Five Minutes with Tony Agnesi
FMWT-099 Church, My Mom Made Me Go

FMWT-099 Church, My Mom Made Me Go

July 17, 2019

Faith was the center of my mother’s life.  Everything revolved around the church; mass, confession, holy days, and Christmas and Easter. My mom was also a stickler for attending mass and confession.  As a kid, I never got away without attending Sunday mass and every week, it was confession on Saturday mornings.  It wasn’t really my choice, my mom MADE me go!  In this podcast, Tony discusses the positive influence his mother had on his faith.

Scripture: Hear, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord alone!  Therefore, you shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength.  Take to heart these words which I enjoin on you today.  Drill them into your children.  Speak of them at home and abroad, whether you are busy or at rest.  Deuteronomy 6:4-7

Reflection:  How do you share the faith with your children?  Do you think that your faithfulness has rubbed off on your children?  How important is passing along your faith to your kids?

FMWT-098 Persistence in Prayer

FMWT-098 Persistence in Prayer

July 9, 2019

Do you ever feel like your prayers are never answered? Do you wonder if God actually hears your prayers? If God knows my needs, then why do I need to pray more than once or at all for that matter? Wouldn’t He just know and answer them? In this podcast, Tony discusses persistence in prayer.

Scripture: “Then, he told them a parable about the necessity for them to pray always without becoming weary. He said, “There was a judge in a certain town who neither feared God nor respected any human being. And a widow in that town used to come to him and say, ‘Render a just decision Persistence in Prayer for me against my adversary.’ For a long time the judge was unwilling, but eventually he thought, ‘While it is true that I neither fear God nor respect any human being, because this widow keeps bothering me I shall deliver a just decision for her lest she finally come and strike me.’” The Lord said, “Pay attention to what the dishonest judge says. Will not God then secure the rights of his chosen ones who call out to him day and night? Will he be slow to answer them? I tell you, he will see to it that justice is done for them speedily. But when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?” –Luke 18:1-8

Therefore, my beloved brothers, be firm, steadfast, always fully devoted to the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain. –1Corinthians 15:58

Reflections:  Do you feel your prayers go unanswered?  Does God really hear my prayers?  What can I do to be more persistent in my prayer life?

FMWT-Extra2- One Nation, Under God

FMWT-Extra2- One Nation, Under God

July 4, 2019

Let’s face it, the Christian monopoly on politics, world views, government and society is over or at least on life support. Our country is no longer rooted in Christendom. We are moving quickly toward national secularism where the Judeo-Christian ethic and especially Christianity has become a personal hobby. In this podcast Tony discusses the end of Christendom.

Quote: “The world in which we live is the battleground of the Church. I believe that we are now living at the end of Christendom. It is the end of Christendom, but not the end of Christianity. What is Christendom? Christendom is the political, economic, moral, social, legal life of a nation as inspired by the gospel ethic. That is finished. Abortion, the breakdown of family life, dishonesty, even the natural virtues upon which the supernatural virtues were based, are being discredited. Christianity is not at the end. But we are at the end of Christendom. And I believe that the sooner we wake up to this fact, the sooner we will be able to solve many of our problems.” —Venerable Fulton J. Sheen

Remind them to be under the control of magistrates and authorities, to be obedient, to be open to every good enterprise. They are to slander no one, to be peaceable, considerate, exercising all graciousness toward everyone. For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, deluded, slaves to various desires and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful ourselves and hating one another. But when the kindness and generous love of God our savior appeared, not because of any righteous deeds we had done but because of his mercy, he saved us through the bath of rebirth and renewal by the holy Spirit, whom he richly poured out on us through Jesus Christ our savior, so that we might be justified by his grace and become heirs in hope of eternal life. This saying is trustworthy. I want you to insist on these points, that those who have believed in God be careful to devote themselves to good works; these are excellent and beneficial to others.    –Titus 3: 1-8

Reflections:  What are your thoughts about Christians being exiles in our own country?  Do you see the increase in secular humanism and how it is affecting everything?  How do we live in this new reality?

FMWT-097 Walk the Talk

FMWT-097 Walk the Talk

July 3, 2019

“Put feet under your faith.” I hadn’t heard that phrase since the late 1970’s.  It’s a phrase that we used when we discussed putting our faith in action, to reach out to those less fortunate and offer a helping hand. In this podcast Tony asks, “You can talk the talk, can you walk the talk?”

