Narrated by Christopher O. Blum
In 1978, Pope John Paul II became one of the youngest popes ever elected. At the time of his death in 2005, he was also one of the longest serving popes, having lived into his early 80s. From his own experience of growing old, and only five and a half years before his death, John Paul wrote and shared this moving letter, addressed “To my elderly brothers and sisters.” His letter shares and cherishes the experiences, beauty, agony, and dignity of growing old and drawing closer to God. “The years pass quickly,” he writes, “and the gift of life, for all the effort and pain it involves, is too beautiful and precious for us to ever grow tired of it.”
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Why would an all-powerful, all-loving God allow suffering and evil in the world? As Fr. Robert Spitzer, S.J., Ph.D. explains, unsatisfying answers to this important question are the #1 reason for atheism today. But by answering this question with logic and love (as well as with scientific, peer-reviewed evidence for the existence of life after death), we can not only answer this question truthfully and satisfactorily, but also teach our fellow Christians how to suffer well, in preparation for the limitless love of God that awaits us in eternity.
This talk was recorded by FOCUS, at SEEK 2013. focus.org
People love stories. But when we lose sight of where the story of our life is going, the “narrative” and meaning of our lives becomes confusing to us, and we can lose hope. In this dynamic talk, Sr. Miriam James Heidland, SOLT, renews our sense of hope and wonder (and humor), revealing that the reason we love stories is that we are part of a good story; one that answers the deepest desires and longings of our hearts. Whatever chapter our lives are in, God can transform our story, so that we can know and experience the beauty, adventure, and love for which we were created.
When you hear the word “addiction”, what typically comes to mind? Needles? Alcohol? Pills? As Jim Owens, MA, LPC explains, addiction is much simpler, including everything from substances to technology, screen time, work, shopping, and even sugar. Addictions and distractions are used to manage pain—but in the process, end up damaging our brains, our relationships, and our ability to find lasting happiness. Jim gives scientific evidence and practical advice for overcoming wounds, to help hurt people become healed people.
At the conclusion of this talk, you will also be able to hear a bonus sample of the CD: Know Your Story: The Love God in the Narrative of Your Life by Sr. Miriam James Heidland, SOLT.
The clergy sexual abuse scandals have rocked the Catholic Church and caused a crisis of faith (and of evangelization) for many. When facing such a daunting and terrible crisis, it can be difficult to find the right way forward.
In this talk, Dr. Tim Gray explains with conviction and insight that to make any real and lasting change, we must keep faith, and look closely at the deep roots behind this crisis. Times of great scandal and corruption in the Church can be followed by times of even greater renewal and revival, if faithful men and women will enter the constructive conflict that truth requires.
“Tim offers a voice of reason and hope in the midst of these dire scandals. This talk brings light to the darkness.”
Suicide is the second-leading cause of death for youth and young adults. Yet despite the many TV shows, movies, and articles on this topic, suicide, depression, self-harm, and loneliness remain difficult subjects for adults of any age to discuss. Speaking with honesty, humor, and personal experience, Noelle Garcia tackles these issues head-on, encouraging those who are struggling (or know someone who is) that God's mercy and love are waiting for them; that you, and your life, truly matter.
Masculinity. In recent years, the use of this word has become controversial, and discussion about it unwelcome or silenced. Is all masculinity “toxic”? Dr. Tim Gray strongly asserts that while fallen masculinity does exist, authentic, God-given masculinity is a great virtue that is desperately needed in our world. Drawing on personal and cultural examples, Tim challenges men to face their fears about failing or "striking out," and encourages them to become the men they desire to be—loyal, dependable, and beloved friends, spouses, and fathers—in the image of Jesus Christ, the Perfect Man.
The Millennial Generation has grown to adulthood. Having experienced many of the conveniences and pitfalls of new technologies, social media, student loan debt, and adult life, millennials have also developed a genuine desire to do something great with their lives, but often don't know how to get there. As fellow millennial Paul J. Kim shares with great humor and insight, tackling life's big challenges and desires for vocation, career, and greatness can give powerful witness to God and the gift of life.
Advent is an odd season. Unlike most other seasons, it’s a season that isn’t about itself, but is instead about preparing for Christmas. But that reality often gets lost in the shuffle and stress of trying to find all the right gifts, decorations, and dinner ingredients. In this talk, Dr. Tim Gray uses storytelling and the readings of the Old Testament to explain that we need to live the ‘pre-season’ of Advent well, so we can be prepared to welcome and receive the greatest gift God the Father wants to give us at Christmas: His Son, Jesus.