Chris Cash: And today in the Spotlight, we have Patrick Madrid, author of the new book, “150 Bible Verses Every Catholic Should Know” and I want to know why we should know all of these, Patrick.
Patrick Madrid: So do I. I am very much looking forward to knowing the very same thing.
Chris Cash: So, why did you pick 150, or I guess, I should say, what was the importance of putting this book together; you have got several books on Apologetics already out there and this is not per se in Apologetics book as much as it isâ€”these are important verses from the Bible that every Catholic ought to know whether they would be Apologetics related or Christian living related or why are we monotheistic related, just all sorts of different verses for many different reasons, so what was kind of the importance for you putting this together in the first place?
Patrick Madrid: Well, growing up Catholic myself, I had a distinct memory as a kid being in situations where people would ask me questions about my faith and they wanted to know where does the Bible say this and that and I did not really have a good answer because although I was raised devoutly in a Catholic home, memorizing Scripture verses or knowing where to find certain teachings of St. Paul or Christ in the pages of the New Testament was not really stressed.
And so consequently, in situations where whether because someone had asked me a question about my faith, maybe something like, “Well, why do you baptize babies in the Catholic Church?” or “Why do you call priests father?” For reasons like that, but also just in life in general dealing with quandaries and predicaments and surprises and disasters and all the things that can come our way and do come our way in the course of a lifetime, I discovered the older got, the more immersed in Scripture I became that so many of the answers to life’s most pressing questions are found in the pages of Sacred Scripture, so I wanted to write this book with an eye toward introducing the reader to 150 key passages in the Bible from Genesis to Revelation that would not be strictly speaking all Apologetics or even mainly Apologetics, but that could be applicable across all of these different life issues that I just mentioned a moment ago.
Everything from somebody who wanted to know, “Well, why do you call priests father?” But more importantly how do you handle financial setbacks or how do you deal with the loss of a friend or of a loved one through death or how do you learn to curb your pride or how do you deal with temptations to lust or how do you handle drinking alcoholâ€”there are so many different issues that come our way in life that I thought it would be helpful for people to have 150 of the key verses. These are certainly not the only important verses and far from it, but these are very helpful in my own life and I thought it would be a great way to introduce people to these verses and really get them accustomed to reading scripture and thinking about Scripture and applying Scripture to their daily life.
Chris Cash: Now, do you have all 150 memorized yourself?
Patrick Madrid: Well, now if I said yes to that question that could appear boastful. If I said no to that question, that could appear as though I have a lot of work yet to do, so I will just say no because I have a lot of work yet to do when it comes to memorizing scripture, but I am fairly far down the road.
Chris Cash: Right, I will admit readily that I am by no means very good at memorizing much of anything, so–
Patrick Madrid: So let me add a thought for you, Chris, if you can memorize your Social Security number or the Pledge of Allegiance or your phone number or anything like that, you can memorize Scripture passages and really what we think of as those important things to memorize, we do memorize in this world, but there are things like Scripture verses that can be memorized and really what it takes is not only understanding of what is being said in the passage, but also just spending a little bit of time committing it to memory. It is really not that difficult and that is yet another one of the things that I am trying to accomplish in this book is to introduce people to the fact that yes, you as a Catholicâ€”especially you as a Catholic can know and even memorize Scripture so that it will be readily available for you.
So you are by no means alone in that you do not memorize Scripture, but it is certainly not a problem that cannot be overcome.
Chris Cash: Very well said and very well put. What made you choose 150 for this? Did you start off with a hundred and say, “I have got to go farther?”
Patrick Madrid: Well, it was not anything that mundane. I guess, really what I had hoped originally to do was to produce a book called, “365 Bible Verses Every Catholic Should Know” and the idea of course is that it would be one verse for each day and that is for a year, and in the course of the year, you would be able to travel through a good portion of Scripture.
Unfortunately, publishers do not always think in those terms. They are thinking more in terms of how much it would cost to produce these books and all of those things, which is natural because they have to bear the financial burden of those things, so in discussion with my Acquisitions Editor and talking about the shape of this project, the figure sort of settled on 150 verses because I wanted the book to be substantial, but not ponderous and on the other hand, I wanted to have a manageable number of Bible passages so that it was not so overwhelming that somebody felt like they were picking up a telephone book or a dictionary. I wanted something right in the middle.
