CVS Live Guest - 2022-04-02 - Mark Lisney

Author Streamed Saturday April 2nd, 2022

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CVS Live Guest - 2020-02-22 - Aidan Lisney

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CVS Live Guest - 2020-01-25 - Kalen R.

Mark is the uncle of the Lisney brothers. We talked about his traumatic childhood experiences and his journey back to the Sacraments. The Prodigal Son is the overarching theme of our talk today. God is good.

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Under Construction

These YouTube transcripts are generated automatically and are therefore unformatted and replete with errors.
yes so we are live and i'm here with mark lisney yet again how are you doing how are you i'm good david how are you my friend this is take two because i forgot to get your audio enabled because as i've been explaining to you for the past 20 minutes it's a windows update from 10 to 11. all my settings are off all my audio and video settings were way off but you're good now i can hear you we can see you and we can continue with business as usual so uh take it away well hey i had started asking you a question about this and do you consider it a ministry and you had a very uh very good answer that uh i didn't realize you you've read all the uh vatican dude documents and that's awesome i have not plowed through those they're easy to read uh yeah as i mentioned i'm inspired by vatican ii to engage in the new evangelization and i'm a big fan of all the ecumenical councils especially vatican ii why because i'm closest to it in time and why should we not appreciate it the most i mean it's a little bit different from the more um dogmatic councils yes but uh it's my favorite because it's the one i'm closest to and i think it's beautiful and it inspired me in my so-called ministry to uh try to share the gospel in my own way and as i told you jokingly my apologetics is how i coined the term for my sloppy apologetics i don't take myself too seriously but i just try to connect with people heart to heart and uh you know that head heart connection is something i've always struggled with and um it's something i've been working on a lot so uh the podcast does help with that because i meet all kinds of different people with all kinds of different world views and i can't help but uh adjust and listen and be patient and try to put myself in their shoes so it's it's good for me uh as well you know as well as maybe enlightening bringing the gospel bringing the good news to some people that haven't maybe embraced the good news yet or maybe not even heard about it there's so many atheists out there that act as though they've never encountered jesus christ and some of them act as though they haven't even encountered god which is uh a bit absurd but i was atheist for a big part of my life so i do understand that but uh i think we always have a thirst uh a thirst for god right yeah and i the appeal um with the nature of the way you do this for me is i'm always interested in uh people's face journeys people's stories and people's um it's always about telling a story of someone's journey and that that fascinates me that's what i'm interested in and i like so i like to watch you know some debates about theological points and whatever and i find them interesting but in terms of they don't help me much in my daily walk um hearing someone's story of conversion or reconversion impacts me and inspires me and those kinds of things like you said with the the one-on-one conversations um in on a daily basis those are the things that impact me and keep me going um and my my story is probably like many other people's it's a it's been a story of conversion and reconversion and and the prodigal son like i don't know how many times making that journey back um and i'm i'm constantly in a in a uh in a tug of war i think and an approach avoidance i think i mentioned to you at some point that's been the story of my journey approach of whence with god and his church [Music] and i'm interested always in hearing other people's stories about their journey because i i need i need help you know i need support i need i need to know what what you know salvaged them in that moment when they were at dis in despair um because it's a long haul you know i said to aiden some time ago that even growing up as a little boy i looked at the whole process of of life as running the gauntlet like i thought that's what it was supposed to be and and there's some truth to that i think still that you you just get beaten and beaten and your your destiny is heaven but along the way you have to withstand this assault and and you just keep getting knocked down and you get up and then you brace yourself and you you know forge ahead and and when i think about that that whole thing is is you need people to to slog through with you because it's it's it's so it's so exhausting you know so people's stories of their faith journey those are the things that give me strength um so when i get an opportunity you know i'm in 12-step program so those that's that's the prodigal son story you know all the time it's it's a constant battle of one day at a time facing the beast whatever that might you know whatever form that beast takes um so the 12 strap journey is very much the christian journey um but uh yeah i need people i need people to walk with you know that's what that's what helped how were you raised can you do you mind talking a little bit about your earliest uh experiences with god and religion do you mind talking about that a little bit for the listeners yeah we had um mom and dad and five children and we were born in england and my dad was church of england and my mom was roman catholic and at the time they were married in the early 50s that was considered a mixed marriage um and i was born in 1962 i'm fourth in line of the five and we had you know what was normal to us but a fairly strange uh upbringing religiously and spiritually because um clearly my mother was the spiritual head of the household that wasn't um dad went to his anglican services and we went to the roman catholic ones and he was at his church while we were at mass and it was sort of like there's dad on one side and mom and the five kids on the other um when we came over here in 1970 yeah he joined the episcopal church and it was the same he would drive us drop us off at mass and then go to his church and then come and pick us up so um it was very sort of um the spiritual head of the household really was mum because she took the lead we did all the sacraments and and my dad kept to his um church and his beliefs um and we weren't we want to do too many catholics print things in front of him so my mom would keep the statues out of the way there weren't rosaries around my father uh he was raised when where you know in england during the war when little children were taken from the cities and moved to the countryside because of the bombing my dad was sent to countryside and he lived with a an anglican vicar and the anglican convicted was a very very good man and a very nice man that looked after my dad and his twin sister but from what i gather from talking with my dad he was also what was called sort of low church anglican and very anti-catholic so at a very young age my father is a little boy with raised in that home for a number of years four or five years um you know he was influenced by that attitude so he carried i think i think it's fair to say he was probably probably carried some of those biases uh then he falls in love with the catholic lady and they marry and he's kind of wrestling with keeping his anglican faith um and you know the deal when you marry a catholic person is that you agree to raise the children as catholic um so i think you know growing up there was that there was the conflict there was tension um i do remember we sometimes during the summer we'd gather in the living room my mom would make us do the rosary and be like oh but then you know i had to be you know you were it was cleared away by the time dad got home there was no sign that rosaries were being done um so yeah it was a bit it was a bit schizophrenic in the household that way spiritually well you