Why Catholics Bless Things? (From the Question Box…)

Q: “Why Catholics Bless things?”
A:

(Max)

To ask your own question, head on over to our Question Box page!

Is it Okay to Question My Faith? (From the Question Box…)

Q: “Is it okay to question my faith?”
A:

(Max)

To ask your own question, head on over to our Question Box page!

When will the Catholic Church Accept Gay Marriage? (From the Question Box…)

Q: “When will the Catholic Church accept gay marriage?”
A:

(Chris)

To ask your own question, head on over to our Question Box page!

Now What?: Advice for After a Youth Conference

This post by Alison Blanchet is reprinted from LifeTeen.com

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You’ve just spent a weekend at a conference. You’ve sang silly songs, listened to talks, eaten sweet tarts for breakfast, and gotten less sleep than you ever thought you could function on. Dragging your duffel bag into your bedroom, your mom follows you, asking “do you have any dirty laundry? Did you have fun?” you look at her, your bed, and your laptop. They all want your attention, but mumbling to your mom, you crash into bed and sleep for 14 hours.

When you wake up, you look at your floor, strewn with t-shirts, phone numbers of friends, and your journal. You remember the moments that challenged you, the resolutions you made to make changes in your life: to delete the songs on your computer, to change who you hang out with, and to basically be the Mother Theresa of the tenth grade.

After an encounter with God at a camp or conference, it can be a challenge to transition back to the ‘real world.’ It’s tough with a great youth group, supportive friends, and Core Members and parents who totally get it; it’s even harder when you feel that your friends and family don’t understand what you just experienced. While no transition back home is seamless, consider the following while you’re washing your new t-shirts and uploading your photos.

Take care of yourself.

After Christ healed Jairus’s daughter, his instructions to her weren’t, ‘now go tell everyone in your homeroom that I’m awesome.’ The Gospel of Luke tells us that Christ ‘took her by the hand and called to her, ‘Child, arise!’ Her breath returned and she immediately arose. He then directed that she should be given something to eat’ (Luke 8:55-56). Christ heals a girl and the first thing he says is to eat something! The Lord knows our human limits. He became man as well. Often, when we’re away we lose sleep, don’t drink enough water, and let’s not even mention the absence of fruits and veggies. After saying ‘hey’ to the rents and offering a prayer of thanksgiving, follow the lead of Christ: eat something, drink some water, and get some sleep.

Tell your parents what your week was like.

Maybe your parents love being Catholic and are excited for you. Maybe they don’t get it, or didn’t even want you to go. Don’t mistake their lack of understanding for disinterest. Be patient with them, tell them about what you and your friends did and answer their questions. Tell them about how your relationship with God has changed. God uses you to be present to the world, and your family is no exception to that.

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Catholics Care About Gays?: The Myth Debunked

This post by Christina Mead is reprinted from LifeTeen.com

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Did you know that the Catholic Church actually cares about those with same-sex attraction? I even feel confident saying that we love them a lot. I sincerely hope that no one has ever made you think otherwise because they were sorely misled and misinformed . . . and probably unhappy too because of this faulty way of thinking.

However, I’ve heard so many people attack what they think the Catholic Church is saying about homosexuality and gay marriage that I want to clear things up a bit.

Here’s what I (based on what the Catholic Church teaches) would say to these common questions (and accusations). Now I know that not everyone is going to agree, but I hope everyone can understand that the Church is always looking out for our souls and trying to help us get to heaven and become saints.

These teachings are hard to accept, but they come from love.

When is the Church going to come around and accept gay marriage?

Well . . . never. You see, the Church’s teachings and beliefs can’t ‘evolve’ like some other people’s can. God created the Sacrament of Marriage the way it is (between one man and one woman) for a reason and it’s not up to us to change what God has established, and which we know through Scripture and the Traditions of the Church.

Because men and women were created different and unique, they each bring something totally different and unique to a marriage. These differences are complementary and help to make a marriage healthy and holy — both for the couple and for the children.

Speaking of children, they’re a pretty big part of what marriage is all about. When a couple has sex inside of the Sacrament of Marriage, God made it to be for two purposes: babies and bonding — or in more official terms, procreation and unity. (That’s what naturally happens when a couple has sex, right?)

When one of those two components is taken away it degrades the nature of sex. A degradation of the nature of sex, something we do with our bodies, also degrades us as people. We are made of a body and soul and you cannot separate the two; what you do with your body matters to your soul.

If you willfully and purposefully take away the bonding nature of sex through an act of rape or sexual abuse — that violates the nature of sex, and violates the person.

If you willfully and purposefully take out the procreative aspect of sex by homosexual acts or contraception, it also violates the nature of sex and therefore violates the person. It goes against what God made sex for and what God made us for.

So you’re saying gay people can’t love each other?

No, that’s not what I’m saying. The Church says they can’t love each other as a man and woman united in Marriage can love each other. That does not mean they can’t have a deep friendship-type love.

True love means to will the good of the beloved.

What is the good of the beloved? It is to always act with our ultimate end in mind — eternal happiness in heaven. We have to look out for each other’s souls since we are all brothers and sisters.

Both heterosexual and homosexual people are called to live a life of virtue, a life of chastity, because we’re all called to be saints. Contrary to what many believe, the highest expression of love for someone is not to have sex with them (CCC 2359).

In a document from the Catholic Bishops about homosexuality, they say:

‘It would not be wise for persons with a homosexual inclination to seek friendship exclusively among persons with the same inclination. They should seek to form stable friendships among both homosexuals and heterosexuals . . . A homosexual person can have an abiding relationship with another homosexual without genital sexual expression. Indeed the deeper need of any human is for friendship rather than genital expression.’

You see, sex is supposed to mirror Christ’s love for us and be free, faithful, fruitful, and total — this is only possible in the Sacrament of Marriage. When the procreative side of sex is removed — like it is in homosexual sex — it has become reduced to pleasure and the couple is only using each other.

Is love merely use? No!

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