As is the Shea Custom Each Memorial Day

05/24/2012 Comments (7)

We and a bunch of cousins and friends are off for four days of frolicsomeness at our Hidden Island Redoubt located somewhere in the beautiful San Juan Islands.  It is a consummation devoutly to be wished.  During the next four days I plan on doing as little thinking as possible ("easy enough for you, Shea") and a maximum of walking on the beach, strolling through the forest, and drinking wine around the campfire.

However, before I go, I do not want to be remiss in thanking all youse guys for reading my stuff all these years.  The Register has such a fine audience of readers who are serious about their faith, concerned about bearing witness to Christ and dedicated to knowing and...READ MORE

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A Question about Veneration vs. Adoration

05/22/2012 Comments (87)

A reader writes:

I entered the Church last month, so I've already done plenty of personal study on the subjects of latria and dulia. I'm well acquainted with their *theoretical* differences. What I'm interested in now is their *practical* differences. How, in practice, do I venerate a saint or image without crossing over into adoration, and how do I actually go about adoring God, in Heaven or the Sacrament, in a way that is unique from veneration? I have the nagging suspicion that these are stupid questions with common-sense answers, but I thought I'd ask all the same. Thanks for clearing up the waters!

In most cases, there will be no practical difference in the sense of a...READ MORE

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On Coping with NFP Zealotry

05/20/2012 Comments (343)

A reader writes:

I've been seeing some discussion of Natural Family Planning in the Catholic blog-o-sphere for a while. I get the Church's teaching that big families are good, and marriage is for pro-creation- I get that. What I don't understand is the contemptuous attitude some Catholics have towards parents who do use NFP, but apparently not in the way these Holiest of Holies would like. Scorn is heaped on those who don't have more than 5 kids, and unfavorable comparisons are made to the huge families Catholics use to have in the past circa the 19th century, as well as insinuations of a "contraceptive mentality" on the part of modern families.

It gets downright sinister when...READ MORE

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Navigating Medjugorje

05/17/2012 Comments (179)

A reader writes:


I understand your abundance of caution in discerning whether the Medjugorje phenomenon is truly of divine origin, but you seem to have taken your disbelief a step further to veiled hostility and subtle denunciation.  That is up to Holy Mother Church to pontificate about.  I await with hopeful expectation the Church's official decision, which I will support, either way!

Why do you instruct your "reader" in the post about pious devotions not to, "pass judgement on the other person who finds it helpful, but proceed with caution before making it a pillar of support..."  You seem gratified that she flatly states her disbelief, confirming her opinion with a...READ MORE

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A reader asks about "Lost Christianities"

05/15/2012 Comments (60)

He writes:

I had a question. My brother, who is an atheist, cited Bart Ehrman's book  "Lost Christianities", where he supposed proves that New Testament was modified because the original supported heretical views. I'm not very familar with Ehram's work or early Church history. So, what do you make of such claims? Thanks and God bless!

Bart Ehrman is the sad case of an Evangelical who got enough of an education that he reached the point a friend of mine reached.  My friend said he realized “I can be a Protestant or a Christian, but I could not be both anymore.”  The mood of skeptical corrosion that ate away at all the rest of the Catholic and apostolic deposit of faith reaches,...READ MORE

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An Evangelical Reader Puzzles About the Reach of God's Saving Power

05/13/2012 Comments (113)

She writes:

I listened to your dvd, about the catholic traditions being a sole part of a persons divine revelation and not scripture alone. I found this fascinating but also really sad, it made me wonder about many people or tribes located in far off places who do not have access to different churches. Im just going to throw down a far-off scenario that is very unlikely but will get my point across. Lets say theres a small tribe of people living in Africa, the only source of God's existence they have is nature around them and a small bible, let's say that because of the bible that is located within their tribe many of them have come to know Jesus's forgiveness and saving power. This...READ MORE

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A question about Scriptural Inerrancy

05/11/2012 Comments (30)

He writes:

So I had googled the heck out the Pope Pius XII "polygenism" thing a while back, and today at my local Frassati chapter meeting some old guy showed up and wanted to argue against the Church on every point that his Jesuit education had taught him to argue.  He brought up polygenism and immediately everybody jumped on him saying "Pius XII condemned that in a papal encyclical."  I really didn't want to stand against the Church nor stand with an "anti-catholic" Catholic, but I didn't know enough about the weightiness of encyclicals to make a judgment call.  It seemed monogenism was becoming a lot like creationism from what I had read, i.e. bordering on blind/irrational/betting...READ MORE

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A reader grapples with tragedy

05/09/2012 Comments (69)

He writes:

My faith has been on the line for the past couple of years. Nearly every time I feel drawn back to confession and an active life within the Church, I read something like this and have great doubts.

I understand the consequences of sin causing tragedy in our world, but why would God allow a church roof to fall in and kill tens of people during the Easter Vigil? People were running from the outside Mass to seek shelter IN A CHURCH, and then this? I realize that it would have necessitated a miracle due to the sheer number of people in the church, but that's nothing if the Eucharistic miracle is taking place at every Mass, right? How can we consider ourselves blessed to...READ MORE

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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.