Sunday Newsletter

So, the Saturday morning newsletter just isn’t working out for me, I guess. Let’s try something new: Sunday newsletter, complete with a few words on the weekly readings.

You Don’t Deserve Anything

“How long, O LORD?  I cry for help but you do not listen! I cry out to you, ‘Violence!’ but you do not intervene.” The words of the prophet Habakkuk ring true for me regularly. How does God let this happen?! I deserve better. It’s easy to look at our lives and all the good things we do in them—going to mass, working hard, being a good person—and believe that we deserve something. We’ve earned a good life, have we not?

According to Jesus, no. He reminds his disciples that the very opportunity to serve God is reward in itself. We should not expect to be showered with gifts simply because we did what we were asked to do. That’s foolish.

And yet, this does not mean that we’re mistreated, either. We may not receive special treatment from God because of our good works, but we most certainly receive special treatment. God fills us with his presence, giving us life. We did not earn this. What we receive is not a salary, it’s a major downpayment for this life. We have been loved despite not doing anything to earn it. For this reason, we serve him.

A Man Who Knew That Grace. Sort of.

It’s hard to imagine a historical figure more aware of how blessed he was than St. Francis. A glorious sinner early in life, he turned from his selfish ways because God loved him even in his sinfulness. He wanted to devote his entire life to imitating Christ.

In Brother Sun, Sister Moon, you get a version of that. It hasn’t aged well, but some say it was influential in their vocation. We try to point out the good things.

Everyone Deserves A Second Chance?

There are few movies in this world that get to me quite like Shutter Island. It’s just a masterpiece of telling everyone one story while they think you’re telling them another. A thriller like no other, I highly recommend it for those who aren’t afraid to be freaked out, unsettled, and flipped upside down. For everyone else, might I recommend a different movie.

Who Are You Serving?

As we hear today Jesus tell his disciples that they should be happy simply to serve their master, it’s worth asking the question: which master are we serving? For this reason, I invite you to go back and watch this video from November 2020.

More Ways to Pray

Looking for a way to grow closer to Jesus? You could always meditate with the Bible. If you don’t know how to get started or are looking for a guide, why not check out my new podcast, The Word Became Flesh.

https://sites.libsyn.com/433737/mark-521-43

Have a great week!

Hope everyone is doing well. Peace and good to you!

Fr. Casey

Running Behind!

Every week is busy. Some weeks are just busier. Not only was last week Homecoming week for the Catholic high school where I work, I had the great opportunity of attending a long-time friend’s wedding yesterday. The ceremony was wonderful and it was great to see friends, but I can honestly say that I wasn’t thrilled about getting up at 5:30am on Saturday to drive 6.5 hours, go to the wedding, and drive 6.5 hours back today. After a long week, it certainly throws things off!

Don’t Take This Too Seriously

Some movies offer a window into the divine, sparking our imaginations and leaving us with wonder. Others, are just silly. In this week’s Upon Friar Review, Fr. Patrick and I spend a few minutes with the latter, discussing Jack Black’s portrayal of a Franciscan wrestler in Nacho Libre.

Take This Seriously?

What might seem like a continuation of our folly in this week’s Everyday Liminality is actually a sneaky way to have a deep conversation. Almost. Reviewing the shameless and hilarious Free Guy, we recognize that there are actually some deep philosophical questions lurking beneath the surface.

https://everydayliminality.libsyn.com/everyday-liminality-week-3-free-guy

Take This VERY Seriously

If more humor is what you’re looking for, definitely don’t watch this week’s reflection on Breaking in the Habit. Using a scene from Calvary as a springboard, I discuss how we should forgive horrible situations but never forget them. That goes for what people have done to us, but also what we’ve done to others.

Have you Subscribed yet?

Each day I post an episode of The Word Became Flesh, reading a passage of the Gospels in a meditative form. Check it out wherever you listen to podcasts and be sure to subscribe!

https://sites.libsyn.com/433737/mark-421-25

The Chaos Continues

And so here I am, writing on Sunday evening, realizing that the week is already upon me! Please pray for my time management, my ability to say “no,” and the success of whatever God wants to do with me this week.

Peace and good,

Fr. Casey

You Matter

There are times in our lives when feelings of self-doubt get the best of us. Maybe we feel lost and don’t know where we’re going. Maybe we feel like we’re not appreciated for what we do. It happens to the best of us. In this week’s batch of content, there appears to be a thread of hope through it all: the world is better with you in it.

The Scenic Route to Die

Fr. Stu faced a lot of tragedy in his life but I doubt he was complaining about it near the end. In fact, we know that he found meaning in suffering and actually thanked God for it. His life is a testament to the fact that, even when we sin and run from God, we matter to Him.

You Matter, But Not as Much as you Think

On the opposite side of self-doubt are delusions of grandeur, believing that everything we do will change the world. We must be the best. We must leave a legacy so earth shattering that everyone will remember us. Unless we do something heroic that inspires the world, our life is a waste. Obviously, none of this is true. Sometimes, ironically, it can be helpful to put our lives against the backdrop of the entire universe to see that we don’t “matter” as much as thought in order to see what really matters in life. Such is the case with the dizzying movie Birdman.

In Response to Wounded Idiots

This week, a video went viral of an influential man making fun of an elementary school poster telling kids that they mattered. Without any hesitation, he told them that they didn’t. Yikes. I was not the only one who felt a need to respond publicly.

