TIME & THE MYSTERY w/ Mike Mangione: Arian Moayed Is a Lighthouse

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[Mike Mangione is a nationally touring musician and podcast host. To subscribe to his podcast, Time & the Mystery, on iTunes click here. To learn more about his music, click here.]

[Click here to listen to Time & the Mystery.]

After leaving high school, Arian Moayed and I set out on separate artistic journeys. Mine led me to the West Coast and eventually living in a van for a couple years. Arian’s, on the other hand, led him to New York where he co-founded the theater company Waterwell. Twelve years after high school graduation, I sat in a Broadway theater in New York and watched my old friend alongside Robin Williams in the production “Bengal Tiger At The Baghdad Zoo.” Arian was nominated for a Tony Award for that performance.

From that point forward, anytime I was in the city I was either seeing his latest production or he was coming out to watch my band. Over the span of five years, what started as a rekindled friendship quickly developed into a source of solace. Our conversations began to slip deeper into the artistic struggle, increasing in metaphor, shorthand and our own vulnerability; a conversation rooted in the past, informed by our mutual experience and fueled by our desire to help others. Arian is an artist of the ache, an artist of the heart. In my experience as an artist I have come to find that the greatest resource one can have is camaraderie in the crucible. The artist needs something beyond support, they need eye-level conversation and only another in the trenches can fill this role.

Eighteen years later, our paths are woven and Arian has become a comrade in this journey. He has become a lighthouse. In a world that can seem dark, we need hope. We need light to break the void and guide us forward. We need the bearers of light to help us navigate our course and show us where we are. Arian is this bearer of light and I wish to share him with you. I give you Time & The Mystery: Conversations with Arian Moayed.

— Mike Mangione

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COR THOUGHTS 157: Live by the Spirit and Not by the Flesh

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In this Sunday’s second reading, Saint Paul contrasts living “by the Spirit” (good) with living “by the flesh” (not good). This does not mean, as many have tragically concluded, that Saint Paul condemns the body or thinks of it as an inherent obstacle to living a “spiritual” life. As Saint John Paul II proclaims so boldly in his Theology of the Body, the body is the specific vehicle of the spiritual life. In Paul’s terminology “the flesh” refers to the whole person (body and soul) cut off from God’s indwelling Spirit. It refers to a person dominated by vice. The person who opens himself to life “in the Spirit” does not reject his body. Rather, he opens his whole body-soul personality to divine inspiration. In this way, even our bodies “passover” from death to life: “And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit, who lives in you” (Rom 8:11).

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150. Pope Francis: Are the Great Majority of Sacramental Marriages Null?

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You’ve seen the reports of Pope Francis’s recent impromptu response to a question about the crisis of marriage. In his unscripted comments, he initially said that “the great majority of our sacramental marriages are null.” When the Vatican released the official transcript of his comments, with papal approval, it read “a portion of our sacramental marriages are null.” Here’s a link to the story.

Like many instances of Pope Francis’s off the cuff comments, this caused a stir. Here are a variety of responses reported by the Washington Post.

It may not have been prudent for the pope to “plop” this statement out there without more context and nuance. Nonetheless, Pope Francis may well be giving a realistic assessment of the extent of the crisis in the Church today regarding marriage.

149. What a Franciscan Friar Told Me About Fatherhood — This Is So Important!

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I recently returned from a couple of days in the Bronx. I took one of my sons to have an experience of volunteering with a men’s homeless shelter run by the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal.

It was quite an interesting experience. It caused me to reflect a great deal on the cause of homelessness and the kind of men who wind up on the streets. One of the Friars and I got chatting about it, and he said that from all his experience working with the down and out, he knew the root of the problem. He challenged me: “Point to one social problem that does not come back to the absence of fathers…”

TIME & THE MYSTERY w/ Mike Mangione: Brian Anderson and The Art of Calling the Game

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[Mike Mangione is a nationally touring musician and podcast host. To subscribe to his podcast, Time & the Mystery, on iTunes click here. To learn more about his music, click here.]

[Click here to listen to Time & the Mystery.]

When I scheduled an interview with sportscaster Brian Anderson, I wasn’t sure how to approach the conversation. What is the common thread between Brian’s work and my other guests, like Jim Gaffigan or Greg Brown, who are mostly artists and performers? Does Brian fit into the world of artistic inspiration and expression? Was this conversation going to fit my podcast theme? Was it a loss?? It wasn’t until our conversation was underway that I realized… Brian is a storyteller! At that point, we were able to enter the mystery of being a sportscaster. Brian uses silence, history, backstory and statistics as color to interject with the moment happening in front of him. He applies these elements to the canvas of the game, bringing the experience to life for the viewers at home. His goal is to tell the games story in a way that the audience can only participate in through their television. He is an artist of the baseball narrative…  and for 55 minutes he let me peek into this world where numbers are king, the past sets up the present and silence is deafening. He revealed the art of calling the game.

— Mike Mangione

Question: Do you view your work like an artist? Share your thoughts on Facebook and Twitter.