know i think you you may know from listening to a couple of uh my podcasts that uh my wife's very very very anti-catholic she's raised greek orthodox she's culturally greek orthodox and they hate papacy they hate the church they hate the rosary they hit everything that's distinctively catholic so i for ye for the i converted in 2009 from atheism to catholicism and it was very very very very painful for her and she felt betrayed and i betrayed her because i should have become orthodox and i tried explaining the papacy as a deal breaker for me i have to have the authority of the papacy and it doesn't matter the holiness of the popes that's irrelevant but i need that picture you need that god-given authority i need saint peter and i need that noah to get me into the one arc where i can be saved from the coming flood so that just went in wonder the other she just has her cultural hatred of catholicism there's not much you can do about that but luckily uh she's been softening over the years especially because of covet that's really helped a lot she's seen the evil in the world that's manifest and that's starting to suffer soften her heart toward god who she always claimed was an a-hole if you'll excuse my language but that's how she referred to god because he allows suffering and i tried explaining the problem of evil she doesn't want to hear about it too philosophical for her so she's very intuitive but i just wanted to let you know that i have i have great sympathy for uh your mom and your dad and i i can sort of see the challenges on both sides of sides of that and uh i have to admit i do feel a bit sorry for your dad listening to your story was there any reconciliation later in his life before his death like with the whole yeah well you know his journey was a little bit different than you know and i don't want to paint abroad i don't want to make it he really loved his episcopal church when he came to america there was a man who was the pastor there who um his name was jack kronberger and he actually be he actually became the successor of that forgive me but that awful um episcopal uh named uh somebody spun uh in newark new jersey's a bishop uh archbishop of bishop spong who wrote a whole bunch of books where he basically dismantled the bodily resurrection and basically gutted christianity so my dad had this pastor jack cronberger who he loved and when jack moved out of the parish and took another job it's john shelby spung right there you go yeah i just googled it while you were talking yeah um so jack went to a different parish uh and took another job and then he actually ascended to that position of bishop in newark and took over for spawn and they uh he and sponge were very good friends i i don't think jack was quite in sync with uh spung's you know beliefs um but they were colleagues and they were friends um but anyway as far as the story with my dad after you know this very charismatic and brilliant preacher i went i went a couple times to go and see my dad's church because i wanted to know what went on there and he was a beautiful man he was the first minister of god clergy person that i watched and listened to and i saw jesus in them it was quite remarkable and i understand why my dad was so when when jack cronberger left my dad's episcopal faith within a few years fizzled out and he's now at 89 just turned 89 this past week he considers himself most likely agnostic so by the early 1980s i believe my dad wasn't practicing any faith um but let let me tell you the the beauty of what my father did this makes me a little um emotional excuse me sorry over time my dad was always taking my mom didn't drive so when we grew up and left the house my dad always took my mom to mass and despite my dad's um reservations about all the catholic bits he softened he always took it a mass and then he ended up going in and then for a period he joined the choir um and there was never any more of this about he doesn't you know doesn't want to see a rosary or doesn't want to see a statue those things did go by the wayside um but he didn't have his own he didn't have his own faith life um and doesn't really i think if you'd ask him he would say he doesn't have a faith life um but because he loved my mom um over time he softened and he wasn't attending anything and he was quite happy to take my mom to mass and sometimes just stay and sometimes for that period he joined the choir so he was in a way kind of participating so and that's quite remarkable um and beautiful that he loved my mom so much that he was he he could let go of some of that that stuff that he he carried yeah because it did it did damage david i mean it did damage i i think it did damage too too i can only speak for me as one of the five kids um but when you have a family split and not really even down the middle it confuses you i remember being elated because on palm sunday we'd come home with the palms and my dad would make crosses out of them because we didn't know how to do it mom didn't know how to do it so he'd take our palms and he'd make crosses and i was so excited because i thought that was our catholic thing and oh he's okay doing this catholic thing for us and it touched me because oh dad's okay with that so so that's nice so i know from remembering that that there was pain around the discord um so those moments where you know palm scene sunday would come and you know we're having sword fights with them like boys do and what not and then you come home but then dad is making these these uh crosses out of the palms like as a kid i was like oh i'm so happy that dad likes these and it's okay to do these with dad you know what i mean yeah for sure i take i take all the little tiny victories like that in my uh tense relationship with my wife i mean we love each other as not a lot of tension just on that topic of philosophy and religion there's been a lot and like i said she's suffering a little bit by the grace of god god you know god is very patient and he's very gentle and he works at his own rate as you know better than i do and uh we if only we had the patience of god you can imagine how much less stress stress we'd have in this lifetime yeah yeah he's so patient so scott you know my dad god bless him and i it's um it's hard someone said to me about a year ago and and i said you know i can't talk to my dad about i mean i can talk to him about spiritual things but i can't sort of evangelize or kind of preach to my father he's my dad and then some and then someone said to me you know we're all god's children no matter what age and no matter what family relations are and what what stature we have because we're a father he's my father i'm the son who am i to talk to my dad about anything and say dad have you ever thought about or do you wonder or try to slip something a little bit to you know but you feel you have a responsibility to do everything you can to facilitate someone else's you know journey to god but it feels funny when it's your own dad you feel like well who am i to do that and then when someone said that to me it made sense it's like we're all god's children so to god we're all none of us are fathers and sons we're just all his children and it was kind of like okay i can i can make an effort here and there it's all right you know but it's it's yeah that's a funny position to be in um but i pray a lot for him um you know i imagine that there will be some way that somehow when it is time to cross over my mom will be there um and i think yes about uh 14 years ago and i i i think yeah what do i know david i i think somehow on the other side she's working really hard in and and and and moving things around and he's 89 we don't have much time um but and then at the same time i think that mark who are you kidding i mean you've got to get your house in order to worry about your dad how about your stuff you know which that's legitimate too but you know with family you do you have concerns uh and and then you don't know what's your place and and uh yeah it can be quite confusing sometimes and challenging without getting too personal so it doesn't come back to haunt you later what sort of journeys have your siblings had just very roughly and as comfortable as