In this season of joy, some profound insights into the value of suffering

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Saint Pope John Paul II
– All of those who suffer, especially the innocent, may feel themselves called to participate in the work of redemption, carried out through the cross
– The suffering of the innocent is especially valuable in the eyes of the Lord
– Even when the darkness is deepest, faith points to a trusting acknowledgment: ‘I know that you can do all things’

Sacred Scripture
– Is it not logical that we accept suffering?
– Taking up the cross is the obligation of whoever follows Jesus
– The sufferings of Christ are a cause of rejoicing
– The future glory surpasses all suffering

Saint Thomas Aquinas
– Death and all consequent bodily defects are punishments of original sin

Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church
– Original sin subjected all human nature to suffering
– Sufferings: a means of cooperating with God
– Means of purification and of salvation
– From the greatest of all moral evils God has brought forth the greatest of all goods

Catechism of the Catholic Church
– A new meaning for suffering – participation in the saving work of Jesus
– Makes a person more mature, helping to discern what is not essential

Saint John Chrysostom
– The remedy against pride; the power of God in weak men

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Catholic catechesis is lousy because it’s based on the widely adopted liberal educational “model”

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Other denominations, I’ve observed, do a better job of offering meaningful adult faith formation, and it’s well attended. Yes, there is Sunday school for children, but that’s not considered the central formational focus of the community. There are logistical differences beyond the confessional ones here, of course. Episcopalians and Lutherans and Presbyterians rarely offer 6 back-to-back services on a Sunday morning, and don’t have the same need for childhood sacramental preparation as Catholics do. Many Protestant churches schedule formation opportunities for all ages on Wednesday evenings.

That’s part of the reason the adult formation classes and workshops we do offer are so poorly attended—adult catechesis just not a part of our regular expectation and structure. And adding it to an already overscheduled parish calendar doesn’t seem to be much of a solution.

So here’s my totally immodest proposal, audaciously presented on the virtual eve of the grand ComicCon of Catholic religious education, L.A.’s RECongress: Snap out of it. Let’s just stop catechizing children.

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Father Pavone: The pro-life message will not harm our children. What will harm them, however, is the “pro-choice” mentality…

He points out that, while parents are the primary educators of their children, they have an obligation not to withhold important truths from their children — including the truth about abortion. He shares:

I know of another case in which parental permission was obtained for all the students in the class, except one, to see a photo of an aborted baby. After school the student whose parents had denied permission insisted that her friend let her see the picture. On returning home she passionately challenged her mom, “Why did you not want me to see what is really happening to these babies! Why was I not allowed to see the truth?”

Just growing up in a society where he or she could have been aborted — where value is placed on lives based on wantedness or so-called unwantedness– Fr. Pavone notes, has been shown to have a psychological impact on the young generations. This is one reason why it is particularly important to be open about  abortion with our children.

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The left-wing seminaries we call universities

A particularly dramatic recent example was a pastor who told me that he has three sons, all of whom have earned doctorates — from Stanford, Oxford, and Fordham. What parent wouldn’t be proud of such achievements by his or her children?

But the tone of his voice suggested more irony than pride. They are all leftists, he added wistfully.

“How do you get along?” I asked.

“We still talk,” he responded.

Needless to say, I was glad to hear that. But as the father of two sons, I readily admit that if they became leftists, while I would, of course, always love them, I would be deeply saddened. Parents, on the left or the right, religious or secular, want to pass on their core values to their children.

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Submitted by Francis V.

Why does the court ban the pictures but allow the decrepit underlying conduct?

The U.S. Supreme Court decided on Monday to not review the case of Scott v. Saint John’s Church in the Wilderness, a case that involved a lower court banning display of explicit abortion images from being shown where children are likely to view them.

The New York Times recalled that the case originated from a 2005 pro-life outdoor protest on Palm Sunday at an Episcopal church in Denver. The protestors were apparently unhappy with the church’s pro-abortion stance, and protested by showing large pictures of aborted fetuses, upsetting some of the 200 children who were present.

After the church sued Kenneth T. Scott, one of the people behind the protest, the Colorado Court of Appeals placed a ban on “displaying large posters or similar displays depicting gruesome images of mutilated fetuses or dead bodies in a manner reasonably likely to be viewed by children under 12.”

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Catholic comedian explains why he has a big family – and other fun stuff

Well, why not? I guess the reasons against having more children always seemed uninspiring and superficial.

What exactly am I missing out on? Money? A few more hours of sleep? A more peaceful meal? More hair?

These are nothing compared to what I get from these five monsters who rule my life … each one of them has been a pump of light into my shriveled black heart.

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Indifference is corrosive to the true faith.

The first aspect of indifferentism is the idea that all the Christian denominations–for that matter all the different religions–are pretty much the same. You know the schtick–”We are all following different paths up the same mountain. You choose your path I choose mine.” The unique claims to Catholic truth have been watered down or denied completely. So if we have been telling our kids for the last fifty years that all the other Christian denominations are pretty much the same we should be surprised when they quite happily marry a Methodist or tootle off to the community church or join the Episcopalians?

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