10 Tips for Catholics Who Want to Understand the Bible

This is the first post in a three-part series about the Bible.

St. Jerome said, “ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ.” Catholics, unfortunately, have the reputation of not reading the Bible as often as they should. On one hand, a Catholic who attends Mass regularly will be exposed to a large amount of the Bible, but we also should take some personal initiative in reading the Bible. However, simply reading the Bible isn’t enough to combat ignorance; you also need to seek to understand it. Here are some things to keep in mind as you try to enhance your understanding Scripture.

Continue reading “10 Tips for Catholics Who Want to Understand the Bible”

Book Review: God by Trent Horn

This Lent and Easter Season, I took on the Catholic Answers 20 Answers Challenge. As I mentioned in my original post, I was recommending it without reading the books. I felt it was only fair to share my thoughts on the books as I read them (and amend my recommendation if necessary). This post does contain an affiliate link which means that if you make a purchase through one of the links, I make a small commission at no additional cost to you (read disclosure here).

God from the Catholic Answers 20 Answers series was written by Catholic apologist Trent Horn. The booklet claimed to be targeting “anyone with that false, too-small idea of God: to those who say God doesn’t exist or that he’s just the universe; that God is a physical being like us; that God created the universe but doesn’t care about it anymore.”

This book was a lot deeper than I anticipated a 70-ish page booklet to be, but that is a very good thing. Within the first five answers, the reader is met with writings from Doctors of the Church, philosophers, Scripture, the Catechism of the Catholic Church, Saints, councils, and other early Church writings. Throughout the book, Horn intelligently addresses the big questions of who God is while also answering common questions about God. I appreciate that Horn draws from a variety of sources; he doesn’t just limit himself to Catholic teaching but also explores philosophy and science. Any good persuasive argument addresses the opponents positions, and naturally, the style of the booklets in the 20 Answers Series accomplish that. Horn takes it a step further and addresses oppositions that could be raised to the answers he gives, thereby providing a solid answer that covers a lot of ground in a brief explanation. I enjoyed the book, but to be honest, it was a lot to process. I don’t agree that the booklet is “easy-to-read” as described on the back cover, but I do think it is a much easier-to-read book compared to the other writings out there about God. That being said, I enjoyed being challenged and having the opportunity for growth. I recommend this book for people who both have a desire to learn more about the Christian view of God and who are willing to read in-depth answers. It is definitely worth the read.

20 Answers Challenge Update #1

About a month ago, I shared that I was starting the 20 Answers Challenge from Catholic Answers for Lent. I wanted to take some time to share my progress.

So far, I have been staying on top of my reading plan and have completed God, The Real Jesus, Salvation and Death & Judgement. I have been learning a lot about these books and have been genuinely enjoying this reading challenge. It has been, as the name suggests, a challenge at times because it makes me think harder about some of the topics, but I appreciate that it does that. As I work through the first four books, I think it may have been wise to pick books randomly rather than trying to do it thematically (these books were my “Christianity Basics” books) because there is the occasional overlap in information, but I also think that that can be beneficial and solidifying some of the points.

I have been working on writing sightly longer reviews on these books, and I will be sharing them in the coming weeks. If you don’t want to miss a review, please consider following me, or check back on my blog on Tuesdays.

*There are some affiliate links in this post. All that means is that if you make a purchase after clicking a link, I get a small commission at no extra cost to you. You can read a full disclosure here.*

God was good but also a challenging book to get through. It addressed some misconceptions about who God is and described why we the Christian God is the one, true God. Some of the arguments weren’t entirely new to me, but they did explore depths I hadn’t been exposed to before. Knowing what I do now, I would not have started the challenge with this book, but I did enjoy it.

The Real Jesus was the second book I read, and I felt it was easier to process. I think the difference between this and God is how large of a scope it covered. While Jesus Christ is absolutely a huge topic, I think focusing in on the claims about his identity helps narrow down the topic a little.

Salvation was the third book I read. This book describes the “basics” of salvation, but also spends a considerable amount of time exploring the differences between the Catholic terminology and Protestant terminology and beliefs. It was really interesting to see what seemed like initially large differences narrowed down to the core beliefs of Christianity.

I finished Death & Judgment on Saturday. This book addressed what happens after we die: where we might go and how our lives on earth influence our eternal lives. I thought it was really good, and I’m glad I read it after Salvation as I felt it laid a good foundation. It is a lot of information, but it is done in such a way that you don’t feel buried by facts.

