In this episode, Fr. Pullis and Beth unpack the bad habits that prevent us from unleashing the Gospel, that are outlined in Unleash the Gospel. They discuss each one of the five listed and share their experiences and insights on how to combat them. They highlight the urgency of sharing the Gospel, and illustrate how these bad habits, when left unattended to, can prevent us from sharing the good news of Jesus Christ as we’ve been called to do.
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(01:43) Fr. Pullis and Beth open up the episode by talking about Ash Wednesday and Lent, and share how sometimes the Lenten season can feel burdensome. They discuss entering into Lent intentionally, but with freedom from the need to carry out Lenten commitments perfectly.
(05:01) They talk about bad habits, as they’ll unpack this topic as it’s covered in Unleash the Gospel, and share some of their own bad habits. They introduce the good and bad habits section of Unleash the Gospel as this week’s topic and Beth shares why this is one of her favorite sections in the letter.
(09:28) Fr. Pullis and Beth begin to unpack the five bad habits listed: worldly notion of the Church, spiritual lethargy, status quo mentality, fear, and a complaining attitude. They discuss the bad habit of a complaining attitude, how it can come about, and talk about how doing so can destroy joy. They highlight how our impulse to complain about a situation in ministry should be met with a resolution to ask what God is calling us to do in it. They highlight how we can bring our complaints to the Lord and entrust our challenges to him.
(19:45) They move on to the bad habit of spiritual lethargy, noting how this can be experienced by those who serve in mission direct roles. They discuss how we need to let the Lord renew us often in order to serve him in ministry. Beth notes how spiritual lethargy can be experienced by disengaged parishioners, who don’t seek to live their faith beyond the Sunday obligation. Fr. Pullis shares the wisdom of the Church in requiring priests to make an annual retreat.
(24:13) They discuss how working in a parish can lead to this spiritual lethargy and a sense of disengagement. Beth encourages listeners to seek out an opportunity to go deeper in their faith and seek the sacrament of Confession if they’re experiencing spiritual lethargy. She also notes how we can fall into this bad habit if we don’t have people around us who challenge us.
(29:38) They move on to the bad habit of the worldly notion of the Church and talk about how in ministry, the temptation to be concerned with numbers can be a source of discomfort for those who work in ministry. They highlight the need to focus on our mission of leading people to an encounter with Jesus. They remind listeners to not get caught up in worldly notions of success but to remain faithful to what God is leading.
(34:01) They move on to the bad habit of the status quo mentality. Beth shares a quote from From Christendom to Apostolic Mission, highlighting the urgency of evangelization. They talk about how comfortable it can be to stay internal, but how we are called to step into discomfort, keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus and taking the Gospel to those who need it.
(43:03) They unpack the final bad habit which is fear, and note the various fears we may have when it comes to ministry and evangelization. They highlight especially how important it is to be willing to take risks in ministry. They close by offering encouragement to listeners to enter into Easter intentionally, by entering into the resurrection and new life that Christ offers.