If you haven’t heard about Kermit Gosnell, I’d like to fill you in. After reading the entire grand jury report on his trial, it is undoubtedly something that needs to be discussed. When I first started following his story, I spent a lot of time in tears of rage and thinking this case is so terrible it had to be made up. I want to preface this post by warning that this story is graphic in nature, but I believe it’s an ugly truth that we should not shy away from.
Kermit Gosnell is currently on trial for 8 counts of murder – one count for a poor immigrant woman and seven counts for newborn babies.
In the works of Cardinal Ratzinger I met a man of not only extraordinary intellect and clarity, but of a deep faith and profound humility, a man living in the love and knowledge of the Truth Incarnate – in Jesus Christ, the Word of God. And it was (and still is) Jesus Christ who seemed to permeate his entire being, so much so that my own insatiable thirst for Truth, for the very Person of Jesus Christ, became increasingly set ablaze.
In Cardinal Ratzinger I knew I had found a trusted guide and teacher in the fullness of the Christian faith. It was then that I became an unofficial member of the “Ratzinger Fan Club.”
I couldn’t help but think, though, that in the world’s excitement to see history made with the upcoming papal conclave and all of the talk about who the “candidates” are – that we have forgotten about the man who has guided our Church through some of the most challenging times in history.
Pope Benedict XVI in his eight years as pope will leave behind an amazing legacy, and one that as a teen you should know about.
I’ve been to hundreds of youth conferences, camps, and retreats. And rarely one goes by that I don’t hear a men’s or women’s talk that encourage those who are single to spend time waiting, trusting, and praying for their future spouse. Now I know the analogy can get a little weird if we push it too far, so let’s be careful there. But in the same way that a single person who is waiting for a future spouse makes it a good practice to pray for their future spouse, we as a Church should pray for the future pope. We should ask the Lord to protect him, bless him, and make him ready. We should ask the Lord to give us strength, to encourage us in the interregnum (the time between popes), and to make us a more loving and faithful Church under the care of the next pope.
For me, it took my mind wondering and asking what my next pope would be like to realize how important it was to be praying for him every day.
Just as his predecessor Blessed Pope John Paul II had done with teaching us all how to die with dignity. Pope Benedict XVI has given the Church a new expression of fully living the Paschal Mystery – that of dying and rising with Christ. It is an amazing example of putting everyone else in front of you in line, so that all humanity can be served. This Pope’s decision was “fearless.”
If you’re anything like me, you’ve become pretty disenchanted with many so-called “heroes” and “leaders” in our world. The cheating, lies, deceit, and more have invaded my television to the point where I barely turn it on any more.
A few years ago, it was the scandal of Tiger Woods.
Just this past week, we’ve been bombarded with the confession of Lance Armstrong taking Performance Enhancing Drugs and whatever the heck is going on with Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o.
It was Gaudete Sunday and as the third candle of the Advent Wreath was lit at Mass we were called to rejoice, but my heart didn’t really feel like rejoicing. A prayer intention for the victims and their families and what seemed to be a small mention of Friday’s heartbreak during the homily didn’t seem enough to express what so many of our hearts were feeling.
How can we rejoice, God?
In the midst of all of this pain and hurt how can we rejoice today, this week, or on Christmas morning?
Christmas is right around the corner and gift shopping was sooooo 2 weeks ago.
“But the malls are crowded!”
“But everything is so expensive!”
“But I don’t have time to be creative!”
“But where do I find gifts with a hint of Catholic flare?”
We hear you. That’s why we’re electronically swooping in superhero style to save the day for you with this gift guide. You’re welcome. Feel free to send us the cookies you’ll bake with all the time and money you’ll save. And most importantly, have a blessed Advent preparing your heart for Jesus’ birth.
Christ Himself told us that nobody knows the day or the hour that He will return to judge the living and dead on earth. Not the Mayans, not a television preacher, and certainly not Ke$ha. This means that tomorrow Christ could show up. Would your soul be ready, or would you wish you had more time? The truth about “living like you are going to die young,” is that we should be living like today is our last day, but realizing that there is eternal life after death. We should be making the most of our lives today – but not through sin, but virtue.
I decided to ask one of these teens at the pool what she thought of the book, and she turned bright red when I interrupted her. She even admitted to being embarrassed because I interrupted her at “a really naughty part.” When we talked about it, she said that she knew the sex scenes were “a little much” but didn’t see anything wrong with it. “After all,” she said, “It’s not like I’m sitting here at the pool making out with my boyfriend while I read.”
Oh, Tom and Katie, what went wrong? What happened that made a love so exciting, so public, so strange and sort of off-putting, end? It made me wonder about the general state of marriage; about half end in divorce. It seems more and more that marriage is a mission impossible. (See what I did there?)
But then I thought about it more and I decided that the LAST thing I want to be is a firework. As exciting as they are, fireworks don’t really have a long life. There’s a high-pitched hum, a crackle, and then a really cool explosion of light that lasts for maybe five seconds.
And that’s all there is. Except for the smell of sulfur that lasts for another minute, and the charred out debris that lands somewhere. For all of their glory, fireworks burn out pretty fast. No matter how high they go, no matter how cool the colors are, they’re forgotten when the next one goes off.
What is the HHS Mandate and what does the Catholic Church have say about it? Is this big debate only about contraception? Find out the answers to those questions as well as what you can do about it as a teen. Fr. Mike Schmitz explains the mandate it in a way that’s thorough but easy to understand.
Planned Parenthood is targeting you, and especially you teen girls with the message that they’re the ones you can trust. They say they’re the ones you should go to for answers; they say they’re fighting for you. They’re fighting for your trust and support.
Far from offering an escape from the problems of the world, the Rosary obliges us to see them with responsible and generous eyes, and obtains for us the strength to face them with the certainty of God’s help and the firm intention of bearing witness in every situation to “love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony” (Colossians 3:14).
At a conference for High School journalists, Dan Savage gave a talk that was supposed to be about anti-bullying. Instead it was anti-Christian. As he began to talk about the “bullish*t” of what can be found in the Bible, many Christian students stood up and walked out on him – a move he later called “pansy-assed.” Here’s the video. It’s about three minutes, but be forewarned there is some swearing going on in it (not suitable if kids are nearby). The video has gone viral since Read more [...]
Okay, listen. I really like the Hunger Games. I could not put the first book down this summer and so of course at the first minute of Friday the 23rd, at 12:01am, I was sitting in a theater to see the movie. “But it’s about teens killing each other!!!” This is the reaction a lot of adults have. (At least that’s what my parents said.) Yes it is about killing. And it’s terrible. It’s horrific.
See, this movie is not supposed to be about glorifying killing. The two main characters, Katniss and Peeta, are horrified that they have to participate in the Hunger Games and fight to the death, much like Roman gladiators. Though the governing body, the “Capitol”, finds it enjoyable, the majority (except for three districts) of the population is appalled by these games year after year.
But I found some very inspiring themes in this story . . .