Abortion Changes You

Monday marked the end of this month’s “Theology On Tap”, a Diocesan Catholic young adult event, this time hosted by the JP2 Group. Our opening speaker at the start of the month was the incomparable Paul J Kim and the series of talks was brought to a close by Michaelene Fredenburg.

Michaelene’s talk was entitled “Invitation to healing: reaching those touched by abortion”. Abortion is certainly a very sensitive subject and Michaelene handled it beautifully and delicately. She didn’t present a theological treatise as to why abortion is wrong, but rather presented insight into the life of someone who has been affected by abortion and offered some guidance as to how to sensitively help that person.

It’s inevitable that most people reading this post will have been affected in some way by abortion, either directly or indirectly. For this reason, if you were unable to make it to this last “Theology On Tap” session I would encourage you check out her website at AbortionChangesYou.com.

(In related news, the ex-fiancée of Aerosmith singer Steve Tyler has recently spoken about the abortion she had,  It’s truly worth reading. Tyler himself having spoken about this earlier in the month)

The Martyrdom of St. Polycarp

Amy Donahue (http://www.thisisamy.com)

I’ve previously written about one of my favourite Early Church Fathers, St. Polycarp and I’ve just finished preparing the account of his martyrdom that we’re going to be reading in the JP2 Group, starting next week.

Whenever we read documents from the Early Church I always work hard to try and produce the most readable translation for us to study. I do this by comparing many of the different translations and I do this in an attempt to eliminate all possible barriers to people reading, engaging with and actually enjoying these early Christian writers.

If you would like to view this document, links are provided below. The document is available in both Microsoft Word (.docx) and Adobe Reader formats (.pdf).

I’ve also recorded this document in an MP3 fjle because I personally learn best when I use audio. So…if you’re looking for something to listen to while you’re sunbathing at Pacific Beach over Memorial Day Weekend, look no further!

Martyrdom of Polycarp (DOCX | PDF | MP3)

If you would like to join us in our study, we will begin on 2nd June at St. John the Evangelist.

3 Minute Philosophy

Do you remember the bit in the Acts of the Apostles where Paul is in Athens? We’re told that “A group of Epicurean and Stoic philosophers began to debate with him…When they heard about the resurrection of the dead, some of them sneered” (Acts 17:18, 32). Ever wondered who these guys were?

Well, wonder no more! I’ve recently come across a collection of “Three Minute Philosophy” videos on YouTube:

Warning! This guy’s videos can contain rather colourful language…
(Also, his video on St. Thomas Aquinus has a few errors in it…)

Prophet and loss

On Saturday, Harold Camping proved himself to be a false prophet when no rapture materialized…

Three days before the supposed event, I wrote the following:

When the predictions of such groups fail to come true and Jesus inconveniently decides not to turn up, excuses are usually given e.g. “Jesus did return, but did so invisibly!”.  I’m guessing that probably the same thing will happen with Christian Family Radio on May 22nd.

I just read the following:

“Radio evangelist Harold Camping said in a special broadcast Monday night on his radio program Open Forum that his predicted May 21, 2011 Rapture was ‘an invisible judgment day’ that he has come to understand as a spiritual, rather than physical event.”

Straight out of the Jehovah Witness play book! Camping’s prophetic credentials seem to be shot, but mine are looking pretty good, hey? 🙂

Artwork of God’s Artwork

In a previous post I explained the meaning of the text “IC XC” which is found in Eastern icons. I thought today I would do a quick follow-up to explain the letters which commonly appear around the Theotokos…

The Theo-what?

“The Theotokos” (pronounced “th-ay-oh-to-kos”) is the name that Eastern Christians (both Orthodox and Catholic) typically give to Jesus’ mother, Mary. It was also the word used in the proclamation of the Council of Ephesus in 431 AD. In the Western Church, “Theotokos” is often loosely translated into English as “Mother Of God” (whereas it literally means “God-bearer”).

Giving Mary the title “Mother of God” has certainly caused some heated arguments in the history of Christianity. Some have mistakenly seen this title as an elevation of Mary to a height even greater than that of Jesus (if such a thing were possible!). Yet the title “Mother Of God” is really much more about Jesus than Mary, since to say that Mary is not the mother of God is to say that she gave birth only to His humanity, which would indicate  some kind of rupture between Jesus’ human and divine natures. That’s kind of a weighty topic…I think I’ll come back to that another time….

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Shout Outs

I started this blog a while back now, in June of 2010.  Today I thought I’d advertise the blogs of some of my friends who also write here on the Internet.


1. Transformed In Christ

The first blog I’d like to share (and what prompted this post) is Hannah’s blog Transformed In Christ. I first met Hannah when I lived in Cheltenham back in 2003. She’s a graduate of Cambridge University and now lives in London. She hasn’t been blogging for very long, but she’s a smart cookie, so expect some good stuff here 🙂

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Don’t be too eager to hit "Send"

I had this blog entry in my “drafts” folder for over six months and it’s been quite some time since I posted an entry for the Stuff I’ve had to learn category. Today I would like to remedy this situation by presenting a piece of wisdom that I’ve been forced to learn over the years.

This bit of advice has certainly resolved many tense situations and has saved more than one friendship:

Don’t be too eager to hit…

Turbo-Charged Communication

Communication today is certainly quicker than it was in the past.  It is now extremely easy to fire off a quick message to someone on the other side of the world, whereas in times past it required the purchase of stationery equipment, the composition of a letter, the purchase of the appropriate stamp and delivery to the nearest postbox.  A substantial wait was then required before a reply would be received.

I’m all in favour of modern communication methods – cell phones, skype, email and text messaging make communicating with those in far-flung places both efficient and cheap. For me personally, it’s what makes living in America and staying in close contact with friends in England possible. However, I would suggest that our advances in technology sometimes make communication just a little bit *too* easy…

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