Chris Cash: Sounds like a very good rationale for that. Is thereâ€”let us talk a little bit about how the book is structured. Now, you have got content set up in categories, of course based on the subject matter. You want to run down a few of the different types of categories and what kind of things the readers are going to find there?
Patrick Madrid: Sure. The book is arranged according to the following chapters. There is approximately ten chapters. So we have got the first chapter on the One True God and then the chapter on Jesus Christ as True God and True Man, a chapter on Salvation, a chapter on Divine Revelation and that would include of course Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition, a chapter on the Church, another on Evangelization, a chapter on the Sacraments, another chapter on the Communion of Saints, which of course would include Mary, a chapter on trials and temptations, another on the Law of Love, another on the Sanctity of Human Life and then quite fittingly, at the very end of the book, the four last things Death and Judgment, Heaven and Hell.
And so what I tried to do was to cover a great sweep of issues and everything from theological issues as well as practical issues, day to day issues, trials and temptations, how to love one another and things like moral issues, abortion and contraception and then the final issues that we all must face, death and judgment, heaven and hell, and maybe I should say, death and judgment, heaven or hell, and the idea of the structure of the book was to guide the reader through these 150 passages ranging from the Book of Revelation all the way back to the Book of Genesis and in that way offering a brief commentary at the end of each of these passages show the reader how these passages can apply in his or her daily life.
Chris Cash: So which area of the book did you find most interesting putting together?
Patrick Madrid: The most interestingâ€”hard to say really. I am so fascinated with Scripture as it is, but I enjoyed the process of writing my own commentaries. Some are longer than others, but I enjoyed offering some pointers on what particular aspects of these verses jump out to me. And you could take any one of the verses in this book and volumes could be written on that particular passage, so what the reader is getting in this case is not just the passage itself, which is the most important thing of all, but secondarily at least, the reader is also getting a little bit of my thoughts on that passage. Some of the things that it means to me and some of the situations that I have seen this particular passage being hopeful and so, ideally when the person who reads this book goes through it, here she is going to come across a lot of life issues that hopefully are going to be applicable to their own lives.
Chris Cash: What was the biggest thing that you learned personally putting this book together?
Patrick Madrid: Well, I guess I learned a lot about some of the areas that I wrote about. I had to do some research to put together some of the commentaries and in the research, I discovered new elements, things that I had not thought of before and things about that particular passage that I had anticipated. So for example, I have my footnotes or referring to St. Thomas Aquinas and St. Augustine and I found as I did my ancillary reading in the writings of both of those great and learned Catholic Scholars, I found that so many of their insights which went so far beyond any of the insights I might have had, they really enriched my thinking and really helped me to appreciate Sacred Scripture all the more even as I was writing the book.
Chris Cash: Was there any part of the book that you found particularly challenging putting together or that really stretched you or did you just feel very comfortable with the whole entirety of it?
Patrick Madrid: Well, I guess I could say that I felt comfortable with the project as a whole, but what stretched and challenged me was any author or most authors at least is that I was coming to a book of books. I was coming to the Sacred Text itself, these are the Words of God conveyed to us in the words of men and 2000 years worth of commentaries had been written by far greater minds than mine about the New Testament and as well as the Old Testament for that matter and so the biggest challenge for me was trying to come up with something that would be not just original, but also to some extent useful.
So much has been said about Scripture that one can be tempted to say, “Well, what more is there to be said?” “What more can be said about Scripture?” And the fact that people can continue to draw water from that well just shows us the inexhaustible riches of Sacred Scripture because this is Divine Scriptureâ€”divine meaning in spite of words, so I guess to kind of circle back around to my answer to answer your question, the biggest challenge was trying to find within myself comments and insights or aspects of my own experience with these passages that I thought might be helpful and not repetitive, not what people have already said.
Chris Cash: So when someone sits down to read this book, how would you suggest they do it? Would you still suggest even though it is not 365 passages, but would you suggest sitting down and taking one passage a day to kind of sit down and meditate on?
Patrick Madrid: I think that is a great way to do it, I mean, if you had four months and you wanted to take a passage a day; in the course of four months, you would get through just about the entire book. If you wanted to stretch it out in Monday through Friday, read a verse and meditate and hopefully even memorize that verse, you could accomplish this in six months. You could go through all 150 verses and really find yourself much more familiar with Scripture than you would have been when you started.
