Catholic blog post title page

The Philosopher’s Underground: A 4-Part Series

Discover Your Story with FRP’s latest series: The Philosopher’s Underground!

While philosophy may seem ethereal and unnecessary, it really is the opposite. Philosophy is the pursuit of wisdom, of understanding. It seeks truth and meaning.  What’s more interesting than that?

Consider philosophy the foundation on which our understanding of our present world was built (think: underground!). The Philosopher’s Underground series will provide practical ways to understand and apply key philosophical principles…because we can’t understand our faith, our world, or even who we are meant to be without them!

The Philosopher’s Underground aims to engage young adults (20’s and 30’s) asking the deeper questions about life and it’s meaning. Our hope is that the content in this series will empower everyone who attends to live a more intentional life. How will you live the story you were made for?

The first session starts THIS Wednesday, November 14. It will be in conjunction with Louisville Young Catholic’s monthly Pub Night from 7:00-8:30pm at Saints Bar in St. Matthews.

All other sessions will be at the Patterson Education Center/Museum across from the Cathedral of the Assumption in downtown Louisville (also from 7:00-8:30pm). Mark the rest of the dates on your calendar HERE!

Check out our event page on Facebook for more information and updates as this series kicks off!

Interested in attending, but still have a few questions? Shoot us a message: info@familyrenewalproject.com.
We hope to see you there! 
Catholic blog post title page

[Repost] The Heart of the Gospel: A Divine Marriage Proposal

Blog (re)posted with permission by author Claire Hendee, originally published 10/25/16 on tobinstitute.org.

The Heart of the Gospel: A Divine Marriage Proposal

At the beginning of July, having just finished five weeks of evangelization training as a FOCUS missionary, I was given the opportunity to take the “Head and Heart Immersion” Theology of the Body course in Ave Maria, Florida. My previous experience with TOB had been minimal — a few classes in high school — but I believed that a better understanding of TOB would help with leading Bible studies and mentoring women on campus, not to mention it would more thoroughly prepare me for my vocation. What I did not expect was the impact it would have on one of our most basic evangelization strategies: sharing the gospel.

As a missionary, I am asked to share the gospel all the time. Whether it’s with a diagram, a little book, my testimony or a passage from Scripture, there are countless ways to unfold the good news of the Incarnation and to give another person the opportunity to accept and choose the love of Jesus Christ, maybe for the first time.

The gospel itself has five basic points:

  1. We were created for relationship with and adoption by God the Father;
  2. We fell in sin and broke this relationship;
  3. God sent His Son Jesus to die for our sins and restore this relationship;
  4. We now have the choice to, through the Holy Spirit, accept this free gift or reject it;
  5. And we do so through active participation in the sacramental life of the Church.

Often when this message is shared, the emphasis can unfortunately rest on our sinfulness: We did not deserve Jesus’s death for us, but He chose to do it anyways. And in my experience, the well-intentioned proclamation of this good news ends up inducing feelings of guilt and shame more than anything else: “Do you not realize what Jesus did for you? How could you say no to that?!

But that’s not the heart of the gospel.

As I encountered the Theology of the Body, the gospel was revealed in a whole new light. I began to understand that, in the beginning, the Trinity — an eternal exchange of love — made man to share in that love. Earthly marriage, the love of a father and mother spilling into the new life of a child, is meant to reflect the love of the Trinity and constantly point us back to the Love for which we were created. Celibacy reminds us that, ultimately, sex is not the end but a foreshadowing of the union we are to have with Christ for eternity.

Our purpose and destiny: eternal union with Christ in Heaven.

Jesus doesn’t want to guilt us into choosing Him. He doesn’t want to merely “be in relationship” with us — he wants to marry us (in a supernatural kind of way). He wants to have a union with us even deeper than that of husband and wife…and He gives us a taste of this in the Eucharist as He, the Bridegroom, lays down His life for the Bride, the Church, on what St. Augustine calls the “marriage bed of the Cross” (Sermon Suppositus, 120:3).

WHAT? Could it be more beautiful than that?

But what struck me most is that it’s not about our sinfulness. Jesus did not become man just to conquer sin: No, there was a reason He needed to conquer sin. Sin was the very thing that was keeping this eternal marriage from being realized. So desperately did Jesus want to marry us and spend eternity with us that He was willing to do ANYTHING — whatever it took, even laying down His life — to redeem our brokenness and turn it into an opportunity for life.