as much as you're comfortable revealing about the sort of very journeys hardcore atheists muslims jews catholics protestants what do you got going on with your siblings over the years as you grew up um my sister is the oldest and she's pretty much for the most part her entire life been attending mass regularly in the sacraments and has remained catholic and raised a children catholic and you know she's older than me she's you know grown grown children then next in line is ivan and ivan is a brilliant man a brilliant thinker he would describe himself i think as agnostic i don't think he would commit to saying atheist um is he a lot like your dad in other ways no not at all no he was very much a seeker and read everything from bloody dianetics to you know i mean everything probably the most well-read person uh you know this is talk i'm talking about probably in his 30s 40s 20s 30s 40s he read and read and read um and i i don't know why he reached the conclusion he did and why he stopped or or i don't know if he's still continuing his journey um but i tell you this when he stands before god you know what i think about my brother ivan i think of the good samaritan story and he is that he doesn't care if you're an annoying person he doesn't care if you're buddhist catholic whatever if you are in need and he sees it he drops everything and he is the whole um the whole thing about charity and putting others first and and not worrying about your own needs and doing for others he lives a christian life absolutely better than i do he lives it so i'll pray i'll pray for the guy who's cold to be warm your brother will actually give him his quote he's yeah he's amazing he's awesome uh and uh he's great because he's so tolerant of ideas that he doesn't even you know approve of or you know and i'll talk to him about you know what i'm going through and uh you know we're going to confessional this and that and he doesn't judge that at all he he doesn't denigrate it whatever works for you whatever perth you need that makes you feel as peaceful and okay as possible that's what he wants for people and he truly does want that that's a very unique kind of person um uh yeah he's amazing so let me get to aidan and kieran's father paul um he's like uh he's had the awesome arms with catholicism but in the last 20 years he's full tilt like all of it uh and he's so solidly catholic that it's like i wish i could be like that uh and then you got me and then my younger brother mike and mike is not practicing catholic but he basically buys into all the catholic stuff he believes in guardian angels he prays and prays the rosary i don't want to make a judgment and use the word i don't know why he doesn't regularly attend mass i i'm pretty sure he doesn't um [Music] but his daily spiritual life he is tuned in to the spirituality that we were raised with with my mom's influence um praying for people um [Music] being kind making sure that you uh look out for other people um so that's kind of the faith profile of the grown children do you all get together once in a while for a sibling reunion we try you know that the order get more complicated gets with extended family and spouses and children and grandchildren and whatever so and then that bloody covered nonsense so you know those are less and less but when we do you know i see i see all of them fairly regularly i see my sister every week i see uh we visit my dad together and um i'll see paul occasionally i see ivan and i do see my yeah we but there's all five of us sitting down at the same table that doesn't happen very often yeah yeah it's understandable i don't know if it's a taboo to ask this question but i pretty much throw it out there and uh you're willing if you're willing to answer me and answer it uh your five siblings yeah five siblings is that right there's five kids uh five total yeah oh yeah so there are five of you uh what is a bit touchy but uh how many of the five of you are jabbed asked for the covax i think all of us yeah no no rebels on that level on that political level that are booking against the system no i didn't want to and the tipping point for me there were two things one was very practical i retired from teaching but now i substitute teach and it was required um but the other tipping point was you know i've read all the research on the uh abortion uh connections with the stem cells i wasn't happy with that i wanted to i wanted to avoid it but you know it's funny when benedict took the shot i thought i don't know i guess if he thought it was all right you know that be honest with you he was my my real tipping point if benedict wouldn't have taken it i would have been like you know what that's the final little factor that because it was completely about the stem cells it for me it wasn't anything to do with well this is a new one and i'm scared about whatever it was it was purely the moral issue yeah um forgive me i think paul i think paul withheld because of the moral okay i i believe that's correct but i'm not you know i've talked about it with uh kieran and aidan a few times on the podcast i don't know if you've noticed but uh you know uh aiden wasn't too gung-ho about it but he didn't really have much choice if he wanted to keep working and all this stuff that's that's typically the case like my supervisor at worst work i've known him since 1989 he's like a brother to me he said i'll never take it i'll never take it and then he took it because he didn't have a choice he didn't have a choice yeah and uh now i'm asking him are you gonna get the boosters no no i'll never get the boosters so i'm just thinking well maybe he will if it becomes uh mandatory here in canada here so uh but i don't want to talk too much about politics but it does annoy me it does the whole covert thing annoys me and i've i i'm in a privileged position where i don't have kids to feed and i've got a boss who's very cool and he knows i'm a bit of an oddball so i get away with pretty much everything like he my boss said uh when i got sick at christmas time he said you have to get tested for kobe before he came back to work and i said well then i'm not coming back to work so uh he eventually just sort of quietly caved to my rigidness and he let me back without getting tested so i'm a bit of an oddball a bit of a stickler and a bit of a rebel in that way can i ask you david what was your reluctance to be tested for being covered positive because i do not want to perpetuate the control the power the manipulation okay the numbers it's i don't believe the testing works i don't know the whole i don't believe okay i don't believe the numbers i don't believe any of the numbers any of the statistics before covet i didn't believe any statistics anyway i would just take it with a large grain of salt any statistics notice god is the only statistician he knows everything and our estimations here below are often biased like uh i've studied natural science i know that there's an interpretation even of the heart sciences i studied physics i know there is interpretation involved even in a hard science like physics so can you imagine a social science how much interpretation is involved so i know there's a lot of room for human error and human interpretation even if it's not consciously done maliciously i know that people want to get a certain result and that's what they see and it's the same thing with the numbers with the covid they've just recently admitted oh we over exaggerated this number it's because of this technical error whatever and they can blame whatever they want but i've known all along that the numbers are wrong and they are many many many reasons why i'm suspicious of the whole game and it's uh it's politics and i do not trust politicians and uh it's sad it's sad that people have to pay with their lives in the lives of their loved ones and the health of themselves and their loved ones because of politics it's just it's disgusting it makes me sick and i want to get off this topic so i'm going to get angry but we live it we do live in a fallen world and i want to talk uh if it's not to if it's not too delicate i'd like to sort of talk to you about the uh you mentioned despair you mentioned 12 steps i want