Join Fr. Innocent, Fr. Angelus and Fr. Mark-Mary, priests of the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal, each week to discuss authentic faith in today's world as they share stories and wisdom from years of prayer, community life, and work with the poor.
It all comes back to this: finding deep friendship with Jesus. Seeing him work in our lives everyday. Through topics as varied as mental health, the confessional, and NYC neighbors, the Poco A Poco Podcast is here to accompany all pilgrims as they walk step by step, little by little, poco a poco on their pilgrimage to the Father's house.
The Franciscan Friars of the Renewal are a Catholic religious order founded in the South Bronx, NY. Learn more or subscribe to their updates at www.franciscanfriars.com
God Is Looking for You. Let Yourself Be Found.
We have a God who’s always on the move, always pursuing. In our busyness, we’re distracted — we miss things. We miss people. But God is constantly seeking, constantly encountering what is broken and seeing the wholeness.
Christianity is different: it’s about God becoming Man and coming to us.
He’s looking for you. Let yourself be found.
For the next few episodes, we’re focusing on Habits for Holiness, a new book written by our own Fr Mark-Mary. You can find it at ascensionpress.com/habits
We now have video! Watch this full episode on facebook.com/spiritjuice, instagram.com/spiritjuice, youtube.com/c/SpiritJuice.
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On Chastity: The Wounded Heart of Jesus (Lent Part Seven)
Jesus has a wounded human heart; he allowed himself to be fully wounded this way. If it had only been his hands or feet, he would’ve survived.
How do we allow ourselves to be wounded for him? My sacrifices thus far are survivable. I could still be intact on my own. He gave us everything; we can’t turn back.
Evangelical chastity is the full, total gift of your heart, which is set on fire with love for God and for one another.
Jesus teaches us a new way to love on the cross — one that lines up with our desires. We want to love differently, but we’re tempted to settle. There’s a real fear in getting our hopes up.
The Father wants you to get your hopes up.
Set your hopes high for intimacy — for the union and the love that is possible.
If you can, donations to support the Poco a Poco podcast now gratefully accepted at spiritjuice.org/pocoapoco
On Obedience: The Wounded Feet of Christ (Lent Part Six)
Obedience isn’t something being snatched from you; it’s about willingly offering the gift of your freedom. It comes from great humility, a bold statement that “I’m not in charge of my life. I’m not God.” It’s recognizing that we don’t have all the answers, and God really knows what is best for us.
So wherever Jesus is, wherever he’s leading you: go there. Stay there. Choose to go there... don't get dragged! Don’t back off, don’t fill it with other things. Stay focused on him on the cross.
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On Poverty: The Wounded Hands of Jesus (Lent Part Five)
The last few weeks, we’ve been in the wilderness for Lent… but you can only stay in the desert so long. And when the Lord came out of the desert, he was very focused on his mission, with one moment in mind: going to the cross, and ultimately giving his life.
As we move towards Holy Week and the Triduum: stay focused. Look at Jesus on the cross.
For three episodes, we’re going to ponder the wounds of Christ and relate them to the three evangelical counsels: poverty, obedience and chastity.
(People might think these are just for consecrated religious. And yes, we take vows. But the Catechism, St JPII, St Bonaventure—and more—all propose that these are for every disciple to grow in imitation of Jesus.)
Today’s episode is all about poverty… but we don’t talk about possessions. Look at Christ’s wounded hands, nailed to the cross; they’re a manifestation of Jesus’ own poverty. He can’t grasp at anything, but can only receive anything from the Father. His hands and wide open arms are all receptivity.
At the culmination of his life, he has given everything; let go of everything, for the sake of love. Absolute and total surrender.
What about when we grasp? Try to control things? Think we know what will fulfill us, or others? This week, examine where you might be grasping—not receiving—the good gifts that the Lord is offering.
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The Only Rule Is: We Don't Stop. (Lent Part Four)
Sometimes, in the heart of the wilderness, your step that was a strong march slows down. Then turns into a limp after rolling an ankle, and finally ends up looking more like a crawl by the end of the day.
And that’s fine. Because the only rule is we don’t stop.
When there’s a choice between struggling and stopping, we always want to err on the side of going for it.
That means that at the beginning of each day, the ones who “win”, spiritually, aren’t necessarily the most gifted, the most talented, the capable. It’s not the ones who look most promising on paper.
The most faithful are the ones who persevere. So just keep going. Be faithful.
Fr Mark-Mary's new book, Habits for Holiness, available now from Ascension Press. Check it out here: https://ascensionpress.com/products/habits-for-holiness-small-steps-for-big
There Are No Comforts in the Desert—Except Relationship (Lent Part Three)
After trying to go it alone day in, day out, you start to realize you can’t do it alone. That’s miserable. In the desert, you’re radically dependent: on the Lord, and on people who surround you.
Relationships are not accessory. They’re essential.
This breakthrough happens humanly and spiritually. All the physical sufferings start to purify you and you can experience what’s most important. It’s in our weakness that the only comfort, relationship, comes alive.
Once you lean into that, you can find joy in struggle because you’re in it together. It’s when all the distractions are taken away that you can focus on the gift of relationship.
But being left with nothing except relationship can be a scary moment. You can put off that moment for a long time. You can run from it.
So… don’t. Instead, embrace the built-in grace of Lent: to not have another option. To willingly remove all the other comforts in life and to see relationship for what it is: a consolation. Let this consolation be consoling.