May 15, 2019
One of my fellow jail ministers, George, likes to use the painting “The Light of the World” by William Holman Hunt to make the point of inviting Jesus into our hearts and lives. It’s a wonderful way to illustrate that WE must ask Jesus into our lives. Our Lord never forces himself on us, but is always waiting for an invitation to open the door to our heart. In this podcast, Tony talks about opening that door.
Scripture: “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, [then] I will enter his house and dine with him, and he with me.” — Revelation 3:20
Reflection: Are you opening the door to your heart? Have you made the first move to meet Jesus waiting at the door of your heart? Do you see the symbolism in the painting?
*The Light of the World (1853–54) is an allegorical painting by William Holman Hunt.
May 8, 2019
I’ve learned to love it whenever I hear babies crying at church. I like it when a toddler asks his mom a question with a voice to loud to be church worthy. And, my heart is warmed when I hear the cooing, giggling, and silly baby laughter especially during the quiet time following communion. To me, it’s like the angels speaking from heaven. In this podcast, Tony discusses babies crying at church.
Scripture: “Then children were brought to him that he might lay his hands on them and pray. The disciples rebuked them, but Jesus said, “Let the children come to me, and do not prevent them; for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” –Matthew 19:13-14
“Taking a child he placed it in their midst, and putting his arms around it he said to them, “Whoever receives one child such as this in my name, receives me; and whoever receives me, receives not me but the one who sent me.” –Mark 9:36-37
Reflections: Are you willing to hear some crying to know the church has a future? Do you ever thank a parent for bringing their kids to mass? As a young parent, do you ever feel unwelcome at mass?
May 1, 2019
Doing is easier that being. Doing is quantifiable. We can measure our productivity in a big promotion, a cleaner house, a better report card or a bigger paycheck. Doing is what we are taught to do from the time we are old enough to understand. But where is the balance in our lives? After all, we are Human Beings, not Human Doings! In this podcast, Tony discusses the difference between doing and being.
Scripture: But seek first the kingdom (of God) and his righteousness, and all these things will be given you besides. Do not worry about tomorrow; tomorrow will take care of itself. Sufficient for a day is its own evil. Matthew 6:33-34
Quote: “We are warned not to waste time, but we are brought up to waste our lives.” –Eric Hoffer
Reflections: Are you doing or being? What do you do to be a more being person? Do you agree that “Americans tend to worship their work, to work at their play, and to play at their worship?"
April 24, 2019
Why is it that so many married people feel alone and lonely? They feel like they are living together separately. No love, no kisses, no sex, no communication. Rather than oneness, they feel like ships crossing in the night. In this podcast, Tony discusses what has happened?
Scripture: He said in reply, “Have you not read that from the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore, what God has joined together, no human being must separate.” Matthew 19:4-6
Quote: “When you make the sacrifice in marriage, you’re sacrificing not to each other but to unity in a relationship.” Joseph Campbell
Reflections: What measures have you taken to keep the fires of unity in your marriage burning? Is Christ at the center of your marriage? Do you pray together?
April 17, 2019
have always been impressed with the power in the number one. It only takes one person, one kind word, one thought, or one good deed to change the world. One is a very powerful number. In this podcast Tony talks about the power of one.
Quote: It only takes one smile to offer welcome and blessed be the person who shares it. It only takes one moment to be helpful, and blessed be the person who will spare it. It only takes one joy to lift a spirit, and blessed be the person who will give it. It only takes one life to make a difference, and blessed be the person who will live it. --Amanda Bradley
Scripture: “Do not fear: I am with you; do not be anxious: I am your God. I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my victorious right hand. –Isaiah 41:10
Reflections: Have you ever been that one person for another? Can you remember the one teacher, coach or friend that helped you become the person you are today? Have you ever mentored a friend?
April 10, 2019
A few months ago, Diane and I had a very busy weekend. We celebrated the baptism of a niece’s son. We celebrated the lives of a husband and wife who had died only hours apart. And, we celebrated our mutual birthday (we were both born on February 23rd) with four other couples that share the same birthday week, an annual tradition for over 20 years. In this podcast, Tony discusses celebrating.
