Archives for June 2016

From the archive (set #20)

From the Archive...

This Saturday is time for New Evangelists Monthly to begin a new edition. Today, I would like to bring to your attention 3 original, brief essays that you may have missed. If you don’t have time to read all three, I especially recommend the first one — Morality vs. law.

Morality vs. law

Modern democracies were founded based upon God and recognition of His law. God is cited in the very first paragraph of the US Declaration of Independence. In the next paragraph, the core premise is presented. “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” That is, explicit acknowledgment of the dignity of every person as given to them not by their government, but by God.

…read it all:   Morality vs. law

There are no clocks in heaven

God Himself is not subject to time any more than He is to anything else He created. God is completely outside of time. It is challenging for us to understand this, much as it is difficult for us to imagine our existence outside the physical world. These notions are contrary to our mortal experience, yet we know for certain that experience will end. It is just a matter of time!

…read it all:   There are no clocks in heaven

The soul

Our souls unite with our physical bodies. Souls are not physical but are present and in control of our actions to the degree that our bodies are functional. Our brains operate the machinery of our bodies but make no “decisions” on their own other than to operate routine bodily functions. Brains are chemical and electrical elements that, together with the whole body, host the presence of the soul. When the soul leaves, the body stops functioning and dies. The beauty of every person is the presence of their soul, without which the object we see is only a (dead) body.

…read it all:   The soul

7 Quick Takes Friday (set #200)

This week: YouTube has some excellent “channels,” real gems, mixed in with much junk. This is “part 2” of my favorites (gems, not junk!), including videos from each. Part 1 was posted last week. I have more so maybe this isn’t the end of the series.

— 1 —

The St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology is a wonderful project featuring videos from Scott Hahn and Matthew Leonard. Here Prof. Hahn presents Mary: Christ’s Greatest Masterpiece:

— 2 —

Vericast Network produces several podcasts per week, but also offers them as videocasts (i.e. videos). Good stuff! Here is a piece on relativism recorded on the feast day of St. Anthony of Padua (the patron saint of my marriage parish):

— 3 —

SpiritualDirection offers a variety of content including some from EWTN but also pieces from Fr. John Bartunek and Dan Burke. Here they discuss what it means to “offer up” suffering:

— 4 —

The folks at ToSeeJesus have not updated for a while, but there is still good content there. Included is a mix of materials, including some conversion stories like this:

— 5 —

Kolbe1019 (a young guy, I think) has produced some good videos and collected others worthy of your attention. Here is one on the beautiful tradition of the chapel veil:

— 6 —

BTW – one of my permanently featured videos on this blog is published on Kolbe1019’s channel. It is, in my opinion, a truly wonderful presentation on Mary from scripture. This video shows connections many Protestants are blinded to, but with God’s grace may the scales fall from their eyes. As I started this paragraph, I was just going to give a link but changed my mind. Here it is (watch it, then watch it again, then show other people):

— 7 —

As Christians, love of neighbor means we are pro-life without exception. 12-year old Lia Mills got our attention 7 years ago and is still producing solid videos. Here is a flashback to when she started out:

Some random thoughts or bits of information are worthy of sharing but don’t warrant their own full post. This idea was begun by Jennifer Fulwiler and is now continued by Kelly Mantoan. So, some Fridays I too participate when I have accumulated 7 worthy items. Thank you Kelly for hosting this project!

7 Quick Takes Friday (set #199)

This week: YouTube has some excellent “channels,” real gems, mixed in with much junk. These are some of my favorites, including recent videos from each. Actually, this is only part of my list so I will have to continue it another time. For now, check these out!

