Guestsplaining: Curtis Martin on Christ in the Eucharist | Fr. Gregory Pine & Patrick Briscoe

July 8, 2024

Fr. Gregory: This is Father Gregory Pine.

Fr. Patrick: And this is Father Patrick Briscoe. 

Fr. Gregory: And welcome to Godsplaining. Thanks to all those who support us. If you enjoy the show, please consider making a monthly donation on Patreon. Be sure to like and subscribe to Godsplaining wherever you listen to your podcasts. For this episode of Guestsplaining, I am delighted to be joined by Father Patrick Briscoe. You might be seeing yourself, wait a second, you’re always joined by Father Patrick Briscoe. Correct. And I am going to continue this sentence by adding another guest name which is to say the only guest, that of Curtis Martin. Thanks so much for joining us on Godsplaining. 

Curtis Martin: It’s awesome to be with you. 

Fr. Gregory: Well, many people will know you’re from your excellent, excellent, excellent work with FOCUS as its founder and as its leader for many, many years. But for those who may not know you as well, would you say just a word of introduction to who you are and what you do? 

Curtis Martin: Absolutely. Curtis Martin, by the grace of God, a Catholic who loves the Lord, loves his church, married to Michelann for almost 35 years, my greatest accomplishment after receiving Christ. And we’ve been blessed with nine kids and 10 grandchildren so far, working with FOCUS, which I was blessed to found with Michelann about 26 years ago. We’ve been sending missionaries primarily on the college campuses, primarily in the United States. We’ve got campuses in Europe and Mexico, and now a couple dozen parishes where we have missionaries. The whole point is to encourage people to rethink about the faith they may already know. Most Catholics have a picture of Jesus or a crucifix on the wall. They know who He is but to be able to in this world recognize that really knowing Him changes everything. And so that’s what we’ve been trying to do and our experience has been God works everywhere. He works all the time. 

Fr. Gregory: Amen. May He be praised. All right, so many cool things happening in the FOCUS sphere as you said and parishes are something that people are getting excited about as you make inroads into that space. A lot of people are telling a story of the downfall of the parish and the search for alternate places of congregation, but alas, you know, things, even old things can be renewed, especially if those old things have a kind of perennial place in the life of the church. But we’re not here to talk about parishes. Well, we are indirectly. We’re here to talk about the Lord present in the Blessed Sacrament who is making His way, not only to each altar, well, I suppose the Lord doesn’t change place so He’s not making His way anywhere, He just is. Keep going, Fr. Gregory. All right we’re having an Eucharistic revival here in the United States which involves pilgrimage and which involves a huge Congress coming just in short order so can you tell us a little bit about your involvement and maybe some of the places in which you’re excited to be present or have already been present. 

Curtis Martin: Well, it’s been a great delight. I was very honored and blessed to serve for first, Bishop Baron and the Bishop Cousins as a consultant on the US Bishops Committee on Evangelization, which is where the Eucharistic Revival came from. Bishop Cousins has led it beautifully. So, as in early on the planning stages, FOCUS has been blessed over the last 26 years to host some larger events. And so we were able to collaborate in some practical ways with regards to the leadership team and helping them. We’ve got people walking on pilgrimage. Dr. Edward Sri and I will be speakers at the revival Congress in Indianapolis. We’ll have hundreds and hundreds of thousands of people there. We’re really excited about this and want to really thank God, but thank the bishops for their leadership here. It’s been our experience as a lay group that it’s amazing how Jesus changes everything. We have a conference called SEEK that we host every year. We try to bring in some of the best speakers in the country around the world. And it’s amazing how the central night we have adoration and thousands of confessions, thanks to the priest being there. And Jesus in the Eucharist, so He’s just there apparently resting in what looks like bread. He’s the best speaker of the week every time. He outpaces everybody else. It’s amazing how He shows up. And the third of the people that are there are not necessarily practicing their faith and all of a sudden they’re confronted as I was as a young man with the Eucharist. And you realize this is kind of an all or nothing moment for us, right? When you’re standing or sitting or kneeling or laying down on the floor in front of the Blessed Sacrament, you realize either this is the God of the universe, Jesus Christ, body, blood, soul, and Divinity, or it’s a piece of bread. There’s no middle ground, and you’re either gonna jump in, or you’re gonna fall back, and what we’ve watched is people are jumping in over and over and over again. It’s an extraordinary peace, and I would say more than anything else we’ve ever done, and we try to do a lot of other good things, allowing people to have quiet time, restful time in front of the Blessed Sacrament where God can work on their heart, is the most transformative experience of everything that we do. And so we’re thrilled to play a small role to what the bishops are doing, which are they’re playing a large role, but a smaller role than what Jesus is doing in this whole effort. 

