Tag: Catholic women

This sin of objectification is truly hurting us all, men and women alike. Women have been taught they can use their body to manipulate others and men have been sold the lie that they are just naturally lustful and are hopeless to change. But, the Christ – centered, good news message St. John Paul II delivered during his Wednesday addresses tells us something very different. In Part 2 of our conversation with Christopher West, we go deeper into the meaning of Theology of the Body and how “we must rediscover the lost fullness of our humanity and long to regain it.” (JPII)

Part 2 of 2 – Make sure you start with Part 1 (last week) for the beginning of the story.

Our Guest:

Christopher West is a proud husband and father of five. His global lecturing, best-selling books and multiple audio and video programs have made him the world’s most recognized teacher of John Paul II’s “Theology of the Body” – a bold, biblical vision of love and sexuality that takes us to the “cor” of what it means to be human.

As founder and president of The Cor Project, Christopher leads an international outreach devoted to spreading this liberating teaching and empowering others to learn, live, and share it. His work has been featured in The New York Times, on ABC News, Fox News, MSNBC, and countless Catholic and Evangelical media outlets.

Beyond his work as a popularizer of the Theology of the Body, Christopher has been teaching graduate and undergraduate courses on the subject since the late 1990s, having served on the faculties of St. John Vianney Theological Seminary in Denver, the Institute for Priestly Formation in Omaha, and as a visiting professor of the John Paul II Institute in Melbourne, Australia. In 2004, he helped establish the Theology of the Body Institute near Philadelphia, Pa., and serves today as Senior Lecturer of Theology and Christian Anthropology. His weeklong courses there continue to draw students from around the world.

Among Christopher’s best-selling books are Theology of the Body for Beginners, Good News About Sex & Marriage, At the Heart of the Gospel, Fill These Hearts and Pope Francis To Go: Bite-Sized Morsels from The Joy of the Gospel. His latest release is a free eBook Theology of the Body at the Movies, which can be downloaded at corproject.com/movies.

You can stay in touch with Christopher at corproject.com and by following Christopher West (cwestofficial) on Facebook and Twitter (@cwestTOB) and on his new YouTube Channel: The Cor Project. You can also learn more about becoming a Cor Member and the many exclusive benefits you receive at cormembership.com.

Show Notes:


 Call to Action – 

Let us rebuke and reject the lie that our bodies are bad. For some this may be very difficult to do but it is only in this light that we can truly give Jesus our heart so that we might be healed.

Scripture – 

“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” – Matthew 5: 8

Quote – 

“What really matters in life is that we are loved by Christ and that we love Him in return. In comparison to the love of Jesus everything else is secondary. And without the love of Jesus everything is useless.” St. John Paul II

“The deepest desire of every human heart is to see another and be seen by that other’s loving look .” – St. Augustine


“Think about not just the virtues that you will get for yourselves, but also the graces from fasting that will go into your home and family, your domestic churches. These graces will be there for your spouse and children. We are ultimately that vessel overflowing with God’s Graces and blessings onto others. While we may grow in virtue, our loved ones benefit also.” -Megan Schrieber

With Lent fast (get what I did there??) approaching, Becky gives Megan a shot in the arm and a kick in the bottom to up her fasting game. Historical evidence, Scripture, and early church father writings abound in this week’s episode. Lent has traditionally been known as the time when new believers prepared for Baptism. Baptism is the Sacrament in which all sin is washed away. Lent and Easter should be a time for us to renew our baptismal promises and to repent and be cleansed. An excerpt from an article copy-written by Rev. D.E. Hudson, C.S.C. states “Open the life of any saint or servant of God, and all of them, in their manifold variety of person and character and holiness, will be found to practice fasting as one of the principal means of their spiritual progress. Yes, the tradition and the practice endure to this day with the children of the Church, and will endure unto the end of time. But it is still true, nevertheless, that the spirit of penance has so far decreased, that a very large and, we fear, an increasing proportion of the faithful, from one cause or another, or without cause at all, fail to observe the law of fasting.”

