Catholic Meme Monday— Issue 58 (Holiday-sized!)

Hope you had a blessed weekend!

Time for another Catholic Meme Monday. To celebrate Thanksgiving (U.S.), here’s an extra helping of memes I hauled back from last week’s humor hunt. Enjoy! 😀

😆🙂😀
Seems pretty accurate. 😀🙂😆🙏
#theendingatthebeginning
Yessssssss! 👍🙏🙂
Soon it will be…the season of Advent. And THEN Christmas. 🙂
🐑 🙂🙏
Kids can be comedy gold. 😆🙂
One of my favorite moments in the Gospels. 🙂
“That’s quite the fish tale Jonah!!” 🙂😆😀🐟🐋
Awkward!
Dude! 🙂😆😀🤦
As a Marvel fan I laughed way too much at this meme! 😆😆😆😆
So funny! 😀🙂😆
And if the Last Supper was like a Thanksgiving meal. Lol
Happy Belated Feast of Christ the King! 🙏 👑
The struggle is real some days. Please pray for me. 🙏😆🙂😀
Full disclosure: I know not the most accurate on theology but still pretty darn funny. 😀🙂😆
Anyone else think about being Pac-Man when navigating life? Trying to dodge the ghosts (temptations) and consuming as much of the sacramental life?! 😆🙂😀

That’s all I have this week. Stay tuned for next week’s Catholic Meme Monday. Receive updates straight to your email inbox by subscribing to The Simple Catholic blog.

P.S. If you prefer receiving quality Catholic humor in daily doses follow me on Instagram @thesimplecatholic. 🙂

Thank you for sharing!

A 361 Word Interview with Mike Tenney from Pop Culture Catechism


Editor’s Note: Matthew Chicoine interviewed Mike Tenney via phone call on November 2, 2022. Some of the questions have been rearranged and edited to provide the best reader experience without losing any  integrity of the answers given.


Mike Tenney

What inspired you to begin Pop Culture Catechism?

I have found since I was in high school I have had a gift explaining the faith to others in an understandable way. I spent 14 years in Catholic schools teaching theology. Developments in my wife’s career and having kids helped to lead me toward this path. This podcast seems to be a natural use of my talents and experiences. It seems like a perfect nexus of my skills, passions, and experiences.

Describe your Catholic journey (so far).

I’m a cradle Catholic but had an reawakening through youth group in high school. I also discerned the priesthood and went on some mission trips. I also served with the Capuchin Volunteer Corp immediately after college. Every few years, I have had these amazing spiritual highs.

What have been joys you experienced with this podcast?

The biggest joy is all the people who have reached out to me. Especially those who aren’t faithful Catholics. I’ve had a few friends who I lost touch with and who I have since rekindled a friendship with. Now I’m getting to be a religion teacher for my friends and family.

Students have reached out. My target audience is my former students.

What have been some obstacles you encountered?

Finding good guests has been one of the toughest challenges. It is tough to align with relevant topic and on people’s minds, or a piece of art that speaks to it, and there’s also guest who’s knowledgeable and passionate about it.

Who is your favorite musical artist?

I have an eclectic taste but alternative rock is my home base. Some of my favorite musical artists include: U2, Dave Matthews Band, Maroon 5, Paramore, Jimmy Eat World, Counting Crows, and Elevation Worship.

How important is Saint Teresa of Avila to you and your faith life?

I discovered Saint Teresa through a book about Saint John of the Cross. My mother-in-law was named Teresa. And I discovered her through Saint Ignatius. The two key concepts is finding these rooms inside yourself and what a castle for. It’s a place of protection and the king lives there.

How can my readers find you?

Popculturecatechism.com

Thank you for sharing!

The Origin Story of The Simple Catholic

This is the real life origin story of how The Simple Catholic began:
My name is Matthew and I have run The Simple Catholic blog since 2015. It was a fruit born out the suffering from losing my unborn son Jeremiah (miscarriage). Writing was a healing balm for my heart, mind, and soul.
I earned my Master’s degree in theology from Franciscan University of Steubenville and had teaching experiences. Personal and family circumstances caused me to leave teaching but the desire to help others learn about Jesus and His Church remained. The blog blossomed into a mission: to inform others about the Catholic faith and show how joy can be found in daily life (even in the suffering).

Finding Strength in My Differences

I was diagnosed with ADHD as a kid and it is one of my “super-powers” as it allows me to make connections between seemingly unconnected things.
I have had to learn over the years my neurodivergent mind wasn’t a weakness but it can be a strength. Through the help of my wife (a special education teachers) and my four kids along with the Holy Spirit I have been able to learn how to harness my differences and quirkiness with my passion for Catholicism.

