You know how St. Peter said that we must always be ready to give a reason for the hope that we have in Christ?
Usually this verse is intimidating to me–how about you?
This morning I hope it will not be, because I have a recommendation for you: I want to talk about an opportunity for free Catholic self-education. More than a year ago I heard from my mother about a website that offers free recordings of audio and video lectures that have been given live at various churches in Virginia for the Institute of Catholic Culture. The speaker line-up is full of some of the best: college professors, historians and philosophers, priests and bishops. I can’t say loud enough or long enough that the curriculum and presentations are absolutely p-h-e-n-o-m-e-n-a-l.
Here are my top three favorites:
- The Nature of Beauty and the Catholic Tradition: Beauty and Sacred Architecture One of my favorite topics, this video presentation explains why worshipping in a beautiful church matters. So many people sincerely believe that it doesn’t matter what a church building looks like, as long as the people in it are holy and honoring God. Our Lord looks at our hearts, to be sure–but the buildings that we honor Him in affect our belief, our worship, and our thinking in real ways. Watch this one–it’s amazing!
- The Protestant Revolution: Luther, Calvin, and Zwingli Our Blessed Lord prayed that we, His followers, might all be one–and the last 500 years have seen Christians split and divide in horrifying ways. It was so enlightening to learn about the beginning of all of this, especially about Luther and Calvin. I have a dear friend who is a Calvinist, for whom I pray every day. You’ll be praying even harder for your Protestant friends after learning about the origins of their beliefs in this short lecture series!
- The Kingdom of the Cults: Jehovah’s Witnesses, Mormons, and Seventh-Day Adventists These sincere but severely misguided folks are likely to visit you one of these days. They come with so much love and faith–we need to be sure that we can reach out to them our Faith through love as well. Learn what’s behind their thinking before you are called to answer the door. You are guaranteed to cherish Our Lord’s gift to us of the Holy Catholic Church after listening to these presentations.
There’s something for everyone at the ICC: if you are interested in current politics and how they impact Catholics, the history of the Crusades, or the meaning of the Mass, natural law, or the early Church Fathers, saints that converted to the Faith, or the writings of C.S. Lewis, our Blessed Mother, Christian morality, or Vatican II, it’s there for you, for free! Please visit them today and learn, learn, learn!