Show Notes:


Call to Action – 

Make the effort to get to confession at the beginning of Lent, receive the font of Mercy and Grace. Start opening yourself up to the traditional call of The Church to fast this Lent. (as long as your health situation allows) Ask God to give you the Grace to follow His call on your life. Ask Him to guide you into your own personal conversion.

Scripture – 

14 Now after John was arrested, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, 15 and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent, and believe in the gospel.” – Mark 1:14-15

Saint Quote – 

“What is fasting?” But that which is heavenly, both in meaning and substance? Fasting is the nourishment of the soul, and the food of the mind. Fasting is the life of the angels. Fasting is the death of sin, the destruction of guilt, the remedy of salvation, the source of grace, and the foundation of chastity. By this path God is more easily approached.” – St. Ambrose



Have you ever heard of this term, Lectio Divina, and wondered what in the world it meant? Have you ever thought you’d like to learn how to get into the Scriptures in a deeper way? God speaks to us through the Word of God and we are richly blessed in this country to have the freedom to have Bibles, read Bibles, live out our Catholic Christian faith, and to come together for times to worship and praise our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. As a Catholic, we are steeped in the traditions of proper interpretations of God’s Word and we have the Graces of the Church to help us in our journey. With Lent just around the corner, we thought it was the best time to finally get Sarah Christmyer on our podcast to help us learn how to go deeper into relationship with our Father through the written Word.

Our Guest:


Sarah Christmyer is a Catholic author, Bible teacher, and speaker with a special love for lectio divina and journaling as ways to draw close to Christ in Scripture. She co-developed with Jeff Cavins The Great Adventure Catholic Bible study program, serving as founding editor. Sarah is the author of two guided prayer journals, Create in me a Clean Heart: Ten Minutes a Day in the Penitential Psalms and Lord, Make Haste to Help Me: Seven Psalms to Pray in Time of Need. She  is author or co-author of a number of Bible studies for Ascension Press and Emmaus Road Publishing. She is a contributing author of Walk in Her Sandals: Experiencing Christ’s Passion Through the Eyes of Women, published by Ave Maria Press. Sarah has a Masters degree in Theology from St. Charles Borromeo Seminary, Philadelphia, where she is an adjunct faculty member. She is a member of the Board of Malvern Retreat House in Malvern, PA. She blogs at www.ComeIntotheWord.com and for Women in the New Evangelization (WINE).

Show Notes:

  • During Lent, Sarah is hosting a group discussion of the Penitential Psalms on Facebook so people can share their insights with others. Request to join by liking Sarah’s Author Page linked above. Then click on “Groups” in the left-hand menu.
  • Also, you can sign up for her blog at www.comeintotheword.com and you will receive free instructions related to things she is talking about:
    • – Planting the Word in Your Heart (lectio divina steps and personal journaling format)
    • – How to Pray with the Penitential Psalms


 Call to Action – 

Find the Bible that you will use as your own where you can underline and highlight the Scriptures that God is speaking blessing into your life with. Set up a special place that you can find quiet and commune with God as you meditate with the Penitential Psalms this Lent. If you are on Facebook, sign up for the group so we can all dig in deeper together. Ask the Lord to meet you in His Word daily and to give you the Grace to hear Him.

Scripture – 

“14 Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. 15 For we have not a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sinning. 16 Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need” – Hebrews 4:14-16

Saint Quote – 

“Great is the profit to be derived from the sacred Scriptures and their assistance is sufficient for every need. Paul was pointing this out when he said, ‘Whatever things have been written have been written for our instruction, upon whom the final age of the world has come, that through the patience and the consolation afforded by the Scriptures we may have hope.’ (Rom. 15:4; 1 Cor. 10:11) The divine words, indeed, are a treasury containing every sort of remedy, so that, whether one needs to put down senseless pride, or to quench the fire of concupiscence or to trample on the love of riches, or to despise pain, or to cultivate cheerfulness and acquire patience – in them one may find in abundance the means to do so.”  (Hom. 37  On John.)”St. John Chrysostom



