Super Bowl LVII

Great game! I didn’t really have a favorite, so I’m just glad it was fun to watch. Congrats to all the Chiefs fan, and my condolences to the Eagles. Don’t worry, you will fly, fly again.

Someone noticed that our previous podcast didn’t have much of a discussion about sports. Don’t worry, we more than make up for it in this episode! Changes to the NBA, flag football, the Super Bowl… Fr. Dave is even excited that pitchers and catchers had to show up to work this week.

I didn’t realize that this Super Bowl was the first time there were two Black quarterbacks facing each other in the big game, and that lead us to a discussion about race and the beauty of diversity, especially in the Catholic Church. In closing, Fr. Dave shared his experience on campus this weekend, and how truly wonderful our students are!

The song at the end is, “Like A Child At Rest.” I’ll have more of a write up on that tomorrow, so check back!

The Hours: Inheritance Divine

Please support our project by going here!

This song mixes two scriptures together, prayed at different times in the Liturgy of Hours. The first verse is based on Habakkuk 3:17-19.

For the the fig tree blossoms not

Nor fruit be on the vines,

though the yield of the olive fail

and the terraces produce no nourishment,

Though the flocks disappear from the fold

and there be no herd in the stalls

Yet will I rejoice in the Lord

and exult in my saving God

God, my Lord, is my strength;

he makes my feet swift as those of hinds

and enables me to go upon the heights.

The second verse is drawn from Psalm 127:1-2.

If the Lord does not build the house,

in vain do its builders labor;

if the Lord does not watch over the city,

in vain does the watchman keep vigil.

In vain is your earlier rising your going later to rest,

you who toil for the bread you eat:

when he ours gifts on his beloved while they slumber.

Both Scriptures proclaim the faithfulness and protection of God, even when everything looks bad. Where can we get this confidence? In that we are his sons and daughters. So that is why I added the line, “I will not fear as you are near, Inheritance Divine.”

Thank you so much for all of you who have already supported this project!

The Hours: Beloved King

Please support our project by going here!

Since Mary wrote this song, I’ll let her give the explanation…

Have you ever read something that cut straight to your heart? Something that just seemed to speak directly to you and to open up a new way of seeing?  

That’s what happened the first time I read the writings of St. Therese of Lisieux. A friend gifted me a book of little quotes from Therese’s letters for my 18th birthday. The more I read about her “little way,” the more my heart burned with a new understanding and hope that God could make me holy too.  

In her writings, the Lord was always St. Therese’s “Beloved King.” She was an ‘all-or-nothing’ kind of woman who was not capable of loving with anything less than her whole self. And the thing is, her Beloved King took her home to heaven when she was only 24. For me, the greatest witness of her life was this:

You don’t have to be great in the eyes of the world for the Lord to make you holy. You don’t have to be spectacular for the Lord do great things through you. There is no age limit on loving the Lord with your whole heart.  

If the little way of a young, cloistered Carmelite nun can make a difference in my life 118 years after her death, then nothing is impossible for God for the heart that says “yes” to Him.  

I never want to forget that witness, so I imagined what it might sound like if St. Therese were to write a song. From that place, Beloved King was born.  

I pray that it blesses you and helps you to encounter your Beloved King in a new way!  

– Mary

Authentic Friendships

Dang, third post in a week! And another one tomorrow 🙂 It might look like I’m really busy online, but many of these things (Speaking with Deacons, music from “The Hours”) are things I worked on last semester and now get a chance to share with you.

Except for this episode, which I recorded with Fr. Dave on Monday. We talk about the usual random stuff (Chinese balloons and the Pro Bowl), but then discuss what it means to have authentic friendships. I’m so glad I have an authentic friendship with Dave!

We close by looking forward to Lent (just two weeks away!) and encourage you all to think about what God is inviting you to do in that season.

What Does God Want? (Consistent)

Another tool for discernment is what Fr. Mike called “the consistency test.” Is the manner in which you think God is calling you similar to the ways he has spoken to you before? There is often a pattern to the way God communicates with us, and understanding that pattern can help us more quickly identify the voice of God.

That concept really opened my eyes. Sometimes we expect God to speak to us in a shocking new way, something out of the blue that grabs our attention. However, most of the time he speaks to us in a similar manner. In this episode, Mike and I discuss different ways the Lord has spoken to us, and also draw some examples from his book.

Yes, a Tuesday post instead of a Monday one! It is because yesterday I posted video from the album I’m trying to raise funds for, The Hours. That fundraiser lasts all month, so the next episode of Speaking with Deacons will post Tuesday, February 28th. I pray you are being blessed by these episodes!

What Does God Want? (Discernment) Speaking with Deacons

In this final episode of "What Does God Want?", Dcn. Bob and Dcn. Mike discuss two more "c" words, "Confusion" and "Courage," and wrap up the series by offering practical advice on how to apply these principles in prayerful discernment.
  1. What Does God Want? (Discernment)
  2. What Does God Want? (Confirmation and Conviction)
  3. What Does God Want? (Consistent)
  4. What Does God Want? (Conversion)
  5. What Does God Want? (Conformity)

Canticle of Judith

If you aren’t familiar, Judith is a book in the Old Testament—one of the ones that isn’t included in the Bibles that Protestant’s use. Because so much praise and worship music is written by Protestants (and, by the way, thank you to all the Protestants who write such beautiful praise and worship music!), I wanted to write a song focused on these Scriptures, to give Judith a “voice” she might not otherwise have. 

