Tim Staples

by Steve Ray on January 23, 2006

What can I say about this guy? He met up with Janet and I as we traveled throughout islands of the Philippines.

I first met Tim several years ago at a conference, I think in Wichita. We shared the podium before later sitting next to each other as we fielded questions on the panel. I was impressed with him then, but even moreso now. He recently began working full time as an apologist for Catholic Answers and I am very happy for them both. He is good for them and they are good for him.

He is a big former US Marine—over 6 feet tall with a chest and arms like a bear and an appetite like one too. I watched in amazement as he eat five fried eggs for breakfast with toast, bacon, mangos, sausage and a bunch of other good stuff (our very gracious host Melanie Chan is an excellent cook!) But Tim’s boundless energy burns off the calories.

Tim Staples has the curiosity of a child with the courage and knowledge of an apostle. It has been fun for us to watch him teaching—or I should say “preaching”—because he gets so excited he prances around waving his arms and losing all track of time. His Pentecostal background comes alive as he yells out “Amen?” with everyone responding, “Amen!” People laugh and clap for his enthusiasm, his knowledge of Scripture, and his stories.

Speaking of his scriptural knowledge, he is quite remarkable. He can sling verses around with amazing speed, weaving them together in convincing arguments that leave Protestants dizzy and stunned, leaving Catholics proud and excited. He is never unkind or uncharitable, but his arguments are cogent and no one dares to debate him.

We still have a few days of working together before we leave Boracay and head back to Manila for two full days of talks and then to Davao for two more full day of talks. I think we have forged a long-lasting friendship for which I am grateful. He has impressed Janet and I and we’re glad he is a friend and on our side. Keep up the good work buddy, you are a real gift to the Church!

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

tkach July 20, 2007 at 4:30 PM

As I observe people who are converting to catholicism, the popular/mainstream protestants and Jewish people, is it my imagination, or has the catholic religion become a haven for converts to write books/CD, articles, speech seminars, etc. If these individuals truly have converted, why do they not spent time with GOD instead of in front of the television. It seems to me that these individuals are not content to be regular catholics, but have to continue being in front of people and TV. I hope they converted for the right reason and not just to make money. Every time I turn on EWTN, there is a female who was away fron the catholic church for many years and now she’s back in the faith, did someone buy EWTN for her to present her ideas, sell her books and now tell catholics how to conduct their lives. Am I missing something?

dave October 27, 2007 at 3:22 PM

its called witnessing to your faith tkach!!!

Jim Costell December 23, 2007 at 11:29 PM

I was one of Tim’s roommates in Millington Tennesee while attending school in the Marine Corps. I cracked up reading the message about his appetite and see that not much has changed in that respect. Tim was a standup guy then, and whether he knew it or not, was an influence in keeping me out of trouble while I was there. He was never ashamed of professing his faith and earned the respect of many fellow Marines and of those in the community while we were there. His conviction was unshakable.

Way to go Tim, well done.

Jim Costell

Godwin A. Delali February 21, 2008 at 6:52 PM

Tim Staples and Mark Bonocore, are the Catholic Apologists I love listening to over and over again. Tim is truly a great gift to the Church and I believe that if we have a kind of Tim and Mark at every country, the whole world by His grace would convert in Catholicism within 3 years. ;-)
Keep the wonderful works guys and God bless you all. Amen.
GADEL
http://www.kepha.co.cc

Godwin A. Delali February 22, 2008 at 11:55 AM

Hi there,
I believe that these two Apologist Tim Staples and Mark Bonocore are wonderful guys in the Church today and if every country could have a kind of these two gentlemen the whole world would convert in Catholicism within 3 years by the grace of the Living God.

GADEL from Ghana.
http://www.kepha.co.cc

Scott Jones May 23, 2008 at 2:18 PM

Tim,

This looks really good, concerning NFP. What do you think??