Chris Cash: I do not know. If I was going to take on the memorizing each verse, I might want to take two years at that.
Patrick Madrid: Yes, some people are better at memorizing than others. I have always had a hopefully, an unholy envy of people who have photographic memories and can keep these kinds of things firmly fixed in their mind. I am not quite that way myself, but I find with enough repetition, these things do stick.
Chris Cash: Alright, we are going to take a short break to hear from our sponsor and when we come back, we will be speaking more with Patrick Madrid about “150 Bible Verses Every Catholic Should Know,” as well as maybe touching on a few of the other projects that Pat is working on right now. This is the Catholic Spotlight.
Chris Cash: And we are back on the Catholic Spotlight with Patrick Madrid talking a little bit more about “150 Bible Verses Every Catholic Should Know.” Any real favorite areas of Scripture that you would want to bring out for the listeners?
Patrick Madrid: Well, it might sound convenient for me to say that all 150 are my favorite!
Chris Cash: Well, absolutely!
Patrick Madrid: But I would say that–
Chris Cash: You did have a lot of Scripture Verses to pare out of the 4000 or so Scripture verses that are not as important then, I guess.
Patrick Madrid: Well, of course, all scriptures is important, but the hardest part, as I mentioned in the foreword to this bookâ€”the hardest part was figuring out what to not put in because since it is only 150 passages, that means that the great bulk of Sacred Scripture is not going to be presented here, so that was a challenge and I found myself at times really having to agonize between one verse or the other and having to choose which one to live in and which one to take out.
So I came away from it with an even greater appreciation for the richness of Scripture and how much material is there for us to meditate upon.
This kind of book, I would say, this book could be understood or likened to training wheels on a bicycle. It is designed to help somebody into reading Scripture. It is not designed to be a replacement for Scripture and far from being a book that would be the goal of the reader to just read this book, I want the book to become obsolete quickly so that once the reader has his appetite and he is interested now maybe more than before that this book will become unnecessary because he will have moved to deeper waters. That is what I am hoping for.
So this is a book that is unusual for authors, but very much in this case, I wrote this book hoping that it would become obsolete for that particular reader as quickly as possible.
Chris Cash: Yes, do not tell your publisher that.
Patrick Madrid: Well, what the publisher hopes as I do is that the more people read this book and the more they decide, “Well, this has helped me to become a better student and a better apostle when it comes to Scripture that they will be moved to give copies to their friends and family and this is a kind of book that certainly that you can give to anyone of any age, but in particular for high school and college students or for people who are newly married and people going through different situations in life where they need the advice that God has given us in Sacred Scripture.
So the more people who read it, I think the better we will become as Catholics when it comes to explaining and sharing the same faith because we know Scripture better.
Chris Cash: Now what got you involved in Apologetics and Scripture in the first place? I know you are a cradle Catholic, but I am going to assume here that you probably were not always so enthusiastic about Scriptures you are now?
Patrick Madrid: I, as you said, I have always been Catholic, thank God and my mom and dad did a wonderful job of raising us in the safe, thank God, and I always appreciated and reviewed Scripture. I did not always know it very well and as a kid and teenager and even in my young adult years, I did not really know the Bible very well outside of all the Scripture that I had soaked up for years and years by hearing it preached on and read out at mass on Sunday and on weekday masses, so I knew a lot of Scripture from osmosis, but I did not know where to find the certain teaching or somebody might say, “Well, Jesus said thus and soâ€¦” I could say, “Well, yes, He did say that,” but I could not tell you where. I could not find it for you.
So locating these teachings and Scripture became a big thing for me and it was very helpful in my career in Apologetics. I have never for a moment had any lack of enthusiasm for the Catholic faith. In other words, I have never been tempted to leave the Catholic Church. I have never gone through a period where I doubted my Catholic faith. I certainly never went through any phase whatsoever and again, I thank God for this grace, but I never went through any phase at any time in my life where I descended from or doubted any teaching of the Catholic Church.
