This Catholic Podcast is for those who are in the Faith or interested in the Faith and it helps anyone understand the Faith a little more.
On the Road to Perfection
Walking in the Catholic Faith
Holy Owned and Operated Co-Founders Beth and Kristofer Cowles discuss topics of Catholic Faith as they take their regular walk around the neighborhood. It’s a conversation and exploration without confusing theology or apologetics and instead the kind of conversation you have when walking. On The Road To Perfection is a journey of Faith as we all explore and grow in our Catholic Faith together, amidst the sounds of birds, cars, lawnmowers, the local day care. and the neighbors and dogs we meet along the way. Unscripted and off-the-cuff, what you hear is what you get when you walk with us in the Catholic Faith.
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We cover the facts in the first thirty seconds, making this the easiest and fastest podcast listen one might every have.
We are consuming flesh and blood, soul and divinity when we receive the Eucharist; and we thought it important to discuss that and proclaim it.
Asking the dead to pray for us can be a bit discomforting.
It can seem blasphemous, useless, or silly superstition.
But asking the dead to pray for us makes absolute perfect sense when we consider the belief that “we are all one body” and that body does not have separate, disparate parts that exist away from each other.
Walking in the Catholic Faith is an important part of Being Perfect and Being On The Road To perfection.
In this episode, we focus on that walk, and what it means.
How do we start walking in the Catholic Faith?
How do we keep doing it, and encourage others to do it?
Are we all walking the same path?
We are called to be perfect, as we discussed last week.
So, what does being on the road to perfection look like?
If Jesus was “finished” and his ministry was “completed,” as it means when He said, “It is done,” by saying, “It is perfected” just before He died on the Cross, He must have walked a road to perfection.
And so must we.
In this episode we discuss that concept, in terms of what we are doing and how we respond to the call for our life.
It’s a simple concept, and a difficult task, but we have the example of Our Lord which, from the proper perspective, is not an impossible example to follow and exemplify.
Being Perfect as our heavenly Father is perfect is a daunting idea!
Starting from the beginning, when we first launched the podcast, we talk about Jesus’ use of the word “perfect” in Matthew 5:48, its Greek etymology, and His use of the same word only one other place in His ministry – when He is dying on the Cross.
Being Perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect is to be who we are supposed to be, just as God is Who He is supposed to be.
So how do we BE perfect?
Glad you asked.
The answer is here!
God’s time is not our time.
In this episode that is short on time – possibly our shortest episode ever – we discuss the intricacies of life complicated by our concept of timing and how our own blindness to the Plan of The Lord makes us impatient as He works for our good with His Goodness, Beauty, and Truth.
When we do not think God is responding to our prayers, it does not mean He isn’t involved and not doing things.
When we are kids, we try to get God to do things, to fit him into our expectations.
Do we still do that as adults?
When we are non-believers, does some of that lack of faith come from not getting, having, or experiencing what we think should be happening?
1 Timothy 6:10 is our source for this topic (not Proverbs, as we erroneously say!).
We discuss the love of money in the context of the Mass reading recently about the rich young man asking Jesus what he must do to inherit eternal life.
We look at the idea of a camel fitting through the eye of a needle more easily than a rich person might enter heaven, and explore what that actually means.
Does God hate rich people? No.
Does the Church tell us not to be rich? No.
What if we are rich – does this story apply to us?
Well, we are, and that depends…
Instigated by a question from our oldest son, we dive into the macabre!
Not really, but Kristofer has some issues with the idea of venerating body parts.
Fortunately, Beth has the more reasoned approach that the Church has, and Kristofer winds up understanding, but not on-board.
Relics are hard to understand, and the venerating of them is not a requirement to be Catholic.
It’s a practice that is encouraged if it will help an individual focus on Jesus.
The saints are saints in large part because they point us to The Lord, and those relics are meant to help us do the same.
We define relics and explain what veneration is in this episode.
“Because I said so” is never the answer.
We do not typically get into exact parenting practices, but this was an occasion that happened after Mass that Kristofer thought needed addressing.
Raised in an environment where asking “Why” was not allowed when parental direction, guidance, or discipline was being meted out, Kristofer and Beth relate a family story that exemplifies this situation and, in the process, discuss how it has been psychologically shown that Dads have a god-like aura to their children until their late teens.
We dive into taking our cues from our perfect Dad in heaven.
God NEVER says “Because I Said So.”
Neither should we.
As it was last week, the Big Ball of Twine Tour 2023 is the backdrop for this episode.
This recent vacation of ours brought us the opportunity to experience God’s Beauty in many forms, and we talk about the profound experience and permanent impression it made upon us.
We dig into the incomparable depth of God’s Beauty, juxtaposed against Man’s Beauty; and we start out doing so by taking on Devil’s Tower!
Our discussion answers questions you may not know you had, and it starts a lifelong discussion we hope you have with your selves, your loved ones, and your God.
The Big Ball of Twine Tour 2023 is the context for this episode.
This recent vacation of ours brought us the opportunity to experience Man’s Beauty in many forms, and we explore this phenomenon that we experienced intimately.
