My Catholic Apologetics Resources has been published by the Principium Institute, and is available in both Kindle for $2.99, and in Paperback for $6.99. It has come out just in time for Lent, for those interested in beefing up on their apologetics reading during Lent. The book is a lengthy bibliography, organized both topically and by reading level. Spanning 219 pages, this resources lists important sources on a variety of topics: baptism, communion of saints, confession, Crusades, Eucharist, existence of God, Inquisition, Jesus’ resurrection, Mary, papacy, purgatory, reformation, reliability of the New Testament, reliability of the Old Testament, and a number of other topics.
The online magazine, The Bible and Interpretation, has recently published an article I wrote entitled, “On Biblical Scholarship and Bias.” The article has stirred up some controversy, even eliciting a published response by Thomas L. Thompson, the famous biblical “minimalist” from the University of Copenhagen. The Bible and Interpretation intends to present articles written by biblical scholars that are more widely accessible to a broader audience outside the realm of specialist scholars. My article uses Joseph Ratzinger’s (Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI) 1988 Erasmus Lecture on “Biblical Interpretation in Crisis” as the starting point for the discussion. If you are interested in this debate, check out my Three Skeptics and the Bible.
We’ve all heard, and we all know from experience, how important it is to start the day off right….Read More Here.
In parish lectures I am frequently confronted by parents distraught over their children’s experiences in their Bible courses at colleges and universities across the country…..Read More here.
A few days ago we celebrated the optional memorial of St. John of God. Our pastor gave a marvelous homily that day, which inspired this post. One of the key connection points the pastor made was the connection St. John of God had with other Saints with whom I was more familiar. To be quite honest, I knew next to nothing about St. John of God. So I began to investigate his life, and what an amazing man of God, St. John of God was! I thought his life–as well as his spiritual connection to other Saints–made this a very appropriate topic for a post during Lent….especially as we approach the end of Lent.
St. John of God is best known for his many followers who eventually founded the Hospitallers, a religious institution focused on aiding the sick, suffering, and dying, among other services they now provide. They are still in existence today.
What I didn’t know was St. John of God’s late conversion in life. In many ways he was a prodigal of the Church. A baptized Catholic, like virtually all his family and friends, he was a public sinner, who sinned in countless ways. He wasn’t just known for one particular sin, but many. He was a soldier, but was particularly known for leading a life best described as completely “wild.” He was around 40 years old, or so, when he had his conversion. He found mercy rather late in life.
One of the most important but neglected spiritual practices is the daily general examination of conscience. No business would last very long without taking stock daily, calculating how much profit was made, etc., and there is no business more important than our soul. Socrates famously said that, “the unexamined life is not worth living.” We could say that an unexamined life is dangerous. It’s important to examine how we are doing fairly regularly in order to improve. When our goal is off in the distance, a little misdirection early in the journey–if it is not corrected–can spell disaster, landing us far off the mark.
The morning offering is a very traditional Catholic practice that seems to be neglected by so many Catholics I run into. Many have never heard of a morning offering. We’re already well into Lent, 2016, but I thought I’d post on this wonderful Catholic traditional prayer. There are numerous prayers that can be said as a morning offering, and you can google them, or find many different versions in Catholic prayer books. The specific form or words of the morning offering, is less important I think than the actual practice of praying the morning offering. The basic idea is simple. When you get up in the morning, you start your day by offering the entire day to God. You offer all of the joys and sufferings that will come that day, as well as all of your work and prayers, for God. Of course you can include other intentions, like for the Pope, your local bishop, etc. Offering your day to God first things is a great way to begin to sanctify your ordinary life. What better time than Lent to begin taking up this traditional Catholic practice. It’s a great way to start the day off right, and it only need take a few seconds. You can always renew the offering throughout the day as you offer specific tasks, or instances of suffering, to God. One of the best resources out there on the morning offering is Michael J. Ortiz’s fine book, Like the First Morning: The Morning Offering as a Daily Renewal. His book cover is the image I used at the top of this post. So let’s start our days off right this Lent, offering what lies ahead to God in advance as we get up to begin the day, facing all the challenges and joys and whatever else lies ahead.