Still more of My Interesting Conversation

08/04/2010 Comments (2)

My correspondent continues:

- whatever the first man was, can we be confident that he had sufficient reason to comprehend god’s commands fully and thus be held responsible for a fully-informed decision about not doing X (X = figurative for eating of the tree of knowledge)?

It would appear, from Genesis 3, that the answer is “Yes.”

- where did the initial communication link we possessed (walking with god in the cool of the day) go as history progressed? For example, even though cast out, we still had 1:1 speaking sessions with Cain, the patriarchs, and prophets. We have no such thing today.

I think you are reading the Bible in a fundamentalist way here.  I also think you are generalizing...READ MORE

Filed under mailbag

The Best Family Films?

08/03/2010 Comments (81)

The greatest family film of all time? Respondents polled for a Radio Times magazine survey ranked Steven Spielberg’s E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial as the best, with The Wizard of Oz in the runner-up spot. (Hat tip:

Is the story of Elliott and his wise-yet-childlike alien friend really more magical than Dorothy’s adventures in Oz? It’s debatable. A film writer I know has said he’s a fan of lists but not of ranking, and I tend to agree.

There’s a reason why the Pontifical Commission for Social Communications, releasing the Vatican film list in 1995, was careful to note in its press release, “Not all [films] that deserve mention are included.” A list points us to films worth...READ MORE

Filed under movies, parenting

Rosary Beads Save Soldier's Life

Just Like His Grandfather in WWII

08/03/2010 Comments (4)

Cascade News

Is God with us, even in the small details of our everyday lives? I love stories like this one that affirm for me that He is:

Glenn Hockton, 19, who is now home from a seven-month tour of duty with the Coldstream Guards in Helmand Province, was on patrol when his rosary suddenly fell from his neck.
His mother Sheri Jones said today: ‘He felt like he had a slap on the back. He bent down to pick up his rosary to see if it was broken. As he bent down he realised he was on a landmine.’

Glenn had to stand there for 45 terrifying minutes while his colleagues successfully managed to get to him. Mrs Jones, from Tye Green, Essex, said she was physically sick when her son rang to tell her of his...READ MORE

Filed under mary, prayer, protection, rosary, soldier, war

7 Helpful Stats on Social Media and the Church

08/03/2010 Comments (4)

I found an interesting study last week that Jeff Geerling posted over on  It was a study of the “faith-based market” and how churches and their members use social media.

In this study “churches” is referring to all denominations. I assume Catholic parishes are a proportional part of the study.

Here are some of the major findings (in bold) and my comments after each one:

- 61% of churches use social media. That means 39% do not use it at all. I think it is fairly safe to say that Catholic parishes are disproportionately represented in the “do not use it at all” category. And that is sadly so for all of these stats.

- 62% of churches post homilies/sermons to a...READ MORE

Filed under churches, parish, priests, social media, video

The Problem With Science Is Scientists

08/03/2010 Comments (134)

Paraphrasing Edward Longshanks from the movie Braveheart “The problem with science, is all the scientists.”

I am amused by a piece in the New York Times Magazine by Virginia Heffernan.  I am amused by Heffernan’s piece not because I disagree with her, but because she seems surprised.  Note to Heffernan—It has always been thus.

Heffernan writes about the meltdown over at Science Blogs.  “Science Blogs”, as you may well remember is the home of blogger PZ Myers who is famous for advancing science by desecrating the Eucharist.  While Myers is the most read of the cynics at Science Blogs, his penchant for the unpleasant is rather standard fare.

“Science Blogs” has recently seen many of its...READ MORE

Filed under

Continuing my Interesting Conversation

08/02/2010 Comments (5)

My correspondent continues:

1) My emotional component of belief is gone. I am fully open to considering that all of my previous experiences were not god, but in fact post-occurrence causal inferences based on what I already believed to be true.

Does it have to be either/or?  In a sacramental universe, God comes to us through human things.

- what is the Church’s best guess as to the time period in which the fall took place?

As far as I know, the Church attempts no answer to that question.  It regard the fall as a fact of revelation, but is agnostic about when it happened and even about the specific historical circumstances.  The catechism describes Genesis 3 as using “figurative language” to...READ MORE

Filed under mailbag


08/01/2010 Comments (12)

Are you tired of reading passages from the Bible or the Catholic Catechism that shock you? Don’t you think that sometimes the Word of God can seem a little…outdated? Aren’t you weary of being offended by certain things Jesus said?

Well don’t let your religion challenge you anymore, now there’s 1900-FixUrBible -a new service you can do right from home that tailors your Bible to your needs.

Yes it’s the Bible but more importantly it’s YOUR bible.

1900-FixUrBible has operators standing by to ask you certain questions about what offends you in your Bible and based on your preferences your Bible can be tailor made to suit your needs by removing certain quotations that don’t fit in with 21st...READ MORE

Filed under

Bank Robbery Foiled by…Jesus?

07/30/2010 Comments (2)

I know I’m supposed to be posting on Catholics in New Media today, but I just had to share this instead. It’s too good.

Nayara Goncalves, 20, was alone in the store in Pompano Beach, Fla., on July 23 when an unidentified man displayed a gun and demanded cash. Goncalves, a devout Christian, calmly said, “You can do whatever you want, but I’m just going to talk to you about Jesus, my God, before you leave.” [foxnews]

What followed was a 5 minute conversation between the woman and the would-be robber revealing what had driven this man to take such drastic measures. He confessed that he needed $300 for his family in order to pay a bill and avoid eviction. And then he even apologizes as he...READ MORE

Filed under crime, evangelization, jesus

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