to talk about the dark side i want to talk about your dance with the devil and how without going into details embarrassing details but how satan tempts you you know i'm tempted by sexual sins like just looking at women and stuff like that um that's been a problem my whole life um but by the grace of god i've got a certain amount of self-control now um but with some people it's alcohol or drugs or uh gambling and different sorts right but uh i want to talk about the the devil and how he how he toys with us and what experience you have the reason i want to talk to you about it is because you're a little bit older and wiser and you've had some experience and people the listeners need to know that this is a real spiritual battle uh in each of our lives even in the golden age of whatever epoch of whatever country you want to imagine like there's always been a spiritual battle for each and every individual so can you talk about the experience that you've gained from uh dancing with the devil and maybe falling into his traps a little too often and what you learned when you got back up and brushed yourself off and went back to jesus christ as the prodigal son yeah um yeah and that's been the lifelong journey and the beast for me is his addiction in multiple forms um it for a while i had you know some degree of drug issues um alcohol problem but sexual addiction and um but let me go back further i was thinking about this yesterday that one of the things in recovery that you don't find um and one of the things you don't find in therapy uh secular therapy um when i was very small i was not quite four years old there was sexual abuse and the damage that was done there and then happened again when i was 11. but the damage that was done there now everybody's different everyone has a different experience but the the the the damage that was done that was most that has has altered the course of my life since the age of four it is the sexual proclivities um it is emotional and uh not so much physical although this there was some of that ptss stuff that with flashbacks later on when i started to remember and put it all together but i tell you david the the biggest damage done was spiritual because if you think about what a little four-year-old's mind is like and if you've been around little children that are that age and you introduce something to them that they should not be exposed to as a child very young i i i'm gonna say this very clearly i knew i was damned i knew it i didn't think it i knew it i knew that i had done something really really bad and i wasn't going to be able to be fixed you don't believe that now though i do not i do not and you're emphasizing that as a child it was certain you were certain at that time absolutely my self-perception that's the way i saw myself i've i'm really really bad and i you you don't have words as a child you have senses and feelings [Music] and i knew i was unlovable and as you grow up in a family where you're taught the rudiments of faith you know um you're a little boy little tiny boy and you have picture books that have the old testament new testament and i remember them very clearly and all those neat stories and the the ark and you know oh that oh that story you know oh he's gonna kill his own son before an angel comes in and says hold on a minute it's just a test you know these are all you know uh exciting interesting stories that fascinate the child and then you look at the new testament and i remember very clearly this little picture book i had and there was this as long as you're okay david i'm okay i'm just gonna get through this there was a picture with jesus sitting on this big rock and all these little children gathered around him wow and i looked at that picture and i wanted to be one of those little children i knew i couldn't be because i'd been bad and i thought i had to fix myself and make myself good so that i could go over there and join him and be with the other little children that were around him because i was so damaged because i didn't understand um so that spiritual intrusion i can't think of anything else that could be more destructive for a person because that relationship with god has been poisoned and a little child's mind they're being raised with the right information but they're interpreting it incorrectly and i didn't look at that picture and say no matter what jesus wants me to come and climb up on the rapids rock and sit with him my mind said i'm so bad he doesn't want me there so growing up some of the things that are in place in the catholic faith and practices that are meant to heal and soothe and help when your mind has been manipulated um you hear the messages differently and you go to confession as an 11 year old 12 year old after the abuse happens again and you don't want to tell them it means it's not even your sin but you think it is so you withhold it and then you think well i'm terrible i didn't even say what i did so you have the guilt and then of course the catholic faith we have our rules which we need for you don't just casually take communion if you have something serious and we do withhold it you need to not take communion until you so you take a 12 year old kid who's now got some habits like masturbation that's a chronic five six times a day problem because there's been an intrusion and sexuality is distorted and he sits in a row with mom and the five kids and everyone gets up to go to communion what's he gonna do well i don't have any spiritual balls i'm 12 years old i'm gonna get up and go to communion so what do you think what do you think happens you know in that mind i'm even worse because oh my gosh i took communion too so the things are in place to help us in our in our spiritual life and you know when we fall we sin whatever it's no big deal it's not it's not no big deal but you know what i'm saying those things didn't help me they they compounded my shame my guilt and my assessment of myself as unredeemable um so a dreadful struggle and then that shame and that loop what do you do you it perpetuates the addictive problems um and you're in that that cycle you know we need to bring that person are those people to justice have you addressed that the people that have been the person that abused you first one no don't know the identity i just know it was a young adult male not back in england uh neighbor and then the other one um strangely enough when i sat my parents down and talked about that when i was in my mid-30s and said listen it's not your fault i just need to tell you because i've been so messed up and this is what happened and you guys didn't know it um literally two weeks later they read in the paper that the man died um so yeah that's a you know it's a it's a difficult thing too david with the we're called to forgive and i've spent from time to time through the years moments of sincere prayer and and and um meditation on forgiving as best as i am able to do at the moment and and that that's another thing that's that's cyclical you know it you think you've dealt with it you think you've done it and then a couple of years later you're like so pissed off at this side of the other and you realize oh my god there's another layer i'm not i thought i let go of that i thought i forgave i thought i moved on and then you realize it's a little bit deeper than you know um so the life of forgiveness and the call to forgiveness is not a once and done thing uh it's a process and i know that sounds annoying it's a process but i mean it really is um so yeah there's a lot and and uh so by the time i was a young adult um you know i had a devoted major alcoholism issue i dabbled quite a bit in drugs thank god i don't know why i did not get hooked on cocaine i used that and did not get hooked i had a problem with uh prescription pain pills um and the alcohol and then the sexual addiction and the sexual addiction was like and food uh i mean the food addiction right after when i was 11 years old all of a sudden i didn't realize what i was doing um i was trying to get bigger so i couldn't be hurt so i could fight back um and the food issue you know all of these things they they in in at different levels and at different times um they resurface