June 29, 2010
June 28, 2010
June 24, 2010
Whoo boy, do these guys really capture the empty essence of the Evangelical megachurch phenom. Humorous but dead-on accurate. That's my take. What do you think?
Update (suggested by a reader):
Here's yesterday's "Catholic Answers Live" radio show in which I discuss some general principles for Catholics who want to evangelize Mormons, especially their missionaries who will, sooner or later, show up on your doorstep, ready to talk religion. Be ready for them!
Check out this very encouraging story out of North Carolina. It recalls to my mind St. James' teaching on prayer and its effects:
“The prayer of a righteous man has great power in its effects. Elijah was a man of like nature with ourselves and he prayed fervently that it might not rain, and for three years and six months it did not rain on the earth. Then he prayed again and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth its fruit. My brethren, if any one among you wanders from the truth and some one brings him back, let him know that whoever brings back a sinner from the error of his way will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins” (James 5:16-20).
A Raleigh abortuary that has seen constant prayer from pro-lifers with the popular 40 Days for Life campaign has ceased performing abortions.The Raleigh News and Observer reported Wednesday that National Women's Health Organization of Raleigh is, in the words of one local pro-abortion affiliate, "in transition." The affiliate, Ann Rose, said that the last abortions would be conducted on Saturday, but she would not explain what other changes the “transition” would entail.The paper reports that the abortuary was generally thought to be for sale after its founder, pro-abortion activist Susan Hill, passed away of breast cancer in February. There are two other facilities in Raleigh where abortions are performed.David Bereit, the national director of 40 Days for Life, praised the end of the destruction of unborn life at a building where prayer witnesses with the nationwide campaign have kept vigil. North Carolina was one of the first states ever to conduct a 40 Days for Life campaign."Even as we praise God for this victory, pray that this center, which has done so much harm, completely closes and that the workers experience conversions!" said Bereit.Bereit also lauded statistics cited by the News and Observer story, which show that abortions have been declining in North Carolina; the abortion rate dropped 4.6% between 2007 and 2008."Your prayers and faithful efforts continue to bear great fruit!" Bereit told supporters. (source)
“To those who object that faith is nonsense, because it makes one believe something that does not fall under the experience of the senses, St. Thomas gives a very articulated answer, and recalls that this is an inconsistent doubt, because human intelligence is limited and cannot know everything.“Only in the case that we could know perfectly all visible and invisible things, would it then be genuine nonsense to accept truths purely on faith. However, it is impossible to live, St. Thomas observes, without trusting the experience of others, where personal knowledge does not reach.“Hence it is reasonable to have faith in God who reveals Himself and in the testimony of the Apostles: they were few, simple and poor, dismayed by the Crucifixion of their Teacher; and yet many wise, noble and rich persons were converted in a short time upon listening to their preaching. It is, in fact, a historically striking phenomenon, to which with difficulty one can give any other reasonable answer, other than that of the Apostles' encounter with the Risen Lord” . . . (continue reading)
June 23, 2010
If you have trouble viewing the above video link (apparently some of my foreign readers have), here's another one which should work:
The end of an era, then and now. What an iconic moment this famous picture captured. It was snapped 15 years before I was born, but it's been an image I've seen all my life.
June 22, 2010
A cameraman films a painting discovered with the earliest known icons of the Apostles Peter and Paul in a catacomb located under a modern office building in a residential neighborhood of Rome, Tuesday, June, 22, 2010. Restorers said Tuesday they had unearthed the 4th-century images using a new laser technique that allowed them to burn off centuries of white calcium deposits without damaging the dark colors of the original paintings underneath. The paintings adorn what is believed to be the tomb of a Roman noblewoman and represent some of the earliest evidence of devotion to the apostles in early Christianity.ROME — The earliest known icons of the Apostles Peter and Paul have been discovered in a catacomb under an eight-story modern office building in a working-class neighborhood of Rome, Vatican officials said Tuesday.The images, which date from the second half of the 4th century, were discovered on the ceiling of a tomb that also includes the earliest known images of the apostles John and Andrew. They were uncovered using a new laser technique that allowed restorers to burn off centuries of thick white calcium carbonate deposits without damaging the dark colors of the original paintings underneath.The paintings adorn what is believed to be the tomb of a Roman noblewoman in the Santa Tecla catacomb and represent some of the earliest evidence of devotion to the apostles in early Christianity, Vatican officials said in opening up the tomb to the media for the first time.Last June, the Vatican announced the discovery of the icon of Paul — timed to coincide with the end of the Vatican's Pauline year. At the time, Pope Benedict XVI also announced that tests on bone fragments long attributed to Paul "seemed to confirm" that they did indeed belong to the Roman Catholic saint. . . . (continue reading)
Another possible explanation for the Pope Joan legend lies in the conduct of the much maligned Pope John VIII (reigned 872-882). He appears to have had a very weak personality, even perhaps somewhat effeminate.