So from an intellectual standpoint, I was always convinced morally speaking in my own personal behavior, I can honestly say that there were certainly times and even stretches of time where I did not live my Catholic faith very fervently or I found that I was Catholic in an intellectual sense, but not necessarily in a heartfelt sense when it came to actually living the faith and doing and not doing the things that God wants us to do or not do. But that changed eventually and I grew in my faith and as I grew in my faith, I came to appreciate the role of the Scripture had in that growth and as I became more and more in Apologetics moving from the world of sales which is what I was doing previously into the world of Apologetics, I discovered how indispensable a knowledge of Sacred Scripture really is, not only for the work that I was doing in Apologetics, but also just as a father and husband and just operating in the world requires a type of Spiritual acumen that sadly, many people do not haveâ€”even many Catholics do not have it and they could readily avail themselves of it if they simply spent more time reading God’s Word in Sacred Scripture.
Chris Cash: So you now are doingâ€”quite a bit of speaking, you have got a fairly large number of books that are available if someone is interested in having you come in and speak, where would they come to look for you?
Patrick Madrid: Well, the best place to go is my website which is patrickmadrid.com and those listening to the podcast right now who may not be familiar with my work, they might be wondering how to spell my name, it is Madrid like the city in Spain, so just type in my name, patrickmadrid.com and that will take you right to the website and the website has information about my seminars. I have done quite a few debates so the videos and audios of those debates are all available. There is quite a bit there at patrickmadrid.com.
Chris Cash: Do you enjoy doing debates?
Patrick Madrid: I do and I do not. I enjoy them an awful lot afterward, but the time leading up to a debate, I find usually very nerve wracking partly because doing a debate properly requires a lot of study and preparation and I am busy with a lot of different things as you might imagine, so I having to set aside the required amount of time to do a proper job of preparing for a debate means that there are other things that are not getting done and that can be a bit nerve wracking, plus I do not relish confrontation.
I am not one of these guys who just love to argue and likes to clash with other people. That is not me. It is not my personality. I will if I have to and sometimes, you do have to. That is just the nature of things, but I very much enjoy the debate itself. So once the debate has started and we are off and running, I enjoy that an awful lot and I particularly enjoy after the debates are over hearing from people who have listened to a debate CD or they were at the debate or in some other way they came across it and they were helped by the debate, helped to become a better Catholic or in many cases, I hear from people who are Protestants for example beforehand and they listen to one of the debates and then they felt prompted to become Catholics and I have known any number of people who have become Catholics as a result of listening to some of these debates, so I thank God that he uses those types of exchanges for His greater glory and also for the propagation of the Catholic faith.
I am by no means the best debater out there. I am certainly not the most polished speaker or the most knowledgeable and I do not have an illusion that I am, but even so–
Chris Cash: At least you are willing to step up and take them on.
Patrick Madrid: Well that is just it. You have to be willing to do it. We are called in told in Sacred Scripture 1 Peter 3:15 to always be ready to give a defense to anyone who asks you for the reason, for the hope that is in you and do it with gentleness and respect as what the next verse says. So I try to take that admonition as seriously as I can and from time to time that has taken the form of being challenged to do a public debate and so that is where these debates come from and there again, anyone who is interested in hearing any of them, they are all available at patrickmadrid.com.
Chris Cash: That sounds pretty awesome in itself. Now, you are also involved with Envoy Magazine. You want to talk about specifically what is Envoy and what your involvement is with that?
Patrick Madrid: Sure, I never tire of talking about Envoy magazine.
Chris Cash: It is good that you have your favorite subjects.
Patrick Madrid: I do, yes. Envoy and it derives from the word in French which means to be an ambassador or someone who is sent on a mission and the goal of Envoy magazine is to equip Catholics to be good apostles. People who are sent forth by Christ to share and explain and defend the truths of the Catholic faith and that is what Envoy magazine is all about, to bring through our articles and departments the humor and all of the other things that go into Envoy to bring the reader and experience that will not only enrich the knowledge of the Catholic faith, but also give him a sense of confidence so that he knows how to go about promoting it and explaining it.
I published or I have been publishing Envoy magazine since we started the magazine back in 1996, so it is 12 years now, it is hard to believe and we have been going strong. A year ago, we formed an alliance with Belmont Abby College down in Charlotte, North Carolinaâ€”a wonderful Catholic Benedictine school–
Chris Cash: Which by the way is closely linked to the Catholic Company as well.
