Catholics: We must stay FOCUS-ed

It’s certainly true that the Church is struggling in many places throughout the world. Look at Europe for example. From 1910 to the present the percent of the population that claimed to be Christian declined from 68% to about 25%! Christian EuropeThese data includes all Christian denominations but the implications of Catholicism in Europe is equally clear. This staggering free-fall is expected to continue.

Continue reading “Catholics: We must stay FOCUS-ed”

Pro-Life or Pro-Abortion: It depends on what the meaning of ‘Life’ is.

I’ve just finished reading Trent Horn’s 2014 book Persuasive Pro-Life. For those who have not had a chance, I highly recommend getting a copy. Persuasive Pro-LifeTrent is highly experienced in the field of Pro-Life apologetics and although this book is thorough, it is concise, well organized and easy to read. While delving deeply into various pro-abortion claims and Pro-Life rebuttals, he consistently encourages readers to remember that fundamentally the Pro-Life cause needs to be grounded on the fact that there is a universal human equality that applies to the unborn.

 

 

Continue reading “Pro-Life or Pro-Abortion: It depends on what the meaning of ‘Life’ is.”

Emmy is Perfect

I just ran across this blog posting about mom Courtney Baker and her daughter Emersyn Faith who is 15 months old. Normally this wouldn’t have caught my eye but this article is different. You see, Emersyn has Down Syndrome and the article is focused on the letter Courtney wrote to her doctor who was once strongly recommending and encouraging abortion. I was deeply moved by the faith and strength of this woman and I just wanted to share. An extract of the article is pasted here:

*******************************************************

“This is Emmy, mailing our letter to the prenatal specialist who didn’t want her to live.emmy1 He repeatedly suggested we abort. He said her and our quality of life would be horrible.” Emmy’s mother Courtney Baker says, “He was so unbelievably wrong. I want to do something to advocate, but other than my letter to him, I don’t know what yet.”

Emmy was diagnosed prenatally with Down syndrome.

 

 

Continue reading “Emmy is Perfect”

Hiroshima: Tragedy and Hope

I don’t know why really, but I’ve always wanted to go. Certainly not for macabre reasons but I just wanted to see for myself. I’ve read a lot about those years, that eventful day, and the impact to humanity. But reading was not enough, I needed to go… I needed to feel.

Michele and I stepped off the trolley bus last Sunday morning greeted by overcast skies. The calm winds and steady rain added to an odd quietness. Sidewalks were filled with umbrellas and ponchos heading in a common direction so IMG_0726we fell in line with the crowds. Near the Aioi bridge we turned on a path along the Ota River and got our first view of the Atomic Bomb Dome (Genbaku) in Hiroshima, Japan.

 

Continue reading “Hiroshima: Tragedy and Hope”

Baptism, Babies and Limbo

This past weekend we stayed after Mass to share in the celebration as a new baby was being baptized. baby baptismNot being directly involved as a parent or grand parent allowed me to sit back and reflect on the Sacrament of Baptism. This new life was being regenerated and filled with the Spirit of the Holy Trinity. Original Sin was being washed away and this child was adopted into the family of God. It was a joyful moment but it made me think – what about those little ones that die before being baptized…

The Simple Catholic Snapshots:

  • God is Perfect Love and Desires All His Children to Heaven
  • The Bible tells us that Baptism is Necessary for Eternal Life
  • Theologians have Struggled with the Paradox of God’s Love vs. the Death of Unbaptized Innocents
  • Limbo is a concept that was once considered a solution but has now been discarded.
  • God has not Revealed His Plan for the Unbaptized Innocents so we must Simply Trust in His Perfect Mercy

Continue reading “Baptism, Babies and Limbo”

Become Like Children of God

In my last post, I shared a few pictures of Tim playing ‘catch’ with his son Aaron.  Trust the FatherThat post was a reminder of the total trust we must have in God our Father. Sounds simple enough, but I began to wonder what the Bible had to say about such perfect faith. Once again, it turns out that pride can undermine our relationship with the Father.

 

The Simple Catholic Snapshots:

  • God the Father Revealed Jesus as His Son and Redeemer
  • Peter Trusted the Father’s Revelation
  • Christ Established Peter as the Head of His Church
  • The Apostles Struggled with Pride
  • Pride can be a Great Obstacle to a Total Trust in God
  • We Must be Humble Like Children to Enter the Kingdom of Heaven

Continue reading “Become Like Children of God”

Suicide is Rising

About 30 years ago, I read a fascinating article predicting a rise of suicide rates in the United States that would begin near the end of the millennium. This social scientist posited that as the baby boomers reached retirement age, they would struggle to find real purpose in life and, as result, they would begin exercising the option of suicide. The premise behind this theory was that these baby boomers had fashioned their entire life’s meaning around the materialistic acquisition of wealth, and when retirement removed that reason to live, there was nothing left to fall back on.

Two days ago I ran across a recent article [U.S. Suicide Rate Surges to a 30-Year High, Sabrina Tavernise, N.Y. Times, 22 April 2016] that also touched on the issue of suicide in our modern society. Recalling the original article, this new one immediately caught my attention. It turns out that the original predictions of increased suicide rates did come true…

suicide1

but entirely for the wrong reasons.

The Simple Catholic Snapshots:

  • Suicide in the United States has Surged to the Highest Levels in Nearly 30 Years
  • The Reasons are Complex and Controversial
  • Many Blame the Economy, Government, Guns or Divorce 
  • But Few See the Recent Trend Away From Religion as Significant
  • Could it Be That Not Having Faith and Trust in God is a Contributing Factor?
  • We are Called as Christians to Extend Ourselves With Understanding and Compassion to All of God’s Children

Continue reading “Suicide is Rising”

The Eucharist – From the Church Fathers

The Simple Catholic Snapshots:

Fathers2

  • The Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist is Mysterious – Even for the Average Catholic
  • Some Doubters Say The Eucharist is Only A Symbol
  • Catholics Believe The Eucharist is the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ
  • The Bible is Often Used to Defend Both Positions, Thus Adding to the Confusion
  • We Find that the early Church Fathers Believed in the Real Presence

Continue reading “The Eucharist – From the Church Fathers”

Transubstantiation – It’s No Accident

The Simple Catholic Snapshots:

Eucharist

  • The Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist is Mysterious – Even for the Average Catholic
  • Our Eyes Still See Bread and Wine
  • Our God Has Told Us “This is My Body”
  • Substance: What Something Is.
  • Accidents: How Something is Sensed (Sight, Smell etc)
  • We Have to Break Our Automatic Linking of Accidents to Substance
  • The All-Powerful God Can Easily Make His Body and Blood Appear Like Bread and Wine

This might sound confusing but don’t give up, it’s really not.  Continue reading “Transubstantiation – It’s No Accident”

No Joke – Save the Date!

This is not an April Fool’s Joke.

Get out your calendar right now and save the date.

St. Martin de Porres is truly blessed to be able to host Trent Horn as a featured speaker on Monday, May 2nd 2016 at 7:15 p.m. Michele and I heard Trent speak at the National Conference on Marriage last month and he is simply outstanding. Continue reading “No Joke – Save the Date!”