Paper Football

In this picture, I celebrated my paper football victory over my oldest son: 60-24. 😀😂

The Healing Power of Humor

Humor is a big part of my life. It acts as a stabilizing force during the times my depression and anxiety flare up.
My favorite show is The Office (a great way to get me attention in the sea of emails I receive is to make a reference to this show). Threat Level Midnight or A.A.R.M are my favorite episodes.
I also enjoy reading (no less than 8 books simultaneously). I’m a literary omnivore but I do tend to enjoy theology, sci-fi, and comic books more than others.
I am also an avid football fan and love tossing the frisbee around.
Because of my ADHD I tend to enjoy lots of other things too:
  • Platypuses
  • Cheetahs
  • Watching bees carry pollen
  • Writing
  • Looking at the moon
  • Drinking Dr. Pepper, Coffee, and Bai Teas (not together)
  • Listening to Bon Jovi
  • Reading anything Marvel
  • Playing board games
  • Reading about board games
  • Watching video about board games
  • Talking about board games
  • Making Seinfeld and The Office references on an almost daily basis
Share a bit about yourself in the comments below.

 

Related Links

Finding Joy–My Accidental Discovery of St. Philip Neri

How God Continues to Bring Joy (Out of a Sorrowful Miscarriage) on All Souls Day

How Playing Paper Football Led to Prayer

Bonding over Backgammon


P.S. If you’re a small Catholic business owner who enjoys the content I create and share and need help generating content for your website please email me at: chicoine.matt@live.com. I also offer marketing services. For more information please visit Writing and Marketing Service Rates.
Even if you don’t own a Catholic business but love my content drop a comment below!
Thanks for your support!!! 😊
Thank you for sharing!

Catholic Meme Monday— Issue 56

Hope you had a blessed weekend!

Time for another Catholic Meme Monday.

One of the best people to go to for finding lost things. 🙂🙏
I was almost guilty of this past Sunday’s Mass.
😆😀👶
Amen! 🙏
Please pray for everyone involved: voters and politicians.
😆😆😆
Especially for Methuselah!! 😀😆😆
The confusion likely came from this weekend’s Gospel, “They can no longer die,
for they are like angels.” (Lk 20:27-38) Being like an angel does not mean becoming an angel.
A belated All Saints Day meme. 😀😆🙏🙂
Too funny not to share!! 🦄 🦏
🙂🙏♥️

That’s all I have this week. Stay tuned for next week’s Catholic Meme Monday. Receive updates straight to your email inbox by subscribing to The Simple Catholic blog.

Thank you for sharing!

A Letter to Jeremiah


Editor’s Note: Here’ a letter I wrote to my unborn son Jeremiah who left this life on All Soul’s Day 2014.


Dear Jeremiah,

Words will never fully describe the yearning I have to see you again in heavenly bliss. I will try my best with this letter. Life was tough in the months ensuing your death. While pain set in quickly for your mother, I remained aloof from the suffering—for a time—eventually I broke down and trembled at our sudden and inexplicable loss. Though I never blamed God, our Father, for taking you away from us, I did question the good in the situation.

To be honest, I have not fully recovered from our tragedy of you passing from this life to the next, ironically on All Souls’ Day. The pain does get a little bit less each day. Your mother and I were at a crossroads on a cool summer night. You were supposed to be born in June 2015. All around us people we knew were having babies and we were only reminded of our pain and thinking what might have been. I prayed out to God “I just want something good to happen in my life!” Weeks later we discovered your mother was pregnant. Despite this amazing news, we were cautious and often thought of losing you months earlier.

Half-way through the pregnancy we learned that we were having another baby boy and we settled on a name—Josiah. Later we learned that this name means “healer”. I do not think that was a coincidence. I firmly believe God answered our prayers and used you as a powerful intercessor to keep your brother Josiah safe throughout the pregnancy.

Grief is Love that Endures

Thank you for the gift you have provided your family! I’m grateful to have heard your heartbeat before we lost you. That memory gives my daily strength and every milestone Josiah has I think of you. I ask for continually help and intercession in your union with our Heavenly Father.

Your siblings and your mother deeply miss you. We hope to be united with your after our pilgrim journey in this life is completed.

With great love and gratitude,

Your father

P.S. “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I dedicated you” –Jeremiah 1:5 (New American Bible)

Related Links

A Letter to Lucia

The Miracle of the Boy and the Wooden Letters

How God Continues to Bring Joy (Out of a Sorrowful Miscarriage) on All Souls Day

The quiet grief of miscarriage

 

Thank you for sharing!

5 Reasons Why Praying to the Saints is Not like Magic

The teaching about the Communion of Saints is oftentimes a stumbling block for non-Catholics and even new Catholic converts in learning about the faith. I know my wife had a few questions about this when she initially converted almost a decade ago. Although I am a cradle Catholic, I try to put myself in the mindset of a non-believer to better understand other people’s perspectives about the Catholic faith. A common misconception about saints is that they provide a sort of magical aid or instant assistance on particular issues. Communicating with the saints solely for the spiritual relief they provide can lead to a sort of idol worship—this is not the intention of the doctrine about the Communion of Saints.

dr strange.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church,

It is not merely by the title of example that we cherish the memory of those in heaven; we seek, rather, that by this devotion to the exercise of fraternal charity the union of the whole Church in the Spirit may be strengthened. Exactly as Christian communion among our fellow pilgrims brings us closer to Christ, so our communion with the saints joins us to Christ, from whom as from its fountain and head issues all grace, and the life of the People of God itself (CCC 957).