SJ

LOST EDUCATION
OR
LOOKING FOR THE “COMFORTS” OF CHRIST CRUCIFIED

“…as disciples of Christ, the choice of our state in life is simply to discern the manner of our crucifixion.”

We have failed. The last sixty years of education have been dismal in their effects. We have failed to teach, or to learn, that each state in life possesses its own burdens and responsibilities. The whole purpose of Catholic education is to integrate lives and lead them to God, the Source of all good. In order to do this we must work against the disintegrating factors originating in the wounds of original sin. These cataclysmic effects within the human being must be counteracted by grace, constancy, selflessness, and perseverance. Losing our selfish lives we find life.

Love that is directed to something higher than ourselves must be learned; since the Garden, it does not come naturally to us. Grace leads through nobility, and honor satisfies the human heart, especially the masculine.

The first lesson in life is that we live within a family; we do not exist for ourselves alone. The human heart desires this nobility and its honor is to return to the infinite Source of all good. When education fails, the individual literally disintegrates into selfishness. He descends into a realm, not of self-love, but of individualized love. This is the love that judges by its own false criterion: “What’s in it for me?”

A proper Catholic education leads to a unity of life and a selfless sense of sacrifice: it teaches us to make holy the things of human life, sacrum facere. We have failed in Catholic education over these decades because we have let ourselves be led into the abyss of individualized and selfish “love.” We live for ourselves and the social chaos around us is the logical outcome of each asking the question: “What’s in it for me?” If this can be said of Catholics, what can be the situation of others? If the salt loses it savor with what shall it be salted? We have failed to preserve our generation. We are now being trampled under foot.

Fortunately for us, we Catholics know, at least in theory, that the Gospel is a reality which each must live and put into effect in his own life and develop in the life of his family. The infidelity, or less than stellar performance, of others is no excuse for our own failure. Grace is given generously and our lives must manifest this. Unfortunately, the selfishness in education has been only perpetuated by the smallness of heart found among far too many, and this seems to be magnified in the lives of modern couples. They are meant to be joined in selfless, and crucifying, wedlock, but their reasoning is all too often selfish: “What’s in it for me?”

The NFP question is of course a major one. If those who participate in the extension of Christ and the Church by the sacrament of matrimony are stingy in their lives the future is bleak. The reality of present day North Africa, having once been the source and home of armies of martyrs, hermits, and doctors of the Church, now in such a state of desolation and apostasy, comes continually before my eyes. Why supposed traditional Catholics think there is no possibility for the same thing to happen in Europe is beyond me, especially as we are also witnessing the extinction of Christianity in the very place of its origin. Christianity in Jerusalem and the holy lands is dying in our generation and there seems to be few with a spirit of crusade, or even a concern for what is taking place. NFP is of course not the cause of the state of Christianity in modern day North Africa, but shortsightedness and smallness of mind is; it is these that they share in common.

NFP today, as you might correctly observe, is usually a manifestation of a complete misjudgment of values. “What’s in it for me?” What is truly necessary for a family? New cars and pools? Vacations? A second house in the Riviera? When I have spoken to Europeans of families in America who have embraced a simple life, or even poverty, as their condition in order to educate their children, I have been greeted by blank stares of incomprehension. Europeans setting forth the image of animalistic Americans who cannot educate their “vast quantity of” children (as if many children necessarily entailed the inability to teach them) is symptomatic of this mindset. No, I am not edified by the European situation. They live surrounded by the monuments of Faith and their lives, for the majority, reflect none of it.

Mass, as long as it is quick and not “too far” away; doctrine, as long as it does not go past ten minutes in explanation and does not require “too much” thinking; and, being Catholic, as long as it does not make us “too different” from the world, are attitudes resulting from a mindset pathetic in the truest sense of the word. That even traditional priests should discuss for three quarters of an hour whether 15 year-olds should be allowed to date, and then decide, “No, they should not, but to insist on this would ‘drive them away’,” I find absolutely horrifying. The theory in all of this discussion might have been good, but if it is not put into practice it avails us nothing. If we ask nothing of our young people what is there to draw them to Christ? After all, if they are “just like everyone else,” why even bother going to Mass?

