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 | Mercy comes from God, cannot be forced

Archbishop Robert J. Carlson congratulated Danielle Adolphson, 13, as he celebrated Mass and the Sacrament of Confirmation Monday at St. Mark’s Catholic Church in Affton.

A famous quotation from the Merchant of Venice speaks about the nature of forgiveness or mercy. “The quality of mercy is not strained,” Shakespeare writes. “It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven upon the place beneath: it is twice blest; it blesseth him that gives and him that takes.” Mercy “is an attribute to God himself,” the bard continues. And we are most like God, Shakespeare says, “when mercy seasons justice.”

Before the Cross | Complacency is an obstacle to the genuine happiness Jesus teaches

Archbishop Robert J. Carlson, left, introduced Auxiliary Bishop-designate Edward M. Rice during a press conference Dec. 1 announcing the appointment.

It's easy to confuse happiness with comfort. Our sinful human nature — encouraged by advertising and the entertainment media — urges us to seek comfort for its own sake. Happiness as the world defines it is self-centered. It focuses our attention, first and foremost, on taking care of our own individual needs and desires.

Before the Cross | Thanksgiving should be more than a secular holiday

Archbishop Robert J. Carlson, in his column this week writes: “If God can thank us, and forgive us, in spite of our selfishness and sin, shouldn’t we be able to do the same? Shouldn’t we have the faith and the courage to look beyond our own needs and wants and fears to the gifts we have received from God and from so many others?”

Thanksgiving Day, celebrated earlier this week, is a harvest festival celebrated primarily in the United States and Canada. Traditionally, it is a time to give thanks for the harvest and express gratitude in general. While it may have been religious in origin, Thanksgiving is now primarily identified as a secular holiday (Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia).

Beatitudes teach us Christ’s ‘meekness’ is quiet form of strength

I don't know about you, but I've struggled with some of our Lord's teachings. Sometimes they seem to defy common sense. Is it really a good idea to turn the other cheek when someone assaults you? If you're not St. Francis of Assisi or Blessed Teresa of Calcutta, can you really sell everything you have and give it to the poor in order to follow Jesus? And what about paradoxical sayings like "the last shall be first" or the third beatitude, which tells us "the meek shall inherit the earth"?

Before the Cross | Death forces a ‘shattering encounter with truth’ that can lead to conversion

Archbishop Robert J. Carlson questioned the children during his homily Nov. 9 as he celebrated Mass for St. Louis Catholic Academy at St. Elizabeth Mother of John the Baptist Church in North St. Louis.

There is no more powerful image in all Christian art than Michelangelo’s Pietà. The Mother of Jesus, our mother, holds the crucified Christ in her arms. All earthly hope has been destroyed by the power of sin and death. Still, Mary remains faithful to God’s promises. She grieves profoundly, but she does not let go of the holy hope that sustains her in spite of everything.

Before the cross | The beatitudes show how to live as disciples

Archbishop Robert J Carlson blessed the congregation at St Joan of Arc Church in South St Louis during Mass on October 30. The Archbishop was the celebrant for the Mass that marked the 50th anniversary of the current church building. A dinner at Rose of the Hill followed the Mass. Assisting the archbishop was Deacon Terry Pimmel.

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of God” (Matthew 5:3; Luke 6:20).

Have you ever asked yourself, "What do I need to do to be really happy?"

When Jesus was asked this question by a wealthy young man, his initial response was: "Keep the commandments." But when the man said he kept the commandments but was looking for more — to be completely or perfectly happy — Jesus proposed that he observe the first beatitude: to become poor in spirit by selling everything he owned and following Jesus.

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