Friday, November 15, 2013

Quick Takes: The delightful, surprising edition!

1) Okay, the coolest story. My husband Dean's very first friend when we moved to Phoenix 22 years ago (knowing no one) was a man named Leighton Drake. We had just moved from Atlanta with our newborn baby girl, and Dean had a master's degree but could not find a job during the recession. Desperate to bring in money, he eventually took a job as a room service attendant at a local resort. Leighton was one of his co-workers, a young husband and father like Dean, and the only other room service attendant there who spoke English. Neither Dean nor Leighton was Catholic then, nor was Catholicism even on their radar screens. Dean was an agnostic Jew, and Leighton was an agnostic from a Protestant background. Our two little families became friends.

A few years later, long after Dean and Leighton had left the resort, they both became fervent, devout Catholics. Neither one's conversion influenced or coincided with the other's (we had all lost touch for a while), so it was incredibly bizarre that they both found their way to Holy Mother Church, completely on fire!

Leighton was recently featured on The Journey Home with Marcus Grodi, where he told his inspiring conversion story. When I watched it, I learned details of which even Dean and I were not aware! That this faithful man is connected to Dean's and my own history reminds me, as Pope Francis has said, that God loves to surprise us! I never would have imagined this outcome in a million years. Leighton's beautiful wife Kim also converted and is also a devout and inspiring Catholic today.

You will truly enjoy this:

Oh, and I can't forget: Leighton is an artist who uses his gifts and talents in service to the Lord, via his Drawn to Life Ministries. You can tell from the video what a gifted speaker he is, and his artwork is fantastic, too.

 2) Another thing that delighted me this week was this post concerning the bones of St. Peter, the first pope. When my daughter and her new husband went to Rome on their honeymoon, one of the highlights was the Scavi, i.e., the tour of the Vatican Necropolis, an ancient excavation site directly underneath the high altar of St. Peter's Basilica. Few people even know about this excavation, and tour reservations are required up to six months in advance. It's a rare and grace-filled opportunity to explore that ancient site, and now comes word that the Vatican is going to make St. Peter's bones available for public veneration for the very first time, to close out the Year of Faith!

Which begs the question:

Read the short article and find out. The answer will fascinate you, I promise! God is so good, and as mentioned, He delights in surprising us! Lord, I love being Catholic!

3) Speaking of my daughter and her new husband…

First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes a baby in the baby carriage!

Yep, just call me Grams! Whoooooot!!!

I am so ready to welcome this little one, and my youngest son (age 3) is already calling himself "Uncle Matthew". (He is also calling me "Uncle Mommy", but that is something we'll straighten out later….)

Right now, my grandbaby looks like this:

My three-year-old was looking at this image earlier and said, unprompted: "A baby!" Yep, a human baby is recognizable and undeniable, even to a pre-schooler! :)

4) For those of you who are still interested (and I can't blame you if you are not), there are some more wedding photos to see. Not the entire group of 609 gorgeous pictures we got back from the photographer, Lexi Moody, but a few select ones that Lexi put on her blog. Check them out, here.

And here is one of my favorites that is not on that link:

Um, yeah, you'll never convince me that fatherhood doesn't matter.

Are you all sick of the wedding pictures yet? If not, I could do another post with all my favorites of the professional photos that are not on the photographer's website.

5) My last post was a bit of a departure for me. It was well-received, prompting several readers to say that it was their favorite Bubble post ever. Beneath that blog post came perhaps my favorite comment ever, from M. Albinoni. I think you will see why:
I love Pope Francis and I also love this post, Leila! Thank you for this. 
I must admit that, as a more progressive Catholic, I had fallen into the "trap" that had been set by much of the media when they portrayed Pope (Emeritus) Benedict as an unforgiving, stern man. You have changed my mind about him, Leila. When I took the time to learn more about him (spurred by your love for him), I found out much to love about him as well! I may not be completely at ease with all of his decisions, but I do love and admire him deeply now. 
I also want to particularly thank you for your last paragraph. I have been following your blog for over a year now, and I only recently decided to be a more active "participant". I was reluctant to post because I had seen some very hurtful comments said to others who expressed ideas similar to mine. That said, I truly believe that I have also evolved and changed a bit in my views and that you have been a big part of that. I used to be in a lot of turmoil about the Church, but I have truly come to a place of peace about it all now. I feel like if my starting point is that I love this Church and that I know I can never be anything other than a Catholic, all my other issues are secondary. They will work themselves out, partly with your help! 

