Lay Witness Magazine

A New Evangelization: Undaunted Warriors

Emily Stimpson From the Mar/Apr 2012 Issue of Lay Witness Magazine At Franciscan University of Steubenville, it’s easy to be pro-life. The same is true for other culturally Catholic schools such as Christendom, Thomas Aquinas, and Benedictine. At those colleges and universities, it’s not a radical or brave thing to spend Saturday mornings praying outside of abortion clinics or setting up memorials on campus for the victims of abortion. Rather, such deeds are the norm among students. They’re expected. That’s not a bad thing. There’s real value in experiencing what it’s like to live in a culture that is what … Continue reading

Are we Dunghills or Fertile Soil? Why Understanding Concupiscence is Important

Michael Sullivan From the Mar/Apr 2012 Issue of Lay Witness Magazine Late one night, when St. Augustine was a youth, he and his buddies, “a group of bad youngsters,” stripped a pear tree of its fruit. They ate some of it but threw most of it to the pigs. The young Augustine didn’t steal the pears because he was hungry, or even because he desired them. He stole for the thrill of stealing. “Foul was the evil,” he said, “and I loved it.” I had a similar experience when I was a boy: I tried to steal a toy gun … Continue reading

Ask CUF: Is Ignorance Bliss?–Mortal Sin and Evangelization

For a sin to be mortal, three conditions must together be met: “Mortal sin is sin whose object is grave matter and which is also committed with full knowledge and deliberate consent.” Mortal sin requires full knowledge and complete consent. It presupposes knowledge of the sinful character of the act, of its opposition to God’s law. It also implies consent sufficiently deliberate to be a personal choice. Based upon this definition, only the most devout Catholic is in danger of committing a mortal sin. Therefore, isn’t it more beneficial for people to belong to another faith or no faith at … Continue reading

Book Reviews – May/April 2012

Various Authors From the Mar/Apr 2012 Issue of Lay Witness Magazine Safely Through the Storm: 120 Reflections on Hope By Debra Herbeck (Servant, 2010)  “In suffering we are tempted to lose hope and faith in the Lord’s love and in His desire for our eternal life with Him. But that same suffering can teach us, if we let it, to turn to God and place our hope and trust in Him.” These words of Amy Welborn, in her forward to Debra Herbeck’s Safely Through the Storm: 120 Reflections on Hope, identify the need for hope in anyone who encounters suffering … Continue reading

Combating Spiritual Desolation with the Saints

Kevin Bezner From the Mar/Apr 2012 Issue of Lay Witness Magazine If you asked me a few years ago about “spiritual desolation” I would not have had much of an answer for you. We all have struggles in our lives, and I’ve had my share of professional and personal difficulties, but I entered an all-time low—a period of spiritual desolation—when the bank where I worked collapsed a few years ago. In fact, it was only prayer, liturgy, spiritual direction, and some counseling and spiritual reading that provided stability for me during the most unstable periods and kept me from losing … Continue reading

Dare to Dream: Essential Steps to Discerning God’s Will

Bishop Thomas G. Doran From the Mar/Apr 2012 Issue of Lay Witness Magazine It is said that a young boy once asked his father why it was that adults were always asking him what he wanted to be when he grew up. The father thought about it for a moment, looked the boy squarely in the eye, and said, “Because they are looking for ideas for themselves.” I don’t know whether or not that comic exchange actually occurred, but there is some truth in it. When we were young, I venture to say, most of us had beautiful dreams and … Continue reading

Jesus, Our New Temple

J.P. Nunez From the Mar/Apr 2012 Issue of Lay Witness Magazine Jesus held the Temple in the highest regard, calling it a house of prayer and the dwelling place of God. Why then did He predict its doom and allow it to be destroyed? Did God abandon His people? No, He replaced it with a far greater Temple— a physical dwelling place so holy that no man could have imagined it. Jesus Himself is that Temple, and He continues in this role in the Eucharist. Through this sacrament, He goes beyond the limits of the old Temple and extends His … Continue reading

Know Thyself: The Adventure of Living in Truth

Chris Sparks From the Mar/Apr 2012 Issue of Lay Witness Magazine Jesus then said to those Jews who believed in him, “If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” —John 8:31-32 “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” —John 14:6 One of the most interesting discussions of sin I’ve ever found was Scott Peck’s People of the Lie: The Hope for Healing Human Evil. Setting aside for the moment his extremely interesting … Continue reading

Looking at a Masterpiece: The Resurrection

Piero della Francesca was born in 1415 and died on the very day Columbus landed in America, October 12, 1492. Better known in his time as a mathematician and geometrist, he is now recognized as one of the great artists of the early Renaissance. This fresco, painted in the 1460s, is on the wall of what became the Civic Museum in Sansepolcro, Tuscany. It is apparent that his expertise in solid geometry influenced his interest in perspective. In the background of this fresco on the left we see a barren landscape and leafless trees, whereas on the right nature is … Continue reading

Master Catechist: The Mercy of God

Fr. John A. Hardon, D.J., with Michael Mohr From the Mar/Apr 2012 Issue of Lay Witness Magazine In this article, Fr. Hardon lays out for us the practical meaning and application of the Fifth Beatitude: “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.” The promise, “they shall obtain mercy,” includes not only mercy for ourselves by practicing mercy toward others, but also mercy for those who unjustly offend us, just as Jesus did for us on the Cross. This all depends upon our willingness to forgive those who actually provide us this opportunity to forgive them and thus to … Continue reading