Sunday, May 22, 2011

Pope Blesses Astronauts

Pope Benedict blessed the astronauts. See that story here:
Pope blesses astronauts, extends prayers to Kelly and Giffords Believe It or Not a blog

You may also want to check out this story at American Catholic about how an astronaut grew closer to God.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Two Pro-Life Videos: (Nothing Disturbing in These)

Today I'd like to introduce you to Mary, a young pro-life vlogger (video blogger). I hope after you watch this video of hers that you'll also go to her YouTube page. It's inspirational to see a teenager standing up for life. :)

She mentions Teen Defenders. Here is a link to their Facebook Page.

What I like about her approach is that she's very candid, strong in her views, but ever so sweet and civil.

While we're on the subject of pro-life videos- here's a good one. It's short, has an amazing impact, but not at all shocking nor offensive. Nothing you have to send the squeamish out of the room for.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Holy Graduation Gifts and How to Choose a Good Catholic College

"You sound like my uncle. He's always going on about college. The other morning I found a pamphlet about choosing a good Catholic university sticking half way out of the corn flake box. Just a subtle hint."

That's a quote from my novel, Syzygy (available in print and as an ebook- see my sidebar)

Soon many high schoolers will graduate and start packing for college. Other students are only beginning to plan their post high school paths. It can feel like a parent's last chance to shove some guidance in before the son or daughter spreads his or her wings and takes off.

I know from experience that emerging into adulthood can be a time of mistakes- both big and small. Mistakes are natural and to be expected. Everyone will tell you that. But I'm here to tell you that some mistakes can threaten a person's life and soul. That is not a popular statement, but tough cookies. I'll state it anyway.

College is very often the place where a level headed person goes way batty. Depending on the subject and the college, the instructors are VERY LIBERAL. And I don't mean that in the sense of "broadminded." I mean they can be any combination of atheist, anti-Christian, man haters (among other things).

My experiences with these types of professors aren't unique, from what I've read and heard. I was fairly brainwashed into their way of thinking (if you'll forgive my melodramatics) until I "woke up."

Hopefully your kids (or you, if you're the college student reading this) won't go through the temporary insanity I went through.

Now that I'm done with my little rant, I'll get to the purpose of this blog post which is...

Holy High School Graduation Gifts and How to Choose a Good Catholic College

All of these can be found at the shop at Catholic Answers.

How to Stay Catholic in College is a tiny booklet $1.95 

Romance Without Regret CD $5.95. This is the public school version, so even if you're buying for your secular friend's kid, this should be okay.

The Best of Catholic Answers Live is a CD set with tons of the Catholic Answers radio shows on them. ($19.95) It's my belief that when a person understands the Faith, they're less likely to turn away from it. In college a person will hear many lies about Christianity, but if they're armed with the truth, it won't matter so much. If you upload these CDs into an iPod for your college student, maybe they'll listen as they jog, draw, do laundry, etc. They can listen to the CDs in the car. This might be the most valuable gift out of my entire list and it's not just for students! :)

Here's a good resource if you are shopping around for a good Catholic College. Not every Catholic college is very Catholic. I don't know, it might be worse for a good Catholic to be amid poor Catholic instructors than to go to a purely secular school where they are fully on guard. Darn frustrating anyway. Something to think about.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Beatification of Pope John Paul II

Pope JPII long before he was Pope

Today, May 1, 2011, Pope John Paul II (born Karol Józef Wojtyła) was beatified. That is, he was declared a Blessed.

Beatification requires one attested miracle and allows the beatified person to be venerated by his/her local church. It requires more than just a miracle. A person's life (and writings where applicable) are looked into in great detail. The miracle that brought Pope JPII to Beatification happened to a French nun, Sister Marie Simon-Pierre. She was miraculously cured of Parkinson's disease.

After the Pope died (April 2, 2005), Sister's fellow nuns prayed for his intercession to help her. Non-Catholics might not be familiar with this type of intercession. Just as you might ask your living friends and family to pray for you, we ask our friends and family in Heaven to pray for us for they remain in the Body of Christ even in death.

Pope John Paul II

And it worked! God allowed a miracle through these nuns.

Sister Maria Simon-Pierre is quoted as saying, "I was healed on the night between June 2 and 3." She describes how she woke up with "a jolt" and felt "a great peace" and a "sense of wellness." Medical and Catholic experts declared her cured with no scientific explanation. So, in January of this year, Pope Benedict declared it a miracle. It only took a little over five years, but there you go. The Vatican doesn't move quickly on these things, nor should they. What looks to be a miracle might be a temporary recovery or have some natural cause. Sometimes there's downright fakery. More here for Sister's story.

Now, Blessed Pope John Paul II hasn't been declared a saint yet. Canonization, making one a saint, requires two attested miracles and allows veneration of that person by the universal church.

A little tid-bit (found here) you may want to know: Below the title Blessed is Venerable and below that is Servant of God.

Everything you want to know about declaring a Saint or a Blessed is found here at New Adent.

This book, Karol Wojtyla: Pope John Paul II - A Story For Children by Maksymilian Emil Bondyra is a wonderful introduction to the life of this Blessed Pope. We enjoy our copy.

Story of JPII

*Links to image sources embedded in image captions.