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This Week’s Mass Warm-Up

Light Shines in the Darkness

Light Shines in the Darkness

Have you ever been in the dark and turned on a small light?

Light shines in the darkness.

And it’s not a candle or flashlight – it is us, the believers and faithful of God:

Christians following our call to holiness.

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This Week’s Podcast

Lust And Love – Episode 133

Lust And Love – Episode 133

What is the difference between lust and love?

During this “season of Valentines” Beth and Kristofer cover this (often unknowingly) confusing and vitally important topic before we dive headlong into the pink and roses and hearts and whatnot.

Beth and Kristofer share how to tell the difference between lust and love, and how to teach that to impressionable minds and hearts.

And they do this in the context of Mortal Sin and Theological Virtue: Lust and Love, respectively.

They also, right out of the gate, point to Nick’s seven-part series about Love as a great resource on our web site for this discussion, which is linked to in the show notes.

Living in this world, but not of it, is difficult, and Beth and Kristofer offer us some pointers on how to do that, particularly in this day and age.

And, no, there is no inappropriate or “parental discretion advised” content in this episode.

But they do get attacked by a tree!

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Letters Home: Our Blog

Read thoughtful, heartfelt commentary and discourse on life, the Church, and being Catholic from five different authors

Light Shines in the Darkness

Light Shines in the Darkness

Have you ever been in the dark and turned on a small light?

Light shines in the darkness.

And it’s not a candle or flashlight – it is us, the believers and faithful of God:

Christians following our call to holiness.

Blessed Are the Poor in Spirit

Blessed Are the Poor in Spirit

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”

Jesus is quite clear about who will go to heaven, so we explore what it means to be poor in spirit, and it has nothing to do with our bank accounts!

God provides through Scripture the exact meaning of what it is to be poor in spirit, and the encouragement we all need to have that attitude as we grow closer to Jesus and learn, from Him, who the Father is.

United

United

This week we think about how our families, parishes, communities, and world would be different if we all lived up to our baptismal vocation.

If all of us lived the Gospel and witnessed to Christ crucified, what would change?

Would the divisions among us be healed?

Would we be more understanding of one another?

Would we be able to live a life of virtue more easily?

Not Just a Servant

Not Just a Servant

When we think of servants, we typically picture people who are oppressed or in positions that powerful people take advantage of.

God has a different idea of what a servant is, and He calls us to this way of life and shows us through His only Son, how being a servant is actually one of the most honorable positions one can take.

He uses His servants to bring His light and message of Salvation to all the nations.

Dive deeper into this idea of sharing God’s light and salvation as His servant…

Mother of God

Mother of God

Mary had a little lamb…

Though this rhyme refers to St. Mary, this does not mean she is a sheep.

Mary gave birth to the Lamb. This means she is the Mother of God.

As confusing as that is to our non-Catholic brethren, we as Catholics understand it and accept it.

Just as Mary and Joseph accepted this great honor and responsibility.

How do we share in Mary’s motherhood?

This week, we explore her example and how it blesses and encourages us to be Brothers and Sisters of and in Christ.

Christmas Day

Christmas Day

Jesus came on Christmas Day as the fulfillment of the promises of God, to show His glory to all people, to be the light in the darkness, to redeem us from sin and death.

Do we realize the connections Christmas Day has with the prophesies of the Old Testament?

Or with our own personal journey of faith today?

It is the connection point between both!

Hundreds of other searchable Letters Home articles…

Lust And Love – Episode 133

Lust And Love – Episode 133

What is the difference between lust and love?

During this “season of Valentines” Beth and Kristofer cover this (often unknowingly) confusing and vitally important topic before we dive headlong into the pink and roses and hearts and whatnot.

Beth and Kristofer share how to tell the difference between lust and love, and how to teach that to impressionable minds and hearts.

And they do this in the context of Mortal Sin and Theological Virtue: Lust and Love, respectively.

They also, right out of the gate, point to Nick’s seven-part series about Love as a great resource on our web site for this discussion, which is linked to in the show notes.

Living in this world, but not of it, is difficult, and Beth and Kristofer offer us some pointers on how to do that, particularly in this day and age.

And, no, there is no inappropriate or “parental discretion advised” content in this episode.

But they do get attacked by a tree!

Solidarity With The Church – Episode 132

Solidarity With The Church – Episode 132

After going over their Frustrations With The Church in an earlier episode, Beth and Kristofer now explain Solidarity With The Church.

What exactly does that mean?

How can we know if we are in solidarity with the Church?

Beth and Kristofer dive into the relationship we should have with the Church and by extension our relationship to and with Jesus.

Unity with the Magisterium is important and Job One at Holy Owned and Operated and in the Cowles Family.

So how do we reconcile those frustrations with solidarity?

It’s all about Family…

As a bonus, you get to hear our new washing machine and dryer, and Kristofer sings a thirty year old commercial for a local appliance store.

Fun stuff!

It Works! – Episode 131

It Works! – Episode 131

With a great sigh of relief and near shouts of joy, we share a wonderful discovery:

What we have been practicing for decades, talking about in the last 130 episodes, and teaching for years actually works for others, too!

This discovery – and edification – comes after spending a recent weekend with two listeners (and HOO supporters), and their children.

Encountering and experiencing Betty and Archie’s Catholic faith in action and infused in their parenting, daily living, and lifestyle,

The Boyz and we saw it in full effect in a family and situation very different from ours.

