Category Archives: New Evangelism
Tonight on the Tactical Catholic Podcast we are talking about Random Acts of Christian Kindness. This is the simplest way you and I can share the faith. Join us tonight at 9pm central with your own ideas. http://www.fiatministrynetwork.tv/live
Tonight on the Tactical Catholic Podcast, we’re talking all things Comic Books. Did you know Marvel Comics published a comic book about St. John Paul II when he was Pope? They did. We will discuss comic books, comic book films, geek culture, …. nothing is off limits tonight. PLUS, to be revealed in this episode, THE CHURCH’S SECRET POWER. Why would you want to miss this? Tune in tonight to Fiat Ministry Network at 9pm central time. http://www.fiatministrynetwork.tv/live
PS. If anybody has this comic book, PLEASE OH PLEASE LET ME KNOW.
St. Patrick’s Day is upon us and plenty of people across the United States will use today as an excuse to do things that are certainly NOT Irish or related to this slave become saint of the emerald isle. Regardless of your stance on alcohol, there is never a justification for drunkenness. Drunkenness is a sin and we stand opposed to it. Furthermore, we oppose the early American prejudice and caricature of the Irish as drunkards, propagated as a justification to not hire them.
Be you reminded that a great number of Ireland’s men and women came across this pond looking for enterprise and freedom long before the potato famine. My family was one of that first batch who helped to establish the colonies and who fought in this nation’s revolutionary war to gain independence. It is a crying shame that when our former countrymen came to America in a time of such great need as the potato famine that they were treated so very poorly. Nevertheless, the Irish found ways to rise above their humble circumstance and to achieve great things in this land of opportunity.
I will claim a tie to Saint Patrick, not because I am a native Irishman, because I am not. My family moved to Ireland from Scotland as farmers. Then they moved to the United States. My tie to Saint Patrick is the bond of faith. Patrick was a slave who found Christ and then returned to the land of his imprisonment as a missionary and Bishop. His goal was to see men and women embrace the faith that had changed his life for the better. As imperfect and sinful as I am, my goal is to point men and women toward the faith that is daily changing my life. I’m no saint, but I want to be one, and through the encouragement of this great cloud of witnesses such as Saint Patrick, I believe I have a good shot.
Today, while others are doing stupid things, let us exercise wisdom in our revelry. Let us use opportunities like this to share our living faith in the one true hope, Jesus Christ.
So the site is sporting a newer look. I realized that my photo of the swiss guard was not always loading well in the responsive design so here you go. I don’t know what to call the new background except dark with some colors. So far things look better with the dark/light contrast. I hope you like it.
In the meantime, I’m working on my first batch of web reviews. And while you wait for that, I’ve got a thought for you.
Remember yesterday’s Gospel reading? In John 3, we see the tail end of Jesus’ conversation with Nicodemus, a member of the Sanhedrin. You might say that Nick was a member of the supreme court. So, here he is talking with Jesus under cover and out of sight. How did his story end? What do we know about him? We don’t have a whole lot, but we do know that he and Joseph of Arimethea worked together to give Jesus a proper burial. Not many other mentions of him until then, right?
It made me think of how a lot of us guys are often living our faith in the shadows. Maybe we don’t want to draw too much attention to ourselves. Maybe we are scared of what others will think. Maybe we are afraid we’ll lose our standing or our job. In the west, that’s about as far as the fears go. However, we are not given a spirit of timidity (see Paul’s letters to Timothy), nor are we meant to keep the light of Christ hidden (Matthew 5). We are to be bold and unashamed witnesses of Jesus Christ.
So why aren’t you?
I dare say that until Nicodemus buried Jesus that few if any people knew he was a follower of Christ. Do you really want people to show up at your funeral saying, “Huh? Mass? I didn’t know this guy was religious.” Let me challenge you today to man up and live your faith like you mean it. Embrace it. Let Christ so permeate your being that others know by your actions and words that you are in communion with God and that He directs your life. If you are living for Christ on a daily basis, you will draw others to Him. That’s kind of the plan, my friends.
Let’s do it!
