November 26, 2012

Worthy Reads This Week

My blogging presence has been greatly minimized this past week due to Thanksgiving celebrations (good thing) and a family flu bug (bad thing), so my usual weekend Worthy Reads got pushed back to today. As we recover (pray for us!), please look the links below. ;)

Witnessing in the Here and Now by Genevieve Kineke @ Catholic Lane
Is it possible that when many important virtues ran hand in hand with the popular culture, that people lost their sense of Christ, who is the measure of all things? Could it be that convention was embraced as a way of creating order and stability rather than as a means of acknowledging our need for constant renewal? Is it possible that Christian piety had become ossified and stale?

The recent election made clear that those human constructs—Christian or otherwise—are no longer welcome in this individualistic paradise. Human dignity, the sanctity of life, marital fidelity, and many normal expressions of virtue are scorned as anachronistic by those who have “run too far ahead.”

Is there anything positive in this? How can good come of it? First, it purifies our intentions—we must now do the right thing for the right reason, which is what mature Christians do. 
Keep reading...

St. Christina the Astonishing and the Holiday Stinkiness by Stacy Trasancos @ The American Catholic
 Alright, let’s face it. Is this the time of year, just after Thanksgiving, when you start dreading the impending “Holiday (Don’t call it Christmas) Season?” You know, the season of nightly news stories about how schools won’t allow the display of Christian symbols, the already beginning onslaught of commercialism and advertising, the atheist sloganeering that degrades an event so sacred, and all the politically correct puffery about how to speak of the Holy Celebration of The Birthday – Christ’s Mass – without actually saying it.

It’s almost intolerable and almost ruinous, like the odor of the hydro-treated petroleum distillates of Goo Gone® invading a warm and apple-cinnamony glowing kitchen. Pee-yew!

How to rise above it all? Well, there’s a unique, if not peculiar, saint who would probably react the way I’d like to react in the middle of holiday nonsense, St. Christina of LiĆ©ge, also more appropriately named, St. Christina the Astonishing. She frequently tried to escape, well, worldly stinkiness.

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Becoming a Holy Family by Terry McDermott @ Catholic Lane
“How many of you say prayers with your family before bedtime?” Of the twenty children in the class, only two put up their hands.

“How many of you say the Grace Before Meals?” No show of hands.

“Do you ever pray the Rosary with your family?” Again, no hands.

“Who goes to church every Sunday?” This question was met with a greater show of hands, but it wasn’t unanimous.

It’s no surprise that our society is becoming increasingly secular. The God of Truth, in large part, has been replaced by the gods of convenience, acquisition, power, prestige, sex. The Lord’s Day has become one more day in which to shop and family time has been replaced with overly-scheduled children’s sports practices and music lessons, as well as parents’ pursuit of self-actualization. Is it any wonder that so few of the children in my class have any time for prayer at all?

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Love Can Be Hated by Leticia @ Catholic Sistas
Real love is hard. Real love hurts. Real love is a mess. And real love means putting ourselves on a cross freely for the one(s) that we love. 
Everything Jesus did from the moment he was conceived in Mary’s womb to the moment He ascended into Heaven was Love Incarnate. Everything He did was to show us the way of Love, the way of God; the Way to Heaven. He was God and He was born in a barn and laid in a feeding trough. He came down from Heaven and put Himself right in the middle of our human messiness. There is no place messier than a trough used to put food scraps for the animals. Then He lived a life of a normal person loving, laughing, working, worshipping, crying and meeting person after person who He loved, who He CREATED, and who rejected Him or didn’t recognize Him. He was betrayed, arrested, berated and hung on a Cross. Why? 
To show us what Love is. Who Love is.

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Let's Talk More About Abortion by S.E. Cupp @ New York Daily News
This past weekend, I was down in Washington and had a chance to talk to some Republican lawmakers and strategists on Capitol Hill about the trouncing we took in the presidential election.

Over and over again, the fear that the conservative pro-life position may have contributed to our loss came up. Their solution? We have to stop talking about it.

But this cannot be an option. The respect for life is a moral imperative that defines conservatism as much as fiscal responsibility. Conservatism cannot abandon it and remain uncompromised.

Over time, liberalism has normalized abortion, first insisting it should be “safe, legal and rare,” then painting pro-life advocates as fanatics who should be ostracized for foisting their puritanism on the public.

Conservatives need to reclaim the conversation — which they can’t do without talking about it.

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The 'Catholics Are Divided, Too' Objection by Bryan Cross @ Called to Communion
When Protestants become Catholic, one reason they typically give for doing so is the prospect of attaining unity. They recognize both that the perpetual fragmentation between Protestant denominations cannot be the fulfillment of Christ’s prayer in John 17 that His followers be one, and that this fragmentation is perpetually insoluble by way of sola scriptura and the assumption that Scripture is sufficiently perspicuous to establish or preserve Christians in the unity for which Christ prayed. In the Magisterium of the Catholic Church they see a divinely established way of preserving doctrinal and visible unity through the role of the episcopal successor of St. Peter in Rome. 
However, there is a seemingly powerful objection to this argument, an objection raised frequently in response to the prospect of finding in the Catholic Church the unity for which Christ prayed in St. John 17. The objection is the following claim: Catholics are divided too, no less than are Protestants. According to this objection when a Protestant becomes Catholic he does not enter into a greater unity, because he is merely moving from a relatively unified Protestant denomination among many other Protestant denominations, to the structurally unified institution of the Catholic Church composed of members who, it seems, disagree over just about everything.

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