Fr. Patrick: One of the things that I saw recently was the Nuncio’s speech to the US bishops as they gathered for their spring meeting in Louisville, Kentucky. And there’s been some discussion about the revival as a movement and our Nuncio, which is to say the Pope’s ambassador here to the United States, had a lot of powerful words of support for this effort. So he came out and really spoke strongly about the revival and about its importance. He said, for example, “we want our people to come to a renewed and deeper appreciation of Christ’s presence in the Eucharist. We want them to know that Christ is there for them in the Eucharist to accompany them in their earthly journey and to feed them with the bread of life.” I mean, just very beautiful, very Catholic, very powerful words of support for this initiative. But I think some people still remain cautious or even in some places critical of the idea of the power of some of these events. So you have a procession, for example, and it could be a very powerful encounter where you have a conference, you’ve done many such events in your time as an evangelist and an evangelizer. And so people have a kind of concern that when you have a big moment that there’s a little bit of a letdown after that. And so for that reason, many people are cautious or hesitant to kind of enter into the moment. So I was hoping you kind of speak about the way that these events impact the life of the Church and the way that they’re sustained, the way that those graces can grow after some of these these momentary encounters after these momentary events. 

Curtis Martin: No, it’s a great question, Father. And I would say, I think it’s reasonable to have the concerns. And then it’s reasonable for us to give a great response to those very real concerns, because it could be just an event with a letdown afterwards. And I think it all hinges really on Jesus’s last words before he ascends into Heaven, the great commission, to go and make disciples. Discipleship is critical here. If it is just an event, there will be a letdown. But if we’re walking with people and they have a mountaintop experience and then we walk with them afterwards, well then that’s discipleship. We’re in relationship with people who are also following Christ. That will mitigate, eliminate and actually turn what could be a fall into a continual climb. We like to think about it when our experience with FOCUS is that the events themselves can be a mistake actually a lot of energy a lot of but if there are an iconic moment in the rest of a journey They’re powerful and so I think about the example I would give is the family vacations I experienced as a young man going camping whatever with my parents. If that’s all I did with my parents They would have been bad parents. But it was just a week or 10 days where we were together like we were all the time. But together in a more intense way, and years later, we wouldn’t talk about a week in February. We’d talk about that week in June when we were camping. And it was sometimes horrible, right? Hail, bears, whatever it might be. But now we’re laughing about it. And it actually, those events become cement to the relationship. And this is where I think the church, each of us, priest, layperson, we actually have to remember, it’s actually the walk and not the particular event. The event will help if we’re on a walk, if we’re on a journey. If we’re not, then I think those concerns can be valid. And so I, our hope within FOCUS and certainly with our friends is let’s ensure that this is a discipleship based event. We’re journeying with friends, we’re experiencing with friends, and then we’re walking away and walking from that event with renewed commitment, because if it’s just emotional, those will evaporate. In fact, they can actually tank. But if it’s intellectual and it’s volitional, if it comes from the heart and choices, it would change the way we live, then all of a sudden this is no longer something that’s going to have a post-retreat crash. No, it becomes a motivator, a catalyst to the next level of discipleship. At least within FOCUS how we’ve tried to do it, how we’ve shared from the beginning, talking with Bishop Cousins and others that for us, that’s been the game changer to not just do an event but to change the way we live. 