After an unintended humorous opening prayer, and refusing to melt into a puddle of goo in the heat, we discuss, in-depth, Man’s Beauty, and the beauty he makes with what the Creator has given us – our talents and resources.
This week, Beth drops a surprise topic on Kristofer after his opening prayer.
Beth says that Ordinary Time is not ordinary, and Kristofer does his best to grasp the mathematical meaning behind the word, thanks to his patito, Kora, educating him a few weeks earlier.
With the ice cream van trolling the neighborhood and tempting us at every turn. we discuss how extraordinary ordinary time really is – starting with a parish in Connecticut and the miracles that happen around the world, every single day in thousands of places.
Ordinary time is not ordinary – it cannot be!
So, let’s dig in…
Kristofer’s sister comes to mind as we begin by talking about pickle juice.
Beginning with the end in mind in our conversation is not a discourse on Stephen Covey, though we do give him credit here and intertwined throughout On The Road To Perfection for bringing Kristofer to the Catholic Faith, and it is a conversation that Covey would appreciate.
As Beth says, the “end” would be our “telos”, which Kristofer jumps on for the meaning of “perfected.”
This is a conversation of “Eschatology,” which is the study of the last things.
Are you ready for a conversation about the end goal of what the road to perfection leads us to?
Well, here it comes!
It’s Romper Room time at Holy Owned and Operated!
Who do you see?
After a list of names and a Laurie Anderson reference, Beth hits Kristofer with a topic out of the blue.
Kristofer answers right away, and condemns the rest of us – including him – but of course leaving out Beth.
But wait for the end to be sure.
We see everybody around us – especially at Mass and other Church functions – as good and better than us.
So, it is natural to wonder if we are good enough to be Catholic.
After making sure we aren’t having technical difficulties we jump right in: Am I good enough to be Catholic?
Summer Catholicism does not make sense.
The Church is Universal, and Summer happens every year.
Why do we turn into summer Catholics when the kids get out of school?
So many seem to take the summer off, as if a change in schedule justifies a change in celebrating days of holy obligation.
We discuss this fun topic on a 95-degree day, and it is obvious the heat gets to us.
Delirium, goofiness, and straight-up ridonculousness ensue as we unwittingly realize it is our third anniversary for the podcast.
We’ve been doing this for three straight years, no interruption!
So, enjoy this fun twenty minutes of just craziness while actually giving great suggestions on how to keep our Catholic practices – and Faith! – during the summer while we are still relaxing.
And then there’s the cake.
Are there levels of love in how we love others?
Is how we love God different than how we should love one another?
Are caritas, agape, storge, filial, eros different levels?
In this episode, we talk about that, and how love is a many splendored thing – but does it have levels, or people who are subject to or should receive more or less love than others?
We discuss how our love reflects upon us and our relationship with God, and reveals how much we actually follow the Greatest Commandment.
What level of love do we give Jesus, who is my neighbor, and how do we love our enemies?
Big questions, and we give our meager answers…
Joy in obedience?
How’s that?! Come again?
As Beth explains in the beginning, it makes sense that a virtue begets a fruit of the Spirit.
Kristofer picks up the ball and goes big picture, explaining that doing what God says leads to joy.
But what about the suffering that comes about when obeying God?
Still = supreme joy!
From God to the world to the nations to us personally obeying God, we talk about the difference between joy and happiness and where all of this obedience applies.
Parents will find this useful to listen to with children of all ages.
Our Favorite Scripture may seem a bit-self-serving, but this episode is actually the first one for us to offer you to directly participate in On The Road To Perfection!
Priming the pump with our individual favorite scripture passages, we end by encouraging you to send us your favorites, in a short video.
After an impromptu musical interlude, we each provide three of our favorite scripture verses.
We have lots of scripture passages we like, but we whittle it down so we stick to the twenty minutes.
Kristofer kicks it off with his favorite and most consequential verse: an obscure verse from Jeremiah…
Why do we go on retreat?
Is it really just to get away from people we do not want to be around>
Elijah, Moses, Jesus – these guys went on retreat, so why not us?
In fact, they went on retreat more than once.
All the time, it seems!
We often say to ourselves we should go on retreat, which is a great indication that God is telling us that very thing.
In this episode, we talk about all that, from the Prodigal Son to the Apostles, “retreat” is everywhere in the Bible.
We break it down for you, giving you the reasons God is calling you to retreat, and the fortitude you need to put your foot down and do it.
And, we do all that while looking at flowers and singing songs.
You can skip that part…
The doctrine of Just War is a difficult thing to comprehend, let alone explain.
We all question every armed conflict, and support or decry it based on our own perceptions of the situation.
Is that right?
How does the Church view the conflict in Ukraine?
How does the Church view its own armed conflicts, and those warriors who fought and killed in the name of Jesus and Mother Church?
Where does following orders fall into this doctrine?
For more than 1600 years, The Church has reconciled turning the other cheek with a natural right to self-defense.
In this episode, we tackle the doctrine of Just War, giving the four tests as laid out in the Catechism, and attempt to share the idea in a way that can be shared with children to help them understand – which means Kristofer understands, too!