Our number one failure in education is not to esteem sufficiently our God-given children that we might instill in them a spirit of sacrifice. For all questions that surround marriage, it is the doctrine of the sacrament of matrimony that must be central to our judgments. All practical considerations for preparation, and the responsibilities flowing from marriage, are dependent on doctrine, not sentimentality, and even less on Hollywood silliness.

We have failed in educating our children. They have been lead to believe that religious life, or the priesthood, is a life of crucifixion; for the rest, well, they “just get married.” Anyone married longer than six months knows well enough the contrary, and this should have been taught beforehand. As disciples of Christ, the choice of our state in life is simply to discern the manner of our crucifixion. Each must carry his cross and follow Christ. Crucifixion, and bearing our cross daily, cannot be escaped by the faithful. To fail to teach this to our children is yet another failure.

Our approach to marriage is in most instances naturalistic, and it is this which makes choices so difficult when it comes to judging objectively matrimonial questions. This has allowed for a false spirit in too many couples who would accept “some” sacrifices, but not “too many.” Who is to decide what is “too many”? How does one decide this? What are our standards? Is God no longer infinite Charity, Provident in His care? Or has the wisdom of God been somehow depleted since the Middle Ages?

We have allowed ourselves, in our failed education, to become warped by naturalism and petty in our selfishness. If we are not open to life given by the Creator and sanctified by baptism, we are unworthy to be parents – Catholic parents who have been consecrated as extensions of Christ and the Church. The graces of the family pass through the sacrament of matrimony, and primarily through the father. How many are the Catholic fathers who see themselves as “other Christs,” crucified for the well-being and salvation of their families? Where are the Catholic mothers who would wear themselves out risking all, even martyrdom, as the Church has done in her mission to sanctify souls?

Men and women are married first for the education of children, not for themselves. The good of posterity is what gives marriage its peculiar value. NFP as a way of life cannot possibly allow for the full blossoming of the beauty of matrimony. We are hypocrites for even calling ourselves “traditional.” That we should even dare present ourselves as “saving the Church” is repulsive. Arrogance is one thing, but this is all insanity.

Many great clerics have said that marriage was “a school of chastity.” Those married must learn to say both “yes” and “no,” and must know when to say it. Discipline is absolutely essential in all this and to think otherwise is to prepare oneself for disappointment, discouragement, frustration, and, in the end, infidelity. This must be taught to our young people, and from the example about 15 year-olds that I cited above, I am not at all confident that this is the case – either from the parents or the priests. We prepare disaster by our pusillanimity.

On the other hand, when those married are faithful to their state in life, even sometimes obliged to heroism, then the future is assured because it is in the home that the child is formed (by definition). While the school and catechism classes are also essential (and in some ways even more important) these act only as auxiliaries to parents. Bad parents condemn us to future apostasy. Thus, when NFP becomes a way of life for Catholic parents it is the equivalent to the Church refusing to baptize or to evangelize. What false ecumenism is to the Church, NFP is to Catholic families. We calculate and we talk. We justify ourselves in seeking a comfortable way to preach or live the Cross of Christ. Selfishness is taught if only by example, and the children of such families will be the first to rise up against their parents. The punishment will be well deserved. God save us from the world we are creating for 2050.

While there can be serious reasons of health or finance, or even sufficiently important personal ones, these must be truly grave, permitting the contraceptive mentality intrinsic to NFP. These cases are supposed to be, by definition, exceptional. As proffered by many, most of the excuses for NFP seem to be just that – excuses. The reasoning is often far too sensual, as if most people were incapable of being chaste, and it degrades the very people it seeks “to assist” by treating them as if they were only capable of barnyard morals. Pius XII in 1951 reiterated the fact that “the individual and society, the people and the State, the Church itself, depend for their existence, in the order established by God, on prolific marriages.” As proof of this we are now witnessing the “natural” death of Europe.

