The Vocations Wheel

 

Have you ever found yourself attempting to reinvent the wheel? I know I have. In times like that we find ourselves saying, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!” As I watch the world around me, I find this thought reoccurring; so many aspects of society that had been finely tuned over centuries and generations are thrown out for something newer, intended to be better than what it replaced and falling short. What society has carefully groomed and allowed to grow and change organically, modern man has demolished to ground level and replaced with a cookie cutter version of what once stood in its place. Social media replaced conversations, video games replaced tree houses, privacy-fenced backyards replaced front porches, and Wii Fitness replaced actual exercise. Have we as a Church done this too?

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Nuanced Infallibility

Earlier this year, I was listening to a podcast with Dr. Michael Sirilla. Dr. Sirilla is a professor of Dogmatic Theology and Director of the Masters Theology Program at Franciscan University of Steubenville in Steubenville, OH. Buried in his podcast was a paradigm-shift moment for me. To listen to that podcast click HERE.  Although a bit lengthy, in this podcast Dr. Sirilla lays out what the Church actually means when she says that she is infallible. It was after hearing this well-articulated, that I came to realize just how many Catholics—myself included—had or still have a misunderstanding when it comes to the Church’s teaching on her own infallibility. And if it is misunderstood by so many Catholics, should it surprise us that our Protestant brothers and sisters are often misguided as well? Although the full extent of this topic cannot be covered here, nor am I the qualified individual to do so, I do wish to attempt to shed some light on just what this doctrines mean when the Church proclaims that the Pope and the Magisterium are infallible.

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Over the Top

Image result for WWI over the top

A saying which found its way into English vocabulary during World War One, “over the top” describes the situation where unfortunate infantrymen were to leave their trenches and charge into no man’s land in an attempt to gain ground. No man’s land was the area between two opposing trench lines and is aptly called so due to the low survival rates of those who entered into it. As deadly as no man’s land was, it is estimated that around one-third of all casualties in World War One occurred in the trenches themselves be it from; disease, biological weapons or combat. What was supposedly the safest place for a soldier, statistically was one of the most dangerous places to be.

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A Thought For Summer

I remember back in college as the school year came to a close and the weather began warming up, the campus priest would issue a request from the pulpit for the students to be mindful of their dress – particularly at Mass. It is no secret that modesty is virtually a thing of the past; browse yahoo, go to a department store, or simply walk down the street. “If you got it, flaunt it” is the hashtag of fashion. As men, I think we too often default to viewing modesty as a female virtue. I think that the way society has pushed to identify the female identity with the utilitarian aspects of a woman’s body is the primary culprit of these circumstances. Yet look at a Calvin Klein ad, watch a cologne commercial or take a trip to your local gym and you’ll find modesty is very much so an issue for men as well.

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A Case for Eucharistic Piety

It is a scene we are all familiar with. Do you remember the long lunch line from back in high school? You grabbed your tray and slugged through the line. As you reached the lunch lady, you peered back at her and she reached out with her ladle to slop a big pile of something on your plate which she assured you was a sloppy joe. For my generation, it was chicken nugget day. In the big health food craze that has hit the country in the past few years, we learned that it wasn’t actually chicken they were serving, nor are we sure what was in the mystery meat in your sloppy joe. This is a humorous exchange that has been played out in countless high school based movies and television shows. While this may be funny to observe, have we ever considered if we have experienced this feeling elsewhere?

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The Holy Ghost Is Strong With This One!

By now we are all familiar with the Facebook Star Wars meme; When I watch Start Wars and hear the line, “May the force be with you,” I respond “And also with you.” It’s a humorous similarity that many Catholics have observed between the now legendary series and their faith. The similarity exists on purpose. George Lucas has admitted that the inspiration for his films and characters came from many sources, classic literature, westerns and more. Among other influences was various aspects of Catholicism. Specifically, the Jedi Knights were inspired by the long-gone monastic military orders of the middle ages. The Order of Malta is the only one of these monastic orders remaining (pictured above, looking like Jedi), though their focus is now no longer militarily!

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