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The Catholic Midlife

Education Podcasts

Join Curtis and Karen Herbert of The Catholic Midlife as they address the challenges and joys of midlife from a uniquely Catholic perspective. Grow deeper into this season of life with wisdom from theology, scripture, positive psychology and neuroscience, and proven coaching and leadership skills. Let’s spark a midlife renewal and create a firm foundation for the second half of life!


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Join Curtis and Karen Herbert of The Catholic Midlife as they address the challenges and joys of midlife from a uniquely Catholic perspective. Grow deeper into this season of life with wisdom from theology, scripture, positive psychology and neuroscience, and proven coaching and leadership skills. Let’s spark a midlife renewal and create a firm foundation for the second half of life!




56 | Forgiveness is the air you breathe

Forgiveness is one of those things you know you should do but nobody tells you how. It’s not easy. And it’s indispensable to the Christian life. In this episode we start off a podcast season on forgiveness with a theological perspective: Forgiveness is a way of life. Think more in terms of identity to step into than another obligation for you to deal with. Forgiveness is like a door that allows forgiveness to be received and to be given. The question is: how will we allow the door to open a...


55 | The Marriage Crisis: J.P. De Gance Surprises and Inspires

There’s an enormous evangelization opportunity for us. It’s a wonderful opportunity to meet people with their deepest needs. What is it? It’s marriage. People of all ages, even today in 2023, long for great marriages. We, Catholic parishes everywhere, can help. J.P. De Gance helps parishes help others build marriages and, by the way, grow their own parishes. In fact, his organization Communio has a track record of doing exactly that. Learn about the state of marriage, why it has everything...


54 | Listening Violations and Victories

We commit listening violations frequently. It’s natural to jump in with our me-centric perspective. Listening, however, is other-centric when it’s performed at more than a surface level. We talk about some of the common listening violations and suggest alternatives. We want you to come away from this episode with ideas about how to spot what’s missing when your spouse is listening to you and what you might be overlooking as a listener. Listening is directly proportional to giving and...


53 | Three Marriage Tensions You Must Master

When we are not satisfied with something in our marriage, it’s up to us to do something about it. Because that’s when things change, when someone is ready to make the effort to figure out what and how to change the patterns in the relationship. Often we have an idea that it’s just one “thing” that we are after. “Things” however almost always exist on a continuum. For instance, there’s no vision if we don’t have enough of both light and darkness because no contrast means there’s nothing to...


52 | Lessons From Connected Marriage Experts

Join the conversation with Phil and Michelle at Connected Marriage, which has been transferring skills to married couples for more than a decade. Midlife is a time when our past investments and patterns start to yield fruit. You have mixed results. What’s going to change? Where is turning toward your spouse (not) happening? Also, why do women tend to give up on an area of relationship at about the time that the men are starting to notice it? Join us! Get in touch with guests Phil or...


51 | Marriage: Write the Next Chapter of Your Marriage

Grow grow grow. Worried about how great your marriage is going to be when it’s back to “just the two of us”? You should be! Maybe not worried, exactly, but proactive. What to do? Date nights? Common interests? Karen and Curtis invite you to take a step back and look at the bigger picture. What’s really going to serve this marriage? Think in terms of growth. Think SHARP! S is for Shared Vision. What are things you want to be able to say about your marriage in 10 years? What stories will you...


50 | St. Francis de Sales Continues to Amaze!

Everything pertains to love! That’s the title of a new Papal letter out on St. Francis de Sales, Totum Amoris Est, published on the 400-yr anniversary of the death of de Sales. It inspired us. St. Francis’ description of the love of God uses emotional language instead of dry philosophical arguments. It’s striking how de Sales worked hard to make loving God be attractive to his contemporaries. It was also striking how de Sales described the devout life (being holy) in terms of having an...


49 | Goals: The Art and Science of Setting Goals Part II

Life goals are so important! Without goals, momentum starts to take over your life. You live in reaction mode. Your past controls your future. Your day-to-day life blocks your bigger questions about what your life goals are. What are you going to put on the table? Because God is waiting to help you bring your gifts and talents into play. We often want God to simply tell us what to do. At The Catholic Midlife podcast, we believe He is often waiting for YOU to tell HIM something you want to...


48 | Goals: The Art and Science of Setting Goals Part I

The question for goals is: What is the harvest that you want? Goals are all about the Law of the Farm: you plan, you prepare the field by removing rocks and tilling, you plant, you water, you do the right things in the right season, and finally you harvest. Goals engage the law of the farm by creating the plan & engaging the process. There is SCIENCE to this; there is also ART. You make a lot of decisions along the way that changes the process or influence the outcome. Goals are so...


