Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Where's Spot - Eric Hill

Where's Spot
Eric Hill
Puffin Books
Penguin Random House Canada
ISBN 9780140504200

My youngest and I read this and a number of other books together the other day. She loved this story and the other Spot books that we have read. There are a number of books in the series and a number of versions of each book. There are editions of this book with as few as 12 pages for the board book version and as many as 32 for the picture book version.

My daughter 6 loved this story and my son 9 was willing to read it with us and then read it to his sister after we had read it through once. Both children enjoyed the story though the younger one loved it. There is a great deal of repetition which is the purpose of this type of book to help early readers with learning. My daughter really enjoyed the flaps and helping Sally search for spot throughout the book.

A good read for young children and a book parents can handle reading again and again. And since it is the first in a series I am sure we will be tracking down the read to read together.

Books by Eric Hill:

Spot Goes to School
Spot Goes on Holiday
Spot Visits his Grandparents

Tuesday, 25 April 2017

20 Answers Faith & Science - Trent Horn- 20 Answers Series from Catholic Answers

20 Answers - Faith & Science 
20 Answers Series from Catholic Answers 
Trent Horn
Catholic Answers Press
ISBN 9781938983870
eISBN 9781938983894

Some good news first, this series has just been expanded from 20 to 23 books and I believe more will release in the fall expanding it even further. Of the 23 books now available Trent Horn has written 10. His books are always great reads. And I can say the same for this one.

This past Lent I did the 20 Answers Challenge, read all 20 books in the Catholic Answers series (that were available at the time).  Currently you can get the first 20 books for 50% off, an amazing deal, so get them with this deal while you can! They are really great reads. I have rated 18 of the 20 with 5 out of 5 stars, and the other two got 4 stars. I hold a BA in Religious Studies with a focus on Roman Catholic Thought, and I love the clarity of through and the format of this series. My son age 9, recently came home from school saying kids were bugging him because he wants to be a scientist priest when he grows up. This book is a little beyond him but I cannot wait until he is a little older to share it with him. The 20 questions that Trent answers in this volume are:

1. Didn't the Catholic Church condemn science and as a result send us into the medieval "Dark Ages"?
2. Did the Catholic Church teach that the Earth was flat?
3. Did the Catholic Church condemn human dissection and so stifle understanding of the human body?
4. If the Church was so hospitable to science, then why did it kill the ingenious scientist Giordano Bruno?
5. Why did the Church torture and imprison Galileo for his belief that the Earth revolved around the sun?
6. Doesn't the concept of faith, or believing without evidence, contradict the concept of reason, which means to follow the evidence where it leads?
7. Why can't I just have faith in science as the way to understand the world?
8. Isn't all of the evidence for God just "God of the gaps" reasoning? Won't science eventually explain everything that religion cannot?
9. Hold on a minute. Hasn't science shown that something can indeed come from nothing and that moral behavior exists among chimpanzees and could have come from evolution?
10. How can you trust the Bible when the book of Genesis contradicts the theory of evolution by saying the world was created in six twenty-four-hour days 6,000 years ago?
11. How do Catholics view intelligent design?
12. How can you say God created the universe when science has proven that humans are just an insignificant speck within it?
13. Hasn't science proven there is no such thing as a soul?
14. Why is the Church opposed to stem cell research that could provide medical breakthroughs for millions of people?
15. Why doesn't the Church accept the American Psychological Association's conclusion that homosexuality is not disordered?
16. Why does the Church oppose fertility treatments that can help infertile couples have a baby?
17. Why doesn't the Church support the use of contraceptives that have been scientifically proven to reduce rates of unintended pregnancies as well as sexually transmitted diseases?
18. Does the Church believe that some vaccines are bad because they come from "aborted babies"?
19. How do you explain the fact that the majority of scientists are atheists?
20. What have religious people ever done for science?

The introduction of this booklet states:

"Didn't the Catholic Church ban science in the Middle Ages in order to protect the Faith? Wasn't Galileo tortured for proving the Church was wrong about the sun orbiting the Earth? Didn't Columbus bravely defy a Church that believed he would sail off the edge of a flat planet?
These and many other myths about the relationship between the Catholic Church and science are just that: myths. In fact, you can find the origins for many of them in two books written more than a hundred years ago: Andrew Dickson White's A History of the Warfare of Science with Theology in Christendom (1896) and John Draper's History of the Conflict between Religion and Science (1874). 
Today, historians have largely abandoned the conclusions reached by Draper and White, who promoted what is now called "the conflict thesis," the belief that science and religion are at odds. In the book Science and Religion: A Historical Introduction, science historian Colin Russell writes, "The conflict thesis, at least in its simple form, is now widely perceived as a wholly inadequate intellectual framework within which to construct a sensible and realistic historiography of Western science. . . . At different phases of their history, science and religion were not so much at war as largely independent, mutually encouraging, or even symbiotic."

Unfortunately, as Mark Twain said, "A lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is still putting on its shoes." The purpose of this booklet is to help the truth catch up to the lies about the Catholic Church and to show that there is no contradiction in worshipping the God who created the universe and in using science to explore and understand that creation."