Patrick Madrid: That is correct. In fact, it is not too far from where the Catholic Company is located.
Chris Cash: Not too far from the Catholic Company and I believe that one of our owners is on the Board of Belmont Abbey as well.
Patrick Madrid: Yes, he is. In fact, I know who you are talking about and I do not blame him for being on the Board because Belmont Abbey College is a wonderful and I think in many respects little known Catholic Collegeâ€”a jewel down in the Bible belt and it was started by Benedictine monks in the mid 1870s, so it was not long after the Civil War, the beautiful sprawling grounds upon which the College sits as well as the Abbeyâ€”it is just a small portion of the total grounds that it has and this was originally a slave plantation during the time of the Civil War and when the Benedictine Fathers began their Abbey, they also started Belmont Abbey College so it has been in continuous operation since shortly after the Civil War in a very unlikely place that were used for Catholics who would not typically think of Catholics flourishing in the Deep South like that, but they have been.
So the Envoy Institute of Belmont Abbey College is this new hybrid. It is this new alliance between Envoy Magazine and Belmont Abbey College through which we delivered now into the students, but also to people all over the country the same information in Envoy Magazine and hi-powered conferences. We just had our first annual conference at Belmont Abbey College. It was the first Annual Envoy Institute Conference on more relativism. And we had a powerhouse line up of speakers, Peter Craiff was there, Teresa Tamiyo from Catholic Radio, Paul Thigpen from Southern Catholic College, a number of very high profile and quite excellent speakers were there to present on the subject.
And I am really happy to say that the entire conferenceâ€”it was a weekend conference starting on Friday afternoon going until Sunday afternoon, we had the entire conference professionally recorded and the recordings, both video and audio are going to be available very shortly. They will be not only available as DVDs and CDs, which I hope the Catholic Company will carry, but also, they will be downloadable directly from the website.
So people who are interested in more information on the Envoy Institute can go to envoyinstitute.net.
Chris Cash: Sounds like you are very much on the cutting edge with the tech there.
Patrick Madrid: Well, these days, people are more and more used to getting content directly off the internet. So we are trying to not just follow that trend, we are trying to stay current and even maybe get ahead of it by delivering this content in streaming audio and video, downloadable audio and video and the more time goes on and the more our financial resources expand, a better job will be able to do and the more content we can deliver.
Chris Cash: Well you are definitely ahead of us in offering downloadable content other than this little podcast we do here, but–
Patrick Madrid: Well, this is a start and I am happy. Believe me, I am really happy to be part of this beginning of what you are doing on the internet for the Catholic Company and I have no doubt it will grow to encompass quite a few more things.
Chris Cash: Yes, well we are at show number, I believe it is number 66 today, so we have been doing it for a little bit now and well, we are about out of time today though, so was there anything else you wanted to share other than repeating that website of yours again.
Patrick Madrid: Well, let me start with that because I do not want to forget thatâ€”patrickmadrid.com and the only thing I would like to share is just my sense of mission for how important it is that people who are listening right now take seriously this statement by St. Peter, “Always be ready to give a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you, but do it with gentleness and respect.” So whether it is reading a book like “150 Bible Verses Every Catholic Should Know” or one of my other books, or listening to the talks given to the most recent Envoy Institute Conference or going into my website, patrickmadrid.com and looking at the debates and all of the other things, all of those things, everything I do is geared hopefully and God-willing is geared towards showing people how they can without any formal training or changing their lives how they can explain and share and defend the faith in a way that fits with what St. Peter said in 1 Peter 3. That is my goal and that is what I would like to share.
I am so delighted that you invited me to speak to you today, I appreciate the opportunity.
Chris Cash: Well, you are very welcome Patrick. We hope to have you on again sometime in the future and it has been an absolute pleasure to get a chance to talk to you. I do not think I have ever actually had a chance to talk to you before, so this has been a great first for me here.
Patrick Madrid: It has been my pleasure. I appreciate the invitation.
Chris Cash: And all you listeners out there, be sure to go on over and vote for us on Podcast Alley, it is a new month so we can use your votes to help us get in front of more people as well as leave us some reviews over on iTunes; every bit of that helps to bring in new listeners and help to make this show better than it was before. God bless!
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