Instead of leading us astray from God, communicating with the holy ones in Heaven is a great way to help increase our own holiness. Below are five reasons for why praying to the saints is not akin to usage of magic.

Other-centered vs. Self-centered

The primary aim of asking the saints for help through prayer is not about yourself. When I ask the saints for intercession it is usually to assist myself along with my family, friends, and the community around me. On the contrary, magic tends to be geared toward the individual. Fortune telling, Ouija boards, crystal ball reading, and other forms of magic are first and foremost focused on providing answers [usually regarding the future] for the person who uses the magic.

Call to Universal is Universal, Cauldron Brewing is a Niche Practice

Throughout the history of the Church, holiness has always been a universal call and not simply for priests and religious life. Saints appeal to everyone. In order for an individual to be officially canonized a saint they must help to a large amount of people. Truth is universal!

If a person truly lived virtuously their life would appeal to diverse population across time and space. For example, St. Augustine lived in the 4th century A.D., but his struggles with lust and promiscuity still relate to people in the 21st century who struggle with an addiction to pornography or treat sex as a casual act.

On the other hand, magic is not a universal practice. It is a niche field that appeals to a small section of humanity.

Be-the-Best-Version-of-Yourself.jpg

Saints Help You Become the Best Version of Yourself

Along with being focused on others and a universal appeal, communication with the saints in Heaven ultimately help you become the best version of yourself. From my experience when I struggle with sin,  I reflect on individuals who struggled with similar temptations  and ask for help. My particular vice is anger.

Saint Jerome was known to be quite hot-headed and rash with his words. He minced words with St. Augustine several times throughout his life. Through prayer, study of the scriptures, and the sacraments, Jerome learned to overcome his anger problems. Examples like him serve as good role models for me to mimic. True and honest communication with the saints through prayer will only lead to you finding a better version of yourself!

the-war-within.jpg

Magic Seeks Mastery over Material World, Sanctity Seeks Mastery over Spiritual Matters

Magic focuses on worldly matters and manipulation of matter. Alchemy seeks to transform ordinary objects into elements of greater value [i.e. other elements into gold]. Fortune telling seeks to grasp control of an individual’s future. Contrarily, praying to the saints leads to a mastery to spiritual vices and an increase in virtue.

tortoise and the hare.jpg

Slow and Steady Wins the Race

Perennial truth exists in Aesop’s timeless fable The Tortoise and the Hare. Although he was much faster, the hare assumed that the race was in the bag. Instead of running consistently through the entire race, the hare lazily snoozed for half of the race. On the other hand, the tortoise knew that the race was long, but he was constant and diligent. By the time the hare woke up the tortoise crossed the finish line. Throughout literature magic is usually a device individuals use as a shortcut to solving a problem or ethical dilemma. Oftentimes the quickest and easiest path is not always equated with the most dependable option—at least not in the long-term outlook.

Whenever I have asked the saints for assistance the relief was not immediately granted. Occasionally I received help quickly but it is not a guarantee in prayer. Regardless of the time-frame on when answers arrive from my prayer request I am always sure to pray CONSISTENTLY and BE THANKFUL.

peanuts pic.jpg

The saints help me love my neighbors better. Saints are models for how to grow in charity and humility. It is not enough to magically state, I love mankind in the conceptual sense. I meet the individual in the daily circumstances of my life. My spiritual helpers in the communion of saints draw me closer to Jesus and others!

Related Links

A Holy Kaleidoscope—The Diversity Of The Saints In Light Of Christ

The Beginner’s Guide to Catholic Saints

5 Stunning Facts about Saint Catherine of Siena

Aren’t We All ‘Saints’?

The Origins of Halloween & All Saints Day

Thank you for sharing!

Saint Jude—Patron of Impossible Causes Pray for us

O most holy apostle, Saint Jude, faithful servant and friend of Jesus,

the Church honoureth and invoketh thee universally, as the patron of hopeless cases,

and of things almost despaired of.

Pray for me, who am so miserable. Make use, I implore thee, of that particular

privilege accorded to thee, to bring visible and speedy help where help was almost

despaired of.

Come to mine assistance in this great need, that I may receive

the consolation and succor of Heaven in all my necessities, tribulations,

and sufferings, particularly (here make your request) and that I may praise

God with thee and all the elect throughout eternity.

I promise thee, O blessed Jude, to be ever mindful of this great favour,

to always honour thee as my special and powerful patron, and to gratefully

encourage devotion to thee.

Amen.

Thank you for sharing!