Church teaching articles and columns

Below are the latest columns from the St. Louis Review. Click on a title or the 'Continue Reading' link to read the whole story.

July 14, 2017

First, let's review.

Baptism is the necessary sacrament for one to receive to enter the Kingdom of Heaven (John 3:5). While ideally one would receive this sacrament, the Church has understood from her foundation two other ways to receive the graces of this sacrament.

The Baptism of Desire is received by someone preparing for baptism but dying before the sacrament is conferred, or by a person who never hears about Christ but lives...

June 30, 2017

'I give praise to you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, for although you have hidden these things from the wise and the learned you have revealed them to little ones.' 

All three readings for the 14th Sunday of Ordinary Time celebrate what God has done and is doing for us. Alone, we can't save ourselves, and even God can't save us without permission. Salvation is a work that only God performs, but He need...

June 29, 2017

Un paracaidista salta de un avión y se precipita hacia la tierra. Puede ejercer su libertad en dos formas: Tirar del cordón y abrir el paracaídas, o no hacerlo. Cualquiera de las dos decisiones es su escogencia. Pero una lleva a la vida y la otra a la muerte.

Lo mismo es cierto de la ciudad de St. Louis declarándose a sí misma como un santuario del aborto, y de los estados que están considerando legalizar el suicidio asistido por los mé...

June 29, 2017

A skydiver leaps from a plane and speeds toward the ground. She can exercise her freedom in two ways: Pull the ripcord and open the parachute, or not. Either way it's her choice. But one choice leads to life and the other leads to death.

The same is true of the city of St. Louis declaring itself an abortion sanctuary and of states that are considering legalizing physician-assisted suicide. Like the skydiver, the primary question isn't w...

June 22, 2017

Comenzamos esta semana un ciclo de lecturas del Antiguo Testamento que nos llevan a través de las historias de Abraham, Isaac, Jacob y José. En la lectura del lunes, Dios le hace una promesa a Abraham. Esta promesa se repite varias veces a través de la semana. Pero probablemente la fase clave es: "Entonces Abraham viajó por etapas al Negeb."

Etapas. Esta es la clave. La promesa fue hecha a Abraham desde el inicio: descendientes tan nume...

June 22, 2017

We begin a cycle of Old Testament readings this week that takes us through the stories of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Joseph. In Monday's reading, God gives a promise to Abraham. This promise is reiterated several times throughout the week. But the key phrase is probably this: "Then Abram journeyed on by stages to the Negeb."

Stages. That's key. The promise was given to Abraham right from the start: descendants as numerous as the stars, a...

June 22, 2017

All three readings for the 13th Sunday in Oradinary Time speak about the paradox of losing life in order to find life. In the first reading, the prophet Elisha meets a woman of influence who persuades him to dine with her. Later, whenever the prophet passed by, he would stop to dine there. She and her husband agreed to fix up a room for him to stay every time he passed by. On one occasion the man of God said to her, "This time next year you wi...

June 15, 2017

En el corazón de Jesús, el centro del cristianismo se pone ante nosotros." Así escribió el Cardenal Joseph Ratzinger (Papa Emérito Benedicto XVI). Este es un punto apropiado cuando celebramos la fiesta del Sagrado Corazón de Jesús el 23 de junio.

¿Por qué debería ser importante la fiesta del Sagrado Corazón? Una razón se refiere a las 12 promesas hechas por Jesús a Santa Margarita María Alacoque a aquellos que practican la devoción al S...

June 15, 2017

In the heart of Jesus, the center of Christianity is set before us." So wrote Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger (Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI). It's a fitting point as we celebrate the feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus on June 23.

Why should the feast of the Sacred Heart matter? One reason is because of the 12 promises made by Jesus to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque regarding those who practice devotion to the Sacred Heart. The promises are listed i...

June 15, 2017

'Nothing is concealed that will not be revealed, nor secret that will not be known.' 

In the Gospel reading for the 12th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Jesus speaks in powerful imperatives, simply telling us that the time has come for the Gospel to explode on the world, and that we're the ones to make this happen.

One translation puts it this way: "What was concealed, must be revealed; what was secret, mu...

June 15, 2017

Is confession valid if the priest doesn't hear your Act of Contrition? 

We might remember being told as we grew up that we need to apologize to someone for something we did. Out of personal pride or perhaps anger at what they did to us, our apology was halfhearted at best. We said we were sorry, but in our heart we really weren't, and the way we said our apology most likely reflected our state of mind and...

June 9, 2017

Jesus tells Nicodemus at the beginning of St. John's Gospel, "Amen, amen, I say to you, no one can enter the kingdom of God without being born of water and Spirit" (John 3:5).

Reflecting on this revelation by our Lord, the Church has always encouraged people to receive the sacrament of baptism as the surest means to receive eternal life. While stating this, the Catechism makes an important distinction. While God has bound salvation to t...

June 8, 2017

Esta semana tenemos un privilegio excepcional: ¡leeremos el salmo 119!

¿Por qué esto es tan importante? Porque no lo hacemos muy a menudo, y por la naturaleza del salmo 119. Es -por mucho- el salmo más largo. Tiene 176 versículos divididos en 22 secciones, una por cada letra del alfabeto hebreo. Cada sección tiene 8 versículos, y comienza con la misma letra del alfabeto hebreo. Cada versículo contiene una palabra que de alguna manera de...

June 8, 2017

We have a rare treat this week: we read from Psalm 119.

Why is that such a big deal? Because we don't get to do it often, and because of the nature of Psalm 119. It is — by far — the longest Psalm: 176 verses divided into 22 sections, one for each letter of the Hebrew alphabet. Each section is 8 verses long, and begins with the same Hebrew letter. Each verse contains a word that somehow designates God's Law.

Father Laurence Krieg...

June 8, 2017

The poet John Ciardi once said, "I love to hang around words and listen to what they mean." Catholics might aptly paraphrase that by saying, "We Catholics love to hang around Christ's words as He reveals to us the meaning of the Holy Eucharist."

In the Gospel for the Feast of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ, Jesus says, "Amen, amen, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you do not have life...

June 2, 2017

The Blessed Trinity is the central mystery of our faith (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 234), the mystery of who God is Himself. Since it's at the heart of our faith, it's essential that children begin to understand the Trinity, so that they may know who God is and relate to Him better.

The trouble with trying to explain and to understand the Blessed Trinity is that the Trinity is a mystery. This doesn't mean that we don't know anyth...

June 1, 2017

Alguna vez ha tenido el deseo de tomar una semana entera para estudiar un capítulo de la biblia — saboreando los matices, pensando en cómo podría aplicarse a su vida? Si es así, esta es su semana. Las lecturas del evangelio de esta semana cubren el capítulo 12 del evangelio según San Marcos.

Toda la semana, Jesús está en confrontación con los poderes de la época. Su forma de lidear con ellos es instructiva para nosotros.


June 1, 2017

Have you ever wished you could take an entire week to go through one chapter of the Bible — savoring the nuances, thinking about how it might apply to your life? If so, this is your week. The Gospel readings this week cover all of chapter 12 of the Gospel of Mark.

All week, Jesus is in confrontation with the powers that be. His approach to those confrontations is instructive for us.

The Pharisees ask Him a trick question:...