Indulgences are controversial because they are confusing, and confusing because they are controversial.
You got questions? We got answers…but not all of them!
But certainly, the big ones to help you understand indulgences, and even answer a few questions others might have.
In this episode, we tackle indulgences at the request of a listener.
After reading the request, we dive in, starting with Beth blindsiding Kristofer with the task of defining indulgences.
Then it becomes a journey of theology, Biblical studies, and an exploration of the Church’s command and responsibility received from Jesus Christ Himself.
We look at everything from the First Crusade to Purgatory to Confession, Divine Mercy to Suffering, and even rock throwing and Jimmy Carter!
Faith and Reason do not conflict – in fact, they MUST co-mingle in and infuse our daily lives.
This week Beth and Kristofer discuss a topic on which they should be called experts.
For many years they have catechized us, adults, elementary, middle-school, high school, and college youth on this topic that some of the greatest minds have never been able to wrap their heads around.
Beth and Kristofer give us the Church’s response to Nietzsche, Hawking, Russell, and many other’s in their down-to-earth well-reasoned manner, that will help you declare and be confident in your reasoned and reasonable faith!
As Kristofer says, the resurrection happened.
It’s a reality LOTS of people saw.
It takes reason to explain it.
Faith and Reason go hand-in-hand, and this episode laser-focuses on that reality.
Beth and Kristofer answer the question and right from the beginning explain where we can find the answer about the Truth of Church Teachings.
Kristofer explains his own revelation that God gave him, and they discuss the Magisterial infallibility and when it is infallible.
They give us some ways to defend our faith and what we’re to do if we disagree with something the Church teaches.
And after a long absence, their neighbor Larry rides by and says hello.
A segue from last week’s episode, Beth and Kristofer discuss this emotional topic they have struggled with, to help us all (including themselves!) lead better prayer lives!
After Kristofer defines the difference between making time for prayer and praying out of love for our creator, they dive into why we need to, as Beth puts it, “Make an appointment with God.”
Creating a Prayer life is difficult, but if we work towards the goal of creating a life of prayer we will have abundant joy and calm in our life; maybe someday we will all be able to say “I’m always close to God.”
Kristofer and Beth did not want to do this emotionally packed episode, as evidenced by the pregnant pause at the beginning and the tears that follow.
They share the difficulties of knowing how to listen to God and not being able to do it; the busy-ness of life getting in the way when you crave to just hear The LORD.
With example and self-admonishment, they open up their own admission of preaching what they find difficult to practice, though they both admit to being really good at doing it – when they do it!
Spurred on by nothing but their wit and experience, Beth and Kristofer bring forth a topic in need of much discussion:
Or more specifically, foul language.
Many use it in their day-to-day and don’t even think about it; others are highly offended by it, and some don’t care one way or the other.
In this episode, Beth and Kristofer remind us of the importance of the use of proper language.
They discuss the sanctity of some words, and the decorum and what we are expressing when we use it.
But don’t worry!
Beth and Kristofer refrain from using any words (although “Hell” is spoken as part of the question they are answering) so this episode remains family-friendly!
You have to believe in the resurrection to be a Catholic.
But what does that mean?
In this episode, we get into this specifically, invoking Pope Benedict, and our own pastors, Father Brian Eilers and Father Will Rooney in the process.
We dive right in on this topic that Beth sprung on me…but I put her on the spot to pick a topic.
It was Easter Sunday when we recorded this, and we accidentally reveal Pope Benedict’s D&D level.
Having some fun while we wait for our potatoes to marinate and our ham to cook, we hope you enjoy the faith formation in-between my distractions.
If you stick around, you’ll hear us talk about the resurrection of Holy Owned and Operated. – Kristofer
Today is Holy Thursday!
It is also Passover which began yesterday and continues through April 13 this year.
The Jewish holiday of Pesach, or Passover, falls on the Hebrew calendar dates of Nissan 15-22.
Catholics do not, and other Christians should not, celebrate Passover.
Passover is a Jewish Liturgy; it is a beautiful celebration of remembrance and preparation, solemnly re-presenting the time of deliverance while Israel was enslaved by Egypt.
Jesus gave us Holy Thursday in His fulfillment of all the promises He made to Israel.
In this episode, we discuss the differences and the ways of celebrating the solemn preparations for the events of Good Friday and Easter that Holy Thursday sets us up for.
And, of course, we go in-depth on why Catholics do not celebrate
We wonder if HOO is really worth it, and ask for your help in navigating this crossroads.
HOO may be throwing in the towel.
Coming off a few weeks of intra-organizational and inter-personal conflict and second-guessing, we have a bit of an impromptu soul-searching moment that might just last for longer than this episode.
That’s kind of up to you.
We knew we needed to record an episode, because it was less than 18 hours before one needed to be released, and we did not have anything in reserve.
So, gut-honest spur-of-the-moment commentary when I blurt out what we’ve been talking about privately became the topic.
Short answer: No, our penance is not enough!
What is a “good penance”? Why do we sometimes get what seems so insignificant a penance relative to our sins?
Spoiler alert – our penance is not meant to be commensurate with the crime!
