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Despite many iconic superheroes in the MCU, the ‘ordinary’ Cap tops most polls as favourite. Why is this? Fr James Baptist explores the origins and inspiration of Steve Rogers, and describes his own connection with the character’s virtues. Journey with the superhero that has been dubbed by foe and friend as “God’s righteous man.” Here are some of the clips mentioned in the podcast:  Dr Erskin's chat with Steve Rogers ((Captain America: The First Avenger) The Grenade scene (Captain America: The First Avenger) The Portal scene ((Avengers: Endgame) Here also is the clip from Fr Mike Schmitz: Superheroes analysed
How does a Disney movie open up a conversation about The Baptism in the Holy Spirit? Join Bernadette MGL, myself & Encanto's cast (and mansion) as we explore our church in crisis and the incredible grace poured out for its renewal!'Deeper' Retreat (June, 2022)“Delve deeper in your experience of Baptism in the Holy Spirit, be encouraged in discipleship, activate the charismatic gifts and be equipped for mission through inputs, discussion, prayer and practical workshops.” Target: Those who want to grow deeper in the grace of the Baptism in the Spirit Dates: 1-5 June, 2022 Venue 1: Varroville, NSW Australia & Venue 2: Canberra, ACT, Australia For more information or register, click here for Canberra, and here for Varroville 'Open Wide' Retreat (Oct, 2022)"This is a retreat for deepening in God’s love, seeking restoration, and empowerment to live your life open wide to the Holy Spirit, and an opportunity to be prayed with for Baptism in the Holy Spirit." Target: Those who are new and open to the grace of Baptism in the Spirit Dates: 28 - 30 Oct, 2022 Venue: Varroville, NSW Australia For more information or register, click here! Catholic Resources for Baptism in the Holy Spirit Catholic and Charismatic (introduction to history and FAQ of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal) The Baptism in the Holy Spirit and Fire | The Wild Goose Charis International website (Charis is the international body, established by the Holy See, to coordinate the Catholic Charismatic Renewal) 
Enter the mystery of Holy Week through one my FAVOURITE short stories ever! I’ve loved the Tale of the Three Trees since I was a child … and I trust the beauty and simple truth of the story will lift your gaze heavenward too! You can read along with the text of the story here.To listen to another great Easter Triduum story, please visit the The Lonely Little Cave episode, written by Br Lawrence and Fr Dave Tremble MGL!Soundtrack: A special thanks to Rebecca E Tripp for allowing me to use her wonderful music covers on The Myth Pilgrim! To follow Rebecca and her work, please see the these links.(YouTube) (Facebook) (SubscribeStar)The Soundtracks used this episode were her covers of  Eternal Recurrence (Secret of Mana) Rosa’s theme (Final Fantasy IV) Silent Light – Medina Village (Chrono Trigger) Aerith’s theme (Final Fantasy VII)
Our image of healthy masculinity and femininity is as wounded today as it is diminished. Borrowing Chinese wisdom from Shang Chi, learn how the biblical vision of man and woman can be illustrated through the Taoist Yin and Yang. Learn how Ying Li embodies both the gentleness and strength of Mother Mary! Excerpt: "... Like in the bible, this truth is echoed in Taoist wisdom. A man should still be Yang dominated – strong, intelligent, determined etc… but also, learn to be compassionate, tender and patient. Jesus himself was like this – and he is masculinity per excellence. At the same time, healthy authentic femininity is a woman who is able to integrate the masculine within herself, even while never losing anything that makes her feminine. A woman should still be Yin dominated – gentle, nurturing and humble, but also learn to be strong and firm and courageous and. Mary was like this, and I must say, the thing that most struck me about the entire Shang Chi is how Ying Li really captures the essence of what Mary would have been like, and how she continues to be like even after she is no longer physically with us..." Practical Pilgrim reflection: Meditation on Joseph: (Matthew chapters 1 and 2): "Now the birth of Jesus the Messiah took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been engaged to Joseph, but before they lived together, she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. Her husband Joseph, being a righteous man and unwilling to expose her to public disgrace, planned to dismiss her quietly. But just when he had resolved to do this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife, for the child conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” All this took place to fulfil what had been spoken by the Lord through the prophet: “Look, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel,” which means, “God is with us.” When Joseph awoke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him; he took her as his wife, but had no marital relations with her until she had borne a son and he named him Jesus...... Now after they had left, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, “Get up, take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there until I tell you; for Herod is about to search for the child, to destroy him.” Then Joseph got up, took the child and his mother by night, and went to Egypt, and remained there until the death of Herod. This was to fulfil what had been spoken by the Lord through the prophet, “Out of Egypt I have called my son.”Meditation on Mary: In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. And he came to her and said, “Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you.” But she was much perplexed by his words and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. The angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And now, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his ancestor David. He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.” Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I am a virgin?” The angel said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born[d] will be holy; he will be called Son of God. And now, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son; and this is the sixth month for her who was said to be barren. For nothing will be impossible with God.” Then Mary said, “Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.” Then the angel departed from her.In those days Mary set out and went with haste to a Judean town in the hill country, where she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the child leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit and exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. And why has this happened to me, that the mother of my Lord comes to me? For as soon as I heard the sound of your greeting, the child in my womb leaped for joy. And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her by the Lord.”And Mary said,“My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,for he has looked with favor on the lowliness of his servant.    Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed;for the Mighty One has done great things for me,    and holy is his name.His mercy is for those who fear him    from generation to generation.He has shown strength with his arm;    he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts.He has brought down the powerful from their thrones,    and lifted up the lowly;he has filled the hungry with good things,    and sent the rich away empty.He has helped his servant Israel,    in remembrance of his mercy,according to the promise he made to our ancestors,    to Abraham and to his descendants forever.”And Mary remained with her about three months and then returned to her home.
Blurb: Few realise that The Lord of the Rings author was a frontline soldier in WWI, one who knew tragedy and loss first hand. Given the looming shadow of war today, we journey with a man into his own Mordor, to allow his life, faith and creation to speak to our times. Excerpt: "...Years later, when asked by his own son Christopher about the effect of the war on him, he writes “I took to 'escapism': or really transforming experience into another form and symbol with Morgoth and Orcs and the Eldalië (representing beauty and grace of life and artefact) and so on; and it has stood me in good stead in many hard years since, and I still draw on the conceptions then hammered out." In other words, Tolkien’s pain and trauma were able to be transfigured and take on a new form, through his writings, especially his writings about war. Transfigured is a deliberate word I use because it is not as he offloaded the horrors of the war in his creative work … like how some artists would choose to capture their experiences in bloody, dark and menacing paintings and books. There is never any hint in LOTR or the hobbit that Tolkien glorified war or bloodshed. On the contrary, he instead says something quite startling about it: “The war made me poignantly aware of the beauty of the world...” 
Disney’s Encanto is a spiritual banquet … hence, we SHOULD talk about Bruno! Join guest speaker Bernadette Toohey MGL and I, as we explore the hidden spiritual gifts, our dignity, the centrality of family and what makes truly Encanto prophetic for our times!Excerpt: "...one of our focus areas at the moment in MGL sisters particularly, is allowing people to really know and to move out really powerfully in the spiritual gifts in the gifts that were given through the Holy Spirit...... regarding Bruno, I was thinking a little bit back to the prophets like Jeremiah, and I guess the prophet Elijah, and even say, John the Baptist, they're these kind of these weirdos that do strange things in Scripture, but they're actually really anointed with the Word of God... they were, in some way, kind of silenced and kind of ostracised from their not only their biological families, but from the church family precisely because they had a particular spiritual gift that was at that time, it seemed threatening to the norm. A bit like Bruno being prophetic of the fragmentation of the casita... and in some ways, it's like the Catholic church historically was like "Let's not talk about Francis..."All music used in the episode were SamYungOfficial’s covers from Disney’s Encanto soundtrack (Germaine Franco, Lin-Manuel Miranda)
Don't be deceived by the sci-fi wrappings of The Matrix - it is not only profoundly mythical in structure, but also deeply Christian. Learn how how the first movie presents the theology of salvation, the Holy Trinity, the nature of evil and spiritual blindness!"...Further, the first time in the Gospels Jesus meets John the Baptist (at least as grown ups), it was at his baptism in the Jordan river. Likewise, the first time Neo meets Morpheus, it is also at his equivalent baptism scene … with lots and lots of water present. First it is a thunder storming night with torrential rain. Then, when Neo takes the red pill, he literally gets reborn from the machine womb where you see him being detached from the artificial umbilical womb …he gets washed through a chute akin to the birth canal and is plunged into a pool of water, naked, before being raise back up into the light. And all this time, Trinity, the Spirit archetype is present by his side and over him. If this isn’t Catholic baptism symbolism I don’t know what is..."
