Saturday, May 24, 2014

Quick Takes: Why I have become a terrible blogger!





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Because my daughter's wedding is in less than 30 days!! Yes, I said less than 30 days!! Did you hear me??? That is really soon, people. Really, really, really soon!! And there are things like a bridal shower and dress fittings and a ton of other details that are superseding blog posts.


-2-

Because of other wonderful sacraments that we are in the midst of celebrating! My second grader just made his First Confession this week (and he loved it so much he wanted to go back again today), and my third grader receives his First Holy Communion and Confirmation next week!


-3-

Because of graduation season. My nephew's high school graduation activities just passed, and my son's eighth grade graduation is coming up next week (yes, the same week as First Communion and Confirmation).


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Because my son came home from college and was preparing for and just took his MCATs. It is a fun adjustment when an adult family member comes home (and all the younger siblings rally around at the homecoming), but it has its challenges and can make it harder to think about blogging. 


-5-

Because a virus has been working its way through the family members. Six Millers have succumbed. Luckily, it only lasts two days when it does hit, but I won't tell you the number of comforters, sheets, and towels I've washed in the past week (in addition to the clothing). 


-6-

Because my older daughter is due with her baby girl in the next few weeks (yes, right exactly around the time of her sister's wedding, at which she is serving as matron of honor)! And I just can't get get my mind focused to blog coherently! 


-7-

***UPDATE! Debbie has apparently found a family since this post was published. Praise God, and may He see her safely home!


And none of any of that matters to sweet Debbie, who just needs a family:

Click my picture for more details!

This 5-year-old little girl has already been transferred to an adult institution, which should never happen to a child. Please, pray about adopting this beautiful child of God.


Blessings for a wonderful Memorial Day, and please pray for the souls of all the brave veterans who have given their lives for our freedoms. May we never forget their sacrifices, and those of their families. 


Thanks to Jen, for hosting!






Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Devin Rose and The Protestant's Dilemma




You all know I love a good debate.

My first foray into internet debates (the best kind!) was in '98 or '99, when I first got internet access and found a Catholic apologetics forum. I spent large chunks of my day in dialogue with Protestants, defending Catholicism alongside other amazing Catholics.

For many years, I imagined that I would stay with the Protestant/Catholic debates, as that is how I thought my way into the Church. It was such a passion of mine! But as time went on, it started to bum me out to realize how divided Christians are today, even more than when the Protestant Reformation (really a rebellion) tore Christendom asunder. And since I had neither the time nor the energy to become an expert on each of the 30,000+ Protestant denominations and their contradictory beliefs on a bazillion different topics -- even on essential issues that touch on salvation itself -- I engaged in fewer and fewer of those discussions.

When I started this blog in 2010, I did expect to do a lot more Protestant/Catholic apologetics than I actually have done (though I have done some), but I eventually ended up taking on more of the secular and atheist arguments, which became increasingly fascinating to me.

The shift in my interest and emphasis has not, however, lessened my admiration for those who do charitably engage our separated brethren. Long before he and I became friends, I was an ardent fan of former atheist and former Protestant Devin Rose, blown away by the skill and knowledge he brought to the debate. His was one of the first blogs I ever read regularly -- perhaps the first -- and there are two characteristics of his work that I deeply appreciate: His clarity and and his charity.

Years ago, when Devin told his readers that he was writing a book, I was giddy. The finished product, If Protestantism is True, was so good that I hoped it would be picked up by a big publisher. Sure enough, Catholic Answers saw its potential, revamped it, and gave it a new name. The fine result is The Protestant's Dilemma: How the Reformation's Shocking Consequences Point to the Truth of Catholicism.


Isn't that a cool cover??


If you like how we talk here in the Bubble, you will love the format of The Protestant's Dilemma. The book is divided into four parts: The Church of Christ, The Bible and Tradition, The Sacraments and Salvation, and Christian History and Practice.

