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  • “Kresta in the Afternoon”— September 12, 2014— Hour 2

    “Kresta in the Afternoon”— September 12, 2014— Hour 2

    + Segment #1 of 3

    Desire of the Everlasting Hills

    • Description: This film provides intimate and candid portraits of three Catholics trying to navigate the waters of self-understanding, faith, and homosexuality. It takes humility and courage to face certain questions about our lives. One such question is, “How do I know if I am designing my life well? By what standard can I come to a conclusion?” This question is closely linked with another, “What is the purpose of my life? What does it mean to be fulfilled and at peace?” And these are the central questions around which the film turns. One of the people featured in the film is Dan Mattson, a gregarious artist who spent his life hiding a deep sense of isolation from those who loved him. Dan joins us.
    • Segment Guests:

    + Segment #2 of 3

    Desire of the Everlasting Hills (continued)

    • Segment Guests:

    + Segment #3 of 3

    Kresta Comments: Breaking Down Obama's ISIS Speech (part 2)

  • Five Simple Ways Catholics can Make a Difference

    via the Integrated Catholic Life

    by Randy Hain

    randy hain“Think about the possibilities if we all made a sincere daily commitment, no matter how small, to make a positive difference in the lives of those around us.”

    Do we sometimes feel overwhelmed in the face of the relentless assault on the Church, our beliefs and our families by the media and modern culture? Is it difficult to stand up for what we believe? Do we ever feel like we can’t make a difference? Many Catholics I encounter are struggling through daily battles to live out their faith and protect their loved ones… all in the midst of very difficult economic climate. It would be easy to throw in the towel and give up or remain silent, but that is not an option for us. We are called to do more. We are called to be holy: “Therefore in the Church, everyone whether belonging to the hierarchy, or being cared for by it, is called to holiness, according to the saying of the Apostle: ‘For this is the will of God, your sanctification.’” (Lumen Gentium, Second Vatican Council, 39)

    Part of our challenge is getting past feeling overwhelmed. We are not able to tackle everything at once, so let’s make it simple and focus on what we can do. We need to work on ourselves and pursue lives of personal holiness. Our ultimate destination is Heaven and we need to live our lives on earth in a way that will help us get there. So, what can we do?

    First of all, we can’t stand on the sidelines and watch. We also must believe that one person can make a difference; consider the examples of Pope St. John Paul II, St. Therese of Lisieux, Blessed Teresa of Calcutta, St. Josemaria Escriva and St. Paul to name a few. Our brave acts, no matter how small or large, can have a profound influence on others if we are simply willing to make the effort.

    At times it seems we have lost our way and forgotten or ignored the teachings of the Church. Maybe we have forgotten to put our trust in God and rely on Him. “Finally, draw your strength from the Lord and from his mighty power. Put on the armor of God so that you may be able to stand firm against the tactics of the devil. For our struggle is not with flesh and blood but with the principalities, with the powers, with the world rulers of this present darkness, with the evil spirits in the heavens. Therefore, put on the armor of God, that you may be able to resist on the evil day and, having done everything, to hold your ground.” (Ephesians 6:10-13) I love the thought of putting on the “armor of God” as we fight the battles ahead!

    5 Simple Ways Catholics Can Make a Difference

    I am involved with a group of Catholic business leaders that meets every month. When we first started gathering in 2007, we had dreams of ?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????taking on the world and making a real difference through our Catholic faith! But we soon realized that we had much work to do in getting our spiritual lives in order. We understood after much prayer and reflection that we had to be humble and work on surrendering and conforming to Christ before we could make a positive difference in the lives of others. Here are five simple ways we have learned to make a difference in our lives and the lives of those around us:

    • Knowing what is necessary for spiritual growth. We will not grow in our faith without daily prayer. We have to make prayer time a priority and stop making excuses. “The first rule for prayer, the most important first step, is not about how to do it, but to just do it; not to perfect and complete it but to begin it. Once the car is moving, it’s easy to steer it in the right direction, but it’s much harder to start it up when it’s stalled. And prayer is stalled in our world.” – Peter Kreeft
    • Remember we are called to lead lives of holiness. As unpopular and out of step with our modern culture as this may be, we are all called to become saints. “The call to holiness is rooted in Baptism and proposed anew in the other Sacraments, principally in the Eucharist. Since Christians are reclothed in Christ Jesus and refreshed by his Spirit, they are ‘holy.’ They therefore have the ability to manifest this holiness and the responsibility to bear witness to it in all that they do. The apostle Paul never tires of admonishing all Christians to live ‘as is fitting among saints’ (Ephesians 5:3).”
    • Live as a Catholic; speak as a Catholic. We can’t be Cafeteria or Cultural Catholics. We are called to live authentic Catholic lives and be true to our beautiful faith. “To acknowledge God before men is to be a living witness to his life and to his words. We want to fulfill our daily tasks, to carry out everything we do, according to the doctrine of Jesus Christ, and we should be disposed to make our faith transparent in every one of family and professional obligations. Let us stop and think for a moment our work, of our colleagues, of our friendships: are we seen as people whose lives are totally consistent with our faith?”
    • We can’t serve God AND the world. We can’t have it both ways. There is no way to pursue a life of holiness and worry about chasing illusory pleasures and the things of this world that don’t matter. We can’t serve God and the world at the same time.
    • Be a light for Christ to others. One of the most profound ways to affect others is to radiate joy and let people see Christ at work in us. Our personal example can be the catalyst that helps lead someone into the Church. “Do everything without grumbling or questioning, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine like lights in the world, as you hold on to the word of life, so that my boast for the day of Christ may be that I did not run in vain or labor in vain.” (Philippians 2:14-16)

    Read More

  • “Kresta in the Afternoon”— September 12, 2014

    Talking about the Things that Matter Most on September 12

    4:00 – Kresta Comments: Breaking Down Obama’s ISIS Speech (part 2)

     

    4:20 – A Catechism for Business: Tough Ethical Questions and Insights from Catholic Teaching

     

    Many managers who believe themselves to be religious are all too willing to “check their religion at the door” of their workplaces. They may simply be ignorant of the implications of their faith for their business practices. Catholic teaching on business and economics has been described (with intentional irony) as the Church’s “best kept secret.” The Catholic Church has over the years developed extensive and detailed guidance for many areas of business. But this guidance is often buried within lengthy teaching documents that may not be easily accessible to the busy executive. Answers to specific moral questions may be tough to find. We talk to Andrew Abela who has assembled the relevant quotations from recent Catholic social teaching as responses to these questions.

    5:00 – Desire of the Everlasting Hills

     

    This film provides intimate and candid portraits of three Catholics trying to navigate the waters of self-understanding, faith, and homosexuality. It takes humility and courage to face certain questions about our lives. One such question is, “How do I know if I am designing my life well? By what standard can I come to a conclusion?” This question is closely linked with another, “What is the purpose of my life? What does it mean to be fulfilled and at peace?” And these are the central questions around which the film turns. One of the people featured in the film is Dan Mattson, a gregarious artist who spent his life hiding a deep sense of isolation from those who loved him. Dan joins us.

    5:40 – Kresta Comments: Kresta Comments: Breaking Down Obama’s ISIS Speech (part 2)

  • “When Will the Catholic Church Come into the 21st Century?”

    via Crisis Magazine

    by Stuart Squires

    stuart squires“When will the Catholic Church come into the twenty-first century?” As a Catholic theologian, I often hear this question posed by non-Catholics and Catholics alike. One of the most important questions facing the Church today, it implies a set of issues that are known to all: same-sex “marriage,” contraception, and divorce (to name only a few), which Pope Benedict XVI has called “the canon of issues.” Because the teachings of the Church on these issues are at odds with our modern secular culture, non-Catholics—and even many Catholics—are left scratching their heads and wonder why the Church doesn’t finally come to the same conclusions that are so obvious to the secular worldview. This confusion deserves serious attention. Although we could address each of the issues individually, I think it is much more helpful to discuss the underlying principles that determine why the secular society and the Church disagree.