Despite the holy grail's many appearances within pop culture, very little is actually known about how the original legend went ... and why. Be inspired by Sir Galahad's original quest, and be challenged to deepen your understanding of the sacraments!  Excerpt from episode: "... note the fact the grail is not presented as some treasure to be found that would instantly reward its finder. This makes the grail unlike something like, say the philosophers stone that promises to turn its discoverer into a wealthy person because of its ability to transmute any material into gold – like this would happen whether its finder was a tyrant or a saint. In a likewise way, the grail is also NOT like Aladdin’s lamp, that promises three wishes to anyone who finds it. Rather it is more true to say the holy grail chooses its finder, and at least demands of its finder some level of virtue in order to be found. Look at the idea of the Seat of Peril first of all … not anyone could sit in the coveted seat in Arthur’s round table, but only the one who was worthy. To try and take the honoured seat by force would prove lethal to its sitter. Then again look at the example of Lancelot, who was otherwise a good and noble knight, but nevertheless was unable to achieve the grail. He was blinded for twenty four days for his impurity with Guinevere, and before the glory of God, was driven to his knees in act of repentance ..."
You've probably heard that Santa Claus was based upon St Nicholas - but how well do you know his story? In this special episode, discover the legend behind St Nicholas and allow his story to shed fresh light upon presents this Christmas.Excerpt from episode "... wanting to remain hidden, bishop Nicholas instead climbs onto their roof, and throws the bag of money down the chimney into the fireplace. Some accounts say that the money, or at least a few coins, landed in the stockings being dried by the fireplace, from which the tradition of hanging Christmas stockings arises. Oh, and if you ever wondered about candy canes, they can also be linked to St Nicholas because they actually represent the Bishop’s crosier … that ceremonial shepherd’s crook that bishops carry. That and the fact St Nicholas / Santa wears red is a long tradition tracing back to the early church where Eastern bishops were adorned in red and white... "
Do you ever feel beyond redemption, or that someone is undeserving of mercy? Discover what message makes Les Miserables the longest running musical of all time, and let the journey of Jean Valjean become your own!Excerpt from episode: “…what happens next to that criminal we don’t know, but we do know that in this famous Les Miserables bishop scene, the criminal Valjean is shown mercy and is cut to the heart. He is shaken to the core by the bishop’s small act, and his life radically turns around 180 degrees. Whatever resentful worldview he had carried around as a thief and criminal melted away under grace, and Valjean spends the rest of his life repenting of his past and unfolding the implications of the mercy he had received. Where his old life had once been defined by what he took by force, his new life became defined by what he gave freely to others…”Divine Mercy resources Introduction to Divine Mercy (by Sr Gaudia Skass) The beautiful chanting of the Divine Mercy chaplet
Some accuse fairytales for setting up unrealistic expectations about life, love and fulfilment. What might be the Christian position on this? This episode locates fairytale endings within Jesus' resurrection, exploring how repentance is key to unlocking happily ever after today.  Excerpt from episode: "... okay, why did I share this passage from the Silmarillion? Because it illustrates a uniquely Christian understanding of how 'happily ever after' works. If Melkor’s ugly melody could be likened to our sin, then Illuvitar's final melody can be likened to Christ’s redemption, in which he takes our sinful melody and permanently transforms it into his glorious melody. In other words, the glory of Jesus’ resurrection does not simply lie in its ability to vanquish evil… any powerful god in antiquity could do that. No, the resurrection’s true glory lies in its ability to transform evil into a far greater good, a good that wasn’t even possible before the evil was committed..."
What is your greatest fear, and how would your life be different without it? “How to Train Your Dragon” is a beautiful tale about mastering one’s fear. Journey with Hiccup, unveil biblical truths about the nature of fear, and learn how it can transform into your greatest ally. "... There's something really important about gazing and looking at the object of one's fear in order to master it. I deliberately used the word "mastering" rather than "conquering" fear. This is what Hiccup had an opportunity to do with the trapped Night Fury, Toothless. Carl Jung says that 'the thing you most need will be found in the place you least desire to look'. This is profound."Original soundtracks from HTTYD were used this episode: Test Drive and Romantic Flight (composed by John Powell). 
