Tuesday, October 28, 2014

I See...

What do people see when they encounter you?

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Back to the Basics

Just a few thoughts on this beautiful fall evening:

When our family became Catholic in 2007, I felt a bit overwhelmed.  With 2,000 years of history, there is a lot to learn.  So many wonderful saints' lives to investigate.  So many writings to read.  So many documents to study.  So many amazing resources to examine.  So many incredible prayers to incorporate into my prayer life. (If you've read any of my articles at Catholic365, you can learn a bit more about this.)

In the midst of all this growing and learning, though, there are a couple of things I have discovered that I think is super, super important:

-Don't forget the basics.

    1.  Though we attend Mass almost every day, corporate prayer and worship should never be a replacement for personal times of prayer and worship.  (This is a both/and, not an either/or...)

    2.  Though I hear Scripture read every time I go to Mass, it should not be a replacement for personal times of reading and praying through Scripture.  (Again, both/and...)

When I was an R.A. in Bible college, I had a bit of advice for the girls on my hall.  I repeated it several times in the two years I served:  Don't allow daily chapel to replace your personal relationship with Christ.  So for all of us, I extend that tidbit of wisdom.  Cultivate your love and relationship with God every day.  Happy Lord's Day, everyone!

Thursday, October 09, 2014

In Defense of Life and Family

In light of the current Synod on the Family,  I took the opportunity to read Humanae Vitae.  If you are unfamiliar with this document,  it was written by Pope Paul VI in 1968.  The full text can be found here.  Humanae Vitae

Keep in mind the year 1968--the time of "Free Love," the sexual revolution,  and  "Sex, Drugs, and Rock & Roll."  The cry of the day was against "the establishment" and the trend was, "whatever feels good,  do it."

Yet Pope Paul VI stood strong in the midst of the tidal wave of individualism, and reasserted the teaching of the Church, even when some voices within the Church were calling for a more "open" view to contraception,  abortion,  sex, and family life.

I was amazed by the prophetic nature of this writing.   Though written almost 50 years ago, he foretold that, if the course of things continued as they were, the government would one day decide the issue.

"It could well happen, therefore, that when people, either individually or in family or social life, experience the inherent difficulties of the divine law and are determined to avoid them, they may give into the hands of public authorities the power to intervene in the most personal and intimate responsibility of husband and wife."

And yet, he spoke to government leaders:

"And now We wish to speak to rulers of nations. To you most of all is committed the responsibility of safeguarding the common good. You can contribute so much to the preservation of morals. We beg of you, never allow the morals of your peoples to be undermined. The family is the primary unit in the state; do not tolerate any legislation which would introduce into the family those practices which are opposed to the natural law of God. For there are other ways by which a government can and should solve the population problem—that is to say by enacting laws which will assist families and by educating the people wisely so that the moral law and the freedom of the citizens are both safeguarded."

Thinking back, too, on the rapid advances in technology since that time,  we can clearly hear the Holy Spirit speaking through him:

"Everything therefore in the modern means of social communication which arouses men’s baser passions and encourages low moral standards, as well as every obscenity in the written word and every form of indecency on the stage and screen, should be condemned publicly and unanimously by all those who have at heart the advance of civilization and the safeguarding of the outstanding values of the human spirit. It is quite absurd to defend this kind of depravity in the name of art or culture or by pleading the liberty which may be allowed in this field by the public authorities."

Please join me in praying for the attendees of this synod.  For though the tidal wave has grown, God is still bigger.  God bless.