In today’s episode, Megan and Becky continue to have the conversation about what it looks like to encourage one another but also what it actually feels like to be encouraged. They both share with the listeners how the Lord used other women to encourage each of them individually this past week. The power of this message has been well received and many other women are signing on to this movement of #womenencouragingwomen. By nature of the word encouragement, Megan and Becky also wanted to extend this conversation to apply to men. Exploring how we can affirm the men in our lives and start more proactively lift up masculine vocations. Asking the important question of how can we rightly encourage our spouse, sons, brothers, fathers, and even our parish priests.

***** Interested in Advertising during a Thriving in the Trenches Podcast?  Please contact Megan Schrieber either by email at megan@thrivinginthetrenches.com or you can call her at 484-367-5450.*****


Show Notes:

Call to Action –

Ask God for the grace of humility to admire someone else’s beauty and achievement without questioning your own. 

Scripture – 

For God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, 10 who died for us so that whether we wake or sleep we might live with him. 11 Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.” – 1 Thess 5: 9-11

Saint Quote – 

“Let nothing disturb you,
Let nothing frighten you,
All things are passing away:
God never changes.
Patience obtains all things
Whoever has God lacks nothing;
God alone suffices” – St. Teresa of Avila



This is the portion of the podcast where we follow up with what YOU, our listeners, have given us to talk about. We are following up on our conversation with Emily Stimpson Chapman from episode 28. We continue to talk about the female body imange and how really all issues must lead us back to the wonderful counselor, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Though some struggle with a negative view of their bodies, others may see how they can manipulate others with their beauty. We talk about how we all just need to focus on how all beauty is of the Lord and is for the Lord and to share the Lord with the very hungry souls world around us. 

Happy Thanksgiving from Thriving in the Trenches!!

We are so THANKFUL for YOU!!



Show Notes:

Last week we introduced you all to the topic of what is called a father wound.  John Finch talked about this father effect and shared how his absent father caused a wound that led to very unhealthy coping mechanisms. This week, we are so thankful to have Sonja Corbitt with us to start the journey of healing the father wound. Sonja is currently running a radio series (also available via podcast) about healing the father wound. Ladies, this part of the conversation is what will help us to move forward but first, we have to go backward. Please remember that this pain is meant to heal, so do not lose hope friends. There is hope in the One and the Only, Jesus Christ. There is no redemption without the cross.  There is no Easter Sunday without Good Friday. Rest in Christ and His love for you through this process.


Sonja erupted on the scene with her explosive book, Unleashed, where she shared how the Holy Spirit is freeing her from her patterns of toxic relationships, self-medicating habits, awful circumstances, and overwhelming desires.

Now she’s showing up everywhere. Her 13-episode Unleashed TV series, perfect for study groups, aired weekly on CatholicTV, Focus TV, and Christian Associates TV. Soon after, her radio show Bible Study Evangelista launched on Real Life Radio, Breadbox Media, and St. Gabriel Radio.

Sonja continues to offer brief, topical Bible study series. You can catch the show every week by subscribing below to the Monday morning email, or listen via podcast on iTunes, TuneIn, GooglePlay, Podbean, or Stitcher.

Look for her new release, Fearless, A Catholic Woman’s Guide to Spiritual Warfare; and Ignite, Read the Bible Like Never Before with Deacon Harold Burke Sivers summer of 2017.

Sonja writes regularly for Jeff Cavins’ The Great Adventure Bible Study Blog and in Magnificat magazine, and speaks around the world.

If you’d like to be part of The Evangelista Evolution, subscribe below. You’ll automatically get every episode of her newest Bible study series for free on Monday morning of each week – or on a monthly, or semi-annual basis as you choose – and no

Reviews and endorsements on Sonja are here.

