Here’s How to Make Holy Week Count

Here are some resources that can help us get into the right frame of mind as we approach the Triduum.

Each year, I try to “lean in” during Holy Week, to focus my attentions on the last days of our Lord’s earthly life, and to make connections between the events of the paschal mystery and my own life.

One thing that helps me do this is repetition. Each Lent I repeat previous activities that I have found helpful in nailing home the great mystery that God loves me and in Jesus Christ went to an absurdly extreme length to demonstrate that love.

Veteran Christians—those who have lived through a couple of decades of Mass attendance—have become somewhat inured to the climax of the story of our salvation. Since we know how that story ends, we can be tempted to listen passively and knowingly to the events of, say Holy Week. After the joyous “Hosannas” of Palm Sunday, we hear the nasty “Crucify Hims” that mark the lead-up to His passion. Then there are the two trials (before Pilate and Herod), the scourging, the carrying of the cross, the crucifixion and the death. Christian art has marinated our consciousness with images depicting the sorrow mysteries of the Rosary and the Stations of the Cross.

We are too familiar with the drama, the players, and the outcome. In the case, familiarity breeds, certainly not contempt, but a kind of ennui or “meh.” We need to be shocked out of our lethargy. The rejection, torture, and murder of God for our salvation provides that shock. The question is, are we open to being shocked? Much easier to be passive pew sitter and remain untouched and unmoved by the liturgical readings our Mother the Church serves up for us in the coming days.

Here are some resources that can help us get into the right frame of mind as we approach the Triduum. They represent what I do each Lent.

Read:

The Mental Sufferings of Our Lord In His Passion by Blessed Cardinal John Henry Newman. This is a tour de force description, moment-by-moment, of the first person singular experience of Jesus in His unutterable pain and sorrow during His passion. You can read it in a single sitting. A master of English prose, Newman is at the height of his powers in this text from a homily given at Oxford. Just wow.

The Three Ways of the Spiritual Life by Father Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange, OP, a minor classic by the man who directed (one of) Father Karol Wojtyla’s doctorates. This is a distillation of two large tomes. The great Dominican doesn’t waste a word in this pithy summary of the dark nights and the beginning of heaven on our souls through grace.

Watch:

The Passion of the Christ, directed by Mel Gibson starring Jim Caviezel. That is all.

Jesus of Nazareth, second half of the six-hour British movie, directed by Franco Zefferelli, the performance of Robert Powell as Jesus shaped the imaginations of two generations of moviegoers. And talk about a powerhouse cast: Sir Laurence Olivier, Olivia Hussey, Rod Steiger, James Earl Jones, Stacy Keach, Anthony Quinn, Anne Bancroft (oh, dear, how many of my readers know who these people are?)

Calvary, directed by John Michael McDonough, starring Brendan Gleason. (Potty word alert). This Irish tale, set in the present, chronicles a week in the life of a hard-working priest (Gleason), beginning with the disclosure in the confessional that the priest will be killed within the week as punishment for the pedophile priest who abused him and is now deceased. I know, I know, gnarly topic. But in McDonagh’s hands, Calvary depicts what good priests are up against in post-Christian Ireland. Not for the faint of heart, Calvary explores the hidden power of forgiveness and the heroism of an ordinary cassocked man with a humanly impossible pastoral context.

Pray:

I like iBreviary, a free daily prayer app. Best way to start the day… 12 minutes or less of intentionally sitting in the presence of God.

A blessed Holy Week to you.

 

This blog was originally published at The National Catholic Register HERE

#68: Protestant YouTube Star Becomes Catholic—Lizzie Estella Reezay

#68: Protestant YouTube Star Becomes Catholic—Lizzie Estella Reezay

She didn’t want to do it.

No way, no how.

Not becoming Catholic.

Lizzie was an established and very popular presence in the “young Protestant dispenses advice to the like-minded” space on YouTube; she grew up in the Church of Christ and imbibed the standard myths about Catholicism. She might pray for Catholics, but become one? Riiiiiight.

