Category Archives: Question of the Day

Can Someone Tell Me…?

I’m currently reading William May’s, “Marriage: The Rock on Which the Family is Built,” and I must note that I’m pretty stupid as regards the Theology of the Body, although I read a bunch of it and continually struggle to understand ever more.

Today’s challenge is in a couple of phrases that May seems to like to repeat a lot:

Men give in a receiving sort of way.
Women receive in a giving sort of way.

Can anyone explain these to me? Thanks!


It’s wintertime, with lots of people getting sick. Which makes me wonder…

Do you think Jesus and/or Mary ever got sick with the flu or the common cold?

I’m thinking: Jesus yes, Mary no.

Here’s my reasoning: Jesus became flesh for us; He was circumcised, writing the covenant into His flesh for us; was baptized by John for us. Although He didn’t have to, He experienced a thoroughly human experience for us. Why wouldn’t this include experience of common human illnesses?

As for Mary, if God applied Jesus’s work on the cross preemptively to Mary at the time of her conception so that she would be born without original sin and be filled with grace such that she never sinned in her lifetime, why wouldn’t He also protect her from illness? Plus, what son, if it were in his power, wouldn’t keep his mother healthy? And Jesus not only was the perfect son, but He also had the power to do so.

What are your thoughts?

St. Ralph

Since I have a moment of free time, I’m browsing through some old e-mails and come across one with a question.

The situation is that I was hanging around outside the sacristy after Mass waiting for a friend of mine and overheard him (he’s a priest) speaking with a parishioner. I don’t pay attention really to these things, but it was quiet and I happened to hear the guy ask about prayers for an eye problems and mentioned St. Anthony.

My friend corrected him to St. Lucy, who is the patron saint of eye conditions.

Okay. But then I got to thinking… (Dangerous, right?)

I know nothing about horticulture, but I’d be happy to pray for the success of your garden.

Why NOT Anthony? I mean, sure, Lucy, but why exclude the guy? He might want different requests from time to time, you never know.

So, really, what we want to do is… have it as a Mass intention. That way all of the angels and saints will be interceding for your intention, no?

Just think of poor Ralph… sitting in heaven, no one asking him to intercede on their behalf. I bet Ralph goes over to Lucy and Anthony and helps with their lists.

That’s what I’d do… 🙂

So… Now, I’m wondering…

*Is* there a St. Ralph?

Why, yes! There is! Check him out! 🙂

And… just in case you were wondering… my friend told me that he’s sure that Ralph gets plenty of requests. 😉

Question of the Day

What would it have been like when the apostles first celebrated the Eucharist?

It seems that Peter would be the one to lead. Can you imagine, though, going to your friends, “Hey guys, He said, ‘Do this,’ so why don’t we give it a go?” And then trying to figure out precisely what it is that you were to be doing, with everyone watching? Even if you remembered everything with perfect clarity, to ask yourself if this is what He meant? Would James and John be asking to be the celebrant for the next day?

I don’t think they would have celebrated Mass while the Risen Lord was with them, but what about the 10 days until Pentecost? Or did they have to wait until the coming of the Holy Spirit? I’d think it would have to be after Pentecost. Because 1) it’s the calling down of the Holy Spirit which transforms the gifts and 2) if they partook of the Eucharist, presumably they wouldn’t have been hiding scared in the Upper Room at Pentecost, but would have been able to draw upon His strength.

So, if they waited until Pentecost, what did they do on that Sunday in between?

As Catholics, Can We Pray for God’s Forgiveness for the Sins of Others?

Here’s the question: The acknowledgement of the sins of his ancestors and asking for forgiveness for those sins constitute a large portion of Nehemiah’s prayer in Neh 1:4-11. During the 2000 Jubilee Year celebrations, Pope John Paul II asked God’s forgiveness for sins committed by Catholics over the last two millennia. In your opinion, is it ever possible for a later generation to ask forgiveness for the sins committed by earlier generations? In what ways can that be redemptive and healing?

My answer: I would imagine that if Pope John Paul II saw that asking God’s mercy and forgiveness for sins of the past was a worthwhile endeavor, I wouldn’t have any reason to think that this might not be efficacious. For individuals who have passed, we can merit indulgences and perhaps ease their way through Purgatory. I think we are probably more connected than we think — as the body of Christ — and if the sin of one can affect all, perhaps the repentance of one can also be universally applicable. Even in my own body, if it is my hand which sins, it is still my tongue which confesses. This can be redemptive in ways we do not fully understand. But if Jesus took upon Himself all of our sins, and if we are to conform ourselves to Him, perhaps there is not only something known as redemptive suffering, but also redemptive repentance. I think it can be healing precisely in the fact that it underlines our unity in Christ and encourages us in our love of neighbor. Our neighbors are not just those who are temporally proximal to us, but all people in all times.

Boy Question on a Practical Matter

Just to add a little variety to the questions that I ask … or … because inquiring minds want to know … or … because this is a real question that I have.  🙂

At what point do you need to replace your windshield?

Obvious answer:  when it’s broken.

Let me rephrase.  At what point do you **NEED** to replace your windshield?  And then, at what point *should* you replace your windshield?

See, I would place in the NEED category:  when the police tell you that you have to; when rain comes in; and when it obstructs vision in a significant way.
And in the SHOULD category:  when it gets cracked, but doesn’t obstruct vision significantly (Yes, I know that’s kind of subjective)
And in the PFFT, WHATEVER category:  those little chips and stuff that happen daily

Scenario:  I had a Pfft-Whatever ding at the bottom of the windshield that I intended to have patched or glued or whatever they do…sometime soonish.
However, Saturday night this turned into a bigger Should-style crack, but you know less than the size of a dollar, which the TV people (sources of ABSOLUTE TRUTH, especially the late night infomercial people) say is totally still patchable.
Plan:  to call the patchy people.
However, tonight the crack decided to grow into a footlong, and not one of those 5 for $5 kinds.

I blame the cold weather.
Cold weather is like my scapegoat.

So, here’s the question:  Does a roughly foot long vertical crack on the right side of the windshield about a foot from the edge constitute a NEED or a SHOULD?  And how long could a SHOULD be deferred?  Because I’m certain that in a fit of anthropomorphic rage the cold weather will lob another meteor at me as soon as I get it fixed.  🙂

Boy Questions are so much fun!  🙂  🙂

Theology of Little House on the Prairie

Evaluate this statement:  “God hates a coward.”

Background:  A friend of mine came to me with a question regarding a statement made in one of the Laura Ingalls Wilder books when Almanzo was debating about whether to risk ten miles each way in forty-below to bring Laura back to her parents’ for the weekend. He’s looking at the thermometer and hedging. Cap Garland walks by, sees him, says “God hates a coward,” and walks on to where he’s going. Almanzo later says, “I just figured he was right.”

The question was whether the statement is in line with [orthodox Catholic] Church teaching.  I would like to know what your take is on whether or not this is in line with Church teaching, and also to explore what might be meant by the statement, and its implications for how we need to live out our lives in adherence to the Truth as revealed by God.

My first response was to say that God doesn’t ever hate. Then, I made a reference to Revelation 3:16, “So, because you are lukewarm, neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth.” I was viewing the cowardice as a form of “sitting on the fence.” I also indicated that it would be important, perhaps, to define what is meant by “coward.”

The response from my friend was:

Well, the validity of the statement WOULD have to hinge on what is meant by “hate” and what is meant by “coward”. But in Genesis God says “Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated” – presumably He doesn’t literally mean that He hates Esau. What does He mean by it, then?

So putting aside whether it would actually have been cowardly for [the character in the book] to have not gone – which is very debatable – let’s assume that an action IS actually cowardly. Does God hate that action? And if so, running on the assumption that God still loves the coward himself but hates his cowardly actions, if those cowardly actions are frequent and consistent, couldn’t we say “God hates a coward”?

I mean, God still doesn’t hate the PERSON. It might be more precise to say “God hates cowardice.” But could it be accurate to say “God hates a coward”, if one understands that it is not a direct literal statement of God’s feelings toward the person being called a coward?

In a quick, sketchy way, I replied:

Coward: lacking courage; very fearful or timid.
Courage: to act in accordance with one’s beliefs

I think this speaks to the core of what God calls us to: integrity.

It is one thing to say, I am afraid of going out into the snow because there are very real dangers in so doing.
It’s another thing to waffle.

You have to have faith in God.
You aren’t supposed to worry.

On these definitions, to be a coward is to not act in accordance with your beliefs.
And God certainly hates this.
Better to be ignorant and thus inadvertantly sin, than to know the truth and deliberately sin. One of the 3 main conditions for mortal sin, right? Knowing that it was wrong.

I think what the character in the book was getting at was that A needed to decide whether he was going to go or not. He either a) thought it was too dangerous or b) thought it was feasible. But his fear and indecision left his sitting on the fence and this was what he should not be doing. He should either decide that it was more prudent to stay at home and tell Laura no, or he should make preparations to go (taking into account preparations for inclement weather and adversity) and trust that God will get them there safely.

At this point, our YA Fiction theological question was sent to our chosen whipping boy AKA Fr. Ignatius, whom I always assume is delighted to have the privilege of answering all of my random questions. While waiting for a response from Fr. Ignatius, I sent another e-mail to him, further detailing some of my thoughts on the issue:

“Does God hate a coward?”
Seems kind of a narrow question, really. You could also ask, “Does God hate a procrastinator, or a nail-biter or someone who talks/e-mails too much (GASP!)” Each is maybe an aspect of a person, or even an aspect of a person at a specific moment, but does not constitute the whole of the person or even really speak to his or her relationship with God. In and of themselves, the actions could be bad or neutral. I think it speaks more to the fact that we have imperfections than our status with God.

My official answer: no. 🙂

Up next, our treatise on why marshmallow fluff is not in heaven. LOL! j/k

So, here we are left still with the initial statement. Please respond with your thoughts. 🙂

…of the Day

I didn’t take the picture today, but I did upload it to my Flickr today; and it just made me grin. 🙂

Matthew 8:28-34
Could the demoniacs be a type or foreshadowing of Judas, in that when their badness is confronted by Christ, they choose to leave His presence and effect their own self-destruction?

Book Review:
“Church Fathers” by Pope Benedict XVI — I loved this! I just got it a couple of days ago, and despite my perpetual busyness, I have already finished! As always, the Pope write clearly, and in a very engaging manner. The book consists of a series of Wednesday audiences (not unlike Pope John Paul II’s Theology of the Body talks), each dedicated to a particular church father. He really is able to make them come alive for me and gives me a desire to read their works and dive deeper into the faith, which is revealed as the true faith which has always been held. I came away from the book with a greater sense and realization of the truth and catholicity of our faith and a hunger for further knowledge. Obviously, I highly recommend it — particularly to those who want an overview of the church fathers before making a decision as to who to read first! 🙂 After reading this book, you won’t think of them (as I kind of did) as anonymous, old men who died a long time ago and don’t have anything to say to me, now. Ha! As the Pope mentions for almost every Father, their advice is always “timely,” especially in the culture of our day, today.

Lord, I am not worthy of you, but only say the word and I shall be healed in heart, mind and body. Please give me understanding, strength and desire to conform my will to yours. Amen.

“Call me a crazy lady…one more time….” from Hancock, seen with Terry this weekend.

Movie Review:
Hancock — I thought at first that this was simply going to be another “comic book” movie. I was wrong. Either that or there’s more to comic book stories than I generally get from them. This particular movie I quite enjoyed. Outside of the profanity (which, really, just made me giggle), it was a story of the redemption of man. It took the main character from his sinful, slovenly, selfish ways and transformed him into a man who truly cared for his neighbor and sacrificed on behalf of others. It highlighted the importance of family ties, working for the good of the poor and needy, and of being a good example. It was also a great portrayal of the quote, “To whom much is given, much will be expected.” It was emotionally well-crafted, and you had real empathy for all the characters. The acting I respected. Of course, I’m always a fan of Will Smith, too, so that helped. 🙂 The ending of the film was a little unexpected, but completely fit and was very well done. It would be a great movie to watch again, knowing the ending now to see what foreshadowing there is, because I know that there is a bunch. I could probably keep going on about this movie and the deep meaning that I got from it, but for now I will just encourage you to go out and see it, if you have not done so already. 🙂

I have (finally) posted ALL of my World Youth Day photos!!! Whoo-hoo! Be sure to check out all 2,665 images and videos here.