Five Faith Friday

Here is this week's installment of "Five Faith Friday" which contains five, faith-based things I found interesting and am sharing on Friday.

What I'm Reflecting On --
I was recently listening to a homily by Father Mike Schmitz and in it he told the story of a young woman who went on a rock climbing trip in Thailand. She stayed on an island off the coast of Thailand where there was not a church and she figured that she couldn't go to church as a result. For her to make it she'd have to get up at 3:30am, catch the 4am ferry, ride the ferry for 1 hour, and take a 2 hour bus trip. But then it hit her, if church were one of her rock climbing adventures, she'd do so in a heartbeat. It wasn't that she couldn't make it to church, it was that she wasn't initially willing to. If we love something, we are wiling to let it cost us. Most of the time when we use the phrase "I can't" it actually means "I won't." What does going to church mean to you?

What I Read --
"Theologians: Bishops Must Address Biden’s Policies That Contradict Church Teaching" President Biden has been on a roll with many debilitating policies enacted that go against Church teaching. "Regarding the legitimacy of political opinions in a democracy, “Catholics are free to have these various opinions, as long as they don’t counter moral law, natural law and faith,” Msgr. Charles Mangan of the Diocese of Sioux Falls, South Dakota, told CNA on Tuesday. “Authentic freedom,” he added, does not mean that Catholic voters and politicians can hold any opinion they want. Rather, it means that “we are free in Christ, and we see the Church’s teaching as not a burden, but as something that frees us to embrace what is true,” he added."

God created us man and woman (Genesis 1:27) and gave us free will (Sirach 15:14). CCC 1731 teaches us that, "Freedom is the power, rooted in reason and will, to act or not to act, to do this or that, and so to perform deliberate actions on one's own responsibility. By free will one shapes one's own life. Human freedom is a force for growth and maturity in truth and goodness; it attains its perfection when directed toward God, our beatitude." CCC 1732 goes on to say that, "As long as freedom has not bound itself definitively to its ultimate good which is God, there is the possibility of choosing between good and evil, and thus of growing in perfection or of failing and sinning. This freedom characterizes properly human acts. It is the basis of praise or blame, merit or reproach." Finally, CCC 1733 teaches us that, "The more one does what is good, the freer one becomes. There is no true freedom except in the service of what is good and just. The choice to disobey and do evil is an abuse of freedom and leads to "the slavery of sin." (Genesis 3:13). Remember John 8:32 which says, "and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free."

Which Video I Re-watched --
"Can Someone be "Born Gay?" w/ Fr. Mike Schmitz from Pints With Aquinas. "Fr. Mike explains why it's a bad idea to attribute homosexual behavior to being "born that way." We discuss how identity politics damages public discourse and how true helpful conversation can only ever occur if we treat others, not as members of a group, but as unique individual human souls."

What I'm Looking Forward To --
Episode 6 from Season 2 of The Chosen! It debuts Wednesday night at 9pm... mark your calendar!

Which News Was Exciting --
Yesterday's unanimous (9-0) Supreme Court ruling in favor of Catholic Social Services of Philadelphia. From Catholic Vote: "The City of Philadelphia decided in March of 2018 that they would refuse to partner with Catholic Social Services in providing foster care services to children, unless the Catholic agency would place children in the homes of same-sex couples. Of course, this is impossible. Catholic teaching requires that we uphold the definition of marriage, but also affirm that children do best in homes with both a mother and a father. The Supreme Court ruled that the City of Philadelphia violated the First Amendment: "Government fails to act neutrally when it proceeds in a manner intolerant of religious beliefs or restricts practices because of their religious nature." Yesterday’s ruling was a no-brainer. Long before the city became involved in adoption and foster care, Catholics there were serving the needy children of Philadelphia. In fact, for more than two centuries, Catholic agencies have successfully placed the most at-risk kids in loving, forever homes. Yesterday, the Supreme Court rightly affirmed that the Constitution guarantees faith-based agencies freedom from government harassment and discrimination because of their religious beliefs about marriage."

Have a wonderful weekend and may God bless you and your family!


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