Honoring Parents, What If Aliens Exist, and the Power of the Holy Spirit

Fr. Josh answers questions about honoring our parents, how the Church would respond to the discovery an intelligent alien species, and how to develop a relationship with the Holy Spirit.

Ascension is proud to partner with authentically Catholic institutions and organizations committed to spreading the Gospel. Learn more about the sponsor of this episode, Ave Maria University.

Snippet from the Show

“Connection is more important than perfection.”


Although he is powerful, the Holy Spirit never imposes, he always knocks first.



Honoring Parents

Hi Father Josh, what do we do if we have parents that are a little unsupportive of anything we do. How can I follow the commandment “Honor your father and mother,” as best as I can? How can I let go of negative things my mom does that affects my life? I honestly don’t think I’m much of a problematic child, but my mom constantly criticizes me, and is simply always angry at anything I do, whether good or bad. I don’t talk back, but sometimes her actions really do hurt my feelings.

Thank you,



How do you think the Church would respond to the discovery of a human-like (possessing will and intellect) alien species? Would that have any impact on our understanding of humans being made in the image and likeness of God? Thanks! 


Fear of the Holy Spirit

Hello Padre! I recently started listening to your podcast and I looooove it! Thank God for Fr. Mark-Mary of the CFRs who mentioned your podcast as one of his favourites, otherwise who knows when I would have discovered this gem of a podcast. I’m a cradle Catholic but did not know much about my faith up until last year when by the grace of God, felt the call to dive deeper into it and your podcast has helped me tremendously!

My question is about the Holy Spirit.

How does one grow in their relationship with the Holy Spirit and what is the Catholic understanding of being spirit-filled?

I am currently watching a 14 part series on the Holy Spirit on Youtube (hosted by Fr. Dave of the TORs) that’s stressing me out a little bit. It’s a great series but it made me aware of my non-existent relationship with the Spirit due to fear/anxiety. In high-school, I went to a few pentecostal gatherings where the preacher would say something in the lines of ‘Receive the Holy Spirit!’ and people would go crazy – yet, nothing ever happened to me. I started actively avoiding such gatherings out of feeling guilty about my being “resistant” to the Spirit. In all honesty I think I was kind of afraid of what might happen because, I am a little shy so if I was to have an “experience”, I was hoping it wouldn’t be too crazy so as to draw attention to myself. Recently, our parish priest prayed over me and he called upon the Spirit and asked me to do the same by asking the Spirit from deep within my heart to come – I tried, at least I think I did – but I didn’t feel anything – not even a sense of overwhelming peace like some people say they feel. Is being afraid of the Spirit normal for some people? Is the Spirit always in us and if so, why are we encouraged to pray ‘Come Holy Spirit’ often? Lastly, how do I know He is working, especially when I cannot feel His presence? I am a little discouraged to be honest – but I am trying not to give up! I hope I making some sense – I did not know how to ask this as just one question.



Meet Fr. Josh Johnson

While Fr. Josh was raised Catholic, he didn’t like the Church growing up. Then, one day in adoration, he fell in love with Jesus and received the call to become a priest.

Now, Fr. Josh is the Vocations Director of the Diocese of Baton Rouge in Louisiana. He is a presenter in four of Ascension’s programs: Altaration, YOU: Life, Love, and the Theology of the Body, The 99, and Connected: Catholic Social Teaching for This Generation, as well as the author of Broken and Blessed: An Invitation to My Generation, Pocket Guide to Adoration, and co-author of Pocket Guide to Reconciliation.

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