If it was, we would never go to Confession!
In God’s infinite mercy, He asks of us exactly what we need – not what He needs (He does not need anything).
So. “Is my penance enough?” is a fair question, if we consider the question deeply and the penance with reverence and awe at the price that has already been paid for our sins.
God offers us the beautiful Sacrament of Reconciliation and Penitentiary Rite to heal our rift with Him.
Our penance is not just a symbol – it is us uniting ourselves to Him in His sacrifice for us.
We cannot pay the price for our sins.
The long answer to the question is “Yes.”
Listen to find out why.
Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!
Why do we say that and not “Happy Saint Mark’s Day!”?
Beth and Kristofer explore Cultural Catholicism in this episode of On The Road to Perfection.
They discuss the importance of the underlying Catholic culture and why it is so much a part of our world, and they also explain why it is important to remain devout and to call others go deeper and learn more than the facade of Cultural Catholicism.
And, no, Kristofer hasn’t been sneaking a nip of any of that triple-distilled unmalted barley, though it sure sounds like it at times.
What are the Scrutinies?
In this season of Lent, we may have heard about them on the periphery, but do we know what they are?
Beth and Kristofer explain this minor rite to help us better realize the beauty of the Church and prepare us for when they happen at Mass in the coming weeks!
How do I love my enemies?
Beth and Kristofer answer this question as well as defining what an enemy is beyond, as Beth put it, “That nebulous group of people.”
They discuss why we should love our enemies and then Beth and Kristofer explain how we love our enemies.
Take this opportunity to learn about the importance of forgiveness, love, and humility when we think about our enemies.
Are You Saved?
Oftentimes our evangelical brothers and sisters ask this question, and we often ask it of ourselves, but do we know the answer?
Beth and Kristofer answer this rather elusive question in this episode of On the Road to Perfection, and you may be surprised to learn the answer!
Can you evangelize? Let’s get into the practicals!
Most of us are not street preachers and do not go up to strangers asking about their salvation.
That does not mean we cannot spread the Good News – the Kerygma – in a way we are naturally called.
We all have a natural way to evangelize, and this episode covers how to use that talent instead of repress it.
Beth and Kristofer discussed evangelization last week and focused on self-evangelization and Catholic evangelization.
Now, Beth and Kristofer discuss Spreading the Good News everywhere, from the workplace to grocery aisle,
They offer their experiences and practices to help us all become better at spreading the Good News.
Evangelization sounds scary.
But do we know all that it entails?
What is it?
It’s not what you think, unless you want to think that’s what it is.
In this episode of On the Road to Perfection, Beth and Kristofer go in depth into the history of evangelization and why it is important today.
They explain what it truly is and why we are all called to evangelize the world.
And they also explain how to evangelize, and ways you may already be doing it – and how to kick it up a notch!
And you meet Walter for the first time!
Plus we have LOTS of episodes and TWMWUs we link to in the show notes.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
The season of giving is here.
And where there is giving, there is getting, so how do we Give Back?
Beth and Kristofer reflect on this topic in both a material and spiritual sense in this episode right before The Most Wonderful Time of the Year!
They discuss the importance of humility and gratitude during this season and offer insights into how you can have a Happy Christmas!
What are spiritual readings? What is spiritual reading?
Beth and Kristofer discuss the purpose and reason why we should read spiritual books.
They talk about their experiences with spiritual reading, how it has affected them, and why it is important for all of us to read spiritual books.
And they offer some suggestions on what to read.
What is the Immaculate Conception?
Or, more specifically, who is the Immaculate Conception?
In this podcast Beth and Kristofer explain this dogma and correct any misunderstandings about this Holy Day of Obligation.
They detail the reasoning and understanding behind The Immaculate Conception, as well as why it really matters to understand it and how it points to God’s great grace!
Also, enjoy some fun decision making that usually goes on before the podcast starts!
The sacred role of women in the Church goes back to the time before Jesus came to Earth – way before!
In this episode, we talk about that – after a short disclaimer from my lovely bride – and how there is an important significance to women being in the Church and the role they play in salvation history.
We claim that the first Catholic was Mary (a woman, BTW!), and share who “the first Apostle” was, as well as “the Apostle to the Apostles” – both women!
But it is way more than a title, and these women were not ordained by Jesus as were the Twelve – which is significant, and a true blessing for women and the Church!
And, yes, we answer THAT question, along with the question of why women are integral to the survival and thriving of the Church.
And I get a little snippy about men and how they handle their responsibilities in the Church.
But what’s new? -Kristofer
One man’s vulgarity is another man’s lyric.
So says the Supreme Court of the United States, and, coming from that secular view, I begin with the answer that, “Yes, some music is bad.”
But there’s a BIG but – and we’re not talking Bobby Jimmy and the Crickets!
Though this topic is right up my alley, DJ Duck doesn’t go too far down that road, but Beth and I use that as a springboard to talk about why some music is bad, while that same music is good.
While some music may not be art in the ear of the beholder, where does music – and lyrics – lead us? -Kristofer
Raising Kids In These Times is HARD!
How do we do it?
