My Spring Reading List!

After the heavier reading of Lent, I thought I'd like to continue some inspirational spiritual reading through the Easter season as well. 

Here's my book list!

Private and Pithy lessons from Scripture - Mother Angelica
Little Book of Life Lessons - Mother Angelica
Three to Get Married - Fulton Sheen
The Little Oratory
Diary Sister Faustina
Getting Past Perfect - Kate Wicker
The Words We Pray - Amy Welborn
Perfectly Yourself - Matthew Kelly 
Crossing the Threshold of Hope - Pope John Paul II

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Apologetics and today's gospel

As a kid, I always loved these types of gospel reading where the Pharisees try to corner Jesus and Jesus is just too smart for them!  Even when I didn’t quite understand the question or the answer, I understood that there was some kind of an intellectual battle going on, a matching of wits, and that Jesus gave them an honest plain answer, but one that they never considered when they were devising their strategy to trap him.  And they never could trap him and as a kid and as a teenager I just loved that about Jesus!  

As an adult, when I hear these types of stories it makes me realize how importance apologetics are.  Jesus, in a very real sense, was the perfect apologist!!  His answers are clear, well reasoned, straightforward, and relate directly with the lives of the people he is speaking to.   They are also brave answers.  Jesus didn’t dodge the hard questions and the he takes the consequences of speaking the truth.  For me, in my life, I just DIG that about Jesus and that’s what had kept me in the Catholic Church and in love with my Catholic Faith.

As I was sitting in church today, this gospel had special meaning for me with something that is going on in my own life.  A youth group I have been involved with split in two last year.  There were a number or reasons but it seems that the spark that started the firestorm had to do with a Catholic kid who was challenged during the youth meeting by a Protestant youth, and didn’t have the knowledge and/or the ability to meet the challenge.  So the result now is two youth groups, one of which is exclusively Catholic with no non-Catholic outsiders allowed.  If only the Catholic Kid had know his faith and had a chance to practice apologetic in a friendly engaging way, that would have given the Protestant kid information and given the Catholic kid more confidence in handling these types of scenarios when they arise.  

In our homeschool, I have tried to make apologetics a part of our family life from kindergarten onward.  I have seen my kids practice some form of apologetics around the neighborhood.  There was the time the kids wanted to have a funeral for a dead bird and my son stepped forward to lead the “mourners” through the Our Father, and a Hail Mary, (which I watched with a big smile on my face since these kids are mostly Gospel Baptists!)  There was also the time Calvin insisted that the Catholic kids at the Catholic summer Bible school make the sign of the cross before prayer because that’s what Catholics do – even though the camp administrator was discouraging that.  (I still think that was weird.)  

Now what I want to try to do is guide my older kids into a study of apologetics, so that with confidence they can answer as Jesus would have - clearly, and with an understanding and acceptance of the consequences.  Not everyone wants to hear what you have to say, not everyone will hear it with an open mind and a gentle spirit, and many times they will hate you for it regardless of how gently you deliver it.  But we’re still called to stand for that truth.