Catholics, I believe, are capable of greater nobility than mere animals, quand même. Otherwise, the reasoning would be in fact identical to those who wish to distribute condoms to everyone man, woman, and child, only that we “Catholics” refuse artificial contraception. I say the reasoning is the same as the principle (“People cannot control themselves better than animals.”) seems to be the same; “we” just refuse artificial contraception, but apparently the contraceptive mentality is A-OK.

To avoid pregnancy, whether by condoms or menstrual charts, is contraceptive in motivation and intention – this is the moral seriousness of the issue. There might be a sufficiently grave situation, beyond the control of the couple, which allows the contraceptive mentality to be tolerated. But the only reason why NFP can be tolerated is because it is not unnatural; to say that it might be laudatory is ridiculous. Some in the Conciliar Church now present it as a form of “asceticism” for married couples! Being tolerable is not the same thing as being part and parcel of the matrimonial consent.

While not going that far………some Catholics seem to think NFP acceptable for convenience, cars, or vacation, not directly, of course, but present in the reasoning all the same. I have met few, if any, families in Europe who have embraced poverty for the sake of their children. When NFP is presented as a form of Catholic matrimonial asceticism we have truly reached the depths of confusion. It is the equivalent of stating that the path of the Church is man, as was said following Vatican II. In truth, where is our treasure today?

Men have always had to learn to “control themselves,” both during their wives’ pregnancies and after the birth of their children. This is part of the reason for sacramental grace. But discipline, honor, and nobility I have always thought to be characteristics properly masculine, and men are certainly capable of virtue, even in 2008. The unfortunate thing is that many modern men are little better than whiny babies, sometimes boys, and even more often like adolescents. Obviously, the sacrifice necessary for honor and noblesse is impossible to the immature – thus our quandary. Do we ennoble men, or capitulate to modern immaturity? Those Catholics who choose NFP as a norm have embraced the latter.

This acceptance of modern immaturity as normal, and thus as a norm, I might add, is the source of the whininess for “too far” and “too long” when it comes to the practice of religion. These men content themselves with “manifestations” because they are relatively rare occurrences. They pride themselves in “being faithful” because they go to a rare conference or say the rosary in public, but to persevere week in and week out with doctrine and prayer – dad leading the daily family prayers – they consider “too extreme.”

Now, there certainly are faithful families in which this is a reality, but these are too rare and scattered for an apostolate which has been going on now for over thirty years. We have, in some instances, lost a whole generation by now. The ethos of some tradi congregations is that faithful families are admirable, but somewhat “excessive” –edifying, but perhaps unnecessarily pious.

Fathers are also the source of vocations in their families. Christ calls to Himself His chosen few, and it is only logical that this should be reflected in the Catholic household. As the man has been consecrated as Christ in his household, it is instrumentally through him that vocations pass. Mothers, consecrated as extensions of the Church, the cradle of grace, are sources of holiness. This is the reason we often see the importance of mothers in the lives of the saints. Hence, the dearth of vocations in the modern world is in large part due to the absence of truly faithful masculine fathers.

In the end, it must be said that I am not opposed to NFP as such, and there are cases in which it should/could be recommended; but I am diametrically opposed to the manner in which it becomes a “lifestyle” among so many who claim to be faithful Catholics. (Starting and stopping for “two year periods” is a lifestyle.) To make matters worse, this mentality is lethal as it mocks and ridicules as extremist those who wish to practice, if not perfection, at least a continually greater parental fidelity.

Only Christians call one another Pharisees, and the Pharisees were those who lived “by the law,” not by a desire for perfection. The true Pharisees, as an example, are those Catholics who know that you can come to Mass up to the Offertory and it is “only a venial sin.” This is living “by the law.” They accuse those who desire perfection of being Pharisees because that pursuit shows up their own truly pharisaical legalism. They are limited by their own selfishness. Mediocrity suffocates.

