A reader has a question about friends using IVF

Sunday, July 27, 2014 11:59 PM Comments (51)

She writes:

I have a question for you. I have a couple of non-Catholic neighbors, friends trying to conceive. They've already frozen eggs. Is it improper if me, a Catholic, to pray for success with the implantation of the embryos? Thanks for your time...

Hmmm.This is one of those things the apostles and fathers of the Church never had to think about.   I think the first thing to do, if possible, is try to broach with them the question of the morality of IVF. Have you spoken with them about the moral implications of what they are doing? IVF involves fertilizing multiple eggs, picking one for implantation, and then killing the rest.  In short, selective abortion. Perhaps your relationship...READ MORE

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Kidz!  You Can Join the Exciting, Fast-Paced and Lucrative World of Homeschool Publishing!!!!

Friday, July 25, 2014 12:01 AM Comments (2)

A dear friend of mine writes:

From: Anonymized But Lovely Reader
Subject: have i ever told you ....

.... how wonderful you are?

what's that?  no??  how remiss of me!

by now you're doubtless thinking All right, what does she want this time?

and you'd be right.

you see, i am nearing the end of a revision of Entropy Academy, or How to Succeed at Homeschooling Even If You Don't Homeschool (yes, Cow [Mark here: she is referring to our second eldest son, whose actual and long-disused name is Matthew.  You may ask, "Cow?" Don't ask.  Long story.] made the cut) which will result in an e-publication-ready copy of breathtaking magnificence. 

response to the hard copies in circulation has been...READ MORE

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A reader puzzles about Mary as Co-Redemptrix

Sunday, July 20, 2014 11:59 PM Comments (19)

She writes:

How would you explain Co-Redemptrix? I have taken a stab at it when an aggressively anti-Catholic person cat & moused me about it, but any help is always appreciated.

I explain it this way in my book Mary, Mother of the Son:

Another title sometimes used to honor Mary is “Co-redemptrix.” It’s not an official title. It’s just an expression of piety among some Catholics. It affords a fairly typical example of the way in which the Church mulls things over for a long time (usually centuries) before it makes any hard and fast decisions. At present, the Church doesn’t condemn the title, but it doesn’t encourage it either. A few years ago, Pope Benedict XVI (then Joseph Cardinal...READ MORE

Filed under mailbag, mary mother of the son

A Reader Has a Problem with "All or Nothing" Devotional Language

Thursday, July 17, 2014 11:59 PM Comments (31)

He writes:

I've tried to keep this shorter than usual, but I'm wordy. Anyway, I think this is an interesting question beyond my own self-made problems.

I saw a quote today from St. Bernadette Soubirous:

"Nothing is anything more to me; everything is nothing to be, but Jesus; neither things nor persons, neither ideas nor emotions, neither honors nor sufferings. Jesus is for me honor, delight, heart, and soul."

I've seen many quotes like this one from several different saints, especially from mystics and religious. St. Therese has several similar quotes.

These things always get my hackles up, because especially as a layperson, I kind of buck at the idea that people should be nothing to...READ MORE

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The Seamless Garment: What It Is and Isn’t

Monday, July 14, 2014 12:01 AM Comments (247)

The Church proposes what is called a “consistent ethic of life”.  It must, of course, do so because it is bound by sacred tradition to the proposition that all human beings, without any exception whatsoever, are made in the image and likeness of God and that Jesus Christ died for all human beings, without any exception whatsoever.  Therefore each human person—without any exception whatsoever—is sacred and is the only creature that God wills for its own sake.

This simple fact is one that our civilization has tremendous difficulty grasping.  All sorts of social and political groups have all sorts of human beings they wish to exempt from this truth—often for purely utilitarian purposes that...READ MORE

Filed under catholic social teaching

It turns out there's only one paragraph in the whole Catechism about Islam

Thursday, July 10, 2014 11:59 PM Comments (122)

Just to refresh memories, it says this:

841 The Church's relationship with the Muslims. "The plan of salvation also includes those who acknowledge the Creator, in the first place amongst whom are the Muslims; these profess to hold the faith of Abraham, and together with us they adore the one, merciful God, mankind's judge on the last day."

Nota bene: it does not say the Muslims are saying and doing exactly the same things as us, or that Jesus is unnecessary for salvation, or that it's okay for Muslim radicals to behead, rape, subjugate, lie and kill, or that we should not evangelize Muslims. How do I know?  Because so far from saying that nobody is a sinner and we should not evangelize,...READ MORE

Filed under christ and islam

Freedom Abused is Prelude to Slavery

Sunday, July 06, 2014 11:59 PM Comments (16)

Slate, fresh from a heart-rending plea to stop announcing the sex of children at birth, continues leading the charge for the destruction of the normal with a call for polygamy.  Golly, who could ever have predicted that?

After that, it will be incest and pedophilia (note that both links see them as neutral lifestyle choices and endorse them with the same "love who you want" language).  The day is coming when the Church will be attacked, not for having permitted pedophiles in its ranks, but for forbidding them.

Meanwhile, the same is true for the *other* sacred thing we keep in our pants: our wallets. Those of us eager to tell others that their sex lives do not begin and end with consent...READ MORE

Filed under murka

When Better Than the 4th of July to Talk About Religious Liberty

Thursday, July 03, 2014 11:59 PM Comments (98)

A reader writes:

First I love your blog and your common sense take on politics. It may seem strange but I was raised in an adamantly right wing household and it never occurred to me until I was well into my 20s that I didn't "have to" align myself with one political party or the other and accept whatever the "lesser evil" happened to be. Thanks for being a voice of reason in the midst of all the polarity.

I have a question about "freedom of religion" that has been nagging at me. If you have the time and/or inclination, I'd appreciate your thoughts. I have a very good, very conservative Catholic friend who adamantly believes that our country was founded on a Christian belief system and only...READ MORE

Filed under exalted felicitations of the day, mailbag

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About Mark Shea

Mark Shea
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Mark P. Shea is a popular Catholic writer and speaker. The author of numerous books, his most recent work is The Work of Mercy (Servant) and The Heart of Catholic Prayer (Our Sunday Visitor). Mark contributes numerous articles to many magazines, including his popular column “Connecting the Dots” for the National Catholic Register. Mark is known nationally for his one minute “Words of Encouragement” on Catholic radio. He also maintains the Catholic and Enjoying It blog. He lives in Washington state with his wife, Janet, and their four sons.