Three of the four books I have read have been written by Trent Horn. I did enjoy the Jimmy Akin book as it was a different voice and style. Both apologists are excellent and produce quality work, but it is awesome to see apologetics articulated in unique ways.

How are you doing on the 20 Answers challenge?

Pro-Life Wisconsin Guest Post

I’m happy to share that I did a guest post for the Pro-Life Wisconsin blog. Make sure to head over there and read about why I think birth control and feminism are misaligned.  While you’re over there, make sure to read other posts on their blog and learn more about their organization. Pro-Life Wisconsin does a lot of great work, so please send them some love!

If you enjoy that post and want to read more about my thoughts on Catholicism and feminism, you might enjoy one of my earlier blog posts.

 

Kate and the (what could have been) Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

On paper, last Monday sounds like it should’ve been terrible.

I work as a process engineer. Though most days I have a fairly typical schedule, there are times where I need to be there at abnormal hours to observe something on the machine or support a product development trial. This particular Monday, I had to wake up early to see a specific event on one of our machines, and I had a trial scheduled. One of the first things I see in the morning is notification that my trial is postponed 12 hours meaning I would have to go back to work in the middle of the night and the support I anticipated having wouldn’t be on shift. Then, as I’m partway to work, I get an insulin pump alert telling me I’m low on insulin. Most days, I’m pretty good at checking to make sure I have enough insulin or writing myself a note to grab the supplies to refill it. Because my schedule was different, I forgot. I had enough insulin to get me to lunch, but I knew I’d have to go home around that time to get more. When I got to work, I found out the machine ran so well over the weekend that the event I wanted to watch already occurred. I had only been awake for about an hour and a half and was already dealing with a ton of problems.

Continue reading “Kate and the (what could have been) Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day”

Book Review: The Mother of the Little Flower

*This post contains an affiliate link which you can read more about here.*

Growing up, I didn’t know a lot about saints, and when I was confirmed into the Catholic Church, we didn’t even pick Confirmation saints. Now that I am a small group leader for high school students preparing for their Confirmation, the idea of selecting a patron saint was brought up again. The leader encouraged me to pick one now, and I decided to pick a saint that shared my Vocation of marriage and motherhood which led me to St. Zélie Martin. St. Zélie Martin and her husband, Louis, were canonized in 2015 and are the first couple to be canonized together. She is also the mother of St. Thérèse of Lisieux (the Little Flower). In my search to learn more about her, I found The Mother of the Little Flower by Celine Martin (Sister Genevieve of the Holy Face) and translated by Fr. Michael Collins, S.M.A.

As the back cover says “This book was written by her daughter Celine , who had access to Zélie’s letters and to reminiscences of her older sisters in the Carmel of Lisieux. It is authentic and inspiring, showing what a tremendous life’s work and accomplishment is it to be a truly Catholic mother.”

Though this book is only a little over 100 pages, it is packed with amazing descriptions of this truly holy woman. By combining letters her mother wrote, correspondence with others, and memories from either herself or her sisters, Sister Genevieve of the Holy Face paints a clear and beautiful picture of what it looks like to truly live as a servant of God. She effectively includes a variety of different aspects of St. Zélie’s life from the saint’s childhood, her role of as a mother and wife, her kindness to others, and her abandonment to God even in the face of immense suffering. This book is full of beautiful quotes from Zélie herself and others who knew her which enhances the writing of her daughter. Despite her heroically virtuous life, the average Catholic reader will be able to find relatable components from her story like being a working mother, struggling with God’s will, and sometimes getting worried about small things. The parts one can’t relate to our shared in such a way that they inspire one to strive for those virtues rather than feeling overwhelmed. There were a few phrases that read a little odd, likely due to their translation from the original French, but they did not detract from the awesome message from this book. I highly recommend this book. I think any Christian would enjoy it, but I think it would be especially meaningful for a Catholic woman looking for a model of Catholic motherhood.

Book review

Blog Update

Hello everyone,

Contrary to what I shared on Instagram, my blog post on the Pro-Life Wisconsin Blog has not gone live yet (although it is only 6pm local time so perhaps it will still be posted later today). I will be announcing on this blog when it goes live and link directly to it.

Fortunately, the other two posts I promised will be posted this week.

Thanks for reading!