struggle to hear him. The fact is Jesus is always talking to you. The question isn’t whether he talks to you but rather how and when. In order to hear his voice, you must be truly listening for what he has to say. Oftentimes, people miss hearing Jesus because they’re trying to make him speak in the way that they want to hear him. Sometimes Jesus does speak to us directly, but at other times it’s subtle and through the people and happenings around us. Marge describes her own desperate yearning to hear the voice of Jesus and the amazing way in which he finally did speak. Finally, she talks about the role of prayer, practice, and persistence in hearing the voice of Jesus as Mary did.

Simply Holy 010: Coping with Isolation

Simply Holy 010: Coping with Isolation

November 12, 2019

We all experience isolation at times in our lives. Whether it’s physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual, isolation can be hard to cope with and can lead to other problems if left unchecked. Many biblical figures experienced isolation from Abraham, Moses, Job, and Jeremiah to Mary, the Holy Family and even Jesus himself. What can they teach us about coping with isolation? Learn more as Marge examines the kinds and causes of isolation and gives practical steps to cope with it.

Simply Holy 009: Who Is Lord of Your Disquiet?

Simply Holy 009: Who Is Lord of Your Disquiet?

October 31, 2019

Our tendency is to rebel when God asks something of us that is contrary to our plans. It could be a heavy cross we don’t feel we’re strong enough to bear, a sacrifice that we think is just too big to make, or loss of control in our own lives or in the life of someone who is important to us. This inner rebellion can sometimes take the form of conflict, confusion, grief, helplessness, or even hopelessness and it causes disquiet within us as we struggle to grapple with God’s will. Perhaps there’s something you’re struggling with right now. How do you make God the Lord of your disquiet? Marge examines the essence of disquiet, the example of St. Ignatius and our Mother Mary, and offers concrete steps for allowing God to be Lord of any disquiet you experience.

Simply Holy 008: Is It Wrong to Complain?

Simply Holy 008: Is It Wrong to Complain?

October 23, 2019

Complaining is usually seen as a negative thing – something for wimps, losers, doubters, and maybe even something sinful. But, is it? There is such a thing as Holy Complaining, and there are times when we have a right to complain as long as our complaining takes the form of honest, respectful communication with God. Learn the value of complaining and how to complain in a holy way by considering the story of Job, the art of holy complaining, and the Psalms of Lament and Complaint.