Robin Hood famously ‘robbed from the rich to give to the poor’ ... but so did Jesus of Nazareth! And he still does so today. How? Journey with these two infamous outlaws, and have any ‘meek and mild’ notions of Jesus challenged!  Excerpt from episode: "Because the reality is, we dear listeners, the church-going, educated, well off ones who listen to awesome Catholic podcasts … we may well be the rich that Christ gives a message of warning. It is we from whom he may well ‘steal’ away our superficial sense of blessedness, to give to the poor. Not that there’s anything wrong of course from us attending Mass and being educated having some measure of financial stability. But if we start to think we deserve this, that God owes this sort of blessing to us, well, the Gospels and Robin Hood… have a warning to give us."
A misunderstood notion of “I can just follow my conscience” has been topical lately, even amongst the Catholic faithful. Using the timeless story of Pinocchio (and Jiminy cricket), this episode seeks to clarify what conscience is and isn’t, drawing from the rich teaching of the church. Be inspired and challenged!Key quotes from this episode:“Conscience is a judgment of reason whereby the human person recognizes the moral quality of a concrete act that he is going to perform, is in the process of performing, or has already completed. In all he says and does, man is obliged to follow faithfully what he knows to be just and right. It is by the judgment of his conscience that man perceives and recognizes the prescriptions of the divine law” (Catechism of the Catholic Church 1778).“Conscience must be informed and moral judgment enlightened. A well-formed conscience is upright and truthful. It formulates its judgments according to reason, in conformity with the true good willed by the wisdom of the Creator. The education of conscience is indispensable for human beings who are subjected to negative influences and tempted by sin to prefer their own judgment and to reject authoritative teachings.” (Catechism of the Catholic Church 1783)“Conscience is man’s most secret core, and his sanctuary. There he is alone with God whose voice echoes in his depths” (Gaudium et Spes n. 16).Additional Resource for "What if I disagree with church teaching" (Breaking the Habit)
St Padre Pio called the rosary "the weapon of these times." Discover how the legendary Excalibur, Lightsabre and the Elder Wand have nothing on the rosary. Discover this ancient weapon again, and with the intercession of Mary, defeat the Enemy in your life!  Talk: The Rosary: Invincible Weapon - Fr. Bill CaseyTalk: The Rosary: Spiritual Sword of Our Lady - Fr Don CallowayIntro to the Rosary: Bishop Barron on Word on Fire
“It's like in the great stories, Mr. Frodo. The ones that really mattered.” There are two stories that can rule our lives: the Me story (Ego-drama) and the God story (Theo-drama). The drama of Christianity is moving from one to the other, and this perilous! Journey with the hobbits as they leave the Shire and learn what it takes to enter the Great Story.Excerpt from episode"...I feel the drama of ‘entering the Great Story’ is the chief reason The Lord of the Rings speaks to our culture, and why we return to story again and again. It is really a story of how characters move away from a life centred around themselves, their own ego and will, and into a life fully given for others, surrendered for others. A life where they abandon their own will to surrender to a bigger will. Lord of the Rings is a story of moving from what Hans Ur Von Balthasar calls the Ego Drama of the self, into the Theo Drama of God’s story, pivoted around God and his purposes. We see this profoundly through the journey of the hobbits Frodo and Sam, Pippin and Merry. In the beginning, its all about the Shire, comforts, my will, the next party, the next pipe. It’s well and good as that’s where we start out life. By end of story, by end of trilogy, they are willing to give their lives for the bigger story, the bigger drama ay work that permeates all of Middle Earth and the history of Middle Earth..." St Ignatius Prayer of Surrender (Suspice): You can download a copy of the prayer used at the end here.---All soundtracks used this episode are from New Line Cinema's The Lord of the Rings OST (Composed by Howard Shore): The Shire, The Rohirrim, Rivendell, The Tales that really Matter, Arwen and Aragorn
Delight is the stuff of holiness!! And given our present circumstances, we could all do with a helping of Maria's delight and faith. Expand your horizons again, as I testify why Sound of Music is one my favourite movies of all time!Blurb: "We need Maria’s faith, her outlook that carries us with wings to be fully alive again, and to see the problems of life in their proper light. The movie is full of hope, a sort of hope that doesn’t belittle our problems, but helps us look at them with a fresh perspective, helping us notice once again how good life actually is. I often equate watching Sound of Music to looking at a big sunflower when you’re feeling blue, where you’re just reminded of the beauty and joy and innocence that’s still in the world, and the God who’s presence is everywhere! You just can’t help watching this film without feeling uplifted, for it very much is a story that celebrates the human spirit..." Here's the final "Climb Every Mountain" scene from the movieAll background music used this episode are covers from the Sound of Music OST (composed by Richard Rodgers, lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein). 
