[00:00:28] Hello, everybody. What’s up. Welcome back to another episode of Hear and Now Podcast. I am so excited to welcome Father Tran onto the show today to talk about his book, and for you guys to get to know him a little bit. So Father Tran, why don’t you introduce yourself to the audience?
Hi Sophia, thank you for having me on your podcast.
[00:00:44] I’m excited to be with you. And my name is father Quan Tran. I’m a priest for the Diocese of Orange in California. I’ve been ordained for nine and a half years and right now I’m a priest at Saint Bonaventure church in Huntington beach, California.
That’s awesome. So what are some of the things that you do in your parish just to kind of give everybody a little reference?
[00:01:07] I’m what you’re called you call a parochial vicar, which means I’m not the pastor, which is which is a good thing. So I do, I do the things, all the things that priests do, you know, I celebrate mass, hear confessions. You know, do, do, do all the other sacraments, but, you know, with baptism and and, and so on you know also marriage preparing couples for marriage, doing funerals and spiritual direction counseling.
[00:01:31] You know, we, we, we have these meetings and all this stuff that the priest do.
That’s awesome. So I’m sure it’s probably a relief to not have the responsibilities of being a pastor, but still be able to kind of, you know, run the church and help contribute to that. So I kind of just wanted to dive right in and ask.
So you wrote a book, right? The Imitation of Mary. So why don’t you talk a little bit about that, what your purpose was for, for writing the book?
Thank you. Yes. This is my first book and it might be my last, my only, I don’t know who, depending on what God wants. But I’m very excited. So this book is about about 12 qualities of Mary that I’ve identified so that so that all of us can imitate Mary to grow in holiness.
[00:02:10] We know that she is the most perfect of all disciples and God gave her to us to be our, our mother and our model. So if we want to grow in holiness and wanting to grow and perfection, who else better to look to then Mary and I, and I identified 12 qualities, virtues, or attributes of Mary that we’re all called to imitate to, to grow in perfection, to grow in holiness.
[00:02:36] That’s awesome. I mean, you know, Mary is such a great example for all of us to imitate her. So what better way to figure that out then to learn about her virtues? So I’m sure it’s a wonderful, wonderful book. So what are some of the things you want people to take away from this book as they are reading it?
Whether or not they’re Catholic?
Sure. I talk first about grace, how. I want people to know that grace is not something we just sit back and receive: it’s given to us so that we may respond to it. And when we’re, and when we do respond to it, we grow, we grow in holiness. We grow into the person that God made us to be, and we grow to be more of God’s instrument in the world and, and, and we grow in grace as well.
[00:03:19] And so just like Mary, you know, sh-she has to respond as well as, you know, at the annunciation, she had to say, yes, Let it be done to me, according to thy word. And she cooperated with God throughout her life, you know, whatever he wanted. She was there. She just did God’s will perfectly. So that’s why she’s full of grace.
[00:03:36]So likewise with us, I just want people to take away from the fact that yes, grace is an invitation to respond, to engage, to go further. To grow and, you know, and I talk about more specifically in what ways in, in the, in those 12 qualities. And and so that’s the first thing I wanted people to know about grace is that it requires a response.
[00:03:57] And then I talk about the attributes of Mary just like humility. So for example, if we strive to grow in humility, God will help us even more and bless us even more. And then I also talk about confidence in God. So when we’re struggling with doubt or trials or challenges in life, If we have confidence in God, he will pour out his grace upon us even more.
[00:04:17] You know, Jesus said this to Saint Faustina, you know, for there’s only one vessel that will obtain many graces and that’s trust. if you trust me, you will see that I will do incredible things for you, for you in, in you and through you. So so confidence or trust when we try to cultivate that quality like Mary did we will see that we will grow in leaps and bounds.
[00:04:41], I think the most beautiful image when I think of Mary it’s, just her fiat and how that is such a model for us in our lives. That if we just say yes, what, what are the many, many doors that can be open? And so, in addition to what you’ve kind of already covered, is there something that Mary can help give us?