Fr. Gregory: So I have a quick tangential thought of dubious applicability and then a question. You mentioned bears and hail as principal obstacles to the camping experience. In the opposite readings, not too long ago, we’ve been reading from First Kings. And it’s not insignificant that major obstacles are presented by both bears and the hail for the enemies of Elijah and the Elisha. So I just wanted, you know, Hersh Martin’s biblical imagination is so rich that it traverses time and space. Okay, so here’s the actual question. I’m thinking about like, you know, like the way that you describe putting people in front of the Blessed Sacrament and like letting the Lord do the work is awesome, but I think that we’re dealing with a lot of like social and cultural impatience and we could talk about the reasons for which but everybody’s heard that’s agreed for me too many times before and I can’t sound too, quote “get off my lawn-y” before people tune out. But like, what are ways in which we as Christians can help people to grow in these habits of like Eucharistic patience and perseverance? Like to have the courage to say like, here’s the Lord, I’m gonna let Him do the work, rather than trying to be relevant and like quippy, cracky and like to get people involved by our own devices or by leaning too much on our own personalities. 

Curtis Martin: That might have been the best lead into a question I’ve ever heard, so that was very fun. No, the section with Elijah is that your referencing is actually wonderful because you do, you have the hail and the bears. One of the things that strikes me about Elijah is actually it’s after his greatest success. He confronts the priest of Baal, they try to offer sacrifices. It’s a waste of time and then all of a sudden he douses his sacrifice and water and God rains down fire. It’s maybe his greatest moment. And he actually is in despair a chapter later. He’s wanting to die. And I think that both are real. When we rely on emotions, the highs or the lows, we’re in trouble. Emotions are great. They’re God-given. They are out of control. They’re not, for the most part, trained in most of us. But they never make a great guide. and so you’ve got to move people, and I think it’s within the lens of friendship, to a place where they can they’re intellect, what they think how they think, what they know, and then their will, what they choose how they behave are Impacted in a Christ-like way and this is where I go back to the same drama. I mean, it’s discipleship. If I can walk with you and you’re having a bad day or battling discouragement, I might not be having a bad day and I encourage you. And vice versa. I think friendship navigates this. One of the things that Elijah says when he hits this point of disparities, I’m the only one left, which isn’t true. There are literally hundreds of other faithful prophets. We humans, we all own. And to be able to see that, he is outnumbered, at least on a human level, but he’s not alone, but he feels alone. And I think it’s so important when people come back and the same life they left before the event comes crashing back in. If they don’t have the resolve and the support to think and behave differently, then it will be an emotional high, followed by an emotional low. And we’ve got a battle against that, but that’s actually the home game for us, right? The great, the two great commandments Jesus gives us is to love God and love neighbor. Well, that’s friendship. It’s friendship with God and it’s friendship with neighbor and it’s sorely missing in our culture. I say this, Father Pine, knowing that I’m speaking to you with earbuds on, but a lot of our young people are trapped in their earbuds, and they might be around other friends, but they’re not with other friends. They’re alone. What we found in an apostolate, a ministry of friendship, is we’ve already won before we even get to the presentation of the gospel. We’ve already won before we invite somebody to commit their life not just to Christ but to His mission because we’re in their lives and maybe even their parents or their siblings aren’t in their lives. And this is the great gift of Christianity to be able to bring this. And so I actually think this is a call for us to play our home game, if you will, and well on us if we don’t. And you see this already in the reality of RCIA, great program now, RCIC, RCI, CR…  

Fr. Patrick: OCIA. 

Curtis Martin: OCIA, thank you. I knew I was going to get it wrong. If you look at the stats, the people who join and get an official sponsor who plays the role, those people don’t stay. If they come into the Church with a friend who knows them and loves them and they’re known and loved by them and they come into the Church, they stay. Friendship is the deciding factor. Now it’s a grace to have friendship and that grace manifests in a lot of different ways. But our willingness to share, and actually it’s a Dominican, my wife shared this with me just a few weeks ago, God and St. Catherine of Sienna are talking in the dialogues, and God says, “I want you to love me the same way I love you, and you can’t. Because I love you gratuitously and freely and perfectly, and you owe me love, and you can’t love and you can’t love me perfectly. But I still want you to love me that way. So I created other people who you can love gratuitously and freely when they don’t love you yet and they don’t love you perfectly. When you love them for My sake, you are loving Me with that perfect love.” And that’s the best definition of what FOCUS calls incarnational evangelization that I’ve ever heard in, you know, I read it 26 years after we founded FOCUS. But to be able to, to see this is the, this is the invitation right now for those of us who know the Lord, to make ourselves available to those who are weak in their faith or don’t know the Lord and not just show up for an event but get into their lives. This is the great opportunity in the Eucharistic Revival that the bishops and God have placed before us. I really believe it all hinges on us getting real the way that the early Christians did with those people in the world who were living a pagan culture and need God, but they need God’s grace delivered through friendship, human friendship, so that they can actually have transformed lives. 