Made.My.Day. It's all worth it, and each and every contributor has helped make this blog feel more like an extended family than just a bunch of disconnected strangers offering opinions. Thanks to every one of you.

6) I'm keenly aware that I used to post several times a week, and now I am down to about once a week. Sigh. I know who/what the culprit is: Facebook, the evil time suck of my life. I have to excise it. I am not sure how. But it takes up the bulk of my screen time and keeps me from blogging. I talk about this dilemma a lot, but will I have the strength to finally kill the beast? I just don't know….

7) Oh, the orphans! Please, everyone, take a look at my latest Orphan Report, featuring Tatiana. She has a matching grant going till November 16 if you have some dollars to spare. Each dollar you donate will be doubled. Tatiana needs out.

And please remember that if you do your Christmas shopping on Amazon through the link on my blog, every penny of commission is donated to the orphans and the families who are working to bring them home.


God bless, and thanks to Jen for hosting!


  1. Congrats to Cecily, her husband, Dean and you for the new family addition (on his/her way)!! That was fast!

    Oh, and FB: Thank God I've never used it, and my wife, a previously obsessive user, stopped completely while preparing for exams (ok, I pestered her lot...). You need something more important to preoccupy you, Leila! Like doing Bubble posts! So much more fulfilling and productive.

  2. Congratulations on being a grandma!!! How wonderful!

    Re: facebok. As a SAHM, Facebook was a huge time sucker for me. I kept having reasons, discussions, even conversion journeys giving me the excuse that I was needed there. But the fact was, it made ME feel important and made those around me less. For me, I had to just quit. I'd tried in the past, explaining on my wall that I was quitting and people would stroke my ego, saying, no, stay, we miss you.

    But I just had to quit (and wait the 2 week quit period where you are inactive but still have a profile that activates if you click on it once). Getting off was the best thing. Just do it:)

  3. Part of the problem with Facebook is that when you try to withdraw a little bit, little annoying things pop up all the time saying, "But your profile isn't complete! Fix this! Add more friends! Do this stuff! Or you're not getting THE FULL EXPERIENCE!"

    I recently removed about a quarter of the people on my friends' list. It's not that I actively dislike them or anything, but I am rarely interested by the things they post and just get sucked in too much to the drama. They're the perfect kind of folks to catch up with at reunions or whatever, but it's just too much contact on Facebook.

    On the other hand, I don't delete the account entirely because my friends' group that I actually do care about keeping up with does ALL of their event planning through Facebook, and my husband (the last time I deactivated my account) forgot to tell me about anything. He's great, but the social calendar is not his thing at all. So I have taken down most of my information, but check in every now and then. It's hard not to do more, but it's what I'm trying!

  4. Leila
    Congratulations on becoming a grandmother! What joy!

    I deleted my Facebook account about two months ago because I couldn't stay off of it and I wanted to have more energy & time for my own writing. It was definitely a good move, even though I miss keeping up with some of my friends that way.

  5. Your son-in-law is nothing if not efficient! LOL. Congratulations, Grandma! The baby will be more like a little brother or sister to Matthew, which will be good for him.

    I knew you were posting less, but I thought it was because blogging was too taxing. You used to have at least two posts a week with hundreds of replies. I know that I, without husband and kids, couldn't even read all the comments on one post - it was overwhelming, and still is - much less put coherent responses together. On FB, you don't have the freedom of speech you have here. So my vote is that Granny keeps her game here!

