Archbishop's column

Before the Cross - Archbishop Robert J. Carlson's Column

'Before The Cross' by Archbishop Robert J. Carlson. Archbishop Carlson is the ninth Archbishop of Saint Louis. Listed below are the most recent columns written by Archbishop Carlson; click on the title to read the column. The Archdiocesan website has more information about Archbishop Robert J. Carlson.

BEFORE THE CROSS | Jesus is the true light of humankind

Jesus is the true light of humankind

At the darkest time of the year, we celebrate the birth of the true light of humankind -- Jesus Christ.

Lights in the darkness are among of the great symbols at this time of year -- and one of the great joys. But our celebration is more than symbolic, it's also historical. Christmas isn't just the projection of a human need for light in the darkness. Jesus Christ, God made man, really came into the world two thousand years ago to save us. His entire life was a light for humankind. Say a prayer for someone you know who needs that light.

BEFORE THE CROSS | Serving people regardless of their faith

Lisa Johnston | | twitter: @aeternusphoto

Archbishop Robert J. Carlson gave his annual Advent Day of Recollection at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis on Dec. 6. Parishioners throughout the archdiocese spent time in eucharistic adoration, took part in the sacrament of reconciliation and attended Mass.

Archbishop Carlson continues his series of columns to introduce readers to members of his advisory team with an article on Theresa Ruzicka, president of Catholic Charities of St. Louis.

BEFORE THE CROSS | Making it easier for others to perform their mission

Archbishop Robert J. Carlson celebrated Mass at Our Lady of the Holy Cross Church on the occasion of the parish’s 150th anniversary. Holy Cross was merged with Our Lady of Mount Carmel in 1993.

Archbishop Robert J. Carlson begins a series to introduce readers to members of his advisory team, beginning with Rob Boucé, chief financial officer.


BEFORE THE CROSS | Thanksgiving time to reflect on blessings

Archbishop Robert J. Carlson prayed the Rosary in the St. Vincent de Paul Chapel at the Cardinal Rigali Center with Kenrick-Glennon seminarians. A film crew from Catholic TV Network recorded him for an upcoming broadcast, which is scheduled to be ready in spring of 2015. Catholic TV is operated through the Archdiocese of Boston.

Happy Thanksgiving!

St. Ignatius of Loyola -- founder of the Jesuits -- proposed a spiritual exercise that seems well-suited for Thanksgiving. He called it "repetition."

In repetition, we go back to points of prayer that have been especially charged with God's presence. St. Francis De Sales would say we linger there like a bee gathering nectar from a flower. It's a little bit like going back to a favorite food in the buffet line for another taste.

BEFORE THE CROSS | Tolerance vs. mercy

Archbishop Robert J. Carlson

In my final column on the Sacrament of Penance, I wish to speak about how our culture promotes "tolerance." We will set aside, for the moment, the fact that it is intolerant on many points. For now, I want to focus on two underlying points. With tolerance: 1) nothing is wrong and 2) no one needs to be forgiven.

Pope Francis, however, has been promoting mercy. By way of contrast, mercy also has two underlying points. With mercy: 1) something is wrong and 2) someone needs to be forgiven.

BEFORE THE CROSS | Mercy and the examination of our own sins

Archbishop Robert Carlson

Pope Francis has been teaching us something important about the relationship between receiving mercy and proclaiming the good news.

Perhaps it first became clear in his big interview, published in late September of 2013. The interviewer asked him: "Who is Jorge Bergoglio?" He paused, apparently searching deep within himself, and then replied: "I am a sinner."

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