New Christmas Music: Born to Die

One of my favorite contemporary christian artists, Bebo Norman, released a holiday album this year.  Praise be to the Lord, Jesus Christ.

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Theological Thursdays: Light of the Universe

My grandmother sent me an excellent Christmas article from The Patriot Post.  It not only is theologically sound, but masterfully links the beliefs of our Founding Fathers concerning religion and liberty, and the latest scientific (astronomical) findings displaying the glory of the Lord.  Highly recommended.

I Save Babies!

Today while giving blood, the technician informed me my blood was “CMV-free”.  I inquired as to what this meant, and why they were so excited about it.  CMV, otherwise known as Cytomegalovirus, is present in 80-85% of the population over the age of 35.   It is similar to mono, in that it’s transmitted through bodily fluids (spit, etc.).  Blood with CMV cannot be used safely for newborns and those born prematurely.   This means my blood is considerably rare (I’m also O positive), and gets tagged for use with babies.  If my chastity has saved the life of one baby, it’s been worth it.

During this time of giving, I’d like to urge you to consider becoming a blood donor.  According to the Red Cross, only 5% of eligible donors actually drop a pint.  I know from having been the coordinator of blood drives in college and at my first high school that many don’t give for fear of needles.  Man up!  Do you really think a fear of needles is justification enough to let someone die?

Other statistics of concern:

  1. The average age of blood donors is increasing, and as the elderly die or are prevented from continuing their gift, the deficit of younger donors has increasingly grave effects.  Some sources claim less than 7% of blood donors are under 35 years of age (one reason CMV blood is so rare).
  2. Positive health benefits have been associated with blood donation.  Donation reduces iron content in the body, and has been linked with a reduction in heart disease among male donors and postmenopausal women (remember that heart disease is the number one cause of death in males) .  Additionally, every donation is like a mini-physical, checking you for a broad range of medical risks.
  3. Five million people in the US require blood transfusions annually, and that number is growing by nearly 9% a year.  The demand already exceeds the supply.
  4. One in four of us will require a blood transfusion within our lifetime, whether due to accident, surgery, or cancer treatment.
  5. One pint of blood can be used to save up to three lives!
  6. You can get free t-shirts and food.  I’ve got two drawers full of blood-drive shirts.

These are just some of the many reasons to give blood.  Finding out you’ve been saving babies can really make your day!

Miraculous Monday: Healing the Paralytic

In the Catholic cycle of readings, today’s Gospel (Luke 5: 17-26) recounted the story known as “The Healing of the Paralytic”.  It’s a misleading and inappropriate name.  Why?  Because it takes the focus from the primary miracle (forgiveness of sins) and puts it on the less extraordinary.

Before the paralytic was told to “Rise, pick up your mat, and walk,” Christ saw the faith of his friends, and this led him to say, “As for you, your sins are forgiven.”

It’s no coincidence.  The Lord puts first things first.  Yet confession is so available to us today, we’ve lost sight of its truly miraculous nature.  It is a gift more magnificent than the ability to walk!

The first time I read the passage, I thought Christ was forgiving the paralytic’s sins, and not those of the friends.  What an interesting thing to consider, though–that Christ would forgive the sins of one because of the faith his friends have in God.  I think there is a lesson in that slight misinterpretation.

Have you prayed for your friends and family lately?  So many of us have loved ones that find it hard to believe in God, or have turned away from the faith because of hardship or pain they cannot see beyond.  Could it be that because of your prayers, the Lord might forgive them their sins and heal their soul?

Isn’t that a chance worth taking, and a cause worthy of prayer?