:: Featured on Impacting Culture, University Journal! ::

I'm honored and grateful! John Paul the Great Catholic University has featured a great interview with me regarding impacting culture for Christ through the arts on their Art and Entertainment Journal!

Check it out here, and let me know what you think!

"Faith and wonder, gratitude and grace – they are also live wires, unassuming words until you touch them. This is why we as humans create, I think – we make to reach out towards the mystery which is God, found in beauty; found in fellow man; found in – as Pasquale demonstrates – music." (excerpt)

How are you investing your talents?

Is it baseball season yet?

My entire life, I really only played one sport and that was baseball. I loved it when I was a child and I still do to this day. I played my entire life and through high school. I was pretty good, but nothing too fantastic. I just really loved the game. There is nothing quite like the smell of fresh cut grass in the afternoon. The feeling of stepping into the batter's box and looking right into the eyes of a pitcher throwing a nasty slider. It is awesome!

As I have gotten older, my days of playing baseball are resigned to suiting up once a year at my high school alumni game. Every year it feels as if the pitcher has gotten closer to me when I hit and the bases have gotten further away when it is time to run. I am also reminded of my age by the amount of ibuprofen I take the following day so I can relieve the soreness in every single joint and muscle.

There are times during the Lenten season when it reminds me of my baseball days. No matter how much I focus, I can't seem to hit the pitch and no matter how fast I run, I never seem to beat the throw to the bag. My prayer life feels "off" and I need to get refocused.  

Maybe I am oversimplifying this, but the more we focus, the more we see. Meaning, the more we  make an effort in our prayer lives, the clearer things become in our relationship with God. It is true, there are always times in life when we swing and miss, but even in baseball, an all star, heck a HALL OF FAMER fails about 70% of the time at the plate but a good hitter ALWAYS gets back to the plate!

People often ask me how I focus. For me it is through my song. It is through picking up my guitar and praying. That is my new baseball field. That is my batter's box where I get to take a swing at a pitch and hopefully make good contact with the ball.

We may strike out but we get another chance. We step back into the batter's box for another swing, another chance to succeed. Focused on God, you will not fail because God never fails. Ever. You will knock it out of the park.

How focused are you this Lent?

What are you doing to get "refocused"?

Are you slowing down to prepare for  the Easter celebration?

Lord God, make me smaller so I may never think I am bigger than You.

Lord God, make me slower so I may never think I can outrun your great love.

Lord God, make me weaker so in my weakness, You may dwell in me!





Ain't "No One" Like This Nun - Sharing the Living Water

Just like everyone else online, I had the chance to watch the "sister who rocked the world".

I couldn't help myself.  I had to click to see what everyone was talking about!  From the first bar, I knew this sister could sing. Dressed in her habit, Sister Cristina Scuccia lit up the stage singing Alicia Keys's "No One". Not with pyrotechnics or huge production, she wowed the world with her joy. PURE JOY! Her joy was infectious!  It was something much bigger then what was taking place on the stage.  People didn't see the image of a Catholic nun they had expected with furrowed brow and a ruler in hand, ready to swat your knuckles.  Rather, they saw pure joy -- the joy that we all long for in this life.  As she sang, the joy spread to everyone watching, and it hit me right between the eyes.

As she sang, the cameras showed the "wow'ed" judges. They were mesmerized. They all wanted her and begged her to come to their team. The cameras then focused on one judge in particular named, J-Ax.  Covered in tattoos, he is one of the most famous rappers in Italy and he was the first to turn around and see who was singing on that stage. I believe his turning around changed many lives, including his own.

The rest is internet history.  As J-Ax looked at this nun, he was stunned.  His eyes welled with tears and he stared at Sister Cristina as if he had seen a prayer come true.  You see for me, I imagine --  and this is just my imagination --  that J-Ax may have been going through some rough times lately and had asked God for a sign.  Maybe last week, maybe that day and when he turned around, God answered his prayer with the voice of an angel in Sister Cristina.  I have no idea what was on the heart of J-Ax nor does it really matter. I do know this: Something inside of him took a chance.

This Sunday's Gospel is about the Samaritan woman, but more importantly, it's about our thirst for living water.   We could go up and down on the historical significance of a Jew and a Samaritan woman, or even her sinful nature in regards to how many husbands she had, but what we need to make sure we never lose focus on is the "living water".  We cannot be satisfied with what the world tells us will satisfy us. We just can't. We have to long for more. We have to take chances and drink from the living water of Jesus Christ. God gives us these signs each and every day. We just need to turn around and see them.

I believe J-Ax has found living water.  I believe Sister Cristina will bring the good news and the living water to all she comes in contact with during this show and forever.  I believe a prayer was answered for him and for many this past week.  I can just feel it!  Sister Cristina said in an interview, “I came here because I have a gift and I want to share that gift".  She said, "I came to evangelize".

She already has evangelized. With her voice, her talent, her joy. and her vocation. I can only pray one day I will do the same with my music.

I have no idea if Sister Cristina will win.  I hope she does. I really do. One thing is for sure, she will change hearts and in this conversion, we all shall search for the living water.  

Sister chose J-Ax as her coach.  She will bring so many so much joy with her talent, and her vocation on that stage.  She will bring the truth.  She will bring the "living water" to him.  She will bring them Jesus.

“If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.’”

John 7

What do you thirst for? How will you quench it?