Friday, August 29, 2008

Called to Holiness

Q: My teacher says that we are all called to holiness. Does that mean that we should all be nuns or priests?

A: Not everyone is meant to become a priest or nun. We all have a vocation to be married, single, or a religious (priest, nun, or brother), but we also have a second vocation, one that we all share. This second vocation is the call to holiness. God calls us all to strive for sanctity, to live our lives to their fullest potential in the name of our Lord. To fulfill this calling we must love God, serve God, and know God; this is the meaning of life, the path to happiness, and most importantly the path to holiness and to heaven.


Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Is College for Everyone

Q: What I want to know is if it’s possible that college isn’t for everyone? I don’t think it’s for me.

A: College is not necessarily for everyone. There are a number of very successful jobs out there that do not require anything higher than a high school diploma, but there are also a large amount of jobs that require at least an associate’s (2-year) degree or a bachelor’s (4-year) degree. No one job is necessarily better than the next, just because you have to go to college for it. There are also a ton of different types of colleges – small or large, public or private, liberal arts or subject specific, trade schools – plenty of which are geared at training people for specific jobs, like culinary arts school for people who want to be chefs.

The important thing is to figure out some idea of what you want to do before deciding whether or not college is right for you. For example, if you want to be a rocket scientist or a teacher, both of which require a number of years in college, don’t give up just because you don’t think college is right for you! Look at your reasons behind shying away from college. Do you think you’re not smart enough? That college will be too expensive? That four more years of school seems overwhelming?
If college truly is not for you, there is nothing wrong with that. However, don’t talk yourself out of going to college because you might not feel adequate enough. Have faith in the intelligence and talents that God gave you, and give it a try! Doubting yourself is never a good reason to give up your goals and dreams.

Maureen D.

Monday, August 25, 2008

It's Okay to Be a Quiet Person

Q: I’m not a shy person, but whenever I get into a group of people I don’t know too well, I can’t find anything to say. I like who I am and I think I’m a decent person to get to know, and I’m tired of being told that I’m too quiet. Why can’t people accept that not everyone is outgoing and talkative, and that’s okay?

A: Boi, I know exactly how you feel. I have people telling me that I’m too quiet every other day, and it can get annoying I know. Do you know the saying “actions speak louder than words”? Well it’s true, and considering that actions are louder than words it shouldn’t matter what others say to you, or about you. St. Thomas Aquinas was called a dumb ox at school because he was so quiet, and you know what? He ended up becoming a Doctor of the Church. There is nothing wrong with being soft spoken. God made you and me that way for a reason. We’re in this together dude.


Friday, August 22, 2008

Keeping the Sabbath

Q: Why do I have to go to church on Sunday? Can’t I just celebrate the Lord’s Day in my own personal way at home?

A: The third commandment tells us to keep Sunday as the Lord’s Day because on Sunday Christ rose from the dead, and on Sunday the Holy Spirit descended upon the Apostles (also known as the “birthday of the Church”). We are commanded by the Church to worship God in a special manner on Sunday, the Lord’s Day. We are commanded to worship God on Sunday by assisting at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.


Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Is Addiction a Sin

Q: If someone is addicted to drugs, are they responsible for their actions? Is it a sin to get addicted?

A: Yes and no. Yes, it is a sin to get addicted because before you start using drugs you know doing drugs is morally wrong and that you could hurt yourself or someone else. You also know there is the chance that you could get addicted.

No, you’re not entirely responsible for your actions because when you get addicted you are so irrational and irresponsible that you can’t always do the right thing. That’s why people say don’t even get into drugs, because once you get in its hard to get out. So you are responsible for your actions beforehand, because you know that you can turn uncontrollable. But once addicted, you have no self control and you will probably need someone else’s help to break that addiction. However this does not mean you don’t know wrong from right. Sometimes you can tell wrong from right, but you choose not to do right. That kind of thing is sinful. But if you are not able to think and choose clearly, denying every wrong or right thing, that’s when it is not sinful.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Facing Anorexia

Q: My friend is dangerously preoccupied with losing weight. She is big boned and thinks she is fat. I think she looks fine. How can I help her?

