Saturday, February 28, 2009

Friday, February 27, 2009

Fasting During Lent Legalistic

Q: At church last Sunday the priest told us that we couldn’t eat on certain days during Lent. I was zoning out in the back and didn’t hear him explain why. This sounds legalistic to me. How can fasting help my spiritual life? It doesn’t make sense.

A: First of all, fasting is a good idea as it’s a good form of penance. That is, it’s a small way of showing that we’re sorry for our sins. During Lent, fasting is particularly important, as it’s a way of preparation for the great feast of Easter.

You’ll notice in the Bible that Moses, Elijah, the Apostles, and even Jesus fasted in preparation for big events. While we might not immediately understand the importance of fasting, it’s usually a good idea to follow the example of these guys, especially Jesus.

Is it “legalistic” to follow the instructions of your doctor when he tells you not to eat before a test? Would it be “legalistic” to follow the example of your favorite baseball player by imitating his technique? Of course not.

That’s why we fast before Easter; we’re following the example of Jesus and doing what He did to prepare for a big event. And Easter is certainly a big event!


Thursday, February 26, 2009

Review: The Light of Eidon

Today we begin a new feature at No Question Left Behind. On Tuesdays and Thursdays we'll run reviews of books, movies, and music.

The Light of Eidon by Karen Hancock
review by Lorraine

In this allegorical novel published by Bethany House, Hancock takes her readers into a world of supernatural powers and lands that are far from peaceful. Abramm Kalladorne, fifth son of the King of Kiriath, has spent the last eight years of his life as an acolyte in the Mataian Order, preparing for the day when he will touch and tend the Sacred Flames of Eidon. He expects to be rewarded and blessed for his sacrifices; instead, he finds himself being swept on the unruly winds of life towards another destiny. Betrayed by his spiritual mentor and sold into slavery by his brothers, Abramm is soon fighting in the gladiatorial games in distant Eshur along with his companion, Eltrap Meridon.

Amidst the clash of swords, swirl of cloaks and visits to exotic palaces, majestic temples and slaving in a galley ship, Abramm's previously held convictions are turned upside-down, revealing an entirely new perspective on life which he could never have imagined.

The Light of Eidon, first book in the epic Legends of the Guardian-King series, is one of my personal favorites. While the outside glimmers with swordplay, beautiful princesses and mysterious magical happenings – the normal packaging of fantasy novels; beneath are Christian principals and a portrayal of the soul's quest for something more than what earthly pleasures have to give.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Getting Along With My Mom

Q: My mom and I don’t get along all that great. I really love her, but I don’t think she realizes it. She thinks that I’m selfish and self-centered. I don’t want to be selfish. It’s just that we just disagree on everything. What can I do?

A: This is a hard situation to be in, but there are a few things that can be done to start mending the gap between you and your mom. I know it must be difficult to feel this way about your mom, and I hope you know that she loves you too. The problem you are facing now is one that many people face at least once in their life. One way to help communicate to your mother that you really love her and are not selfish is to do little things around your house. I know it sounds weird, but things like vacuuming around your house without being asked communicates that you care. Little acts of kindness go a long way; make a cup of tea or a pot of coffee for her when she comes home.

Change is a hard thing to do, especially when it deals with communication. Starting the change with your actions opens the door to better verbal communication. Once that door is open, you can let your mother know you appreciate her with your words and actions. Ask your mom if the two of you can go out for dessert, or coffee, hot chocolate, etc. Ask her questions about her personal life. How did she get started at her job? What did she study in school and why? The more questions you ask, the more information and better understanding you get. Every year I learn more things about my parents that I had no idea they did, or thought. It is a wonderful way to get to know one another better.

I don’t know if you and your mother get into arguments, or verbal battles, but if you do be quick to apologize. I usually wait about ten minutes after an argument and then go apologize. I say something like, “I am sorry about blowing up a little while ago. It’s just that I felt attacked about _______ and I didn’t really mean that.” Remember, it will not be an easy or a quick transition, but if you work at it, and make multiple efforts a week to improve on your relationship it will slowly start to get better.


Tuesday, February 24, 2009


Hi! Simply put, I'm Lorraine, though most people call me Rain or Rainy. At thirteen, I am the youngest of four kids. My parents - who are awesome! - raised me and my siblings as Catholics. I live with my family in a very unremarkable part of the city. My interests include writing, art, 4-H archery, and music (I play the piano and I'm learning the guitar). I'm rather eclectic on what music I listen to; alternative and symphonic metal are my favorite genres, though. Oh, and did I mention that I'm a voracious reader? Well, I am. And I'm proud of it. I enjoy talking about my faith and I sometimes dabble in political debates. I am also pro-life, as is my family. So, there you are; you have the basics of who I am.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Dignity and the Sacrament of Marriage

Q: Can I go to my Aunt’s wedding that will be at the country club with only a Justice of the Peace? She is a confirmed Catholic, but not practicing right now. I don’t think I should go, but I can’t explain why. She is living with her fiancĂ©, should I attend her bridal shower? What is a bridal shower really for anyway?

