The Illusion of Ownership and the Slavery of Sin

October 2, 2011: Twenty-Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time Your life is not your own; being a good tenant means giving up ownership to God.

Respect Life Sunday, October 2, 2011

Home ownership the cornerstone of the American Dream, isn’t it? Yup, that’s the goal. Ownership means self-sufficiency and independence, two of the qualities we Americans value most. Ownership means we don’t have to rely on anyone else; we can provide for all our own needs, take care of ourselves just fine, thank you. Ownership gives us the one thing that prize most: freedom. Or does it?

Wild Grapes are Sour. As the people of God, we have a rather checkered history. No matter . . . → Read More: The Illusion of Ownership and the Slavery of Sin

A Tomato and God’s Wild Imagination

Image Credit

For each of us, there is a way of being that is as natural and deeply congruent as the life of a . . . tomato? Given no two tomatoes are alike, absolutely. Cut one open and you’ll never find its match – it doesn’t exist.

Isn’t God’s imagination wild?

So why do humans, sittin’ atop the food chain, work so hard to be alike?

“Body and soul contain thousands of possibilities out of which you can build many identities. But in only one of these will you find your true self that has been hidden in Christ from all eternity,” (Benner, 14).

Thoughts for . . . → Read More: A Tomato and God’s Wild Imagination

Celebrating Your Birthday in the Church

Joel immersing Lucy in the baptismal font

Does your family celebrate baptismal anniversaries? Here are some ideas for how to celebrate your entrance into the Church family. . . . → Read More: Celebrating Your Birthday in the Church

Courageous: Strong Message Cuts Through Jesus-Speak

Joel and I recently attended a presentation by Dr. Peter Kreeft on how to raise kids in the faith. One of Kreeft’s many strategies was to “Give them good books. Leave a lot of good books around the house. And movies and videos.”

Then he continued with a thought that resonated very deeply. He said, and I paraphrase, that movies can be implicit or explicit in terms of their Christian message. He referenced The Lord of the Rings as a brilliantly implicit Christian film as it “baptizes the imagination” without forcing any blatant Christian message upon viewers.

That thought resonated because I’ve been struggling with writing a review of . . . → Read More: Courageous: Strong Message Cuts Through Jesus-Speak

7 Quick Takes with Brandon Vogt: Raising Saints in the Digital Age

Consider these stats for a moment: 90% of children over five years use the Internet. 96%+ of young adults have joined at least one online social network. Kids aged 9-17 now spend more time using social media than watching TV. Internet, blogs, social networking, and text messaging have profoundly changed our children’s world.

Catholic Media Expert Brandon Vogt

Got parenting heartburn? Well, don’t reach for the antacids just yet — it is still possible to raise saints in this digital age we live. The Des Moines community is blessed to welcome Catholic media expert Brandon Vogt (pronounced “Vaught”) on Wednesday, September 28 as he presents “Your Family and Cyberspace: Raising Saints . . . → Read More: 7 Quick Takes with Brandon Vogt: Raising Saints in the Digital Age

Putting on the Mind of Christ

September 25, 2011: Twenty-Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time

To whom do you bow down?

Most of us live in a world of extraordinary luxury. We can have pretty much whatever we want whenever we want it. We have multiple fast food options at any hour. Satellite TV with DVR and on-demand movies is almost standard. Many stores offer instant credit with little or no criteria to allow us to indulge our shopping whims. When the rest of world fails to cater to our over-busy schedules, which are often more focused on entertainment than fulfillment, we cry “Foul!” Needless to say, humility and sacrifice don’t always come naturally; we don’t bow . . . → Read More: Putting on the Mind of Christ

Until Death Do Us Part?

Have you heard the latest comments from Reverend Pat Robertson? When asked what advice a man should give to a friend who began seeing another woman after his wife started suffering from Alzheimer’s, he offered the following thoughts:

“This is the woman…that you have loved for 20, 30, 40 years and suddenly that person is gone. They’re gone. They are gone. I know it sounds cruel, but if he’s going to do something, he should divorce her and start all over again, but make sure she has custodial care and somebody looking after her.”

Woah. Get a cotton swab. Surely we heard that wrong. But after a quick YouTube search, . . . → Read More: Until Death Do Us Part?

Catechetical Sunday: Sharing Everlasting Life

The following thoughts on Catechetical Sunday were written by Father Bob Hoefler and printed in his “From the Pastor” column in the Saint Francis of Assisi Catholic Church bulletin.

It’s Catechetical Sunday. Take a moment to offer a special prayer for those people who were catechists to you. Maybe it was parents; maybe it was grandparents or godparents; maybe it was a teacher in school or religious education. Or maybe it was a priest or a sister or deacon. Maybe it was just someone who cared enough about you to show you what it means to live as a follower of Jesus Christ.

All are living out the . . . → Read More: Catechetical Sunday: Sharing Everlasting Life

Stem Cell Storm Brewing in Wisconsin

As a Ph.D. biochemist and a native Wisconsinite, I can’t keep silent. The science of stem cell research is again in the news due to a pair of identical bills introduced in the state Assembly and Senate. If you don’t live in Wisconsin, you may be wondering why you should care. Here’s the thing. As these things go in one state, they often set precedent for similar legislation in others.

Ominous Clouds Hang over the Wisconsin Capitol Dome (photo credit: Tom Haymes, Creative Commons-licensed)

First, the good news. These bills (Assembly Bill 214 and Senate Bill 172) would ban the research use of cells derived from fetal tissue in Wisconsin. This . . . → Read More: Stem Cell Storm Brewing in Wisconsin

Lovely Lady. . .

Even though there are words here, given I didn’t write them, I’m giving myself permission to enter it into the Wordless Wednesday annals. Here’s a beautiful image and reflection of our Blessed Mother from Christina McShane in the Spring 2011 issue of Radiant Magazine. Tip of the hat to my sister Sarah and friend Alicia for bringing to my attention.

Click on image to enlarge.

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