A: Have you ever had yourself so convinced of something, that no one could show you that you were wrong? For example, you have yourself absolutely convinced that you hate the taste of broccoli – the last time you had broccoli was before you can remember, but nonetheless you hate the taste of broccoli. All of your friends try to tell you that broccoli isn’t so bad; your mother pleads for you to try just a little bite; but no, you continue to believe that the taste of broccoli is horrid, and won’t listen to another word otherwise. This is the same kind of thing that your friend is going through. She may have so completely convinced herself that she is fat that every time she looks in the mirror that is all she sees – fat. No matter how many people try to convince her otherwise, her mind is set. This can be a very dangerous situation if it gets out of control. Unfortunately, your friend needs to change her way of thinking and looking at herself, which is something she must do on her own. But don’t despair. There are a number of things you can do to help your friend along.

First, tell someone else – a parent, a teacher, a guidance counselor. Chances are that if you're worried about her obsession, it's serious enough that an adult needs to get involved. Second, talk to your friend. Tell her that you think she has a problem, that you are worried about her, and that she should talk to someone about it. Offer to go with your friend to talk to your school’s guidance counselor, or a priest. Third, don’t give up. The first time you tell your friend she has a problem, she will most likely become angry or indignant, denying everything you say and brushing you off as “stupid.” Try not to take it personally. Have you ever been told that something you strongly believed in was wrong? It’s not the easiest thing in the world to admit one’s faults, so keep trying to convince her to get some help. Fourth, let your friend know you’re there for her. At some point, your friend is going to have a really bad day, and need to talk about it. Listen. Often people who think they’re fat have other issues that they’re dealing with, and turn towards losing weight as a form of control or stability. Letting her talk out her problems with you is one major step towards helping her learn how to fix them. Fifth, tap into your resources. The Internet is full of different websites with information and advice on helping someone through an eating disorder – use it!

Finally, know that you cannot fix her on your own. Being there for your friend is important, but letting your grades, health, and emotions suffer as a result is not healthy. Learn how to tell when you can help, and when it is beyond your control or ability.

Maureen D.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Women Priests

Q: I have a hard time, as a girl, understanding the pope’s logic on why women can’t be ordained. Sure, Jesus’ disciples were male, but wasn’t that just what the time period dictated?

A: It is more than just the “pope’s logic,” it’s a doctrine of the Catholic Church. I think it’s pretty obvious that God chose males to be the leaders from the beginning of time since most of the prophets were male. The twelve apostles were male and sat with Jesus at the Last Supper where the priesthood was first instituted. They then went out and followed Jesus’ example when they chose their successors. We are bound, as Catholics, to follow Jesus’ example too. (CCC, 1577)

Jesus did some radical things for his time. If He wanted both men and women to be priests then He would not have hesitated to set that example for all human kind. Our Blessed Mother points to Jesus and says, “Do whatever He (Jesus) tells you.” (Jn. 2:5)

It has been Catholic Tradition that men should be priests and those teachings have been divinely inspired by the Holy Spirit. Sometimes faith just requires us to trust the Church’s authority.


Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Bible Stories

Q: How come there are two different creation stories in the Genesis? Is it because Adam and Eve weren’t real and the creation story is just that – a story?

A: There are two different accounts in Genesis of the creation story and this is because we do not really know how the world in which we live is created. Adam and Eve as the first man and woman were real, but there is no historical way to figure out if these were their real names or if they even had names. We know that God did create man and woman, as well as the rest of the world. We do not know if it took Him seven days or 7,000,000 years. God's time is unlike our own and so we can only hypothesize on God's marvelous creation. Though we do have two creation stories that may differ slightly we know, from other places in the Bible, that the world was created by God and it is not just a story. For example, both Romans 4:17 and Hebrews 11:3 state that God created everything out of nothing. There are also many accounts in Genesis that state that everything God created was good (Gen. 1:4), that God blesses His creation (Gen. 1:22), that God has a purpose for everyone and everything in His creation (Gen. 1:14-8), and that God wants us to take care of His creation (Gen. 2:15). As one can see, God did carefully create the world in which we live, including us and everything around us, so though we do not know exactly what the story of creation is we know there is a plan created especially for us by God.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Weird Saints

Q: Some stories about the saints are pretty weird. Were there really people who could bilocate, heal diseases, read other people’s souls, and stuff like that?

A: Yes, it’s true! You might want to think of it this way: God can do anything, right? Stories about Jesus healing the sick don’t sound strange because He’s God. He can do anything. When you hear about one of the saints healing the sick or performing some other miracle, it’s not that the saint you’re hearing about is some kind of mutant with superpowers or anything. It's actually God working through the saint to do His will.


Friday, August 8, 2008

Dating and Atheism

Q: I just recently ended a relationship with an atheist. While we were dating, I totally felt like I could convince him that Catholicism is wonderful. Instead, I feel like I’ve offended God. Was I wrong for going out with my atheist boyfriend?

