Focus and Attention



[00:00:00] Hello and welcome. Thank you for joining me. This is the Catholic adventurer with another exciting episode of the Catholic experience. Thank you very much for joining me today. We’re doing something a little different. A little bit different broadcasting live to

[00:00:24] Slash live. Hello. Welcome again. Those of you joining me, they are Catholic adventurer. com slash live. Get used to it, folks. Get used to it. I’m going to be broadcasting more frequently, um, exclusively to my website. Hello. Those of you catching me on demand on X and throughout other social channels today, we’re talking about focus and attention.

[00:00:46] It’s a crisis of focus and attention and that crisis. The reason why that crisis comes to bear is because focus and attention can make or break a saint. It really can. It’s underestimated and underappreciated just how bad focus or good focus or attention makes or breaks a saint. We’re going to also talk about, I’m going to start the show talking about a Pew Research study that shows that we’ve been beaten by the nuns all over again.

[00:01:12] This time it’s N O N E S, nuns. Catholics got beat by the nuns. It’s unbelievable. And then I’m going to talk a little bit about a, um, I’m going to lead into a story about my, from my boxing days, a fight that I, I, I, it was me versus a man named Hertz. I’m going to, I’ll explain to you why his name was Hertz and I’ll also explain, I’ll explain that whole story.

[00:01:32] I’ll tell you that whole story and explain why focus and attention come to bear on that. Then to top it all off, as if that wasn’t enough entertainment and wisdom for you. I’m going to apply focus and attention, the lesson of focus and attention, the wisdom of focus and attention, to the question of whether or not hell exists and how many people are there.

[00:01:52] Is it loaded up? Lots of people in hell? Or, not really. It’s probably empty. You know, pretty, pretty low to show. Again, thank you for joining me. I am your friendly neighborhood Catholic adventurer. Find me on X at ForTheQueenBVM. I’m on other distri I’m on other social networks too, but I’m no longer posting to them.

[00:02:12] I just use them, um, really, so YouTube and Facebook, you’ll find me there, but I just use those to, uh, broadcast live too. I don’t waste my time posting to them anymore. I do all of my social media postings on X. So if you want to get, get down with it, follow me on X at ForTheQueenBVM. Thank you very much for your consideration.

[00:02:34] And, um, CatholicAdventurer. com is the website. Sorry, I’m kind of juggling like 13 things here. I’m the host, the producer. and the executive producer all rolled into one and I’m kind of juggling 13 things as I do this show. So just pardon me for these little pauses. I hope everybody’s doing well. It’s Sunday.

[00:02:56] I believe it’s, um, this is, yeah, this is last Sunday of January. Uh, Ash Wednesday is just right around the corner. Oh, you know what I also wanted to do? I’m also going to say a couple of words real briefly in a minute. I’m going to say a couple of words about to those who are experiencing spiritual Darkness, those who are experiencing spiritual darkness, that’s happening a lot.

[00:03:16] But anyway, Um, Ash Wednesday is right around the corner. I don’t know if you guys have any plans, Uh, for what you’re going to do with yourselves spiritually, Uh, for Lent this year. Uh, you know, I would be interested in hearing from you, Either on X or on my Discord channel, if you’re not part of my Discord channel, Uh, the invite link is in my, uh, is in my, uh, It’s a header in my website.

[00:03:39] You’ll also find in the link in my ex bio. I would be interested in hearing what you guys plan on doing spiritually for for Lent and I’m here’s a question I really want to hear back from you on again either on discord or on X at for the Queen BVM And this is not like some trick just to get engagement out of you.

[00:04:02] I’m really curious How has your experience your spiritual experience been Over the past, I don’t know, let’s say two or three Lent seasons. Have they been rough? Have they been a rough 40 days? Have they been a great 40 days? Did you come through those 40 days thinking, Oh, I’m a little bit changed in a positive way from, from when I, from where I was on Ash Wednesday.

[00:04:25] Wow, how has it been for you? I’m curious because I’ll tell you the truth. The past three, maybe four, Lent seasons have been very, very, very hard on me. Very, it’s like so much so that I’m dreading the next one. I’m dreading Ash Wednesday. I’m dreading the coming Lent season. Uh, how’s it been for you? Let me know.

[00:04:46] Just sending a quick post real quick. Talking, also a few words. I’m just sending a quick post on X. Those going through spiritual darkness. Uh, again, at 4 the Queen BVM [00:05:00] on X. Drop a comment, um, or check me out on, on discord invite link is in my bio. I really do want to hear what your experience has been like.

[00:05:09] So just like that, you know, it was a short advent and just like that, you know, like 15 minutes after Christmas, it’s already going into, uh, into Lent. You know, it’s, it’s so weird, uh, the way time passes and I mean, it was a short season to begin with, you know, but still between the short season, the way time passes, it’s, it’s like crazy.

[00:05:30] Okay, let’s get through and on with this talking about focus and attention. First, let’s chit chat a little bit about a, a Pew research study released just a few days ago, actually, and in the study, it shows that. Nuns, N O N E S, not N U N S, nuns, now make up the largest religious category. They passed Catholics for the first time in ages, with nuns making up about 28 percent of the population, while, uh, with Catholics making, uh, holding the line at about 20.

[00:06:05] So we’re number two. I believe this is in the United States. I believe this is an American study. We’re number two on the list. I can’t believe it either. So, if you don’t know what nuns are, nuns are people who, who don’t declare any religious affiliation at all. Okay? They don’t, uh, they might have been born, like, Catholic or Christian, Pentecostal, whatever.

[00:06:29] They might have been born a particular way. They might have been born Jews or Muslims. Except, I doubt many of them are Muslims, but whatever. They might have been born in any religion, and now they don’t, they don’t declare any religious affiliation at all. You understand? Um, and Pew has been tracking this for a few years now, at least since 2007.

[00:06:50] Okay, so in 2007, nuns accounted for about 16 percent of the population. Today. As I said, they’re about 28%, so it almost doubled between 2007 and today. That’s, I mean, you, you’d think 2007 till today, eh, that’s a lot of years. You know, it only doubled and a lot of years that’s, that’s explosive folks from 16% of the population to 28%.

[00:07:12] It doesn’t shock me because in 2007 I was saying this number was going to double. I said, this number is going, I said, give it five to 10 years. I said, so I was a little bit off. So I said five to 10 years, that number is going to double. All right. I was off by a few years. Sorry. What are you going to do?

[00:07:30] It was 15 years. Sorry. I’m going to go back in time. I’m going to say, I’m sorry. I said five to 10, but what I meant to say was 10 to 15 years, it will double. That’s what I should do. Go back in time. Tell myself to correct myself. Now, Talking about nuns, you’d think this is a phenomenon of atheism, right?

[00:07:50] You’d think all the nuns are just, you know, godless weirdos. But it’s not really just atheists. It actually isn’t. Only about 17 percent of nuns identify as atheists. 17 percent of the nuns. 17 percent of the nuns identify as atheists. That just sounds funny because it sounds like you’re talking about N. U.

[00:08:09] N. S. 20 percent of the nuns identify as agnostic. So they probably believe in some kind of a god, right? But they don’t, they don’t know or don’t believe in an organized religion. So you have 70 percent of nuns are atheists. 20 percent are agnostics. That means the majority of the nuns just identify as nothing in particular.

[00:08:33] So 20, 37, so I guess that’s 63 percent of nuns. I mean, we probably all know some of these folks, right, people, friends, or family who were definitely born and raised Catholic, and then they just don’t go to church. They don’t practice. They don’t pray. Right? We probably all know some of those people, those 63%, if my math is correct, right, where they’re not actually agnostic.