How do we raise our children to be in this word but not of it?
What is the secret?
Is there a formula, a road map, a sequence of strategies and tactics?
In this episode we continue our discussion inadvertently begun a couple of weeks ago, focusing on kids and what they and we have to deal with, and how to handle it.
How different is it from the past?
And, yes, there is a formula, which we gladly share!
In the past, Beth and Kristofer have talked about how to do family prayer.
In this episode, they discuss how to be a family of prayer.
They answer how long it takes to “get there” and share some of what it takes, without getting into tactics or strategies or specific practices.
Being a family of prayer is a way of life, not a set of check boxes!
With that in mind, they discuss why it is important to be closer to God and our family, what it means to be a harmonious family, and how to be it.
What is Moral Relativism?
What is wrong with it?
How do I counteract it?
In this Episode, Beth and Kristofer discuss Moral Relativism and what we can do to fight it and overcome it, despite the Devil’s attempts to stop them from sharing the secrets!
(You’ll have to listen to the first part at least to hear the story!)
All Souls Day is an often overlooked day of remembrance.
Beth and Kristofer explain why the Church celebrates the lives of all the Souls not yet in Heaven.
They touch on Purgatory and the path to Heaven.
They talk about why we should pray for our deceased loved ones and even those souls who nobody prays for.
Also, Beth and Kristofer answer why it is an important day to us as Catholics., why we should remember and celebrate it, and why we pray for the souls in Purgatory.
All Saints Day is the day we celebrate the lives of all of the Saints, and the gift they are to us.
What is so important about having a generic day to celebrate people we don’t know about?
Don’t we already have a day for the “famous” saints?
Beth and Kristofer explain why Catholics make it a point to celebrate the lives of the Holy Men and Women in Heaven.
Is Halloween the Devil’s Holiday?
Is it bad to go trick-or-treating?
In this episode of On the Road to Perfection, Beth and Kristofer discuss “The Perils of Halloween” and what it is as both a secular “holiday” and a Catholic celebration of the Holy Saints.
They answer all of our questions about Halloween, and what we can do and what we shouldn’t do.
What is a Mystery, in the Catholic sense?
We all know the spray-painted, flower-laden, Shaggy-and-Scooby-style whodunit mystery.
But what is a Catholic Mystery?
Beth and Kristofer unmask the meaning behind the word “mystery” and the different Mysteries of the Catholic Faith in this lively episode of On the Road to Perfection!
Angels we have heard on high! Or at least heard of from on high.
This episode includes an interruption by the demons from the start – so much so we had to re-record!
Calling out Lucifer, we jump right into giving the etymology of the word “angel,” defining their perfection in true HOO manner.
We talk about the type of beings angels are as well as the type of doing that they do.
We discuss their wings, their appearance in scripture, and their history in art.
We even talk about how they are revealed to us, and answer the question about naming your Guardian Angel.
If you ever wondered how they interact with the demons, Kristofer describes it in a way his party DJ experience can relate to. Need a bouncer?
Oh, and Beth throws a music reference at Kristofer that he doesn’t get right away!
There is a gnawing question for Catholics and a point of contention Protestants have with us concerning good works.
So, having been asked “What Are Good Works?” by our listener, former Protestant Debra, Beth and I took to the streets to explore the question, the reasoning behind the answer, and that nagging idea about whether or not good works are necessary for our salvation.
Beth points out shortly after we began walking that I did a good work inadvertently – woohoo! – and we finish with pointing out that our brothers and sisters in Christ are actually known for their good works.
And, of course, I have to throw some Monty Python into the mix. – Kristofer
The Sacrament of Holy Matrimony, Marriage, Nuptials, and the ever-endearing “mawwiage” from The Princess Bride…
However we refer to it, do we truly understand it?
This Sacrament is misunderstood, taken for granted, and completely ignored by many people, but Beth and Kristofer stand up for this extremely important Sacrament.
They explain the importance of it, why we should cherish it, and who needs to be involved in the actual Rite.
And keep an ear out for Beth’s dig at Kristofer – it’s a funny moment that inadvertently proves the point…Sparky!
Many of us have never seen a Mass of Ordination or the Sacrament of Holy Orders administered.
Those of us who have may not understand exactly what is going on.
Having been involved in several, Beth and Kristofer go into full detail about:
– what happens at the Mass and Rite;
– what this type of Sacrament is called;
– what graces the men who receive the Sacrament are given;
And they help us better appreciate the men who receive it.
Of course, there’s that question we all have…
The Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick is seldom received by us and perhaps the least known of all the Sacraments.
Nevertheless, it is important to our understanding of Faith, Hope, and Love.
Beth and Kristofer, who have both received this Sacrament, explain all the important details and why this Sacrament is truly important.
They answer why we need it, who can and how we can receive it, and what it does to us.
Yes, miracles happen!
Reconciliation is a Sacrament of Healing and is most commonly called “Confession.’
But what does that mean and what does it heal?
Beth and Kristofer answer this question along with who can receive and give absolution of sins, when absolution of sin can be withheld, and why it is important to receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation.
And, of course, how to go to Confession.