[00:05:00] whether it’s her maternal grace, or just her, just her overall presence, how can she help lead us closer to Christ?
Yeah. So if we embrace Mary, if we turn to her, she will really help us because she is a powerful intercessor. She’s very close with the Holy Trinity, very close with the father, the Holy spirit, and the son.
[00:05:20] And she’s also given a lot of power by God, to play a big role in his plan of salvation, you know, so that’s why we have these Marian apparitions. That’s why we have Jesus giving his mother to us as his last gift before dying on the cross. You know, when he said to St. John behold, your mother, and to Mary behold, your son.
[00:05:39] So when we turn to Mary and embrace her and love her and take after her and ask her to intercede for us and we, and in trust her. Our lives, our vocation, our troubles, whatever. She will really help us. She will intercede for us and she will guide us and, and, and direct us. And so we, you know, as, you know, Sophia, we need all the help we can get in this life.
[00:06:03] And so why not turn to Mary and, and because God wants her to help us, because the more, the more, we are devoted to Mary, the more we venerate her and honor her, the more we pay honor to God, because he is very proud of Mary. She’s his masterpiece. And so he wants everybody to know her, to love her and to venerate her because that, because when we do that, she brings all the glory to God.
[00:06:29] Just like the Magnificat, you know, my, my soul proclaims, the greatness of the Lord, my spirit rejoices in God, my savior for he’s done great things for his lowly servant. So the more we honor Mary, the more she honors and glorifies God.
Yeah. I just think about like the rosary, how the rosary is such a powerful, powerful weapon that we can have in defeating evil.
[00:06:50] And I remember this one priest did a special blessing over us during healing mass, and he took the time to whisper in every person’s ear, something specific to them that God had given and placed on his heart. And the one thing he had said to me is go to Mary and I have, you know, been Catholic my entire life, but I would always just kind of.
[00:07:10] Look to the saints and look to God specifically, but I’m like, wow. I often forget the power that Mary holds, you know, she carried Jesus in her womb and that is such a powerful relationship that we can have that maternal relationship between us, between Mary. And Mary to Jesus. And so since then, I made sure that I’m praying to her and going to the specific titles, our lady of perpetual help our lady of good success.
[00:07:36] Like there’s so many different things that she covers. And I think that’s just so awesome to Volvo to have this relationship specifically within the Catholic world. So do you think during these difficult times, and I know it’s probably still going to be happening into the new year, what can we learn from our blessed mother?
[00:07:54] What can she inspire us to kind of keep moving forward in these difficult times?
Right. To trust and surrender to God’s divine providence. You know, a lot of times we don’t understand why things happen the way they do, but God does. And he is using these difficult times, these trials too, to bring about a greater good, even though we can’t understand it or see how good can come out of it.
[00:08:18] We have to trust in him. You know, all the things that Mary went through too, you know, as soon as she conceived Jesus gave birth to him, or even before she gave birth to him, you know, they had to go from Nazareth to Bethlehem to enroll. And this was very difficult for Mary, you know, she’s nine months pregnant and they have to travel by foot and donkey, and it’s cold and it’s in the winter and it’s our way, but yes, she did it anyway.
[00:08:43] And of course wanted to give birth in, in a nice clean place, but there was no room for them in the end. So ultimately she gave birth in, in a stable and, and Jesus was in a manger, but that was part of God’s plan. You know, he comes into our world being humble and being poor. And, and, and so she accepted, she accepted that.
[00:09:04] So that’s just one example of just conforming our will to God’s will. So during these difficult times, that’s what she’s telling us. So it just trust in the Lord, just accept everything, just do your best and that he will carry you through and good will come out of this. So so just to persevere in faith, And just to be docile to the Holy spirit, just to follow him wherever he leads us.
[00:09:27] You know, because with, with difficulties and challenges, we, we grow, we grow in virtue. We grow in faith. We grow in patience. We become more mature. We grow in compassion. You know, we become more human and also more like God. So that’s what Mary would tell us to trust in God, to just do what he tells us.