[00:09:00] That they kind of self identify as Catholic or they modify by saying, well, I was born Catholic. Well, I’m a baptized Catholic. They probably see themselves as Catholics or as, as I am a Catholic, but they don’t see themselves as Catholic. Dropping the A. Capital C. I’m Catholic. I’m part of the, part of the religion, right?

[00:09:21] That’s probably most of them, about 63 percent. 17 percent, as I said. are atheists. They don’t, they don’t know or don’t believe in a God. 20 percent are agnostics. Probably there’s a God, we don’t know who he is or which religion or religion isn’t necessary. So what are my thoughts on that? It’s first, my immediate thought is something that, by the way, I’m going to be referencing an article by Catholic News Agency.

[00:09:46] I’ll leave a link to the article in this episode’s on demand page on my website CatholicAdventurer. com. You’re welcome very much. So, my first thought, before I actually had finished reading the article, was that this is a problem of education, and [00:10:00] it’s a failure of evangelization. Another, I’m going to talk about those two real briefly, but first, let me continue.

[00:10:07] Another problem that may get overlooked is it’s, it’s, it’s, it’s a, it’s a culture. The culture has reduced religion to a philosophy of right and wrong. Let’s put it that way. The culture has reduced religion to just guidelines on right and wrong. When actually, religion is about correct or incorrect.

[00:10:28] Religion is not about right and wrong. It involves right and wrong, but it is not about right and wrong. Religion is about correct or incorrect. Religion is not an accessory to our lives. Religion is not furniture that we put in our hearts and souls. It’s just furnishing. Religion is about being truly human or a cheap knockoff.

[00:10:47] At the end of the day, that is what it is. Then we can go into the question of, well, how do you know your religion is the right one, or this religion is the wrong one, and so on. We can get into that later. The first fundamental is that religion is about orienting ourselves to God the way He wants to be, the way He wants to interact with us, not the way we choose.

[00:11:10] I, I do all of my, I do all of my spirituality on the beach. I don’t need a church. Well, okay, but then you’re choosing. You’re choosing. You’re saying you have it over God, because God has already defined and declared how he wants to be, how he wants to be worshipped, how he wants to be, how he wants to come to know us, and how he wants us to come to know him.

[00:11:31] Right? Through Jesus Christ, et cetera, and so on. We can get into that in another conversation. The point is, religion is about Being what God created or not being about what He created. It is not about merely right and wrong. Why am I harping on that so heavily? Because it’s 2024. Western civilization, or civilization in general, has been soaked, right?

[00:11:57] Marinating in Christian principles for 2, 000 years. Okay, there is no longer a question of is murdering someone right or or not is murdering someone wrong or is it just rude? There’s no question about that anymore In, in the civilized world. Um, Is, is helping your neighbor a nice idea? Or is it something you really, really should do?

[00:12:23] Or is it something you don’t have to worry about? Is feeding the poor important? Is educating girls important? And so on and so on. Two thousand years, the West has been steeped in Christian morality, Christian principles. Steeped in the moral code of the gospel. Of the Old Testament, of Moses, uh, and, and, and, and Jesus Christ, and so on.

[00:12:46] 2, 000 years. So, people today think, Well, I don’t need religion to know right from wrong. Ha ha, really? Because most of your idea of right and wrong comes from religion. In fact, it comes from Christianity. It come, or at the very, at the, to broaden it, it comes from the Judeo Christian tradition. I don’t need religion to know right from wrong.

[00:13:06] Well, your knowledge of right and wrong comes from religion. And detached from, and the other thing is, as I said, religion isn’t just about right and wrong. It’s about correctness and incorrectness. Right and wrong is part of that, but it’s not the whole of it. Right worship of God is another big part of it.

[00:13:27] So that’s problem number one, and I know I mentioned it last, but only because it was the most important to me. The, the, the major problem here with nuns is that we live in a culture where people think, well, I’m all grown up now, and I can walk by myself. I don’t need religion to find God. I don’t have to, I don’t have to go on and on about the problem of that statement, right?

[00:13:50] I don’t need religion to find God. Well, the only reason you know about God is because of religion.

[00:13:56] So you think just an awareness of him is enough? Do you think an awareness of Him is enough? Because that’s not what we see in the Holy Scripture. And what you know about God, you know because of the Holy Scripture. So if the Holy Scripture is enough to tell you that, you know, right and wrong is important, we should do right and avoid wrong, and God is, God exists, there is a God.

[00:14:20] Well, if Sacred Scripture is authoritative enough to teach you those things which you hold, and 63 percent of them do, then Sacred Scripture should be trustworthy enough. To teach you this, knowledge of God is not enough. Right and wrong is not enough. Many moral people are very unholy. It takes more than moral conformity to be holy.

[00:14:49] And only the holy get to heaven. Well, if only the holy get to heaven, then who gets to hell? Well, we’re going to talk about that at the bottom of the show. Let’s not get ahead of ourselves. [00:15:00] It’s also a problem of education. Right? We’re not educating, um, Catholic children. I can only speak for the Catholics.

[00:15:06] I’m sure it’s, you know, Protestant Christians, non denominational Christians, I’m sure everybody has some degree of this problem, but I’m talking from the perspective of Catholics. We don’t educate our children well, either in the home, In the family, or in our schools, we’ve removed God from public schooling, public education entirely.

[00:15:25] Not only have we removed God, but we’ve inserted and injected more and more Freemasonic principles. And Freemasonry, funda or not fundamentally, but at its core, is Satanism. If you check my catalog of shows, I did a show, um, I think it’s called Freemasonry and Satanism. It’s the only show I’ve ever done with the word Freemasonry in the title.

[00:15:50] If you want to know why I say Freemasonry is Satanism, look for that show, I explain it there. It’s in my catalogue on iTunes, Spotify, I think it, I even have that up on, on YouTube as well, that show. So it’s a problem of education, we’ve, we’ve removed God and we’ve insert, not only have we removed God, which is bad enough, removing God from, from God and religion, from our education, and the formation of children, is like putting a plant in a basement, in a dark basement.

[00:16:21] Okay, so you’ve cut it off from the light. So that’s already bad, right? But on top of that, we’ve inserted Freemason, Freemasonic principles, which at its core is Satanism, even if it doesn’t worship Satan, right? It worships Lies. Effectively. And it’s a failure of evangelization. Now here’s something close to my heart because the only reason I do this is because evangelization is important to me.

[00:16:50] The rise of nuns is because, number one, as I said, a problem of education. Number two, another problem that gets overlooked is that we live in a culture that misunderstands what religion is and what it’s for and what it’s about and why it’s important. It’s not about right or wrong, not really, it’s about correctness or incorrectness, being truly and fully human, or being a cheap knockoff.

[00:17:13] And then number three, not in any particular order, but number three, is a failure of evangelization. I want to say this to anyone, any agent of the church who happens to be listening to this. The church will not effectively evangelize if the church fails to get a clue at the local level. If the church fails to get a clue at the local level, the church will not effectively I mean, you’ll continue to spin your wheels, right?

[00:17:44] Like a gerbil on that, on that spinning wheel inside of his cage. Yes, you’ll, you’ll spin your wheels. Great. You’ll get a lot of press. You’ll raise a lot of eyebrows. You won’t convert a single soul. Now, that’s a pretty bold statement. Who the hell do you think you are, Catholic adventurer? Well, first, I’m someone with 30 years of experience in this game, so I know everything that you guys do wrong with evangelization.

