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.

May 11, 2017

Thank you for asking this difficult question. It's a question that I believe is on the heart of many after a funeral. Unfortunately, it isn't brought up very often. After all, we don't want to say or think anything negative about our loved one, nor do we want to doubt the power of God's merciful love for anyone. This question remains something nagging our mind that we rarely address.

Bring this concern now forward in your mind. As you f...

May 4, 2017

Un día en mayo de 1917, María se le apareció a tres niños pastores. Ella continúo apareciendo ante ellos cada mes hasta octubre, concluyendo con el "milagro del sol" el 13 de octubre, evento presenciado por una multitud. La Iglesia declaró formalmente las apariciones como dignas de ser creídas en 1930.

La Iglesia no dice que estas apariciones pertenecen a los Depósito de Fe — la revelación definitiva de Jesucristo que es esencial para l...

May 4, 2017

One day in May 1917, Mary appeared to three shepherd children. She continued to appear to them every month until October 1917, concluding with the "miracle of the sun" on October 13, an event that was witnessed by a great multitude. The Church formally declared the apparitions worthy of belief in 1930.

The Church doesn't say that these apparitions belong to the Deposit of Faith — the definitive revelation of Jesus Christ that's essentia...

May 4, 2017

The readings for the Fifth Sunday of Easter are intended to help us to see the kingdom of God, not only in the next life, but also in our present life.

Beginning with the Gospel, we see Jesus try to allay the fears of the apostles, telling them He must go away to prepare a place for them and then He will return. "Do not let your hearts be troubled. You have faith in God; have faith also in me." He acknowledges their faith in God, and no...

April 27, 2017

No hay forma de evitarlo — el discurso del Pan de Vida — pues las lecturas del evangelio de esta semana son del capítulo 6 de san Juan. En vez de tratar de ignorarlo, vayamos directamente al grano.

El lunes, Jesús nos dice que trabajemos por el pan que da vida eterna. El martes, Él nos dice que Él es el pan de vida, y que quien vaya a Él nunca tendrá hambre. El jueves, nos dice que el pan que nos dará es su carne. Y el viernes, cuando l...

April 27, 2017

There's no way to avoid it — the Bread of Life discourse — since this week's Gospel readings are taken from John 6. Rather than trying to get around it, let's wade right into it.

On Monday, Jesus tells us to work for food that endures for eternal life. On Tuesday, He says that He is the bread of life, and whoever come to Him will never hunger. On Thursday, He tells us that the bread He will give us is His Flesh. And on Friday, when peop...

April 27, 2017

The readings for the Fourth Sunday of Easter vividly describe how the living, resurrected presence of Jesus transforms our lives, which is illustrated by St. Peter in the first reading.

In Peter's speech at Pentecost, the risen Lord's presence pours out of Peter, who had allowed Christ's resurrected presence into his heart, replacing the old and dark side of Peter.

Perhaps Peter's inner darkness reached its nadir the moment he de...

April 27, 2017

Many times as a priest, I encounter people who are undergoing great suffering in their life. This suffering may be physical, mental or emotional pain, disunity and brokenness in their family, troubles at work or illness. In the midst of such sufferings, when answers are hard to come by, people at times say to me, "Well, Father, I guess I am just going through my purgatory here on Earth."

Let us first acknowledge the foundation in faith...

April 20, 2017

Reflexionar sobre la misericordia luce apropiado para la semana después del Domingo de la Divina Misericordia. Las lecturas de la semana nos dan una amplia oportunidad para hacerlo. Uno de los temas puede ser resumido muy simplemente como: ¡Respuesta incorrecta!

Nicodemo viene a ver a Jesús. Jesús le habla acerca de la necesidad de volver a nacer. En lugar de preguntarle que le está tratando de decir con eso, Nicodemo trata de imaginars...

April 20, 2017

It seems appropriate, for the week after Divine Mercy Sunday, to reflect on mercy. The readings for the week give us ample opportunity to do so. One of their themes can be summarized very simply: Wrong response!

Nicodemus comes to see Jesus. Jesus talks to him about the need to be born again. Instead of asking what He means by that, Nicodemus tries to figure out how a person can re-enter his mother's womb. Wrong response!

The San...

April 20, 2017

Stay with us, for it is nearly evening and the day is almost over."

If Easter is about anything at all, it is about God's radical desire to be intimate with each of us.

To take on mankind's sinful nature and then to suffer crucifixion at the hands of His creatures is indeed a mind-boggling demonstration of God's desire to remove sin as the barrier to the intimacy He longs to share with us.

Consider the Resurrection the gre...

April 20, 2017

I often pray to God, but he never seems to answer my prayers. What am I doing wrong? 

St. Augustine, in his writings on the Sermon on the Mount — one of the places in Scripture Jesus encourages us to ask, seek and knock for the Father's answer to our needs in prayer — comments on why God does not seem to answer our prayers. He lists four reasons.

The first is that we are asking for something that is...

April 13, 2017

Hemos visto al Señor!

Este es el mensaje de las lecturas de esta semana en la que celebramos la Pascua. Y nos plantea una pregunta importante: ¿Cómo se nos ha aparecido Jesús a cada uno de nosotros?

Algunas personas se preguntan: ¿Por qué Jesús no se manifiesta el día de hoy, en la forma que Él se manifestó a los apóstoles cuando resucitó de entre los muertos? ¿Esto no haría más fácil que creyéramos en Él, y convertir a un mundo...

April 13, 2017

We have seen the Lord!

That's the message of this week's readings as we celebrate Easter. It raises an important question: How has Jesus appeared to each of us?

Some people wonder: Why doesn't Jesus show Himself today, the way He did to the apostles when He rose from the dead? Wouldn't that make it easier for us to believe, and to convert an unbelieving world? The answer is twofold.

One:...

April 13, 2017

As exciting as Christ's resurrection was to the apostles on Easter Sunday morning, what happens on Easter Sunday evening is even more exciting.

On Easter Sunday morning, the apostles were very excited that Jesus rose from the dead. This knowledge brought joy to their hearts, because they were looking forward to reconnecting with Him.

However, Jesus realized on Easter Sunday morning His work was not completed, so He revisited them...

April 13, 2017

One image of purgatory that was presented during my time in the seminary has stuck in my mind due to its vibrant, fearful image. In it, Mary is pictured with a scapular fishing souls out of purgatory, which is depicted as a sea of fire tormenting those occupying it. Needless to say, such an image wouldn't inspire anyone to want to go there.

While no one wants to go there, purgatory remains a truth that we can't escape. Popularly speakin...

April 6, 2017

Cuando Dios creó a Adán y Eva, les dio el aliento de vida. El primer regalo anuncia el don del Espíritu Santo en Pentecostés — el aliento de Dios — que le dio a los apóstoles la propia vida de Cristo.

Cuando Dios vio la maldad en la tierra en la época de Noé, Dios lavó sus pecados con el diluvio. El diluvio del Antiguo Testamento nos anuncia el bautismo, que lava el pecado original de nuestro cuerpo y nuestra alma.

Nuestros coraz...

April 6, 2017

When God created Adam and Eve, He gave them the breath of life. This first gift foreshadowed the gift of the Holy Spirit — the very breath of God — at Pentecost, which gave the apostles Christ's own life.

When God saw the wickedness of the earth in the time of Noah, He washed away its sins with the flood. The Old Testament flood foreshadowed baptism, which washes original sin from our body and soul.

Our hearts recoil at the story...