And this book then goes on to counter many of those lies and misconceptions about the church and its stance on science over the years. He debunks a lot of myths, and provides a reality check from historical sources. Of particular interest were the chapters on Intelligent Design and the section on Stem Cell research. 

No to be honest not all of the answers in this book are easy to take, especially in a western culture that has drifted so far from its roots. But the book does give clear concise answers that are in alignment with church teaching. This book was a bit more of a surprise than some of the other books. But in many ways that made it even a more important read for me.

This is a wonderful book in an amazing series! Another great read from Catholic Answers and Trent Horn.

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2017 Catholic Reading Plan!

Note 2: Currently this is an amazing series of books is being offered at a 50% discount so get it while you can. That is right you can get all 20 physical books or all 20 eBooks for just $34.95! If you want a way to go deeper this year give this series a try! #20AnswersChallenge

20 Answers Series:
20 Answers Abortion - Trent Horn
20 Answers Angels & Demons - Fr. Mike Driscoll
20 Answers Atheism - Matt Fradd
20 Answers Death & Judgement - Trent Horn
20 Answers Divorce & Remarriage - Jim Blackburn
20 Answers End of Life - Jason Negri
20 Answers Faith & Science - Trent Horn
20 Answers God - Trent Horn
20 Answers Islam - Andrew Blezad
20 Answers Jehovah's Witnesses - Trent Horn
20 Answers Mary - Tim Staples
20 Answers Miracles - Karlo Broussard
20 Answers Mormonism - Trent Horn
20 Answers Salvation - Jimmy Akin
20 Answers Scripture and Tradition - Jim Blackburn
20 Answers The Bible - Trent Horn
20 Answers The Eucharist - Trent Horn
20 Answers The Papacy - Jim Blackburn
20 Answers The Real Jesus - Trent Horn

20 Answers The Church - Trent Horn
20 Answers Witchcraft & the Occult - Michelle Arnold
20 Answers Apparitions & Revelations - Michael O'Neill
20 Answers The Sacraments - Fr. Mike Driscoll

Other Books from Catholic Answers:
Hard Sayings: A Catholic Approach to Answering Bible Difficulties - Trent Horn
A Daily Defense: Apologetics Lessons for Every Day - Jimmy Akin
The Apostasy That Wasn't: The Extraordinary Story of the Unbreakable Early Church - Rod Bennett
Answering Atheism - How to Make the Case for God with Logic and Charity - Trent Horn
Persuasive Pro Life: How to Talk About Our Culture's Toughest Issue - Trent Horn and Fr Frank Pavone
The Protestant's Dilemma: How the Reformation's Shocking Consequences Point to the Truth of Catholicism - Devin Rose
Behold Your Mother: A Biblical and Historical Defense of the Marian Doctrines - Tim Staples
Handed Down: The Catholic Faith of the Early Christians - James L. Papandrea
Demons, Deliverance, Discernment: Separating Fact from Fiction about the Spirit World - Fr. Mike Driscoll
Navigating the Tiber: How to Help Your Friends and Family Journey Toward the Catholic Faith - Devin Rose
100 Biblical Arguments Against Sola Scriptura - Dave Armstrong
The Drama of Salvation: How God Rescues You from Your Sins and Brings You to Eternal Life - Jimmy Akin
The Truth is Out There (Brendan and Erc in Exile Book 1 - Brother Amadeus and Amadeus
Memorize the Reasons! Defending the Faith with the Catholic Art of Memory - Kevin Vost
Marching Orders: A Tactical Plan for Converting the World to Christ - Dan McGuire

Monday, 24 April 2017

The Shop of Ghosts - G.K. Chesterton

The Shop of Ghosts
G.K. Chesterton

Audio Version

This short story first appeared in the London Daily News, and later in 1909 in the collection Tremendous Trifles. It is interesting the first time I read this story I was a little bewildered. Maybe I did not give it enough attention, maybe I was distracted but I found it lacking, and yet something about the story pulled at me. I came back and read it a few more times, and with each reading I liked it more.  I have found a number of sites that have various text versions of the story, with or without commentary. There is also a wonderful audio version available here. And to be honest I like listening to the story almost more than reading it.

It was interesting seeing Father Christmas meet Charles Dicken, Sir Richard Steele in a shop on the side of the street that spans space and time. 

This little story is worth a read and a listen. And I have found that the more times I read the more I appreciate it. But from the title and the recommendation I received it was not at all what I expected!

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2017 Catholic Reading Plan!