Fr. Patrick: I love that so much because it makes me think of the last words of Dorothy Day’s autobiography of The Long Loneliness, right, where she says, “We cannot love God unless we love each other and to love God, we must know each other.” And so there’s this idea that the part of what the essential nature of the Eucharist is, is that it draws us together. It builds up the Church. It builds up the community. It builds up those who love and are in love. And what I think is very interesting about the origins of the revival is that the bishops were concerned by the lack of knowledge that so many people had about the Eucharist. And of course, a great deal was made about some of the more technical doctrinal points about the nature of transubstantiation and so forth. But I think part of what we’re seeing is that they don’t understand even these last technical points, the greater ideas that to receive the Eucharist and to desire the Eucharist is to belong to a community. So I wanted to ask you if you think that’s true, if the concern really is about a doctrinal understanding of the Eucharist, and again, I know this is part of the origin of the need for a revival to clarify what Catholics actually believe in the most basic way about the Blessed Sacrament, or if there are other things at stake, another way to put it would be to ask them, what is it that we’re trying to teach people that the Eucharist is in the most basic and compelling way? 

Curtis Martin: That’s such a great question. And I, you know, there’s a maxim in the church in Latin, lex orandi lex credendi, the law or the habit of prayer leads to the law of belief. So in some ways our doctrines follow our practices. Saint Thomas, the apostle, the second week after Easter, he wasn’t there the first Sunday. He comes back the second Sunday and Jesus is there. We know the story, put your touch my holes in my hands, put your hand on my side. And he falls down and says, “My Lord, and my God!” Now, there’s not a well worked out Trinitarian theology when he makes that comment. His experience of Christ, his faith actually doesn’t yet have words. And I think that we’ve got to let people have the experience which will lead to the doctrine and it’s been the lack of experience that’s led to the evaporation of doctrine is the way that I would articulate. So yes, we obviously want to teach the faith in all of its fullness. I have multiple times, all of our missionary staff take those fidelity. We’re all in 100% church teaching. But I like to say, orthodoxy, right teaching, right belief is absolutely necessary, but not at all sufficient. We also need to love what we know. And this is whole human peace. And really, the Dominican, Saint Thomas Aquinas, and others have led the way here in our understanding of this. But to be able to recognize It’s the whole person and I my experience I literally we had a gal who was at our conference last year and she leaned over during adoration and there were thousands of confessions going on and she leaned over to one of our staff members and said, “I really want to go to confession.” And the staff member leaned back and said, “You can’t, you’re not Catholic.” And 15 minutes later, you know, “I really want to go to confession.” “You can’t, you’re not Catholic.” 15 minutes later, “I really want to go to confession”. Okay, but be sure to tell the priest you’re not Catholic. And something’s going on in this person’s soul and they don’t exactly know what it means. They couldn’t give it expression with clarity and precisness. But it’s St. Thomas, right? At this moment, my Lord and my God, wow, that was a crazy statement for a Jew who is a strict monotheist to say about a man standing in front of him. That’s a crazy statement which prior to Jesus would have an absolute heresy, but Jesus changes everything. And so I really believe, yes, it is concerning that we don’t know the doctrines as clearly as we could, but I actually think the more disconcerting reality is that we don’t know the reality. We don’t have the experiential knowledge. And here’s the cool thing about your hearsmic faith. Catholics who believe in the real presence of Christ, even if they don’t know the big long words like transubstantiation, but they believe this is truly Jesus and His body, His blood, His soul, and His divinity. It’s not just a symbol. Catholics who believe that, never leave the Catholic Church. This is the one doctrine, the one reality that keeps people Catholic, even if they’re understanding is imperfect or weak. They just won’t leave, there’s no place else to go. And to be able to recognize that, now how do we facilitate that experientially and then walk with them so that we can explain doctrinal. I mean, I always like to say transubstantiation is a big long precise accurate God given word that was given to us a thousand years after Jesus said, is. This is my body. Now, please explain is. Okay, well, let’s get really precise. That’s great. And I love the word, but I’m going to start with is. Something’s going on up there. I don’t quite understand it. Yeah, that’s that is Jesus. 

