Last Saturday we were able to attend a one day retreat with Matthew Leonard.  Admittedly, I really had not heard of him before. I had heard that he was on EWTN  and that he worked with Dr. Scott Hahn at the Saint Paul Center for Biblical Theology. But that was it. So while I expected a good talk by Matt, I thought it might be kind of “ho hum”.

I couldn’t have been more wrong.

Matthew’s talks were captivating, enjoyable, and extremely useful for the day to day struggles that all people of faith have. He is not only a very talented speaker, he is surprisingly down-to-earth. I was even fortunate enough to actually eat lunch with him! If you ever have an opportunity to hear him speak or attend a conference where he is a presenter, it will be time well spent!

St. Isadore of Seville said,

“Prayer purifies us, reading instructs us. … If a man wants to be always in God’s company, he must pray regularly and read regularly. When we pray, we talk to God; when we read, God talks to us. “

Making a concerted effort to read can be hard for some of us. Not only does it take time, it requires QUIET time! Getting quiet time in a house filled with 3 teens, 2 tweens, and 4 children can be about as hard as pushing a snowball up hill with your nose! So I’ve been trying to at least make an effort to to go to these spiritually enriching events as often as I can.

Our parish has been hosting events to help its parishioners to grow in faith. Pete from The Catholic Book Blogger has been a huge role in organizing these events.  Pete has been able to schedule some awesome authors to visit our parish and help the Catholics in our area. Through his help we have not only heard Matt Leonard, but also, Mike Aquilina, Donna-Marie Cooper O’Boyle, and even Scott Hahn!

These authors have all given amazing talks that have help us grow in faith! I was amazed at how much I’ve learned from these events. All of the speakers had talks that each focused on different aspects of life. They gave informative ways to live your faith in simple meaningful ways.  They not only show us ways to grow closer to God, they also taught ways to grow closer to our fellow men!

Today I want to urge you  to go to these types of events in your area. Many dioceses occasionally have speakers, adult classes, or retreats. I do realize that it can be very hard to pull yourself away from daily life and take the time to go, but the blessings that you will receive will outweigh whatever else you would have gained had you not gone.  Get out there and let God speak to you through these priests, authors, and other speakers!

May God bless you with joy!
~Jen-Marie and Jonathan

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