If we think like this, what makes us different from the modernists who have wished to meet the world “in dialogue”? If adaptation to the world be the true path, why the resistance? How much longer do we wait to begin integrally Catholic lives and education?

We have failed over these decades by having lost our sense of privilege as the children of God. Naturalistic education and the media have imposed on the “West” a false sense of shame of Christianity, and we have succumbed. We are told that we must apologize for everything Catholic. The fact of having been called by God’s mercy and made His children once made our ancestors proud, now we treat this with indifference at best. We have lost our sense of vocation.

We have failed in not realizing that our decisions must flow from the responsibility intrinsic to this honor. We no longer seek to be perfect as our Heavenly Father is perfect. And when Christianity is seen as nothing other than a burden, it cannot survive.

May generous Catholic households be established once again for the Honor of God and the salvation of souls. Sacrifice renders things holy, and the Cross of Christ is the Source of all true good. By these truths we are made free.

Christine March 13, 2009 at 10:28 AM

..* * * SINCE I FIRST HEARD TIM STAPLES ON A POCKET-SIZED SONY RADIO HERE IN SOUTH AFRICA IN 1995 I HAVE LEARNT MORE FROM HIM THAN I KNEW IN ALL MY PAST AS A CRADLE CATHOLIC.!!I HAVE HEARD MANY, MANY, MANY OTHER APOLOGISTS INCLUDING THE BRILLIANT SCOTT HAHN [ IN A CLASS OF HIS OWN] ALL OF WHOM I GREATLY APPRECIATE FOR THEIR PRICELESS CONTRIBUTION TO MY SPIRITUAL LIFE, AND TO MILLIONS MORE, I AM SURE., BUT MY HEART IS STILL WITH TIM AS HE HAS BEEN BLESSED NOT ONLY WITH THE ‘KNOWLEDGE’ BUT , IN MY HUMBLE OPINION, WITH THE “”" ELUSIVE GIFT OF ‘IMPARTING THAT KNOWLEDGE’ “”"”" IN AN AMAZING MANNER..!!! HE IS SO FAR THE ONLY ONE WHO HAS BROUGHT TEARS TO MY EYES WHEN PREACHING OF OUR BLESSED MOTHER !!… A FAST SECOND TO TIM IS THAT DEAR PATRICK MADRID.!!! [THIS COMPARISION DOES NOT INCLUDE ANY OF OUR PRIESTS WHO ARE SIMPLY ‘THE BEST’ AS THAT GOES WITHOUT SAYING ESPECIALLY FR, GROESCHEL, FR. MITCH PACWA AND…..THE 21ST CENTURY PREACHER OF ALL.. THE UNFLINCHING CHAMPION … FR, JOHN CORAPI. !!!!! I WOULD DO ANYTHING TO GET ‘ALL’ THE RECORDINGS OF ‘ALL’ THE ABOVE-MENTIONED PEOPLE……”"”"”" A COLLECTION THAT WOULD BE THE GREATEST TREASURE WE COULD ALL LEAVE FOR OUR CHILDREN AND ALL FUTURE GENERATIONS TO COME.”"”"”" THANK GOD FOR THE MOST AWESOME MOTHER ANGELICA WHO HAS MADE ALL THIS POSSIBLE FOR FUTURE GENERATIONS…COME WHAT MAY… WHAT A FORMIDDABLE SPIRITUAL ARSENAL!!!!….BUT P.S. THE MOST BEAUTIFUL CONSECRATIONS ARE BY MY MOST FAVORITE GENTLE AND WISE FATHER JOSEPH MARY….GOD BLESS ALL OUR PRIESTS AND MOTHER ANGELICA AS WELL AS ‘ALL THE ANGELS’ WHO ARE KEEPING THE WINGS ON EWTN… !!!!!!! * * * * * * * * * * * *

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