— 1 —

Christopher Stefanick is one of my go-to sources for videos. His style is engaging for people of all ages as he faithfully discusses a wide range of Catholic teaching. His YouTube channel is but one place you will find him. Here is a piece on the existence of God:

— 2 —

I have long admired Fr. (now Bishop) Robert Barron’s work on YouTube. He not only teaches the faith, but engages sometimes hostile commenters. His YouTube channel is here with a recent piece on Bill Nye and Philosophy:

— 3 —

C.S. Lewis writings come alive via video doodles on the CSLewisDoodle YouTube channel. Of the many videos offered, here is one from his original radio broadcasts on Right & Wrong:

— 4 —

Ascension Presents covers many Catholic topics with wonderful speakers including Jeff Cavins, Fr. Josh Johnson, Fr. Mike Schmitz, Matt Fradd, Paul Kim, Jackie Francois Angel, Bob Lesnefsky, Jessica Rey and many more. Their YouTube channel is here. In this video, Fr. Mike looks at the question Will my pet be in heaven?:

— 5 —

Ascension Press‘ own site is also very good. Here on their YouTube channel is a piece entitled “Who are you?”

— 6 —

YouTube channel PragerU covers a wide range of morality and political topics. Highly respected Catholic philosopher Dr. Peter Kreeft has appeared several times, including on this piece examining God and Suffering:

— 7 —

I often end my 7QTF posts with conservative commentary. Catholicism is clearly not represented by political parties or their ideologies. One must always put the truth of Christ above whatever party they are nominally aligned with. That said, when I look at the political leanings of faithful Catholics (i.e. those who support the teaching of Holy Mother Church without exception), they seem to be predominantly conservative.

YouTube channel TruthRevoltOriginals features insightful and funny pieces from Bill Whittle, Andrew Klavan and Ben Shapiro.

Here, Andrew Klavan explains Magical Leftist Thinking (it’s satire, but funny because it is true):

Some random thoughts or bits of information are worthy of sharing but don’t warrant their own full post. This idea was begun by Jennifer Fulwiler and is now continued by Kelly Mantoan. So, some Fridays I too participate when I have accumulated 7 worthy items. Thank you Kelly for hosting this project!

Elsewhere: the average Catholic?

Everyone is aware of the problems of secularism — turning away from God in favor of salvation offered through government. In the last 50 years, many poorly catechized Christians have left the Church and are now “nones.” A sizable number of those who have remained are so poorly grounded that it seems only a matter of time until they too leave.

Eric Sammons has noticed this too in his work at the diocesan and parish levels. In a short piece for OnePeterFive, he recounts some of his experiences.

Over the years I’ve gotten to know my typical audience, which I would describe as “average Catholics.” They are not people who have left the Church or are antagonistic to the Faith. Neither are they hard-core Catholics, the type that might travel hours to hear Scott Hahn speak or go to a Steubenville Conference. They attend Mass regularly (perhaps 2-3 times a month, maybe more) and identify as Catholic, but do not follow Catholic news or Catholic blogs. They form their impressions of the Church and her teachings from hearing the weekly homily, talking with their fellow Catholics, and following the mainstream news.

I have encountered many good and decent souls among my parish visits, but over time I’ve formed an impression of what I would call The Average Catholic. Let’s call her “Amy” (the Average Catholic is usually female):

We are all good people going to heaven. Amy the Average Catholic assumes she – and all her friends – are going to Heaven. Usually she ignores the topic of Hell; when pressed she would dismiss it as a medieval invention. Amy doesn’t believe there is anything fundamentally wrong with herself. Sure, she might eat too many sweets, or could work on her patience. But any problems she might have would only require a life coach, not a Savior.

The Church’s teachings on sexuality are an embarrassment. Amy believes the Church can be a force for good in this world, reminding people to be kind and to take care of those around us. But when it comes to moral issues, especially those related to sexuality, Amy is embarrassed by the Church’s teachings. She wishes the Church would just avoid those topics.

The Church is a place to socially gather and feel welcome. If asked, “Why are you Catholic?” Amy would probably answer vaguely that she grew up Catholic, and it makes her feel good about herself. She goes to her parish to see friends and hopefully hear a nice homily. It’s a place she feels welcome, and it’s what decent people do.

The Church evolves over time, and is better the more it is like the world. According to Amy, the Church has an unfortunate history it must get beyond. It’s not really the Church’s fault; after all, everyone used to be discriminatory and old-fashioned. But now that we are in the 21st century, the Church needs to be updated and become more like the world. Otherwise, the Church is in danger of being left behind.

Essentially, Amy the Average Catholic is an Episcopalian.

You know this is true and have heard it countless times talking to other Catholics. Read the whole piece: Meet Amy, the Average Catholic.

