Matthew Kelly

Ok, what are everyones thoughts on this speaker/author. He is speaking at our parish this week and I have heard several of his talks and read “the rythm of life” and “rediscovering Catholisism”

I just don’t get it. He does not say anything wrong but it is confusing to me why his following is so cultish. I will go to the speaking events but the fervor in our parish is at record levels, everyone is just gushing over him. If I have to hear the phrases “classroom of silence” or “The Great Spiritual North Star” or “the- best-version-of -yourself” Instead of contemplative prayer, God, or be Holy I am going to pull my hair out.

Wow, sorry to hear you feel that way. I am a HUGE fan of Matthew Kelly’s and can tell you he has inspired me in many ways.

What I love about the man and his message is the delivery. He calls you to live the life God calls you too in such a gentle and loving way. I am also a big fan of Father Corapi’s and to me they both are saying the same thing but in very different messages.

Its like all the wonderful devotions in the church, not everyone is drawn to the same one ~ everyone is different and everyone has different ways in which they go to God. Ultimately the result is the same just a different view along the same path.

I can tell you that Matthew Kelly is remarkable in the age that he started his mission. He is one of the most humble and truely genuine people I have ever been fortunate to meet in my life. I have written him letters of thanks for his message and have hand written letters back from him. He’s not a flash in the pan, he is who he is.

As a CCD teacher, I love his message and quote him frequently for my kids. Its simple and gets the job done in a way they are open and receptive too. My 16 yr old daughter loves to listen to him.

So while he may not be for you, he is getting God’s message out there and many have been touched by this. So praise God that Matthew is around to help stir up the people.

May God bless you on your journey!

I’ve been fairly impressed with his writings and the videotapes I have seen of him. I think he does deliver a message that at times may be broader than just a Catholic base. I assume this is because many of his audiences come from more than just Catholicism. With that said, I haven’t heard anything that I would say is in conflict with the teaching of the Catholic Church. I would assume when he has a more homogeneous Catholic audience his message is more directed toward the Catholic Church. I heard at least one tract that consisted largely of talking about his Catholic faith.

I heard him at our parish and I thought he was a good speaker, but I was not overly impressed. I thought he did a good job but after a 45 minutes of ‘yes or yes’ I wanted to stand up and yell, “Stop manipulating the audience!”. I also did not think he should have been an Advent Mission speaker - but I am kind of old-school in that respect and would have prefered a talk by a member of the Religious community.

Aaaahhhhhhh. I thought the name sounded familiar but I couldn’t place it. But after saying that, I now recall.

I got two or three CDs from him via the CD of the month club by Lighthouse Catholic Media. I thought they were great.

He does seem to speak broadly but I think his message is about being the best you can be.

I’d recommend him.

I have heard him speak several times at Catholic Men’s Conferences. He is a very dynamic speaker, a good sense of humor, and fairly “lite” (that is me trying to be nice by not saying “not very spiritually or intellectually challenging”). Still, I liked him and the men at the conferences pretty much LOVED him.

You can listen to some of his talks here.

Click on “Channel 2” and go down to his picture. There you will find free downloads of his talks.

Thanks to everyone who posted.
I agree that he is “light” and I agree that he is a dynamic speaker. But what I don’t understand is the cultish following. People who are going to his talk tonight are actually having T shirts made that say “Yes or Yes”
My question is how can a "motivational speaker influence MEANINGFUL and lasting life changes if he insistes on being light and not going deep. I think his influence is a flash in the pan.

No, I don’t agree. I know several men who were so inspired by him, that they started to go deeper into their faith, joined Parish Men’s groups, got involved in Parish organizations, such as St. Vincent DePaul, started attending daily Mass, got involved with a Liturgical ministry such as reader, usher, or EMHC, and have since inspired their families to practice their faith more deeply. It all started with listening to him talk, then buying and reading one or more of his books.

Pardon the inapt analogy, but he is rather like marijuana, a “gateway drug”. :rotfl:
I am perfectly OK with people getting hooked on the Catholic faith through him.

I think people tend to get excited because they’ve never before come across a catholic speaker that didn’t make them nod off or start daydreaming.

Thankfully, he’s not your priest. He’s a traveling show. Once he’s moved on, parlay the opening he’s made into some deeper stuff. Start a bible study (Jeff Cavin’s is nice), begin a prayer group, suggest periodic adoration to your pastor.

Enthusiasm lasts only a short while. Use it to push roots into deeper soil.

Ahhh this is exactly how I feel.
A funny thing too is that Mark Hart (last years flash in the pan in my parish) Is also coming to speak but you won’t find it advertized anywhere near Matthew kelly’s mug.(which is plastered everywhere). How quickly people forget the enlightenment he bestowed upon us.:rolleyes: They year before that it was the singer Matt Maher. Can’t wait until next year’s savior.:rolleyes: Gotta love the American Idol mentality we have.
Actually it kind of reminds me of a certain SNL skit. I fully expect Matthew to say “In a van down by the river” tonight. LOL

this is a good thing. I agree. Maybe I am just angry that people need such a sideshow motivational halftime lockeroom talk to get engaged rather than the Miracles at Mass or in life.

We need the whole soup to nuts style of speakers/apologists. Scott Hahn can be too fast in his speaking style & his explanations for some people, for example. I have to be in a certain mood to read/listen to diff. types @ diff. times. Coffee in the AM w/ Hahn and a glass of wine in PM w/ Kelly etc.

I am 293 pages into Rediscovering Catholicism: Journeying Toward Our Spiritual North Star and I think it’s great. I was cautious at first when I received it because I hadn’t heard of the speaker, but now I would like to hear him publicly. There is hard a single page in the book that I haven’t highlighted something and there are a few dozen highlighter tape flags in it, too.

