"I have been listening to you on EWTN for about one year now. I left the Catholic Church 42 years ago and have been attending Protestant churches. After many struggles during this last year, I finally went to confession on Sunday. Thank you all so much for helping me on my journey home.”
Non-Catholics often fall back on the "idolatry" charge when discussing the Mother of God with Catholics. But their criticisms are based on a faulty understanding of where Mary stands in relation to Jesus, the sole Redeemer of humanity. In accepting Mary’s role as mediatrix of all graces, we allow the Mother to draw us nearer to her Son.
With the enticing music of his pipe, the Pied Piper of legend lured young people away from their homes and families into the side of a mountain, never to be seen again. Parents today know too well that popular culture is rife with temptations—often disguised in seemingly innocuous books and movies. One noted entry in the fantasy-fiction genre, Philip Pullman’s The Golden Compass, is about to make a big splash as a Christmastime film. Here are a few points to ponder before lining up for a ticket.
We often hear that it’s not worth getting upset about fiction. But fiction fails if it doesn’t convince us to accept the world presented at face value, a fact Philip Pullman knows well. Like his literary forebears C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien, Pullman understands too that fantasy has an irresistible allure for the young. That makes it fertile ground for planting truth, as well as deceit.
You gotta believe. But in what? And where does belief come from? It’s trendy to call people of religious faith irrational, weak-minded, and even dangerous—and several current best-sellers do just that. To answer these charges, we must first answer the question of belief itself.
"Who does not see that knowledge precedes faith? Nobody believes unless he knows what to believe."
~ Augustine of Hippo, convert, bishop, theologian, Father and Doctor of the Church, Saint; noting that the assent of faith is a rational act; before it can be made, it must be known for certain that there is a God, that He has spoken, and that what He has spoken is known. (see "Science and the Church")