  6. And congratulations on becoming a grandmother! Our first was a honeymoon baby :)

  7. Stinkin, Filthy, RICH! Big congrats and thumbs up from Sawaya's. Let the games begin!
    The story of Dean and his pal is amazing. God is crazy about surprises and loves showing us the long view of his grace. How cool is it to know someone who ends up on The Journey Home. Used to make popcorn for that show, just love it. We have a dream of someday seeing a certain cousin on that show.
    So wait, the baby was blessed by Francis and among the bones of Peter already! Next it will be, she had an emergency deliver in church and the baby was born in the baptismal fount. Prayers for baby and momma.

    1. "So wait, the baby was blessed by Francis and among the bones of Peter already! Next it will be, she had an emergency deliver in church and the baby was born in the baptismal fount."


  8. Your best Quick Takes ever! Congrats to Cecily, Carter and Grandma!

  9. Congrats to the you...wonderful news about your daughter! YES.. more wedding pictures please!

  10. This was so enjoyable - I look forward to reading more :)

  11. Leighton's story is interesting but his reasons for converting to Catholicism are not very convincing. He was attracted to it for purely emotional reasons. He gives no credence to atheism without providing any reason. I'm happy for him that his conversion has given him a sense of meaning and purpose for his life, but he is satisfied with that without seeking the real truth.

  12. Ahhhhh!!!! Leila!!! SUCH EXCITING NEWS about your grandbaby! :) Congrats to your daughter and her hubby! :)

    And, I too, absolutely LOVE your last post. It was perfect to read.

  13. A baby!?!?!? CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  14. Congrats on the new precious life! Such a wonderful journey for all of you!

  15. Thanks, all! You guys are too kind!

    Bill when you said this: "...his reasons for converting to Catholicism are not very convincing" I had to chuckle a bit. After the hundreds of comments you've made on the blog, responding to hundreds of other comments with myriad reasons for believing Catholicism to be true, even Aquinas' arguments would elicit the same response from you. I get it, nothing can convince you. Maybe it's time to move on from that topic? ;)

  16. I'm not sure why Leighton picked the Catholic Church; he happened to be going by it, and it attracted him for some reason, but he doesn't explain why some other denomination could not have filled the same void. Maybe it's just one of those things that are unexplainable.

  17. More wedding pictures! And before long, baby pictures!! What a wonderful blessing!

  18. Maybe it's just one of those things that are unexplainable.

    captcrisis, the Catholic Church is not a matter of personal preference. It's a matter of discovering the fullness of Truth contained within Catholicism. I realize that for Protestants, it's more about what church makes you feel good than about the specific teachings and beliefs. But, that ain't the case for Catholics.

    And Bill...please tone down the insults towards Catholics. By the way, it's pretty insulting to Jesus to place your trust in Him "just in case"...ouch! By the way, Jesus is not fooled by any games we try to play with Him - He sees into our hearts and sees everything we do, knows every thought in our mind, knows us better than we know ourselves. So ultimately, it's His judgment that you'll face. Leila, Francis, Nubby, myself, and all the others are merely trying to prepare you as best as possible for that moment of judgment. We all truly want what is best for you. Ultimately, you either fully trust Jesus or you don't. You can't be wishy-washy. I'm still praying for you and genuinely hope you're doing well :)

  19. Thank you Margo,

    You're a genuinely good and loving person. I apologize for any insults you may have taken from my comments. I think what I am insulting, without really meaning to, is the whole concept of faith being some kind of virtue. We are asked to believe that one man simply is the way, the truth and the life because, supposedly, that's what he said he was. It is as if there is no way to live a rewarding and fulfilling life (and not worry about an afterlife) but through him.