Fr. Patrick: I can’t help myself. I just need to say, Curtis that depends on what your definition of is is. (Laughing)

Curtis Martin: (Laughing) It does. And over and over again, we years ago, maybe five years ago, just before COVID, we had a moment of one of our conferences where unannounced, Jim Caviezal came out. And, you know, it wasn’t part of the probe. We knew he was coming, but the students didn’t. And he walks out. He’s got, he doesn’t look the same as maybe they’ve seen him. He’s got a beard, but it doesn’t quite look like the Jesus beard. And like, is that really? Who’s- and slowly they realize over a few seconds who it was. And they all got up and they clap, gave him a standing ovation and he gave a nice little talk about the importance of his faith in his own life. It was a short interaction. But it was really cool. The next night was adoration and those same 10 – 12,000 people. Now Jesus who doesn’t look like Jesus, Jim looks like Jesus, he isn’t Jesus. The next night Jesus shows up, he doesn’t look like Jesus, he looks like bread, and everybody falls to their knees. And I spoke to the following, and I said, “It’s so cool that one a guy who looks like Jesus, but isn’t comes out, you give him a standing ovation.” And when Jesus shows up, you fall to your knees, and nobody told you, it just happened spontaneously. And I know in my own life, I remember sitting in front of the Blessed Sacrament for the first time in many, many years and just looking and saying, I know what Catholics believe, do I believe this? And I actually have to, the big long would be existential crisis, but I was in personal crisis. If this is Jesus, I should follow my knees, maybe on my face. And if it isn’t, I should get out of the room, get out of the chapel and probably get everybody else out of the chapel because this is a weird form of idolatry. And it really is this great moment that Jesus is so great at, over and over again. He’ll say things like, I am the Way, the Truth and the Life, no one comes to the Father, but through Me. That’s a crazy statement that either is true or is not and nobody else could have ever said it and be true. And He does this over and over again and forces Himself. He is the issue of our faith. Not some behavior of some Catholic leader or some Catholic person, not a misunderstanding about a doctrine, He is the issue. And as we make Him the center, He shines light on all these other doctrines, which exists because of that light. And people start to come to deep, deep, orthodox, accurate, whatever you want to call it, faith, small o, orthodox. And we just watch this process happen over and over and over again. If there’s something in their heart is already receptive to what the Church is going to teach before they even know the teaching. If you give your life to Christ and you’re reading the Gospels and you turn the page, you say, “I believe everything here and I haven’t read it yet.” I already believe it because I believe the person speaking no matter what he says, that’s Catholic faith. And oh my goodness when the world and this is happening, there’s an increase tens of thousands of thousands of people coming to this kind of faith in this Post-Christian pagan world, but the other stories there’s this great renewal going on on the inside that’s if this white-hot core and this is the process I’ve watched over and over again they come to a deep experiential reality of Jesus and who He is and then all of a sudden Catholicism starts to come into focus and comes into clarity and which is the way it happened historically, right? And to be able to see the power of this… I’m very, very hopeful about the impact of the revival. This and other hundreds and thousands of others, it’s processions, you could see processions on college campuses where some guys sitting on a fraternity house porch drinking his fourth beer and he’s like, “Wow. You know, I was raised Catholic. That’s probably Jesus. You know what? I probably should call Father and go to confession. And nobody said anything! And Jesus is working. So it’s cool. 

Fr. Gregory: There’s something you said earlier in the conversation that struck me, this idea of like getting into people’s lives. Simple but profound. And I’m thinking about it in terms of like how God operates. So God’s already in our lives because He creates us. So He’s more interior to us than we are to ourselves. And yet He wants to get into our lives further still. So you can think about the life of grace as God getting further into our lives. And then He’s like, what is on the one hand the most literalistic, but on the other hand the most mystical way by which to get in further still? I know, I’ll let them eat Me. So like, you know, beyond creation and sanctification comes ingestion. This is not… this is nuts, (inaudible). Both, right? It’s both. So thinking about like our Eucharistic Lord kind of going before us getting into people’s lives and then thinking about our service, our love of Him and our love of our neighbor as a kind of instrumental getting into people’s lives or a ministerial getting into people’s lives. How can you see, like the Eucharistic Reviv- You’ve already talked about it, some of the Eucharistic revival facilitating this movement of getting into people’s lives. 

