Have you wondered what some of the key themes are for Pope Francis? Well he is certainly interested in the needs of the poor, and we know that he has some very specific ideas about economics and the need to pursue peace in the midst of political conflicts. However, if there is one consistent theme that Pope Francis has continued to focus on, it is the Mercy of God. In this particular conversation, Mark and Frances explore Carmelite perspectives on Mercy, largely through the writings of St Therese of Lisieux and also Pope France’s new book, entitled “The Church of Mercy.” Pope Francis himself stresses that we must remember that beyond the simple reality of God’s omnipotence, omnipresence and transcendence, God should first and foremost be known for His Mercy. Mercy is understood as compassion, kindness and forgiveness, and despite our too often view of God as judgmental, He greatest attribute is Mercy.
Christine Watkins continues her interview with popular speaker, author, and Biblical scholar, Fr. Jim Sullivan regarding aspects of how “Bible Christianity” is Catholic Christianity. The early Church, as it develops in the Bible, is actually very Catholic, explains Fr. Sullivan.
In this particular program Mark and Frances discuss the simply yet remarkable life of a Secular Carmelite from Spain named Josefa Naval Girbes who lived from 1820 – 1893. Blessed Josefa lived a perfectly simple life, opening her home as a school for embroidery. She used the quiet hours of labor to instruct her young female students about the Catholic faith. She was well known for instructing her girls that their primary mission in life should be to “sanctify yourself and sanctify others.” Despite her remarkable simplicity, she had a very disciplined approach to her pursuit of holiness, and is also remembered for her rather direct counsel to “Reach holiness, no matter what the Cost.” This simple woman, who chose to live in the world, perfectly fulfilled God’s will by living a life of holiness, but also by bearing remarkable fruit in helping so many others to pursue a life in Union with God.
We live in a moment of history where our society is facing a crisis of faith, where according to Pope Benedict XVI, “God is disappearing from the human horizon… with increasingly evident destructive effects” (Letter of March 10, 2009). Catholics are falling away. Youth in particular are questioning their faith. Newspaper headlines attack core Christian beliefs.
During this Year of Faith, it’s time to get equipped with Reasons to Believe so that you can share the truth of the Catholic faith in a charitable and convincing manner. You will learn…
– Arguments for God’s existence from philosophy, human experience and modern day miracles.
– How to respond to common objections from relativism, atheism and non-Christian religions.
– How to reconcile the Biblical account of Creation with modern discoveries of science such as the Big Bang and evolutionary biology.
– How to defend the reliability of Scripture, the Resurrection of Jesus, and the extraordinary claims of Christ to be Messiah and Son of God.
Tune in each week and get “prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that is in you” (1 Pet 3:15).
This week on “Give God Permission” we respond to the question, “Will God’s Plan Make Me Happy?” We reflect on how choosing our own plan apart from God brings unnecessary suffering to ourselves and others, and ultimately makes us miserable. The good news is that it’s never too late to turn back to the Lord and embrace His awesome plan. Nancy, our invited guest, shares the story of how she discovered her beautiful vocation as wife and mother only after many unhappy years of running from the Lord and seeking her own plan. She describes her experience of God’s mercy after the trauma of abortion led her to become a sidewalk counselor at a local abortion facility. Nancy explains that the key to her conversion was a life-changing, personal encounter with Jesus Christ, her Lord and Savior. She bears witness to the truth that cultivating an ongoing, intimate relationship with Him through prayer and the sacraments is of utmost importance. Join us next week as we respond to a question we might find rising up in our own hears: “What About My Plan?” And spread the word! Invite your friends to join “Give God Permission” through word of mouth and the social media!
Fr. Johann Roten, S.M. speaks about Mary and the Trinity in this second program of a two part series.