For me, sharing the gospel with a woman in my Bible study or a student I meet on campus will never be the same. The heart of the gospel is that our God wants to marry us, and He was and is willing to do whatever it takes to give us the chance to accept this proposal. Though human marriage is only an icon of this eternal marriage for which we are destined, we can begin to grasp the great significance and beauty of eternal marriage through the lens of earthly marriage. At the end of the day, it’s not about our sin; it’s about the eternal marriage we were made for in the beginning.

Of course we need to take sin seriously and be aware of the impact of our choices on our souls. But we need not let shame be the driving force in our spiritual lives. If we understand that sin is what is getting in the way of this eternal marriage, we can more readily reject the false proposals from the prince of darkness and accept the loving marriage proposal of the eternal Bridegroom. And not only that, but we’ll be better equipped to share the truth of God’s beautiful love for us with others and give them the opportunity to choose it, too.

Now, when I share the gospel on campus, I realize that I’m inviting people into the marriage they were made for — the marriage for which their hearts are so desperately longing and aching. Sharing this truth with others isn’t just for FOCUS missionaries. It’s for all of us.

About the Author: A native of Knoxville, TN, Claire is a theology teacher at Bethlehem High School in Bardstown and a former missionary with FOCUS (Fellowship of Catholic University Students). She currently lives in Elizabethtown, KY and is awaiting marriage in December to her fiancé, Andrew Collins. Claire loves coffee shops, good music, and Heart of the World by Hans Urs Von Balthasar.   

Catholic blog post title page

Wine & Wonder

We recently ended the very first session of our Women’s Book Group, Wine & Wonder.

Catholic Women's Book Club Louisville KY

Led by Aileen Delgado, the ladies met every other Tuesday night to discuss “The Authority of Women in the Catholic Church,” by Monica Miller. We were thrilled with the attendance and discussion! 

If you haven’t read the book, expect (1) to explore how women “exemplify the reality of the Church in relation to Christ and the ministerial priesthood*” and (2) a theological response to modern feminism and claims of gender irrelevance.

Of course, we recommend this book to every lady, starting as early as senior year of high school or freshman year of college. “I feel that it would be good for young women to learn about their feminine authority in the Catholic church early, but I also feel for women who are older it is never too late for them to learn and share that knowledge with others,” Aileen says.

“This book presents amazing view points that if we take the time to ponder on them, we could grow a little deeper in our faith.” Our prayer is that FRP can provide a space–through all of our programming– for men and women to grow deeper in their faith. All books chosen for our discussion groups will reflect this mission!

Wine & Wonder is a great way to get connected with women in your faith community. Regardless of which Parish you attend, we hope you’ll join us for our next session in the fall.

And even if reading isn’t your thing, stay up to date with all our events by subscribing to our email list (here)or by following us on Facebook and Instagram.

Have a suggestion for our next book? Let us know! We’ll bring the wine!

– Haley

 

*Source

Catholic blog post title page

An Apostolate for the Church and the Culture

I am pleased to offer a few thoughts on the importance of Family Renewal Project as an apostolate for the Church and for the culture that we find ourselves surrounded by if not battling against its errors born of secularism and individualism. I have been blessed to be a part of Family Renewal Project since its beginning and serve as its chaplain. It is to be noted that I am composing my thoughts on the 50th anniversary of one of the most profound if not prophetic teachings to be penned by a Pope in the 20th Century. While his predications may have been prophetic, Blessed Paul VI taught an eternal truth about what the Church knows and believes to be revealed by God. Cardinal DiNardo, President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops released the following statement this morning, “Fifty years ago, today, Blessed Paul VI issued the Encyclical Humanae Vitae. In it, he reaffirmed the beautiful truth that a husband and wife are called to give themselves completely to each other. Marriage reflects the love of God, which is faithful, generous, and life-giving. Through their vocation, spouses cooperate with God by being open to new human life.” The Cardinal’s words could have easily been lifted from the foundational beliefs forming the mission of Family Renewal Project. [Cardinal DiNardo’s entire statement is linked HERE.]

To understand the significance of any apostolate in the Church today including Family Renewal Project, it is helpful to define the mission of an apostolate. The name itself is revealing as its root is “apostle.” The work of an apostle – not only of the first followers of Christ but of all the faithful who carry on the original mission entrusted by Jesus Christ to the Twelve – to “make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28:19). The apostolate belongs essentially to the order of grace. Its purpose is not temporal welfare, however noble, but to bring people to the knowledge and love of Christ and, through obedience to His teaching, help them attain life everlasting. To this end, the mission of Family Renewal Project is to rely on the order of grace that gives us access to God’s power through the work of the Holy Spirit. If it is truly of God and relies on His help along with the powerful intercessors in Heaven such as Saint John Paul II, many disciples will be made and will live the truth in freedom by the success of this apostolate.

