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.

September 14, 2006

Introduction

On this coming Sunday, Sept. 17, we will celebrate Christian stewardship and rededicate ourselves as good stewards of God...

September 7, 2006

Introduction

I write to thank you for your generous response to the 2006 Annual Catholic Appeal.Considering your generous response, I am reminded of Pope Benedict XVI...

August 30, 2006

Introduction

From Aug.16 to 24 last, I led a missionary pilgrimage to the missions in Bolivia, in which priests of the archdiocese have served and are serving. The pilgrimage was as an important part of the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the archdiocesan Latin America Apostolate. Several priests and lay faithful of the archdiocese made the pilgrimage with me. A number of the priests who accompanied the pilgrimage had spent some...

August 24, 2006

Prayer and Action

The Holy Father, in his encyclical letter "Deus Caritas Est (God Is Love)," declares: "It is time to reaffirm the importance of prayer in the face of the activism and the growing secularism of many Christians engaged in charitable works."The prayer of the Christian "does not claim to be able to change God...

August 17, 2006

Working with other organizations

In carrying out the Church...

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...