Curtis Martin: That’s a great question. And I probably would even put a step in between what you just said, because everything you said about the Eucharists, absolutely absolutely true. But historically, it’s predated by the incarnation. I like to say, “Well, God tried different modes of communicating the sent texts, the Ten Commandments, and they didn’t work. I mean, they broke all 10 of them before they brought the tablet down.” And then He showed up. And it’s this crazy example because while our presence is instrumental, it’s actually more than that because Jesus is in us. And so He’s actually rendering himself present. And this is my reflection. It’s not, you can’t find a Catechism quote. But it seems I’ve thought for many times that Pentecost must have been an amazing experience for the Blessed Virgin Mary. Because she has watched her son live and die, the horrible death, and then rise from the dead. And now he’s ascended into Heaven. And then on Pentecost, the Holy Spirit comes down, and I gotta believe as she’s sitting there watching, she’s looking into each of the apostle’s eyes and seeing Jesus’s eyes. Not the same color, the same twinkle. Oh my goodness, my son is alive inside of you. How cool is that? That’s what we bring. Curtis’s personality, 50/50 on a good day. Jesus, all in every day, perfect. And somehow I get to mediate that by His grace, by living in the state of grace and making myself available to other people. And that presence, that incarnation if you will, presence, that Holy Spirit, centered, dramatic, whatever word you want to use, presence, along with the Eucharistic presence. Well, that comes together. Now, a sudden, it turns into, yeah, remember that time we drove out to Indianapolis for the Eucharistic Revival and went to the conference, we got that flat tire, oh my goodness, we’re on the side of the road for an hour and a half and we were laughing, out of water, somebody had a bathroom. It was just terrible. Now, they’re laughing about it and it paves the way to… and then remember how Steve who was with us who was weak in his faith and now look at him – he’s discerning a vocation to the priesthood. He’s actually been talking to the Dominicans. He wants to become a Dominican, whatever. And everything changed. And it was in the context of friendship, but it’s so much more the friendship because God, in all the ways that He can working in the sacrament, in the Sacrament of Baptism and Confirmation, and in you all’s case and Ordination, to radiate His presence in a way that is it’s superhuman. I keep telling people you guys like to watch the Marvel movies and just to be clear these are imaginary superheroes. You’ve been called by God to be a real superhero, something we, the Church calls saints. It’s not make believe – they’re all fake they don’t exist. You exist. This is the coolest thing in the world. That’s what God’s inviting you to. Let’s go. When you can’t do it by yourself, we always like to use the example of a charcoal fire. You get a hot burning charcoal fire and you reach in with a tong and you go out and you put it on the side. That one on the side cools off the rest of them stay hot. We were meant to be in fellowship with one another and to be able to see the power of that. That’s the way He’s designed it. The Church is not accidental. It is the manifestation of God’s grace in people’s lives. And so to be able to see this, and my experience, Fathers, is that this works everywhere. And sometimes without a word, we have gal who’s on our staff now, has been a missionary for four or five years, but when we first met her, she was alone on campus and just saw some people laughing. And she said, well, they’re happy. And she went over and just kind of brought herself into the group and they’ve broadened the circle. And she’s like, these people are amazing. Oh, they’re FOCUS missionaries and students involved with their faith. This is odd because I was raised Buddhist. I like these people. This is her first day of school. By Christmas, she says I wanted to be a Catholic and by Easter she was. And now she’s been a Catholic missionary for years. But God’s grace was mediated, manifested through friends or friendship with people who were living that union because of their sacramental life, because of their prayer life. And our whole point is we want to be those white hot coals together, because that’ll make the create a fire that’ll burn and burn and burn. And that’s the hope because it’s cold world out there. And as I’ve referenced her once already, but as your sister said, one of my it’s at the bottom of my stationary St. Catherine of Sienna, if you are what you meant to be, you would set the world on fire. And that’s it. We live in a cold, dark world that are desperately waiting for light and heat. 

Fr. Gregory: Yeah. And the Gospel is fire. 

Curtis Martin: Amen. 