47| Goals: Because the Rest of Your Life Matters

“Why Goals?” Because the rest of your life matters. Grab that mindset. Often we are merely coping. Striving to do what is necessary and carve out a little “life” in between. When we believe that the rest of our life matters in terms of what we live, do, say, and be - we have a different outlook. The people around us need us to show up at our best. The culture around us needs the Christian perspective and service; the life-giving, loving, and supportive presence that justifies being called...


46| Goals: Why they fail and what to do

“Why can't I achieve this goal?” There are a lot of reasons. For example, we don't always set the right goals. And when we set them, we don't always have a clear sense of what it will actually be like to achieve them. Also, we have a bunch of unspoken goals that we're already working on consciously and unconsciously, and those can take priority without us even realizing it. So we may not even appreciate that we're already working on many goals. Think about what's your approach to achieving...


45 | Christmas: You are an Agent of the New Creation

Christ is born to be King! He IS King, now. Merry Christmas! That makes us agents of the New Creation because Christ has already started the New Creation. Paul talks about this a lot. God wants to dwell with man and will bring heaven down to earth and they will exist together in the new creation; think of the New Jerusalem descending in Revelations. Christ, he says, is the “first fruits” of the new creation. He’s the first to be resurrected, to show us the way. He’s sent the spirit to us,...


44 | You are a Citizen of Heaven Now in the New Creation

You are a citizen of Heaven - did you know that? Paul wrote that in Philippians 3. His listeners would immediately know that’s like being a citizen of Rome. Philippi was a colony. Roman citizens there were agents and emissaries of Roman culture, law, language, customs, and power. Roman citizens living in Philippi weren't interested in leaving Philippi and going to Rome if things got dicey. They would call on the emperor to send in backup. John’s gospel, which is our focus this season,...


43 | Advent: Find the seven signs of glory in the gospel of John

John is determined to show how the Shekinah has returned in an unexpected way: in the person of Jesus. Then who, when, where, and how of its return is shocking. There could be no messiah without addressing the Temple question. The Messiah would restore the temple. Period. No restored temple, no messiah. The Temple was central to Jewish thought, history, practice, mindset - to everything. If the messiah did not restore the Shekinah, which is the glorious presence of God, there was no messiah....


42| Advent; Jesus as temple, a powerful lens for Christmas meaning

Most of our listeners know that using the covenant “lens” is a powerful organizing principle for reading Scripture. It helps explain what’s happening and creates insights for us today. The Temple “lens” is a similar powerful organizing principle. There are some surprises there, at least for me (Curtis). I knew Jesus referred to himself as a temple but somehow that slid past me because, well, that old Jerusalem temple isn’t around anymore and its role was replaced. Or maybe I heard growing up...


41| It’s Advent, So why are we talking about Genesis One?

The creation account in Genesis is not understood by modern people. We’ve pretty much missed every important point in it. We have read all of our modern preconceptions into it, wondered why it makes little sense, and then created pointless controversies about why it is so. Listen to the podcast to grasp what Genesis is actually all about. God Resting Doesn’t Mean Watching the Superbowl, with snacks We can look at how the words of Genesis are used in other places in Scripture. We can also...


40 | Holding your life together in gratitude

Gratitude has its ins and outs! Karen discusses how gratitude shows up in our lives, points to a couple of pitfalls, and shares some tips. We are grateful for you, our listeners, and invite you to join the discussion at The Catholic Midlife podcast.


39 | The Surprising Mind: How should you relate to your emotions?

What a great question! How should you relate to your emotions, indeed? We paint a picture for you in this episode, which wraps up our Surprising Mind season. We also share 10 common, erroneous myths about emotions and talk about how we have synergy or overlap with certain healing ministries. Painting A Picture for relating to your emotions Think of a Catholic man or woman in midlife, which you probably are. And, in this person’s life, her dad passed away several years ago. She’s had some...


38 | Mental and Emotional Release

We are not OK with it I'm coming to realize that there are people that believe that they don't deserve compassion. As you sit there, you might think that's ridiculous because you know that God made each of us, so of course, we deserve compassion. But then you start digging down into some specific situations and particular circumstances and you find, if you dig enough, that you believe you don’t deserve compassion in some area of life. Like the time you made a mistake or you acted poorly or...


37 | The Surprising Mind: Working with your elephant, Part II

Your unconscious mind is in charge of creating and executing your habits! Habits include your thoughts and emotions. Brushing your teeth is a habit. So is the way you manage conflict. Your style of talking to yourself is also a habit - what’s your self-talk like? Is it mostly positive? Negative? Some things just “set you off”, right? Those “things” are triggers that cause a habit to kick in. Habits of the mind are very powerful. These are typically a huge factor in how much we enjoy life,...