In his “theology of the body,” based on discourses at his weekly general audiences during the first five years of his papacy, Saint John Paul II examined the first three books of Genesis to recommunicate a fundamental truth the Church has defended across the centuries — the inalienable dignity of the human person, the imago Dei [image of God], who is called to communion through his physical body. He takes us back to Genesis, encouraging us to see creation through the lens of God the Father and His eyes gazing upon the beauty of His image made visible in man and woman. Family renewal as an apostolate is a response to an “upside-down world” looking at the human person through the lens of selfishness that condemns sacrifice and belittles chastity, which leads to empty and vacant souls with no longing for eternal life. The doubts and emptiness are intimately and intrinsically connected to the culture’s view of sex, marriage, and procreation. The evidence of this truth is impossible to ignore: the rapid decline in marriage and fertility rates, matched by the promotion of same-sex “marriage” and the more recent campaign to separate gender identity from biological sex. Buffeted by these powerful secular currents, based on a relativized and individualistic conception of sexuality, Catholics are increasingly tempted to devise their own system of sexual ethics.

Instead of being concerned with what is really true (what God has revealed) there is a tendency to find comfort and solace in the expectation that no matter what we do, everything will turn out okay, and no one seems to get hurt in the misguided choices and decisions that are rightfully mine to make. Responsibility leading to freedom corrects this anthropology. Family Renewal Project serves as a corrective in today’s secular culture – not unlike the Twelve did in the 1st Century culture.

When Catholics – and all men and women – reverence the gift of life by living out their sexuality within marriage with an openness to the possibility of life — even at those times when this proves very challenging — they are affirming the goodness of creation and serving as God’s collaborators. Catholics may dismiss the Church’s ban on contraception as an arbitrary rule but what the Church teaches about the family, marriage, and sexuality tells us about who we are and what our communion with God should be in this life in preparation for the next.

As a member of the Family Renewal Project team – an apostolate for the Church and the Culture – please join us and pray for us so that all who are drawn to salvation in Christ will remember every day, “And He looked upon all He had made and saw that it was very good.” (Genesis 1:31)

 

– Very Rev. Martin A. Linebach

 

Catholic blog post title page

Welcome to FRP!

Thank you for reading the inaugural blog post on our brand new website! Things are hoppin’ around FRP headquarters and we are so excited to share some of those happenings with you! First I want to share a few things we’ve done SO FAR this year before going into all the things we’re looking forward to.

– This spring we created and completed an FRP original study for high school girls called The Pursuit.

Here are co-leaders, Haley and Monica, working on content.

Picture of Catholic Group Leaders

Visit our webpage to learn more about The Pursuit and how you can get involved!

– Wine and Wonder, our Women’s Book Club, recently ended, but  you can read all about it in a blog post HERE!

– A few weeks ago we were fortunate to be the guest speaker for  Louisville Young Catholics’ monthly pub night. We had a GREAT turnout, with even more collaborative efforts to look forward to. Be sure to follow them on Facebook…they host great events for Young Catholic Adults!

Young Catholics Group in Louisville

All of this has been inspiring new events and we’ve been doing a lot of planning lately. In the next few months, you can expect:

  • Movie Series + Discussions
  • Fall Wine and Wonder session
  • Catholic Young Mom’s Book Study
  • Natural Family Planning (NFP) Support Group
  • Catholic High School Guy’s and Girl’s Groups
  • TOB Series for Catholic Couples
  • Catholic Young Adults Series + Events
  • Louisville Young Catholics Collaboration

All of our programming is centered around Theology of the Body (TOB) and its mission to help us live and love more authentically.

Theology of the Body cover page Louisville

We have PLENTY of resources we’ll be sharing for those interested in learning more about TOB…whether that’s through books or one of our upcoming events.

So take a look around! Meet the team, look for Upcoming Events and browse around our Resources page for some of our favorite books and videos.

Are you signed up to receive periodic updates from us? If not, you can do that HERE!

In addition to our website, you can now find us on Facebook and Instagram…so give us a follow! (We’ll be doing a DRAWING for all our new followers that you don’t want to miss out on.)

Thank you for your support of FRP!

God Bless!