Archives for December 2013

7 Quick Takes Friday (set #121)

7 Quick Takes Friday the 13th

This week: The December issue of New Evangelists Monthly is ready and calling you. Why does God let us suffer? The Sacraments of Initiation explained like never before. Is evil rational? Fr. Barron describes his call to the priesthood. A close look at the “pro-life” exceptions for rape and incest. Obama: “whatever we once were, we are no longer a Christian nation.”

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New Evangelists Monthly

Issue #12, December 2013, of New Evangelists Monthly is ready for your enjoyment! Scores of faithful Catholic bloggers have contributed their very best pieces from November. This month brought these great topics: aspiration, saved, O antiphons, armor, time, roof surfing, mom vocation, transformation, purgatory, forward, Advent, Thanksgiving, JFK+50, sinner, aborted cells, JPII Genesis, ridiculous, shine upon, decorating, Santa, labyrinth, golf, your mother, visiting, serving, emotions, resources, rosary kids, beauty, 1-in-3, my hero, old law, “Xmas,” Wojtyla, tears, lamb, blood, the lapsed, planning, worm, thankful, creed, own worse, communing, Kevin Lee, prays together, one child, Heaven, Lewis, scenery, water and wine, cemetery, worldly, furthering, shared cup, beginning, truth, experience, bring Christ, saints, life addiction, household, selective memory, eternal, Catholicity, kingdom, loss, babababa ma, radio, 3 men, math/truth, women, Zacchaeus, marriage, we crooks, in us, monsters, beauty, examination, “ordinary,” free will, future me, Geisha, interpreting, relating, dryness, Notre Dame, Christmas, mercy, authentic, good reads, know/love/serve and kiotsuke.

This monthly “meta-magazine” showcases faithful Catholicism from theology to family life and “everything in between.” Enjoy it now at

Read Now

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Why does God let us suffer? Christopher Stefanick explores this topic:

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Outside da Box explains the Sacraments of Initiation like you have never heard them explained before (trust me on this)!

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Is evil rational? Dennis Prager takes a very rational look at it:

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A “bell going off” is how Fr. Barron describes his initial call to the priesthood:

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The only basis for the pro-life argument is the taking of an innocent human life is an intrinsic evil. Intrinsic evil is never justified. To compromise on this, believing the end justifies the means, does nothing less than strengthen the pro-abort position. Make no mistake about it, it is stepping away from truth (God). Such is the “rape and incest” abortion exception.

In this video, victims of rape and children born of rape discuss this issue. Listen to them.

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Sometimes we forget who we are. Much of America has forgotten. In the case of President Obama, it is apparently a complete memory loss. To remember he need only take a short stroll around his (temporary) home.

Spotted by my friend Tom

Some random thoughts or bits of information are worthy of sharing but don’t warrant their own full post. This idea was started by Jennifer Fulwiler at Conversion Diary to address this blogging need. So, some Fridays I too participate when I have accumulated 7 worthy items. Thank you Jen for hosting this project!

New Evangelists Monthly – December 2013, Issue #12

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7 Quick Takes Friday (set #120)

7 Quick Takes Friday

This week: Welcome to Advent 2013! Support stores who do not sanitize Christ from Christmas. The context of every Church teaching. The love story of one preemie. 2 miracles in 1 birth. A look at Pope Francis’ statements. Some videos on the power of the traditional Mass.

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Welcome to Advent! ‘Tis the season…   of what?

Advent 2013

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This year, will we be rewarding stores who take Christ out of Christmas?

Spotted by Fr. Z

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Christopher Stefanick has a many wonderful videos on the faith. Here, he talks about the context of every Church teaching:

Spotted by Russ Rentler

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Ben Miller’s son was born premature. This video is the love story between baby Ward and his mom and dad.

Spotted by Matt Archbold

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A woman’s swelling below her ribs is not the happy circumstance of a pregnancy, she has blocked that with IUD contraception. It is instead a cancerous tumor which would be removed in 12 weeks (this is the UK). Prior to her surgery, a new scan shows: miracle #1 – she is now 7 weeks pregnant and miracle #2 – pregnancy hormones had caused the tumor to disappear. The story is here.

Interestingly, the mom seems to have no idea how such a thing could happen. The story ends by her naming her newborn Superman.