ScriptureFor, I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me, naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me. Then the righteous will answer him and say, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? When did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? When did we see you ill or in prison, and visit you?’ And the king will say to them in reply, ‘Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.’ —Matthew 25:35-40

“For the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many.” — Mark 10:45

“As each one has received a gift, use it to serve one another as good stewards of God’s varied grace. –1 Peter 4:10

Quote: “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” –Mahatma Gandhi

Reflection:  How are you walking your talk?  Are you putting you faith into action?  What can you do to put your talents to work for the betterment of others?

FMWT-096 Who Are You?

FMWT-096 Who Are You?

June 26, 2019

Have you ever asked yourself the question, “Who am I?” What are the things that most define my personal identity? What are my talents, passions, and strengths? In this podcast, Tony discusses who you really are.

Scripture: But you are “a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people of his own, so that you may announce the praises” of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. –1 Peter 2:9

For we are his handiwork, created in Christ Jesus for the good works that God has prepared in advance, that we should live in them. –Ephesians 2:10

Exercise:   Here is an exercise to try.

  1. Make a list of all the things that define you both externally and internally.
  2. Eliminate anything that is negative from your list.
  3. Scratch off the list those external things that might change in the future.
  4. Look at what is left and ask the question, “What remains on my list that really defines me?”

Reflection:  Have you tried Tony’s idea on discovering the real you?  Do you like hat person better than the one you portray? What can you do to live the person you really are?

FMWT-095 Rush To Judgement

FMWT-095 Rush To Judgement

June 23, 2019

The news headlines are full of accusations, judgments, and jumped-to conclusions. Innocent until proven guilty has been replaced by the court of popular opinion. In this podcast Tony discusses rushing to judge others.

QuotesIt’s easy to look at people and make quick judgments about them, their present and their past, but you would be amazed at the pain and tears a single smile hides. What a person shows to the world is only one tiny facet of the iceberg hidden from sight. And more often than not it’s lined with cracks and scars that go all the way to the foundation of their soul. Never judge, learn to respect and acknowledge the feelings of others.  — Sherrilyn Kenyon, Acheron

“You know my name but not my story. You’ve heard what I’ve done not what I have been through. Go ahead judge me, but you will never understand me until you’ve walked a mile in my shoes, and I wouldn’t wish that on anyone.”  –Anonymous

“We can never judge the lives of others, because each person knows only their own pain and renunciation. It’s one thing to feel that you are on the right path, but it’s another to think that yours is the only path.” — Paulo Coelho

Reflections: Are you quick to judge?  Do you find that you are gossiping more?  Do you ever consider walking a mile in someone else’s shoes?

FMWT-130 On Father’s Day

FMWT-130 On Father’s Day

June 16, 2019

Father’s Day; it is the one day each year that we honor fathers, a day to tell dad just how much he means to us. But, it is a shame that over 24 million kids, one in three children, growing up in the United States today, have no father present in the household to honor.  In this podcast, Tony discusses the Father crisis in America.

Quote: People “look at a child in need, in poverty or failing in school, and ask, ‘What can we do to help?’ But what we do is ask, ‘Why does that child need help in the first place?’ And the answer is often it’s because [the child lacks] a responsible and involved father.”  –Vincent  DeCaro

Tony’s Prayer:  Heavenly Father,

…Help me to become a better father.

…Make the way I treat their mother be a model for their future relationships.

…May I find quality time to spend with my children and understand that “any time” is better than waiting for the “right time.”

…May I nurture and guide my children, passing along my faith by making God, church, and service to others, a priority.

…Lord, give me the ability to provide for my wife and children and protect them for any harm.

…And, may my kids look at me as a shining example of God’s love, that one day they will say, “I want to be just like dad!”

Amen.

Reflections: How do your kids view your relationship with their mother?  What do you think of Tony’s comment that kids spell father T-I-M-E?  Do you view yourself as a role model?

FMWT-094 What Defines Character

FMWT-094 What Defines Character

June 12, 2019

The dictionary defines character as the mental and moral qualities distinctive to an individual. It’s our defining presence, honed by our actions, integrity, honesty, and the choices we make. Our character is one of the few things in life that can’t be taken away from us. In this podcast Tony discusses Character.