[00:18:11] It’s like, I have a great idea. Let’s, let’s go out and evangelize. Let’s send somebody to speak at all the masses. Oh, great. So you’re evangelizing people who are already in the church. Brilliant. Brilliant. Yay. Yay. Great idea. Yeah. Come on, man. I, I’m sure I know, in fact, I do know personally, that there are diocese, plural, that, uh, do, do decent work in evangelization.

[00:18:37] But the reason I say the church has to get a clue is because the church, and everyone in the church is going to be nodding their heads when I say this. Are you ready? Here we go. The church fails to think outside of the box of its favored paradigms. The church needs to think outside of the boxes, I should say, outside of the boxes of its favored paradigms.

[00:19:01] Your websites should not be digital versions of your, uh, of your Sunday Parish Bulletin. That’s ridiculous. Ridiculous. What a waste of resources. Um, if you’re going to record your homilies, make them widely available and, and, tailor your homilies with the understanding that they’re going to be played back on demand by more people than who sit in your parish to listen to them live.

[00:19:33] We spend In some cases, we spend little to no money on evangelization, but in more cases, the money we spend on evangelization, you might as well just flush it down the toilet, or give it to me, because I’m out of work and I have bills to pay. You might as well either give it to me or flush it down the toilet, all that money.

[00:19:51] So, talking about, excessively talking about the problem of nuns. You know what I’m going to do? Because I had a lot more I wanted to say about this. I wanted to Reference [00:20:00] some things in the article. What I’m going to do is said, because this is, I’m running too long with this. I will do an after show about this nuns phenomenon and that after show will be exclusively available on my discord channel going forward.

[00:20:16] I may do something where reg free or paid registered users of my website will have. I don’t know. I I’m kind of working this out as I go, but right now I really want to encourage people to join that discord because I really want to build a community. Um, and, and to interact with you and do some nice things on there.

[00:20:36] So for now, that those aftershows will be available exclusively on my discord channel. You’ll find an invite to my discord channel in my bio link on X, and you’ll see it at the top of my website where the little social icons are. The discord is one of them. And that takes me to the next point. I wanted to talk a little bit about spiritual darkness.

[00:20:58] Um, without getting into it too much, my own personal experience, I’m going through a very, very, very, very tough time right now, and that’s about all I’m going to say about that. You know, a large part of that tough time is a spiritual darkness that’s been going on progressively for several months, and it’s been really hitting me hard past a month or two.

[00:21:21] I considered maybe doing a separate blog about that. You know, just to, just to share my experiences, what I’m feeling, what I’m doing about it, what I’m thinking. And then I thought, you know what? Once I do that, I’m not sitting quietly in the dark. And God sends us through these deserts, through this, this darkness, because He wants us to sit quietly in the dark and learn from it.

[00:21:42] And, and, and the way that happens is different for everybody. And I thought, you know, if I, if I would not be doing that blog to draw attention to myself. Excuse me. I would be doing that because maybe that will help others. But then I thought, eh, I think I won’t do that. But I’m seeing a lot of this, you know, people going through rough spiritual patches and stuff.

[00:22:05] And I did want to offer a couple of words of advice. I’m there with you. I’m in my own spiritual darkness. I think, and I, I’ve heard priests throw around, not just to me, but to others, throw around the term, you know, Dark Night of the Soul. They, they throw it around a lot. I wish they wouldn’t because it diminishes the importance and the, the, uh, it diminishes the weight.

[00:22:30] Of what that really is, you know? Yeah, I’m angry at God lately. Well, you know, it’s a dark night of the soul. You know, John of the Cross talked about it. No, that’s not, that’s, that’s not what that is. The dark night of the soul is something very different, and I do believe that, just generically, spiritual darkness or spiritual dryness does have degrees.

[00:22:53] Some, God will allow a Christian to experience that. Um, what’s the word I’m looking for? As much as, as much of that pain as you can handle, he’ll let you experience that much. There’s a, there’s a, there’s a much more intelligent way of putting that, but it escapes me. So, so it does come in degrees. If you’re able to handle it at all, he may bring you through spiritual dark, or spiritual desolation to a small degree for a short period of time, and then he’ll bring you out of it.

[00:23:28] And you’ll experience spiritual consolation. It’s a, it’s a, it’s an ongoing cycle of ups and downs. The more spiritually mature you are, the more he wants you to suffer, for whatever reason, to purify you, to punish you, to purge you, I don’t know, whatever. Everybody’s different. The, the more spiritually mature you are, the more capable you are of suffering, the deeper the darkness will be that he brings you through.

[00:23:56] And the longer it will last. So, how do you deal with that? What do you do when you’re going through these periods of spiritual desolation? Or spiritual darkness? Or spiritual dryness? I have a couple of articles written on my website. On this episode’s On Demand page, I will put links to those articles, because I don’t remember what I called them.

[00:24:18] I think there’s three of them. Uh, I’ll put links to those articles. On this episode’s On Demand page. Um, but I can tell you briefly. First thing you do is hold the line. And I know that that can be very hard to do. That can be very because depending on where you are, you might be where I am. Where I am, and I’m being very honest, I’m very irritated.

[00:24:44] Right now very frustrated very frankly very angry at God right now I’m not gonna lie, but I know that’s my that’s my defect. I’m angry at God because of me [00:25:00] Why because of me I have no idea, but I know that God is good He sent his son to die for me and so on and so on so the problem must be me But the way it feels is that I’m angry at God right now when you have this sort of angst anger Anger, frustration, feeling betrayed by God, whatever It’s hard to hold the line.

[00:25:25] So damn hard. So, so hard. Believe me, I’m there. So hard. Pray, pray, pray, pray. And in my heart, I’m like, no. No. Either because I don’t want to, or because it’s hard to. You know, prayer is a response to grace. Prayer is not just, you know, do you want Butter on your toast, or do you want jelly? That’s not pr Prayer is a response to grace.

[00:25:52] That’s Prayer is more like, do you want to go to the gym or not? And then once you’re in the gym, do you want to do legs? Or shoulders? And then once you choose which ex which workout set you want to do, do you want to lift light, or do you want to lift heavy? That’s prayer. All of that is prayer. Prayer is hard to do.

[00:26:11] So it’s hard to toe the, it’s hard to hold the line when you’re going through spiritual dryness. It’s hard, but you have to. Don’t listen to your heart in those moments. Listen to your head. Your head knows. Even if your heart resists, or for you it might be reversed. Maybe your mind resists, but your heart knows.

[00:26:34] Whichever one of those is tugging you toward the good, follow that one and ignore the other one. And it’s going to be sometimes painful or difficult or a drag, whatever. But that’s number one. Hold the line. Hold the line. But I don’t feel God’s presence when I pray. So what? Neither do I. My goodness. Last time I, last time I quote unquote felt.

[00:27:07] My prayer, uh, it’s got to be a couple months ago, a few months ago, and it was rather brief. And that was the first time in a few months before that. And that was the first time maybe in a year. I don’t know. I mean, I don’t feel God when I pray. So what? You do it anyway, because you need that lifeline. And these moments of spiritual dryness won’t last forever.

[00:27:42] And sometimes after God brings you through it, or sometimes while you’re still going through it, He may let you feel his presence during your prayer. It may be very brief. It may be momentary, but it will be significant. You understand? It will be, it’ll be worth the wait. It’ll be significant. So hold the line, especially when it comes to prayer.

[00:28:04] Certainly when it comes to the practice of the faith. I don’t feel like going to Mass on Sunday. Tough. Get your ass up and go to Mass. I’m sorry. Sorry to be the spiritual daddy, you know, very direct and stuff, but get your ass up and go to Mass. I don’t feel like it. So, you have to be there. God calls us to be there.