A: The bridal shower is a time to celebrate the beginning of a new life, usually done showering the bride with gifts in celebration. I would consider discussing some of your concerns and questions with other loved ones and gain their insight; they are more directly involved and know the relationship between you and your aunt better than I do. If you don’t feel comfortable going to celebrate the new beginning your aunt is starting, I suggest not going to the bridal shower.

“This covenant between baptized persons has been raised by Christ the Lord to the dignity of a sacrament.” (CCC, 1601) I think the difficulty you are having is that your aunt does not seem to recognize the dignity of this sacrament. Unfortunately for your aunt, since she is getting married outside of the Church, she is not going to have a sacramental marriage; she will have a legally binding marriage contract. God will still be present in their lives, but when marriage is between baptized persons He is directly connected with both people and their relationship, because He has bound them together. Whether or not you attend your aunt’s wedding should depend on whether or not you can go to the ceremony and show love for your aunt without supporting her actions. It is difficult, but this is a question that only you can answer.


Sunday, February 22, 2009

Suddeningly Darling

This website Suddenly Darling, was created by 16 and 17 year olds Katelyn Rose and Sara. Their website is phenomenal so go check it out.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Friday, February 20, 2009

Perpetual Virginity of Mary

Q: How do we know that Mary never had any kids after Jesus? Doesn’t the Bible talk about Jesus’ brothers?

A: We know that Mary never had any kids after Jesus because she was a virgin her whole life as many documents show, including the Bible. When the Bible talks about Jesus' brothers it is speaking about his brothers in the Holy Spirit, as in the apostles and other disciples. You may have heard the common saying among Christians, “You are my brother (or sister) in Christ.” This is the same thing. We are all members of God's family and are all brothers and sisters whether blood related or not.

Another possibility is that when translated the Aramaic word means cousins. So in the Bible when it mentions Jesus' brothers it could also mean cousins.


"And the Lord said to me: This gate shall be shut, it shall not be opened, and no man shall pass through it: because the Lord the God of Israel hath entered in by it, and it shall be shut."
-- Ezekiel 44:2.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Material Stuff vs. God

Q: My parents and their friends seem to be really into all the stuff they own. I mean, I don’t mind living in a real nice house and driving a cool car, but it just seems like they put too much importance on material stuff. Does God want us to be rich or should we give it all away?

A: Start by concentrating on yourself. How much importance do you place on your material possessions? Are you a good example to others? Even though you’re just a kid, your example can make a big impact.

How much should we give away depends on how much we have. Some people believe that God asks us to give 10% of what we have. This is called tithing. An example in the Bible is in Genesis 14:20b, “And Abram gave him a tenth of everything.” Other examples can be found in Genesis 28:20-23 and 1 Samuel 8:15-17.

The important thing is to figure out if we place our material wealth before God. Do you give with a free heart? Do you give at all? Are you sincere? All of the possessions we have now will be meaningless when we die.

One more word of advice, keep all labels off of your things. They are not of enough importance and only encourage materialism.


Monday, February 16, 2009

Did God Make Me

Q: I’ve been brought up to believe in God. Now that I’m getting older, I’m starting to think more about it. I don’t think we evolved from monkeys, but I also don’t think that God made us. What can I do to sort this all out?

A: First of all, it is natural that as you get older you will start to question the things you believe in. This happens because we (young adults) want to make decisions on our own, and not just believe something because our parents told us to believe it. As you go through this time, keep an open mind and an open heart. Be careful not to begin to question your faith, and then give up on it simply because that’s easier, or that’s what everyone else is doing. At some point, God will reveal Himself to you, so follow what is truly in your heart.


Sunday, February 15, 2009

2009 Steubenville Youth Conference

Most of the No Question Left Behind team members have attended these conferences sponsored by Franciscan University of Steubenville. They're offered all over the country throughout the summer. They're not only a lot of fun, but life changing. For more information visit: Franciscan Youth Outreach. Now is the time to organize your friends and start planning.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Friday, February 13, 2009

Was Pius XII Hitler's Pope

Q: My teacher told me that Pope Pius XII signed a document endorsing Nazi Germany, giving the Church’s stamp of approval to Hitler. Is that true?

A: No, Popes Pius XI and Pius XII always had an anti-Nazi policy, though some people have made outrageous statements that Pope Pius XII had “embraced Nazism,” or at the very least acted like a coward and did nothing to stop the Nazis. This is not true. Before and during the war Pope Pius XII did everything in his power to save as many Jews from the Nazis as possible.

