Little Thoughts about a Big God February 23, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Christina M @ 9:15 am

I think justice is overrated. If God were completely just, I’d go to hell. I have every reason to be grateful for mercy.

Sunday is the Lord’s day. Do we ever stop and ask ourselves why? It is because every Sunday is a feast day — the Feast of the Resurrection of our Lord.

How much does God love you? Every bit of love in the world, even throughout history and the future, comes from one source: God. His love for you is greater than all love that has ever existed on earth and ever will.

 
 

The Reason for the Season January 18, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — Christina M @ 6:52 pm

It’s a phrase you didn’t expect to hear again for a while, isn’t it? We heard it again and again during Advent, and possibly even during Christmas season (for those non-Catholics here, I’m referring to the time between Christmas day — the Feast of the Nativity — and the Epiphany). And then, somewhere along the line, the phrase started fading.

But He is still the reason for the season. Not just the season of Advent or Christmas… He is the reason for every season. He is the reason for everything. Now that the local discount store is putting up Easter and Fourth of July decorations, let’s keep on remembering Jesus. Out of commercial sight shouldn’t mean out of mind.

 
 

Thought for the day May 29, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — Christina M @ 8:27 pm

When you feel like the gopher the cat dragged in, stop and ask yourself: is there anything in your life that is not a blessing from God? Now stop laughing as you think about that thorn in your side, that that couldn’t possibly be from God, and remember Job’s words. The Lord gives, the Lord takes away. Blessed be the name of the Lord.

Try to remember that each thing in your life is a gift from God, even when it doesn’t look like one. The dirty house is a roof and a shelter. The nagging child is life and the future. The exhaustion is life spent productively. God gave you this life because He loves you. Just like you might make a four year old eat his vegetables because you love him.

Blessed be the name of the Lord… in good times and challenging.

 
 

Confession April 12, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — Christina M @ 7:19 pm

I admit, I went way too long without the sacrament. About 7 months, and for at least the last few, I needed it. You see, I was angry and lethargic, and it was hard at one point not to blame God.

But that wasn’t the really rough part. You see, I got over the anger. But I didn’t get over the knowledge that I had allowed a wedge between myself and God. So, while I continued praying, it felt rather like an awkward meeting with an estranged relative. I love Him, and I wanted things to be right between us, but I couldn’t just pretend like nothing had passed. When you love someone, and He loves you, you want to be on good terms. And it hurts like (well, pardon the language, but it’s appropriate) hell to have that distance of unrepaired bridges between you.

I won’t go into too much detail about why it took so long to get back to Him, but suffice it to say that it really was beginning to feel like someone was out to get me. Car breakdown after car breakdown. Illness. Hubbie having no choice about working weekends. And so on. But it was enough to really make me examine my motives, and to think and pray for a way to get to confession. God made me really want it. It wasn’t going to be enough to go through the motions this time.

So today, I finally got there. It was two or three minutes, without any pouring out of emotion or sage advice. It was one of those really simple (though not necessarily easy) confessions where you sit down and just lay it on the line. “I did this. I did this other thing. I did such and such.” And I received a fairly simple penance of praying before the Blessed Sacrament.

And the prayer was so simple. Simple as light filling a room. Simple as warmth flooding through your body when you come in from the snow. Simple as a few words from me, and a few words from the Lord. “See how easily I forgive?”

And for the first time in months, I feel unburdened. I can go to God without a feeling of shame, just one of overwhelming gratitude.

My friends, if you have not been to confession in a while, please go soon. Someone is waiting for you with open arms.

 
 

A reminder October 8, 2007

Filed under: Uncategorized — Christina M @ 3:40 pm

God doesn’t just love “people.”
He loves YOU. He knows every fault and every fear, and He can’t get enough of you.

God is love, but He is more than a concept of love. He is someone who loves you more than you ever, ever imagined.

 
 

20 Reasons to Pray for Chaz February 5, 2004

Filed under: Uncategorized — Christina M @ 3:34 pm

In his pamphlet 20 Reasons to Abandon Christianity, Chaz Bufe devotes one chapter to each of the rants he has against Christianity. Most of his reasons for opposing Christianity are based on a faulty understanding of the faith; but a few show clear understanding of what Christianity teaches… in which case, his comments only hold water if Christian teaching is indeed false. The entire premise of most of his criticisms comes from an initial assumption that Christianity is false, and that there is no God.

It would be easy to gloss over the fact that most of his arguments rely on other religions being false as well. However, one can’t help noticing that it’s a lot easier in liberal circles to slam Christians than it is to slam Jews or Muslims. The fact is that all three believe in God, and all three share similar value systems. Chaz just chooses the easiest target in a politically correct world; because if he had attacked Jewish and Muslim people, he would (rightly) have to acknowledge being anti-semitic. Yet his arguments are anti-semitic, even if he never mentions Semitic races by name, because they still promote a false and hateful view of people who hold the truths that Jewish and Muslim, as well as Christian, people hold in common.

Now, at the risk of being long-winded, I will point out some of the more obvious flaws in Bufe’s criticisms.

