Hayley Atwell and an all-star cast bring St. Cecilia to life in new audio drama

The legendary life and martyrdom of St. Cecilia is brought to life in a new audio drama by the Augustine Institute Radio Theatre. Called Ode to Saint Cecilia the new audio drama was written and directed by Paul McCusker, who has a long history of award-winning audio dramatizations.

The six-part drama features an all-star cast of voice actors including Hayley Atwell (most well known for her role as Agent Peggy Carter in the Marvel Cinematic Universe as well as Ella’s mother in Disney’s Cinderella), Harry Lloyd (Game of Thrones, The Theory of Everything), and Jamie Parker (Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Valkyrie), among a full cast of top-notch actors.

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[FREE Resource] Want to connect history with pop culture in the classroom? Check this out

It is not always easy getting children (or adults) excited about history or religion. That’s why its important to “seize the day” when a major movie like Star Wars creates buzz about a real location that has a rich spiritual history behind it. However, it is not always easy to manage and it can take an educator hours to find all the right materials.

That is, until now.

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Want to know how Christians invented medicine as we know it? Read this book

The practice of medicine in today’s world is sadly much more of a business than a means of helping people. Insurance companies only add to the confusion and the essential purpose of medicine is often left behind.

All of this is a far cry from the original doctors who are responsible for the organized health care we see today. Mike Aquilina delivers a fascinating and engaging look at the early practice of medicine in his book The Healing Imperative: The Early Church and the Invention of Medicine as We Know It.

Here is the book description from the publisher:

“Whenever you enter a town and they receive you, eat what is set before you; heal the sick in it and say to them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.'” —Luke 10:8-9

When Jesus sent seventy disciples on ahead of him, part of their mission was to heal the sick. In fact, they were supposed to heal the sick before they preached the Gospel. Best-selling author Mike Aquilina calls this command the healing imperative. And it’s an imperative that ushered in the world of modern medicine. In The Healing Imperative: The Early Church and the Invention of Medicine as We Know It, Aquilina reconstructs the fascinating history of a uniquely Christian institution: the hospital. Underlining how the virtues of charity and hospitality motivated the first generations of Christians, along with Jesus’ explicit command to heal the sick, the author shows just how revolutionary the actions of Christian doctors and nurses were and how they transformed society in ways that still reverberate today.

The radical developments in health care spearheaded by Christians influenced culture, society, and civilization. As The Healing Imperative proves, now more than ever, the compassion of Christians is needed to guide the world of medicine. Jesus’ command still resonates, and Aquilina urges us to respond.

Aquilina is at his best in this book and gives an amazing glimpse into the early life of the Church that is often glossed over. What he proves is how essential charity is to living out the Christian faith and how healing people through medicine is a fundamentally Christian work.

In the end, this is a perfect book to help reorient medical professionals to what truly matters and how the root of their work is not a business, but an organized effort to help people. The goal of doctors should not be to take advantage of people, but to live up to their Christian faith and follow Christ’s command to heal.

Looking for rational arguments to support your belief in God? Check this out

In today’s world reason has generally been pushed aside, leaving a gaping whole in the lives of theists and atheists alike. This makes it extremely difficult to have an honest conversation about God as emotions start to fly and arguments are made with no basis in reason.

With this in mind Fr. Andrew Younan presents Thoughtful Theism: Redeeming Reason in an Irrational Age. It is a fresh look at rational arguments for God’s existence and stresses the importance of backing up your belief in God with the intellect.

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Do you want to sanctify your life in simple ways? Try praying the Angelus

Finding time to pray is certainly difficult. As I have advocated before, it is essential to create your own daily schedule of prayer. However, sometimes we don’t know where to start and only have a vague idea of what we want to do.

One excellent idea that will get you started and help sanctify your day in a simply way is by taking up the ancient practice of the Angelus.

But what is the Angelus? How do I pray it devoutly?

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Looking to deepen your sense of wonder? Then this book is for you

Typically when we think of living a sacramental life, we immediately think of the seven sacraments. While that is not wrong, we often miss a much larger sacramental experience that encompasses everything we do.

This is what Regis Martin, professor of theology at Franciscan University of Steubenville, sets out to correct in his latest book, Witness to Wonder: The World of Catholic Sacrament. Martin expertly lays out a much broader definition of sacrament that sees in all of God’s creation a “sign” that points to God’s truth, beauty and goodness.

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5 Reflections on Fatima

100 years later, Our Lady of Fatima is still leading souls to God

© José Luiz Bernardes Ribeiro /, CC BY-SA 3.0

As we approach the 100th anniversary of the first apparition of Our Lady of Fatima, I thought I would compile all of my articles over the past year on the topic. There is much to reflect on in her appearances to the three shepherd children 100 years ago and a single article would never do her justice.

So without further introduction, here are all 5 articles I have written on the weighty topic of Fatima and the many spiritual truths we can learn from Our Lady’s appearance.

5 Surprising revelations of the third secret of Fatima

Fatima, the Rosary, and hell

The surprising connection between Our Lady of Fatima and Islam

5 Things to Know About First Saturdays

7 Powerful quotes from Fatima visionary Sister Lucia