and you and you you revisit them and you you have another day of you know slogging it out with them um but just on that note i wanted to mention something that i found in the last literally two weeks i found a great book called the 12 steps and the sacraments by scott wieman okay and he has a group called catholic in recovery and it's a 12-step program with a catholic approach to uh fortifying the 12 steps with catholic spirituality can you hold it on the screen yes i can and he has um oh it's backwards isn't it no it's not backwards on my screen oh gotcha it'll be okay scott weeman okay yes and he's a lovely man i uh zoomed him and i uh wanted to get a group going at my own parish yeah and went on their uh their virtual meetings and i thought i was just going basically to check it out so i knew how to present it to the people of my church and get some information but i'm hooked dude it's awesome exactly like aidan just now you sounded exactly yeah it's awesome because you can you can talk about i go too regularly to sla sex and love addicts anonymous yeah um it's secular the the the men are great guys um um our group is okay um but you can um you can set up groups however you like um and they're all great great guys um but there are some people that have a very protestant uh approach and so i don't get too specific in like i came across a great strategy i was really struggling with still clicking where i shouldn't click on the computer and it was about three or four months ago and um this decade single decade rosary that i always this aiden made ah i was just sitting around having a chat with mary and i i kind of made a deal with her i wanted to close the door on that clicking on those naughty websites and it was one of the things that was a residual thing that i just kept the door open and i said you know i'm really weak but i'm going to do one decade a day and would you please mitigate the temptation so i can withstand it because i'm just too weak but please i'll do that could you please just make it doable for me i get temptation but i i'm so weak it needs to be like so lame that i can walk away from it and you know what i mean i've had three slips in four months and that used to be [Music] at least a couple times a month sometimes even more that i would have that kind of problem but and normally when you go to 12-step meetings and you come across a new strategy that works for you you share it and and then someone else hears it and goes ah awesome yeah whether it's you know whatever you do that's your little trick that you use because as soon as you try one strategy works for a while it's something else you know there's another insidious way that it can you can be tempted but you know i wasn't comfortable saying all i said in my group was i just found a personal spiritual practice that helped me overcome this because i didn't want to get into the whole thing but you know when you go to catholic recovery catholic in recovery and go to a meeting like that swing the rosaries around baby nobody can everybody's like oh cool okay yeah divine mercy chaplet worked for you okay cool uh you know padre pio's your boy okay you know you can say those things and people don't go oh i don't want to hear this i don't hear the catholic stuff or the super religious stuff yeah um catholic and it's awesome cool uh i want to touch briefly on the uh i don't know what you call it i guess sex abuse in the catholic church do you have more or less sympathy for a priest or bishop that touches kids because of what you experience more or less sympathy and compassion i have zero tolerance zero forgive me zero compassion for those who know and choose to remain silent or god forbid know and move someone somewhere else where they are i i i could i could hurt those people i could i could physically attack them yeah the people who have that terrible proclivity there is something in here a little bit that says oh god that's just an awful thing there's a little bit of that but i i i don't want to be around them um there's something in me that has a bit of compassion but david i have no compassion for i have no compassion for the systematic deliberate uh knowledge and willful yeah that that i i just don't understand that and i don't yeah it's demonic let's call it what it is so um yeah i have a very interesting question for you um about that um can you do you have like uh a radar where you meet someone let's say you meet a man your age do you have a radar where it's like okay this guy's been through something similar to me or this guy's a sexual pervert that's unrepentant or this guy is repentant do you have a sort of radar where you can judge someone that you meet about where they might be at on that spectrum no i only had that um when i was in the in the post when i would act out on the sexual addiction um it was anonymous encounters in restrooms parks blah blah blah you would not believe the uh sixth sense you have with other people that have the same proclivity um and i will tell you i've talked to people in the program in the 12-step program too that there's some weird bizarre radar that you could be driving along and you know somehow you know that within fairly close distance to you there's an adult bookstore i don't know how that happens but there is some vibe out there there's something dude everybody i've talked to goes oh yeah me too um definitely well i could tell you a story about that uh from my childhood i was playing in the barn we'd moved from the city to the country and i was playing in the barn and i just had this sort of uh radar thing where there was like buried in the pile of stuff because we just chucked the barn wasn't wasn't used for anything it was just used as storage for all the stuff we brought from the city what you're gonna say yeah and i just had an intuition there's some treasure here and i found a suitcase buried deep deep deep and it was full of uh pornography yep nonetheless and that's uh that's messed me up until today i mean that's uh that's one of the great damages that was done to me spiritually now albeit it was hetero stuff and i was uh at the time so i'm not comparing my sob story with yours don't don't get me wrong but uh the damage is real the damage is real and uh one lifetime is not enough to heal it i mean it's just the way it is you have to live with these wounds you know pornography pornography is demonic anyone that's promoting pornography is completely ignorant of the spiritual realm that's that's all there is to it or they're a bad they're willingly on the side of satan i mean that's those are the two options i don't see any other third way yeah ignorant or evil i mean it's just you know and that's phenomenal you're talking about with the uh pornography stashes too i i that's it that's very very prominent um there's a sixth sense that you have um yeah yeah very very common even in my adult life when it comes to uh sexual sin pornography with me in my recent life it's been of all things i mean it was a sort of an unexpected discovery when i was playing video games i discovered there's this whole sexual side to video games and then that reopened a can of worms it's like i've been avoiding pornography for like successfully for 10 11 years and then suddenly in the course of discovering new video games that come out the violence never bothered me but the sexuality i had no idea that it was a part of video game culture and people that i've spoken to that play video games they're like what that turns you on like that's just that's that's not exciting choreography because if you look at actual pornography today so it's so disgusting and explicit and wild or whatever like hard hardcore that what is getting me titillated and excited in this stupid video game with the graphics animation like it's just like it's bad graphics it's nothing this is nothing hardcore right but for me the catholic convert that had served by the grace of god conquered masturbation and pornography to uh it was enough to get me excited and get me sort of that can of worms thrown back yeah yeah so uh satan works in subtle ways but the reason i'm talking about this is because there's a sort of i'm starting now over the past two years that