Beth and Kristofer jump into “the source and summit of our faith”:
The Sacrament of The Eucharist.
While there is another episode from two years ago about the Eucharist, and they talk about it regularly, this episode answers the questions about the Real Presence – it ACTUALLY IS the BODY and BLOOD of Jesus Christ!
This is where you find out how and why.
The Eucharist is also the Soul and Divinity of Jesus, and Kristofer just thought the gnawing on flesh and blood has a cool air about it and should be capitalized!
He is also fond of saying, “Do you believe in Miracles?!” when it comes to The Eucharist.
In our first episode of the Sacraments series, we covered baptism, now, Beth and Kristofer jump head on into perhaps the most misunderstood and misinterpreted sacrament of them all: Confirmation
Baptism is the First Sacrament.
Without being baptized, we cannot receive any other Sacraments.
Beth and Kristofer explain what baptism is, how baptism came to be, how we are to baptize, and who can baptize.
God The Holy Spirit is the “last” person of the Holy Trinity, but is by no means the least!
But many of us don’t actually know who He is, what He does for us, and why He’s hard to understand.
After Kristofer gives the Holy Spirit a most-likely politically incorrect nickname, Beth reels hm in as they discuss the very important, if enigmatic, Holy Spirit.
God the Son is perhaps the most relatable Person of the Holy Trinity.
Both fully human and fully God, He is the Paragon of Virtue.
Beth and Kristofer expound upon the Second Person of the Trinity in this episode of On the Road to Perfection.
At least Beth does. Kristofer tries his best to sound like he knows something.
God The Father is one of three very important persons in our faith.
But Who is He?
In this episode of On the Road to Perfection, Mom and Dad explore Him and who He is as a person of the Trinity.
As always, they keep it simple and down to earth in this episode!
What are Sacraments?
Why do we have them?
Where did they come from?
In this episode of On the Road to Perfection, Beth and Kristofer take a moment to talk about these seven very important parts of the Catholic Faith.
This episode is a direct answer to the questions and concerns “Betty”, a listener, asked Beth and Kristofer to address.
Being Catholic is not easy, and in the growing moral relativism we see around us, it feels harder than ever.
Pride month is a time when we feel uncomfortable, oftentimes oppressed, and even assaulted – and it extends throughout the year.
In this episode of On the Road to Perfection, Beth and Kristofer continue the discussion from Part 1, this time focusing on “pride” in the context of the LGBTQ+ movement.
They also provide specific ways to navigate this sometimes treacherous path for ourselves and our families.
Part 2 of 2.
As we experience an increase in the LGBTQ+ Pride movement, how do we navigate these choppy waters where human dignity and pride seem to collide?
In this first part of this double episode of On the Road to Perfection, Beth and Kristofer address this question from Betty, a listener, discussing this difficult subject with their trademarked grace and kindness to help us all better journey through the seemingly crumbling world around us.
Living in the modern world can be difficult and often uncomfortable as an authentic, practical Catholic.
It’s supposed to be.
Happy 100th episode!
To celebrate this important number in our podcast, Mom and Dad decided to talk about important numbers in our Catholic faith.
Learn the meaning behind the numbers like three, twelve, and forty on this fast-paced, lightning round, monumental episode of On the Road to Perfection.
The Holy Trinity – God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit – is one of the most puzzling mysteries of our faith.
Three persons in one God.
In this episode of On the Road to Perfection, Mom and Dad explore the beauty and theology behind the Mystery of the Holy Trinity.
And Dad gives a good reason for a cough button.
The Hail Mary is perhaps one of the easiest prayers to memorize.
Children learn it before they go to school.
It is prayed fifty-three times during the rosary, but do we know what we are praying?
Do we understand the words we are saying?
In this episode of On the Road to Perfection, Mom and Dad explore this simple but powerful prayer.
And Dad puts his foot down.
What is subsidiarity?
Mom and Dad break this large word down into what exactly it means in this episode on another Catholic teaching on social justice.
Mom and Dad explore ways you can help people and their own experiences with subsidiarity.
The Ascension is one of the important days of the liturgical year, but why is it important? What exactly is it?
In this episode of On the Road to Perfection, Mom and Dad talk about why the Ascension means so much to the Church.
One of the seven social teachings of the Catholic Church, caring for our earthly home is intimately connected to every part of our life.
After quoting an 80s video game and Monty Python, Beth and Kristofer dive into this topic with Kristofer making sure everyone knows he is not a tree hugger.
Then they go on identifying birds and trees as they walk by. Well, the topic is what the topic is – and they do answer the question we all have about that environment issue.
Yeah, that one.
What is the difference between Religious Education, Faith Formation, Catechism Class, and CCD?
On the surface, it can appear that they are one and the same;, but there are, in fact, many important differences,
Mom and Dad answer the question and talk about what each of these are and entail – and they have a lot of experience with each of them!
In last week’s episode, Mom and Dad covered the Corporal Works of Mercy.
In this episode, they talk about the Spiritual Works of Mercy: instruct the ignorant, counsel the doubtful, admonish the sinners, bear patiently those who wrong us, forgive offenses, comfort the sorrowful, and pray for the living and the dead.