From 1917 to 1929 Pope Pius XII (who was then Cardinal Pacelli) gave at least forty speeches in Germany assaulting Hitler’s doctrines and/or Nazism. During the war Pope Pius XII hid, bedded, clothed, and fed, 4,000 to 7,000 Jews in the Vatican City itself.

Rabbi Lapide recorded: “No less than 3,000 Jews found refuge at one time at the Pope’s summer residence at Castel Gandolfo; sixty lived for nine months at the Jesuit Gregorian University, and half a dozen slept in the cellar of the Pontifical Bible Institute.”

All total the Catholic Church helped save 700,000 to 860,000 people. This is by far more than any other organization. (How Pius XII Protected Jews by Jimmy Akin)

Chief Rabbi of Jerusalem, Isaac Herzog, sent Pope Pius XII a letter of gratitude on February 28, 1944. In it he said: “The people of Israel will never forget what His Holiness and his illustrious delegates, inspired by the eternal principles of religion which form the very foundations of true civilization, are doing for us unfortunate brothers and sisters in the most tragic hour of our history, which is living proof of divine Providence in this world.”

On April 7, 1944, Rabbi Safran of Bucharest, Romania sent a note of thanks to the pope: “It is not easy for us to find the right words to express the warmth and consolation we experienced because of the concern of the supreme pontiff, who offered a large sum to relieve the sufferings of deported Jews . . . The Jews of Romania will never forget these facts of historic importance.”

“What the Vatican did will be indelibly and eternally engraved in our hearts. . . . Priests and even high prelates did things that will forever be an honor to Catholicism,” said Chief Rabbi of Rome, Israel Zolli, who later converted to Catholicism.


Additional Resource: Hitler, the War and the Pope by Ronald J. Rychlak [Our Sunday Visitor]

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Can Jews Go to Heaven

Q: Can Jews go to heaven since they don’t believe in Jesus?

A: Yes, because God honors the purity and love in one’s heart and a Jewish person can have that. They may feel and believe they are living as they should. If one does not believe in Jesus it is probably because he or she has not ever been educated. One cannot be blamed for what they have not been taught.

If you go to the Catechism of the Catholic Church on the Internet and search for “people of God” or “Jews” you will find a lot of information on this topic. For example, “Those who have not yet received the Gospel are related to the People of God in various ways.” Also, “The Jewish faith, unlike other non-Christian religions, is already a response to God’s revelation in the Old Covenant. To the Jews ‘belong the sonship, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the worship, and the promises; to them belong the patriarchs, and of their race, according to the flesh, is the Christ’, ‘for the gifts and the call of God are irrevocable.”’ (CCC, 839)


Monday, February 9, 2009

Rebelling Against Parents

Q: Ever since I hit the age of about 11, I've struggled with rebellious thoughts and actions against my parents. I know it's wrong -- I've found several verses in the Bible on it, but sometimes I just cannot help it. My parents drive me crazy, creating rules that seem to hold me back from what I can be. I wish they would just leave me alone at times and let me just make my own decisions. Not all, but most.

I love my parents, but they're always worrying about my safety. I understand they care about me and want to protect me, but I can't do what I feel God is leading me to do without them interfering. It doesn't make sense! I will do the same things/go the same places when I am 18.

I'm talking about going around the world telling people about Jesus, down to the deep dark places where God is needed the most. I'm restless and want to make a difference, but I can't do that with my parents always concerned of my safety and well-being. How can I become content of where I am now? Should I focus on studying the Bible and strengthening my relationship and walk with Christ? (By the way, I'm a Christian but not Catholic.) However, it's hard for me to be content with just that. Any suggestions?

By the way, I think this is an awesome thing you are doing!!! Thank you so much. What a great idea.

A: This is definitely a good question you’re asking, something that all teenagers face during these years. I do, for one. I’m glad you’ve decided to deal with this matter in a good way!

In the Bible, Luke 2:42-52, it says this about Jesus and his parents, Mary and Joseph: “And when he was twelve years old, they went up according to festival custom. After they had completed its days, as they were returning, the boy Jesus remained behind in Jerusalem, but his parents did not know it. Thinking that he was in the caravan, they journeyed for a day and looked for him among their relatives and acquaintances, but not finding him, they returned to Jerusalem to look for him. After three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions, and all who heard him were astounded at his understanding and his answers. When his parents saw him, they were astonished, and his mother said to him, ‘Son, why have you done this to us? Your father and I have been looking for you with great anxiety.’ And he said to them, ‘Why were you looking for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father's house?’ But they did not understand what he said to them. He went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was obedient to them; and his mother kept all these things in her heart. And Jesus advanced (in) wisdom and age and favor before God and man.”

