With everything that went on last week, my browser still has a good 40 tabs open. I can hardly scan Facebook without opening another 5 or 6 articles that could blow my mind. But in case your Facebook friends aren’t as holy and brilliant as mine, I thought I’d share some of this past week’s highlights:
If you use pornography–ever–you have to stop. Marc Barnes will tell you why with three secular arguments against porn–brace yourself. And then click over to find some great internet resources to help you kick the habit.
Emily Stimpson is spot on with her plea to our spiritual fathers to be who they were ordained to be. These lines in particular had me shouting my agreement and then awkwardly looking around the room to see if anyone had noticed:
The Church’s liturgy and architecture should reveal a richness of beauty and belief that robs the gruel fed to us by the culture of all its appeal. It should move us to love God and neighbor more. It should make us long for Heaven. It should make us sorry for our sins.
On Sundays, don’t tell me to be nice; tell me to be holy. Don’t tell me to trust God; tell me who God is. Don’t even tell me to be faithful; tell me what faithful means. Explain holiness. Explain sin. Be specific. Preach on what lust, gluttony, selfishness, laziness, pride, anger, and vanity are, why they’re bad for me, and how to avoid them. Preach the Creed. Preach the saints. Preach the story of salvation history. And preach it in all its fullness. … Don’t waste your precious 10 minutes in front of a semi-captive audience repeating fluff we can get from Oprah.
My beautiful friend Adele went to the doctor with a heavy heart and got some very good news. It’s beautiful story and she could use a lot of prayers!
Elizabeth writes in defense of men. And while I taught her senior religion class, I can’t take any credit for her brilliance. She was incredible when she got to me–and just had a beautiful baby boy, adding to my roster of “grandchildren.”
Archbishop Cordileone of San Francisco gave a phenomenal interview on homosexual unions back in March that’s more relevant now than it was then. He explains the secular case against gay marriage and what some of the consequences of its legalization might be.
R.J. Snell explains why we’re losing the culture wars. In short, we’ve found ourselves in a position where our opposition is in favor of love and equality and has a monopoly, it seems, on all the sentiments that surround them. Meanwhile we use words like telos and ontological to try to combat images of wedding dresses and happy families.
In cased you missed it with all the noise from the repeal of DOMA and the heroics of Wendy Davis, the HHS mandate made further strides last week. Archbishop Carlson of St. Louis explains why all Americans should object to it:
If government can force Catholics to pay for something we find morally wrong, why can’t it force you to participate in something you object to? You would not force a vegetarian to pay for your hamburger or an atheist to buy you a Bible, would you? Then why would you force a Catholic to pay for your contraceptives?
Still we are not going gentle–check out a letter urging Americans to stand up for religious freedom signed by Catholics, Orthodox, Protestants, Mormons, a Jew, a Vaisnava,1 and even a Scientologist. Did I miss any?
Christina gets real about learning to forgive herself. As an aside, you should really read her blog. If nothing else, read it on Fridays when she posts her links roundup for the week–half of the worthwhile things I read I find through her.
This letter begging fathers to be gentle and kind and loving with their kids could be addressed to all parents. I’ll add my own thought (having been a foster mother) that parents should do everything–everything–in their power to keep from yelling at their children in anger. And when you do, you apologize and tell them over and over how much you love them.
I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised that the Netherlands is working to legalize euthanasia for children. That’s right: allowing children to decide that it’s time to die. Don’t worry, though–parents are already allowed to euthanize their infants, so we’re not leaving entirely in the hands of children.
I’ll leave you with a heartwarming story about a father’s love. This man was livid when he found out that his second child would be born with Down Syndrome. He even tried to convince his wife to abort her. It wasn’t until months after she was born that he realized what a gift she was–and wanted to show the world. He began running marathons with her and even had “Down Syndrome” tattooed across his chest. “It’s the first thing people think when they see her. I want it to be the first thing they think when they see me, too.”
By the way–this 15-minute segment aired on ESPN. Color me impressed!
Will you take a minute to pray for my seminarian friend Joel? St. Thomas is his patron Saint, so I try to remember him on July 3rd every year.
- Person who practices Hare Krishna. Yeah, I had to Google that. [↩]