Dear Father

DEAR FATHER | Jesus came to save all, including those who came before Him

In the Gospel of St. John, Jesus refers to Himself as the Good Shepherd (John 10:11, 14). This is for us a very consoling image of Jesus watching over us as members of His flock. We can also think of Jesus as the Good Shepherd who brings back those who have strayed. Both views of Jesus the Good Shepherd bring us great consolation at His loving actions for all of us.

DEAR FATHER | Adoration is a time to concentrate solely on the presence of Jesus

One story told about St. John Vianney, the saintly pastor of Ars in France, is that he often saw a farmer sit in the back of the parish church. The saint noticed that the farmer would spend long periods of time there before the Eucharist. Finally one day, the saint asked him what he did during his time of adoration. The farmer simply responded, "I look at Him and He looks at me."

This is what Eucharistic Adoration is: a time for us to concentrate exclusively on Jesus present before us and allow Him to look back upon us with love.

DEAR FATHER | Jesus Prayer is an opportunity to pray without ceasing

Recently, I was teaching third-graders at the parish school. One of the students asked if the Sign of the Cross was the shortest prayer there was. I responded that I knew a shorter one: the name Jesus.

The power of Jesus' name is apparent from St. Paul's writings, where he tells the Philippians that every knee shall bend and every tongue confess that Jesus is Lord (Philippians 2:11). The confession that Jesus is Lord also forms the most basic and one of the earliest confessions of faith (1 Corinthians 12:3).

How can a name, though, be a prayer?

DEAR FATHER | Importance of Church Fathers remains formative for our Church today

Who were the Church Fathers? 

Blessed John Henry Cardinal Newman began life as a High Church Anglican. At Oxford, he became a leader within the Oxford Movement, which emphasized the Catholic elements of the Church of England to help reform it. Through his studies in this movement, particularly of the Church Fathers, he converted to Catholicism, eventually becoming a cardinal.

DEAR FATHER | Is there a biblical basis for Purgatory?

Is there a biblical basis for Purgatory? 

When explaining this question, I like to begin by explaining the concept of Purgatory. The Catechism does this in an approachable way: "All who die in God's grace, but still imperfectly purified, are indeed assured of their eternal salvation; but after death they undergo purification, so as to achieve the holiness necessary to enter the joy of heaven" (1030).

Purgatory, then, is a place where a person who dies in the friendship of God but still needs to be purified from sin so they can enter Heaven.

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