Saturday, September 28, 2013

Why it Matters to ME that YOU Be a Good Catholic

I was talking to a buddy on the phone yesterday and I confessed, “I am more Catholic cheerleader than apologist.”

When I watch apologists debate the Catholic and Protestant sides, I feel like I am watching an unbearably long Ping-Pong match without any record of score. Each observer has to imagine the score in his own head.

After half an hour or so, my brain goes numb.

Don’t get me wrong, I believe apologetics is a very important discipline, and I have great respect for those who engage in this essential ministry professionally. Many a seeker has made a definitive choice for the Catholic Church because the case for Catholicism was well argued and systematically presented. I have learned a great deal from the likes of Patrick Madrid, Jimmy Akin, and Michelle Arnold, brilliant apologists all.

Also, I believe that every Catholic should be able to articulate his faith well enough to present a logical and reasonable defense of Catholic doctrine, especially in these relativistic times when truth seems up for grabs and logic and reason are a rare commodity, obscured as they are by rampant emotionalism and banal sentimentality.

But when it comes down to me, my primary drive is to evangelize the disengaged, or the lightly engaged, of the fold. Perhaps this is because I found myself astounded upon my entry into the Church at twenty-nine years old, and following a life of impoverished agnosticism, by the many Catholics who seemed bored by the Faith. I was like a starving man that looks on in wonder as other hungry people sit before piles of the most exquisite food without partaking.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Five Ways to Lead Your Children to Heaven, PART TWO

Most of us have encountered people who journey through life in a way that exemplifies Thoreau’s famous line from Walden: “The mass of men live lives of quiet desperation.”

I have observed that a common denominator in the “quiet desperation crowd,” barring other emotional causes, is often a seeming lack of a sense of purpose and meaning.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

What a Real Man Looks (and Smells) Like

My four year old son, Joshua, came up to me at church the other day and said, a big grin on his face, “Daddy, smell me!”

When a four year old boy asks you to smell him, you get nervous.

I leaned over with some trepidation and smelled him.

He smelled kind of like me. Only his smell was lower to the ground.

“Do I smell like a man?” he asked with wide eyes.

“Oh, absolutely, buddy. You smell like a man, for sure,” I assured him, mussing his thick hair.

“I used your perfume!” he gushed.

Kim corrected him, “That would be cologne, honey.”

He asked me recently when he could start shaving (that reminds me, I need to get a play shaving kit like they had when I was a kid--- do they even have those anymore?). My little guy wants so much to be a man. 

And you know what really scares me?

I am the one who is supposed to be his teacher; it is my responsibility to show him what a man looks like!

Friday, September 13, 2013

Happiness Isn't a Warm Puppy: Five Ways to Lead Your Children to Heaven

When teaching baptism classes to parents, I would begin the first class with the question: “What do you desire most for your child?”

Nine times out of ten the response was, “Happiness.”

Parents want the very best for their children. Parents sacrifice a great deal to give their children everything they believe they need to be happy. Parents--- healthy, sane parents--- want their children to be happy today, as children, and tomorrow, as adults.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

"Catholicism is a deep matter--- you cannot take it up in a teacup." Bl. John Henry Newman
Copyright 2013, by R. L. Drake