  20. Maybe it's time to move on from that topic? ;)

    Yeah? And do what? :-)

    Silly me. I forgot to congratulate you. At this pace, you may be a great, great grandma someday :-)

  21. Captcrisis
    "I'm not sure why Leighton picked the Catholic Church; he happened to be going by it, and it attracted him for some reason, but he doesn't explain why some other denomination could not have filled the same void. Maybe it's just one of those things that are unexplainable."
    Check from 33mins to 36mins on the video. He sums it up pretty clearly. Authority

    1. Chris, I address this question below in comments...

  22. @margo

    Hardly. Some Protestant sects are anything but "feel-good" religions.


    I'm not buying the idea that people become Catholics because they prefer to have someone else do the thinking for them. George Orwell was reflecting on this mindset when he said, "You can't be both Catholic and mature." That's not my experience of Catholics though.

    Whether it's Protestant or Catholic, or some other religion, people are attracted to a particular denomination because there is a ring of truth about it. Different people sense different things as being "true".

  23. Chris, there was so little time when I was interviewed on the Journey Home. I couldn't believe how quickly the time went by! But to answer your inquiry, my first red flag for Protestantism, was how many different churches there were. I was perplexed at how so many different denominations could disagree on very important points (the necessity of baptism for instance; also, communion- is Jesus present or not? Is it a symbol or His True Presence or all points in between) even as they claimed biblical authority. And then subsequent reading, often through the night, led me to the inescapable conclusion that Christ founded the Catholic Church and that with her was the Authority, assured by Christ Himself. For me, nothing could fill that void but the Truth. Thanks for asking so I could clarify in case that didn't come through on the show. God bless!

  24. Bill, Leighton here... regarding my conversion story on the Journey Home on EWTN: With all due respect, that is way off the mark in my case, and a little presumptuous for someone who has never met me to make a statement about my motives. To clarify, emotionally I longed to become Protestant... mostly because that's where my family was (mother by that time, aunts and uncles, beloved grandmothers, etc.) but the TRUTH led me into Mother Church. I read all night some nights, trying to convince myself that it was more logical to be Protestant, but ultimately the argument rested on divinely given authority (If you want a good, brief treatment read Mark Shea's "By What Authority" or a more comprehensive one, Karl Keating's "Catholicism and Fundamentalism"). And the Bible itself pointed clearly to the Church. Was there emotion involved in my conversion? Absolutely! "I was glad when they said, 'Let us go to the house of the LORD!' (Ps 122:1)" My heart was filled. But my decision, let me assure you, was based in logic and intellectual inquiry. As much as I desired to become Protestant, my will was compelled to act on my intellect's recognition of the Truth: Jesus founded the Catholic Church. Believe me, brother, I would NEVER have become Catholic if it was not true: it is too hard (the whole narrow road deal, you know)! But what a journey it is! Peace, Leighton

  25. Leila, if Bill had heard some of our intense conversations about Catholicism in the early days I think he would see neither of us entered deeply into the waters because of "emotionalism!" :) One does not converse about the deep truths of the faith with Leila Miller on a superficial level!

    1. Ha ha, aw… thanks, Leighton! Yes, I wish he could have been a fly on the wall! Those were great conversations. :)

  26. Leighton,

    I am honored that you would respond to my comment. Catholicism fills an emotional need for sure. I understand that completely. The emotional need drives the intellectual qwest.

    I feel a great sense of loss in no longer being able to believe enough of what the Church teaches to really consider myself to still be a faithful member. I just enjoy being a member of my parish and of the Knights of Columbus which I joined when I was still a devout believer. It keeps me a member of my community, which I need to be to have a rewarding and fulfilling life.

    If you want to continue to be happy, don't try to disprove what you believe by reading what atheists have to say about it. I did in an effort to strengthen my faith by seeing how illogical their arguments are. It hasn't turned out that way and nothing good has come of it.

    Your worldview works. That's all you want to know. Trust me.

