All Things Catholic

Edward Sri’s podcast

About this Podcast

ted-podcast-art-final3Edward Sri’s Podcast

Join well-known theologian and author Edward Sri for weekly insights on understanding and living out the Catholic faith. Delve deeper into the Bible, prayer, virtue, relationships, marriage & family and culture with practical reflections on all things Catholic. Don’t just go through the motions. Live as an intentional Catholic, a disciple of Jesus Christ.

012 What Happens After We Die?

If you’re at Thanksgiving dinner and the topic of life after death comes up, how confident would you be in articulating the Catholic position? Is there really a hell? If God is so merciful, would he really send people to hell? And what’s purgatory all about? Does God really bake us for a few hundred years in purgatory before letting us into heaven? Where is that in the Bible?

The Church has rich teaching about judgment, heaven, hell, and purgatory. But some Catholics are fuzzy on the details or have never heard about these matters from a truly Catholic perspective. In this episode, Edward Sri clearly and concisely unpacks what you need to know about the Last Things and equips you to answer confidently the question, “What Happens After We Die?”

012 What Happens After We Die?

If you’re at Thanksgiving dinner and the topic of life after death comes up, how confident would you be in articulating the Catholic position? Is there really a hell? If God is so merciful, would he really send people to hell? And what’s purgatory all about? Does God really bake us for a few hundred years in purgatory before letting us into heaven? Where is that in the Bible?

The Church has rich teaching about judgment, heaven, hell, and purgatory. But some Catholics are fuzzy on the details or have never heard about these matters from a truly Catholic perspective. In this episode, Edward Sri clearly and concisely unpacks what you need to know about the Last Things and equips you to answer confidently the question, “What Happens After We Die?”

Check out this episode!

“Who is My Mother?”

Why does Jesus sometimes seem to push Mary away? For example: When people inform Jesus that his mother has arrived in Capernaum to see him, he says, “Who is my mother?” (My. 12:48).

What does he mean by that? Far from disrespecting his mother, Jesus is honoring her ? for he goes on to say “Whoever does the will of my Father is mother to me?” And Mary is the first to do the will of the Father. Indeed, these passages present Mary as a preeminent member of the supernatural family of disciples Jesus is forming. She is the first and model disciple.

This event originally took place at Capernaum in Israel and this episode was recorded there during Edward Sri’s Holy Land pilgrimage last week.

Check out this episode!

“Who is My Mother?”

“Who is My Mother?”

Why does Jesus sometimes seem to push Mary away? For example: When people inform Jesus that his mother has arrived in Capernaum to see him, he says, “Who is my mother?” (My. 12:48).

What does he mean by that? Far from disrespecting his mother, Jesus is honoring her – for he goes on to say “Whoever does the will of my Father is mother to me?” And Mary is the first to do the will of the Father. Indeed, these passages present Mary as a preeminent member of the supernatural family of disciples Jesus is forming. She is the first and model disciple.

This event originally took place at Capernaum in Israel and this episode was recorded there during Edward Sri’s Holy Land pilgrimage last week.

A Day on Pilgrimage

Imagine waking up along the Sea of Galilee, walking out your door and seeing the place where Jesus calmed the storm, walked on water and called his first disciples. You pinch yourself and ask, “Am I really here?”  By seeing the very places where Jesus gave the Sermon on the Mount, healed many people of their illnesses, and taught the parables, suddenly makes the Biblical stories more real.  It’s as if you’ve walked right into the middle of the Bible. And they way you encounter the Scriptures will never be the same.

That’s the experience many pilgrims have on their first day on pilgrimage in the Holy Land.

This week’s podcast was recorded in anticipation of Edward Sri’s Holy Land Pilgrimage this week to give you a taste of a day on pilgrimage in the land of Jesus. A pilgrimage is much more than a vacation. It’s a sacred journey. As we walk in the footsteps of Jesus, Mary, Joseph, the Apostles and many Old Testament heroes, we’re reminded of the choices they made for God—and inspired to follow the Lord on whatever He may call us to do today.

Why Honor the Saints?

“Why do you Catholics give so much attention to the saints? Shouldn’t we just focus on God?”

Indeed, Catholic devotion to the saints is quite puzzling to some Christians. The whole idea of kneeling before a statue of Mary, doing a nine-day novena to St. Therese or asking St. Anthony to help you find your lost keys seems scandalous.  After all, these are just human beings who died a long time ago—they’re not God!

When Catholics honor the saints, however, we are simply recognizing the great things God has done in their lives and celebrating it. This in no way takes away from the attention and praise we should give to God. In fact, we give God more praise when we acknowledge his achievements in the saints.

Indeed, Catholic devotion to the saints is all about Jesus. The greatest work God accomplishes in the universe is taking weak, fallen human beings and transforming them into holy men and women of God.  God is the divine artist and the saints are his most magnificent masterpieces. So if you want to love God with all your heart and give God more praise, then take time to recognize his masterpieces and honor the saints.

Show Notes

For more on catholic devotion to the saints, including apologetics arguments and Scriptural support for this, see Edward Sri’s book Love Unveiled–The Catholic Faith Explained (Ignatius Press).

Transformed—Into ‘Agape’ Love

Along the Sea of Galilee some 2,000 years ago, Peter was stunned when the Risen Jesus asked him, “Do you love me?” It was the word for “love” that got to him. Jesus didn’t speak of ordinary human affection. Another Greek word, phileo, describes that kind of love.  Jesus instead uses the word agape, which describes a total, self-giving, sacrificial love.

And that is what’s so troubling for Peter. After Peter just denied Christ three times, he painful knows he is incapable of agape love. He is sad that the best he can offer is only the imperfect, human love of phileo.

And we often feel the same.

We know we don’t love as well as we should. Our love falls short. But the good news is God wants to do in us what he did in St. Peter. In a beautiful play on words, John’s Gospel chapter 21 shows how Jesus will lower himself to Peter’s level and accept Peter’s broken, imperfect gift of phileo love and transform it into agape. It doesn’t happen all at once. But from this point forward, Peter is a changed man. He will go on to lead like Christ, serve like Christ, teach like Christ and even suffer like Christ.  Like his Master, Peter will be handed over to the Romans and stretched out on a cross as he is crucified upside down in Nero’s circus.  At this climactic moment, as Peter gives the heroic witness of his martyrdom, he lives agape love in a most profound way.

The same Jesus who transformed Peter’s phileo love into agape will do the same in our hearts—if we follow him faithfully as a disciple.

Are You Really Pro-Life?

Before you say you’re pro-life, you might want to consider themes from JP2’s hard-hitting encyclical “The Gospel of Life.” It’s like an examination of conscience. It not only challenges us to take a deeper look at what’s really happening in “the culture of death.” It also invites us to consider the ways we Christians might be contributing to it through our own individualistic tendencies in our families, work environments and local communities.

Be inspired to combat the culture of death and build a civilization of love—one soul at a time, beginning with the people God has placed in your daily life.

In this week’s podcast, Edward Sri brings together two themes this week: St. John Paul II’s feast day (which normally is celebrated October 22) and Respect Life month.

Show Notes:

Here’s a link to the Encyclical discussed in this podcast: John Paul II, Evangelium Vitae (1995).

http://w2.vatican.va/content/john-paul-ii/en/encyclicals/documents/hf_jp-ii_enc_25031995_evangelium-vitae.html

Living Fatima-5 Ways to Jumpstart Your Rosary

Living Fatima-5 Ways to Jumpstart Your Rosary

Are you too busy to pray the rosary?  Get distracted?  Get bored? Prefer shorter prayers?

For many, the rosary is the marathon of all Catholic devotions.  “I prefer shorter prayers like the Divine Mercy chaplet.” Who has time for 50 plus beads of prayers?

But what if I were to tell you the rosary is not beyond you. That you don’t have to pray it all at once. And that there are creative ways to incorporate it into your daily life.

There was only one request that Our Lady of Fatima made in all six apparitions: to pray the rosary daily. In this week’s episode, Edward Sri explores the importance of Our Lady of Fatima for today, including her call for us to return to the rosary. So whether you’re an avid devotee of the rosary or a beginner or someone who has not prayed it in a while, discover five easy ways to jumpstart your rosary devotion and experience the power of this prayer.

Show Notes

For more on the Rosary see Edward Sri’s latest book, Praying the Rosary Like Never Before: Encounter the Wonder of Heaven & Earth (Servant Books).

Explaining the Trinity—Does it Matter?

Explaining the Trinity—Does it Matter?

Imagine a non-Christian friend asking you to explain the Trinity: “How does 3=1? Do you believe in three Gods? Or is it just like three different names for the same one God?” How would you respond? And does it really matter? 

Does it really make a difference whether we believe in just a solitary divine being or a God who exists as Father, Son and Holy Spirit? Absolutely! In fact, understanding the Trinity is the key to understanding what love is, where our happiness is found and the purpose of our lives. For we are made in the image and likeness not of some vague higher power, but of the God who is love (1 Jn 4:8)—the God whose very inner life is all about total self-giving love.  As St. John Paul II taught, we are stamped with a “Trinitarian character,’ meaning we are meant to live like the Trinity in self-giving love. Only when we live self-giving love for others and for God will we find our happiness.

Show Notes

For more on how to explain the Trinity and the importance of this central mystery for our lives, see chapter one from Edward Sri’s book, “Love Unveiled: The Symbolon Book” (Ignatius Press).

Loving More Than the Body

Loving More Than the Body

Ed Sheeran’s recent popular song repeatedly boasts, “I’m in love with your body.” But will that kind of love satisfy the depths of the human heart?  We long to be loved for who we are, not just for our bodies.  But in our over-sexualized world, many young people think, “I’ll never find someone who will love me for who I am, as a person…The best I can do to focus on my physical appearance, dress a certain way and hope that someone will at least love my body.”

Edward Sri helps us discover the real purpose of sensual attraction. According to JPII’s ‘Theology of the Body,’ God wired us to notice the ‘good looks’ of the opposite sex in order to lead us to a deeper appreciation of the person who has those good looks. But relationships built on the “I’m in love with your body” kind of love never last. For such is love is not focused on the person. It reduces the person to a mere body to be exploited for one’s own pleasure, enjoyment and sexual satisfaction.  We are made for much more than that.

Rise above the culture of “I’m in love with your body.” Pursue your heart’s deepest desires, which is for authentic love. Learn the proper use of sensual attraction and how it can lead to genuine friendship, lasting relationships and even a true appreciation of the beauty of the body.

Living The Call: Lessons from St. Matthew

Living The Call: Lessons from St. Matthew

Your past doesn’t have to define you. This week’s feast of St. Matthew inspires us to consider how the God who transformed this sinner-tax collector into the great apostle can transform us in our own walk with Him today. Edward Sri takes us on a mini-tour in Rome to two of his favorite pieces of art depicting the life of this great saint. Along the way, we learn how to answer the call of God in our lives and take the next step of faith to which he is inviting us. God had amazing things in store for Matthew, but he first needed to leave his money bags behind. What might the Lord be asking you to do to follow him more closely this week? Put yourself in Matthew’s shoes and be ready not only to answer the call, but live it deeply day-by-day.

“Follow Me”—The Art of Being a Disciple of Jesus

“Follow Me”—The Art of Being a Disciple of Jesus

How do you know if you’re truly growing in your relationship with God or just going through the motions with your faith? One key to answering this question is the theme of discipleship. Being a true follower of Jesus involves more than just going to Mass, believing the right doctrines and following the 10 Commandments.  To be a disciple of Jesus is to imitate his whole way of life. Do you long to love Jesus with all your heart?  Discover three simple things you can do to help ensure your relationship with Christ doesn’t grow stagnant, but is always being rekindled and deepened throughout your life.

Rediscovering the Hail Mary

Rediscovering the Hail Mary

In this opening episode, Edward Sri launches his ‘All Things Catholic’ podcast with a topic to help us get ready for the feast of Mary’s Birthday this week: The Hail Mary.  Perhaps you’ve prayed this prayer countless times. But what does it mean? Discover the rich Biblical roots of this prayer, along with insights from St. John Paul II that will transform the way you pray it.  Experience the Hail Mary in a new way that is truly Christ-centered. For as JP2 said, in this prayer we encounter ‘the wonder of heaven and earth’ over the mystery of Christ.