New Posting Schedule

In the past, you could expect a new video on Breaking in the Habit every week. For many years this appeared to work, but often my videos were rushed and too simply made. My hope this semester is to make fewer, higher quality videos. For that reason, I have a video filmed and in editing now for next week, but nothing for this week. We’ll see how it goes.

Hope everyone has a great week!

Peace and good,

Fr. Casey

Here we go!

After many months away, I’m happy to be back with a full slate of content. It’s been a long time coming with a lot of work (and needed time off) in between but I hope you find everything we’re producing this semester fruitful for your lives as Christians!

This is how you evangelize

You’ve heard quite a bit over the last three months about our tour, but here’s the definitive summary. Here’s why we did it, what we learned, and what you can take from our time on the road.

This girl is hilarious… but not always correct

Chances are you remember our first video reviewing Ariel Fitzpatrick’s TikToks. That video has over 1,000,000 views! Fr. Patrick and I are at it again, only this time we’ve found a few flaws in her theology. We still love her style but think it’s important to add some minor corrections for your benefit.

A gut-wrenching, stunning movie. MUST SEE!

There are some movies that just leave you breathless. That was the case for me after watching 1917. The final credits played and I didn’t move. I just sat there, overwhelmed. What did I just watch? It’s stunning. It’s brilliant. It’s devastating. From a technical stand point it’s one of the best movies I’ve ever seen.

https://everydayliminality.libsyn.com/untitled-new-episode

Looking for a way to pray with Scripture?

Last week I launched a new podcast in which I read scripture and offer a guided meditation. There’s no commentary, no reflection, just Scripture. I hope that you’ll take some time each day to listen to the quick passage and pray with me. There are currently seven episodes available, but here are the first three

Christians, can you tone down the talk of hell?

That’s the question one person asked on TikTok, and I happily responded: no.

@caseyofm

#stitch with @eve_wasframed The Good News is often misunderstood.#jesus #gospel #christian #heavenandhell

♬ original sound – caseyofm

That’s it for this week! I hope everyone has a wonderful week!

Peace and good,

Fr. Casey

Things… Fell Apart

Hello everyone! Remember these? Up until a few months ago you were used to receiving a newsletter each Saturday morning recounting the week’s media and news. That was, until things fell apart this summer.

Now, admittedly, nothing dramatic happened. Fr. Tito and I made it to all 30 ballparks without injury or sickness, we had a great time, and everything went as well as it could have. To say “things fell apart” implies that there was some sort of catastrophe, which there wasn’t. Really, I just hit a wall. Over the course of 11 weeks, we traveled 18,000 miles, stayed in 36 different locations (averaging 2.1 nights per location), gave dozens of talks, went to 30 baseball games, produced 10 YouTube videos, made regular Instagram and Tiktok posts, and you get the picture. Add that to some unfortunate negative attention on social media and the fact that the YouTube videos were turning out to be duds despite working 3 times as hard on them, and there reached a point where I moved into survival mode. I just have to get this tour done. I don’t want to post anything else. I don’t want to talk about the negativity. I don’t want to be on the internet at all, actually.

And so, I kind of lost the will to post newsletters this summer. Sorry about that. I hope that you were able to follow me on the platforms directly to keep up with the tour because, really, it was amazing. More about that in a few weeks.

For now, I have some news.

New Podcast

Over the past few years I’ve seen an increased attention on studying the Bible among Catholics. There are study programs, “Bible in a Year” podcasts and plans, small groups forming at parishes and colleges. Just wonderful to hear.

And yet, I can’t help but think that something is missing. Studying the Bible is great, but what about praying with the Bible? For many, this is not a skill they possess or a regular part of their routine. I want to change that.

Starting next week, I will be posting a daily guided meditation on the Gospels. Each day I will read a passage of scripture three times, offering questions to guide the listener to encounter the Word more deeply. I hope that you’ll join me each day and make praying with Scripture a part of your daily routine.

https://sites.libsyn.com/433737/learning-to-pray-with-scripture

Breaking in the Habit is now a “Team”

Since 2015, Breaking in the Habit has basically been one guy: me. I consulted with a friend for the first few years about ideas and have hired freelances on a few occasions to fill in some technical gaps, but for the most part I have written, produced, edited, and published everything you’ve ever seen on any of my platforms. It’s been great, but I’ve reached my limit.

Starting next week, everything you see on Breaking in the Habit, Upon Friar Review, Everyday Liminality, and The Word Became Flesh will be published by a professional production company. They’re taking over everything.

At least, as it relates to editing. The writing, performance, and filming will still all be done by me, but for once, I will have some help in the production of videos, freeing me up to produce higher quality content while giving more attention to the local ministries where I serve.

This is only possible because of the generous donations that you all have provided over the years. For the most part, my overhead costs have been far lower than what people have provided, giving me a surplus over the years. I felt a bit of guilt about it at times, but always knew that I was saving it for a bigger purpose later. This is that purpose. Hiring a company like this isn’t cheap but it’s also something that my ministry is easily able to afford without making an ask for more money. For that, I thank you for all who donated over the years.

More to come

Because of that, I am lagging a bit behind in getting everything ready, but new content should be here in just a few weeks! I’m really excited for some of the things we’re planning this fall and hope that you are too!

Peace and good,

Fr. Casey