[00:28:25] Be there. Because if you think you’re going to get better by skipping Mass, ha ha ha, no you won’t. You’re going to get worse. And this is part of the trial. This is part of the trial. Will you hold the line? Oh, you of little faith, why did you doubt? Keep your eyes on Jesus. Or like Peter, if you’re attentive to the storm, focus and attention, if you’re attentive to the storm, if you’re focusing on the wind,

[00:28:55] you’ll sink. God knows if you’re going to sink or stand. He knows. He’s testing you, but not because he doesn’t know. He doesn’t need to test you. He needs you to know. He needs you to know who you really are. My friends, that is a hard lesson to learn. First, because of our pride, because of our ego, because of our arrogance, because of our vanity.

[00:29:23] Hard lesson. Hard as in it’s difficult to get there, to the lesson. But it’s also hard because you will probably not like what you learn once you do get there. Mm hmm. So God puts us, sends, takes us through these trials, not to prove who you are to himself, but to prove who you are to you. Mm hmm. It’s tough.

[00:29:54] It’s tough. You think Luke Skywalker had it bad being trained by Yoda? Over there in, what was that, [00:30:00] Endor? I don’t remember where he went. It wasn’t Endor. Anyway, this is much harder. Much, much harder. Number one, hold the line. Pray. Practice the faith. And number two, and I don’t know how to explain this. This will probably be the last point I make on this.

[00:30:19] I don’t know how to explain this, but you take it and apply it yourself. Learn from the darkness. Learn from the darkness. Learn from the darkness. God will probably allow the devil to vex you. Psychologically or maybe emotionally. And it will manifest in the darkness. It will manifest, not in a dark room, I’m talking about interiorly.

[00:30:48] It will, that vexation will manifest in the darkness. And then it’s game time. You’re playing with the big boys. Why? Because the devil, or it might not, the Lord may not use the devil to do this through vexation. The Lord may do this by an unseen grace that enlightens your mind to see something he wants to teach you.

[00:31:12] Could, could happen that way too. But sometimes he allows the devil to vex you, right? Then you’re playing with the big boys because now you have to discern how much of this vexation, or if it’s not vexation, how much of this spiritual enlightenment is the truth and how much How much of it is my error of perception?

[00:31:37] The Lord will bring you there. The Lord is not going to lead you through the dark just to get you lost, okay? If you’re experiencing spiritual darkness, God allows it, and he doesn’t allow it just so that he can get you lost. Or worse off than where you were. But learn from the darkness. And suffer through the darkness.

[00:32:00] Part of the fruit of spiritual desolation, if you can believe it, is the fruit of the suffering. The fruit that results from the suffering.

[00:32:12] So suffer well, and suffer honestly. Again, I can’t explain that. I probably could, but it would take like 20 hours. I say that to you, and you apply it as you know how it applies to yourself. Spiritual desolation, the spiritual dryness. First of all, I want to say two. I do believe a lot of people are experiencing this these days.

[00:32:33] Um, I’ve been in evangelization and stuff for a very long time. So, just in my experience, I feel like over the past, let’s just say five years, I feel like a lot of people, by comparison to, you know, past experiences, a lot of people are going through this. I also think people are experiencing a lot of depression.

[00:32:55] I mean, throughout, throughout America, certainly, depression is really on the rise. So if all of these, let’s take it just to Catholics, of all these Catholics who are expressing a sense of spiritual darkness. I do think a lot of them are just depressed. I believe that because of some of the things they say are clues to what they are and are not really experiencing.

[00:33:20] Some of the things that they express are clues. I do believe a lot of them are experiencing just ordinary old depression. But I also think many of them, very many of them, are going, are being brought through spiritual darkness. If you think you’re going through spiritual darkness, Ask yourself if you’re experiencing, if you’re just experiencing depression.

[00:33:41] Talk to a spiritual director. Because it may, I, I would say at least for half, half of the people I’ve, I’ve come to know going through this online and, and, and in real life, half of them I think are just depressed. But half of them I think are, at least half of them are at least going, at least half of them are going through a sort of spiritual darkness.

[00:34:02] So, hold the line. Hope in God. The only time you have to worry is when you stop giving a damn. And if you’re suffering in the spiritual darkness, It’s not because you don’t give a damn. If, when you don’t give a damn, you know, you’re no longer suffering in the dark. You’re at home in it. You care. You give a damn.

[00:34:25] You want to be closer to God. You’re frustrated that He’s not responding to you. He’s not sending you consolations. Whatever. And that means you care, or, or it could mean you’re selfish, but I think for most of you it’s because you care. And you can only care about reaching for God if God is with you. Well, I don’t feel Him with me, but you want to, right?

[00:34:48] You can only have that desire, desire if God is with you. I think St. Teresa of Avila said that. That’s not me. I think that’s Teresa of Avila. Or it’s me, and I’m a genius, but I don’t think so. [00:35:00] Teresa of Avila, I think, has gone through this. Mother Teresa gone through this. Um, St. John of the Cross. Many other saints.

[00:35:08] I can tell you the, the cycle of desolation and consolation, spiritual desolation and spiritual consolation, that cycle is kind of normal, just as breathing is normal, right? What, what, the severity is, is, the severity will, will differ. But the cycle, really, to anyone who’s trying to be holy, for anyone who’s trying to be a better Christian, Catholic, that cycle is normal.

[00:35:37] The depths, okay, a deep desolation, that is not, that’s usually more of the exception. That’s usually more of the exception. Anyway, I will leave a link to this ep, on this episode’s On Demand page, talking about this, uh, or, or, links to articles I wrote talking about this. Hopefully they give you some advice.

[00:36:00] You know, it’s at times like these that I wish I had a commercial to roll, because I could sure use a break, get some tea or coffee, and, uh, catch my breath. I have no commercials, except I will say this. Here’s, I’ll be my own commercial. I would really, uh, be thankful if you consider subscribing, first of all, signing up for my newsletter, and also subscribing to my website.

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[00:38:10] Pitch in five bucks. Now, how do you subscribe and how do you sign up for the newsletter? Well, here’s what you do. You go to my website, CatholicAdventurer. com, and you’ll see it in the menu bar. The first link in the menu bar is home page. The next one is subscribe, so you can start there. But I’ll tell you a direct link, and I’ll leave this on my on demand page also, this link, CatholicAdventurer.

[00:38:30] com slash my dash plans. My dash plans. It’s a very stupid URL, but I’m stuck with it I’ll leave the link on this episode’s on demand page from that page Catholic adventure comm slash my dash plans You’ll find a link to sign up for the free newsletter and and it’s one form. It’s dead easy just put your email address in there you done and On that same page is also the option to, uh, subscribe.

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[00:39:24] It’s done. Okay, catholicadventure. com slash my dash plans. Okay, enough with the commercials. Holy cow. I’m really running out of breath here This is a rough show Okay, so let me tell you a story. I really wish I hadn’t Talked so much at the top of the episode. Sorry about that. But let’s get into the meat and potatoes We’ve really been talking about focusing attention.

[00:39:53] You just don’t know it yet But we’re about to roll into it and we’re gonna tie it all up nice and neat and then we’re gonna talk about Whether hell is [00:40:00] populated and how populated is it or doesn’t even not exist? Okay, first, let me tell you a little story about my boxing days. I didn’t box a lot. I guess I had 14 fights One was a rematch, but the total was 14 Zero losses one draw zero losses one draw and that why there that’s why there was a rematch which I almost lost that It’s another story So, this one fine day, this was, um, I wouldn’t call it sparring, but I wouldn’t call it an exhibition either, and it wasn’t an official fight.

