Throughout the Church's history there has been crisis and confusion over Church teaching. Today, there is crisis and confusion surrounding the Sacrament of Marriage. As Augustine Institute President and Professor Dr. Tim Gray explains, this crisis presents an immense opportunity, as it encourages us to explore and discover the depth of this mystery, described by Pope Benedict XVI as "a Gospel in itself". When lived faithfully and well, marriage serves as a bold witness to the love and saving power of God.
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What is Purgatory? Does it exist? Does it matter? As professor and speaker Dr. Mark Miravalle explains, not only is the doctrine of Purgatory true, and deeply rooted in Sacred Scripture and Tradition, but the practice of offering prayers and sacrifices for the souls of the dead is a critically important responsibility for every member of the Body of Christ—the family of the Church.
Advent, the season in which we prepare for Christmas, is a penitential season. One of the key acts of penance that the Church recommends is almsgiving. But why? Citing the Old and New Testaments, the Catechism, and his own engaging personal stories, professor and author Dr. Michael Barber explains the “inner logic” of almsgiving, and how this often-misunderstood aspect of our faith is a critically important good work, related to our own unmerited redemption in Jesus Christ.
The words that we speak to ourselves shape our self-perception; how we see ourselves, and how we act. Despite being told perhaps more than any other generation to love and believe in themselves, this generation struggles more than any other with anxiety, self-loathing, and low self-esteem. In this talk, speaker and author Chris Stefanick tackles the lies which hold us captive to these struggles, and boldly shares the Good News of Jesus Christ—that Love Himself has come to redeem us, and destined us for eternal glory.
Following Christ can entail fear, risk, and uncertainty. But as St. John Henry Newman boldly preaches, this reality reveals how crucially important and worthwhile it is to undertake such a venture. “No one among us knows for certain that he himself will persevere; yet every one among us, to give himself even a chance of success at all, must make a venture... and in this consists the excellence and nobleness of faith.”
Click here for a PDF of "The Ventures of Faith", written by St. John Henry Newman.
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
Our weaknesses and our wounds can often make us feel inadequate. But as Sr. Bethany Madonna, S.V. illustrates with her insightful humor and profoundly memorable stories, bringing these weaknesses and wounds to God the Father can allow us to become strong with the Father's strength, and to be healed by the Healer. “The Father Himself loves you... He wants to be with you, at every moment; in every suffering, every pain, every desire and longing.”
In a recent Pew survey, two-thirds of Catholics reported that they did not know or believe in the Church's teaching on the Eucharist. Diving into the writings of early doctors and fathers of the Church, and drawing upon his own experience as a scholar of history, practicing Catholic, and former Protestant, Dr. John Sehorn addresses the “mind-boggling” and difficult truth of Jesus' presence in the Blessed Sacrament. It is a truth that confronts us, challenges us, and is one of the greatest gifts that we will ever receive.
Femininity today can be confusing. What is it? What is it not? Are the stereotypes true? With humor, personal stories, and profound insights from the life of Mary and the writings of St. John Paul II, speaker Noelle Garcia shares how by growing in relationship with Mary, we can heal our understanding and relationships as women—daughters, mothers, friends, and wives—and discover the beauty, joy, and gift of true, God-given femininity.