  27. Bill, you have implied more than once that if we Catholics keep looking at atheist arguments, our faith will fall apart. I've been looking at atheist arguments for years, and they have only strengthened my faith. Same with the arguments that Jesus never resurrected. Heard them all multiple times (they are as old as the Scriptures) and they are not reasonable, do not hold water. No worries about Leighton's faith, I assure you. He has done the reading, the work, the whole thing. Once truth is made clear (and then lived out, in relationship), it only gets better, and more profound.

    captcrisis, I am glad you don't buy that incredibly condescending line by Orwell. He must have never read the lives of the saints, nor met/read a Catholic scholar. I can't imagine what kind of Catholics he met? Strange, but he skipped the saints and the patrimony.

  28. Congrats Leila on becoming a grandma! I just had my second. As hard as tiny babies are, I find that I actually really love the baby stage :) You will love being a grandma, I know my mom thinks there is nothing better. As a side note, when I was pregnant with my first, my baby was blessed by our Patriarch Sviatoslav, and it was a beautiful experience knowing my baby had already received such gift. Congrats to you and your daughter and son-in-law!

    As another side note, there are so many women who feel so insecure and inexperienced when it comes to handling babies because there are so few big families, most women never even hold newborns before their own! I know I felt so grateful for having been exposed to babies when my first was laid in my arms, and your daughter will probably feel the same. (Not to say it isn't still nerve wracking to have your own, of course, but it is nice to know how to change a diaper)

  29. Bill, thanks for your honesty about where you are at. I am glad you are still connected through the Knights, etc. Please read Fr. Thomas Dubay's "Faith and Certitude" (Ignatius Press). The more one studies the Faith (in prayer--- this is essential--- prayer is the opening of the heart to truth), it becomes evident that it is much more reasonable to believe than disbelieve, which is a good start. For me, C. S. Lewis' "Mere Christianity" helped begin that journey, since I was one who initially really struggled with the Incarnation. I found the evidence FOR Christianity compelling. I came to see that one must do intellectual acrobatics in order to believe the claims made by the atheists. Their arguments are simply not reasonable and stretch credulity beyond its limits. Also, look at the fruit of the lives of the deep believers, the saints, in comparison to some of the fruit that came from the lives of the "great" atheists (Nietzsche, etc.) and some of those who followed in their worldview (Margaret Sanger, etc.). Truth and beauty and goodness walk, as it were, hand in hand. When you embrace the truth, in love, life happens. When one is in union with the truth, everything makes sense. There is still mystery, but it is evidence of the glory of God, and continues to draw one toward heaven. Read Fr. Dubay-- he's more articulate than I am! He speaks to the doubter beautifully. God bless you!

  30. Leighton, you had mentioned that you are involved in marriage prep ministry ( or something marriage related). What is it , and is it diocesan level or parish level? How Did you guys start in the ministry? with something small or big?
    Loved the interview btw.

  31. Surprised and glad that Leighton himself has entered the conversation.

    If you want an amusing account of factionalism, see Garrison Keillor's semi-fictional account of his native sect, the "Brethren", in "Lake Wobegon Days". . . "By the time I came along, there were dozens of Brethren groups around the upper Midwest, none of them speaking to any of the others."

    The movie "Monty Python's Life of Brian" is largely a satire of both political and religious factionalism. In one sequence, a group of seekers decides poor Brian is the "Messiah". After he leaves, within 30 seconds these "Brianists" have split up into three contentious sects.

  32. Leila, How do you donate to the orphans? Congratulations on becoming a grandmother!! How exciting!!! God bless, Stacy

  33. ugagal, donations are made through Reece's Rainbow:

    When I get the monthly proceeds from the Amazon sales on the blog, I donate that amount either to an orphan's fund directly (which goes toward his/her future adoption costs when a family commits), or to the family sponsorship fund which helps a family who has already committed to one of the orphans get him/her home. (The price of adoption is, sadly, exorbitant.)