Fr. Gregory: Amen, yeah. Thanks. Thanks so much. So it was good to chat. I would say that it’s always good to chat except I don’t know that I’ve ever chatted at any length with you. So it’s great to chat. I should just say that (laughs).

Curtis Martin: Well it’s great to be with you and I agree with you Father Pine, I don’t I don’t know that we’ve had a long conversation, I think you might be speaking at our conference this year, which I mean delighted about and the friendship Father Gabriel Gillan is is serving as a chaplain with us. I was just with him last week and as you all know he’s fun because he’s just got a child like joy about him. You’re almost, you’re like, I think you’re getting away with something you’re not supposed to be doing. (laughing) And he’s not, he’s just what he’s, he’s like crazy happy. And so, and that’s delightful. And it’s gonna be manifested through everybody’s personality in their own way. But joy is joy and I would argue that joy is the bait to catch souls. Love is important. It’s essential and love and joy are never separated if they’re enduring. But joy is what is the immediate longing of the human heart. And we live in a desperately broken world that has little to no joy. There’s a lot of happiness in the sense that they’re pursuing pleasure and they’re happy for a moment, but it actually is like drinking salt water. I’m left thirstier than I was when I started. And I’m actually making myself miserable, pursuing pleasure. No, no, no, no. Pursue goodness and you will experience abiding pleasure, joy. And not just in this life, it’s everlasting joy. And that’s- That’s a fun, it’s a fun reality to promote with people. It’s a little bit like selling water on the side of the Sahara Desert. Everybody wants ’em. 

Fr. Gregory: Yeah. Like Saint Thomas says, three interior effects of charity, joy, peace, and mercy. As the youth say, let’s go. So you’re going to be at the Eucharistic Congress in Indianapolis. Obviously, FOCUS will have a presence there as well. But what are meaningful ways in which people can kind of follow up, go deeper or inquire after what you’ve described? 

Curtis Martin: Yeah, the first thing is if you’re going to go, could you think we have time? Could you think about bringing somebody else? I mean, pray. Who’s on your heart? They may tell you no. That’s not a loss. They weren’t going anyway. But they might say yes. And now you’re on a journey with people, and again you’re creating – are allowing God to create this iconic moment that becomes a memory that will be a conversation starter. So you just think of every family brought another family or every person brought one or two friends. And you might have to invite five or six to get one or two friends to come. I would argue that not only would it obviously increase the number of people who attend, that’s simple math, but it actually will dramatically, I would actually argue from this post-retreat high that crashes to an ever-insending journey and that will be done. And so my encouragement is, if you’re thinking about going, you haven’t made a commitment, please go. If you are going, please think about and pray about somebody who could come with you. The first article in the Catechism, it’s a beautiful article, the whole thing, but it says in Article 1, God, in all times, in all places draws near to men.” Why would you think that your invitation to a Eucharistic Revival, to a person with whom God is drawing close at all times in all places, wouldn’t be a home run? Do we have the hope and the joy to share with others? So that would be my encouragement because I think if we do this together in a bunch of people and little pockets of togetherness do this, then it’s a springboard to the next step of the new springtime. 

Fr. Gregory: Amen. Alleluia. Well, many of, you know, like our kind of verb or order and other congregations, you know, look forward to being with you there, being with all God’s children there as the Church shows up and force. But just a word of thanks. Thanks for taking the time for the episode. And thanks for your contribution for your efforts. 

Curtis Martin: Well, thank you. And I want to highlight what I’ve said. My offering is just that. It’s an offering as a contribution. Your lives are Holocaust as priests. So thank you. I’m in awe. I try to be as generous as I can. But it’s still a partial gift you’ve made a gift of your entire lives. And that is there’s no Church without you all, so thank you. That’s right. That’s why men’s religious houses smell like singed hair, not because of our duty as hygiene habits. Just kidding. But seriously, all right. Turning to you the listener, thanks so much for tuning into this episode of Godsplaining. Be sure to like and subscribe if you haven’t yet on YouTube or your podcast app. If you would, give it a five star review and recommend it to a friend that way, we can get the word out, draw up the base and get people excited about things that lie in store. Yeah, if you follow the links in the description and/or show notes, you’ll find ways to get Godsplaining merchandise or to donate on Patreon to support the work. So, know of our prayers for you. Please pray for us. We’ll look forward to chatting with you next time on Godsplaining.