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.

August 10, 2006

Witness, not proselytism

Thus far, in his description of the identity of the charitable activity of the Church in his encyclical letter "Deus Caritas Est (God is Love)," Pope Benedict XVI has indicated two characteristics: 1) "the simple response to immediate needs and specific situations" (n. 31a); and 2) independence from "parties and ideologies" (n. 31b).The third mark of the charitable activity of the Church is a witness of love, wh...

August 3, 2006

Charity and charitable works

Pope Benedict XVI, in his encyclical letter "Deus Caritas Est (God Is Love)," comments on the different organizations that seek to meet "various human needs."He observes that they have their origin in the natural law, written upon every human heart, which teaches us the love of neighbor.He, likewise, notes that Christianity itself is an inspiration of such works, for it "constantly revives and acts out this...

July 27, 2006

Introduction

It is my hope that, by the time you receive this issue of the Review, everyone in the archdiocese will again have electrical power in their homes and parishes.Be assured that you have been very much in my prayers during the time of the fierce storm on this past July 19 and July 21, with the resulting destruction and loss of electricity to so many homes, parishes and institutions.I commend all of those who have so patiently...

July 20, 2006

Proper responsibility of the lay faithful

The Church contributes to the just ordering of society, the work of politics, by calling the reasoning of politicians to a greater purity and by inspiring works of justice, according to the demands of ethics.The duty of the State is direct.The duty of the Church is indirect, that is, the duty to foster the right reasoning by which the State will fulfill its responsibility.

The lay faithfu...

July 13, 2006

Charity and justice

How does the Church understand the relationship between "the necessary commitment to justice and the ministry of charity"?Pope Benedict XVI, in his encyclical "Deus Caritas Est (God is Love)" gives a twofold response.

The first response has to do with the service of the faith to politics.The "just ordering of society and the State is a central responsibility of politics" (n. 28b).The Holy Father recalls the Ch...

June 29, 2006

The Church and charity

Pope Benedict XVI underlines two "essential facts" about the Church and works of charity in his encyclical "Deus Caritas Est (God is Love)."First of all, charity is inherent to the nature of the Church.The nature of the Church is understood from her "threefold responsibility" of "proclaiming the Word of God" (evangelization and catechesis), "celebrating the sacraments" (Sacred Liturgy) and "exercising the ministry...

June 22, 2006

Introduction

I interrupt briefly my reflection upon Pope Benedict XVI...

June 15, 2006

Union of our hearts with the pierced Heart of Jesus

Pope Benedict XVI begins part two of his first encyclical letter, "Deus Caritas Est (God is Love)," by summarizing the fruit of his reflection on the one reality of love, revealed in nature and in the Word of God, in part one. The summary is found in the focus on the glorious pierced Heart of Jesus, in which the one reality of love is fully revealed to us.Through the piercing of the Sa...

June 9, 2006

Two Questions

Pope Benedict XVI concludes part one of his first encyclical letter, "Deus Caritas Est (God is Love)," by answering two questions. The first part of the encyclical letter is devoted to a reflection on "the nature of love and its meaning in biblical faith." The Holy Father...

June 1, 2006

Love and the Incarnation

Our Lord Jesus Christ is the fullness of the revelation of God.In Jesus Christ, God the Son made man, we see perfectly the biblical image of God and of man in their essential relationship to each other.Pope Benedict XVI, in his encyclical "God is Love," reminds us that it is Christ Who "gives flesh and blood" to the teaching about love in the Holy Scriptures (n. 12).Throughout the Holy Scriptures, we witness th...

May 25, 2006

Love and the Image of Man

In presenting the Scriptural teaching on love, Pope Benedict XVI first reflected upon the new and distinct image of God in the Holy Scriptures.He then reflects upon the Biblical image of man, which is also new and distinct.

The two accounts of creation in the Book of Genesis make it clear that man alone is incomplete.Nature provides woman to the solitary man, in whom he finds the communion which makes hi...

May 18, 2006

Biblical faith and love

The reflection on human love thus far leads Pope Benedict XVI to conclude that love "is a single reality, but with different dimensions" (Deus Caritas Est [God is love] n. 8).The two dimensions of love, human love or eros and divine love or agape, are both real.At times, one or another dimension may appear more strongly. They are, however, dimensions of one and the same reality.If they are not related to each oth...

May 11, 2006

Unity of body and soul in love

Discussing the purification of human love through our participation in divine love, Pope Benedict XVI in his encyclical "God is Love" addresses a seeming tension between the body and the soul.We are easily and superficially tempted to view the body and the soul as opposed to one another.In such a view, human love is falsely seen in one of two ways.It is either viewed as unworthy of our spiritual nature, a...

May 4, 2006

The many senses of love

The first of the two parts of Pope Benedict XVI...

April 26, 2006

Pope Benedict XVI...

April 20, 2006

Dynamism of Our Life in Christ

Throughout the 50 days of the Easter Season, we hear the accounts of the appearances of our Risen Lord to the Apostles and other disciples. In all of the accounts, there is a single message: By His Dying and Rising, Christ has gone ahead of us and, by His outpouring of the Holy Spirit, He meets us in the Church.He is our faithful companion along the pilgrimage of our passing earthly life and He waits to we...

April 13, 2006

Power in abandonment to Divine Mercy

The cry of our Lord as He was dying on the Cross expressed His abiding trust in God the Father...

April 8, 2006

Lenten Prayer and Almsgiving

Christ...