Or, to contact Sonja or book her for your next great event, kindly email: hello @ biblestudyevangelista.com.


Show Notes:

Call to Action:

This week, focus on taking the time to sit with The Word, the Lord Jesus the Word Incarnate. Learn to LOVE the Word by practicing Lisening, Observing, Verbalizing, and Entrusting Jesus through the Scriptures.


“Be angry, but sin not;
    commune with your own hearts on your beds, and be silent.
 Offer right sacrifices,
    and put your trust in the Lord.” -Psalm 4:4-5

Saint Quote:

“Nothing great is ever achieved without much endurance” – St. Catherine of Siena

We sure have been mulling over this word, meekness.  Have you?  For the most part, that virtue has been a bit of a challenge for us women to fully and freely accept and practice. On Episode 22 Megan and Becky recap some of the high points and some of the listener comments from our interview with Dr. Carrie Gress.  We hope you join us as we pull out and work though some of these topics like meekness and sweetness and more. 



Show Notes:

  • If There is an AntiChrist what about an Antimary?
  • “What, then, would an antimary movement look like, exactly? Well, these women would not value children. They would be bawdy, vulgar, and angry. They would rage against the idea of anything resembling humble obedience or self-sacrifice for others. They would be petulant, shallow, catty, and overly sensuous. They would also be self-absorbed, manipulative, gossipy, anxious, and ambitious. In short, it would be everything that Mary is not.” –Carrie Gress
  • “The devil knows that all these marks of the antimary – rage, indignation, vulgarity, and pride – short circuit women’s greatest gifts: wisdom, prudence, patience, unflappable peace, intuition, and the capacity for a deep relationship with God. Instead he promises power, fame, fortune, respect, and sterile fleeting pleasures. And like Eve, women of the antimarian movement are still falling for his lies.” –Carrie Gress

Living in this post Christian culture, many have offered options for us to live out the Gospel and to fight this civilization of decay. This week’s guest, Dr. Carrie Gress, offers us an option with plenty of historical success. The Marian Option is rooted in the tradition of going to Our Blessed Mother who has fought and won plenty of wars in the past and brought about massive conversion through her intercession. We know we can’t all head to the hills and ignore what is going on in the world, but we can choose to live out our dynamic feminine gifts focusing on this virtue of meekness. We are not talking about becoming a doormat as the culture wrongfully imposes on this Christian idea of meekness – meekness is certainly not weakness. We hope you are encouraged and exhorted to go to Mary to see how she is asking you to become more like her son, Jesus. 

Our Guest:

Carrie Gress has a doctorate in philosophy from the Catholic University of America and is a faculty member at Pontifex University.

Dr. Gress is a regular blogger at The National Catholic Register and has written for Aleteia, Catholic VoteCatholic World ReportThe Federalist, and The Stream, She is a frequent guest on Ave Maria Radio, EWTN Radio, and Relevant Radio, and has appeared on BBC, CBC, and EWTN television.

Dr. Gress has lived and worked professionally in Washington, D.C. and Rome, Italy and her work has been translated into seven languages.

She is the author of Nudging Conversions: A Practical Guide to Bringing Those You Love Back to the ChurchUltimate Makeover: The Transforming Power of Motherhoodand co-author with George Weigel of City of Saints; A Pilgrim’s Guide to John Paul II’s Krakow. Her latest book, The Marian Option: God’s Solution to a Civilization in Crisis, was released May, 2017.

A homeschooling mother of four, Dr. Gress and her family live in Virginia. You can find links to Carrie’s articles, books, and speaker information at CarrieGress.com

Show Notes:

Call to Action – 

Let us all seek to readjust our mindset around this word meek.  Let’s think on the description of this virtue of womanhood with the words benevolent, kind, humble, and unassuming. And as St. Francis de Sales encourages us, let us start with those who are our closest comapanions. 

