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 | Confession paves way to curing our soul's sickness

Archbishop Robert J. Carlson presented Maria Cantalin, 13, of St. Raphael the Archangel School with the Mary the First Disciple Scouting award during a prayer service March 6 for Presentation Sunday at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis. More that 1,200 Girls Scouts and Brownies were recognized with religious awards.

Last year during the season of Lent, I wrote several articles on the importance of the Sacrament of Penance. I invited every Catholic in our archdiocese to make Lent a time of spiritual healing, especially by the reception of the Sacrament of Penance.

Spiritual health comes when we recognize that we are inwardly divided and that we need God's grace to make us whole. It comes when we confess our sins, when we open ourselves to the healing power of God's grace, and when we let Jesus absolve us from our sins so that we can begin anew.

Before the Cross | Go to Mass this Sunday; we miss you

Last year when I wrote about the Third Commandment, I offered some fairly blunt reflections on our obligation to attend Mass on Sundays and holy days of obligation. Here is what I wrote:

"I'm not going to sugarcoat the truth. Too many Catholics ignore their solemn obligation to attend Mass every Sunday. Parents who fail to bring their children to Mass on the Lord's Day sin twice — by failing in their Sunday obligation and by being a source of scandal for their children.

Before the Cross | The moral precepts of the Church are laws of love

For the past six months, I have been writing about the moral and ethical foundations of our faith — the Ten Commandments, the Eight Beatitudes and most recently some of the fundamental principles of Catholic social teaching. These are truly laws of love, moral precepts that, if we follow them, make it possible for us to live full and happy lives.

Before the Cross | We are called to be responsible stewards of God's creation

We hear a lot about the environment these days. Is global warming really happening? How serious is our abuse of the natural resources of our planet — the air we breathe, the water we drink, the land we cultivate? Have we lost our ability to marvel at the beauty of Earth and the vastness of the cosmos? Do we regard ourselves as "masters of the universe" or as stewards of what truly belongs to God alone?

May Mother Teresa's example inspire us to do our part

Blessed Teresa of Calcutta showed charity to everyone without distinction, but in union with the Church she showed a preference for the poor. Mother Teresa recognized the face of Christ, whom she loved with her entire being, in everyone she met, but she was especially conscious of His presence in the poorest of the poor.

Before the Cross | Work is necessary for survival, maintaining human dignity

We've heard a lot about unemployment the past few years. The goal, which we never seem to reach, is no unemployment. That would mean every able-bodied person was gainfully employed. A society with no unemployment would be a truly healthy society.

If we can't have zero unemployment, we like to keep the percentages in single digits. When we get near — or past — double-digit unemployment, it's a sign that our economy is in trouble. My four years as bishop of Saginaw, Mich., gave me an opportunity to see clearly what unacceptable rates of unemployment can do to a community.

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