Greek philosophers Plato and Aristotle have long made their mark on Catholic theology ... but what about Confucius and Lao Tzu? Journey through Kung Fu Panda, and discover how Daoist and Confucian principles illuminate Catholic truths! (special thanks to my dad for his input for this episode too!)Excerpt from episode: "As I begin to explore these Taoist principals, can you see how they might shed light upon Christianity? Firstly, at the heart of our faith also lies great paradoxes. After all, we profess Jesus who is both God and man, one who is both mercy and justice. We profess a kingdom that is here, but not yet. Our own symbol, the cross, professes that out of sin comes grace, and that out of death, comes life. And we profess a church that is both institutional and charismatic, both human and divine. Dear friends … have you ever considered your own faith in this way? A faith that moves away from either-or thinking, and instead embraces both/and thinking? If you haven’t, I hardly blame you, because since the Enlightenment, we’ve tried to eliminate paradox ... and instead give nice clear answers and methods and programs for everything. We have become far too ‘Yang’, for lack of a better word, in our approach to the spiritual life. We have become a church that values doing, rather than being … and tend to prefer noise rather than silence, speaking rather than listening, asking rather than receiving." Official soundtracks used this episode: Oogway Ascends (Hans Zimmer, from Kung Fu Panda OST) Endless Love instrumental cover (Choi Joon Young, The Myth OST)
❄️How does my vocation journey lead to my sainthood? Relive the two Frozen films as Queen Elsa unravels the mystery of who she is, and how she is being called. Baptise your favourite songs 'Let it Go', 'Into the Unknown' and 'Show Yourself' through God's call in your own life! ❄️Excerpt from episode: "...she then slams the palace door shut. Now, at this point, I must apologize if I’m about to break a few hearts a little … because I’m going to suggest that while the song ‘Let it Go’ has some positive elements to it, it is actually quite a sad song. This is because it actually traps Queen Elsa in an unhealthy relationship with her gifts … and locks her into an inverted understanding of her vocation. But before you all write in and complain I’ve trashed your childhood let’s first look at those positive dimensions of the song first. If Elsa’s magical abilities could be likened to the unique gifts and talents God gives us, then it should be celebrated when she finally has an avenue to use them. For it would be tragic if fear prevented us from using our spiritual gifts – or charisms – that God has given us..." Show Yourself song from Frozen II: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nrZxwPwmgrwSoundtracks used in this episodeShow Yourself (Composed by and Kristen and Robert Lopez, from Frozen OST)All is Found - cover by 캣올린CatOlin (From Frozen II OST)Do you want to build a snowman - cover by Disney Peaceful Piano (From Frozen OST)Let it Go (slow version) - cover by Stellatsu (From Frozen OST)Into the Unknown - cover by Sam Yung (From Frozen II OST)Show Yourself - cover by Sam Yung (From Frozen II OST)
If we're honest, the Beatitudes are secretly ignored! After all, how can happiness come from being persecuted, poor, mourning and meek? Allow Harry, who embodies all these traits, to shed light on these enigmatic text! Excerpt from episode: "To recognise that poverty is the native state of every soul is the foundation of building a flourishing life. When we first meet Harry Potter in book one he already knows he has nothing, and to the world, is nothing. he possessed nothing of his own, had no family, friends, or status, and not even a place to call his own… living under a Dursley staircase. He had no idea who his parents were, what his own giftings were or the incredible destiny that awaited him in the Magical world. He was, in JK Rowling’s world, poor of spirit. While part of us feel sorry for the poor chap with his glasses held together with duct tape, I bet, there’s something deep within us that is also quite envious to be in young Harry’s position. For something in our spirit recognises…Harry is actually me"Link to the The Chosen Season 2, Episode 8Full episode https://watch.angelstudios.com/thechosen/watch?vid=S2:E8Beatitudes scene: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jbYgmhzkJTcLink to Moses Exile scene in Ten Commandmentshttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S8NpmpJt6OgSoundtracks used in this episode Esaoveja - composed by my friend Matthew Ward. Check out his Spotify channel! A window to the Past - composed by John Williams (cover by Michael Last MGL) O filii et filiae (Gregorian Chant) 
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