    Thanks for asking! :)

  34. Chris, we were part of a team in the Diocese of Phoenix's marriage prep ministry, God's Plan for Joy Filled Marriage. As with most things like that, the way we got involved is we were asked :). Teams did retreat days a few times a year. It was very rewarding, and we hope to get back into it. Thanks for the feedback on the interview!

  35. captcrisis,

    What makes it correct to have countless factions of Christianity? Do you think that it was Christ intended? FWIW, we don't get to self-interpret Christ's life or teachings and change them to suit our personal preference. Christ desires all people to be one as He is One with the Father. Jesus Christ is the One Truth for all people. The Truth exists independently from any person's opinions or feelings.

    Leighton - thank you for chiming into our discussion! I absolutely loved your story with Marcus Grodi! I've really gotten into the JH recently, love hearing everyone's conversion/reversion stories, what a blessing!

  36. I came to see that one must do intellectual acrobatics in order to believe the claims made by the atheists.

    Atheists cannot fully explain everything that believers explain by attributing it all to God. But science is a relatively new discipline and needs more time to come up with explanations for the Big Bang, the formation of the first living cell, the appearance of intelligent design in nature, the fine tuning of the laws of nature and the physical constants that have led to life being possible, and most of all consciousness. If believing atheists requires intellectual acrobatics, it is because these questions do not have simple answers such as "God did it".

  37. Jesus Christ is the One Truth for all people. The Truth exists independently from any person's opinions or feelings.


    What if it turns out that the real truth is closer to what atheists believe than to what you believe? Do you think that is at all possible? Do you ever consider it as a possibility? What would become of you if it turned out to be true?

    Something close to 6/7 of the world's population do not recognize Jesus as the "Truth" with a capital "T" as you do. What of them. Do they not know the truth about their lives?

  38. Bill,

    I am in love with Jesus Christ - I am not going to reject Him by considering anything that undermines who He is as our Lord and Savior. I mean I obviously know about atheistic "beliefs", just from reading the comments on this blog as well as other blogs and I find it completely illogical and mostly selfish. I prefer following Christ to Heaven since He has the fullness of Truth as well as Beauty and Goodness.

    And yes, the people who do not recognize Jesus as the capital T Truth do not know the truth about their lives because....JESUS IS THE TRUTH! You may not like that He's the Truth, you may not like His teachings, but guess what? Your opinion doesn't change the fact of who Jesus is.

  39. We know the atomic structure of materials. We've created super computers. We've put people in outer space. Science has done all this yet hasn't come close to origin of life.

    And to speak futuristically that science will one day hold all the answers isn't an argument. One can argue that one day you will come to fully believe in god or jesus or miracles. How much time you need?

    What if 1000 yrs from now science still doesn't answer? To keep saying one day science will tell us means you're having faith in something that hasn't even happened yet.

  40. This comment has been removed by the author.

  41. the people who do not recognize Jesus as the capital T Truth do not know the truth about their lives

    Sure they do. You need some way of believing what you believe without thinking that others are wrong.

  42. Science has done all this yet hasn't come close to origin of life.

    Nubby. You are right. The origin of life, and even more mysterious, consciousness, are no where close to being explained by science. That could possibly be considered to be supernatural.

  43. Bill, ultimately someone has to be wrong. Catholics and atheists cannot both be right. Either Jesus is God or He is not.

  44. "You need some way of believing what you believe without thinking that others are wrong."

    ? How does one proclaim or believe in Truth without thinking that contradictory ideas or beliefs are in error? Methinks you don't understand the concept of the word "Truth".

    Would you say the same sentence if it were regarding math, or chemistry, or even the statement of morality that "rape is wrong"?

    Bill, Margo is exactly right. Either Jesus is God or He is not. So, there is one answer that is True, and one answer that is error.

    How on earth do you get around that? Even if you don't agree that Jesus is God, how do you get around the fact that truth and error are mutually exclusive, no matter the subject?

