TIME & THE MYSTERY w/ Mike Mangione

On the Banks of the Milwaukee River a Wolf Learned to Howl

howlin wolf

[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.]

Three and a half miles from my house runs the Milwaukee River. Not too big, not too impressive, bearing the name of a city of the same characteristics. When I first moved out of the city and north I didn’t know too much about the area. What was there to know? I assumed it was, like all other small Wisconsin towns, a German settlement from back in the 1800s. I was a little worried about moving out of the city. I questioned if my creativity would suffer, if the lack of multi-cultural splatter would drain and dull my mental workshop. After all, Wisconsin soil only knows corn, soy and cow hooves … No Frank Lloyd Wright, no Carl Sandburg, no Muddy Waters echoing in these trees … or so I thought …

COR THOUGHTS 162: Seek What Is Above: Long, Ache, Pine for the Treasure of Heaven


In this Sunday’s second reading, Paul urges us to “seek what is above … not what is on earth.” Here Paul echoes the teaching of Christ when he warns people in this Sunday’s Gospel not to “store up treasure for themselves” but to become “rich in what matters to God.” I often think of that scene from It’s a Wonderful Life when Clarence the angel says to George Bailey, “Oh, we don’t need money in heaven.” And George responds, “Well it comes in pretty handy down here, bub!” Of course, the Gospel does not condemn money or wealth in themselves. Rather, it warns against greed. “Take care to guard against all greed,” says Jesus, “for though one may be rich, one’s life does not consist in possessions.” And Paul speaks of greed as idolatry. We all worship something. We worship whatever we think will satisfy our deepest desires. If we think money or possessions are what we’re really looking for in life, we have yet to get in touch with the deepest part of ourselves: the “ache,” I call it – our longing for the Infinite. It’s called eros, and it’s a yearning for the ecstasy and bliss of what Scripture calls “the Marriage of the Lamb.” No one is as free as those who desire what they really desire. “You have made us for yourself, O God,” says Saint Augustine, “and our hearts are restless until we rest in you.”

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158. It’s Summertime – Get Out Into Nature for a Theology Lesson!

Field_Hamois_Belgium_Luc_Viatour CROP

Saint John Paul II wrote that “to contemplate creation is to hear a message.” What message? As Pope Francis put it, “The entire material universe speaks of God’s love, his boundless affection for us. Soil, water, mountains: everything is, as it were, a caress of God.” For those with eyes to see, he continues, “there is a mystical meaning to be found in a leaf, in a mountain trail, in a dewdrop.”

Have you ever taken Jesus up on his invitation to “consider how the wild flowers grow” (Lk 12:27)? What mystery might he be inviting us into here? In my book Fill These Hearts I write about my priest friend who’s a bit of a mystical botanist. He absolutely loves flowers. I once asked him what the attraction was and he said dumbfoundedly, “Christopher, have you ever seen a flower?” “Of course I ha …” – “No, no, no!  I mean have you ever really seeeen a flower? Why are flowers so beautiful? What is a flower …?”

157. Here Are 6 Great Bishop Barron Posts That Will Sharpen Your Mind


The more I read and watch of Bishop Robert Barron, the more impressed I am with his particular gift of insight and proclamation. Let us pray for his spiritual protection. Gifts like his do not come without all kinds of spiritual attacks.

Here’s a very clear rebuttal of puritanism and the call to love stamped by God in our sexuality. Why do you think people so often assume a puritanical approach to sex is the proper Christian approach?

TIME & THE MYSTERY w/ Mike Mangione

Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros' Alex Ebert: He Will Come to Set You Free


Alex Ebert is the founder and frontman of the band Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros, an internationally celebrated indie folk group out of Los Angles. He has released five albums with the group and won a Golden Globe award for best soundtrack for the movie “All Is Lost” starring Robert Redford.


[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.]

Alex Ebert is a man on mission; he wants to set you free. Through confronting his addiction and destructive lifestyle, Alex was able to enter a period of deep reflection and personal excavation, uncovering his root and the flower it feeds. In this journey he unearthed his ability to disrobe and unmask in the face of social anxiety and worldly pressures. Now, as the front man to the band Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros, in front of thousands of people a night, Alex attempts to be an example that true liberation is possible and worth fighting for. It is a battle he willingly takes on, rarely at rest from. The rewards of his sacrifice are evident not only in the art he creates but the development of his character as well. Join Mike as Alex takes the listeners on a journey through his past, process and mission. [Interview contains some explicit language.]

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