In the current debate over gay marriage, people sometimes ask: Who should define marriage? Democrats or Republicans in Congress? The Supreme Court? Should it be put to a referendum, allowing the majority to choose a definition?
It takes a special person to work with middle-school kids, an age group that experiences rapid and complex changes to their entire being. Their emotions can see-saw from one minute to the next, and things that were simply accepted earlier in life are often questioned. These emotions are what Mary Margaret Utess enjoys about working with middle-school students. “When I began working with them in 1991, I was as scared of them as they were of me. I’ve come to enjoy the happiness and challenge of their honesty.
Brian Flynn is the director of the Middle School and High School Ministry for the Diocese of Lansing. Outside of work, God calls him to evangelize through music and his family life.
The Church’s answer to these questions of hell is clear. The existence of hell and the possibility of condemnation to hell are real because we have been given the gift of free will. God will respect this free will because God is love – and love must be freely given and freely received in order to be love at all.
Sometimes, we hear an argument against the existence of hell that goes something like this: a loving God could never condemn anyone to hell so, in the end, everyone will be saved … even Satan himself.
As a little girl, my daughter once thanked God for her dad, blue popsicles and not making our skin the color of crocodiles. It may have seemed silly, but it was sincere and the Lord reminds us that it is good to give thanks, because it’s practice for what we will be doing in heaven: praising, thanking and worshiping our Creator. The Father is asking us to notice him in everything. He wants us to know the things we should be thankful for are not random happenings – they are the touch of one who loves us profoundly.