I put the lyrics together based on Judith chapter 16—her song of victory (the one used in the Liturgy of the Hours). Mary, Anna, and I wrote the music together. Mary suggested really cool chord changes while Anna helped create the melody line. 

Anna does an incredible job on this song. She has a beautiful and powerful alto voice, one that doesn’t get featured enough in the summer conferences. Don’t blame me! Most of the contemporary worship music written these days starts low and ends high, so we wrote a chorus that starts high but ends in a lower register where Anna’s vocals really shine. 

Judith is the story of a beautiful woman who saves her people by getting the enemy commander drunk and cutting off his head! Yeah, the Old Testament has stuff like that in it. Early Church fathers suggested she was a foreshadowing of Mary, the one who would cut off the head of the serpent to save her people. The verse, “But the Lord saved his people by the hand of a woman” (Judith 16:5) is used in an antiphon on Mary’s feast days. 

We recorded this video live in “The George,” the music center on campus named after my dad. We’ve got two more live videos coming your way over the next few weeks, as well as a couple of lyric videos. I hope you are blessed by them. If you haven’t done so yet, please support this project! And if you have, spread the word to others to let them know about what we are doing. On behalf of Mary, Anna, and myself, we are so grateful for all the support we have received so far. CLICK HERE TO SUPPORT “THE HOURS!”

“The Hours” is now LIVE!

I can’t tell you how excited I am to share this new album with you. This is something I’ve been working on with Mary and Anna Brewer over the past six months. But I need your help to finish it! Mary, Anna, and I wrote a number of songs based on the Liturgy of the Hours, and I think it sounds beautiful (with most of the credit going to the Brewer sisters!). Can you check out the kickstarter page to find out more about it? And, if possible, please support it any way you can!

Hope in Division

First, condolences to all the Bengals and 49ers fans out there, and congrats to the Eagles and the Chiefs! I can’t say I really prefer one over the other that much (though the Chiefs played the Buccaneers in the Super Bowl a couple years back). So… go team!

One of the big things in the Catholic world that happened this week was an article in America Magazine written by Cardinal McElroy, and I’m glad I got a chance to discuss that with Fr. Dave. One of the takeaways for me was that, though McElroy implied he was in line with what Pope Francis had said, Pope Francis has already definitively spoken against some of what McElroy proposes.

That was a part of a wider conversation of “media bias,” and how hard it can be to get to the truth about things, especially when we only hear soundbites from media sources. I’m really excited about the upcoming conference Franciscan is sponsering with EWTN news about this! Find out more here:

Speaking of links to click on… fundraising for my new album launches today! PLEASE check out my kickstarter page to see if it is something you feel called to help with:

Conversion of St. Paul

Today is the “Conversion of St. Paul,” and it is one of Fr. Dave’s favorite feast days. Personally, I’m partial to the feast day of St. Timothy and Titus (but that is probably because it is my birthday).

Fr. Dave got back from the March for Life and had some great stories to share. We both discussed how our pro-life advocacy is even more important than ever—having Roe v. Wade overturned means we now have to promote the message of life in 50 states, not just in DC.

We also talk about football (of course), our favorite seasons of the year, and the upcoming Eucharistic Revival. Most importantly, we do in this episode what we want to do in every episode: a chance to laugh, and an opportunity to grow in hope 🙂

PS. Stay to the end of the episode! For the next few weeks, we will feature a song from my new album with the Brewer Sisters, “The Hours.” This song is called “Listening” and was written by Mary Brewer (who also sung the lead vocal). If you like this music, we need your support to make it a reality! Our Kickstarter fundraising project will be from Feb 1-28, but you can sign up for updates right now at

What Does God Want? (Conversion)

In this episode of Speaking with Deacons, Dcn. Mike and I talk about the second question that Fr. Mike Scanlan proposes we ask when discerning: “Does it encourage conversion?”

Fr. Mike wrote, “The world is full of ideas and pleasures and values that tug at our hearts. We are always being converted from something old to something new.” Seeing our decisions in light of “conversion” was a new thought for me. In this episode, I reflect on how at one point in my life I was “converted” to being a member of Disney Vacation Club (or, even as some members of DVC call it, “Disney Vacation Cult”!). I was putting too much of my heart into it, and realized it wasn’t something that was healthy or leading me to God. Now, I’m in a much better place (and still enjoy going, BTW).

The key to knowing if something encourages conversion or not is by results, or “fruits”. These can be fruits we imagine will occur (if we are making a new decision) or fruits in the present moment (if we are reconsidering a decision or a situation we find ourselves in). It is so easy to justify our decisions, so taking a sober look at the “fruits” of the decision can really help us in understanding whether or not this is leading us to our ultimate goal: eternal life and union with Jesus Christ.

Sometimes those “fruits” take time to cultivate, and that is why we need have determination to keep at things, even when we want to give up. Mike shares a great story about how he and his children got involved in martial arts and committed to staying in it until being blackbelts (note to self: don’t get Dcn. Mike angry). It was the “future” fruit they were working towards, and it eventually yielded a great result.

I pray you enjoy this episode! As always, if you can support this work, you can buy me a coffee. And thanks for those of you who already have!