Archives for 2015

7 Quick Takes Friday (set #162)

7 Quick Takes Friday

This week: Cookie time, our annual reminder to scrutinize GSUSA. Pampers now values their customers (a good 180 degree turn). Call no man father. Not “getting anything out of” the “boring” Mass – Christopher Stefanick comments. Two Catholic news sources, one true and one in name only. A child’s fight with Hodgkin lymphoma. Andrew Klavan.

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Girl Scouts Tears

It’s cookie time again and time to remind you to love the scouts but not Girl Scouts USA. Remember that this immoral organization gets 85% of cookie sale proceeds, not the local troops. Today’s national organization is NOT the beloved one of the past. That spirit has left the room screaming and found sanctuary in the American Heritage Girls and others who have sprung-up as moral replacements for today’s GSUSA. monitors GSUSA and exposes their (well documented) misrepresentations. They produced this video:

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Pampers has come a long way. Back in the day, they illogically supported Planned Parenthood. Thankfully, they have rejoined humanity and produced this:

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One of the dozen or so most common anti-Catholic “issues” is the ever popular “call no man father” foil. Consider it apologetics 101. Patrick Vandapool addresses this objection here and in this video version:

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How often have you heard “it is boring” or “I don’t get anything out of it” when some people speak of the Most Holy Sacrifice of the Mass? It is a catechesis problem, they simply don’t know what the Mass is. Christopher Stefanick offers this:

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Jeff Harris has this new illustration depicting the difference between the schismatic “National Catholic Reporter” and the excellent, faithful National Catholic Register (part of EWTN). They are a study in opposites.

Just to be clear: “National Catholic Reporter” = BAD, National Catholic Register = GOOD.

Sword Of Peter Reporter Vs Register

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This is a nice story about a child who suffered with Hodgkin lymphoma last year.

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Speaking of cancer, it is under attack by the Jews! Andrew Klavan mocks those blinded by their hatred of Israel for political (liberal) ideological reasons.

Some random thoughts or bits of information are worthy of sharing but don’t warrant their own full post. This idea was begun by Jennifer Fulwiler and is now continued by Kelly Mantoan. So, some Fridays I too participate when I have accumulated 7 worthy items. Thank you Kelly for hosting this project!

From the archive (set #5)


Little time means a dive into the archive! Here are 3 of my brief essays that you may have missed from 5 years ago. All remain as relevant today as when they were written.

Sola Scriptura

To Catholics, Sola Scriptura is a foreign concept born of necessity through schism. The Church Jesus founded thrives under His authority, passed directly through Apostolic Succession and reflected in Sacred Tradition. The Holy Bible itself exists through that authority, not in place of it. The Bible comes from the Church. The Church does not come from the Bible!

…read it all:   Sola Scriptura

Spiritual Desert

In some ways we Catholics (and other Christians too) are like spiritual manic depressives. Often we are on a “high,” close to God and at peace. Other times we allow ourselves to become trapped in worldly matters, giving little attention to the “big picture” in deference to immediate needs of our earthly world.

…read it all:   Spiritual desert

Who Died

Central to Jesus plan for our earthly lives is His Church – the Universal Church – the Catholic Church. THAT is who Jesus “left in charge.” Jesus created 1 Church, not many denominations. He appointed officials (Apostles and their successor Bishops) and a leader (Peter and his successor popes). Christ created His Church not just for the decades following His death, but “until the end of the age.”

7 Quick Takes Friday (set #161)

7 Quick Takes Friday

This week: A Blackstone Films video on the recent March for Life. The truth about abortion (1 killed, 1 wounded). Ascension Press has an outstanding new vocational video. Josh opens doors and hearts (but is searching for God). Lutheran Satire looks at some lame (but typical) anti-Christian arguments. “#Equality” looks forward to secular nirvana. Alcohol, responsibility, and those depending on you.

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Blackstone Films has made this moving film commemorating the 2015 March for Life:

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Abortion is the great liberator for women, right? It “fixes” a “problem” for them so that they will not be “punished” with a baby and frees them go on to a happy and fulfilling life, right? Women Hurt offers the truth:

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The folks at Ascension Press are doing great work in new media. I have written about their excellent Chosen program and have featured aspect their videos and trailers. They have just published an outstanding vocation video called I Will Follow. It is longish at almost 11 minutes, but very good:

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This is a wonderful story — of tragedy — then recovery through service to others. I enjoyed it a good deal but can not help feeling that unbeknownst to Josh, he is searching for God. “You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our hearts are restless until they rest in you.” (St. Augustine, of course) I hope that he (well, everyone for that matter) is, or becomes, Catholic and discerns carefully his calling.

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Those wacky dudes and dudettes at Lutheran Satire produced this video a while back. It is something to keep in mind as the History Channel and their ilk pulls out their typical rubbish in Lent (sooner than you think this year!).

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This is an odd video, a parody of secularism and its direction:

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This is a good commercial from a beer company. People need to think before drinking then act responsibly afterwards. Their actions may forever change the lives of many, many others.

