7 Quick Takes Friday (set #119)

This week: Some middle school football players understand what true charity is all about. A US late term abortion capital (Albuquerque, NM) sadly chose death this week; a video shows what they embrace. An interesting new film for the upcoming Easter season: Heaven is for Real. Near death experiences, FWIW. Fr. Barron looks at Reza Aslan’s Zealot and finds it to be exceptional – in poor scholarship. A viral make-over video of a homeless vet. z8_GND_5296 is more than a catchy phrase.

— 1 —

Some might say that charity and love are synonyms. They kind of are, but more nuanced than that. A lot of words have been poured out in explaining it more deeply. The danger is that the meaning gets obscured. I prefer to define charity as simply “love in action.” Here is an example:

Spotted by my friend Tom

— 2 —

Live Action has produced a new undercover video on late term abortion. It is not graphic, but is clear. For example, the doctor explains why and how they kill the baby before delivery. More than outrage, this is just sad. Very sad. Albuquerque voted to keep the practice this week.

— 3 —

I love the title of this up-coming (Easter 2014) movie. It’s premise is interesting and I expect to enjoy it. BUT I must say – and this is just a personal opinion – I do not believe in “near death experiences.” I don’t believe that people can visit heaven and be returned. In my opinion, when you die you have irreversibly left your “mortal” life and advanced to your particular judgment in which returning to earth is not one of the possibilities.

On the other hand, maybe my issue is just terminology. I certainly believe anything is possible for God and that supernatural miracles happen all the time. That includes everything from God speaking to us (which happens frequently if we listen) to personal revelations. Anyhow, here is the trailer for Heaven is for Real:

— 4 —

While I am on the topic, those of you who believe in the possibility of near death experiences may want to check-out Fr. Jose Maniyangat’s. He suffered a serious auto accident (which he terms “fatal”) a result of which showed him the afterlife. Fr. Jose believes that he saw many bishops and priests in Hell for misleading people. (I don’t quibble with the assertion, just that he saw the real thing.) His story is here.

In my read of his story I see several theological issues, but do not doubt the sincerity of Fr. Jose. Near death or otherwise, he is completely consistent with Church teaching on the existence of Heaven, Hell and purgatory, who goes there and why.

— 5 —

Fr. Barron looks at Reza Aslan’s Zealot. It is incredibly poor for that sort of book. It’s obvious, has poor scholarship and childish reasoning. (I read elsewhere that other purveyors of this “debunking Jesus” genre feel it makes them all look bad.)

— 6 —

A homeless, destitute, alcoholic, thrown away life? Many would probably have walked by Jim Wolf just as the rich man ignored Lazarus on his door step (Luke 16:19-31). Yes, many would ignore their neighbor, this Army veteran, this child of God in his time of need. Fortunately, not everyone.

— 7 —

From the Convert Journal astronomy desk: a new galaxy has been discovered with the catchy name z8_GND_5296. It is the most distant ever found and a bit of a hike to get there from here – about 30 billion light years. It’s a small galaxy, but is producing stars at a rapid rate.

Actually, for all we know it doesn’t even exist anymore. The view we have of it now is as it was a while back (13.1 billion years ago). As we gaze upon the light from z8_GND_5296, we are looking back in time to when the universe was only 700 million years old. Putting that in human scale (of an 80 year old), that would be about a 1.5 days after conception.


Some random thoughts or bits of information are worthy of sharing but don’t warrant their own full post. This idea was started by Jennifer Fulwiler at Conversion Diary to address this blogging need. So, some Fridays I too participate when I have accumulated 7 worthy items. Thank you Jen for hosting this project!

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