Saturday, January 31, 2015

Sunday Snippets - A Catholic Carnival (1 Feb 2015)

     Happy Sunday, Brothers and Sisters, and welcome to another installment of Sunday Snippets – A Catholic Carnival.  This is a weekly gathering of Catholic bloggers who share their posts for the week past; we gather here at This That and the Other Thing, home of our Chief Snippeteer, RAnn.

     I’ll get to my snippets in a moment, but first . . . IMPORTANT NOTICE: The following narrative is not about football . . . well, at least not only about football.  But it does start there, so please stay with me.  Today, as Americans and others who follow American Football know, is “Super Bowl Sunday”, when the National Football League has its annual championship game.  Since this sporting event typically has a larger television audience than any other program, advertisers pay enormous amounts of money for advertising time during the game. Over the years they have concocted increasingly bizarre commercials in order to catch the attention of that massive audience, with the curious result that in years when the action on the field isn’t particularly arresting, most of the chatter the next day is about the ads and not the game itself.

Tim Tebow
     Interestingly, the most discussed commercial five years ago was not bizarre at all: it simply showed a mother talking about her son (o.k., he does appear to tackle her at the end, but that’s pretty tame for a Superbowl commercial).  The mother was Pam Tebow and her son, Tim, had just completed one of the most spectacular college football records in memory (which, unfortunately, would not translate into comparable success as a professional).  The reason why this ad was more controversial that all those others ones filled with innuendo and grotesquery is that it was a pro-life ad.  Mrs. Tebow was talking about why she did not follow doctors’ advice and abort the baby who later became one of the most celebrated college athletes ever.  That, apparently, was shocking.
     Now, five years later, comes the story of another child, Avita Grace Wood, whose life was saved by the same commercial.  Her mother, Susan Wood, had agreed to abort the unborn Avita, at the insistence of her boyfriend, the child’s father.  After seeing the Pam Tebow commercial, however, Susan changed her mind and chose life (full story here). As in the case of the numerous accounts of women who chose not to abort because of 40 Days for Life and other pro-life efforts, we are reminded that our faith, prayer, and witness can change hearts and save lives.  We just need to keep moving the ball down to the field.

Now, on to our post-game wrap-up of the past week at Principium et Finis:

Monday – “Alessandro Scarlatti – Exsultante Deo”  Another beautiful treasure from the Catholic storehouse of sacred music.

Tuesday – “Abortion Myth #1”  The first of the series, this one examines the foundational falsehood that women were dying by the thousands before Roe vs. Wade made it all better.

This is nothing but a twenty second clip of snow blowing in my yard during Tuesday’s blizzard.  That’s it.  There’s no commentary, nothing.  And it received more page views than anything else all week. What’s up with that?

A few years back, long before I had a blog, I got tired of people telling me that they could still be Catholics in good standing while supporting contraception, pro-abortion politicians, gay marriage, various varieties of fornication, etc., because St. Thomas Aquinas said that you had to follow your conscience, even if it contradicted Church Teaching! I wrote up a little response discussing what the Angelic Doctor actually had to say on the matter, which eventually became the first thing I ever blogged about; it seemed appropriate to revisit it on the goodDoctor’s feast day.

Thursday – “Don’tGive Up On Catholic Education!”  This was Catholic Education Week, so for Throwback Thursday I brought back this piece from last summer, first written in response to an invitation from our own RAnn to discuss the question of whether Catholic Education is worth our time and resources.

Friday – “A DarkMatter: ‘Proving’ God In A Materialistic World”  We Catholics know that Faith and Reason are not in conflict, but in fact are different aspects of the same truth.  The conventional wisdom out in The World says otherwise.  Here’s one approach I’ve used to try to get high school students to understand the relationship between faith and reason a little better: it involves using Dark Matter to shed a little Light.

It was a Snowy Week at Principium et Finis - with another storm coming tomorrow