Placeholder Image

Take a pilgrimage through the liturgical year with “Be With The Word,” a weekly podcast that delves into human and psychological issues that surface in the upcoming Sunday Mass readings. Dr. Peter Malinoski and Dr. Gerry Crete invite you to join them as they discuss issues at the crossroad of Catholicism and psychology and provide action items each week that can enrich and transform your life.


Five Ways to Hear With the Heart

15th Sun of Ordinary Time - Cycle A - Episode 34



Overall Takeaways

The parable of the sower and the seed is about being receptive to God’s gifts and promptings. It’s a story that’s meant to touch our heart and soul as well as to be intellectually understood. Learn how to be spiritually and psychologically more receptive to the soil of God’s word.


Key Verses from Sunday Mass Readings

“We know that all creation is groaning in labor pains even until now;
and not only that, but we ourselves,
who have the firstfruits of the Spirit,
we also groan within ourselves
as we wait for adoption, the redemption of our bodies.”

“A sower went out to sow.
And as he sowed, some seed fell on the path,
and birds came and ate it up.
Some fell on rocky ground, where it had little soil.
It sprang up at once because the soil was not deep,
and when the sun rose it was scorched,
and it withered for lack of roots.
Some seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it.
But some seed fell on rich soil, and produced fruit,
a hundred or sixty or thirtyfold.
Whoever has ears ought to hear.”

“Gross is the heart of this people,
they will hardly hear with their ears,
they have closed their eyes,
lest they see with their eyes
and hear with their ears
and understand with their hearts and be converted,
and I heal them.”


Where Catholicism Meets Psychology

Jesus teaches in parables to help Him reach our hearts just as we teach our children moral lessons through fables and stories. Jesus wants us to learn in an integrated way--not just intellectually through studying our catechism--but through stories that can change our heart, soul, and even affect our body sensations.

When Jesus talks about seed falling on the hard path, we can see that psychologically as a closed mind. When we are afraid or cognitive inflexible in hearing, the seed is landing on that hard path.

The rocky soil are the moments of trial and persecution. We all may know we need to stay calm and recollected, but when life’s irritations or frustrations arise, it’s easy to get carried away by our passions and allow that seed to wither away in those moments.

Seed falling among the thorns could mean our attachments to worldly cares and riches or they may refer to things like anxiety that shades the seed and steals its nutrients, preventing it from truly growing.

The good soil is receptive. The essence of life is in the seed, but the seed needs the soil. There’s a necessary relationship. It’s interesting to note the Latin root of humus, which is the organic material in the soil, is the same as humility, which is needed to be in relationship with Christ.

Action Plan for the Week

Practice at least one of the four ways to hear with your heart, or do all four this week:

  1. Allow yourself to be influenced by God and by loved ones. Be receptive to the soil.
  2. Spend some time in reflection, perhaps in your prayer, spiritual reading, or observations. Let those experiences sink in.
  3. Make some space to be with those reflections. Slow down daily life. Let go of distractions. Allow the nourishment in the soil to reach your heart.
  4. Take some kind of action. That’s the fruit. Do something differently as a result.

Past Shows

If you liked this show, share it!