Books in the Classic Wisdom Collection:
Be Not Afraid: Wisdom from John Paul II
Christ in Our Midst: Wisdom from Caryll Houselander
Comfort in Hardship: Wisdom from Thérèse of Lisieux
Courage in Chaos: Wisdom from Francis de Sales
Inner Peace: Wisdom from Jean-Pierre de Caussade
Intimacy in Prayer: Wisdom from Bernard of Clairvaux
Life's Purpose: Wisdom from John Henry Newman
Path of Holiness: Wisdom from Catherine of Siena
Peace in Prayer: Wisdom from Teresa of Avila
Secret to Happiness: Wisdom from John XXIII
Secrets of the Spirit: Wisdom from Luis Martinez
A Simple Life: Wisdom from Jane Frances de Chantal
Solace in Suffering: Wisdom from Thomas à Kempis
Strength in Darkness: Wisdom from John of the Cross

The Shop of Ghosts - A Short Story

Sunday, 23 April 2017

Second Sunday Of Easter Reflection - Amy Welborn from Daybreaks: Daily Reflections for Lent and Easter

Daybreaks: Daily Reflections for Lent and Easter 
ISBN 9780764826870

Note: I posted the first devotion from this book with permisssion, on Ash Wednesday. And this is the last devotion in the book. I plan on writing a full review but loved this reflection and wanted to share it. I highly recommend this book pick it up and read it next year through lent.

Second Sunday Of Easter 

Today has five names. It is the Octave of Easter, the Second Sunday of Easter, and Divine Mercy Sunday. Before the reforms of the Second Vatican Council, it was known as Low Sunday to indicate that it was the end of the eight days and that Easter had been duly celebrated and now it was time to bring the celebrating down a few degrees. Before Vatican II, it was also known as Sunday in White to indicate that this was the last day those who had been baptized during the Easter Vigil wore their white baptismal garment. 

So no matter what title you prefer to give this day, it might be good to blow a trumpet or to think about a trumpet on this eighth day of the Easter season. In the world of the Bible, a trumpet sounded the religious assembly, particularly that one at the end of time. It is designed to call the faithful to the final gathering and to awaken the dead to the resurrection promised by the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

A trumpet can be found in the Book of Revelation "on the Lord's day" (1: 10). John of Patmos hears "a voice as loud as a trumpet" (1: 10) telling him to write a message to seven churches; the letters inform the members of the church about their faithfulness to the message of Jesus. In most of biblical literature, a trumpet is a sign that God is speaking; however, in this case, it is the risen Son of Man who is telling John what to write. John, of course, hearing the trumpetlike voice, is scared. "Do not be afraid," Jesus tells him. "I am the first and the last, the one who lives. Once I was dead, but now I am alive forever and ever" (1: 17- 18). Then the Son of Man begins to dictate his letters to his secretary, John.

The trumpet summons us on this Lord's day to join others around the world in continuing to celebrate the Easter season, which lasts for six more weeks and ends with Pentecost Sunday. Unlike Thomas, who needs to see the risen Christ in order to believe that God has, indeed, raised him from the dead, we hear the trumpet summoning us to receive the Holy Spirit, who sends us on our mission with this good news. Hopefully, we are counted among those whom Jesus declared to be blessed, "those who have not seen and have believed" (John 20: 29). Thus, every day we profess our faith in the resurrection is a little Easter. Listen for the sound of the trumpet!

"I was caught up in spirit on the Lord's day and heard behind me a voice as loud as a trumpet." Revelation 1:10

Books by Amy Welborn:
Reconciled to God Daily Lenten Devotions
Wish You Were Here: Travels Through Loss and Hope
A Catholic Woman's Book of Days
de-Coding Da Vinci: The Facts Behind the Fiction of the Da Vinci Code
Loyola Kids Book of Saints
Loyola Kids Book of Heroes: Stories of Catholic Heroes and Saints throughout History
Prove It! God
Prove It! Church
Prove It! Jesus
Prove It! The Catholic Teen Bible
Here. Now. a Catholic Guide to the Good Life
The Words We Pray
Praying the Rosary: With the Joyful, Luminous, Sorrowful, and Glorious Mysteries
Decoding Mary Magdalene: Truth, Legend, and Lies
Come Meet Jesus: An Invitation from Pope Benedict XVI
Be Saints! An Invitation from Pope Benedict XVI
Mary and the Christian Life: Scriptural Reflections on the First Disciple
Adventures in Assisi: On the Path with St. Francis: On the Path with St. Francis
Prepare Him Room: Advent Family Devotions
Daybreaks: Daily Reflections for Lent and Easter 
Parables: Stories of the Kingdom

Prove It Series:
Prove It! God
Prove It! Church
Prove It! Jesus
Prove It! Prayer
Prove It! You
Prove It! The Catholic Teen Bible

Saturday, 22 April 2017

Divine Mercy Sunday 2017

Divine Mercy Sunday 2017

Tomorrow is divine mercy sunday, April 23rd 2017. This painting is at my parish, Saint Agnes, Waterloo. Of all the versions of this painting I have seen I love this one most. I have been told it was painted years ago by a friend of a former pastor. There is to the best of my knowledge no profession photo of it. I keep taking pictures hoping to get one that I can have prints done up from for my kids room. This is the best so far, still not completely satisfied with my efforts. Part of the problem is the size of the painting adn the lighting. But I love this painting and wanted to share it on this the eve of Divine Mercy Sunday. 

And a second Photo for scale of the original.  

Photo's taken at Saint Agnes, Waterloo Ontario.