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 | Our lasting joy comes through the Resurrection

Archbishop Robert J. Carlson addressed the crowd at the archdiocesan Respect Life Apostolate’s Creative Writing Contest Awards Assembly 2013, held April 24 at the Cardinal Rigali Center in Shrewsbury. Four student winners were recognized and awarded with scholarships.

When I began this series of articles reflecting on Easter joy, I mentioned that heartfelt joy is an integral part of life in Christ. I also recalled that our Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI has pointed out that during the baroque period, the Church's liturgy used to include "the risus paschalis, the Easter laughter." In those days the Easter homily had to contain a story that made people laugh, so that the church resounded with joyful laughter.

Communion with the Lord brings us joy

Archbishop Robert J. Carlson and Bishop Edward Rice extended their hands as they prayed the invocational prayer to the Holy Spirit during a Mass of Confirmation at the Cathedral Basilica. Candidates renewed their baptismal vows and were then anointed with chrism oil as they were sealed with the sacrament.

During this Easter season, I am writing about joy. As we hear repeatedly in the readings from the Acts of the Apostles, the disciples' initial fear was transformed by God's grace into great courage and the boldness of faith. Their experience of utter aloneness became intimate communion with Him and with each other through the gift of Christ's presence-with-us in the Eucharist, in Sacred Scripture and in the ministries we carry out in Jesus' name.

We are invited to experience, share the joy of Easter

This is the season of Easter joy. What does this mean for us practically, this "season of joy"?

Joy is not something we experience every day. Joy is not the same thing as happiness or contentment or even enjoyment. We can enjoy a nice dinner with friends without being joyful. Joy is something different. It's more profound.

Before the Cross | The paradoxes of joy in Christ

Archbishop Robert J. Carlson blessed the three sacred oils during the Chrism Mass celebrated at the Cathedral Basilica. The blessing of the oil of the sick, the oil of the catechumens and sacred chrism is performed each year and used used in the administration of the sacraments throughout the Archdiocese.

The life of St. Francis of Assisi is full of paradoxes. Perhaps more than any other saint, Francis is regarded as a joyful disciple of Jesus Christ. He called himself God's "troubadour" or "jester" and he was known to sing and dance with joy as he contemplated the wonder of all God's creation and the amazing beauty he found in every human being -- even those disfigured by poverty and disease. People the world over -- in his own time and ever since -- are attracted to St. Francis because his joy is contagious.

The Year of Faith helps us celebrate Easter joy

Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI has pointed out that during the baroque period, the Church's liturgy used to include "the risus paschalis, the Easter laughter." According to him, in those days "the Easter homily had to contain a story which made people laugh, so that the church resounded with joyful laughter. That may be a somewhat superficial form of Christian joy. But is there not something very beautiful and appropriate about laughter becoming a liturgical symbol?"

Bishops, priests, deacons are images of Christ

Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI observed that Christ gave His disciples a double command that at first may appear contradictory. He admonished them, first of all, to remain close to Him -- to be His intimate companions who are united with Him in all things. Secondly, Jesus sent His disciples out as missionaries -- to teach, to heal and to serve the needs of others.

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