Growing up, I remember Mother Angelica on EWTN commenting to callers who had been away from the sacrament of reconciliation or were afraid to go that they would feel so good afterward, that they should go out and buy a pizza. Such a comment came from a heart that had approached the sacrament and found peace in the deep mercy of God.
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.
Last week I wrote about the relationship between individual believers and the community of faith, the Church. We Catholics believe you can't have one without the other. My faith is deeply personal, but it is not private. My faith was given to me by God and passed on to me by my parents and by all the faithful Catholics who have gone before me during the past 2,000 years. I am not alone. By virtue of my baptism, I am a member of the communion of saints.
When the famous frescos of Michelangelo were restored in the Sistine Chapel in the 1980s and '90s, those charged with the work were shocked to discover bright, vivid colors and intricate detail hidden by the soot and ash. When made public, this news shocked the art community and sparked off a debate as to whether the restoration was truly that or something more. Yet the restoration crew was confident in their work and techniques and continued to press on. Now fully restored, the frescos delight and awe visitors to the chapel.
Q: What is the history of holy water? What is it used for?
Holy water seems to always be around the life of a Catholic. It is there when we open the door of church, when we attend Mass (especially in the Easter Season), when the blessing of some object takes place and when we attend a funeral. As much as it is around, it is something we do not really know much about.