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In this talk—Part 1 of a special two-part Lighthouse Talks presentation—Augustine Institute
professor Dr. Ben Akers gives a meditative, Scriptural reflection on keeping vigil at the foot of the
cross with Jesus' mother Mary. Dr. Akers explains the deeper meaning behind Jesus' confusing
address of Mary as “Woman,” and illuminates the connections and foreshadowing between the
biblical stories of Creation, the Wedding at Cana, and the Crucifixion. We learn profoundly, as Dr. Akers explains, that “everything Mary does points us to her Son."
Having a good sense of humor can really help in marriage! In this talk, psychologist, speaker, and author Dr. Ray Guarendi weaves great humor and storytelling into his constructive advice and practical insights on all things men, women, and marriage—differences, communication, habits, parenting, the importance of apologies, and more. Be entertained and be encouraged to live and love a good marriage. "My wife thought I was afraid of commitment... two years into the relationship, she said to me, 'You either tell me your name, or it's over!'"
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.
Have you ever struggled with prayer? Lack of time, focus, or understanding of what to do can all be a challenge. As Augustine Institute professor and author Dr. Michael Patrick Barber explains, prayer is critical to our relationship with God, just as good communication is critical to our relationships with our loved ones. Citing deep biblical insights and humorous personal stories, Dr. Barber offers encouragement and practical suggestions for how we can better approach the practice of prayer, and teaches the surprising importance of theological study. “The more you love someone, the more you want to know about them; and the more you know them, the more you love them.”
Death by suicide is sadly at pandemic proportions, killing more people every year than war and homicide combined. While many people know that the Church condemns suicide as a grave sin, few people know that the Church does not teach that a person who commits suicide is automatically condemned to hell. As Fr. Chris Alar, MIC shares in this insightful talk (based upon his book, After Suicide, given an imprimatur), while suicide remains grave and tragic, we must never despair of God's mercy, and we must know that our prayers can powerfully help those who have taken their own lives, and those who have been left behind.
Has Scripture ever made you uncomfortable? Do you have questions or doubts about events in the Bible that seem difficult to explain? In this important talk, author and Augustine Institute professor Dr. Mark Giszczak illuminates "the dark passages of Scripture"— those biblical events of violence and suffering that may not seem compatible with a loving and merciful God. Dr. Giszczak explains how God's justice, mercy, and love are all wholly compatible in Scripture, and asserts the importance of reading these passages with faith, intelligence, and within the teaching of the Church.
Patrick W. Lappert, M.D., a deacon and plastic surgeon, brilliantly and compassionately enters the important and challenging conversation about transgenderism and persons who identify as transgender. Speaking from the perspectives of biology, medicine, psychology, theology, and more, Dr. Lappert teaches how questions of human identity, sexuality, woundedness, and the desire for happiness must all be addressed and answered by the truth of what it means to be a human person, made in the image and likeness of God.
Depression and guilt. Sadness and anger. Drug and alcohol abuse. Feeling unforgivable. As Shawna Arnold explains, these symptoms of post-abortion trauma can be overwhelming—but they cannot withstand the love and mercy of God, who makes all things new. In this moving talk, Shawna describes her life experiences, and how she found her way back to the Church and the loving embrace of the Father.