Scripture: Hallelujah! Praise God in his holy sanctuary; give praise in the mighty dome of heaven. Give praise for his mighty deeds, praise him for his great majesty. Give praise with blasts upon the horn, praise him with harp and lyre. Give praise with tambourines and dance, praise him with strings and pipes. Give praise with crashing cymbals, praise him with sounding cymbals. Let everything that has breath give praise to the LORD! Hallelujah! –Psalm 150 1:6
Always be ready to give an explanation to anyone who asks you for a reason for your hope, 1 Peter 3:15
Quote: The best way to live life is to celebrate life. –Matthew Kelly
Book: Rediscovering Catholicism by Matthew Kelly, Beacon Publishing, 2012
Reflection: What do you celebrate? Is celebration at the center of your Catholic life? How do family traditions become our celebration?
April 3, 2019
As I approached the scene, I couldn’t help but notice that cars were swerving to avoid the driver, who lay in pain in the middle of the street, and his bike that was now a twisted mess. No one was stopping to help! In this podcast, Tony discusses unlikely hero’s, girls with purple hair!
Scripture: “Therefore, you are without excuse, every one of you who passes judgment. For by the standard by which you judge another you condemn yourself, since you, the judge, do the very same things. –Romans 2:1
Quotes: If you judge people you have no time to love them. –-Mother Teresa
The loneliest people are the kindest. The saddest people are the brightest. The most damaged people are the wisest. All because they do not wish to see anyone else suffer the way they do. –Tony Agnesi
Reflections: Do we often judge people by their looks? Does purple hair or a tattoo affect the way you look at someone? Have you ever found the most unlikely people to be the most caring?
March 27, 2019
As I sat there, a male technician came out to the waiting room and in a loud clear voice said, “The colon cancer!” He repeated himself, “which one of you is the colon cancer? A few seconds passed before I realized that he was referring to me. As my anger grew, I rose to my feet and said, “My name is Tony, not the colon cancer! He sheepishly apologized. In this podcast, Tony discusses who you are.
Scripture: With all vigilance guard your heart, for in it are the sources of life. Proverbs 4:23
For through faith you are all children of God in Christ Jesus. –Galatians 3:26
Quote: “You are a child of God. You’re playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure about you. We were born to manifest the glory of God that is within us.” –Marianne Williamson
Reflections: Have you been guilty of putting yourself down? Have you ever allowed someone else to define who you are? Do you ever feel unworthy of happiness?
March 20, 2019
I remembered as a kid the cartoon that depicted the devil on one shoulder and an angel on the other. The devil is whispering in one ear and the angel in the other. The devil is suggesting sin and the angel suggesting goodness. In this podcast, Tony discusses good and evil.
Scripture: Consequently, brothers, we are not debtors to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. For if you live according to the flesh, you will die, but if by the spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. Romans 8:12-13
Quote: An Old Cherokee told his grandson, “My son, there is a battle between two wolves inside us all.”
One is Evil. It is anger, jealousy, greed, resentment, inferiority, lies and ego. The other is Good. It is joy, peace, love, hope, humility kindness, empathy and truth.
The boy thought about it and asked, “Grandfather, which wolf wins?”
The old man quietly replied, “The one you feed.”
Reflection: Do you feel this struggle with the wolves within you? Is there one person, place or thing that you
March 14, 2019
What if you only had one month to live? What would you do if the doctor said to get your affairs in order in the next 30 days? How would you live your life if you knew with certainty that your days on earth were numbered? In this podcast, Tony discusses the most authentic you.
Scripture: “Make us know the shortness of our life that we may gain wisdom of heart.” Psalm 90:12 (Grail)
Quotes: “Death is more universal than life; everyone dies but not everyone lives.” – Alan Sachs
Reflections: Have you ever had a life changing experience that changed the way you think about death? What would you do differently if you only had one month to live? Are you living as the most authentic version of yourself?