  45. Leila and Margo,

    The is virtually no chance that yours is the only correct worldview and all others are wrong. Sure, your worldview makes you feel that you know something of which the rest of the world is ignorant. But that in itself is ignorant.

  46. How can Jesus be God and not God at the same time? Don't you see that it has to be one or the other? Where's the disconnect?

  47. Honestly, Bill, I am getting weary of your repeating the same things, which amount to "You think you're right but you're not!" That is not a dialogue, and I am pretty much done hearing it. It is filling up the comboxes on many of my posts, but it is ultimately meaningless and does nothing to advance the conversation or enlighten anyone. Please stop. We get your position. When even Nubby is done, that's a pretty good signal that we've wrung this thing dry.

    1. hey, hey, hey, HEY! What's that implying!? jk

    2. Meaning you are wise and know when to stop at futility! :) I need to take your lead.

  48. Yeah, this is getting a bit old now. Bill, if you ever wish to continue to discuss this, feel free to email me: and consider perusing my own blog (click on my name). God bless :)

  49. haha- i know... Chewing the fat on a good argument is fun and good, but like you said, there has to be an angle to argue.

    Congrats on your future Grannyhood!

  50. @leila

    "The origin of life, and even more mysterious, consciousness, are no where close to being explained by science. That could possibly be considered to be supernatural."

    Bill keeps throwing you lifelines like this and you ignore them. I see prospect of some common ground here.

    I like how you engage non-Christians but just to say over and over "Jesus is God" is not engagement. It's not even true in terms of Catholic doctrine. Jesus is only one of the three "persons" in the Trinity which make up God. The Catholic idea of God is not simple as you make it out to be.

    It's not even true in terms of Jesus. Jesus is not just God; he was also equally a human being. That is probably the oldest Christian doctrine, set in place by Athanasius.


  51. captcrisis, look a little closer. Check my comment at 9:33. Nothing there was addressed. Addressing those questions would have advanced the discussion. Instead (as he does very often), Bill reverted back to, "You think you're right but you're not! You are ignorant." That is a dialogue killer. The dialogue ends.

    Yes, he did respond to Nubby about the possibility of the supernatural. Yes, indeed. I left that for Nubby to answer, because I have heard him say that before and even addressed it before. He often says that there could be a supernatural something, but then just as quickly reverses himself. So, that has been proven to be a rabbit trail. I largely ignore those kinds of statements because they are reversed quickly (or overridden by "But I don't believe in anything supernatural").

    Round and round and round, it gets tiring, honestly.

    I like how you engage non-Christians but just to say over and over "Jesus is God" is not engagement.

    Um, when did I do this? If this is the substance of the discussions on this blog, then you would have been long gone, no? The reason we keep speaking of Jesus to Bill is because he clearly has said that he is asking for Jesus' mercy, he trusts in Jesus, etc.. This Jesus whom he loves, we are addressing. We are explaining that he needs to understand who Jesus is, who He claims to be. I would never say "Jesus is God" to you over and over again, because it would not make sense in the context of our conversations or your beliefs.

    And forgive me, but yes indeed, Catholic doctrine does hold that "Jesus is God". He is certainly one of the Three Persons of the Godhead, but that doesn't not mean He is "one-third" God. Nor does His hypostatic union mean that He is half God, half human. I think you misunderstand the doctrine of the Trinity.

    1. Whoops, that should say: "...but that does not mean He is "one-third" God"

  52. @ Bill

    At the risk of sounding uncharitable, I would like to ask you what your purpose is on this blog? I am not Catholic but I still feel impatience at the repetitive nature of your posts. I wish you the best and think you have some good points to make. But, as a non-believer, I learned a long time ago that the best use of this blog is learning more about Catholics and their faith (plus hanging out with some very nice people).

    Nothing you say will change their faith. Has that not sunk in yet? The most important thing I've learned about Catholics is that they consider their faith by definition to be infallible.