[00:40:47] It was sort of in the middle of, I guess, it was sort of like an exhibition, but not quite as serious.

[00:40:57] And they put me in with this fella, well anyway, he wasn’t awfully experienced, I was a little bit more experienced. And, and ahead of this, we’ll just call it a fight. It wasn’t an official fight, but we’ll just call it that. Ahead of this fight, I had just gotten done watching Rocky. My favorite movie of all time.

[00:41:20] I had just gotten done watching It might have been all three of them during that week. But certainly, uh, Rocky II was in my head, so I might have just gotten done watching Rocky II that day, or like the night before or something. So I’m there with, uh, my buddies, and everybody, everybody is there, and of course I’m there with my entourage.

[00:41:43] You know, I didn’t really have an entourage, but they were just, you know, my buddies. And, uh, and they had watched Rocky with me and a couple of them loved the movie too. So we’re all talking smack, you know, we’re doing the clubber lang, trash talking, you know, so and so tailor made for me, you know, what’s your prediction for the fight?

[00:42:01] My prediction? Yes, prediction. Pain. I’m in the ring, man. I’m all ready to go. And I start shucking and jiving, baby. I, I don’t know why or how, but I had gotten, I had achieved mastery. Of real nice footwork in the ring great for movies bad for real boxing It was basically apollo creed’s footwork, right the way he would rock his hands and move his feet It looked beautiful and maybe it was just interesting I don’t know.

[00:42:33] It’s not like I practiced this for months, but I had that nailed so I was doing that All right, because I knew I could beat this guy and it wasn’t even a serious fight anyway, you know So I was throwing a couple of punches. He’s a jab, you know, he’s a couple of couple more little jabs He’s just a mild shot to the body He’s one thing and I’m I’m literally running circles around him in the ring not running but like dancing, you know Around the ring looking beautiful looking fantastic After that fight they’re getting the roster ready for the next actual fight which I don’t know was a couple months later Guy comes to me and he says, Hey, I saw you had some moves, so I put you in the ring with Hertz.

[00:43:17] He saw that I had some moves in the ring. Overestimated my quality and put me in the ring with Hertz, who is an animal. Now, Hertz’s real name was Hurst, Hurst. But we called him Hertz because he had this unbelievable savage strength and nobody knows why. He didn’t go to the gym. It’s not like he was, you know, he didn’t take that injection that Captain America got.

[00:43:44] Nobody knows why he was that strong, but he was, he, first of all, he was dumb as an ox. He was dopey as an ox, and he was a little stronger than one. Nice guy, very jolly guy. You know, not hateful or anything. Very jolly guy, a little annoying, a little annoying, but nice guy. Dopey, but strong as hell, and You know, you didn’t even want this guy patting you on the back.

[00:44:10] Just, you know, just being friendly. Hey, how’s it going? You know, patting you on the back. Because he could, you could, you would need a spine realignment. When this guy patted you on the back. He was like an ogre. It was unbelievable. Now, because I, because I oversold my real quality in the ring. With my tremendous, tremendous footwork.

[00:44:27] I have to tell you. Beautiful footwork. Hey, I saw you had some moves in there. So I put you in the ring with Hertz. Now, Hertz was not a great boxer. He was, um, a hard hitter. He was a very hard hitter. I am not a great boxer either, but I was better than him. I would say, you know, I think, think this is a Rocky thing, where Rocky kind of saw himself as not really a, a boxer, but more of a fighter.

[00:44:53] I guess I would sort of say that about myself. Not bad, but not, not great. Not, not [00:45:00] fantastic. I could never have gone pro. Here’s the problem. I have a choice now to either focus on Hertz’s strengths or to focus. On his weaknesses and liabilities, Hurts strength was that he was damn strong. I mean, I saw him knock somebody out twice, or knock two people out.

[00:45:22] And I’m And he knocked out two very good athletes, who I know could take a punch. And knocked them out quick, hard, like, it was like hitting a tree. You saw that and you were like, ooooh. That’s dangerous stuff, man, because I don’t like getting hit in the face. I really don’t like getting hit in the face. I mean, I re Listen, you don’t understand.

[00:45:47] I really, really don’t like getting hit. Especially in the face. Especially don’t break my nose. Rocky and I have that in common. I have a beautiful nose. Very beautiful. Everyone says so. And I don’t want my nose to get broken. Plus, it don’t feel good to get punched in the face. Even with a boxing glove. So I could either focus and be attentive to his strengths or I can shift my focus and look for his weaknesses.

[00:46:20] And of course, that’s what I intended to do. Yes, he hits hard. Yes, he’s damn aggressive. But what are his weaknesses? Well, he’s a very sloppy puncher. He’s a very, very sloppy boxer. Very sloppy boxer. Kind of predictable. Watch, watch him long enough. Kind of predictable. Okay, I see where he’s going. Sloppy.

[00:46:45] Predictable. Yeah, he hits hard. Yeah, he’s aggressive, but sloppy and predictable. So, what happens when I identify his weaknesses? I begin to calculate the offensive. How am I going to use his weaknesses, to exploit his weaknesses, to achieve the good? How am I going to exploit the negatives, or How am I going?

[00:47:10] Not the negatives. I really should call it a positive. The negative is his strength. He’s very strong. The positive for me is that he’s a sloppy boxer. Right? And he’s very aggressive, or, or, or he’s predictable. So how do I take that pos what do I do when I identify that positive? I formulate a way to achieve the good.

[00:47:30] If I focus on his strength, what am I doing? I’m formulating a way to be defensive. Don’t hit me. Let me run away from you. I’m forming when I focus on what’s bad. I develop a strategy of self defense when I focus on what’s positive. I develop a strategy to achieve the good victory. In this case, you understand focus and attention.

[00:47:57] So how did this fight play out? We get in the ring and he is damn aggressive. And, ooh, he hits hard. I took one, one shot to the body. I was like, oh, don’t do that again. That one really hurt. Okay. Okay, Hertz. We’ll do this. I’m dancing around Hertz. Cause he’s, he’s fat and ugly. He’s fat and ugly. He can’t catch up to me.

[00:48:22] I got good footwork, baby. And I’m dancing around Hertz. I’m getting a couple punches in. And then I discovered something. First of all, yes, he’s, he’s predictable. He’s predictable. But he’s very sloppy. Okay, so I can kinda I know where he’s going to go with the, with some of these punches and I kind of know how to move and get it, get out of the way.

[00:48:42] I kind of know what I have to do to get to hit him and then move quickly to get into the next striking position before he can hit me back. And you know what I discovered in that? Not only is he sloppy, but he doesn’t like to get hit either. In fact, it occurred to me, he probably has never been hit before.

[00:49:01] Because as I started to get some punches in, I could tell that was really getting under his skin. It was even disorienting, disorienting him. A little bit. Now I’ve identified another positive. His weakness. Another positive is he doesn’t he doesn’t get hit well. He’s not good at getting hit. So I have to keep hitting him at all costs, even if it means taking a few shots myself, which I definitely so I wanted to avoid.

[00:49:33] But even if it meant getting a few shots of myself, I had to make sure I was hitting him and continue to disorient him, which I did. As it turned out, he did get very angry. and disoriented, but the guy could, I don’t want to say you could take a plunge, but kind of, but I also discovered then that he had a glass jaw.

[00:49:56] Long story short, by focusing and being attentive [00:50:00] to the positives, in this case, the positives were his weaknesses. By focusing and being attentive, focusing on his, on the positives, and being attentive to those things, I was able to formulate a plan to achieve the good. And I won, I came out on top. If I had lost that fight, I wouldn’t even be telling you this story in the first place.

