Paul (2 Cor 12:7-10) says:
I am content with weaknesses, insults,v. 10
hardships, persecutions, and constraints,
for the sake of Christ;
for when I am weak, then I am strong.
Can we say the same? Do we believe Jesus’ words, “My grace is sufficient for you” (v. 9a), when we encounter any of these difficulties? Let us pray for Confidence in God, that He means what He says. In a culture that militates against the truth, we must remain steadfast, regardless of the consequences.
The Gospel (Mk 6:1-6) concludes with these words of Jesus’:
He was amazed at their lack of faith.v. 6
Jesus is “amazed” infrequently in the Gospels. In fact, only twice this word is used to describe a reaction Jesus had (see a previous post here). Briefly, elsewhere He is amazed by an extraordinary act of faith by a Gentile, and here by an extraordinary lack of faith by His kinsmen. Let it be found that we are found to embrace the best of both worlds, kinsmen (for the baptized are children of God) who have extraordinary faith.
From time to time, as I have done in previous posts, I will simply quote from something I have read that day that I found particularly thought provoking while adding just a brief comment.
[A]nyone who really has faith has had some sort of experience of God’s love for him; he has received an invitation to divine friendship. If the believer has forgotten this experience, if he now seriously doubts God’s love for him, is it not because he has failed to reflect frequently upon the favors he has received from divine love? Is it not because he has not responded deeply enough in appreciation, in thanksgiving?Paul Hinnebusch, O.P., Dynamic Contemplation: Inner Life for Modern Man (New York: Sheed and Ward, 1970), 127.
It has finally gotten through my thick head recently to actually offer more consistent prayers of thanksgiving for all the blessings I have received in life. Fr. Hinnebusch offers a reminder we sorely can use.
He who states his case first seems right,Prov 18:17
until the other comes and examines him.
I actually heard someone mention words to this effect in an opening statement in a debate; I did not realize it came from the Bible until today as I again work through Proverbs (I have read the Bible in its entirety but apparently this verse did not make an impact at that time).
The point is well-taken. If someone challenges your faith or beliefs, and it sounds reasonable, do not stop there. Rather, clarify the matter with a trusted resource. Do not be led astray. But also, stand corrected, if that is the case. What matters is getting to the truth.
THE COUNSEL OF TRENT
I am a huge fan of Catholic Answers. It is my go to apologetics site, and I have often encouraged others (Catholic and otherwise) to go there to get the real scoop on questions regarding the Faith.
Well, I recently came across one of its fine young apologist’s (Trent Horn’s) YouTube channel called, cleverly, The Counsel of Trent. I am absolutely hooked. He takes on everything without fear, pulls no punches, but does it an engaging and understandable way.
I’ve watched several recently, all excellent, but may I recommend you start with the following video that came out just a few days ago and is extremely timely, yet deals with an issue that Catholics have (at least to some extent) been cursed with at least since 1960:
As with all his apologetic videos, Trent does a great job dismantling all the arguments that offend against Catholic teaching. You may want to take notes for this one — or at least bookmark it for future reference. In any case, subscribe!
(By the way, my colleague at the University of St. Thomas, Randall Smith, had an article come out today dealing with this matter. Worthwhile for all believers to read and ponder.)
WAR AND INDEPENDENCE
Finally, last but not least, a tribute to America, 245 years old today.
A note from President Calvin Coolidge on the country’s 150th anniversary. A key quote:
About the Declaration there is a finality that is exceedingly restful. It is often asserted that the world has made a great deal of progress since 1776, that we have had new thoughts and new experiences which have given us a great advance over the people of that day, and that we may therefore very well discard their conclusions for something more modern. But that reasoning can not be applied to this great charter. If all men are created equal, that is final. If they are endowed with inalienable rights, that is final. If governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed, that is final. No advance, no progress can be made beyond these propositions. If anyone wishes to deny their truth or their soundness, the only direction in which he can proceed historically is not forward, but backward toward the time when there was no equality, no rights of the individual, no rule of the people. Those who wish to proceed in that direction can not lay claim to progress. They are reactionary. Their ideas are not more modern, but more ancient, than those of the Revolutionary fathers.Pres. Calvin Coolidge, Address at the Celebration of the 150th Anniversary of the Declaration of Independence in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Jonah Goldberg, whose podcasts I often enjoy, turned me on to this one.
God bless America!