Attending Pepperdine University in Malibu, CA, Lizzie began to run into fellow Protestants who were either intensely interested in the Faith or had converted to full membership. Meanwhile, her YouTube channel began to really grow wings. (As of this writing, she has 34,808,077 total views.)

Perhaps wanting to be kind and informative, Lizzie ended up shooting some video commentaries with titles like “Seven Lies Protestants Believe About Catholicism,” and “Questions Protestants Have For Catholics.”

Then she discovered the Church fathers, and, in her revelatory video called (wait for it) “Why I Am Becoming Catholic,” she goes one to explain how the book Upon This Rock by Steve Ray was instrumental in her decision. I grinned audibly. My buddy Steve!

My interview with her, as you’ll see, was a delight. She is direct, candid, and very open about her diagnosis with bipolar disorder. Her journey is about to take a profound leap forward when she enters full communion with the Catholic Church at Easter, 2018.

Pray for this young leader. As an evangelist and content creator for Christ, Lizzie Estella Reezay is going places.

 

In this interview, you will learn:

  • How her experience of being immersed in misconceptions of Catholicism led to acceptance of countless errors of fact
  • Why you can’t be too careful which authors you read…
  • The one book that supercharged Lizzie’s desire to get to the bottom of The Catholic Thing
  • How her friends and family reacted to the news of her conversion
  • Tools in how to, and how not to, reach out to our separated brethren

Resources mentioned in this episode:

 

The Patrick Coffin Show is 100% listener supported. Help us keep our show independent and unfiltered.
Consider supporting our work with a one-time or recurring donation HERE.

 

Tweet to Patrick HERE

Follow Patrick on Facebook HERE

Check out the store HERE

Sign up for our Inside Scoop newsletter with the best of The Patrick Coffin Show each week.

 

Join the Conversation

Question of the week:

  • Why is the best part of apologetics getting out of your own way and listening?

 

Comment below.

 

Don’t forget to Subscribe to the show in YouTube, as well as the podcast so you can get the weekly show updates. Check the podcast in iTunes and other podcast directories, while you are there, please leave an honest review.

Ratings and reviews are extremely helpful and greatly appreciated!

 

            

 

If you enjoyed this episode, please share it using the social media buttons below.

67: The Evangelical Power of Beauty—Jonathan Pageau

67: The Evangelical Power of Beauty—Jonathan Pageau

Is art just a luxury for the wealthy? Can there even be a definition for it? How did the Incarnation of the Logos change the world? What did Dostoyevsky mean by having one of his characters in The Idiot say, “in the future, man will be saved by beauty?”

Jonathan Pageau possesses a unique combination of gifts. He is an extraordinary artist, chiefly in the area of carving and iconography (feast your eyes and soul on his stunning work at www.pageaucarvings.com), and he is an articulate social critic, making important connections between the zeitgeist and trends in the world of art and public images. He is also a convert to Orthodoxy from a Protestant background, and serves as the editor of the Orthodox Arts Journal.

Hire this man to speak at your next conference. You’re welcome.

In this interview, you will learn:

  • How Jonathan and I crossed paths with University of Toronto professor of psychology Dr. Jordan Peterson (my guest of Episodes 61 , 34 , and 4 )
  • Why art is not an esoteric hobby but an essential part of human transformation and sanity
  • The evidential power of beauty in sculpture, painting, dance, and carvings
  • How art can point the beholder to God
  • The reasons for the rise in the Cult of Ugly
  • The ways in which the Christian life is inherently artistic

Resources mentioned in this episode:


The Patrick Coffin Show is 100% listener supported. Help us keep our show independent and unfiltered.
Consider supporting our work with a one-time or recurring donation HERE.

 

Tweet to Patrick HERE

Follow Patrick on Facebook HERE

Check out the store HERE

Sign up for our Inside Scoop newsletter with the best of The Patrick Coffin Show each week.

 

Join the Conversation

Question of the week: Why is “beauty is in the eye of the beholder” false and potentially dangerous?

 

Comment below.