[00:50:22] Thank you very much, and you’re welcome. Ah, yay! Ding, ding, ding, ding, ding! Yo Adrian, I did it! Isn’t that a lovely story? Thank you, I’m glad you liked it. Focus and attention. We live in a time when people are focusing and being atten Catholics are focusing and being attentive to the wrong thing. Focusing on And being attentive to the wrong things, the wrong things.

[00:50:45] They focus on the negatives. They focus on the negatives. They’re attentive to the negatives. And so what do they do? They get scared and nervous and angry and they begin to think, How can we protect ourselves? How can we defend ourselves from this heretical pontificate? How can we protect ourselves from the heresy all over the church?

[00:51:13] Folks, I’m not trying to be disrespectful. I’m trying to be straight with you, because we’re family, right? So I’m trying to be straight with you. All of that is just ridiculous. This is not a heretical pontificate. There are heretics in the church, but by and large, you’ve never met them. By and large, you’ve never even heard from them.

[00:51:37] I mean full blown, over the line heretics. Now, there are heterodox clergy, et cetera, in the church, sure. And you know some of them, probably, and you’ve probably heard some of them, sure.

[00:51:52] You know how long those types have been in the church? 2, 000 years, my friends. But when we focus on that, and the Catholic media, especially independent Catholic media, they want you to focus on that. When you focus on the negatives, it makes you defensive. When you get defensive, you also get angry. It comes from fear and frustration.

[00:52:20] Why? Because you’re focusing on something that is not worth focusing on. I say this all the time. And you’re not being attentive to what you should be attentive to. You understand? The thing you ought to focus on are the positives. Now, let me preface it this way. I get frustrated by the Pope, too, by the Holy Father.

[00:52:40] He frustrates me sometimes. I’ve said this again and again. I’m more of a Benedict XVI kind of person. That’s more how I am. Um, John Paul II was my Pope. I’m, you know, I’m not, you know, Pope Francis has a lot of, like, real fans. I’m really not a fan. To me, he’s just a priest who is the Pope. I see him as the Pope, but, you know, he’s just a priest, where, where John Paul II, to me, was, I don’t want to see, was like, you know, John Paul II was like a God to me.

[00:53:14] No, it wasn’t that, but, I had stars in my eyes for John Paul II. At the end of the day, he’s just a priest who is the Pope, but to me, he was something higher. I mean, stars in my eyes for John Paul II. Huge fan of Benedict XVI. With Pope Francis, we’ve gotten to, I’ve gotten to a stage where He’s just a pope.

[00:53:40] He’s just a priest who is the Pope, and he has all of my respect and all that stuff as the Pope. I’m not, I wouldn’t call myself a fan like, woo hoo, Pope Francis. I’m, I don’t care. I’m not a fan. I’m not against him. I’m not an anti fan. I’m just not a fan. That’s all. See, I’m frustrated sometimes with the way he communicates.

[00:54:02] I don’t think he’s a good communicator, but. I don’t think he’s a bad theologian. I don’t even think he’s a bad, I, I do think, I, I’m not on board with, with his administrative quality. His quality as an administrator, but whatever, that’s just me, that’s just my opinion. The point I’m trying to make is, I don’t focus on Pope Francis.

[00:54:22] Like, oh, Pope Francis is so frustrating, he’s a poor communicator, I don’t like how he administrates the church. I could focus on that, but Why? What’s the point? What’s the game? I’d rather focus on the positives. The positives of being Catholic. Not the positives of Pope this or Pope that. Because the Pope is just the Pope.

[00:54:45] We’re always going to have one. Right now it’s Pope Francis. The next one will be somebody else. We’re always going to have a Pope. The Pope is just the Pope. Since we’ll always have one, that’s, there’s no need focusing on that. I try to focus on the faith. Which, the [00:55:00] body of work of the saints, the body of work of the church, Our history, our legacy, the spirituality, obviously the sacraments, I mean that goes without saying, that’s automatic, the sacraments, especially Holy Eucharist, and, and, um, uh, confession, rosary, devotion, stuff like that.

[00:55:16] I try to focus on that, and you know what? That’s already a lot. By focusing on what’s good in the church, and I’ll include the faith experience in that, even though that’s kind of something separate, but in the church, if we include, look, if we focus on what’s good in the church, We will orient ourselves toward acting further and further toward the good, toward reaching and moving further and further toward the good.

[00:55:43] If we’re focusing on what’s negative, what we’ll do instead is we’ll become defensive and people are doing that right now. People are running and hiding in the traditional Latin mass because they’re, they’re becoming defensive. No. Or not. We’re focusing on what’s good in the church. But you’re not because the liturgy is, the liturgy is the liturgy is the liturgy, the traditional Latin mass and the, so-called Novus or mass.

[00:56:09] Are the mass. Sorry for that pause. I was just being beckoned for breakfast. I guess my wife thinks I’m just talking to myself up here She probably doesn’t realize I’m doing a broadcast. The mass is the mass is the mass It shouldn’t make a difference which mass you go to. One time when I was a kid I had I was away at my aunt’s house and I had to go to mass Obviously I went to the mass at the church down the street from her on on the corner Where her house was and to my surprise the mass was in Spanish.

[00:56:41] You know what it was still the mass I didn’t know what was going on and I was young too So I didn’t I didn’t know the liturgy as well as I know it now, you know So I was young but I was present I was present I saw a copy of the readings there in the pews in English. So I read them in English And it was still the mass and I and you know, I was still present and the Eucharist was still the Eucharist Which mass you go to, doesn’t matter, as long as it’s a valid mass.

[00:57:16] So taking cover in a particular MA, and I don’t care if you’re taking cover in a Novus auto mass at a church where the Novus or Mass every Sunday is like something from the Vatican. From a Vatican high mass. That’s great. That’s great. I would like that too. But if you are doing that to take cover, if you are doing that in response to a focus.

[00:57:36] On the negatives, listen, take your hide to a different parish where the mass is valid, but more boring to you. More boring to you. And I know how that is. Believe me. I know how that is. And force yourself to suffer through it. Because you’re going to force yourself also. To focus on what’s good about the liturgy instead of focusing on the superficials of it.

[00:58:02] You understand what I’m saying? When we focus on the negatives, Oh, the Pope said this. Oh, the Cardinal said this. Oh, Cardinal Fernandez. Oh, the mass, the mass, the mass. And I know there’s mass ridiculousness throughout the church. I know that. It’s really not as widespread as you think, but I know that it’s there.

[00:58:19] I get it. I get it. It infuriates me. If there’s one word out of place in the rubrics, that triggers me. One word if I hear that you’ve got one word wrong that triggers me. I don’t say anything But in my heart i’m like Hulk smash, you know So I get it But let’s not be so reactionary focus on the good Focus on the good.

[00:58:42] This priest who’s inserting way too many stupid, silly things, then it doesn’t render the mass illicit or illegitimate or anything like that, but they shouldn’t be there. However, I focus on what’s good. He always drops a really, really good nugget, either in his homily or in his opening greeting. Which at first glance sounds like, please don’t say these stupid silly things, but if you stop and just appreciate what he’s saying, it’s like, oh wow.

[00:59:11] And I told him this once, I said, Father, that, that probably made me a better Catholic. That thing that you said. This is from a priest who infuriated me with his insertions. It was never an invalid mass, or I wouldn’t have gone. Focus on the good. Focus on the positive, and you’ll move toward the good. If you focus on the negative, you’ll become defensive and angry.