    So I wonder what you are trying to accomplish by constantly objecting to their premises? That's not a rhetorical question, I really wonder. You said this is the only blog you haven't been kicked off of. What happened on the other blogs?

    God Bless.

  53. "The origin of life, and even more mysterious, consciousness, are no where close to being explained by science. That could possibly be considered to be supernatural."

    Bill keeps throwing you lifelines like this and you ignore them. I see prospect of some common ground here."

    My two cents: A "lifeline" would be an entry point into a discussion where the argument has turned a new corner, a point has been conceded, or challenged, and it can, therefore, be discussed and broken down from a new logical perspective along the trail.

    Chasing ideas all day, back and forth, will not nail down common ground. Ideas have to be captured, argued, supported, refuted, conceded, whatever. I, personally, opt out when I don't see progress in the discourse.

  54. @nubby
    For Bill to admit to a supernatural explanation is an important concession. You don't seem to be interested in responding to him unless he concedes that he is wrong on every point and you are right.
    Not what I was taught about Jesus, but popular Catholicism often does not follow the language of professional theologians. You did get me to look up "hypostatic", though!

  55. Untrue. Perhaps you don't follow every exchange- Bill has, of course, accepted supernatural explanation, only to revoke that within 24 hrs, only to accept it 50% then following day, etc. If we can get the weather vane to stop spinning, we'd be able to get into deeper logical discussion.

    I don't argue to be right, I argue to think through. Nice takeaway, though.

  56. Bill has, of course, accepted supernatural explanation, only to revoke that within 24 hrs, only to accept it 50% then following day, etc.

    This is true. I cannot deny it. The Big Bang seems to be like "Let there be light" very supernatural. All of the things that had to happen for us to be here seem beyond just nature and therefore supernatural. Miraculous healings defy the laws of probability and therefore appear to be from a supernatural source. Other than that, I don't believe in the supernatural.

    To me, there are no gods, angels, demons, saints, heaven, hell, incarnation, virgin births, walking on water, multiplication of loaves and fishes, resurrections, ascensions or assumptions.

    So I don't know what percent of the supernatural I believe in. But it was nice discussing it with you. Peace.

  57. I've learned about Catholics is that they consider their faith by definition to be infallible.

    So I wonder what you are trying to accomplish by constantly objecting to their premises?


    I get it. You're right. I got myself in a do loop. Thanks.

  58. Wow. I am a bit embarrassed to be singled out, but I also very happy that they were so encouraging for you. My words were sincere and I was glad to have the opportunity to thank you for the role you (and your blog) has played in deepening my faith.

  59. Oh! And CONGRATULATIONS on your coming grandchild! What happy news! :-)

  60. Congratulations! What happy news! It is always fun having a new baby in the family.

  61. Bill, not to stir anything up again, but what Leighton says from 29:11 to 29:44…. it made me think of you.

  62. Like #%^* or get off the pot. Fish or cut bait. In or out.

    We accept some things as truths but are skeptical about others. This is true. If you tell me you own a silver Mercedes, I am likely to believe you without checking into it. If you then tell me that a man rose from the dead and ascended into heaven, I'm going to have to examine the evidence.

    But I am worst than that now. I just say that owning a silver Mercedes doesn't require divine intervention and Leila wouldn't lie about something like that. Rising from the dead does. Since there is no such thing as divine intervention, Leila is either lying or delusional.

    I am still examining evidence that the supernatural does exist. I brought back Nothing Short of a Miracle and I am re-reading A Universe from Nothing because I am still amazed at how this could all be without a supernatural creator.

  63. Lisa. Really? You don't want to get me going.

  64. "I am still amazed at how this could all be without a supernatural creator."

    Right, because instinctively you know that would be unreasonable. ;)

  65. It's counterintuitive to not believe in intelligent design. But I don't see the next step to be to credit it all to the God of the Bible. Sorry. That is a dead end in my pursuit of the right path to the truth.


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