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December 6th is the feast of St. Nicholas of Myra. He is the bishop most people recognize as Santa Claus. In fact, there is a really neat program that EWTN runs each year showing how this legendary saint became the jolly old St. Nick in the red suit. Saint Nicholas is best known for the stories surrounding his work with the poor and children, even before he became Bishop of Myra in what is now called Turkey. One story that immediately comes to mind involves a poor man with three daughters who was in need of a dowry for each so that they could be married and not face a life of singleness (and likely prostitution). On three separate occasions, Nicholas found a way to deliver money in secret to the father, saving his daughters.
Now don’t get me wrong, I really love these stories because they reveal the most well known qualities of bishops, such as loving care of his flock, helping right injustices, and caring for those less fortunate. One story, however, stands out in my mind as probably one of the most important duties of a bishop, protecting the Church from heresy.
Students of Church History can tell you that for the first 400 years of Christianity, the primary discussion among bishops was “How can we best define WHO and WHAT Jesus is?” The bishops knew that Jesus Christ was the Lord, the Messiah, the Son of God, God Incarnate, the Word made flesh. They knew Jesus was divine, but what about his humanity? He was also born to a human mother. So how did the humanity and divinity work in the life of Jesus? The first several ecumenical councils dealt especially with the terms that would help teach future generations of Christians. One of these councils was the Council of Nicea in 325. It is said that Bishop Nicholas was there.
There was a bishop named Arius from Egypt, who was seeking to convince other bishops that Jesus was a created being and therefore not always God. As the story goes, Bishop Nicholas himself argued on the council floor with Bishop Arius. At the height of the argument, Bishop Nicholas had heard all he could stand and punched Bishop Arius right in the face! Here is my dramatization of that event.
Arius: My brother bishops, Jesus had a definitive point in time…
Nicholas: Stop. That’s not true.
Arius: …in which Jesus the Christ…
Nicholas: We’ve been over this, Bishop Arius. There is not a point in time in which Jesus was not God.
Arius: Ahem. As I was saying, there must have been a definitive point in time in which…
Nicholas: Don’t say it.
Nicholas: I’M WARNING YOU
Arius: …divinity. See it’s that… My dear Bishop Nicholas, what are you doing?
Nicholas’ Fist: WHAM!
So maybe it didn’t happen that way, but it does bring to mind something important (besides a holly jolly right hook). Doctrine matters. It matters what we believe, and it is the duty of our shepherds, the bishops of the Church, to defend the truth against the creeping heresies that constantly assail the minds of the faithful. In a world inundated by relativism and immorality, anyone standing up and saying there is an absolute truth and there is a right and wrong is in for a world of conflict. However, it must be done. Truth be told, it is the duty of each and every Christian to defend the Faith, but it is a primary duty of the Bishop to teach us, passing on (Latin: traditio) the truth.
For this reason, we should always pray for our bishops. They need our prayers and support because they are under loads of pressure. In each diocese, there are problems, and the buck stops with that man in the cathedral. He needs to know that you support his office and that you pray for him. If you think your bishop is less than perfect, then pray that much more for him. Pray that he will have the courage of St. Nicholas to stand up for injustice, to feed the poor, to look after children, and to defend the faith against heresy.
Here is a great prayer to St. Nicholas from Pope Gregory XVI:
Glorious Nicholas, my own protector! From that bright throne where thou dost enjoy the vision of thy God, in pity turn thine eyes upon me; ask for me from God those graces and helps most seasonable in my present necessities, whether spiritual or temporal, and especially the grace of . . . . . . if such be expedient for my eternal welfare.
Forget not, glorious and holy bishop, our Sovereign Pontiff, the holy Church, and this pious city.
Bring back to the right way of salvation those who live steeped in sin, or buried in the darkness of ignorance, error, and heresy.
Comfort the sorrowing, provide for the needy, strengthen the weak-hearted, defend the oppressed, help the sick; let all know the effects of thy powerful patronage with Him Who is the supreme giver of all good. Amen
Some friends and I were discussing football and the teams we liked versus the teams we hated. It was determined that I hate pretty much every team they mentioned save about two. Chances are, I hate your favorite football team as well.
I am excited to see VeggieTales coming to Netflix for Thanksgiving 2014. In this Netflix exclusive from Big Idea Entertainment there are 13 episodes lined up for season one alone! If you or your children have ever enjoyed the VeggieTales series, do they have a show for you! Read the rest of this entry