this has been happening i'm starting now to recognize like the suggestions of satan when he's like i'll be i'll be at work and i'll get the suggestion in my head like hey go play that game and i'll be like no that's that's an occasion of sin and then the voice is like no but you don't have to go to the those areas like you can you can just explore these other things that are non-sexual or whatever and then i fall for it and then i do it and then inevitably it's just like drawn to that itch that they can't be scratched but i've kind of i hope i pray to god that i have the grace to have learned my lesson and don't listen to those those voices that are just so subtle like oh no you're not going to do that you're just going to do this and you're not going to do that you're just going to it's so subtle and it's so gentle there i say the voice of satan you're so gentle and but then it just becomes a frothing uh frantic uh you know that sort of that chaos that the the image that i like to use between you know the difference between listening to god and listening to satan it has everything to do with peace like if you're dangled and like excited and whatever and you don't have that peace and you can't pray properly then that's the proof of growth in the pudding that it's not of god over the past years i've been struggling and i've been learning that lesson all over again and uh you know been to confession a few times about that and uh i i don't want to i don't want to listen to that voice anymore and i can recognize it now better and better you know that's the experience that's the wisdom that we gain with experience but it's hard it's hard it's very hard yeah it's very common too i hear with guys that struggle with the sexual addiction it's very common that the after a while the temptation kinds and types morph and they it's almost like the whack-a-mole kind of thing if you've got that under control and you think okay and then like i know guys that you know struggle with you know the kind of hbo now because the as soon as they pick that up they're gonna go to the naughty bits they know and that's what they're drawn to and then they they get that under control they get rid of hbo and then they're just looking at something like basic general news but it's celebrity news and then there's the you know famous lady whatever and it's like oh oh i just i just wanted to look and see what that story is about and they know that's not why they want to go to the next picture and then they want to you know what i mean and it's very common and it it it morphs and it changes and then it's it's one kind of temptation over here and then that gets under control and then it's like oh it's over here now and it's this oh this is calling to you insidious yeah yeah yeah it's really it's really sick and it makes me sick thinking about it but um you know saying alfonsus laguri he uh he uh alphonsus liguri said and i'm sure all the saints said the same thing but i just have been reading that recently he said with the with the snake pardon the imagery here but when the snake puts this when the snake when the snake puts his little head into the opening that you've given you've given him just a little opening as soon as he gets his head and you can't stop the body the body comes in right so it's all about that that little tongue of the snake just seducing you it just it's just it's just this it's just that it's not a big deal you're not going to do this you're not going to do that if you listen to him and you just let his nose in just his little nose you're done right and then it's the avalon avalanche of the old habits and whatever and then your toast and then you got to go to confession you got to get the graces and you got to go to the sacraments and build up your prayer life again and it's just like climb that mountain again it's such a pain it's just easier i say alfonsus liguri said it's just easier not to let his nose in right saint saint augustine famously said complete abstinence is much easier than moderation so don't trick yourself into thinking i'm going to be moderate i'm just going to do a little bit i'm just going to check it out i'm just going to you know it's just easier to say no no means no and it's complete abstinence and let's hope i hope to god i've learned my lesson because it's just it's just stupid you know the whole repeating cycle you know exactly what i'm talking about it's just so it's just yeah the outcome is always the same and it's always just just just there's no choice exhausting there's no joy there's no lasting joy there and uh you know there was another famous say that i love uh saint anselm of canterbury he's one of my all-time favorites if you haven't read him go ahead and read them please his prayers and meditations uh he says uh what does he say what does he say what does he say well what's it trying to tell you now about uh what were we talking about um what was the last thing we were talking about i want to get this quote for you the temptations and the way they and the dabbling yeah it'll come to me it'll come to me but um yeah it'll come to me while we're talking about other things you like that because you like that little mind game you have to make your brain yeah yeah yeah yeah you were listening very carefully what are some of uh i'll get you talking and then i'll think about it what are some of your favorite saints can you just talk me through uh you don't need to talk about mary because we all know she's your number one top favorite probably but can you talk about can you talk about some of your favorite saints and why why you like them while i search my memory um anthony i loved when i was a little boy because he literally did find things and he was so practical and that's my confirmation name um and we'd say anthony not anthony um pio is the zenith i used to my mom loved to padre pio do you remember when he was canonized i don't know if he was saint peter when my mom was alive probably probably okay um but leo was the coolest dude i'm simultaneously attracted to him and then terrified by him because he can read souls and that scares the crap out of me um i went to before in bato pennsylvania is now the national shrine and they even have his original huge confession box like there oh he was canonized in 2002 by the way okay and my mom died after that so yeah he was the same when my mom was still alive but padre pio before they had that national string built they're in that same town in pennsylvania was a little it was a small like little building and a lady that was one of his people uh established a little mini shrine and i got to go there and sit with it was still in the case but i got to sit with it one of his um gloves and that was awesome was it bloody yes it was old and dried but it was stained you could tell um so and pio was like awesome because he did all these i call him pio this is weird i got to tell you this david after my mom died when i was uh most of it was i was numb but in the times when i was thinking about praying about it and grieving it i don't know why i know but i knew that when my mom crossed over in my prayer i was aware pio was there and it wasn't saint pio or padre pio it was just the word pio that's how he presented in my in my brain pio was there when my mom crossed over uh so and she was devoted to him um she was devoted to lots of saints but for as long as i live i will tell everyone that i absolutely believe in my heart that my mummy got to cross over and see pio waiting to take her on nice um so yeah you know right i didn't even know that much that's how stupid i am pia yeah um but he was like he's frightening too because he could read the souls and he wasn't going to have your nonsense when he walked into confession wasting his time and he'd scold you but then he was you know this immense um presence uh you know satan himself went to confession to pio do you ever hear that story oh please tell oh dude please tell carl yeah he materialized and hopped in the box and peter told him to kneel and he said that i cannot do and so pio didn't realize at that point that he was not of this earth and he said well all right let's stand and then i let me hear your sins and he gave