It Just Doesn’t Make Sense…

Posted January 22, 2015 in Faith / 0 Comments

How can there be too many children? That is like saying there are too many flowers. -Mother Teresa

The March for Life is today in Washington, DC. Today is the anniversary of the Roe v Wade Supreme Court decision. Every year since 1973, beginning with 20,000 people in 1974 and over 650,000 in 2013, people gather in DC to protest the killing of innocent children. According to the Center for Disease Control, 2000 babies were killed every single day in 2011. Over 56 million children have lost their lives since abortion was legalized in 1973.

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Review: Ancient Christian Worship

Posted January 22, 2015 in Reading, Review / 0 Comments

Review: Ancient Christian WorshipAncient Christian Worship by Andrew B McGowan
Publisher: Baker Academic (2014)
eARC (320 pages)
Via: NetGalley
Reading Challenges: 2015 Alphabet Soup, Read 2015


This introduction to the origins of Christian worship illuminates the importance of ancient Christian worship practices for contemporary Christianity. Andrew McGowan, a leading scholar of early Christian liturgy, takes a fresh approach to understanding how Christians came to worship in the distinctive forms still familiar today. Deftly and expertly processing the bewildering complexity of the ancient sources into lucid, fluent exposition, he sets aside common misperceptions to explore the roots of Christian ritual practices–including the Eucharist, baptism, communal prayer, preaching, Scripture reading, and music–in their earliest recoverable settings. Students of Christian worship and theology as well as pastors and church leaders will value this work.

Find the book: Goodreads, Amazon, Book Depository

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Review: A Book of Uncommon Prayer

Posted January 21, 2015 in Faith, Reading, Review / 0 Comments

Review: A Book of Uncommon PrayerA Book of Uncommon Prayer by Brian Doyle
Publisher: Ave Maria Press (2014)
eARC (128 pages)
Via: NetGalley
Reading Challenges: 2015 Alphabet Soup, Read 2015


Acclaimed, award-winning essayist and novelist Brian Doyle—whose writing, in the words of Mary Oliver, is “a gift to us all”—presents one hundred new prayers that evoke his deep Catholic belief in the mystery and miracle of the ordinary (and the whimsical) in human life.
In Brian Doyle’s newest work, A Book of Uncommon Prayer: 100 Celebrations of the Miracle & Muddle of the Ordinary, his readers will find a series of prayers unlike any of the beautiful, formal, orthodox prayers of the Catholic tradition or the warm, extemporized prayers heard from pulpits and dinner tables. Doyle’s often-dazzling, always-poignant prayers include eye-opening hymns to shoes and faith and family. In Doyle’s words, “the world is crammed with miracles, so crammed and tumultuous that if we stop, see, savor, we are agog,” and the pages of his newest book give voice and body to this credo. By focusing on experiences that may seem the most unprayerful (one prayer is titled “Prayer on Seeing Yet Another Egregious Parade of Muddy Paw Prints on the Floor”), he gives permission to discover the joys and treasures in what he often calls the muddle of everyday life.

Find the book: Goodreads, Amazon, Book Depository

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The Love of Jesus and the Beatitudes

Posted January 19, 2015 in Faith / 0 Comments

Sometimes with my 4th grade religious ed class we have some deep discussions. Last week was one of those.

The full group meeting (K-6) in the Church talked about “Jesus Loves You.” I had the Beatitudes planned as my lesson for the day so it all fit really nice. We get back to the classroom to begin our lesson so I hand out our books and grab a crucifix. This is part of the discussion that followed:

Me: Jesus loves you so very much. Do you all believe that?

some grumbles both of assent and dissent

Me: Look at this crucifix. Jesus loves you so much that He died for you. When Jesus was on the cross He saw each and every one of us. He knew everything we would do, all the sins we would commit.

Student 1: How?

Me: Jesus was God. He could see everything. He didn’t have to stay on the cross. He was God. He did not have to suffer and die for us. He could have saved us in a different way. But He didn’t. He loved each and every one of us so much that He gave His life so that we could live.

Student 2: So when Jesus was on the Cross He could see you explaining this right now?

Me: Yes. Time did not matter to Jesus because He was God. He could see everything.

Student 3: Jesus loves me that much? Even when I do bad things?

Me: Yes, He does. Jesus loves you so very much because He gave Himself so that you could live.

Student 4: Wow. Jesus really does love me I guess.

At the end of the class I always ask the students to tell me one thing they learned during class. This time I got responses such as “We can show Jesus that we love Him through the Beatitudes,” “My brother always told me that meek meant the same as geek. He was wrong,” and then “Jesus loves me all the time. He even loves the people I don’t love so I should be nice to everybody.”

It really made my day that my students seemed to take to heart the knowledge that Jesus really loves them. Not just because people tell them that Jesus loves them but because Jesus died for each of them even knowing all the bad things we would do.


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