And they tell us how to do that in our busy lives.
The seven Corporal works of Mercy – feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, clothe the naked, visit the imprisoned, shelter the homeless, visit the sick, and bury the dead – are very important parts of outwardly showing our Christian love to the world.
But how do we do them right?
Who are “the least of these?”
In this episode, Mom and Dad answer these questions and explain what the Corporal Works of Mercy are.
And then sum it up with three words that are easy to remember.
Mom and Dad talk about the three days before Easter, the Triduum, and their importance in our faith.
What happens on Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday?
Why do certain things happen on these days that don’t happen at any other time of the year?
This podcast will help you learn just what we do during the Triduum.
Palm Sunday is an important day in the liturgical year, but what is it?
Mom and Dad explain the historical context for Palm Sunday; they explain why the Pharisees and the high priests of Jerusalem got mad at Jesus.
They tell us why the people would go from laying palm branches before Jesus to screaming “Crucify him! Crucify him!” over the course of a mere 5 days.
And they share how we can all better prepare for Easter by making this a truly Holy Week.
Jesus tells parables, stumping the great thinkers of Judea, but wait!
They finally have a real-life chance to stump Him by bringing forth the woman caught in adultery.
His answer is profound, just, merciful, and totally his style.
Jesus’ answer to stoning the woman is something that we all need to think about, the answer written in the sand is profound, and an answer that follows the Golden Rule.
The Parable of the Prodigal Son is perhaps the most famous of Jesus’ teachings, and Mama and Daddy take a different look at it this time.
What is the meaning of this Parable? What can we learn from it? And what is the sin of the older brother?
As Mom says, we commit this sin of ingratitude and pride.
We, as baptized Christians, are the older brother in this lesson.
How should we respond to the Prodigal Son’s Homecoming?
God appearing to Moses in the Burning Bush is a wonderful example of him calling us.
In this episode, Mama and Daddy explore this, with a lot of soul-searching.
Moses, who is one of the most detailed figures in the Bible, is being called by a burning bush to lead God’s people out of slavery and into the Promised Land of milk and honey.
This is all sorts of weird!
If we were approached by God while He was in the form of a Burning Bush, what would we do?
Well guess what? God is not just calling Moses.
Who are we to lead others out of slavery to sin – or even ourselves?
The Transfiguration of Jesus is a fascinating event that sometimes gets lost in Peter’s response to it.
But what a wonderfully perfect response!
What does this event reveal to us, and about us?
And why was it kept secret from all of the other Apostles?
In this episode discussing the Gospel reading in this coming Sunday’s Mass, we explore things we do not typically hear in a homily, but experience regularly.
But should we share those experiences? That’s not entirely up to us…
Jesus In The Desert is what we talk about as we charge into Lent.
It happens to be the topic of the Gospel Reading this weekend coming up, too.
What does Jesus’ 40 days in the desert mean to us, to you?
It’s a great question and a different answer for everybody – but a singular theme each of us can relate to.
Welcome to Lent!
Almsgiving during Lent is our third and final Lenten topic as we prepare for the season.
Almsgiving is another pillar of Lent.
It’s different from Almsgiving during the rest of the year; different than our routine, daily Almsgiving.
We talk about how to do Almsgiving during Lent, and what it’s meaning, purpose, and origin is.
Prayer during Lent is our second Lenten topic as we prepare for the season.
Prayer is another pillar of Lent. It’s different than prayer during the rest of the year; different than our routine, daily prayer.
We talk about how to do prayer during Lent, and what it’s meaning, purpose, and origin is.
Fasting during Lent is often not considered until someone asks us what we are giving up.
Then, suddenly, without having thought of it prior, we say something like, “Chocolate” or “My favorite TV show.”
In this episode presented a month before having to start fasting, we explore what it all means, to help make the discernment of what to give up more focused and meaningful.
And Beth gives a great prayer inspired by the Holy Spirit to help you out. So inspired, we drop the mic.
What is Lent?
Lent is a liturgical season of fasting, prayer, almsgiving, preparation, and enlightenment.
Okay – what does that mean?
Why do we celebrate and observe it?
How do we do all that?
So many questions – and we give an overview during these short twenty minutes, as an introduction to the next three weeks as we prepare for Lent.
The Gift of Creation is something we might take for granted or not comprehend completely.
Certainly, the latter!
Maybe you think that Pope Francis a couple of years ago came and turned everything upside down with his encyclical about our care of the environment and world around us, Laudato si’.
What does it mean to be caretakers with dominion?
Well, we talk about that, with a good story of dead chickens and a lot of funny confusion – since this was not the topic we had decided to talk about before pressing record…
More fun and laughs!
The Mass dismissal is perhaps the most important part of the Mass after the source and summit, the Eucharist.
It calls us to action, drives us to purpose, and requires of us dedication.
Are we up to that task?
Beth and Kristofer reveal their favorite dismissal – and, more entertaining, their least favorite. As they muddle along as Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum, they invite you to contemplate the dismissal as more than just an invitation to go to the donut shop!
