Wednesday, April 30, 2014

The Third Way

What seems to be the most contentious teaching of the Catholic Church today?  I would argue it's about same-sex attraction and whether or not two people of the same-sex can marry.  So, it's a great gift -- much-needed gift -- that we have been given in "The Third Way," a documentary that seeks to share what the Church teaches and why (love!).  

The film has a mixture of testimonies from Catholics who have same-sex attraction, as well as clips from well-known Catholic speakers.  

It's definitely worth the 38 minutes.  Watch and share.

The Third Way from Blackstone Films on Vimeo.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Quote book

"In seeking the deepest roots of the struggle between the 'culture of life' and the 'culture of death,' we cannot restrict ourselves to the perverse idea of freedom mentioned above.  We have to go to the heart of the tragedy being experienced by modern man: the eclipse of the sense of God and of man, typical of a social and cultural climate dominated by secularism, which, with its ubiquitous tentacles, succeeds at times in putting Christian communities themselves to the test.  Those who allow themselves to be influenced by this climate easily fall into a sad vicious cycle: when the sense of God is lost, there is also a tendency to lose the sense of man, of his dignity and his life; in turn, the systematic violation of the moral law, especially in the serious matter of respect for human life and its dignity, produces a kind of progressive darkening of the capacity to discern God's living and saving presence." -- SAINT John Paul II (Evangelium Vitae #21)

Saturday, April 26, 2014

THE canonization

In just 13 hours, the canonization Mass for John Paul II and John XXIII will begin in Rome.  What an exciting moment!  Bl. John Paul II died on the eve of Divine Mercy Sunday (liturgically it was already Divine Mercy Sunday because Evening Prayer had been said) nine years ago.  St. Peter's Square filled with pilgrims who held tearful vigil, waiting for the great doors of the papal apartment to be shut and the lights to be extinguished as a sign that their beloved papa had gone to his eternal home.  And when he did, the chanting began: Santo Subito!  Sainthood now!

Nine years is a relatively short time to pass between one's death and his canonization.  St. Peter's Square is filling once again (just take a look at #2popesaints on Twitter for some updates) with pilgrims who are holding joyful vigil waiting for the banner of John Paul II's face to be unfurled from the balcony of the great basilica as a sign that the Church has great confidence that their beloved papa is in his eternal home.

I was at John Paul II's beatification and can only imagine the excitement of standing in the Square for his canonization.  There is something so beautiful about the public recognition of someone's courageous holiness.  It's a special thanksgiving to God for the life of a man who transformed the world in ways we may not fully realize.  

Friday, April 25, 2014

No more boy or girl Happy Meals

It might seem like no big deal, but the fact that McDonald's is no longer serving boy or girl Happy Meals seems to be making a large cultural statement.  McDonald's, whatever we might think of the quality of its burgers, has become an icon of the United States, erecting its golden arches throughout the world as a is symbol of the greatness of America.  So, when McDonald's does something, we tend to listen.

Getting rid of meals that are marketed toward boys or girls says something about how our culture views gender.  It doesn't exist.  Take your pick, small fry, would you like a My Little Pony toy or a Skylander toy?  You choose.  You choose your toy.  You choose your gender.  Simple.  It's nothing more noteworthy than determining whether your whim of the day is chicken mcnuggets or a double cheeseburger.

Yes, even something so seemingly simple as McDonald's is teaching us, and in this case, teaching our children.  Yes, it's just a toy, but in this case, a little piece of plastic in a paper bag with fries is sending a big message. 

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Fun facts about JPII

Bl. John Paul II will be Saint John Paul II in just four days!!  

Chastity Project has this list of "21 Awesome Facts You Didn't Know About JP2" on their site.  It's a fun read!  Among others:

9. He pulled a couple James Bond moves to evade the secret police
When he was a bishop in Poland during the communist reign, the secret police were constantly keeping tabs on him and trying to study him (by the time he became pope, they had amassed 18 cartons of reports on him.)
Once, when the archbishop needed to have a secret meeting with Karol, Karol’s chauffeur pulled a little traffic weaving stunt which cut off their pursuer’s line of sight; Karol swapped cars without them knowing, and was able to meet with the archbishop in peace.
The government also bugged the bishops’ residence with listening devices, which Karol knew about and so he played off of it.  He would talk extra loud when he wanted them to hear something, and would save the private conversations for his secret wilderness excursions.

Read them all here

Monday, April 21, 2014

Meeting Chiara Corbella Petrillo again

Almost two years ago, I shared the story of Chiara Corbella Petrillo, a young Italian wife and mother who, like St. Gianna Beretta Molla, gave her life for her son.  Her story is fascinating and heartbreaking, but little is available in English.  I just came across a new article, however, written by a woman who speaks both English and Italian, and who was present at a recent event with Chiara's husband.  

If you're interested in learning more about how a woman with a modern day Job experience responded with peace and joy, then be sure to read this.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Social Media Guard

This Coca-Cola commercial is a surprisingly eloquent (and humorous) commentary on our proclivity to live anti-social, social media driven lives.

Now, if only the Social Media Guard were real!  (And does anyone else find it ironic that the Social Media Guard looks a lot like the "cone of shame" in the movie "Up"?)