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.

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...

March 30, 2006

Lenten prayer and fasting

Christ entered into the desert for 40 days to pray and fast.So, too, the heart of our Lenten observance is prayer and fasting.We may ask what connection prayer has with fasting.In fact, the two are inseparable.

The closer we draw to our Lord Jesus in prayer, the more His life becomes the measure of our daily living. When the light of Christ shines within our souls, we naturally restrain our use of materi...

March 23, 2006

Lenten Prayer and Devotions

Prayer, the heart of our Lenten observance, includes the devotional life. By the devotional life, I mean the customary ways in which we deepen our knowledge and love of Christ, above all, as He gives Himself to us in the Holy Eucharist. The devotional life takes on a special significance in carrying out the work of the new evangelization, to which our Lenten observance is directed.

The new evangelizati...

March 16, 2006

Lenten prayer and the Holy Eucharist

The new evangelization, for which our Lenten observance renews and strengthens us, is, first of all, a work of prayer.Prayer draws us to Christ, to His pierced Heart, from which we, in turn, draw the inspiration and courage to live in Christ in a culture which has grown forgetful of Him or has never known Him.Without prayer, our work of the new evangelization will utterly fail, for we cannot bring Ch...

March 9, 2006

The Sermon on the Mount and our Lenten observance

After our Lord had spent 40 days in the desert, fasting and praying, He began His public ministry.He called the Apostles, and then presented the summary of His teaching to the many who had gathered to hear Him.We refer to His teaching on that occasion as the Sermon on the Mount.It is the point of reference for our Christian living throughout a lifetime.

At the conclusion of the fi...

March 1, 2006

Christ the Good Shepherd

We have entered the season of Lent with Christ our Good Shepherd.Even as our Lord Jesus went into the desert for 40 days to fast and pray in preparation for His public ministry of evangelization, so also He leads us, each year, to devote the 40 days of Lent to more intense prayer, fasting and almsgiving.Through the 40 days of Lent, we purify and strengthen the discipline of our daily lives so that we may more ef...