him his litany and they were as you could imagine and then he asked him to if he was you know repentant that i am not and then someone who was observing saw a cloud of smoke you know evaporate outside the thing but yeah that's that's a great story i stumbled across that about a year ago on uh on youtube um somebody who has a padre pio uh youtube channel and it was like wow and then you know the world war two stories with the bomb the bombing in in italy and the the pilots the allies were flying over bombing right near that village where he had his church and they the pilots all of a sudden right in front of them is is this this vision of this this monk like in front of their they're flying a plane and he's like right in front of him they turned around and went back like they're not dropping bombs there's some monk flying around up there yeah amazing stuff so cool wow yeah pretty amazing yeah i uh i have to admit i'm just a little bit wary of padre he i know i have nothing against him i have nothing against him but there's just a little bit of trepidation so maybe it's that that fear in that respect like you're talking about i don't feel as cozy and comfortable with padre pio as i do with a lot of the saints okay uh one of the reasons is because he's closer to me in time and the closer a saint is to me in time the more i'm a little bit cautious okay um because we have the mist of time where we can idealize the saints that were along far far away in time and in space romanticized them they never farted or burped or anything right yeah yeah and um much less masturbated or whatever i'm sure a lot of them didn't ever right but right i'm sure saint augustine did one of my favorite saints you know he's a great sinner but um no uh there's something there's i have to i have to be honest with you there's something about the stigmata that bothers me this does disturb me and it's not that i don't believe it it's not that i don't believe it it just it disturbs me and so uh i'm just honest with myself and with god like okay i'm just not as attracted to that not sure about that comfortable about it like i don't have any problem believing in the stigma i don't have any problem like saint francis uh cc whatever i don't have any problem believing in it it just it just creeps me out just a little bit and uh i just have to be honest with myself it's just not my thing and uh i do uh i do somewhere here i have an image of saint patrick um i love him and uh i believe he loves god and that's why i love him and i believe he's in heaven and he's a saint and i believe he had this stigmata it's just i feel an attraction to so many saints and it's it's not like i need to why would i need to go and force myself to like make him my favorite one of us uh other favorites you know what i mean personal yes and chemistry and all that sort of thing there's no ill or anything like that yeah and i don't have any like one that's like like he's the one that comes to mind because my mom was so close to him and she had so many books and i read them yeah um so i have more familiar familiarity but you know i get to know him if i study his life i'm sure i'll fall more in love with him that's usually the case like the more you know uh yeah there's a secular example of that not a saint but a secular example i used to hate uh breakfast with tiffany who's that actress breakfast at tiffany's breakfast oh audrey hepburn yeah audrey hepburn she was my she was my pet peeve of all the hollywood leading ladies she's the one i got the most and then uh i just avoided watching her movies i just hated her for no reason okay and then and then i watched a documentary about her life a 20-minute documentary about her life and now she's my favorite okay she's my favorite um why well because she's sweet innocent charitable selfless i think she may have been christian or even catholic i don't know that's not really the point but the point is that i fell in love with her and it's the same thing with i think it's the same with anyone if you get to know them if you get past your prejudgments then you can uh you can fall in love with that person that's what it's all about right yeah yeah and that is uh taking the time to and i do that too a lot you know you just see the surface thing and you i'm very dismissive very quickly and i i need to work on that um and a little bit of delving you know you find oh you have something that you can connect with with a person you know that whole celebrity thing is bizarre anyway we act like we know them because we see them so much talking on interview shows and it's like we don't know anything about them as people that's just so stupid you know it's like i don't know who they are give me a break so what are you excited about uh in that uh here we are in the month of april springs around the corner so what are you excited about i like to ask my guests sometimes in terms of reading some spiritual reading i know you showed me that book with the in terms of your prayer life like you've got some new prayers or in terms of sacraments you're going to make a habit of going to morning mass or something what are the things you're excited about in your walk with god david i've got so much i've got so much how much do you have um well remember we spoke on the phone and i told you i didn't start coming back to mass regularly until last summer yeah wow i can't believe it i can't believe it so since then i joined a ministry at church where you take people to appointments who cannot drive themselves and i've met lovely people and two ladies little elderly ladies in particular that i just they just are beautiful people and i've had visits with them and the one lady has many many struggles and i gave her one of those uh a cd music that you you think is rubbish and schmaltzy and uh oh god bless her she she texts me every once in a while i love this and i gave her god bless aiden i gave her one of these and she loves it and she tells me how she wakes up in the middle of life desperately trying to find it um so uh that's really neat and i just decided i gotta do something you know to you know do some kind of service or help so that i've been um that's been nice i joined a men's scripture study recently it meets friday mornings at 6 00 am ah for an hour and it's a the catholic church it's a catholic men's um scripture study you pray you do the readings you discuss and then you pray again and then at seven o'clock everybody goes to work or whatever they're doing and believe it or not there's like 15 to 25 guys that show up wow awesome what's the age range in that group thank you pun what's the age range youngest eldest in that group probably guy in this early in his mid-20s to old guys yeah yeah in their 80s uh the catholic and recovery thing i told you about i'm so excited about that and i'm very impatient with getting that started that's gonna take some time and believe it or not i went to confession right before christmas and there was a priest who was not normally doing confessions and he i was so touched and moved with his way and he talked about he was so happy that i had returned to mass in the summer and he wasn't my regular guy so i mentioned that and the joy and love in his eyes and he actually kind of teared up and i was so touching and i thought that's a person that i can that i need to walk with and i tracked him down because he wasn't you know he wasn't regularly at the parish and uh he's been my i i it's very strange to say this i have a spiritual director now and it's him cool and i've met with him three times how old is he he's probably somewhere in my age range in his 50s um and just a gentle and just a lovely man and he gives me assignments which i like i need structure i need a purpose in what we're doing i need a direction and i babble for an hour and a half and then he interjects and then i bring my little notebook with my scratchings of what i wrote down you asked about books this is unbelievable oh who's this on that well you americans would say henry nouwen i think his name really is andre noven okay dutch priest he's uh he died he is very well known my mom used to read all his books and i didn't know it and i found them in her uh drawers and i