There’s no doubt that 2020 was a tough year for many people; surely enough tragedy to last us a couple of years. For those who experienced hardship this year, know that I have been praying for you most of the year and that Christ is with you.
But 2020 wasn’t all bad. There was a lot of stuff that made us laugh, that brought us together, and even helped us grow. I know that I am personally thankful for all of the support I received from people throughout the year in the form of prayers and encouraging comments. For an online content creator, there’s probably no better compliment that views and subscribes, and in that way I have felt incredibly edified this year. Posting 120 videos this year, views went from 2,694,175 in 2019 to 10,039,297 in 2020, and Subscribers increased by 105,287 (wow!!)
That’s quite a year. What a waste it would be not to remember it. Below are 10 of the videos that make Breaking In The Habit such a joy to make this year.
Arguably the start of this year’s rise in views, this Catholicism in Focus, “What does it Mean to be Catholic?” attempted to get beyond the skin-deep expressions of our faith to find the inspiration for it all. I enjoyed doing the research for this video a lot, and think that it’s the sort of thing every Catholic should be able to articulate.
Similarly, “Saving a Dying, Shrinking Church” attempted to show what happens when we lose sight of what makes us truly Catholic and focus on the mere externals of faith: our Church shrinks and dies. Instead, for our faith to grow once again, we must get back in the business of creating everyday mystics in our world. Stop trying to make the Church cool or hip or entertaining. Do what only we can do—bring hope to the world—and do it as best we can.
Compelled by the love of Christ that changes our heart, we are called to look outward at the issues of the world. In this video, my homily for that week, I look at the injustices brought about by the pandemic and call us to greater solidarity.
Looking for an elaborate video about a highly technical theological issue? Well here’s my favorite one of the year: “How Did Jesus’ Death Save Us From Sins.” We say all of the time that Jesus’ death took away our sins, but HOW? Have you ever thought about the process or mechanism of it all, how his death made this possible? In Catholic doctrine, there is no one explanation, but many, and it’s worth understanding them all.
What can I say? Franciscans are awesome. As much as Jesuits get credit for having such game-changing theologians over the past 100 years, it’s important to remember that we Franciscans set the stage for the Church (and world) to be what it is today. In this video, I offer 22 contributions we’ve made over the years, most of which you probably never knew!
What would life be without a little bit of humor? The second most popular video I’ve ever posted, “10 Hilarious Catholic Jokes” pokes a little fun at our culture and faith to bring a good laugh.
In a similar vein, I decided to go the satire route in “5 Tips to Being Evil,” showing how we can learn from thinking about the opposite of what we want: if you want to be holy, think about what an evil person does first and go the other direction.
2020 saw many difficult social issues arise, none greater than that of racial justice. As much as people would like to believe that the issue is over in our world, that racism no longer exists, this is far from the truth. The sooner that we (as the white majority) can recognize subliminal tendencies in ourselves, the sooner we can go about making our world look more like the Kingdom of God for everyone.
My most watched video BY FAR, “The Horrifying Truth about the Porn Industry” decided to tackle the issue of pornography from a social justice perspective: rather than focus on the effect it has on the viewer, I looked at the effect it had on the actors. The reality is a bleak one: rape, human trafficking, and extortion.
Finally, let’s end with the crux of it all, the reason for doing any of this in the first place. As you can probably tell from these videos, my books, and (hopefully) everything else I produce, the primary focus of my ministry is to evangelize. It is about understanding what it means to be a Christian, and living it out in every aspect of our lives. If you watch no other video this year, I hope that it is this one
I hope you enjoyed this year of videos! May God bless you in 2021!