Here's How You Can Be Certain That John Wrote John

01/25/2016 Comments (27)

Last time in this space we began to discuss some of the arguments put forward by those who reject the idea that the gospel of John is, in fact, authored by John the apostle, the companion of Jesus and an eyewitness of his resurrection. Let's look at some more of them.

Another criticism of Johannine authorship turns the very sophistication of the gospel against it. Some declare that John bar-Zebedee, a mere fisherman, could not have been an educated Greek-speaking theological genius and therefore could not have written such a theologically sophisticated work.

Here’s the problem: The assumption that a Jewish fisherman living two thousand years ago couldn't be multi-lingual, or educated, or...READ MORE

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Exorcism, Superstition and the Supernatural

01/23/2016 Comments (8)

Carl Heinrich Bloch (1834-1890), “Jesus Rebukes Satan”

One of the most popular types of horror movie is the exorcism story. Ever since the groundbreaking shocker The Exorcist Hollywood has produced one satanic screamer after another.
The reason exorcism films are popular is because it is one of the few phenomena of religious life where the invisible becomes visible, and film makers need action and something to see. That’s why movies are called “motion pictures.”
Exorcism movies are popular, but when you see one what is your reaction? Will you respond with superstition or supernaturalism? Superstition is any sort of belief or behavior which is magical. A magical understanding of religion is primitive, immature and dangerous. It involves...READ MORE

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On This Sad Anniversary, the 7th Corporal Work of Mercy: “Bury the Dead”

01/22/2016 Comments (3)

Memorial for Unborn Children, Sacred Heart Church, Brooklyn, NY (Photo Credit: Jim Henderson, via Wikimedia Commons)

The final corporal work of mercy, “bury the dead,” is especially relevant this week as we remember the 43rd anniversary of Roe v. Wade. Tragically, most if not all of the unborn children who lost their lives from abortion were never given the dignity of a proper burial. Most were thrown into the trash, treated like garbage.

How can we practice this corporal work of mercy for them? Here are 5 ideas to ponder as we strive to never forget this ongoing tragedy and do what we can to make reparation for the harm done to these precious children:

1. Commission a “Memorial to the Unborn” in Your Local Cemetery

With the popularity of the birth-control pill, women across the world have aborted...READ MORE

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Why We Still March

Women Who Have Had Abortions Are Reinvigorating the Pro-Life Movement

01/22/2016 Comments (1)

From the “pro-choice” camp we'll catch the cynicism and sarcasm this Friday:  “Why do they keep doing this, marching in the cold every January, year after year? Can't they see, abortion's still legal so obviously they're having no effect.”
The networks and other mainstream media, if they report on the March for Life at all, will give it about four seconds , squeezed in after an alert about the Kardashians.  Video coverage will be a quick flash of four elderly folks carrying "We Love Life"signs walking past a small group of "My Body, My Rights" folks.—as if the few pro-choice stragglers that come out are similar in numbers to the tidal wave of pro-lifers.  It's so exasperating, year after...READ MORE

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Sister Bethany Madonna: Love is Stronger Than Death

01/22/2016 Comments (6)

Sister Bethany Madonna speaks to attendees at the 2016 FOCUS Leadership Summit (Photo credit: Karlie Brown)

One day, a man named Andy gave the Sisters of Life a tour of a church in Colorado, where their new convent is also located. Andy is a 35-year-old sacristan who used to be an altar server at the parish.

During the tour, he said to the sisters, “I hope you can understand me okay. I have Down Syndrome.”

The sisters assured Andy of his clarity and thanked him for his consideration.

One particular Sister of Life always tries to get an “edge” on the spiritual life, and she picked up that Andy was an insider. She pulled him aside and said, “Andy, do you pray?”

Andy replied, “Yes, Sister, every day.”

Sister then said, “You must be close to God.”

Andy said, “Very close.”

“Is he your best...READ MORE

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Pope Francis: Communicate Truth With Love, Meekness and Mercy

In 50th Message for World Day of Social Communications, Holy Father urges special attentiveness to how one speaks of those who speak or act differently.

01/22/2016 Comments (4)
Edward Pentin/

Msgr. Dario Edoardo Viganò, prefect of the Secretariat for the Communications of the Holy See, presenting the 50th World Day of Social Communications Message at the Vatican, Jan. 22, 2016

– Edward Pentin/

Only truth spoken in love can touch sinful hearts, but harsh and moralistic words and actions risk alienating those we wish to lead to “conversion and freedom”, Pope Francis has said in his Message for the 50th World Day of Social Communications.

In the message, entitled “Communication and Mercy: A Fruitful Encounter” and published today ahead of the World Day of Social Communications on May 8th, the Pope stressed it is the faithful's “task to admonish those who err and to denounce evil and injustice” in order to set “victims free” and raise up “those who have fallen.”

But he said “our primary task is to uphold the truth with love,”  and that “only words spoken with love and accompanied...READ MORE

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Could New Tests Lead to “Extinction” of People with Down Syndrome?

01/22/2016 Comments (7)

By a follower of Jan Joest of Kalkar, via Wikimedia Commons

As pro-life Americans prepare for their annual March for Life to end abortion, it is worth remembering that the culture of death engendered by Roe, combined with prenatal screening for birth defects, have conspired to dramatically reduce the number of children born with Down Syndrome.

Now, a British journalist has raised the possibility that people with Down Syndrome will one day be extinct.

“Down's Syndrome people risk 'extinction' at the hands of science, fear and ignorance” read the headline in the British newspaper, The Telegraph.

The words stunned me for a moment, as the  people I know with Down Synrome came to mind: sisters Mary and Margaret, Amy, Danny and another Mary.


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Pro-Woman is Pro-Life, and Pro-Life is Pro-Woman

01/22/2016 Comments (6)

Mary Cassatt (1844-1926), “Sleepy Baby”

Almost a year ago, I had the honor of meeting a young woman named Andrea. Months earlier, on learning she was pregnant, she had taken the first drug in the RU-486 abortion regimen, and immediately regretted her decision. Racing against the clock, she found a doctor about an hour away from her home in New Jersey who would immediately begin a reversal protocol that stops the starvation of the baby. Her son Gabriel was born healthy on Dec. 31, 2014.

Andrea and her boyfriend are not married. Andrea was in nursing school when their unexpected pregnancy propelled her to Planned Parenthood. She worried that the baby’s birth would spell the end of her dreams.

How does she feel now? You only have...READ MORE

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