sent a copy of one of them i i guess um aidan and my brother paul and we and my sister kind of rated my mom's like spiritual books and took bits we liked and uh he was one of my mom's favorites too but this this book is awesome let me tell you something i just read he he realizes ten years before he died he started a new ministry or a new vocation i mean he taught at yale i mean the man was brilliant but he worked with medley handicapped people okay and he said i'm confident that this is the only way for me he's talking about his new calling in his new vacation vocation one could call it the prophetic vision looking at people and this world through the eyes of god that's what his goal towards what would be the end of his life was um he looked at the he was so transfixed by this um rembrandt of of the prodigal son and he found that he was really called to take on the role as the father and he didn't want to do that how can i do that what are you kidding the father i can't be the father and the lady who worked it at that ministry with the handicapped people was like that's what we need you to be for us we need you as a father so he wrote this book and he talks about all of the how we can identify with all of the characters but um i just love that because i had let me just tell you one quick thing david i had a glimpse of what that means many many years ago that being able to see people the way god sees them and i know that sounds like who are you kidding mom you can't do that i had a major conversion experience about 20 to 23 years ago i had been so out there with my addictions that my wife at the time was you know she said you have to you have to go away somewhere you're going to treat me so i went over to the church i didn't know what else to do i knew she was right and i was like i don't want to do that and i got halfway down the church the the main aisle and i had one of those things where i just literally fell on my knees and i said jesus help and i just then got up and thought i don't know what i'm supposed to do and then i turned around to go home and i saw a man sitting in a pew and i walked over to him and i looked at him and i said i'm so sorry to disturb you but you have something that i need i knew he was there to help me and he said oh that's okay sit down and he said sometimes i pray with people and you know it helps them and i had a he basically did a uh you know it doesn't happen in catholic churches very much but he laid hands on when he prayed over me and it was one of those things where like time stood still i don't even know what was going on i don't remember all of what was said but when i got up to leave i was like okay to go home and tell my wife i'm fine i'll go to i'll go to rehab whatever you want i don't care i knew i was gonna be okay and i guess we were there so long it was a saturday and the people were coming in for confession and they were sitting at the back row of the pews like on the benches waiting to go in and as i was walking out of the church i looked at them david and i was overcome with a compassion that i don't possess i looked at them they were so sweet they were so precious they were all these people that were just regular people all ages and they were just sitting waiting to be healed and forgiven of their sins and i was so i can't even tell you the words how moving it was the love i had for them for the beautiful thing that they were and they were just coming to to be healed and forgiven and it just i saw them like i've never seen people before and i didn't know any single one of them i didn't know who the hell i were you know what i mean it was just these people and it's like oh i've read that thing yesterday and i'm like that's what he's talking about and i had a little i had a little flash of that like and that's like a total like gift like you can't like do that like only god like that was just wow like it's mind-blowing unbelievable what it is what a grace unbelievable yeah oh can you imagine what heaven's gonna be like yeah that's just it's it's not even in that grass to fathom that isn't it it's just like ridiculous when we were kids we were like that's so boring just standing around well fully grown atheists feel that way today so but god help them so is there anything we haven't covered before i let you go because i do have another interview i have to prepare for as i told you before what have we not covered what have we not covered that you'd like to get in there today i'm definitely going to have you back if you'll come back yeah i'll come back yeah i think the the other thing that um the thing that uh still keeps me from uh from communion you know it's it's something that i'm you know struggling with and and that's probably a whole other session uh because i i i struggle when i i'm in a i'm in a let's say that the conditions of my life uh i am not able regularly to receive communion because of the the state i live in yeah i understand um have you done one or more general thorough general confessions have you done that um tell me what exactly what that means david general confession is you confess all your sins from the beginning of your life till today i may have done that early in recovery with the priest along with the [Music] uh [Music] with the step that deals with administer god to ourselves another human being the exact nature of right wrongs i did it with the sponsor and i think i did the confession that way too yes you should do it again do it again i would recommend i've done it three or four times and uh there are always things that you didn't have time to get into or the things that you forgot to mention all this it doesn't matter god understands it's your intention of your heart that matters but the doing the general confession is a good uh good preparation for death because death's coming for us all and you just you really want to minimize your time as you know i was preaching to the choir here but you want to minimize your time in purgatory and so um you know it's just there's so many good reasons to do it like psychologically spiritually emotionally whatever there's so many good reasons right but i i guarantee you'll feel like you're uh hearing those angels sing and you'd be floating and seeing the light when you come out of the confession if you do a good general confession and if you've done it once before you know the you know how to prepare for it just by going through your life and i have somewhere here i'll show you i don't want to show you my pajamas but this helps me with my general confession it's a timeline of my entire life oh okay and i've got it categorized so guys there's a lot of work put into that dude yeah i've got my sex life my health my physical health my career because uh being lazy at work is one of my major sins so i've got like everything where i live so it helps me remember what okay now there's a book it's a secular book but it's called a gentle path through the 12 steps okay and and and he goes through that process for you and lays out like ages zero to three and whatnot and family like this whole thing and believe me he lied uh it's not gentle gentle guy through the throat no it isn't it's it's dude it's so brutal it's rough uh yes and i think i used that as the foundation when i had done that but it's like seriously it's a lot of uh it's a like you said earlier it's a process and uh painful process but i mean the joy the joy that you and i have uh having said yes to the grace to be catholic uh i forget who said it but no faithful catholic ever regretted being a faithful catholic on their deathbed they may have complained on their way through their deathbed about being catholic but on their death pla they were happy to have been a faithful yeah or at least striving to be a faithful catholic and that's the other thing i wanted to say about your dad because i'm still touched by his uh his story and i'd love to interview him if you could send him an email uh even my email address and i'd love to interview him if he does that sort of thing but um uh this it's a quote by a saint i forget which saint i read a lot of quotes by saying it's and i never remember the names but and i can't remember the same answer quote unfortunate