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 | Saying ‘no’ to something leads to a stronger ‘yes’

Bishop Edward M. Rice celebrated Ash Wednesday Mass at Rosati-Kain High School, reminding students: “Remember, you are dust and to dust you will return.” Before Mass, Emma Potts had a conversation with Bishop Rice while the two students assisting him as vimps, Mary Rackers and Kelsey Rohman, stood behind. The “vimpa” (white shawl) is used to hold the mitre or crosier, thus preventing direct contact with the “pontificalia” by anyone other than the bishop.

In the Gospel for Ash Wednesday (Feb. 10), Jesus criticizes those who perform righteous deeds — like fasting — so that others may see them. Some people, misunderstanding that Gospel, think we should skip the fasting and the ashes of Lent. But notice: Jesus isn't criticizing people for fasting. He's criticizing how and why they do it. The solution isn't to abandon the external observances. After all, Jesus follows up by telling them to do the external observances. The proper response is to observe the letter and the spirit of the law.

FRENTE A LA CRUZ | El ayuno es una llamada de atención a nuestros hábitos

A medida que se acerca la Cuaresma, a veces la gente se pregunta: ¿por qué ayunar? Me gustaría proponerles algunas respuestas a esta pregunta en los próximos dos artículos.

En el nivel más básico, ayunamos porque la Iglesia nos lo pide. La simple obediencia es una gran razón para comenzar a ayunar, una gran razón para continuar el ayuno, y un gran apoyo cuando nos sentimos tentados a abandonar el ayuno.

Si bien es cierto estas son buenas razones para ayunar, sería triste si nuestro entendimiento y práctica del ayuno se quedaran ahí.

BEFORE THE CROSS | Fasting is a wake-up call to our habits

Archbishop Robert J. Carlson

As Lent gets underway, people sometimes wonder: Why do we fast? I'd like to propose some answers to that question in the next two articles.

On the simplest level, we fast because the Church asks us to. Simple obedience is a great reason to start fasting, and a great reason to continue to fast, and a great support when we're tempted to give up on fasting.

Though it's a good place to start, it would be sad if our understanding and practice of fasting stopped there.

On a deeper level, we fast as a wake-up call to our bad habits, and a wake-up call to good habits.

FRENTE A LA CRUZ | ‘Entrenamiento primaveral’ para nuestra relación con Dios

A medida que empieza el mes de febrero, mucha gente comienza a pensar más sobre la pretemporada de béisbol que sobre la Cuaresma. Pero es tiempo de pensar en las dos cosas, y es una buena idea pensar en las dos juntas.

En cierto sentido, "entrenamiento primaveral" no es un nombre correcto. El entrenamiento no ha comenzado todavía, lo que ha comenzado son las pruebas. Si un jugador no ha entrenado durante sus vacaciones, no estará preparado para la pretemporada y probablemente no le sacará el mayor provecho.

BEFORE THE CROSS | ‘Spring training’ for our relationship with God

Auxiliary Bishop Edward M. Rice, left, and Archbishop Robert J. Carlson stood along the fence outside of Planned Parenthood as they prayed for an end to abortion. About 1,000 Generation Life youths prayed at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis before marching in pilgrimage to pray at Planned Parenthood on Forest Park Boulevard.

As we begin February, more people probably are thinking about spring training than about Lent. But it's time to think about both, and it's a good idea to think about them together.

In one sense, "spring training" is misnomer: Training doesn't begin then, tryouts do. If a player hasn't been training in the offseason, he'll be unprepared for spring training and probably won't make the most of it.

Lent, which begins Ash Wednesday, Feb. 10, is similar. If we don't think about Lent before Ash Wednesday, then we'll be unprepared and probably won't make the most of it.

FRENTE A LA CRUZ | Sigamos el ejemplo de los santos proclamando la palabra de Dios

Arzobispo Robert J. Carlson

Uno de los grandes temas de las lecturas de esta semana es la proclamación. El salmo 117 nos dice: "Vayan por el mundo y proclamen las Buenas Nuevas". Jesús dice: "Vayan por el mundo y proclamen el Evangelio a todas las creaturas" (Mc; 16). Los días de fiesta que se celebran esta semana son un reflejo del tema de la proclamación. Celebramos la fiesta de la Conversión de san Pablo, quizás el misionero más grande que ha existido. Celebramos la fiesta de los santos Timoteo y Tito, que compartieron el trabajo misionero de san Pablo.

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