For Greater Glory: Viva Christo Rey!

A good friend of mine recently loaned me a movie entitled “For Greater Glory” which is a chronicle of the Cristeros War (1926-1929); the grass roots response of Mexican Catholics against the oppressive atheistic Mexican government.

Normally, this might be just another shoot-em-up action movie but given the current pressures against the Catholic Church, religious freedom in the United States and the persecution of Christians in the world, this movie  represents so much more.

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The Blessed Legacy of Charlie Gard

I’m sure that by now most of you have heard the tragic story of little Charlie Gard. The medical and legal battles surrounding 11-month old Charlie have brought global attention to the meaning of life and the proper dignity of death. More specifically, the swirl has centered on the question of who determines the value of human life and who bears the burden and responsibility for making end-of-life decisions. It seems the legal maneuvering and skirmishes for temporal control of Charlie’s destiny will soon be over.  The dust will settle and we will soon begin to forget. As tragic as Charlie’s physical situation may seem to be, a real tragedy will result if we do forget and fail to learn. In this blog I would like to offer some personal commentary and observations in the case of Charlie Gard – as testimony to his precious life and its immense value. Continue reading “The Blessed Legacy of Charlie Gard”

Wonder Woman of the Ages – The Blessed Virgin Mary

Simple Catholic Snapshots
  • The Marvel Comic Wonder Woman was created and published in 1941.
  • A demigoddess, the Marvel Comic Wonder Woman was formed from clay and given life and superhuman powers by the Greek gods.
  • The Marvel Comic Wonder Woman (a.k.a Diana Prince) helped found the Justice League to fight crime and promote social justice.
  • The original Wonder Woman was born 2000 years ago.
  • A humble Jewish girl, she was born to human parents Joachim and Anne.
  • With a simple “yes”, this original Wonder Woman (a.k.a. Theotokos) brought perfect justice into the world.

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I Love Jesus…Because I’m Muslim? Part 2

In my previous post, I shared a story of a bumper sticker seen this week. I commented on that message from a Christian point of view, namely that Christianity is certainly not the homogeneous faith demanded by St. Paul:

10 I appeal to you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree and that there be no dissensions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgment. 11 For it has been reported to me by Chloe’s people that there is quarreling among you, my brethren. 12 What I mean is that each one of you says, “I belong to Paul,” or “I belong to Apollos,” or “I belong to Cephas,” or “I belong to Christ.” 13 Is Christ divided? … (1 Cor 1:10-13)

More specifically, that post was a call to action for all Christians. If we are truly the evangelists to the world that Christ intended then we better begin honestly examining our respective differences and vigorously try to close the gaps. This will require personal humility from all and a constant focus on our love of Jesus Christ and His love for us. To be sure, this will be a difficult task but not impossible. Without sounding melodramatic, I don’t think it is too much to say we seem to be standing at a turning point in historical Christianity.

But that was the last post. In this follow-up, I want to look at the bumper sticker from the position of Islam. I want to quickly summarize what the Muslim woman might have really meant and intended with that bumper sticker. I want to shed a little light on Islam and what they believe about Jesus.

 

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I Love Jesus…Because I’m Muslim?

Out of the corner of my eye I noticed a woman pull up in the adjacent left turn lane and stop slightly ahead. The light turned before I got a good look, but her stature and the habit she was wearing was a tip-off that this was a Catholic nun on the move. Unfortunately, I didn’t get a chance to completely read her yellow and green bumper sticker but the ‘heart’ symbol and the word “Jesus” confirmed my fleeting conclusion.

At the next stop light we were once again together and imagine my surprise when I was able to read the entire bumper sticker:

Wow, first impressions can be so wrong. Hijab, not a habit. Muslim, not Catholic. But Loving Jesus?

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The Basketball Reformation: Fact or Fiction?

Our story really begins about 200 years ago in a small Midwestern country village. A young 30-something visionary started getting a lot of positive press after making premier wines and pioneering some astonishing medical cures. The people of the times were restless, not satisfied with the old humdrum pastimes of baseball and cornhole so the visionary went into action. He recognized the need for a new game, one that would take the world by storm and promise years and years of enjoyment. He nailed a wooden peach basket to a tree, basketball was founded, and people began to follow the game with a passion.

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Post-Resurrection Appearances of Jesus Christ

Simple Catholic Snapshots
  • In the movie “The Case for Christ”, Lee Strobel states that Jesus appeared to over 500 people after the Resurrection.
  • The Gospel readings at Easter and the readings this week from Acts recount multiple appearances, but don’t seem to add up to anything close to 500.
  • Since Paul makes it very clear (and Lee Strobel recognized), that if Christ was not raised, then our Christian faith is in vain (1 Cor 15:17), then it seemed more than prudent to take a closer look.
  • Therefore, I investigated and logged the Scriptural accounts of Jesus’ post-Resurrection appearances.
  • I did in fact find New Testament accounts in Scripture where Jesus appeared to over 500 people.
  • In the post below, I present a quick summary of these appearances, the locations and where the Scriptural references can be found.
  • The Case for Christ is pretty strong!

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The Case for Catholicism – Dare to Follow the Evidence

Simple Catholic Snapshots
  • “The Case for Christ” was a 1998 non-fiction novel by Atheist-turned-Christian investigative journalist Lee Strobel. A movie adaptation of this best-selling book was released in theaters April 7th, 2017.
  • The Atheist Lee Strobel undertakes to disprove the Resurrection of Jesus Christ (and thus debunk Christianity entirely) by honestly, systematically and rigorously examining the physical evidence for the Resurrection.
  • Using his highly refined research and analysis skills, Lee examines the Resurrection story from many perspectives including the authenticity of the Bible, methods and effectiveness of a Roman crucifixion, the psychology of mass hallucinations, archaeology and theology.
  • SPOILER ALERT: In the end, Lee is overwhelmed by the consistency and irrefutable nature of the evidence and concludes that, as a matter of fact, the Resurrection of Christ did occur. Shortly thereafter he converts to Christianity.
  • I saw this movie a couple of days ago and shared a positive reaction to the presentation and Christian message with many in the audience.
  • That said, as the credits rolled past, I wondered how many of my Protestant brothers and sisters in the audience would accept an investigative challenge to their particular faith as Lee Strobel did? How many would ever examine their beliefs and practices in light of the complete 2000 year history of Christianity and let the evidence lead them where it may?

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Judas Iscariot – Faithful Apostle or Traitor?

Simple Catholic Snapshots
  • Judas Iscariot was chosen by Christ as one of the original twelve Apostles
  • By all Biblical accounts prior to the Passion, Judas was a faithful student and disciple of Jesus
  • But Judas betrayed Jesus to Caiaphas which led to the Crucifixion
  • Judas is pure evil, right?
  • Is the story of Judas only about Judas Iscariot?

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I’m Giving Up Lent This Year… for Lent

Simple Catholic Snapshots
  • Lent is the 40 Day season prior to Easter
  • Lent is the time to unify ourselves with Christ, preparing for His death and Resurrection
  • Traditional practices include “giving up” something as an act of penance.
  • This year, how about “adding on” something?
  • Let’s make Lent a season of personal giving… sacrificing ourselves for others.

 

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