Monday, December 10, 2018

Seeking God's Grace-Filled Healing for Sex-Abuse Victims

I’m not exactly eager to share very personal matters on a public platform, but I realized recently that my story could be helpful — both to those who are blessed not to know firsthand what being victimized in such a way is like and how long its negative effects can last, and to those who have suffered, to my fellow survivors, to give them hope. 

See my latest article, in the National Catholic Register:

Monday, November 5, 2018

Why I Won't Be Leaving

Many people assume that those raised Catholic or Christian who retain their faith as adults haven't really thought about it and are just blindly following what their parents told them. 
     I don't know how common that really is. Most of the practicing Catholics and Christians I know have thought a lot about it. It's kind of necessary when you live in a culture that belittles or outright attacks your beliefs left and right.
     At least that's the case for me. I certainly studied and tested other worldviews. As a young adult, I  began researching--and today still continue to learn more about--the claims of Jesus to be the Christ and of the Catholic Church to be the Church He founded. I've been struck by just how solid both claims are, on so many levels: historical, logical, philosophical, theological, and evidential. To me the most compelling proofs were 
  • the mysteriously empty tomb--to which history attests in multiple ways;
  • the apostles’ honesty and sincere witness, verified by their willingness to ... 
    • leave everything, including their homeland, to share the Gospel,
    • be rejected, punished, and imprisoned, and 
    • ultimately to die for proclaiming that Jesus had risen from the dead; 
  • the conversion of Paul, who originally disbelieved and persecuted Christians and had nothing to gain by joining them; and
  • the writings of the early Church Fathers.

     But with the recent "summer of shame" for Catholics, we have a different reason to just walk away. And many have. Over the past two months, my own parish has seen a significant decline in Sunday Mass attendance.
      Not I, though; I'm staying with the Church in this dark hour. The article link below explains ... 

      Why I Won't Be Leaving

Saturday, September 29, 2018

Purification and Reparation: What Catholics Can Do With Our Present Anger

As for many Catholics, this "summer of shame" has been trying for me. Not for my faith or for my loyalty to the Lord or the Church, but trying to my patience. I'm sad and disgusted.

I do believe, however, that God can bring good out of anything and will do so if we pray. It is good for evil done in darkness to be brought into the light. That is the first step to restoration.

There are steps that we can and must make too. Read more here.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

The Connection between the Sexual Revolution and “MeToo”: An Interview with Mary Eberstadt

From reading her works, I already knew Mary Eberstadt to be intelligent, articulate, and insightful. On May 31, 2018, I discovered that she's humble and approachable as well. 

It was a privilege to sit down and talk with her before the #MeToo Moment Conference: Second Thoughts on the Sexual Revolution in Washington, D.C., that day. You can read my interview with her and excerpts from her paper here:

The Connection between the Sexual Revolution and "MeToo": An Interview with Mary Eberstadt

Mary Eberstadt giving the Opening Remarks at the #MeToo Moment Conference

Saturday, June 9, 2018

Reflections on the Sacred Heart of Jesus

Saints have reflected on the fact that Jesus called Himself the “door” and that his Heart was opened by a lance. He is the door through which we attain union with God, and the door of His Heart has been opened for us in His loving self-sacrifice on the Cross.

             How do we enter that Door? We think we are too large. But Christ is God and truly infinitely greater than we. If we are members of His Body, then we are like His cells. This leads to the question: which cells enter the sacred chambers of His Heart: the blood cells.

            The mission of a blood cell is to bring oxygen to the rest of the cells of the body. Our mission as Christians is not merely to enter the Sacred Heart of Jesus and stay there, basking in His love. He doesn’t call us to a mere me-and-Jesus existence. We are also meant to go on and share that Gospel, that wonderful divine invitation with others. To do this, we must be transformed by the Holy Spirit, the Breath of Life. Just like physical blood cells need to go by the lungs to be oxygenated, we need to get in touch with the Holy Spirit to bring the Breath of Life to the rest of the Body.

            A red blood cell that bypassed the lungs would be pretty useless. It might be very busy circulating all over the Body over and over, but its mission of delivering oxygen (or Life) to the rest of the body would be completely unfulfilled. 
            On the other hand, a red blood cell that spent all its time in the heart or lungs, selfishly grasping direct contact with the Source of Life constantly, would also miss its mission, its reason for being. In fact, it could help form a clot and thus block the mission.

            Thus we need both. We need to come back again and again to the heart and lungs—to Jesus and the Spirit—to be renewed in grace, and we need to go back out again and again and bring that grace to others. It is not our own grace, but God’s; we cannot create grace any more than red blood cells can create oxygen. But He has given us the sublime privilege of helping to deliver His life-giving grace to others.
            There is need to return to the heart and lungs again and again, to renew God’s grace in us in the sacraments (especially the Eucharist) and in prayer, but there is no need to take up residence there. We are still in His Body and part of His Body when we go out and fulfill our mission. He is always with us. Hence it is not a matter of either-or: contemplation or mission; it is both. 
            Spend time with Him again and again in prayer and be strengthened by getting close to Him (spend time in His physical Presence in the Blessed Sacrament). Then go out every day and share that Breath of Life with others.

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

MeToo Moment Conference Rethinks Sexual Revolution

I was blessed to attend the #MeToo Moment: Second Thoughts on the Sexual Revolution conference in Washington, D.C., last week. 

I think this conference has the potential to be one of if not the most significant "moments" for American women in the past 50 years.

I'll be writing several articles related to this. Here's the first, for Our Sunday Visitor Newsweekly, an overview with links to all the talks of the conference:

#MeToo Moment: Second Thoughts on the Sexual Revolution Conference

#MeToo conference rethinks sexual revolution
Helen Alvaré wrapped up the conference with "A Way Forward"