When I received it at the FOCUS National Leadership Conference last year, it came with a postcard that allows you to send away for six free copies to give to friends and I’m definitely going to do so when I finish the book. Curtis Martin (coincidentally, of FOCUS) once said in a talk that he no longer recommends spiritual reading to somebody else unless he has read the book himself.

Mr. Kelly definitely could have left out some of the phrases that you took issue with. I didn’t like them either! “The Great Spiritual North Star” and “the- best-version-of -yourself” bleh. It felt so Catholic lite to read those phrases, but thankfully he didn’t use them too much. I haven’t noticed the phrase “classroom of silence” but I don’t take issue with that one; I think that’s an authentic concept in Catholic spirituality, actually.

The North Star reference could be some cultural reference that makes more sense to his original Australian origin. Or he could be really big into sailing. I don’t know, but I has slightly put off by the substitution of that phrase for our Lord.

Anyway: I recommend the book. It seems to demand SO MUCH perfection of you in the beginning, almost to the point that I felt like it was rejecting me. I know I need to strive more for holiness and excellence in my life, but it was making me feel useless for a little while there.

But it changes. The book is not “Catholic lite”. I say this as a person who sometimes comes across as “Catholic too-heavy” and needs to learn to play well with others! I’ve never heard the man speak but I’m going to check out those mp3’s!

I guess that’s just something he does when he speaks publicly; I didn’t encounter it in his book. I’m not dismissing your impression of his skill as a speaker, but I challenge you to question your preconception that a priest or religious would automatically be the best speaker. I think orthodox Laypeople may have done the most to encourage me to seek the fullness of faith, or at least equally as much as priests and bishops.

There can be a temptation to think that teaching the faith is a responsibility mainly of clergy and religious, to compartmentalize it away from our duties as laypeople outside of Mass. From the book (emphases mine):
Life is vocational. Each of us is created for a reason. WIth the shortage of vocations to the priesthood and religious life, we have forgotten that marriage and the single life are also worthy vocations. And because of our inability to reconcile sexual intimacy and holiness, the nobility of marriage as a vocation is often undermined. All this confusion leaves many people thinking that some people have a covation and other don’t. Everyone has a vocation, and unveiling that vocation is critically important to our experience of life. Life is vocational.
Matthew’s point is not, of course, to justify to his audience his vocation as lay speaker. But for any who might doubt the legitimacy of lay missionaries who make a living wage by it, perhaps it’s food for thought.

Wow, to hear the forum tell it, Kelly must be a different kind of speaker for different audiences. Rediscovering Catholicism has really challenged me to a deeper commitment! To give just one example, his recommendations on how to read the Bible have helped me a lot.

It is all too easy to read the story of Moses leading the Israelites out of slavery and into the desert, and think that we have nothing to learn, or that we would never complain like the Israelites did when food was scarce. The temptation is to read the Gospels and believe that we would never be cruel, calculated, vindictive, and hard-hearted, like the Pharisees. We are tempted to think that we would be the one leper who returns. But the ultimate temptation is to read the Bible and see ourselves only in Jesus.

Every single person in the Bible is put there to serve you. … Until you have learned to see yourself in every person in the Scruptures, you have not read the Bible

I don’t understand why one would assume that his intention is to have influence. His book

I don’t need to be right or to change anybody’s minds, but when I went to probe what orthodox Catholics think about a certain speaker or author, this forum is one of the places that I look. “Catholic lite” has a really dismissing effect, and I think it’s unfair to apply that appellation to Mr. Kelly. His book has some really good gems.

I have not heard Kelly speak live. I feel like a book is a better gauge of one’s beliefs. I think people should give him more of a chance. Not that anyone here has been insulting or anything, I’m not saying that.

This is a step too far. Have your doctor check you for a case of jealosy…

If you really think that your peers are hero-worshipers vacant of actual follow-through, you should just get on your knees about it. More for yourself than for them.

:thumbsup: Excellent post, I agree. TAKE ADVANTAGE of the enthusiasm such speakers can engender. I didn’t grow up in a Catholic household. The world had me so distracted by the time I reached high school that I may have never given faith a fair shake if it wasn’t for one lay man with a bible study.

I hadn’t had catechesis growing up, but his enthusiasm and depth attracted me to the faith. In short order I had a good starting foundation in scripture, patristics, catechism, apologetics and more. More importantly,

People, don’t dismiss speakers who don’t teach you anything new. Even if you don’t learn anything you didn’t already know, if they are teaching people something TRUE it will have a good effect on our parish.

And if your parish isn’t giving you the depth of Catholicism that you need, Matthew Kelly’s Rediscovering Catholicism has some great chapters on personal spiritual discipline! There are other authors, too.

Whoa tame it down there friend. I don’t think the “best-version-of-yourself” was coming out in that post. Is this what Matt Kelly would tell you to say?
Actually if yall want an update Matthew spoke to the adults and they loved it. He spoke to the teens and they didn’t. Mark hart blew the people away with his talk including me. While I get something from Matthew Kelly Mark Hart and Scott hahn are more my speed. A little more intelectual. I think that is what is meant by “light” not that he isn’t authentically Catholic but that he isn’t spirutally heavy.

One thing you might want to introspect on in your classroom today is your brand of Hero worship that others can’t not like someone as much as you. Just a thought. Have your doctor check you for a case of being twitterpated.:rolleyes:

I took a risk in what I said, but I meant it. You did go too far. Deciding that your fellow parishioners lack spiritual depth is a slippery slope. It humbles them while exalting yourself. It doesn’t bear positive fruit.

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