In these Bible verses, Jesus shows us another way that we can imitate him: by obeying and honoring our parents. The story of Jesus in the Temple is a great example of why it is beneficial to obey the rules of our parents, as long as it is in accordance with the commandments of God.

Notice that in the story Jesus responded to them, “Why were you looking for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?” Jesus, though he was a child of 12, was where he was called to be: in the Temple with his Father, talking with God’s people. But still he respected his parents, came back with them to Nazareth, and was obedient to them. And this is an interesting part: it says what followed, right after he obeyed his parents, “And Jesus advanced (in) wisdom and age and favor before God and man.”

By obeying and respecting our parents like Jesus did, we are not only becoming more like Jesus, but we also gain wisdom and favor before God and man. It is a struggle: Jesus, after all, was sinless; we cannot possibly succeed in obeying our parents perfectly without fail. But it is worth it in the end, to do our best to respect our parents and in return to gain respect from them and from God.

With that said, what you’re feeling now is understandable: you want to do what you feel God is calling you to do. You want to go out on spread the Gospel! That is an amazing vocation, one that could take you many places—I encourage you to keep praying about it. But God also knows that you need to be prepared to fulfill your vocation, and that’s what this time in your life is about. It’s about finding out who you really are, what you need to do to be the person God’s calling you to be. And it’s not all going to happen in a day— remember, Jesus was 30 when he went out to sow his seeds into peoples’ hearts: you definitely have plenty of time.

In the meantime, to get prepared for what you feel God is calling you to do and to be content with where you are, I suggest looking around your church to see if there are any sort of ministries/outreaches you could join: see if you’re cut out for converting people who are in your same area. If you find there are none, why not start one? If you’re not already going to a Bible study, join one: learn what you’re preaching. What about if you helped out a charity or a soup kitchen? That way you show an example of Jesus without saying a word. Get as much into it as you can, so you can grow in experience and mature in your faith.

If you think your parents wouldn’t approve (though I can’t see why not), try to explain rationally to your parents what you want to do, reason with them, hear what they think, and try to look at what they’re saying from their point of view. By that, you show you’re mature enough, to not only think rationally, but to share the faith with others on your own, and hopefully strong enough to endure the sorrows that may come along with it. Maybe they’ll even be less worried about you. And also remember that your parents need your prayers, too.

I hope everything works out for you!

God Bless,

Sunday, February 8, 2009

How to Make the Most of NQLB, Part Six

21. If you'd like to know more about this blog and how it came to be, then read the posts labeled About this Blog. Also read the Foreword to find one of our inspirations. You may even enjoy reading the Appreciation.

22. Come back and visit often. Q&A's are posted every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Saturdays always feature a music video. Sundays will occasionally have a special post.

23. Finally, email us if you have suggestions on how to improve this blog or links we should add.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Friday, February 6, 2009

I Promise Not to Tell

Q. My sister stayed out way past her curfew and made me promise not to tell. Is it lying not to tell my parents?

A: It is not lying, however, it is omission. Try to be honest and upfront, but do not become an enemy to your siblings. Suggest to your sister that she tell your parents herself about her behavior. It is more her place to tell them than it is yours. Explain how she was wrong and why it would be beneficial for her to confess. Admitting to a wrong is the first part to fixing the problem. Be mindful of your sister’s wants, but be realistic at the same time.


Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Smoking Weed to Look Cool

Q: I was just wondering if you ever did stuff to look cool in front of people or to fit in or be accepted? Stuff like drugs, beer, and smoking cigarettes. Also, what are your opinions on trying that stuff? Like if you’re curious about smoking weed, do you think you should try it or just stay away from it?

A: I guess the thing that really turned me off to weed and drinking is when I took a psychology class my first semester of college and found out what they do to you. Weed messes up your brain cells from the first time you try it, and alcohol can do many bad things to you as well, like lower inhibition levels. I never smoked weed or drank and after finding out all of that I never want to!

Another thing to remember is that we are created in God’s image. Our bodies are literally “temples of the Holy Spirit.” Our bodies are good and should be respected. (CCC, 364) We shouldn’t damage them with recreational drugs.

When it comes to pressure from your friends about doing these things, you need to remember that if they are not going to respect you for not doing it, then they are not really your friends. Besides, you can set an awesome example by not doing it.


Monday, February 2, 2009

Anarchy and Government

Q: Is practicing anarchism a bad thing? Do we have to respect the government if we don’t want to?

A: Yes, practicing anarchism is wrong. Remember that God has placed those in authority above us, whether it be parents, elders, or government. This doesn’t mean that you necessarily have to agree with everything those in the government decide, but a certain amount of respect must be given to them.


Sunday, February 1, 2009

How to Make the Most of NQLB, Part Five

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