    Assumptions of the Modern Secular Worldview
    Before we look at the Catholic Church’s theological principles that dictate why the Church does not change its teachings on the “canon of issues,” I think we first must review certain key assumptions of the secular worldview. Since the Enlightenment, western secular culture has assumed that we are progressing slowly toward a perfected humanity. With enough time, willpower, money, technological advancements, and scientific breakthroughs, humanity will be able to claw its way out of its barbaric past that is pockmarked by wars, poverty, disease, and social injustice. Over time, this narrative says, we will arrive at a just society. Despite criticisms from many Postmodernists who look at the twentieth century as proof of the failure of the idea of progress, most Americans still agree with this view. Jeffrey Sachs, for example, the Columbia University economist and author of The End of Poverty: Economic Possibilities for Our Time, believes extreme poverty can end by 2025, and this has been echoed by Bill Gates in his 2014 Gates Annual Letter where he said that “by 2035, there will be almost no poor countries left in the world.”

    The second assumption has to do with our modern culture’s understanding of secular laws. The idea that our secular laws are dictated by catholic 21stnatural law (which had been the standard belief for centuries) is largely dismissed today. Natural law, according to The Oxford Dictionary of World Religions, is the “intelligible and consistent order which exists independently of human opinion or construction, and that this order is a source of moral constraint and command for human beings.” In recent decades, the dependence of secular law on natural law has been replaced by the idea that there is no independent, objective moral order; moral and immoral are categories that are individually and culturally constructed.

    Putting these two assumptions together, the secular worldview believes that the progress of the human person over the centuries has led to changing cultural norms that then become codified in law. As cultural norms change, so, too, our laws do and must change. For example, our society has progressed over the centuries to come to understand that relationships between people of the same gender are acceptable and, therefore, our laws have been changed to allow homosexual marriage.

    Assumptions of the Catholic Worldview
    With this understanding of the secular assumptions about the world, we may turn to the Catholic Church. Long before the Enlightenment, Christianity had to address a similar claim to the one we saw above about the perfectibility of humanity. In the early fifth century, men like St. Augustine and St. Jerome fought a theological battle that has come to be known as the Pelagian Controversy. This fight addressed many important issues about the human person. Most importantly, because the Pelagians rejected the notion of the sinfulness of humanity, and embraced the notion that we have an unimpeded free will (because they rejected the idea of original sin just as Enlightenment thinkers would do centuries later), the Pelagians concluded that—if you really wanted it badly enough—you could arrive at a perfected state of sinlessness. This position was ultimately condemned by the Church because both the Pelagians and, later, the Enlightenment have an overly optimistic understanding of the human person.

    If the Church rejects the idea of inevitable progress towards perfection, what, then, can be said about the human condition? Are we just terrible sinners who cannot make any progress in this life at all? Are we left at the mercy of a capricious God who may, or may not, choose to save us from our misery? The Catholic Church makes two claims simultaneously that may, at first, seem contradictory: yes, we can change, and no, we cannot change.

    The Church believes that we, as individuals, can change. When many people in our age question the need to go to Mass on Sunday, the Church holds that all sacraments, but most importantly the Eucharist, can and do change our lives. Augustine’s Confessionsrecounts God’s response to his prayers, saying “’I [God] am the food [the Eucharist] of the fully grown; grow and you will feed on Me. And you will not change Me into you like the food your flesh eats, but you will be changed into Me.” This belief in the power of the Eucharist continues into our own time. Thomas Merton, the great twentieth-century Catholic mystic, said in his book The Living Bread that “the grace of the Eucharist is not confined to the moments of thanksgiving after Mass and communion, but reaches out into our whole day and into all the affairs of our life, in order to sanctify and transform them in Christ.” The Eucharist is not hocus pocus, and change does not happen overnight. But the Church believes at her core that the sacramental life, over time, leads us towards holiness.

    At the same time, the Church rejects the idea that societally we will ever arrive at a utopia. Jesus himself said that human ills will never be eradicated when he anticipated Sachs and Gates, saying that “you always will have the poor with you” (Mark 14:7). Pope Paul VI, in his 1971 encyclical Octogesima Adveniens, said that “the appeal to a utopia is often a convenient excuse for those who wish to escape from concrete tasks in order to take refuge in an imaginary world.” Although societally we may progress technologically, medically, and scientifically, and, individually, we may make progress through the sacraments, this progress will never translate into heaven on earth.