[00:59:36] You’ll overreact, hyperreact, you’ll miscalculate. My friends, maaaany Catholics in the church are doing that. They’re focusing on the negative and they’re miscalculating out of fear. If I had done that, in that fight with Hertz, I would have gotten my block knocked off. And believe me, Hertz could have done it.

[00:59:56] Hertz could have done it. In fact, I think I was the only one to beat [01:00:00] him. I think I was the only one ever to beat him. And he did a lot of boxing afterward. And I think I was the only one ever to beat him. Not because I’m, not because I’m Rocky Balboa, not because I’m Mike Tyson, but because I focused on the positives.

[01:00:17] I focused on the positives, not on the negatives. I paid attention, not just focus. Focus is like momentary. You just look, but attention is you hold it. You hold your focus there on the positive and you use it as a guide In your movement toward the good, the objective, capital G, good, you understand? Focus and attention.

[01:00:42] It can make or break a saint. Because there, I said this in, in my prelude, I started doing a little prelude. To, um, a podcast for as long as it’s not a pain in the behind to do that. I’ll do that for subsequent episodes, too. I do a little write up about what the next episode is and why I’m doing that episode.

[01:01:02] Anyway, I did a little prelude to the podcast explaining why I was even talking about this and I said it there and I’ll say it again. There are Catholics who go to Mass every day and are the most amazing heretics or, or, or Lucy’s or unholy Catholics that you’ve ever heard of, right? And then there are Catholics who only go to Mass on Sundays and they’re the most beautiful saints you’ve ever met.

[01:01:29] Most beautiful saints you’ve ever met. You want proof? Look up the Arian heresy. Look up Arius, daily Mass goer. Martin Luther, daily Mass goer. Right now, Arius and Martin Luther, that’s different. Those are different You know, things, but the point is, it’s all about focus and attention. What you focus on, what you’re attentive to, determines the path you take towards sainthood or your own damnation.

[01:01:58] And that’s just the way it is. There is no middle ground. What you focus on and what you’re attentive to, what you focus on and are attentive to, determines your path to sainthood or condemnation and damnation. Maybe the middle ground is purgatory, but if you aim for purgatory, you’re going to hell. So let this be binary for you.

[01:02:18] There’s heaven, there’s hell, and that’s it. Let this be binary for you, because you will increase your chances of reaching to heaven. Focus and attention. Focusing on the good and the positive, it orients you toward achieving a good objective. Focusing on the negative, what’s bad, what’s glum, causes you to, first of all, to lose hope, to lose faith, and ultimately to lose yourself.

[01:02:45] The choice really is yours. The choice is yours, because you’re not being foolish by refusing to pay attention to the negatives. Because half of the negatives you’re being, you’re paying attention to aren’t actually negatives. It’s just how you’re seeing them, or it’s how they’re being delivered to you.

[01:02:59] You’re not being foolish, or even foolhardy, by turning that off. You’re not being foolish by not being bummed out over rain outside. Just take an umbrella. Now shut your mouth and go out there and get over with, right? You’re not being foolish, you’re being wise. You’re being wise in the character of God himself.

[01:03:20] You’re being that wise by ignoring what’s negative and focusing instead on what’s positive. Now, as soon as I can find my notes From a story on ncregister. com. Now, I’m going to apply focus and attention to this huge and heavy question. What does the Catholic Church teach about the occupancy of hell?

[01:03:41] Again, from National Catholic Register, written by Ralph Martin. I wonder if that’s THE Ralph Martin. I’ll bet you it is. Anyway, Pope Francis stirred up controversy with his informal remark concerning hell that he made on January 14th in an hour long live interview with a popular Italian television program.

[01:03:59] While acknowledging that this is only his personal view and not a dogma of the faith, the Holy Father speculated that hell may be empty. And expressed the hope that it is, that it is the case. Expressed the hope that it is the case. Quote, What I am going to say is not, so this is the Pope speaking. Quote, What I am going to say is not a dogma of the faith, but my personal view, I like to think of hell as empty.

[01:04:26] I hope it is. I’m going to leave a link to this article on this episode’s On Demand page as well. Uh, I was going to get very, very into this, but I just, this show is just running way too long. Let me just get to the point. We’re always asking, is hell empty or is it full? Is it just Napoleon and Hitler? Or is that nasty old granny down the street in hell as well after she died?

[01:04:51] Like the Pope, and some of this I’m going to get very personal with you. Like the Pope, I, I also hope that hell is empty. But [01:05:00] I know that it isn’t. But I hope that it is. I hope at God’s mercy. I mean, God’s mercy is infinitely great, but we are also infinitely stupid. If people wind up in hell, it’s because of their choices.

[01:05:12] It’s because they have moved outside. of God’s reach, not literally, but they’ve moved outside of his reach by choosing against his grace, against his mercy and so on. I would like to believe hell is empty and I would like to believe that God’s mercy is so great that he could catch the souls of the people that I knew and loved who died outside of grace.

[01:05:39] Hopefully he can catch those souls before they fall into hell. Hopefully his mercy is so great That these people who rejected God or rejected the faith, or they maybe they didn’t just, they didn’t reject it, they just Never practiced for 30 years. Whatever. I don’t know. Hopefully his mercy is so great that he can rescue even them.

[01:06:00] There’s a friend I had. He was definitely an atheist. What kind of an atheist he was? I don’t know. Was, did he really believe in God but just rejected him? Or was it really a failure of his intellect to actually believe in God? Which is kind of more innocent than just rejecting him. I don’t know. But he died too young and I always, you know, I had this horrible image in my head of the poor guy in, because we used to debate like, you know, as friends, but they would, they would, so they were not official debates, but they were debates.

[01:06:30] Anyway, uh, we did debate about God and religion and I had this horrible image in my head. I think this might’ve been a dream that I had, and it just stuck in my memory. Um, of him in hell now, trying to, looking up, sort of looking through a glass ceiling, which to me would be a glass floor, looking up from hell in this glass ceiling, and there’s people all around him in torment and the flames, and he’s banging on the glass ceiling, admitting now that he was wrong and I was right.

[01:07:00] Not to make me feel good, but almost as if to say, okay, I was wrong, ask God to save me now. Or, okay, I was wrong, and now maybe, by admitting that, maybe God will save me. You know, except in this image, I couldn’t hear anything. I couldn’t hear him pounding on the glass like it was too thick, or I couldn’t hear anything.

[01:07:24] I could just read his lips, and I could see him pounding, pounding, pounding on that glass ceiling, or to me, the glass floor, pounding for dear life to get my attention, and shouting his head off, you were right, you were right, I was wrong. God, I hope he’s in heaven. He may not be. He may not be. Nice guy, but I would hardly call him virtuous enough for heaven.

[01:07:55] I mean, not, not in the least. Very nice guy. Not, you know, not a malignant character or anything, but not virtuous. There are people I know and have loved, friends, family, who buy the books. By the books. If we go by theology, the like, the likelihood of them them being in hell is great. Great. Like likelihood that they’re in hell.

[01:08:19] If we go by theology alone, I hope to God that they aren’t, I hope hell is empty. I really hope, and all of you probably are in similar, have similar experience, right? Where you know. Or are related to, you know, people that you loved who died outside the faith. I see sometimes on Twitter, sometimes people bring this up, Pray for so and so, um, he, he wasn’t a believer or he left the church or whatever and he just died, whatever.

[01:08:47] But all of you have to have somebody like that, right? Would you rather, would you rather hope that hell is empty when you think of your Relative who has passed away, would you rather think that hell is empty, or would you like to think that sinners get what they deserve? I’m gonna pause and let you think about that for a second.