[00:09:45] You know, that’s one of hers, let her, her last words in the Bible was do whatever he tells you in a way. This is what Jesus is telling us to do is just to bear with these difficulties, you know, in life we’re going to have. Many difficulties, you know, Jesus said that, you know, if you want to be my disciple, you have to take up your cross daily and follow me.
[00:10:03] And so if it’s not one thing it’s another, you know, we, we have, multiple crosses to carry. And that’s what perfects us that what conforms us to Jesus. You know, suffering is not without value suffering is has merit, because it makes up for our sins and it conforms us to Christ.
[00:10:21] And then we also get to participate in his redemptive work. So we get to offer up our suffering, our, our, our trials and challenges and you know, for the glory of God and the good of others.
Yeah, absolutely. I mean, I’m pretty sure by the time this episode goes out, it’ll be getting closer and closer to Lent.
[00:10:38] So I feel like that’s just such a beautiful image that we’re supposed to go into, went with. No matter what the challenges surrounding the year are, but this year in particular, I know last year’s Lent was not one that we expected at all. So I’m hoping that this year people will kind of have this renewed perspective or whether it’s gratitude or just perspective on suffering and surrendering and things like that.
[00:10:59] But I’m sure a lot of people will well ask this question as well. And I do have a lot of non-Catholic listeners. How can you explain devotion to Mary and make that difference between honoring and worshiping God versus venerating Mary and the saints?
Right. Good question. Right.
[00:11:16] So we don’t, yeah, we don’t worship Mary. She is completely human. And so, and she’s, she’s just like us only that she’s, she’s perfect. You know, God created all of us differently and she, he chose Mary to be his, his, his mother, right. The mother of Jesus. And so, and then he kept her sinless. You know, from, from her birth, from her, her conception.
[00:11:37] So and of course that makes sense because Jesus was in her womb for nine months. So God could not, you know, come into contact, could not be immersed and live in somebody who was sinful. So that makes — that makes sense, that Mary would be kept clean and immaculate and sinless. And so, and so, yeah, so we venerate her just like we venerate, maybe the saints.
[00:11:58] We look to them as a, as a model. And as, as an example of what discipleship looks like, because apart Mary is the most perfect of all disciples. And so we look to Mary as a human being, as our spiritual mother to stay. And God wants us to say, you know, behold, your mother, look at her, imitate her, go to her and she’ll help you.
[00:12:18] So we, you know, so we worship God, you know, father, son, and Holy spirit, but we venerate Mary meaning we honor her you know, we, we respect her and we turn to her for help, you know, just like you and I, you know, a lot of times we ask people to pray for us, right? If we’re going through difficult times, we say, Hey, can you pray for me?
[00:12:35] So it’s, it’s basically the same going to Mary saying, Mary, can you pray for me? And, and and she said, of course, she’ll pray for us. And so that’s just getting that extra help and we need all the help we can get, you know, we’re, we’re meant to help each other. You know, we’re not meant to go to God alone, you know, we’re meant to help each other, bring each other closer to God.
[00:12:57] Absolutely. As you were saying that that was the exact example I was thinking of. And I have some friends who are not Catholic as well, and that’s something that I always use to kind of give an example to them. If they text me, Hey, can you pray for me? I would do the same. This is how I pray to the saints.
[00:13:10] This is how I pray to Mary as well. So I think it’s just such a beautiful thing that. Kind of adds to Catholicism and that’s why I love it so much. And I’m sure you do the same, but the other thing I was going to ask is this episode is being released on February 11th. So is there something particularly special about today that you want to cover
Yes, our lady of Lourdes.
[00:13:30]February 11th and you know there, there are many apparitions by Mary and this one is she appeared in Lourdes, which is a small village in France. I don’t know if you’ve ever been there Sophia, but
not yet. Not yet. It’s on my bucket list.
All right. I would recommend it. You know, once all this COVID 19 has gone, I would recommend to everybody really to go there because it’s such a Holy place, such a spiritual place.