June 17, 2010
June 15, 2010
June 14, 2010
June 11, 2010
June 9, 2010
An Italian Vatican expert is saying that Bishop Luigi Padovese, Apostolic Vicar of Anatolia and President of the Turkish Bishops’ Conference, canceled his trip to Cyprus because he feared that his driver –who later confessed to killing the bishop- might attempt an attack on Pope Benedict XVI during his stay on the island.Analyst Fr. Fillippo di Giacomo, who writes for publications such as L’Unitá and La Stampa, revealed that “hours before Padovese was killed, the Turkish Government called him to say that his driver, who they themselves had put in his service four years before, had gotten out of hand. That is to say, he had embraced the fundamentalist cause.”Speaking to the Spanish daily El Pais, Fr. di Giacomo added that “knowing this, Padovese canceled the tickets he had reserved to Cyprus for himself and Altun (his driver). He preferred to stay home rather than to make the trip because he feared that his driver would take advantage of his proximity to the Pope and make an attempt on his life. . . ” (continue reading)
June 8, 2010
I want to share a personal story with you that happened a few weeks ago while on a flight. It inspired our entire Catholics Come Home team, and I hope it inspires you, too!
I boarded an early morning flight to return home, following a Catholics Come Home presentation in Wichita the night before.
After take-off and the beverage service, I took a second to thank the two hard-working flight attendants for their exceptional hospitality. A little later, one of the flight attendants stopped to tell me how much she appreciated and needed that kind word of affirmation at this time in her life.
Prior to landing, I felt led to take out one of our CatholicsComeHome.org evangelization cards. On the back of the card, I wrote, “The hope you are seeking can be found only in Jesus and His Church.” I signed my name and held the card in my hand, waiting for an opportunity to hand it to her, if it was meant to be.
As we began our descent into the Atlanta airport, that flight attendant stopped one last time to thank me as she headed to the back of the plane for landing. I took a leap of faith and handed her the CCH evangelization card and note, asking her to read it when she got home.
Thanks to God’s abundant grace, last week our office received a wonderful letter from that flight attendant! In it, she explained that she had suffered loneliness since her divorce a year ago, and she was looking for answers. She went on to say that she desperately needed that Catholics Come Home card and hopeful note on the back, and that she hadn’t stopped crying since she received the little card. Amazingly, she confided that she had been away from the Catholic Church and from God for many years. After receiving the Catholics Come Home card and note, she returned to Mass last week, and had finally found exactly what she had been looking for—God!
I wanted to share this story with you as a reminder that each of us is called to share the Good News of Jesus and His Church to a world in need of hope. As members of the Body of Christ, we are called to work passionately to bring souls home to Jesus and His holy Catholic Church. And, it’s always incredible to witness the fruit that comes from being obedient to the will of God.
Likely, someone out there is waiting for you to invite them home too, whether on a plane, at the store, or at your child’s swim meet. So when the opportunity arises, take the time to answer the Holy Spirit’s call, and help change someone’s life forever!
Your brother in Christ Jesus,
June 7, 2010
June 3, 2010
Coming soon to a bookstore near you, my new book on atheism (co-authored with Kenneth Hensley) is called The Godless Delusion: A Catholic Challenge to Modern Atheism and will be released in the next two weeks. Pre-order your signed copy today.