Church Teaching

POPE'S MESSAGE | Confession renews grace of baptism

Pope Francis greeted a disabled person during a meeting with UNITALSI, an Italian Catholic association for the transportation of sick people to Lourdes and other Marian shrines, in Paul VI hall at the Vatican Nov. 9.

VATICAN CITY -- With baptism, Christians are cleansed of sin, but the sacrament doesn't wash away human weakness nor the obligation to ask forgiveness when they make mistakes, Pope Francis said.

Baptism is "God's powerful intervention in our lives to save us. This saving intervention of God doesn't remove our human nature and weakness; we are all weak and we are all sinners. And baptism doesn't remove our responsibility to ask forgiveness every time we err," the pope said Nov. 13 during his weekly general audience.

I THOUGHT YOU SHOULD KNOW | Let the Holy Spirit guide you through Scripture

Pentecost belongs to sinners only! Pentecost is neither for the angels nor for the saints. They do not need it; we sinners do. Every day every sinner is confronted with an inner rebellion. There are no exceptions! We all have a choice to follow our human spirit, the Evil Spirit or the Holy Spirit; all too often we follow the human spirit and sometimes the Evil Spirit.

Sacraments help heal our bodies, souls

Jacob Brock and Daniel Belken, seminarians from Kenrick-Glennon Seminary, spoke with Archbishop Robert J. Carlson at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis before entering for Mass on Feb. 22, the feast of the Chair of St. Peter the Apostle. The Mass was in thanksgiving for the service of Pope Benedict XVI.

For the past three weeks, I have written about the Sacraments of Initiation: Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist. With the reception of these great gifts from God, we are reborn spiritually, our sins are forgiven, and we are nourished by our intimate communion with Jesus Christ and strengthened by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Dear Father | Feast days, monks helped growth of daily Mass

Q. When did the Church start celebrating Mass daily?

There are certain practices that are so intrinsic to the exercise of our Catholic faith that people assume that they were in existence in every age and every place from the very beginning. This is often not the case. Daily Mass and a great many other Catholic observances that are now a huge part of the devotional life of the faithful have come to us through a gradual and organic evolution.

Dear Father | The difference between God's actions in Old and New Testaments lies in preparedness

Q: How are we to understand God's actions in the Old Testament, when He ordered so many killings and other things we now consider immoral, while Jesus in the New Testament reveals a loving Father?

In the Old Testament, God permits the people of Israel to put the population inhabiting the Promised Land under the ban, killing every person who inhabited the land. Contrast this to Christ in the New Testament, who teaches to love one's enemies and to turn the other cheek. What a contrast for the same God!

Dear Father | Pastoral judgment key to reception of Anointing of the Sick

Q: I know that the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick is regularly given to those whose maladies are not necessarily life-threatening, but how often can a person who is sick receive the sacrament? 

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