Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas to All!

I still have some ideas for this blog that don't involve Catholic Lane or Catholic Exchange, I promise! It's just I can't get to them at the time. :) I just wanted to wish everyone a Merry Christmas. I penned the following Reflection on the Christmas Season over at Catholic Lane. I really think it is valuable for those who only attend Church occasionally. Consider giving it to them.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Lenten Project at Catholic Lane

The following is loosely based on what I sent to the writers of the Learn and Live the Faith section on Catholic Lane.  Does this interest you?  Let me know in the comboxes, +Kevin Tierney on Google+ or @CatholicSmark on Twitter.

Does your local parish offer you Lenten reflection manuals?  Roll your eyes when you see one?  Some of them are heterodox.  Some of them are just plain bland.  While some of them are good, a lot of them lack a real understanding how the Scriptures help us live out our Lenten journey. 

I'd like to change this at Catholic Lane.  I'd like to do liturgical reflections for the readings for every day in Lent 2014.  Thanks to the abundance of commentary on the Sunday readings, that's 34 days that need to be filled, and I'd like the writers to help do it.  Since I highly doubt I'm going to get 34 writers, we would do this on a rotating basis.

While our normal word limit is around 1,000 words, I want that to be half this time.  Have the reflections be 400-500 words; short and sweet.  They should be focused explicitly on the readings for the day, and how these readings help us through the season of Lent.  As a result, they should be focused on promoting things like penance, fasting, confession, the freedom these disciplines provide, etc.

I'd like to get this set up and the structure worked out well before Lent starts, so let me know over the next few weeks if you are interested.  (Lent starts March 5, 2014.)

God bless,
Kevin Tierney
Associate Editor, Learn and Live the Faith
Catholic Lane

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Friday, December 6, 2013

Come Join The Bad Apologist and Evangelist Club!

When I agreed to become Editor of the Learn and Live the Faith Portal at Catholic Lane, I knew it was going to involve work.  What I didn't realize is how much fun it would be.  I've got a great boss who has stood by my decisions and allowed me a lot of freedom to run that section of the website, and I think it's paid off.  I've been blessed to have some great talent to work with, and traffic has responded accordingly.  Every now and then I write something that generates buzz as well.  We are having a lot of fun doing things differently at Catholic Lane, and it is paying off.

I look forward to continuing that tradition in 2014.  With that in mind, Catholic Lane is going to be doing a new series in 2014, something I like to call The Bad Apologist and Evangelist Club.  (That's a working title of course, if anyone has a better idea let me know!)  One of the things our Holy Father Pope Francis has put a premium on is evangelizing.  He wants Catholics to get out there in the world and start aggressively spreading the Gospel.  This is a good thing, and I hope a lot of Catholics (readers included!) respond to the Holy Father's call.  One thing we should keep in mind though:  a lot of people are going to make a lot of rookie mistakes in evangelizing, and these can be costly.

Nobody knows this better than those of us who have been doing apologetics and evangelization for awhile.  I'm on year 14 as a Catholic, and most of them have been spent being bold with my various apostolates.  In those fourteen years I've helped reach a lot of people with the Catholic Faith.  I've also alienated quite a few as well.  My professionalism and charity have earned me a lot of brownie points with those I'm trying to reach, just so I could have the opportunity to blow it all away with arrogance, condescension and bad arguments.  My story is far from unique, everyone knows this story if you have ever tried to share the love of Christ with someone.  Looking back, I realize how so many of those mistakes could have been easily avoided.

That is the purpose of The Bad Apologist and Evangelist Club.  I'll be putting together several writers (myself included) to give you the rookie mistakes we have seen and (most likely!) made ourselves when it comes to apologetics and evangelization.  We are going to talk about what makes those rookie mistakes so appealing, why they are ultimately wrong, and a better way to handle the situation.  Most importantly, I want this series to serve as an examination of conscience for all those doing the vital work of apologetics and evangelization.  We need to look over every word we have shared to see if it really is effective, or if it is something we really need to stop doing.  There could be a very real chance that our proposed solutions lead to more mistakes.  At that point, hopefully a constructive dialogue occurs and everyone looks to make everyone else better.

We have five ideas so far, and plenty more will be coming.  This will be a monthly series at Catholic Lane starting in January.  If you are interested in working on this topic, feel free to get in touch with me here at the comboxes, email, or @CatholicSmark on Twitter.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Theology of the Interior: Latest at Catholic Exchange

Why is the interior life such an important thing for Catholics? Why is slander considered a "work of the flesh" in the same category with things like lust? I explore this in my latest at Catholic Exchange.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

There is no "Francis Effect": Why That's Not a Bad Thing

When I’m not writing on traditionalism or John Paul II’s Catechesis on Human Love (and how they are related!), I am a baseball fanatic and a political junkie.  One thing that unites the two:  I favor the far more “data-driven” approach.  I’m not a statistician, but I love the way conventional norms have been challenged in the field taking a different approach in mind.   One of the recent political books starts off with listing 62 “game changers” according to the media that would impact polling in the election.  As it turned out, none of them changed the trajectory of polling at all.    

The first rule of this discipline is that most “experts” are a bunch of overpaid hacks that are there to tell you a story, not tell you the truth.   I think we Catholics could take to heart our more secular brethren when it comes to looking at how Catholics report news about the Church.  We should keep this in mind when examining “The Francis Effect.”