Christ was homeless 2000 years ago – Christ is homeless today

Simple Catholic Snapshots

  • 2000 years ago a couple needing shelter was turned away.
  • A baby boy was born, homeless, forced to sleep with the animals.
  • This man lived and loved and died to change the world.
  • He’s still here…on the street, calling us, calling us to change.

 

Who is He?   What gift does he really want or need?   Where do I find him?

Continue reading “Christ was homeless 2000 years ago – Christ is homeless today”

Are there people in Hell, now? The Big Dogs speak and a little puppy whimpers.

I just finished leading an 8 week Adult Faith Formation class called  ‘The Mystery of God’ by Bishop Robert Barron and Word on Fire ministries. I highly recommend it to anyone who wants to explore some tough questions about God such as His nature and providence, the problem of evil in our world, and the mystery of the Holy Trinity (to name a few). Since class time is very limited, I always encourage the participants to email me with any troubling questions they may have. I recently received a question about Hell that had such an interesting slant that I felt compelled to share the question, and my response, in an SCT blog post.

Continue reading “Are there people in Hell, now? The Big Dogs speak and a little puppy whimpers.”

The Noise of the World is Boiling our Souls

Simple Catholic Snapshots
  • The barrage is relentless
  • Slowly and imperceptibly we are dying
  • We must find a way out
  • We must become the silence

There’s an old story about how best to cook a frog. The parable points out that if you throw a frog into a pot of boiling water, the frog will instantly react and jump out of the pot, thus saving his life. If, on the other hand, you place the frog into a pot of warmish water, the frog is happy enough and stays put. The parable continues that if you then start to slowly raise the temperature of the water, even to boiling, the frog will not notice and eventually will meet his demise.

So goes the story of a frog, so goes the story of our souls…

Continue reading “The Noise of the World is Boiling our Souls”

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.

 

Continue reading “I Love Jesus…Because I’m Muslim? Part 2”

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.

Continue reading “The Basketball Reformation: Fact or Fiction?”

Catholic Church – A Quick Tour, Part 2

Simple Catholic Snapshots

This is part two of a three-part series, where SimpleCatholicTruth takes you on a short tour of a typical Catholic Church. In the first post that you can find HERE, we opened the doors, entered the church and looked forward across the nave and to the sanctuary. Today we will turn around and look at the back and side walls to see what other parts of our church draw us closer to God.

  • The Holy Water Font – Where we recall our Baptism
  • The Ambry – A repository for the Oils used in the Sacraments
  • Sacred Images – Art that inspires worship of God
  • The Confessional -The place of Divine forgiveness.
  • Stations of the Cross – A devotion to Christ’s passion

Continue reading “Catholic Church – A Quick Tour, Part 2”

Catholic Church – A Quick Tour

Simple Catholic Snapshots

This is part one of a three-part series, where SimpleCatholicTruth takes you on a short tour of a typical Catholic Church. The building layout, the content, symbols and worship practices all point to the fact that this is a sacred building designated and consecrated for divine worship.

  • The Doors & Vestibule – The transition from the outside world to God’s dwelling place on earth.
  • The Sanctuary – The focus of the church and our worship. Contains the altar where the sacrifice of the Mass is celebrated and the offerings of bread and wine are consecrated into the real Body and Blood of Christ.
  • The Nave (with Pews) – The assembly area for all participants. While sitting, standing or kneeling,  the posture of our bodies reflects proper reverence to the risen Lord.
  • Baptismal Font – The location of our first Sacrament where we became adopted children of God.
  • Blessed Sacrament Chapel / Tabernacle – God dwells among us and here the physical body and blood of our risen Lord resides 24 hours per day.
  • Choir – Proper praise and worship includes music and song.

Continue reading “Catholic Church – A Quick Tour”

REAL Christmas Giving – St. Teresa’s Orphanage

For decades, our two daughters’ godmother has been organizing a Christmas gift-giving pilgrimage to St Teresa’s Orphanage in Ensenada, Mexico. It is quite a planning undertaking and lengthy commitment – dealing with two governments, coordinating with the orphanage, countless donors and about a dozen cars in the volunteer caravan. This year the trip was documented with this video production created by her granddaughter Evie. I hope you enjoy this example of REAL Christmas giving.

 

 

Click the video below:

 

If you would like to learn more about the orphanage or how you might be involved or help next Christmas, just drop me an email at tom@simplecatholictruth.com.

Blessings
Tom

Vote Like Your Life Depended On It

The time to vote is only two weeks away and frankly I’m pretty tired of the entire three-ring spectacle. I’m saddened that the best our great country can bring forward are these two flawed presidential candidates. Unfortunately, that is the current state of affairs.vote

Here in California, we have on our ballots two propositions that directly address the use of the death penalty in criminal cases. Recently, I’ve been asked by some fellow parishioners my opinion as to how to evaluate these issues and how to reconcile them with Catholic principles. I did my best to offer some guidance but will not share  those thoughts in this forum.

Today, however I ran across the video below that reminded me that there is one other issue, perhaps even more critical, that relates to a death penalty. I wish I had the ability to think and speak with the clarity of this priest. I thank God for this homily and the courage and strength of the man who delivered it.

The video runs a little under 20 minutes but I strongly recommend that you find a quite place and listen to it completely. The issues he speaks to are certainly controversial but are critically important. Listen carefully to his words and vote accordingly – someone’s life may depend on your action.

If you wish to share your reaction or opinion, please click “leave a comment” at the top left of this post. You can also share this post to Facebook, Twitter or Email using the buttons at the bottom. Help to spread the word!

 

Unlocking the Mystery of the Bible

Hello SCT followers. I just wanted to let you know that there is a fantastic Bible Study course about to start at St. Martin de Porres Catholic Church.

unlockingbibleThe study is called Unlocking the Mystery of the Bible and is produced by Jeff Cavins and the folks at Ascension Press.

If you have ever struggled to see the “Big Picture” of the Bible story then this is the class for you.

The course begins Wednesday, September 28th and meets for 8 consecutive Wednesdays.

Each meeting is very short – only about 1 hour and 20 minutes long. Each class starts with a 30-35 minute DVD video presentation by Jeff Cavins as he explains the 12 color coded periods of the entire Bible story. We then continue for another 35 minutes where I’ll lead a light discussion on the DVD we just viewed, what we learned and the things we need to remember.

If you’re new to the Bible or just need a fantastic “Big Picture” refresher on God’s Word then make plans and join us as we Unlock the Mystery of the Bible.

There’s only two things you need to do:

First: sign up and register for the class.
You can do that by visiting the St. Martin de Porres Bible Study website (click HERE) and follow the instructions for registration.
OR,
you can go directly to Ascension Press (click HERE) and register.

In either case, after you register and purchase your student book (only ~$20), it will be mailed directly to your mailing address. Allow about 1 week for delivery so don’t delay if you want to receive your book before the first class.

Second: Clear your calendar and join us.
Stop by beginning Wednesday September 28th at 7:00 pm at St. Marin De Porres Catholic Church in Yorba Linda, CA. We will meet in the St. Elizabeth classroom for 8 consecutive Wednesdays – Sept 28th through November 16.

 
Any questions? email us at:

tom@simplecatholictruth.com
or
garyp@smdpyl.org