Archives For So That the World May Believe

The Highest Good

October 16, 2017 — Leave a comment

The good of man, happiness, is some kind of activity of the soul in conformity with virtue. Aristotle

It was a moment like none I’d ever seen before. I was watching the team some of my high school students and two of my grandsons play for. Our team was ahead–significantly.

Then two players collided. The official blew his whistle. But the player on the other team jumped up. “It was clean,” he shouted.

The game resumed without a penalty.

A smattering of applause arose from fans of both teams.

A few nights later, we attended an away game just an hour away. Several of our team’s best players were banged up and sat on the bench. The rest of the team was out on the field struggling. Losing–significantly. Continue Reading…

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I couldn’t figure it out. A number of students were claiming the speaker was evoking emotion to convince his audience.

The speaker didn’t want them to feel. He wanted them to think. To reason. To deduce right from wrong. Feelings had little to do with it. But today, feelings make an argument. Most people don’t discern between feeling and thinking.

In the early days of the abortion debate, those who support abortion would accuse pro-lifers of just being emotional–too emotional–about the unborn.

Pro-lifers asserted that support for unborn life was more than hand-wringing anguish over potential life. It was reasoned protection for innocent human life. All innocent human life. The foundation for protecting such life was religious, moral, and scientific. It was never solely a religious argument. Sometimes, it wasn’t a religious argument at all. (See Dr. Bernard Nathanson.) Continue Reading…

A Better Way of Speaking

October 5, 2017 — 3 Comments

It wasn’t the kind of event that usually brings out protesters. It was a 5K run for a crisis pregnancy clinic, a fundraiser, not an attempt to draw attention to the issues at hand.

But protesters came. A handful of women carrying signs.

One sign caught my friend’s eye: “Good women have abortions.”

My friend approached the group, shook hands and introduced herself to each protester. As she worked her way down the line, she arrived in front of the woman carrying the sign that had drawn her to the group.

“I just want you to know that I think you’re right. Good women do sometimes make that choice to have an abortion,” she said. Continue Reading…

A benediction is a blessing. A blessing at the beginning.

Benediction welcomes new life. Benediction births new life seasons.

A life season is a period defined by a title–toddler, student, employee, wife, mother, grandmother, etc.

It was spring when my season last changed–from mother to grandmother. Now autumn comes with the anticipation of a new spring and another season. Continue Reading…

Baptism: How We Do It

September 28, 2017 — Leave a comment

Three grandsons in the water. One man baptizing two younger cousins. I couldn’t help but show just about everyone I met the pictures on my phone.

“Full immersion?” one man asked.

“Yep. That’s how we do it,” I replied.

How we do it.

Different modes for different traditions. Some immerse. Some pour. Some sprinkle.

And many of us just know we are doing it the right way. Continue Reading…

Anxious for Nothing

September 25, 2017 — Leave a comment

It’s an old story. We think life will go one way. We have it all planned out. We’re counting on it.

But then there’s a turn in the road. Or a rock in the road. Or a crater-like pothole. We face the unforeseen. Because life is full of the unforeseen.

We face the unforeseen. Because life is full of the unforeseen. As blessings sometimes come in waves, so also with life’s challenges.

And we don’t like the change we don’t foresee. We only like the change we hope for and plan ourselves. Continue Reading…

“If the foundations are destroyed, what can the people do?” Psalm 11:3

Last spring, Bret Weinstein, a professor who voted for Bernie Sanders and refers to himself as “deeply progressive,” received threats for disagreeing with others who probably also voted for Sanders. The point of disagreement was whether white people should stay off the Evergreen State College campus in Olympia, Washington, on a designated day for minorities to have the campus to themselves.

Weinstein disagreed in writing:

““There is a huge difference between a group or coalition deciding to voluntarily absent themselves from a shared space in order to highlight their vital and under-appreciated roles, and a group or coalition encouraging another group to go away. The first is a forceful call to consciousness, which is, of course, crippling to the logic of oppression. The second is a show of force, and an act of oppression in and of itself . . . .I will be on campus on the Day of Absence.” Continue Reading…

Early in America’s argument over Roe v. Wade, a group of pro-life supporters sat down with abortion supporters to see if they could find some common ground.

A day or two earlier, pro-life feminists had examined the contents of a dumpster behind an abortion clinic and retrieved a dead child–the victim of a late term abortion–a little girl.

During the meeting as both sides chatted amiably, a woman stepped forward cradling the infant’s body. She explained that the child she held in her hands had died by abortion. She gave everyone in the room clarity about the issue. There could be no middle ground. Continue Reading…

Praying Psalm 90 on 9/11

September 11, 2017 — Leave a comment

Lord, you have been our refuge through all generations.

Before the mountains were born, the earth and the world brought forth, from eternity to eternity you are God.

Lord, help us remember Your Providence in forming and guiding America. Help us remember that You have always been and will always be.

You turn humanity back into dust, saying, “Return, you children of Adam!”

A thousand years in your eyes are merely a day gone by. 

Help us to remember that You are outside of time. Time has no constraints on You as it has on us.

Before a watch passes in the night, you wash them away; They sleep, and in the morning they sprout again like an herb. 

In the morning it blooms only to pass away; in the evening it is wilted and withered.

Bless those who serve to protect us. Help our enemies to turn to the Light–You–and walk with You in communion with us.

Truly we are consumed by your anger, filled with terror by your wrath. 

You have kept our faults before you, our hidden sins in the light of your face. Continue Reading…

Ripples in the Flood Waters

September 7, 2017 — 2 Comments

It’s a Dunkirk of sorts, the National Catholic Register points out. Dunkirk was a moment when private citizens took it upon themselves to rescue trapped British and French soldiers. The rescue averted a presumed inevitable disaster that would have resulted in Germany’s occupation of Great Britain.

But that isn’t what happened.

People stood up and made the difference. Not specially trained soldiers and sailors. Just regular folk. And the same thing happened in the literal wake of Hurricane Harvey.

NPR reported: “All over Houston, you see what is being called the Texas Navy: private citizens pulling their fishing boats behind pickups. They’re launching their vessels at the water’s edge, which could be anywhere that a street becomes a bayou.”

Today another storm prepares to rage against another state–Florida. Florida doesn’t expect the flooding Harvey brought to Houston. But the winds Hurricane Irma brings could be devastating. People are already preparing to help. Regular folk.

Water rises or simply falls, yet helpers and rescuers drop small pebbles into it. Ripples go on as people touch the lives of other people. We change others. Others change us. Continue Reading…