The parts are further divided into chapters. Each chapter names a topic, then follows first with the Protestant beliefs and implications, then with the Catholic beliefs and implications regarding that topic.

For example, Chapter 12 is entitled:

 "The Principle of Individual Judgment"

It begins:

"If Protestantism is true, we all decide for ourselves what God's revelation means."  

For a couple of pages, Devin expands upon this proposition with Scripture, Christian history, and logic, and then presents the other side:

"Because Catholicism is true, the Bible was not intended to be studied in isolation from the Apostolic Tradition and apart from the teaching authority of Christ's Church."

Devin follows with more expansion of Scripture, Christian history, and logic.

Finally, each short and readable chapter is capped with an airtight summary of "the Protestant's dilemma" on that particular topic. Chapter 12 sums up:
If Protestantism is true, then difficult parts of Scripture should be understandable through careful study, prayerful consideration, and application of other parts of Scripture that are ostensibly clearer. Yet when faithful members of Protestant communities study hard, prayerfully seek God's illumination, and diligently apply other parts of Scripture, they still arrive at different interpretations -- often leading to the founding of a new community or denomination. For a Protestant, sola scriptura makes him, and not the Bible, the final authority. 

See what I mean? Systematic, reasoned, clear. That's the way I like my own blog, and that's the way I like my books of apologetics. Devin's contribution to the Protestant/Catholic dialogue is invaluable, and I wouldn't be caught in an online debate without The Protestant's Dilemma on my shelf and at the ready!



+++++++


PS: If you really want to know the kind of man we are dealing with here, please watch Devin's recent interview with Marcus Grodi on EWTN's The Journey Home. His story is quite painful at first (as an atheist, and dealing with crippling anxiety, he came close to suicide), but powerfully redemptive:











Monday, May 19, 2014

Ack! Thank you Holy Apostles College and Seminary!!



FREAKING OUT only just a little bit!

Check it out and please pray for me!! After all, it was your interest in this blog that got me into this wonderful mess:






To be in the company of the other amazing recipients is humbling, as is going back to school after 25 years!

I know some of my friends and readers have either already gotten a degree from HACS or are in process, so I invite the rest of you to look into their programs. It's a fully accredited institution that has been around for over 50 years, and now we can access this amazing education and top-notch professors all from home. Join me! I can't figure out if I want my concentration in Moral Theology or Dogmatic Theology… or even Sacred Scripture. Just look at the choices!




Join me, and we can freak out (and study) together!

Special thanks to Dr. Stacy Trasancos, mentor and friend.









Saturday, May 10, 2014

Quick Takes: Mother's Day is upon us...

…and I plan on sitting on my butt and doing nothing. Well, I'm going to mass of course. But then I'm sitting. But then again, that's what I try to do every day. This time, though, I will sit on my butt and not feel guilty about it. That's why this day is different; lazy without the guilt. And like every other Mother's Day, I will simply ask for one thing: PEACE! No one fighting, whining, complaining, disobeying. Just one day. Am I right, ladies? Isn't that all we really want? Aside from the chocolate? 







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This is what the Catholic Faith looks and feels like to me:


A little taste of Heaven on earth! It's why I want all of us to be strong and faithful Catholics! The beatific vision will surpass this image, infinitely.

Oh, and I didn't plan it, but I just noticed that this sanctuary is fitting for a Mother's Day post, as it's Notre Dame (translation: Our Lady) Cathedral in Montreal. Our Blessed Mother. Yes, she's the heavenly Mother to every one of us, whether we understand and believe that or not.



-2-

This is my beautiful mommy, as a little girl in Ohio. This must have been the late 1940s. By all accounts, she was the sweetest thing -- quiet, studious, thoughtful. Who could have imagined that this small-town Protestant Mayflower descendant would one day marry a hot-blooded Arab immigrant?? Medina, Ohio had never even seen an Arab before a bunch of them rolled in for a wedding in 1964. Life is so funny! Happy Mother's Day, Mom! I love you so much!