 

Don’t forget to Subscribe to the show in YouTube, as well as the podcast so you can get the weekly show updates. Check the podcast in iTunes and other podcast directories, while you are there, please leave an honest review.

Ratings and reviews are extremely helpful and greatly appreciated!

 

            

 

If you enjoyed this episode, please share it using the social media buttons below.

#66: Making Sense of Pope Francis—Philip Lawler

#66: Making Sense of Pope Francis—Philip Lawler

I keep having the same exchange with my seriously Catholic friends whenever Pope Francis comes up in conversation. It goes something like this: we were enthused about the initial days of the election (he was saying things about evangelization that needed saying, he encouraged us to get out of “mindset ruts” and bring the gospel to the peripheries since the periphery dwellers aren’t knocking on the church door) and then….something happened to the enthusiasm.

Troubling things were said during airplane interviews (which have become more frequent), homilies began to sound more and more political, then official documents began to contain ambiguities and it became increasingly hard to domesticate the problem by blaming “the media” for “misquoting the Pope again.”

Enter Philip Lawler. Lawler is known for his incisive, non-nonsense journalism. But Lawler is no muck-raking, axe-grinding ideologue. His work epitomizes the term, “seasoned veteran.” He was the first layman to edit The Pilot, the official newspaper of the Archdiocese of Boston; he’s a Harvard alumnus, and has covered Catholic affairs for 30 years. The year Pope Francis was elected, Lawler co-wrote a warm tribute book to the new Pontiff, A Call to Serve: Pope Francis and the Catholic Future 

That was five years back.

A number of years ago, he wrote a book about a difficult topic—what happened to the Catholic Church in Boston before and after the 2002 scandals exploded—titled The Faithful Departed: The Collapse of Boston’s Catholic Culture. 

He has a new book on an even more difficult topic: an extended attempt at contextualizing and understanding the doctrinal confusions have seeped into the way in which the Holy Father leads, teaches, promotes, and demotes. How to discuss them without disrespecting the person and the office of the Sovereign Pontiff? Of course, there are plenty of “rad Trads” who despise Pope Francis and have devoted themselves to attacking him since his election on March 13, 2013. That’s both unfortunate and predictable, since Pope Francis’s three predecessors didn’t pass muster with the (mercifully small) clique of anti-Vatican II activists, either.

Lost Shepherd: How Pope Francis Is Misleading His Flock , despite its provocative title, is a well-researched account of a papacy that, five years after it began, has untold numbers of orthodox Catholics scratching their heads.

In case you’re wondering, no, Lawler is not accusing the Pope of heresy nor does he think the Holy Father is an anti-pope. Like all serious Catholics, he prays daily for the pope and earnestly wants him to succeed as a teacher and spiritual leader. It’s not a book Lawler even wanted to write.

A recent Pew Center poll reflect a troubling drop in favorability among Catholics polled since he was first elected. Not that the barque of Peter is sinking, at least not yet, but the winds have gotten stiffer and the waves bigger. Seems to be more like rudder damage.  

In the past few months, there has been a sea change in Catholic media regarding coverage of the Pope’s personnel decisions and the ambiguities within certain documents such as, perhaps the highest-profile example, the Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia, (“The Joy of Love”) the fruit of a seemingly rigged Synod.

The sense of unease is growing, and despite the lingering fear to even bring it up, mainstream outlets in the Catholic media world, from EWTN to the UK’s Catholic Herald, Catholic World Report, The Catholic Thing, and others have begun to speak up about this with greater boldness. As long as the tone and content is respectful, Catholics have the right and duty under Canon 212.3 to speak honestly about matters of leadership involving the good of the Church.

Interestingly, Catholics almost relish castigating popes of the past (start the list with the Borgia and Medici Popes) as “scoundrels” or worse. This is done to emphasize that the Holy Spirit protects the universal Church in a particular way through the office of the Successor of Peter, who is protected against teaching something contrary to faith and morals.

Today, there is an unhealthy papalolatry in the air that takes the form of taboo against saying even mildly critical things about what a modern pope has said or done, things, of course, that don’t rise to the level of infallibility. A kind of ultramontane loyalty is attached to everything a pope does no matter how troublesome or controversial.