[01:09:10] I would rather think that hell is empty, but I know that it is not. I know that it is not. But I’d like to think that it is. I hope that it is. But I know that it is not. The people who I loved very dearly, who are dead and gone, I hope that God’s mercy was great enough to reach them, because I know there are a couple that come to mind specifically.

[01:09:33] I know that they had tremendous hearts, and I know that, for at least one or two of them, it’s possible that in that last moment, in their last moment, before they shut their eyes forever, it’s possible that one or two of them said, God have mercy on me. And it’s possible that they never said anything like that, but that they might have, had they had the presence of mind.[01:10:00]

[01:10:00] And so it’s possible that God knew that. And said, if you had just a split second more, you would have asked for mercy. So I’m just going to give it to you. Damn, I hope that’s true. You have to ask yourself. Would you rather hope that hell is empty? Or would you rather sinners get what they deserve, including the ones you love the most?

[01:10:21] What, what does this have to do with focus and attention? Well, hell is real. Yes. Hell, we cannot authoritatively say hell is not empty. But we, we don’t have to pretend to be stupid either. Okay? Based on what we know from scripture, from tradition, writings of the saints, Hell is very likely not empty. It’s just not.

[01:10:45] It’s just not, okay? If Satan and the demons are there, certainly humans can be there, right? It’s just not empty. Are there a lot of people there? Probably. Saints have said so, right? Saints have said so. Apparitions of the Holy Version have said so. Now, we can either choose to focus on that and be attentive to that, Or, we can focus and be attentive to something positive, God’s mercy.

[01:11:17] It doesn’t mean we ignore the truth. of hell’s existence and what it takes to get there. I mean, the catechism is very, very clear on this. This is, you don’t even have to be a philosopher or a theologian. Read the catechism. The catechism is very clear on this. Let me read this quick from the catechism. It talks about that hell is the state of definitive self exclusion from communion with God and the blessed, reserved for those who refuse by their own free choice to believe and be converted from sin.

[01:11:49] Even to the end of their lives. Catechism is very clear. Hell is real. People can actually go there. Yes, that’s true. We don’t have to ignore the truth. Let’s focus on the positive. That God’s mercy is real and true. Infinitely deep and broad. And we can still, we can still wind up in hell because we can still reject it, uh, His mercy.

[01:12:15] We can still reject it by our choices. But I try to focus on, on the positive. You know, these people that I knew and loved. By the theology, it’s a high likelihood that they’re in hell, and also by the theology, it’s a possibility that they got to purgatory. However slim that possibility is. Hey, God made the world from nothing.

[01:12:37] Jesus Christ was incarnate in the womb of a virgin. You mean to tell me by a slim margin of God’s mercy that he can’t save someone? Come on. So, I pray for their souls. I visit their graves. I offer rosaries for them. Or, I can say they’re probably in hell and just give up on them. Focus and attention. Focus and attention.

[01:13:02] Focus and attention. This is not the Boy Scouts. It’s the military. This thing we call Catholic. Being a saint or being a scoundrel, what’s the difference? It comes down to focus and attention. What has your focus has your attention. What has your attention has your heart. Is it taking you to someplace positive?

[01:13:23] Or is it taking you to someplace negative? Don’t think for a second that because you say 30 rosaries a day and you go to seven masses a week, don’t think for a second that’s going to make you a saint. Because the devil can very, very, very, the devil cannot physically stop you from going to mass. But you know what he can do?

[01:13:43] He can very easily divert your focus. Confuse your attention. Very easily. He, my friends, he’s doing it all over the church. All over the church. You want to talk about how the enemy has invaded our camp? He’s done it by confusing people’s focus and attention. All over the church this is happening. So get straight and keep your mind right.

[01:14:02] Focus and attention. Focus on things that are positive because that makes you move toward the good. Be attentive to things that are positive because that makes you move. It, it, it tells, it guides how you move toward the good. It guides how you move toward the good. If you’re going to spend focus and attention on the negative, it’s going to instantly, instantly, that’s going to make you defensive.

[01:14:24] You’re going to be in a defensive posture, rather than a positive or affirmative one. Focus on the negative, you’ll be in a defensive posture, and your heart and mind and actions will follow. What you do to the mind, you do to the will. If your mind is, is ill focused or unfocused and attended to the wrong things, your will will follow.

[01:14:46] And if Catholics think, well, that’s not going to be me, ha ha ha ha ha, oh boy, I see it all over the church on social media. I see it, I see it all over social media. I see it all over the internet. I see it all over the [01:15:00] parishes. That’s not me. Oh, you want to bet? Better ask the Holy Spirit, my friend. You better ask the Holy Spirit.

[01:15:05] Here’s what you do. Homework assignment. Ask the Holy Virgin under her title of Our Lady of Sorrows. Ask her, is my focus and attention correct? Where is it wrong? Ask her. Ask her. I promise you she’s going to answer you. Not in that moment. Probably not in that moment. She’s probably going to make you wait for the answer, but she’s going to answer you.

[01:15:29] Focus and attention. If you want to be saints, focus and attention is where it’s at. Focus on the positive. Be attentive to the positive things. Because that will make you, that will not, not just spark your, your, your It won’t just Orient your will and desire. It will also guide your will. It will guide your will.

[01:15:48] Not just to reach for the good, but how do I get there? How do I get there? How do I win this fight? Focus and attention. Focus and attention. Focus and attention. You understand? Last call. Follow me on Twitter or X at ForTheQueenBVM. Check out my website, CatholicAdventurer. com You’ll find links there to sign up for my newsletter.

[01:16:11] Subscribe if you’re catching this on demand. Thank you for doing so i’m all over the place Whether you see me get me on itunes or spotify. Thank you very much Join my discord channel link is in my bio on x or on my website after show is forthcoming Uh, i’m probably gonna do that in a few hours.

[01:16:30] Probably a little bit later on god bless you. God be with you all Thanks for listening. Bye. Bye

This was a loaded show! talking about “Focus and Attention”, why it makes or breaks a saint-in-the-making, and applying that wisdom to these segments.

Full Description

Most people today suffer from a lack of focus, misplaced focus, or an overabundance of attention on the wrong things. This is a human phenomenon, not just a “Catholic” one. But it’s particularly dangerous in the spiritual life, to faith, and to Catholic identity.

In this episode I explain the wisdom of “focus and attention” demonstrated from a story from my boxing days when I was put face to face with an opponent known as “Hurts.” I then apply that wisdom in an analysis of whether hell is very populated, or, as the Holy Father hopes, completely empty. How does good focus and right attention come into play there?

As a bonus I also offer some words of wisdom to those suffering through spiritual darkness or dryness. I also recorded a rather substantial after-show to this episode, available on my website to paid subscribers ($5/month) or for free on my Discord server.


  • Question about Your Past Lent Seasons – 3:25
  • Beaten by ‘Nones’ 4:58
  • Three Problems with Nones – 1. Religion is more than ‘Right and Wrong 9:15
  • Can Nones Find God Without Religion? – 12:28
  • Problem of Evangelization – 16:00
  • Spiritual Darkness – 18:45
  • Advice for dealing with the Darkness – 22:41
  • Topic – Focus and Attention, Boxing Story – 36:19
  • Catholics focus on the Wrong Things – 45:30
  • Pope Francis doesn’t impress/bother/worry me – 47:14
  • Running and Hiding, the TLM, and ‘The Mass’ – 50:09
  • Focus on the Positives – 52:14
  • Applying the Lesson to ‘Hell’ – 57:11
  • Better Hope that Hell is Empty! And a personal story – 58:23
  • Wouldn’t you Rather Hell Be Empty? – 1:02:17

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