Scripture: “You are the salt of the earth. But if salt loses its taste, with what can it be seasoned? It is no longer good for anything but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot. You are the light of the world. A city set on a mountain cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and then put it under a bushel basket; it is set on a lampstand, where it gives light to all in the house. Just so, your light must shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly Father. –Matthew 5:13-16

Be diligent in these matters, be absorbed in them, so that your progress may be evident to everyone. –1 Timothy 4:15

“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”

FMWT-093 Called to Evangelize

FMWT-093 Called to Evangelize

June 5, 2019

As Christians, as Catholics, we are called to witness. We are called to share our faith with the people around us. So why is evangelization so hard for most Christians? Why are we so afraid to share our beautiful faith with others? In this pod cast Tony discusses the call to evangelize.

Scripture: “Always be ready to give an explanation to anyone who asks you for a reason for your hope, but do it with gentleness and reverence, keeping your conscience clear, so that, when you are maligned, those who defame your good conduct in Christ may themselves be put to shame.” –1 Peter 3:15-16

For, I am not ashamed of the gospel. It is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes. -–Romans 1:16

Quotes: “Sometimes I ask myself, “Do I have the courage to do the right thing when it matters most?” And that answer, I’m afraid, is silence.” ― Jarod Kintz

Reflections:  Are you reluctant to discuss Jesus for fear of offending someone?  Is evangelization something you take seriously?  Do you leave evangelization to others more qualified?

FMWT-092 Life Lessons on the Journey

FMWT-092 Life Lessons on the Journey

May 29, 2019

Last week, I received a note from a reader who asked, “What are some life lessons you would share with your new grandson?” I replied that I began writing my stories with that thought in mind. Is there anything I can share that might help the next generation avoid some of the pitfalls that I’ve experienced that would help them lead happier lives? In this podcast, Tony discusses life lessons.

Here are 14 life lessons from along the journey of life:

  1. Live in the moment. We spend so much of our lives reliving the past or anxiously awaiting tomorrow that we fail to live today. Life is short; it passes us by in the wink of an eye. As the old saying goes, Life is lived in the moment between each breath. We need to live today, enjoy ourselves today, and drink in today’s wonder, savor today’s moments.
  2. Relationships are everything. We need to put our relationships ahead of everything else in our lives, before jobs, homes, cars, hobbies, sports, or smart phones. Our relationship with God, our spouse, children, parents, siblings trump everything else. We need to be there for our children when they need us. And, remember, friendships require time and attention. One of the regrets of the dying is they didn’t work at their friendships.
  3. Slow down. We live in a world that has no patience. We are always moving at the speed of light, often cramming our calendars with so many tasks and appointments that we never give enough time to anything.
  4. Less is more. We are always in the pursuit of more. A bigger house, a more expensive car, a bigger television screen, electronics, gadgets, shoes, and clothes. Whenever you do some house cleaning what you will find is that things just gather dust! If you eliminated everything from your house that is gathering dust, you’ll be surprised at freeing power of less stuff.
  5. Giving is better than receiving. This runs contrary to everything we are bombarded with in the media. But, I promise you there is no better feeling that giving to someone that can never repay you and having a positive effect on someone’s life.
  6. Practice Gratitude. If we aren’t grateful for what we already have, then how can we expect to be grateful for those things we want? Start the day with thanking our Lord for life, for the day ahead, for family friends and a job. The greater the gratitude to greater our happiness.
  7. Be compassionate and show empathy. To have concerns for the sufferings and misfortune of others, and the ability to understand and share the feelings of others will motivate us to desire to help those less fortunate.
  8. Be forgivingAnger and resentment will harm your health, get in the way of your happiness, and cause you to live in the past. It is said that anger and resentment are like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die. It will kill you if you can’t find a way to forgive.
  9. Be passionate. Over the years I have had the opportunity to hire many people and I can say that passion is the one thing that stands out above everything else. Find something you really enjoy doing, then, be passionate about it!
  10. Be Kind. The smallest act of kindness can change a person’s life forever. It costs nothing to be kind, and it sends a powerful message.
  11. Say I’m sorry. When you’ve done something that needs an apology, say it! Don’t assume the person knows your feelings. Say I’m sorry, and mean it.
  12. Fear is an illusion. Fear will paralyze you, it will cause you hesitate, stay in the wrong situations. The fear of taking action is always debilitating. Take small steps, take pride in your taking action, it builds confidence.
  13. Failures are life lessons. If we don’t take action because we fear failure, then we don’t understand that failures are simply lessons. Failure often puts you one step closer to success. History is filled with people who failed many times before they succeeded.
  14. Pain is a normal part of life. We all will experience pain in our lives. Physical pain, mental pain, sickness, injury, a job loss, a bad marriage or a financial setback. Embrace pain as part of life. We all will deal with it sooner or later. Our attitude will do wonders to help us get through the pain.