But the universality of the Catholic faith, honestly and purposefully practiced – still works!

It produces the same results that we have worked hard for in our family, applied to a vastly different situation.

Nonetheless…

Frustrations With The Church – Episode 130

Frustrations With The Church – Episode 130

Starting with the God-given right we have as outlined in Canon Law, in this delicate topic,

Beth and Kristofer discuss their frustrations with the Church, from the misuse of liturgy to the administration of the Church.

But this is not a gripe session on this rainy and windy day; they explain the canon law, historical, pastoral and liturgical context behind their beefs and want to help us be more aware of what might be going on at our own parish.

Kristofer breaks down what is the source of the failures of the Church Militant, while Beth goes into detail on who should be administrating the parish itself.

It was a windy day; we are solving the problems it creates in our audio quality.

Relying On The Holy Family – Episode 129

Relying On The Holy Family – Episode 129

In the day-to-day struggles of raising a family, let alone a holy family, and living in a sinful world, we have to Rely On The Holy Family for support and guidance.

But how often do we think of Jesus, Joseph, and Mary together as the basic unit of society – a family?

Beth and Kristofer share insights into how they relate with and rely on the Holy Family and what the importance of The Holy Family is in our lives raising children and taking care of a family.

Kristofer opens up and shares a lot about his relationship with Joseph, which will be useful for Husbands and Dads.

Taking Kids to Mass – Age 7 and Above – Episode 128

Taking Kids to Mass – Age 7 and Above – Episode 128

How do we take kids to Mass after they have achieved the Age of Reason; after they’ve received First Communion?

Beth and Kristofer talk about how to help our newly enlightened children better understand the Mass.

They talk about their own trials and errors and explain the need and importance of taking these children to Mass.

This episode fits with the episodes from early in our production that addressed younger children and teenagers at Mass, and how to approach those situations.

Sorry we left out the middle child for so long!

Watch our 3-5 Minute Video Series!

Fruits of the Spirit: Conclusion

Fruits of the Spirit: Conclusion

Mom and Dad summarize the Fruits of the Holy Spirit in this episode. As well as a paragraph from the catechism. No fruit can be external without being internal. Just like any orchard, or tree, we need to cultivate it. -Nathaniel

Fruits of the Spirit: Chastity

Fruits of the Spirit: Chastity

What is Chastity? Mom and Dad explore this including the fact that it is not only, although it’s a big part of it, keeping our purity outside of marriage. There are so many opportunities for unchaste actions after marriage. Getting married does not automatically mean we are chaste! Chastity is the call to love sacrificially with our bodies.

Chastity is the fruit that is borne from a healthy relationship. We can be unchaste before or after marriage. There is always regret after we have been unchaste. Chastity is a fruit that is simply following natural law. -Nathaniel

Fruits of the Spirit: Gentleness

Fruits of the Spirit: Gentleness

Mom and dad explore the fruit of Gentleness. How is Mary related to Gentleness? Gentleness is probably the easiest Fruit to understand. Gentleness is having a soft touch in our truthfulness. In Gentleness we are called to “speak the Truth in Love”

It is the manifestation of the Golden Rule. We don’t know someone’s story. we don’t know where they came are coming from or where it is going. It’s one of those Fruits that we can “Fake it ’till i make it” -Nathaniel

Fruits of the Spirit: Self Control

Fruits of the Spirit: Self Control

Mom and Dad explore Self Control in this short video. Self Control is much like Temperance. Being Self Controlled is watching what we say, do, and think. When we have true Self Control, we recognize our sins immediately. When we lack self control, we can fall into a state of sin very easily.

It also provides us the grace in apologizing. The more we do it, the more we realize we should be doing it also the more we do it the less we need to do it. The true fruit of Self Control is how we act when we’re alone.

Fruits of the Spirit: Goodness

Fruits of the Spirit: Goodness

Will Goodness always stay? What is it? Mom and Dad talk about how the Goodness that we practice is not done for a motive, but that it is natural for us to do it. They say that if we have God in us, we have Goodness. One of the Transcendentals, or attributes of God, is Goodness. The Fruit of Goodness is us cooperating with the Divine Life in us known as Grace; it is a reflection of God within us.

Remember those bracelets that said “What would Jesus do?” If we were using Goodness, we would not need to have the reminders. So, we should not DO good for the sake of DOING good; we should BE good, and the Doing will soon follow. Goodness comes from God; therefore, if we cooperate with the Big Guy, we will BE good. If we are not being good we soon realize it, and then we would have done good. Focus on BEING good as opposed to DOING good, and we are well on our way. -Nathaniel

Fruits of the Spirit: Modesty

Fruits of the Spirit: Modesty

Mom and Dad explore Modesty in this episode. The thing that probably comes to mind first is CLOTHING! We seem to stretch the meaning of modesty in that regard, thinking that to look beautiful, we need to be immodest.

But, it’s not all about clothing! Remember, Fruits have multiple manifestations. We will automatically find that DOING Modest, or dressing appropriately, will come if we ARE Modest. Modesty has to do with how we think of our own selves.

Modesty is like the opposite of sinful Pride. It means we are selfless. A combination of Humility, selflessness, dignity and Prudence.

Modesty is also in thought, speech, and dress. Also, it is how we treat ourselves when we’re alone. -Nathaniel

I Love Being Catholic at Lent