  • Christianity is based on fear
  • The fears he cites are death, devil, and hell. Christianity does not build up fear of death, but relieves it; because in faith, one has hope of afterlife with God. Death itself is a reality, so the fear of it is not false at all. If the author denies this, then he’s farther from reality than he realizes. As for devil and hell, if Christianity is correct, then the devil and hell should be feared. So the only workable argument here is to prove that the Christian faith is wrong, not to criticize it whether it be wrong or right.

  • Christianity preys on the innocent
  • Clearly he does not understand Christianity. Christianity teaches us not to prey on the innocent. If all people practiced Christianity and followed the teachings of Jesus, there would be no predatory behavior on earth.

  • Christianity is based on dishonesty
  • This argument is meaningless without evidence. Essentially he is saying “Christianity is wrong because Christianity is wrong.” Brilliant, Chaz.

  • Christianity is extremely egocentric
  • Apparently wanting to go to heaven is egocentric. So, too, according to this man, is the belief that God loves us. Here, he displays not just a total ignorance of Christianity but an ignorance of human nature itself. Love is a total giving of self; to love Someone enough to want to spend eternity with Him is completely loving. Of course, he uses contradictory logic here. The person who gives love is being preyed on; the person who receives love is self-centered. It sounds like what he’s advocating is a complete disdain for anyone but self. And if you ask me, that is the height of egocentrism.

  • Christianity breeds arrogance, a chosen-people mentality
  • And Chaz Bufe does not?

  • Christianity breeds authoritarianism
  • Every “system” of governance breeds or is the result of some form of authoritarianism. The person who is not governed by ethics or morals is governed by law. One must hope that the law that governs him is at least ethical.

  • Christianity is cruel
  • People are cruel. More specifically, some people are. And some will be cruel in any group. Some Christians are cruel (and they sometimes get into positions of power). Some atheists are cruel; some politicians, and some doctors, and some pamphlet writers are cruel. All forms of governance have sometimes slipped into cruel policies, Christianity included; but the inherent teachings of Christianity do not promote cruelty.

  • Christianity is anti-intellectual, anti-scientific
  • It’s hard to argue with that one, because different denominations approach science differently. However, as the Catholic Church teaches, truth cannot contradict truth; so the findings of science can be hotly debated on both sides without needing to check one’s faith at the door.

  • Christianity has a morbid, unhealthy preoccupation with sex
  • I had to do a double take when I read this one. Who has a morbid, unhealthy preoccupation with sex? A faith that, across most denominations, teaches that sex is sacred and beautiful, and should be an expression of love and tenderness, or a largely atheistic society that insists that sex must rule everything, from cologne ads to children’s cartoons?

  • Christianity produces sexual misery
  • See above.

  • Christianity has an exceedingly narrow, legalistic view of morality
  • What qualifies him to define what is narrow? Even if he is correct, “narrow” and “legalistic” are only bad if the morality they describe is wrong.

  • Christianity encourages acceptance of real evils while focusing on imaginary evils
  • Again, what qualifies him to define what is evil and what is not? He shows extreme intolerance.

  • Christianity depreciates the natural world
  • I’d wager he’s never heard a Christian sermon. Every church I’ve ever attended has taught the importance of stewardship, and caring for the natural world.

  • Christianity models hierarchical, authoritarian organization
  • And why is hierarchical organization bad? Is it bad merely because he intolerantly says so? As for authoritarian, see above.

  • Christianity sanctions slavery
  • Again, he doesn’t know what he’s talking about. No Christian church I’ve ever heard of sanctions slavery.

  • Christianity is misogynistic
  • Actually, atheism is misogynistic. Atheism encourages people to use one another for selfish motives, because it has no moral incentive to require considering other people’s needs. Specifically, the value system this author seems to be promoting is one that considers a woman’s feelings irrelevant when using her body. The free sex mentality teaches that a man is justified in making a woman feel good “right now” in order to get sex, disregarding any emotional pain or physical disease she may suffer later, as a result.

  • Christianity is homophobic
  • Sorry, but Chaz needs to get a dictionary. Disapproving of a behavior does not mean being afraid of people who practice it. As a matter of fact, Christians who seek to help people live chastely are showing a love for the souls of other people. It would be egotistical and unloving to seek one’s own eternal life while not caring whether or not the next guy attains it.

  • The Bible is not a reliable guide to Christ’s teachings
  • How is a non-believer qualified to state what Christ’s teachings are, better than either a believer or the Bible?

  • The Bible is riddled with contradictions
  • This is too long a topic to cover adequately, but suffice it to say that what appear to be contradictions generally are not. In some cases they are different Biblical writers emphasizing different aspects of the truth. In other cases, seeming contradictions are reminders not to forget one thing in our zeal to pursue something else. Are justice and mercy contradictory?

  • Christianity borrowed its central myths and ceremonies from other ancient religions
  • Perhaps, just perhaps, those other ancient religions began to grasp some truth that they had insufficient revelation to understand fully. Christianity is not a new truth; it is a fulfillment of truth previously not understood.

Let’s pray for the conversion of Chaz Bufe.