[00:13:55] It’s a beautiful place too. It’s a small village in, in South France and there’s a big sanctuary there. And so she appeared there to St. Bernadette. I think it was about like 150 years ago or so, and so St. Bern – and then she said she wanted her Saint Bernadette to tell the Bishop to build a chapel there and that she would bless many people there.
[00:14:17] And then and then there was a a stream there. She told St. Bernadette to dig in the ground and th—that there will be a stream. And so there’s this beautiful stream there, and there are many miracles there. People go there for healing. And that’s what Mary said. You know, that people can come there and this water will, will heal a lot of, a lot of people.
[00:14:36] And so there are so many miracles there for the last hundred and 50 years. But even if you don’t experience physical healing, there’s a lot of spiritual healing too. As you may know, You know, we’re spiritually wounded, we’re, you know, psychologically wounded and so on. So I would recommend that that sanctuary, that Marian shrine for, for everybody to go there, to experience the peace, the healing, the love, the prayer, of this beautiful village where Mary appeared to us to, to, to help us bring us closer to God.
[00:15:09] 100%. I think the closest thing I’ve ever gotten to that was, I believe it was Mount St. Mary University. They have the shine of our lady of Lourdes there, but nothing quite the same as in Lourdes, France. So I’m excited to eventually get there one day.
But do you have any prayers that you want to share? That we can pray specifically to Our Lady of Lourdes today and maybe one that you know, or when you just want to speak with your heart?
[00:15:32] Sure I can, I can speak, I can speak with my heart, if you want to, we can enter into prayer now.
Okay. Lord Jesus. We thank you for giving us your mother to be our mother. This was your last gift to us because you know that we need her and that she can really help us bring us closer to you. So help us to love Mary and not to reject her because you want us to behold her to accept her as our mother and and Mary, we turn to you. And this is the day that you appeared to Saint Bernadette and, and Lourdes, France, letting people know to, to pray the rosary, to, to go through a conversion and to turn to you and to Jesus for healing, and to grow closer to God and to grow in holiness.
[00:16:14] And, and to, and to pray and to pray for, for each other, pray for the conversion of the world, pray for healing in our world. We need so much healing and we need your help. And we thank Jesus for giving you to us. So let us all help us all to turn to you so that you may bring those closer to, to Jesus and to help us to be like you, to imitate you, to grow in holiness.
[00:16:37]So that we may be pleasing to God and to be his instrument in the world. And we ask all this through Jesus Christ. Amen.
Amen. Thank you, Father Tran. That’s wonderful.
So the last thing is where can readers connect with you and buy your book?
All right. Great. Thank you. So my book is called the Imitation of Mary, keys to growth in virtue and grace.
[00:16:58] Sophia Institute press is the publisher. So you can go to their website, It’s called Sophiainstitute.com. It’s also available on Amazon and other bookstores as well. And I do have an apostle. It is called fullness of grace.org. That’s my website. And I also have a YouTube channel under the same name, fullness of grace.
[00:17:17] Facebook page and Instagram account. And so you can just look me up a fullness of grace and or type in my name, Father Quan Tran. And then that way you can connect with me. Thank you so much.
Yes. So all of those links will be in the show notes below for you guys to check out father Tran. Thank you so much for joining us on the show today.
[00:17:37] Thank you so much Sophia, so good to be with you. And I hope to see you in person one day. Yes. Yes. Hopefully we can maybe make a pilgrimage out to Lourdes and meet you there or we will head over to California someday, but guys, thank you so much for tuning into this week’s episode of Hear and Now Podcast.
[00:17:51] Happy feast of our lady of Lourdes, and we will see you guys next time. Bye. Bye .
It’s the 77th episode of Hear and Now Podcast! Thank you for joining me for a bonus episode this week as I have Fr. Quan Tran on to discuss the Imitation of Mary, his new book.
Get in touch with me: firstname.lastname@example.org
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Thank you to Heather Lebano for editing the transcript for this podcast!