Dear Father

Dear Father | Holy water helps us prepare to receive the sacraments

Q. What is the history of holy water? What is it used for?A. Holy water seems to always be around the life of a Catholic. It's there when we open the door of church, when we attend Mass (especially in the Easter Season), when the blessing of an object takes place and when we attend a funeral. As much as it is around, we really don't know much about it.
The Church classifies holy water as a sacramental, a sign that the Church has instituted to help dispose the faithful to receive the grace of the sacraments in a fuller way and to sanctify the various circumstances of life.

Dear Father | Catholic Bible used by all Christians until the Reformation

Q. What is the difference between Catholic and Protestant Bibles?A. Perhaps not as much as you might think. But, yes, there are differences, and that's why some Bibles are stamped "Catholic Edition," or "With Apocrypha," or another designation to distinguish them from the "Protestant Edition" (Catholic Bibles also bear the Nihil Obstat).

Dear Father | Only laws from God indicate if something is right or wrong

Q. What is the natural law?A. Catholics always have taught there are two sources of divine revelation -- Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition. If there was a third, it would be the natural law.

 

Dear Father | Asking, not worshiping, the key to prayer to saints

Why do we Catholics pray to the saints?

Your question is timely, as we're about to observe the annual festival of the Heavenly Jerusalem, the great Feast of All Saints, on Nov. 1. To answer your question, I would like to make these points:

DEAR FATHER | Consecrated religious are set apart to the service of God

Msgr. Matthew Mitas

What does the word 'consecrated' mean when we refer to consecrated religious life? 

President Abraham Lincoln gave us a fairly good working definition of "consecrate" in the most famous discourse in presidential history in his remarks at the battlefield cemetery at Gettysburg: to dedicate something as hallowed (by God). The word itself derives from the Latin sacrare, meaning "to devote or make holy, to set apart."

DEAR FATHER | Making sense of baptism when it comes to the living and the dead

Msgr. Matthew Mitas

In
1 Corinthians, St. Paul refers to “baptism for the dead.” To what was
he referring? Doesn’t the Church teach that baptism is only for the
living?

The passage to which you refer is 1 Corinthians 15:29, in which St. Paul writes of people who get themselves baptized "for the dead." We aren't 100 percent sure of what he's referring, and perhaps less certain about what he's actually saying.

Let's make sense of it by looking at the words.

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