7 Quick Takes Friday (set #198)

This week: The latest issue of New Evangelists Monthly awaits your perusal. Other “takes” this week form a special edition on the continuing outrage at Target. Target used to be one of my favorite stores — clean, family-friendly and reasonable prices. Their CEO, bizarrely, decided to make a hard-left turn to the detriment of his customers’ safety. Please join the 1.3+ MILLION sane people who have signed the boycott pledge.

— 1 —

New Evangelists Monthly

Issue #42, June 2016, of New Evangelists Monthly is ready for your enjoyment! Scores of faithful Catholic bloggers have contributed their very best pieces from May. Contributing authors this month include: Stephen Korsman, Chris Capolino, Kathleen Laplante, David Wong, Fr. Stephen Morris, Denise Hunnell, David Gray, Dianna Kennedy, Ellen Gable Hrkach, Birgit Jones, Dn. Greg Horton, Frank Rega, Vijaya Bodach, Joseph Shaw, Rick Becker, Larry T, Brian Mullins, Rich Maffeo, Barbara Hosbach, Carissa Douglas, Nancy Shuman, Larry Peterson, Melanie Jean Juneau, Dave Wanat, Tucker Cordani, Bonnie Way, Mike Landry, Elizabeth Reardon, Tony Agnesi, Dennis McGeehan, Ellen Kolb, Jennifer James, John Schroeder, Michael Seagriff, Sr. Maresa Lilley, Jessica and Manny Archuleta, Robert Collins, Molly Oshatz, Amy Wiggin, Barbara Szyszkiewicz, Blythe Kaufman, Fr. Richard DeLillio, David Torkington, Dn. Scott Dodge, Gregory Watson, Rosemary Bogdan, Shannon Ball, Christian LeBlanc, John Russell, Kirby Hoberg, Fr. Errol Fernandes, Leslie Klinger, Laura McAlister, Carolyn Astfalk, Anthony Layne, Kim Padan, Lora Goulet, Allison Howell, Bartimaeus Timeo, Anna Coyne, Roxane Salonen, Tom Perna, Rick Rice, Katie O’Keefe, Rita Buettner, Fr. David Bird, Anita Moore, Jeff Walker, Catherine Prady, W.L. Grayson, Laura Pearl, Julian Barkin, Fr. Gilles Surprenant, James Milliken, Melody Marie, Jenn Tatum, Mary Cooper, Eric Johnston, Tara Baker, Fr. Hugh Somerville-Knapman and Erin Cupp.

This monthly “meta-magazine” showcases faithful Catholicism from theology to family life and “everything in between.” Enjoy it now at

Read Now

— 2 —

While Target’s pervert-inclusive policy invites men into women’s restrooms, do not expect much help from store security when you, your wife, your daughter or your mother are attacked. Should anyone else be bold enough to intervene, Target will probably sue them. That sounds ridiculous, but that is how they roll.

A 16-year old girl was grabbed and stabbed (repeatedly) by a man in a Target. Their 1 man, untrained “security force” did not get involved. Instead, 3 other men came to the girl’s rescue and literally saved her life. Target sued the heroes. The local ABC affiliate has the story.

— 3 —

Please continue to boycott Target. This once family-friendly store has become anything but. Join over 1.3 MILLION other shoppers, stay away and warn your friends. This radical left activism should have no place in Target’s boardroom if they want to keep your trust and your business.

For their part, the Target CEO is ignoring you and your boycott by claiming the sudden, large drop in sales is a result of climate change. Simply amazing:

— 4 —

— 5 —

There comes a point when dedicated, life-long liberals are alarmed by extreme sex and gender policies. Here, the head of the Georgia ACLU explains why she resigned over their support of those policies:

— 6 —

This young guy makes many good points. Boycott Target.

— 7 —

How Many?

How many registered sex-offenders live near YOUR local Target? Any guess what their new favorite store is?

Some random thoughts or bits of information are worthy of sharing but don’t warrant their own full post. This idea was begun by Jennifer Fulwiler and is now continued by Kelly Mantoan. So, some Fridays I too participate when I have accumulated 7 worthy items. Thank you Kelly for hosting this project!