Pop-Up Catechesis: Spirituality Is Not a Slice of the Pie

If you were to create a pie chart showing how much time you devote to your home life (including sleeping), work, exercise, socializing, and hobbies, how big of a slice would you show for spirituality? For many of us, we might be tempted to add up the time we spend in spiritual practices such as going to church, praying, reading the Bible and other inspirational literature, and perhaps visiting a spiritual director or participating in […]

Pop-Up Catechesis: Spiritual Receptivity

Being proactive and taking the initiative are good things. In fact, the late author Stephen Covey considered proactivity as one of his 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Unfortunately, this line of thinking often creeps into our spiritual lives, fooling us into thinking that we can take the initiative and be proactive in our relationship with God, when, in truth, spirituality is all about receiving. God takes the initiative to reach out to us, and […]

Pop-Up Catechesis: The Precepts of the Church

I recall when taking courses as an undergraduate, it was common to ask professors about the syllabus: “Are all these required reading?” “How long does the final paper need to be?” Such questions are intended to identify the bare minimum required for us to pass the course. Obviously, by doing the bare minimum, one would usually end up with a C for the course, which means “satisfactory.” Even in relationships, we sometimes find ourselves saying […]

Pop-Up Catechesis: Praying the Acts of Faith, Hope, and Love

In the movie Ghost, Sam (Patrick Swayze) never says the words, “I love you” to Molly (Demi Moore), instead opting for the response, “Ditto.” His inability to say the words, “I love you,” cause Molly to question Sam’s commitment to their relationship. She rightly wants him to say the words as an action that confirms his commitment to her. The truth is, some words we speak are “efficacious,” which means that speaking the words achieves […]

Pop-Up Catechesis: Listening for God’s Call

When St. Joan of Arc was on trial for heresy, the Inquisitor mocked her for claiming that she heard God’s voice speaking to her. He said, “It’s only your imagination!” Joan responded, “Of course! How else would God speak to me but through my imagination?” This story teaches us that we need to pay attention to how God is speaking to us through our thoughts, feelings, desires, hopes, dreams, imagination, and memories. Our vocation, or […]

Pop-Up Catechesis: The Bible Is Revelation

I have to laugh when I see TV shows called Secrets of the Bible or Bible Secrets Revealed or some such title. The implication is that the Bible was written in code and needs to be deciphered by experts to reveal deep secrets that are hidden from plain sight. I laugh because the Bible is the complete opposite of a collection of secrets; it is revelation! In other words, Scripture is one of the most powerful […]

Pop-Up Catechesis: Holy Days

As Catholics, we are accustomed to the phrase, holy days of obligation. What exactly does it mean to refer to a day (or an hour or a week) as holy? And what do we mean by the word obligation? In this episode of Pop-Up Catechesis, we explore the meaning of holy days as days set apart for God. For more information about holy days of obligation, check out the following links: Helping Young People Understand […]

Pop-Up Catechesis: Responding to God’s Call

It’s nice to be invited to take the lead on an exciting project or to accept a new job offer that has come our way unexpectedly. It can also be very frightening! Such invitations always come with a fair amount of unknowns that cause us to hesitate and perhaps even doubt ourselves and our capabilities. This often happens when we sense that God is calling us to move in a new direction in our life. […]

Pop-Up Catechesis: Practicing Humility

Being humble is definitely not in vogue these days! In fact, quite the opposite is true as celebrities, athletes, and politicians all seem determined to toot their own horns as loudly as possible. Unfortunately, humility too often gets bad press in our contemporary culture, which tends to view it as a belittling of oneself. Humility, however, is “not thinking less of yourself, but thinking about yourself less.” (C.S. Lewis) Humility is simply seeing ourselves as […]

Pop-Up Catechesis: Practicing the Virtue of Temperance

Part of my growing up included working in my dad’s drugstore. As I grew older, I began to strategize ways to increase sales. I learned about the reality of impulse buying and proceeded to surround the check-out area with impulse items such as gum, disposable lighters, snack bars, breath fresheners, travel-size beauty items and sundries, and so on. The truth is, we do a lot of things on impulse, which means that we act without […]

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