It’s not helpful. Neither is staying silent.

You don’t have to agree with all of Lawler’s interpretations or conclusions to see that there is a massive amount of discord in the Church today and that her visible head on earth is not doing much to “confirm the faith of the brethren” as the invisible Head said to His first Vicar in Luke 22:32.

In this week’s interview—in a spirit of genuine concern for clarity and filial respect for the person and the office of the Pontiff, who is ever in our prayers—we “go there.”

 

In this episode, you will learn

  • How to understand that the human side of the papacy does not invalidate it
  • A sense of balance and historical proportion when assessing Pope Francis’ leadership style
  • Why comparing one pope with another is not a helpful exercise
  • The major “upside” to the current papacy—and the opportunity it provides Catholics
  • How Jesus is still faithful to His bride, the Church in the midst of every crisis
  • Many examples of documented statements, pastoral priorities, and political biases that have characterized the management of the Holy See since 2013

 

Resources mentioned in this episode:

 

The Patrick Coffin Show is 100% listener supported. Help us keep our show independent and unfiltered.
Consider supporting our work with a one-time or recurring donation HERE.

 

Tweet to Patrick HERE

Follow Patrick on Facebook HERE

Check out the store HERE

Sign up for our Inside Scoop newsletter with the best of The Patrick Coffin Show each week.

 

Join the Conversation

Question of the week: What concrete steps can you take to defend the office of the Chair of Peter while acknowledging the crisis of clarity in the Church today?

 

Comment below.

 

Don’t forget to Subscribe to the show in YouTube, as well as the podcast so you can get the weekly show updates. Check the podcast in iTunes and other podcast directories, while you are there, please leave an honest review.

Ratings and reviews are extremely helpful and greatly appreciated!

 

            

 

If you enjoyed this episode, please share it using the social media buttons below.

#65: Responding to the Transgender Moment—Ryan Anderson (4/4)

#65: Responding to the Transgender Moment—Ryan Anderson (4/4)

Dr. Ryan Anderson rounds out the final episode in our four-part series on transgenderism. I have been an admirer of Dr. Anderson for a few years now, since the appearance of his two previous books on marriage (What Is Marriage? Man and Woman: A Defense and Truth Overruled ).

In this no-holds-barred interview, Dr. Anderson gets specific about the origins of the “trans movement,” the medical and social ills brought about by the gender reassignment surgery, and what ordinary people can do when asked for their opinion. The social pressure to simply agree with the aims of the ideologues is quite strong today.

 

In this episode, you will learn:

  • The suicide rate for those who go through with reassignment surgery
  • What happens to a high percentage of children who are not pressured or encouraged to go through with the surgery (hint: it’s good news)
  • Why the Obama Administration changed the definition of sex in the 1972 Title IX to “gender identity” and why it changed the debate altogether
  • The heartbreaking, largely untold, fate of those who change their minds after transitioning
  • How to counter the almost non-stop barrage of pro-trans propaganda in movies, TV, and network news
  • The importance of speaking and acting civilly when it comes to speaking with those who support the transgender ideology.

 

Resources mentioned in this episode:

 

The Patrick Coffin Show is 100% listener supported. Help us keep our show independent and unfiltered.
Consider supporting our work with a one-time or recurring donation HERE.

 

Tweet to Patrick HERE

Follow Patrick on Facebook HERE

Check out the store HERE

Sign up for our Inside Scoop newsletter with the best of The Patrick Coffin Show each week.

 

Join the Conversation

Question of the week: Why is the way you talk about this issue ultimately more important than the content of what you say

 

Comment below.

 

Don’t forget to Subscribe to the show in YouTube, as well as the podcast so you can get the weekly show updates. Check the podcast in iTunes and other podcast directories, while you are there, please leave an honest review.

Ratings and reviews are extremely helpful and greatly appreciated!

 

            

 

If you enjoyed this episode, please share it using the social media buttons below.