Scripture – 

He leads the humble in what is right,
    and teaches the humble his way.” – Psalm 25:9

Saint Quote

Let us strive to be kind, meek, and humble with everyone, but especially so with those whom God destined to be our companions. Let us not be one of those who are angels in public and devils at home” – St. Francis de Sales


In the last episode of our summer series, we had the most delightful conversation with writer, blogger, and foodie, Katie Curtis.  We definitely talk about more than food, but Katie shares with us how food has become a source of memories. Both from her childhood and also as a way to make memories with her own family, food is at the root of these memories.  Living in a liturgical paradigm also helps us eat with the seasons in a way that connects us to God’s beautiful and plentiful bounty.  Katie shares how God used times of isolation to grow her in her love of others, whether family or neighbors, and use food and fellowship to build friendships and family relationships.  So, pull out your old cookbooks, find a family favorite recipe, put on some good music, pour a glass of wine, invite your friends or neighbors, and eat and laugh and commune together.  Break bread together friends, delight in God’s gift of food and relationships.

Our Guest:

Katie Curtis started blogging when she was completely capsized by motherhood. Katie dropped out of a PhD program in Philosophy, had a traveling husband, and 3 kids in 3 years. Her heart felt like it had grown 1,000 times bigger, and the growing pains hurt. But cooking for her people always made everything better.

Katie started really cooking when she was 30 – as in read all the cookbooks cover to cover and started to know the exact week when fiddlehead ferns or peaches are in season – but she blames most of her love of food on her childhood. Our guest grew up in a big Irish Catholic family where her mom made Asparagus with Hollandaise, German potato salad with bacon and vinegar, stuffed pork tenderloin and carrots with butter and parsley, and homemade banana creme cake. Sometimes all in the same meal. Katie’s mom and inspiration studied in France and those studies influenced her love of good food which she passed down to her family. This is when Katie started to see that food is memories.

“The family table nourished and shaped me, and I hope to do the same for my family.”

“I hope to help other families find easy ways to make memories too.” –Katie Curtis

You can find the author’s work at Coastal Home Magazine and NH Magazine. She also writes a lot here.

And you must take the time to delight yourself in Katie’s first novel just released earlier this summer.  The storyline and characters in Wideness of the Sea will captivate your heart and imagination.

When Katie is not cooking dinner, she is editing her first memoir, to be published in in the near future, incubating twins due in October, or chauffeuring her 4 other kids around. She also likes to daydream about living in France with her crew and having all the laundry done for longer then 30 seconds.

You can follow Katie on Facebook , Instagram and stay updated on all the good food and family life at her blog The Humble Onion.


Show Notes:

LTC is when we take our listener comments and let them “lead the conversation”.  So, we thank you for all of your feedback this week and for giving us plenty to talk about.  Dwija and her husband’s sacrifices are a beautiful witness to all of us, regardless of our state in life.  God is calling us all to sacrifice during our everyday life and get out of our comfort zones so that we can grow in sanctity.  Be encouraged sweet ladies, we are all on a journey and we are on it together and by God’s Grace, we will thrive. Let us take every moment of desolation and ask the Lord, “where are you in this moment?”.

Show Notes:

  • “destines them to eternity. He therefore, I believe, wants them to attend chiefly to two things, to eternity itself, and to that point of time, which they call the Present. For the Present is the point at which time touches eternity. Of the present moment, and of it only, humans have an experience analogous to the experience which [God] has of reality as a whole; in it alone freedom and actuality are offered them. He would therefore have them continually concerned either with eternity or with the Present–either meditating on their eternal union with, or separation from, Himself, or else obeying the present voice of conscience, bearing the present cross, receiving the present grace, giving thanks for the present pleasure.” –CS Lewis

Scripture – 

23 And Jesus said to his disciples, “Truly, I say to you, it will be hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. 24 Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” 25 When the disciples heard this they were greatly astonished, saying, “Who then can be saved?” 26 But Jesus looked at them and said to them, “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” – Matthew 19:23-26


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