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As we can all see, our Holy Father speaks from his heart. Language issues, mistranslations, poor reporting and especially – the agenda driven mainstream media aside…   he shakes things up. Pope Francis forces us to look freshly at the Gospel message, ourselves and our path.

His background and experiences differs from ours here in the US and can make some of his comments — well, inapplicable. For example, when he earlier spoke of the Church focusing too much on abortion and homosexuality – it was a “head scratcher” for faithful Catholic Americans. These topics are rarely raised in homilies (much to our disappointment). Last week the same sort of problem pops up in Evangelii Gaudium where Pope Francis speaks of the dangers of unhampered, absolutely autonomous markets. We simply don’t know where anything close to that exists. Not that it should, just that it doesn’t.

The Acton Institute focuses on social justice in economic issues. Fr. Robert Sirico comments:

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This is a powerful promotional type video for the traditional Mass.

See also part 2 and part 3 .

Some random thoughts or bits of information are worthy of sharing but don’t warrant their own full post. This idea was started by Jennifer Fulwiler at Conversion Diary to address this blogging need. So, some Fridays I too participate when I have accumulated 7 worthy items. Thank you Jen for hosting this project!

Are you saved?

Are You Saved

Have you ever been asked if you are saved? Maybe you have even asked this question of others.

The question says a lot about the inquirer – all good. They are a Christian who knows Jesus Christ and accepts Him as their Lord and Savior. They summon the courage to ask this question, one which in today’s world can easily get them labeled as a “religious kook.” They do that because they care about the eternal salvation of others (i.e. love their neighbor) and want to share the Good News of faith with them that they too may be transformed. May God bless them and make the mustard seeds they sow fruitful!

We learn from Holy Scripture and are taught by the Church of the new covenant in Christ, offered through His merits alone: by His passion and death for us on the cross. Only through His most Precious Blood are we redeemed of our sins. All are redeemed but all are not saved (the heresy of universalism). Salvation is gained by uniting ourselves with Christ.

Our evangelizing friend’s beliefs are true in many important ways, but in asking this question we know that they are wrong in at least one very, very important area: the moment of salvation. Those such as our friend believe in a non-biblical doctrine commonly described as “once saved, always saved” (OSAS). They believe that salvation offered by Christ may be accepted and irreversibly gained through a one-time act. This act is accomplished by a sinner’s prayer when the penitent sincerely accepts Jesus Christ as his or her personal Lord and Savior. The wording varies, but one example is:

Dear Lord Jesus, I know that I am a sinner, and I ask for Your forgiveness. I believe You died for my sins and rose from the dead. I turn from my sins and invite You to come into my heart and life. I want to trust and follow You as my Lord and Savior. In Your Name. Amen.

These are wonderful prayers. Praying thus sincerely one-time, with all of your mind, will and heart, does not lock-in salvation – unless perhaps you die immediately afterward. You are on the right track if you live the sinner’s prayer every day.

OSAS is a product of the Protestant revolution, developing well after the initial schisms (1,500 years after Christ). For the most part, it is a modern invention of the last hundred years or so (almost 2,000 years after Christ). It is a dangerous heresy. It takes final judgment away from Christ and makes salvation an act of man (however sincere). Dying in a state of grace (i.e. in friendship with God), of which we know not the hour (Mark 13:32) is no longer imperative. Our on-going conversion to full unity with Christ (working out our salvation with fear and trembling; Philippians 2:12) is no longer a concern.

There is no irreversible moment of salvation until Christ, the most merciful and just judge, meets us upon our death. Then and only then will the wheat be separated from the chaf (Matthew 3:12), with the sheep then set on his right and goats on his left (Matthew 25:31-45; some calling-out “Lord, Lord” – Matthew 7:21-23).

How do we respond as faithful Catholics to this question? In truth… “I am already saved (Romans 8:24, Ephesians 2:5-8), but I’m also being saved (1 Corinthians 1:18, 2 Corinthians 2:15, Philippians 2:12), and I have the hope that I will be saved (Romans 5:9-10,1 Corinthians 3:12-15). Like the apostle Paul I am working out my salvation in fear and trembling (Philippians 2:12), with hopeful confidence in the promises of Christ (Romans 5:2, 2 Timothy 2:11-13).”

Catholic Answers has two excellent articles for your further reading: