Heaven is a place in the clouds where everything is perfect. You get everything you can imagine and do anything you want. There’s no responsibility, no punishment, and no limits.

At least, that’s what Hollywood tells us.

In this week’s episode of Upon Friar Review, Fr. Patrick and I look at a few popular images of heaven to discuss what we think heaven is really like. Spoiler alert: Hollywood doesn’t get much right!

New Channel!

Folks… You don’t know what’s about to hit you.

Two months ago it was announced that Fr. Patrick Tuttle, OFM, my college campus minister, was being assigned to Macon, GA, 5 miles from where I live. The wheels in my head began to turn. Here’s an extroverted, holy, funny man, committed to the mission of Christ and completely without shame in front of a camera. How could I utilize this opportunity? How could we work together on something meaningful, something new?

What about a react-style channel?

And so began Upon Friar Review. Each Thursday, I wills how Fr. Pat videos from the internet and secular media, not to criticize or dismiss the world, but in an attempt to engage with it and, hopefully, call people from it to something deeper. Our hope is to reach people who would otherwise not watch a religious channel, providing them entertainment on a popular level… so as to give them some much needed theology.

If this is something you’d be interested in watching, I’d invite you to subscribe here, or to send this video to someone in need of a bit more levity in their lives!

After seven months of a pandemic, people are getting pretty restless. We just want to go back to the way things were, to when things were “normal.”

And I get that. I’m feeling just as restless and anxious as anyone.

But I do have a different perspective I think. For me, I want nothing to do with “normal” right now. Why? Because waiting for the past to come back is wasted time. Because what was “normal” before wasn’t necessarily even good. Rather, I want the Church to look at who we are right now, what we can do right now, and be Christ for the world right now. That’s the only normal we have.

It began with a small beggar, a little man with no academic training, no worldly power, no discernible skill beyond his peers. St. Francis of Assisi simply wanted to imitate Christ in humility and peace, and tell the world to do the same.

800 years later, we can look back and see that his example changed the Church and world. Not only did he create the largest religious order in Church history (something that inevitably had its affect on the day-to-day life of the Church), the brothers that did join were extraordinary in their own right. In honor of Francis week, I’ve come up with 22 contributions that the Franciscans have provided to the world. You’ve probably heard some of them, but I’m guessing you’ll be surprised by a few of them!

The Bible is a complicated book. Written and compiled over a period of 1000 years, more than 2000 years ago, it was original written in other languages, within other cultures. To understand it’s “purpose,” you’re going to need to study it.

But the Bible is more than just an academic endeavor. It is a holy book. It is the Word of God. It’s an encounter with the living God in our midst. Along with studying Scripture, me must pray with it.

But how? In the first video above, I suggest two ways to pray with Scripture that you can practice on your own. In the second video, I offer a guided meditation to guide you along.