Spotted by Msgr. Pope

Some random thoughts or bits of information are worthy of sharing but don’t warrant their own full post. This idea was begun by Jennifer Fulwiler and is now continued by Kelly Mantoan. So, some Fridays I too participate when I have accumulated 7 worthy items. Thank you Kelly for hosting this project!

Resources: Called to Communion

Resources Called To Communion

Seven years ago my first “resource” piece was on Catholic Answers. They remain one of the best places for information about the faith and where I would send most people.

Called to Communion is in some ways similar. They are a website, blog, article library, podcasts and radio presence. While smaller than Catholic Answers, their work on average is at a deeper level. They are “theology geeks”, highly educated and very smart.

The CtC authors are converts themselves, specifically from Calvinist (e.g. Presbyterian) backgrounds. They are WELL versed in theology and generally were very skeptical of Catholicism (to put it charitably). Like many of us converts, they never dreamed that they would one day be Catholic!

The authors page lists over 20 outstanding folks. Seminary education is common as is passing through Anglicanism on their way here. In the group is a deacon, five PhDs (plus several PhD candidates), two professors of philosophy, an executive director, several hold Masters of Divinity, an ordained PCA minister, a CRC pastor, a theology teacher, an attorney, an OPC ordained minister, an M.A. in Historical Theology, a Pontifical Faculty of Theology and a Master of Theological Studies. I am sure I missed a lot in this quick survey. Today these guys (and 1 gal) are heavily involved with the faith in their professions, with personal blogs, as book authors and on Catholic radio. Be impressed!

Blog and Articles

The CtC blog includes short posts, often of a timely nature on the liturgical calendar or current events.

The article library is really the heart of the site. The pieces are typically thorough, well researched (with footnotes) and necessarily long. The comments are a goldmine of insights and discussion, often hundreds (or more) replies.

Podcasts and Radio

A growing number of audio podcasts are available for listening or downloading. Some of the podcasts are recordings of earlier radio shows. Like the blog and articles, each includes a comment section with good discussions on the topic.

The radio component is primarily Dr. David Anders’ show, appropriately named Called to Communion. This popular show was previously 1 day per week in EWTN’s “Open Line” time-slot. Several months ago it expended into its own time-slot, 4 days each week. It is on EWTN, Sirius, iHeart and even short wave. Many local Catholic radio stations carry it. It can also be viewed live. This is in a call-in format, particularly inviting non-Catholics to call with their questions or (usually incorrect) assumptions. Dr. Anders is an excellent apologist with a lot of “meat” in his answers. I regularly enjoy these excellent podcasts.

Seeking God’s Help

Seeking Gods Help

Guest contributor:   Ed Trego

“I love you, O Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.” (Psalms 18:1-2)

Have you ever noticed that once you have decided to do something to improve yourself, it becomes very difficult? For instance, you make a promise to yourself to eat a better diet and instantly begin to crave donuts. Or you make a commitment that you are going to read a few verses in the bible each day and suddenly your evenings are jam-packed. I’ve experienced these difficulties whenever I’ve made a decision to do something to benefit my spiritual life, my married life, or any other aspect of my life that I wish to improve. It seems there are always obstacles to overcome and weakness in overcoming them.

Improving our lives, even in areas that are already pretty good is a worthy goal. As a Christian, it is a means of serving our God and thanking Him for the many blessings He has given us. God is pleased when we make an effort to make our offering of ourselves to Him as good as it can be.

Satan, however, wants to interfere with anything that improves our relationship with God. His efforts are to convince us that we don’t need to improve. In fact, we are probably already doing more than is necessary. Why add more when we are already doing more than enough? Look around, nobody seems to be worrying about it except us, so why should we worry and fret over things that don’t matter. The enemy can make a very logical argument for us to accept our current state and believe it is good enough. However, if we stop and consider our current state, we will realize there is always room for improvement in our spiritual life and our relationship with God.

When I look at the times in my life when my efforts for improvement are thwarted, I can clearly see the influence of Satan in those failures. It’s often very difficult to see his influence as it occurs, but it becomes quite easy to see Satan’s efforts in retrospect. I think of the times when I’ve decided to improve my diet to better my health and then almost immediately go out for a breakfast of eggs, sausage, biscuits and gravy. Then maybe I’ll have another biscuit or two with some jam. Not only is that not in line with my efforts to eat a healthier diet, it’s also far more than I would have normally eaten for breakfast. I can see the hand of the enemy in this scenario very clearly.

As an author I need to set aside time each day to write. If not, the next book will never come. Again I often see that same enemy, Satan, influencing my efforts. There’s too much other stuff that has to be done today. I don’t have time to sit down and write this evening. But I’ll do better tomorrow, or the next day, or next week.

When I really see the work of the devil is when I put off something I’ve planned as to better my relationship with God and find myself watching some ridiculous show on television instead. Not only am I not doing as I planned to improve my offerings to God, I’m wasting the precious time given me by God on worthless, inane drivel. While there is occasionally a show actually worth watching, it’s extremely rare that anything on commercial television is of any real value.

