God can even use the ignorance of our age

Reading a book right now with my Mens’ Group.  It’s called The I-Choice: Staying Human in a Digital Age. It’s by local (Ottawa) author, Fr. Denis Lemieux.  He makes the same observation that Benedict XVI did.

If you want to know how the future of the Church and society is going to play out. Here it is:

One of my secret hopes around the growing secularization of our society is that eventually people will be so ignorant of Christianity that some will come to hear this story told to them as a brand new experience, something they really have never heard of before, and so recover a sense of its sacred awe.  God became a man!  Really?? Come, let us adore Him! – p. 53


Chalice scores A+ again

Money Sense published their annual ranking of Canadian charities for 2016. Once again, Chalice has scored A+ in every sub-category and in the overall score.

Of note, they scored A+ in the ever important “Efficiency” grade.  Did you know 92% of the money raised goes to the poor?  That means only 8% goes to administrative costs. That’s very impressive!

In contrast, at Development and Peace, only 72% of the money goes to the poor, meaning that a whopping 28% gets gobbled in administration fees. That earned them just a C+ on “Efficiency”.

More importantly, Chalice is 100% Catholic, with no shady dealings with dubious partners.  They’re reliable and trustworthy. They don’t just take care of the body, they also care for the soul by evangelizing their clients. That’s something D&P doesn’t do and that Money Sense couldn’t possible measure in their secular rankings. But it makes all the difference in the world.

Go with Chalice.

Chalice: agent of evangelization

I got a letter from Chalice during the holidays.  There were some interesting highlights, especially this one:

CHALICE is not and NGO that helps create dependency; it’s a family that helps form good Christians and honest citizens.

Their workshops with children also include, among other things, “Christian formation”.

In other words, they don’t just feed the poor and clothe the naked, they also pass on the Faith through evangelization. Isn’t that what an authentic Catholic charity should be doing?  Why should we be embarrassed to preach the Good News while we’re supporting their livelihood, education and financial independence? Isn’t their spiritual well-being more important than their physical well-being? Don’t take my word for it, listen to Jesus Christ: “For what will it profit them to gain the whole world and forfeit their life?” (Mark 8:36)

Frankly, I admire Chalice’s balanced and compassionate approach, caring for both the body and the soul.

When did you ever hear something like that from Development and Peace?  I don’t recall seeing any material on their site about evangelization. What a shame. Pope Francis told us that the Church shouldn’t simply be an NGO. Unfortunately, that’s what D&P really is.

Europe grapples with Muslim culture of female inferiority

We’ve all been appalled at the story of almost 100 women being assaulted and/or raped in Cologne this past New Year’s Eve by Muslims.

This article explains that this wasn’t an isolated incident. Europe has been under siege with what can genuinely be called a culture of rape among Muslim men immigrating to Europe. The article is very well documented with many links to other stories and studies. Well worth a read and some prayers.

Makes you wonder what’s in store for Canada with the rush to admit so many Muslims.

We repeat our point once again: not all belief systems are equal in terms of how they foster human rights and peace.

Only Christ can liberate sinful humans from their darkest tendencies.

Gruesome abortion pics: controversial but effective

From a friend:

November 27, 2015

My name is __________. I am a 38 year old man. About 4 years ago, I was driving into _________________ when I pulled up behind a small moving truck with a giant photo of an aborted baby printed on the back of the vehicle. At the time I remember being disgusted and angry. I thought, how dare someone insert that obscene image into my mind.

Over the next few years with that image seared into my brain, I began to think about abortion, for the first time in my life. Until then, I had absolutely no opinion on the matter. I thought abortion was just a medical procedure like flicking off a light, a biological process was being halted, really before it even began. It was that photo that shattered that naive belief. I began to realize that abortion wasn’t just flushing a small mass of unrecognizable cells out of the body, it was something a lot more disturbing.

Then more time passed and I learned more about the issue. I learned that most people, know very little about abortion, including fetal development, the number of abortions performed in this country, the stages of pregnancy that these abortions occur and the laws dealing with abortion. I was shocked to learn that there are no legal restrictions on abortion at any time and for any reason.

That picture of the aborted baby, was initially very offensive to me, but now, I am grateful for it. Although it has opened up new darker view of the world, it is at least a more accurate view. I am glad there are people fighting for the voiceless.

Islam’s ongoing challenge with terrorism

When Islamist extremists commit acts of violence, Muslims must resist the temptation to simply say the extremists “are not Muslims,” emphasized Naser Khader, a member of the Parliament in Denmark of the Conservative People’s Party. Simply denying that the extremists are true believers excuses the moderates from having to advocate for reform in Islam, he explained.

“We cannot say that the Islamic State are not Muslims. That is what they call themselves,” he said. ISIS has a state built on a “jihadist vision of Islam,” he said, murdering and enslaving other people “with the Koran in their hands.” (Source)

Even Muslims like Mr. Khader can see the stupidity of political correctness.

The positive statements from Muslims related in that article are a good start. I strongly commend them for speaking out against radical Islam.

But several parts of the Koran and other Islamic literature openly and plainly call for violence against non-believers. This represents a formidable challenge for Islam which is struggling to find a peaceful answer within its own belief framework to justify coexistence with “infidels”.

Of course, not all Muslims are terrorists. But nor are they very eager to denounce it. This article from Jihad Watch does a masterful job of running through a list of protests held by peaceful Muslims against terrorism. None gathered more than 50 people. The list includes a “rally” in Toronto in 2013 which drew only 25 people. In contrast, the article shows how thousands participated in protests against cartoons of Mohammed or Charlie Hebdo’s satire.

Let’s face it: while most Muslims aren’t terrorists, there’s nonetheless a worrying asymmetry in how they react to terrorist attacks vs. attacks against Islam.

Notice also that Muslims who denounce terrorism typically don’t do it by quoting from the Koran. In the article quoted at the top, one Muslim invoked “common sense” to refute a direct quote from the Koran instructing to “kill the Mushrikun” i.e. those who believe in a God other than Allah.

Obviously, this need to highlight the contradiction between the Truth and the Koran shows that the latter is not from God. It also shows how the solution to Islam’s problems are being proposed from outside Islam. That’s a risky proposition because you’re asking Muslims to reject their scriptures in favour of a Christian-flavoured approach to human rights and the respect of others. Can it succeed? I personally don’t find it very promising. That Muslim above who refuted the Koran is probably seen as a compromised liberal by many Muslims.

Pope Benedict was way ahead of his time, at his Regensburg lecture in 2006, when he asked if Islam could find arguments for religious tolerance within its own spiritual and intellectual resources. So far, it’s not looking good.

It’s entirely possible that the rise of Islam is on much shakier ground than it seems. A wise priest told me that many Muslims in the Middle East are attracted to Christianity, but they can’t act on it because they and their families could be put to death even for merely showing interest in another religion.

The “common sense” invoked by the Muslim above is a manifestation of the natural law inscribed in every heart. If it takes hold in a sufficient number of hearts in light of the increasing atrocities perpetuated in the name of Islam, we could see a critical mass of change. But again, that would be a change originating from outside Islam’s tradition, since the natural law is not part of their beliefs. I’m not optimistic about Islam finding a Koran-based solution to religious tolerance, but I do believe in the power of the Gospel to convert hearts.

May God help us.