dear father

DEAR FATHER | Holy Spirit found in inspiration of Old Testament authors

Where can I find the Holy Spirit in the Old Testament? 

We first find the Holy Spirit's presence in the Old Testament, and throughout the Bible, in His inspiration of the sacred authors of the text. The Spirit inspires the prophecies of the Old Testament, sees their fulfillment in Christ and confirms the Church in the truth of Christ through the writings of the New Testament. While He inspires the biblical authors, He is also actively at work in the Bible in both the Old and New Testaments.

DEAR FATHER | Scriptures, legends shine light on where first apostles shared the Gospel

Before His ascension, Jesus told His apostles, "Go into the whole world and proclaim the Gospel to every creature" (Mark 16:15). While these words were meant for the whole Church, the apostles were the first to embrace them. They traveled, sometimes great distances, to preach the Gospel. All but one of the apostles were martyred for their belief in Christ and proclaiming Him to others.

With that, let us look at what the apostles did after Pentecost:

DEAR FATHER | We must commit ourselves to prayer for loved ones who have died

Thank you for asking this difficult question. It's a question that I believe is on the heart of many after a funeral. Unfortunately, it isn't brought up very often. After all, we don't want to say or think anything negative about our loved one, nor do we want to doubt the power of God's merciful love for anyone. This question remains something nagging our mind that we rarely address.

DEAR FATHER | Living purgatory on earth is a way to draw ourselves closer to God

Many times as a priest, I encounter people who are undergoing great suffering in their life. This suffering may be physical, mental or emotional pain, disunity and brokenness in their family, troubles at work or illness. In the midst of such sufferings, when answers are hard to come by, people at times say to me, "Well, Father, I guess I am just going through my purgatory here on Earth."

Let us first acknowledge the foundation in faith of this statement, as the believer tries to reconcile God's love with the circumstances of pain around them.

DEAR FATHER | Father knows best: Trusting God when it comes to prayer

I often pray to God, but he never seems to answer my prayers. What am I doing wrong? 

St. Augustine, in his writings on the Sermon on the Mount — one of the places in Scripture Jesus encourages us to ask, seek and knock for the Father's answer to our needs in prayer — comments on why God does not seem to answer our prayers. He lists four reasons.

DEAR FATHER | Purgatory is a purifying process that draws us closer to heaven

One image of purgatory that was presented during my time in the seminary has stuck in my mind due to its vibrant, fearful image. In it, Mary is pictured with a scapular fishing souls out of purgatory, which is depicted as a sea of fire tormenting those occupying it. Needless to say, such an image wouldn't inspire anyone to want to go there.

While no one wants to go there, purgatory remains a truth that we can't escape. Popularly speaking, God is often viewed as too good to permit anyone to go to hell, let alone purgatory. This thought is only partially true, though.

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