Even my favorite sport, baseball, is used by the enemy to interfere with my efforts. Anyone who is familiar with baseball can tell you that you are hardly ever going to miss anything important if you miss an inning or two of televised baseball. In the event something exciting really happened, it will be replayed over and over throughout the rest of the game, so you aren’t going to miss it completely. And yet, I’ll sit and continue to watch a game that is scoreless through four or five innings rather than take the time to read a few verses in my bible, or perhaps proof-read or edit a book I’m working on. Yes, I love baseball. And certainly there’s nothing wrong with watching a baseball game. But I shouldn’t allow it to take me from those things that will improve my relationship with God.

How do these things happen? How can we avoid them? It takes one of the gifts of the Holy Spirit, fortitude, to overcome Satan and his tricks. Fortitude is that ability to overcome difficulty or even pain by the power of God. It’s important to note that we overcome Satan by the power of God, not of our own power. Fortitude and perseverance helps us turn to God when tempted. It urges us to ask His help. God is always waiting for our call, but we must the effort to ask for His help. As with most things in our spiritual life, we have to make the decision to accept the wonderful gifts God offers us. He doesn’t force us to accept His gifts; He offers them out of his love for us. I believe it pleases God greatly when we turn to Him for help in overcoming our difficulties. He wants us to make use of His many blessings. It’s our responsibility to do so.

Prayer and reliance on God’s strength are the only effective weapons in the fight again the enemy. We, as humans, aren’t capable of resisting Satan on our own. We simply don’t have the strength required. But God has more than enough strength for this purpose and is pleased to provide it to us in our sincere effort to overcome the devil’s temptations.

The trouble is, we want to do it ourselves and we want to do it our way. Unfortunately that is playing directly into the strength of Satan. He knows full well that we can’t resist him on our own. From Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, to King David committing adultery with Bathsheba, to Judas betraying Jesus, we see over and over again that we are no match for the Evil One. He knows it and we know it as well. We just chose not to acknowledge the fact. The part that I really don’t understand is why? Why would we continue to try to overcome Satan on our own when we’ve proven to ourselves over and over that it’s not possible? Maybe it’s pride, maybe if just foolishness on our part, but we continue to fight a battle we can’t win.

If we look at the world today we can see how very obvious it is that Satan is winning the battle as long as we refuse to call on the strength of God in our efforts to defeat him. Prayer is the best defense we have to win this, our most important, battle. If we want to be successful in our attempts to defeat Satan and in resisting his temptations we must remember that it’s not possible without the grace of God. Without God’s strength Satan will win every time. Only through the grace of God and the strength He offers can we hope to overcome the Devil and his temptations of evil.

When we pray, Satan cringes. Our prayers are his greatest fear. For if we are in communion with God, Satan can have no power over us. Frustration, anger, pride, disappointment; these are some of the weapons the enemy uses against us. Sadly, when experiencing these trials we too often fail to go to God for his help to overcome them. The devil knows we humans think we can do all things and he uses it to his advantage whenever possible. However, when we turn to God in these times, Satan is shut out. His strength can’t begin to compare to the strength of prayer. For this reason, maintaining a vibrant, faithful prayer life is one of the most important things we can do to repel the enemy and his attempts to pull us away from God.

As we improve our prayer life, we will improve our spiritual life. But we must expect that Satan will challenge us at every opportunity. When we wake in the morning he will try to distract us from simply thanking God for another day. As we go to work, he will do his best to feed our anger when someone cuts us off. At work, each frustration will become an opportunity for the devil to pull us away from God and make us focus on our frustration rather than the solution. As we travel home, he will fill our minds with all of the things we think we must do that evening and before we know it we are going to bed. We’ve hardly spoken to God throughout the whole day because of Satan. Even as we attempt to pray before sleep, the enemy will try to fill our mind with worries and concerns about the day to come.

The only way to overcome him is through the very thing he tries hardest to stop; our prayers. A healthy prayer life relieves those daily frustrations and anger points. It gives us the ability to look at others differently. Rather than seeing an unreasonable boss, perhaps we can begin to see he is only reacting to the demands being placed upon him. Maybe we can consider that the person who cut us off in traffic truly didn’t see us and would have loved the chance to apologize for their action. If we have a prayerful relationship with God, we will begin to see His presence in others. We can recognize the suffering of Christ in the truly down-trodden and homeless. We can see the rejection of Christ in the unloved child who turns to crime and violence because they’ve never know the joy of being loved. We can truly begin to recognize that we are all creations of God and understand that we are called to love each other as Jesus loves us.

God waits for us. He stands ready to help us in all of our trials and temptations. Whether our problems be big or small, He will respond to our prayer. He is delighted by our plea to Him for help. We must reach out to Him and ask for His help.

“Ask, and it will be given you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened for you.” (Matthew 7:7)

The above meditation is a chapter from Ed’s new eBook “The Narrow Gate”.

Available now for only $1.99 on Amazon,


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and other fine publishers.