They also give a tutorial on movie end credits, and an homage to Ferris Buehler…
This was a fun episode to do, and is a funny one to listen to!
What’s in a word?
Glory is one of those words that the English language has done a disservice to. It’s like “snow” compared to indigenous people in polar regions, or “love” translated from the Greek in the English Bible.
In this episode dedicated to Mary Henriquez, Beth and Kristofer discuss the idea of glory, and the many facets of it, and how it is used for its many different meanings.
Beth shares some history and meanings of words we use that are a part of the meaning of glory, so Kristofer learns a little Hebrew and Greek, despite his uncanny ability to get distracted by everything.
And they do it all in less than 22 minutes!
As a bonus, Kristofer keeps the song references to only those that have “glory” in them. Apparently, there are a lot.
Most likely this is a term you have not heard. But it is the thread that encapsulates our entire faith. It is what our entire existence and salvation relies upon.
In this episode, we share the Kerygma, define it, and invite you to join us in it. The only gain you get is Heaven.
Kerygma is the biggest secret, but also the most obvious thing…
Beth and Kristofer conflict with each other in this episode. Beth’s knowledge and wisdom butts up against Kristofer’s ignorance, and the result is a classic pursuit of Perfection!
Who goes to Heaven?
Some say only Catholics. Some say Catholics do not. Some say all sorts of things.
What does the Catholic Church say?
In this episode that we did while driving back from Kristofer’s spiritual director, we tackle a question brought up by a friend and actually addressed by the Church.
We go Summa on you, Vatican II on you, and all that in 20 minutes, when we could have answered it in less than a second.
Which we do about six minutes in.
So how do we know we are or have discerned God’s Will?
In this episode, Kristofer gives one of many concrete examples while he and Beth challenge us to see the miraculous as merely God’s Will that we should expect.
Beth gives great counsel on seeking God’s Will while Kristofer accidentally trips over some doctrine, thinking he came up with something The Church might have missed.
We CAN know God’s Will.
The Lord’s will and how we know it is His will for us and how we can discern his will and what that means, are, as Beth puts it, the topic of this episode.
That’s a lot, and though we go deep we barely scratch the surface.
Or pound nails, as Kristofer’s inadvertent carpentry analogy gets a lot of air-time and seems to work the further we get into it.
Discerning what God wants us to do is simple.
This is a topic worthy of more than one episode, so this is part one.
What is my role as a lay person in the Church?
As laity we need to recognize how crucial we are to the Church.
This important discussion about the family of The Church – you and we who, without us, there is no Church – edifies all of us little people, and explores what we can and should do as members of the largest family in the history of the universe.
A little Mr. Rogers and some Bobby McFerrin to accompany us on this beautiful day in our neighborhood, Kristofer gets a bit philosophical at the risk of causing you to stop listening, and Beth makes some theological points in layman’s terms.
Thanks for joining us, neighbor!
What is The Incarnation?
More to the point, how do we approach it in our daily lives, particularly as we prepare The Way of The Lord during Advent?
In this fast-paced walk and talk, we cover this deep subject with good humor and solid exploration, without going into the theology too much.
It’s a fun and lighthearted twenty minutes while we honor and revere the dangerous significance of this normalizing event of Jesus taking on skin and bones.
What do we do about Family interactions during the holidays?
In perhaps our most fun episode to date in terms of just rolling with it, Beth tries to make a point while Kristofer goes off into la la land.
Music, movie, cartoon, disco, philosophy, sitcoms and saint references seem to come easily when one person comes from a solid family of origin and another comes from the family that put fun into dysfunctional.
But, seriously, this is good stuff with some actual pointers. And even Larry gets into it…
LOTS of show notes with timestamps here, too.
How is Advent celebrated?
Celebrating Advent is sometimes overlooked in anticipation of Christmas, but for a Catholic, Advent is that anticipation as we begin a new Liturgical Year.
In this episode we discuss the many ways our family does – and yours can – celebrate Advent, and not just with an Advent Calendar.
There are tons of ways to make it a celebration every day for all four weeks! This is how we do it…and we provide the resources for you to do it, too!
What makes our Catholic Faith work in our daily lives? With concrete examples and references from Monty Python to Frank Zappa, Kristofer and Beth explain how to eat an elephant – and pave the road to perfection with little cobblestones in our every waking moment. One of us is really good at this. The other is not – but there is still Hope for him!
What is Life? With some help from The Beatles, Deep Thought, Mikey, Topol and Fiddler on the Roof, we explore the Catholic perspective on Life, the Universe, and Everything. Well, at least as much as we can in 20 minutes!
Why do Catholics have saints? What are the Saints for, why do we have All Saints Day? In this episode of On the Road to Perfection, Mama and Daddy answer all those questions with their usual brevity and wit.
Why Does The Catholic Church Not Believe In Cremation? Beth and Kristofer do not accept the premise.
Does the Church discourage cremation? Sure.
But it also accepts the occasional necessity of cremation, and when chosen prudently it is not a sin.
But when done for the wrong reasons, it is a grave sin. No pun intended!
Listen to understand the nuances of the Church’s teaching on this sensitive and often gut-wrenching topic.