The internet has become the “world’s library”. Virtually anything can be found online. Unfortunately, a lot of evil can be found on the web. But there is also much that is very good on the ‘Net. I’d like to highlight, one particularly special website that has truly brought my love of God to a higher level. This site features hundreds of hours of inspiring lectures covering many aspects of the Judeo-Christian Faith and the Church. It is difficult for me to put into words the profound influence these lectures have had in enriching my own spiritual life. If I was only allowed to direct people to just one site on the internet, without question, I would send them to the Association of Hebrew Catholics. What I find so special on this site is the AHC Lecture Series.
These lectures, produced over a 10 year period (2007 thru 2016), are extremely comprehensive in their coverage of salvation history, various religious themes, as well as the material and spiritual aspects of the Jewish faith and Catholic Church. Produced by the Association of Hebrew Catholics, the topics covered here do an excellent job of showing the complementary relationship of God's Chosen People and the Christian faith. These are not opposing religions, as some would imagine, but in fact are woven together as part of God’s salvific plan.
The author and presenter of these lectures is Dr. Larry Feingold. A former atheist, Dr. Feingold is now an Associate Professor of Theology and Philosophy at Kenrick-Glennon Seminary in St. Louis, MO. He is also the Director of Theology for the Association of Hebrew Catholics. Dr. Feingold presents each lecture in a very “down to earth way” that anyone will be able to understand. I especially appreciate how all the material presented is fully in line with the magisterium of the Catholic Church. You won’t hear any “offbeat” teachings, in these lectures, except when mentioned to contrast with the official teachings of the Catholic Church.
All the lectures are free. You can stream them online or download them as MP3’s for later playback. There is no sign up required or anything of that nature. I so very much enjoyed these lectures that I bought myself a low-cost MP3 player so I could listen to these lectures while exercising, grilling dinner, doing yard work, or other chores around the house. Thus I’ve been able to listen to several hours of material each week. As I write this (August 2017), I’ve been listening to these lectures for the past 8 months. Yet, despite the many hours of listening I get in each week, so far I’ve only made it thru half the material.
Each lecture typically lasts about 1 hour and 15 minutes. This is then followed by a question and answer session that can last up to 45 minutes or so. You may be tempted to skip the Q&A sessions, but I urge you to listen to both segments of each lecture. Often I find the Q&A sessions to be as inspiring as the main lecture material.
Since I’ve begun listening to these lectures, my spiritual life has been transformed in many ways. Some of the changes I’ve noticed include:
a much improved understanding on both the "what" and the "why" of Church teachings
a better appreciation for the role of God’s Chosen People (the Jews) in God’s plan of salvation
many corrections of misconceptions I had regarding salvation history and Catholic beliefs
a desire to receive as many graces as possible from God
a more active participation in the Mass
improved preparation for receiving the Sacrament of the Eucharist (Communion)
a better understanding for what the Sacrament of Penance (Confession) can do
a greater appreciation of the richness, diversity, and hierarchy of God’s creation
a greater love of God for His own sake, not just obedience because of the fear of Hell
an immensely more joyful and personal relationship with the Lord
Before I started listening to this lecture series, I felt as though I was in a "spiritual rut". My monthly trips to the confessional sounded like a "broken record". Each month was a repeat of the previous months' sins. But now I find that I'm no longer falling into the same old sins. I've made real progress in eradicating some old vices. On the other hand, as my examinations of conscience have improved, I now see many other faults that need correction. Thus my "list of sins" to confess has recently grown. Nevertheless, I feel headed in the right direction. My faith has grown deeper and my love and joy for God has increased substantially.
I credit these lectures for inspiring me to start this “Reflections” website. Prior to listening to this material, I was never much of an “evangelist” for my Faith. But now, whenever the opportunity arises, I do what I can to “spread the word” about these lectures. I truly believe these lectures can be instrumental in bringing many atheists and agnostics to the Faith. For those who already believe, these lectures can greatly increase the fervor of their love for God and the Church.
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(This article was last updated on August 22, 2017)