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Helpful information includes:
(For more information and a list of talks, please visit Matthew's personal website.)
"Matthew is possibly the finest speaker on the spiritual life out there these days. His clarity and depth are a blessing." Fr. Rich Simon, Host of Relevant Radio's "Fr. Simon Says"
"I'm not exaggerating. Not since Fulton Sheen have I heard a speaker so effective at motivating ordinary Catholics to step up their prayer lives and take their faith more seriously." Mike Aquilina, Author & EWTN Host
"Wow! You must make a plan to go hear Matthew speak...today! Your soul will thank you." Amy Degnan, Rochester Women's Conference
How does a Protestant pastor’s kid and former missionary to Latin America preaching to Catholics end up Catholic himself? It wasn’t easy! Matthew describes his road into the arms of Holy Mother Church, including many of the issues with which he had to deal. It’s a journey filled with some struggles, a few tears, and even some big laughs. By the end, you’ll be more excited than ever to be Catholic!
According to Scripture, every one of us is called to “be perfect” and to “pray without ceasing.” Prayer is the path to God and we’ve been doing it all our lives. But are we really praying? Are we really progressing toward holiness, perfection, and a deep relationship with God? In this talk we’ll define and discuss the three modes of prayer as taught by spiritual greats like St. Francis de Sales, St. John of the Cross, and St. Teresa of Avila. We won’t just talk theory, but lay out the practical steps to achieve union with God through deep prayer even in the midst of this busy, distracting world. Because if you’re not praying, you’re not living.
Near the end of the CS Lewis’ final installment of the famous Narnia series – “The Last Battle” – the great lion Aslan encourages Peter, Edmund, Lucy, and Narnian creatures to come “further up” and “further in”…which is exactly what Catholics need to do right now. It can be very easy – even for those of us who practice the faith religiously – to stay at the fringe of a real intimacy with God. We can’t do that anymore. The lines in the sand are being drawn. But it’s not just culture that’s making us choose. God is making us choose. Do we really want him? Do we really love him? If so, we need to go further up and further in. What does that actually look like? There are two places and events in Sacred Scripture that epitomize it perfectly and lay out our path – the Transfiguration on Mt. Tabor and the Garden of Gethsemane. This is a practical, powerful talk to spur Catholics to a deeper holiness and Christ-centered life.
Many spiritual writers refer to the “science of sainthood.” It’s the defined process by which we achieve union with God, our ultimate destiny – a mode of life beyond what anyone can imagine. This talk explains the three traditional stages of Catholic spiritual life as taught by spiritual greats like St. Teresa of Avila, St. John of the Cross, St. Thomas Aquinas, and so many others. I also explain how to achieve a life of true peace and happiness in the craziness of this world as you move through the stages of the spiritual journey. This is what life is all about – now and forever!
There’s an aspect to our final destiny that isn’t talked about much. Though it’s in Scripture, the liturgy, and all over the writings of the saints, it’s the public secret of Catholicism. And it can be summed up in one word: “deification”. And while that’s not a word familiar to most Catholics, once we begin to understand what it means and how to achieve it, the Church will explode! This dynamic talk unveils the incredible reality of our union with God and inspires Catholics to embrace the path to sainthood. As incredible as it sounds, you and I are destined to literally become “partakers of the divine nature” of God (2 Pt 1:4). It’s breathtaking! And once you get it, everything changes…everything!
“If only I’d done this!” “If only I’d done that!” These are not statements we want to make at the end of our lives, especially when we face our Maker. But in a world that presents us with an almost infinite number of options, what are the things that make up a “Catholic” life? What makes us different? How are we supposed to live? This talk provides the answers. While our paths can certainly go in any number of directions, God provides foundations upon which we can build and enjoy a full, purposeful, adventurous life that is both satisfying now and prepares us for eternity. There’s no reason to settle for less and every reason to perfect our “art of living.”
If there’s one thing that’s certain, it’s that humility is the key to the spiritual life. The spiritual giants of the Church call it the taproot of all the virtues, the foundation of our relationship with God. That said, it’s not something that most of us really desire on a human level. And yet, our spiritual edifice can only go so high as our foundation allows, so we need to understand and embrace humility in order to really make spiritual progress. This talk unveils the incredible power of humility as the rocket booster that launches us toward God and inspires Catholics to seek it in daily life. And that’s necessary. Because as St. Teresa of Avila declared, without humility, all will be lost.
Unfortunately, no one can escape suffering. But don’t be discouraged! Christ proclaims a new idea of love that gives meaning to human suffering, penance, and ultimately, death. In fact, there’s a powerful secret that unlocks how we can “rejoice in the Lord always” just like St. Paul, no matter what happens! After all, there is absolutely no reason Catholics shouldn’t be the most joyful people on earth regardless of earthly circumstances.
It doesn’t do any good to tell people they must die to themselves to be good Catholics if we don’t also tell them what they’re dying for, namely, a heaven that is beyond our wildest imaginations. True, Scripture tells us straight up that we can’t know, or even imagine the depth of the joy and pleasure of eternity spent with God. That being said, divine revelation and human experience do provide us with some clues that can help motivate us to achieve the Beatific Vision. We’ll discuss the nature and role of beauty in this life, particularly how it sheds light on the nature of God and assists us in achieving our glorious, beautiful end.
Remember back in the old days when you actually received physical love letters? How you tore it open and poured over every word until you practically memorized it? Well, Scripture is God’s love letter to us. It’s the beautiful, romantic, and sometimes gut-wrenching story of the Lord’s undying devotion to us, his children. And once you know how to penetrate it’s deeper meaning through prayer, your spiritual life will explode!
Have you ever sat back and asked yourself, “Why did Jesus have to die on a cross in order to save me? How does that make sense?” These are fair questions. This illuminating talk clearly reveals the links between the Original Sin of Adam and the sacrifice of New Adam, Jesus Christ. Nothing God does is random. Diving into Scripture, Matthew beautifully explains the logic behind Christ’s incredible act of love on the Cross and how it gets us to heaven. It’s a talk that sheds new light on the Mass and help us understand more deeply the incredible power of sacrificial love.