A: I’ve actually been there and tried it. The problem with a relationship like this is that the other person may be willing to listen to your ideas about Catholicism, but will not come to see the love of God the way he or she should, not to mention the “love” that they feel for you. He will instead have a worldly perspective on the whole thing, and this is very dangerous, especially at a young age. I know that it seems like a good idea at the time, and you feel like you will be able to bring a person to Catholicism through this, but I strongly recommend a different approach. As hard as it might be, keep the relationship strictly on a friendship level. Share your faith and beliefs with the other person, and allow him to know the true love of Christ and what love is really all about. The person after some time will hopefully have a true personal relationship with God, and then it would be much more appropriate to get into a romantic relationship.


Wednesday, August 6, 2008


Q: My friend is pregnant and wants to have an abortion. If she has the baby, her whole life will be ruined. She won’t be able to go to college or get a good job. I would never have an abortion, but I don’t see how I can tell my friend that she can’t do whatever she wants to do with her own body.

A: If your friend were to have the baby, it definitely would not ruin her life. If she can’t take care of the baby, she can give him or her up for adoption. There are many people who want a baby; your friend would be giving them a gift. That would leave her feeling like she did something worthwhile and good. Abortion would leave her feeling guilty and depressed. She would have to live with the fact that she killed her own child. Deep in her heart, does she really want to kill her little boy or girl? According to the National Office of Post-Abortion Reconciliation and Healing, teenagers are ten times more likely to attempt suicide in the six months following an abortion than those who have not had an abortion. Once your friend has the abortion, she can’t take it back.

Saying that it’s okay for other people to have abortions is like saying that it’s okay with you if someone commits murder. It is her body, but is that a good excuse? She did do what she wanted with her body and now she has to deal with the consequences of her actions. Yes, she made a mistake but does she want to make an even bigger mistake by choosing abortion?

What can you say to her? Don’t try to change her mind so much as share your opinion with her. The best thing to do is pray for her to make the right decision.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Why Go On Living

Q: I don’t see any reason for life. Why should I, or anyone else, go on? What is the meaning of life and why am I on this earth? To be spit on by every person who thinks they’re better than me? Can you answer that?

A: God loves us more than we could ever know and He didn’t put us here to be miserable. The only reason that God ever had for creating us is so that He could love us. In fact, God didn’t have to create you, he could have created someone totally different, someone smarter, someone stronger or more talented, but no, God wanted You, He created You. He loves you so much that He sacrificed His only Son so that you can be with Him in heaven.

We weren't put on this earth to be put down by others, though God does teach us that we should turn the other cheek. We should love our neighbors even if they hate our guts. If we hate them back then that’s just going to increase their dislike for us. Really, when we hold a grudge on someone, we’re hurting ourselves more than anyone else. It’ll take a bit of effort, but if you do your best to love others, it’s really a whole lot easier in the long run. Who knows, they might see that despite their detestable feelings for you that you love them anyway, and that might really move them.

The meaning of life is simple. We were put here to love God, serve God, and know God. Now, how do we do that? Well, first of all you can’t do one of these without the other two. It’s all or nothing. We can’t really love anyone without making a choice first. So, we’ve got to choose and we have to pray. Pray everyday, even if it’s just five minutes. It doesn’t matter as long as you do it. Be sincere, if you don’t believe in God, or you don’t think He loves you, then just ask Him.

Remember, “An infinite reward is worth a finite wager” –Blaise Pascal.


Friday, August 1, 2008

Copying Schoolwork

Q: I’m sort of smart and everyone wants to copy off of my homework. Most of the people who ask to copy are my friends. Just recently, I typed up my notes to study for my finals. It took me more than an hour. This girl asked me if she could run them off. I said yes. She ended up running off my notes for at least half of my class. That made me so mad. I spent a lot of my time on that, while everyone else just watched TV, talked on the phone, went shopping, etc. I really don’t think that’s fair!

What I want to know is how to tell people they can’t copy in a nice, considerate way without hurting their feelings or making them mad at me. Help!

A: It is not fair for others to count on you to do their work for them. I think it is best for you to explain your position and stand firm. People may tell you a sob story as to why they couldn't get something done, or give you an excuse as to why they didn't prepare their own study material, but you don’t need to let others benefit off of your time and efforts spent on academics. Tell them that you were taken advantage of last time with your notes getting spread among everyone and you don’t feel comfortable being put in that situation again.