And here is a picture of me with my own daughter, who is a mommy herself now (she's got a few weeks to go before delivery)! So it looks like this #2 Take has four generations pictured! Wheeeee!




-3-

My kids would be the first to tell you that I am no expert on motherhood, but just in case you're interested, here is a link of me yammering on about it, as part of a Mother's Day panel on The Catholic Conversation. I was honored to sit amongst the most amazing women, including our host, Becky Greene, a former secularist and author of the blog, Reclaiming the Womb.


Mary Moore, Jennifer Ellis, Becky Greene, and Yours Truly, with photos of our families. 


It's super awkward to hear oneself recorded, isn't it? When did my voice get so creepily low? But if it helps one mother feel better about her parenting (lose the unwarranted guilt; none of us is perfect!), then I am content.


-4-

Karen Pullano, a mother I come close to idolizing (yipes!), does it again. This article might as well be a manifesto for life. Deeply profound, and yet so simple. You know how we are supposed to sit at the feet of the wise ones and learn from them? Karen is one of the wise ones.




-5-

When I read something funny, I usually just laugh in my head, as very rarely does something I read make me laugh out loud. But Jennifer Fulwiler's story of the truck made me laugh out loud. Judging from the comments, I am not alone. Oh.my.gosh.




-6-

To everyone who has a hard time with Mother's Day, including those who have lost their own mothers, or mothers who have lost their children, or women who struggle with infertility, you are never far from my thoughts. In your offered sufferings, as you keep company with Christ on the Cross, you are the quiet saints among us. May the Lord and His Blessed Mother comfort and keep you, and pour down grace and consolations, especially this weekend. 


-7-

Both my earthly and heavenly mothers are named Mary. In their honor, I am posting the photos of two little Marys who need a mother.

Mary turns three this month (and of course May is the Month of Mary!), and she will thrive in a loving family:


Click my photo for more information!

Nine-year-old Mary Lauren is a beauty, and she loves to dance and swim! 

Click my picture; video available for serious inquirers.

Please pray for these little girls, and for all the children who do not have mothers to love them. 



God bless you all and thanks to Jen (the Hilarious One) for hosting!




Monday, May 5, 2014

The Third Way: Homosexuality and the Catholic Church




So, I've mentioned before that the most popular post on this blog was not written by me, but was written by my friend Joseph Prever (pseudonymously, Steve Gershom). Almost three years later, that post, "Gay, Catholic, and Doing Fine", still gets several hundred hits a week, and rightly so. It has helped and inspired so many who are struggling with same-sex attraction, and it also has educated those on both sides of the gay rights issue.

Today, I am beyond thrilled to introduce a most amazing (and much-anticipated!) video that prominently includes Joseph Prever and his experiences and struggles as a man with same-sex attraction. Just as I was, you will be riveted listening to his story and those of several other wonderful men and women who pour out their hearts and their pain -- which we need to understand -- and who ultimately tell of the hope, dignity, healing, and love they found in Christ's teachings and in His Church.

The culture seems to insist that there are only two ways to look at homosexuality and those who are same-sex attracted: 1) Disgust, disdain, and rejection of gay people, or 2) celebration and promotion of homosexuality and same sex "marriage".

But there is a Third Way, the best way, that isn't talked about.

No matter where you stand in the debate, you will be changed by watching this video, and after you do, I encourage you to share it on your blogs, post it to your facebook pages (I know one friend who has posted it twice just to make sure no one missed it), and email it to your friends -- even your friends who are gay or who support the gay rights movement.

Say a prayer for an open heart, and hit the play button:


   The Third Way from Blackstone Films on Vimeo.



Of course I am most interested in hearing your thoughts once you've watched the whole thing. I welcome a substantive, respectful discussion about what you heard and saw. This is so incredibly important for all of us.



*Note: Because the comments on this post have exceeded 200, you must hit the "load more" at the end of the comments to continue reading the conversation.