    Read More

  • “Kresta in the Afternoon”— September 11, 2014 — Hour 1

    “Kresta in the Afternoon”— September 11, 2014 — Hour 1

    + Segment #1 of 3

    Kresta Comments: Obama says the Islamic State is neither Islamic nor a state

    + Segment #2 of 3

    Waiting for Eli: A Father’s Journey from Fear to Faith

    • Description: Chad Judice’s son Eli was born with spina bifida, a dreaded birth defect that can cause paralysis and other complications. In his book “Waiting for Eli: A Father’s Journey from Fear to Faith,” Chad takes the reader on an emotional roller coaster ride, starting with the day he learned of his son’s condition. It is an inspiring story of faith, hope and the power of prayer. The book has a strong pro-life, pro-love message, and is made even more compelling by the author’s descriptions of little miracles along the way. Chad joins us.
    • Segment Guests:

    + Segment #3 of 3

    Waiting for Eli: A Father’s Journey from Fear to Faith

  • “Kresta in the Afternoon”— September 11, 2001— Hour 2

    “Kresta in the Afternoon”— September 11, 2001— Hour 2

    + Segment #1 of 3

    Kresta Comments: Obama says the Islamic State is neither Islamic nor a state

    + Segment #2 of 3

    Study Shows That ‘Hookup Culture’ Is a Myth. Is it?

    • Description: We have heard over and over again for the last few years that young adults don’t have time to invest in relationships and therefore are treating their romantic lives with reckless abandon and having sex with random strangers. But a new study published in the Journal of Sex Research says that he sexual practices of millennials aren’t that different from those of their parents. We talk about that study with Mark Regnerus, author of “Premarital Sex in America.”
    • Segment Guests:

    + Segment #3 of 3

    Study Shows That ‘Hookup Culture’ Is a Myth. Is it? (continued)

  • “Kresta in the Afternoon” —September 10, 2014— Hour 1

    “Kresta in the Afternoon” —September 10, 2014— Hour 1

    + Segment #1 of 3

    Israel, Hamas and Syria: The View as a Pilgrim

    • Description: The ongoing violence in Syria and Israel have left many pilgrims wondering if it is safe to travel there. Steve Ray, a renowned travel guide and historian of the Middle East, just returned from leading a pilgrimage to Israel. He is here with his expert insight and analysis.
    • Segment Guests:

    + Segment #2 of 3

    Ten Things to Remember if Pope Francis Upsets You

    • Description: It’s been just over a year since Pope Francis took office, and he has said and done things that have confused many traditional Catholics. When a headline screams that he stated that 2% of Catholic clergy are pedophiles, that he “promises to solve the celibacy problem” that he doesn’t want to convert Evangelicals or that he doesn’t judge a homosexual who “searches for the Lord and has goodwill” they experience confusion, anger, resentment, bewilderment and fear. Some have given up on Pope Francis. Others say he is “the false prophet” who will accompany the anti Christ in the end times. Others don’t like his dress sense, grumble about his media gaffes and some think they are all intentional and that he is a very shrewd Jesuit who wants to undermine the Catholic faith. The sensationalism doesn’t do any good. Fr. Dwight Longenecker joins us with ten things you should do if Pope Francis upsets you.
    • Segment Guests:
      • Fr Dwight Longenecker
        Raised as Evangelical, ordained Anglican priest, and was eventually ordained a Catholic priest. Author of “The Path to Rome-Modern Journeys to the Catholic Faith”. His Patheos blog is “Standing on My Head” Married w/ 4 kids. Hosts “More Christianity” Radio Show produced by Ave Maria Radio
      • Resources:

    + Segment #3 of 3

    Anglican Church Allows Women Bishops

  • “Kresta in the Afternoon “— September 10, 2014— Hour 2

    “Kresta in the Afternoon “— September 10, 2014— Hour 2

    + Segment #1 of 3

    Decision Point: A Confirmation Program from the Dynamic Catholic Institute

    • Description: For too long we have watched young people walk away from the faith. The tragedy is, most of them have never had the genius of Catholicism presented to them in a compelling way. So they have walked away, completely unaware of what they were turning their backs on. Decision Point is an entirely new way of teaching the Faith to young Catholics. It was developed because the old ways of teaching aren’t working. Matthew Kelly, founder of the Dynamic Catholic Institute, joins us to discuss the Decision Point program and his methods for teaching Catholic youth.
    • Segment Guests:
      • Matthew Kelly
        Matthew Kelly has dedicated his life to helping people and organizations become the-best-version-of-themselves®. Born in Sydney, Australia, he began speaking and writing in his late teens while he was attending business school. Since that time, more than four million people have attended his seminars and presentations in more than fifty countries. Matthew is also active as a Catholic speaker and author. Raised Catholic, he has been saddened by the lack of engagement among Catholics and founded The Dynamic Catholic Institute to research why Catholics engage or disengage and explore what it will take to establish vibrant Catholic communities in the 21st Century.
      • Resources:

    + Segment #2 of 3

    Ireland’s Mass Grave Hoax

    • Description: Over the past month, the public has been treated to a series of news stories alleging that Irish nuns threw almost 800 babies into a septic tank outside a home for “fallen women” and children in the 20th century. As it turns out, the “mass grave” story is a hoax. Catholic League President Bill Donohue discusses the hoax in “Ireland’s ‘Mass Grave’ Hysteria.” We talk with Bill about his article and the media frenzy that surrounded this event.
    • Segment Guests:
      • Bill Donohue
        William A. Donohue began his teaching career in the 1970s working at St. Lucy’s School in Spanish Harlem. In 1977, he took a position as a college professor teaching at La Roche College in Pittsburgh. In 1980, Bill was awarded his Ph.D. in sociology from New York University. Bill is the author of five books and many articles. His first book, The Politics of the American Civil Liberties Union, was published in 1985. His second book, The New Freedom: Individualism and Collectivism in the Social Lives of Americans, was written while Bill was a Bradley Resident Scholar at The Heritage Foundation; it appeared in 1990. Bill’s third book, Twilight of Liberty: The Legacy of the ACLU, was published in 1994; a new afterword to this book was published in 2001. His fourth book, Secular Sabotage: How Liberals are Destroying Religion and Culture in America, was published in 2009. Bill’s latest book, published by Image, a Random House imprint, is Why Catholicism Matters: How Catholic Virtues Can Reshape Society in the 21st Century.
      • Resources:

    + Segment #3 of 3

    Israel, Hamas and Syria: The View as a Pilgrim

    • Description: The ongoing violence in Syria and Israel have left many pilgrims wondering if it is safe to travel there. Steve Ray, a renowned travel guide and historian of the Middle East, just returned from leading a pilgrimage to Israel. He is here with his expert insight and analysis.
    • Segment Guests:
      • Steve Ray
        Along with his wife Janet, Steve is the writer, producer and host of the Footprints of God video series. Steve is the author of five books, of which three are best selling books with Ignatius Press. Steve also speaks around the world and is a guest on many radio and television programs.
      • Resources:
  • “Kresta in the Afternoon”— September 9, 2014— Hour 1

    “Kresta in the Afternoon”— September 9, 2014— Hour 1

    + Segment #1 of 3

    Kresta Comments: Did We Lose the Culture Wars?

    + Segment #2 of 3

    When Catholics make films

    + Segment #3 of 3

    When Catholics Make Films (continued)

  • “Kresta in the Afternoon”— September 9, 2014 — Hour 2

    “Kresta in the Afternoon”— September 9, 2014 — Hour 2

    + Segment #1 of 3

    Kresta Comments: Did We Lose the Culture Wars?

    + Segment #2 of 3

    The Bible and Economic Justice

    • Description: Tim Gray, the president and an associate professor of Sacred Scripture at the Augustine Institute, joins us to discuss what the Bible says about economic justice.
    • Segment Guests:

    + Segment #3 of 3

    Attending to Kenya’s poorest children

    • Description: More than half of Kenya’s population is younger than 15 and 46% of the population lives on less than $1 per day. Cross Catholic Outreach is committed to helping provide education and nutrition for Kenya’s children. A donation of $110 will give a child meals and a strong Catholic education for one year. Outreach President Jim Cavnar joins us.
    • Segment Guests:
      • Jim Cavnar
        Jim is the President Cross Catholic Outreach
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