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.

February 15, 2018

¿Está siguiendo los Juegos Olímpicos?

Los medallistas olímpicos a menudo nos dicen que su éxito hace que sus sacrificios valgan la pena. A medida que entramos en la segunda semana de Cuaresma esta reflexión nos hace plantearnos una pregunta. La gloria del cielo no puede ser menor que la gloria de una medalla olímpica. ¿Qué sacrificios está dispuesto a hacer para llegar hasta allá?

Esta semana el profeta Ezequiel nos habla acerca...

February 15, 2018

Are you following the Olympics?

Olympic medalists often tell us that their success has made their sacrifices worthwhile. That should raise a question for us as we enter the second week of Lent. The glory of heaven can't be less than the glory of an Olympic medal. What sacrifices are we willing to make to get there?

This week the prophet Ezekiel tell us about a conversation between God and Israel, and it...

February 15, 2018

The transfiguration of Jesus is a vivid description of a future life of glory if we do the will of the Father. We would do well in spending quiet time simply contemplating Jesus, transfigured in glory. He is the obedient one. That's our future, our calling and the fruit of doing the Father's will. We will have an eternity of contemplating God in His glory.

Look at the readings for the second Sunday of Lent. In the first reading, God ask...

February 15, 2018

In the Gospel of St. John, Jesus refers to Himself as the Good Shepherd (John 10:11, 14). This is for us a very consoling image of Jesus watching over us as members of His flock. We can also think of Jesus as the Good Shepherd who brings back those who have strayed. Both views of Jesus the Good Shepherd bring us great consolation at His loving actions for all of us.

As we embrace Jesus as the Good Shepherd, we need to see that He is not...

February 8, 2018

La cuaresma comienza esta semana. ¿Cuál es su plan?

Algunas veces nuestra disciplina para la cuaresma se siente como al azar. Renunciamos al chocolate, la cerveza, o cualquier otra cosa — no porque intrínsecamente le demos valor, sino más bien porque sentimos que debemos renunciar a algo. Esta aparente escogencia al azar puede transformarse en un argumento — algunas veces de otros, otras veces en nuestra propia...

February 8, 2018

Lent begins this week. What's your plan?

Sometimes our Lenten disciplines feel pretty random. We give up chocolate, or beer, or whatever — not because of any intrinsic value in them, but just because we feel like we should give something up. The apparent randomness can become an argument — sometimes from others, sometimes in our own minds — against keeping up the discipline. Does it really matter?

I'm all for well-chosen Lenten d...

February 8, 2018

Lent is the time each year when the Lord allows us to see our enormous need for redemption and how willingly He offers it.

Jesus also models for us how to spend this time of transformation. "The Spirit drove Jesus out into the desert, and He remained in the desert for forty days, tempted by Satan."

In the desert, our humanity is tested. The desert is a dry and barren place. Fierce, wild beasts inhabit it. Food is hard to come by....

February 2, 2018

One story told about St. John Vianney, the saintly pastor of Ars in France, is that he often saw a farmer sit in the back of the parish church. The saint noticed that the farmer would spend long periods of time there before the Eucharist. Finally one day, the saint asked him what he did during his time of adoration. The farmer simply responded, "I look at Him and He looks at me."

This is what Eucharistic Adoration is: a time for us to c...

February 1, 2018

¿El tiempo y el lugar realmente importan en nuestra relación con Dios?

Por un lado, Dios está en todas partes por Su esencia, presencia y poder. Esta es la enseñanza de Santo Tomás de Aquino. Esto significa que encontramos a Dios en cada momento y lugar.

Por el otro lado, Santo Tomás sabía — y nosotros podemos saber, con una pequeña reflexión — que hay formas en las cuales el tiempo y el lugar todavía importan.

Por ejemplo...

February 1, 2018

Do time and place really matter in our relationship with God?

On the one hand, God is everywhere by His essence, presence and power. That's the teaching of St. Thomas Aquinas. It means that we find God in every time and place.

On the other hand, St. Thomas knew — and we can know, with a little reflection — that there are ways in which time and place still matter.

For example, we know this as Cardinals fans. Thanks to the w...

February 1, 2018

Leprosy was so contagious that victims had to be isolated from the rest of humanity. This caused victims to suffer from psychological illnesses associated with isolation and extreme loneliness.

Various scientific and psychiatric studies show that babies who don't receive sufficient human contact are more likely to suffer developmental delays — either physical or emotional.

There is a very simple explanation for this. The Communit...

January 26, 2018

¿Cómo reacciona usted? Las lecturas de esta semana nos hacen esta pregunta.

El hijo de David, Absalón, comenzó una rebelión y David tuvo que huir para salvar su vida. Mientras huía, un hombre vino a encontrarse con él, maldiciendo a David por todo el derramamiento de sangre. Los guardias reales querían cortarle la cabeza al hombre. ¿Cómo reaccionó David? Él les dijo a sus soldados que quizás Dios le había enviado a este hombre. Después...

January 26, 2018

How do you react? The readings this week ask us this question.

David's son Absalom, started a rebellion and David had to flee for his life. While he was fleeing, a man came to meet him, cursing David for all of the bloodshed. The royal guards wanted to lop the man's head off. But how did David react? He told his soldiers that maybe God had sent the man. After all, it was the truth: David was reaping the fruit of his own sins. He accepte...

January 26, 2018

Does the potential threat of a nuclear missile attack get the best of you? What about the constant threat of another terrorist attack, in almost any neighborhood? What about racial unrest, the inability of our society to work together for the common good? These fears are all aspects of a world where sin abounds and we have no place to go. It has been like this since Cain and Abel.

Those who remember another time that was so different mu...

January 26, 2018

Recently, I was teaching third-graders at the parish school. One of the students asked if the Sign of the Cross was the shortest prayer there was. I responded that I knew a shorter one: the name Jesus.

The power of Jesus' name is apparent from St. Paul's writings, where he tells the Philippians that every knee shall bend and every tongue confess that Jesus is Lord (Philippians 2:11). The confession that Jesus is Lord also forms the most...

January 19, 2018

Is it possible to condemn a sin in the clearest possible terms, and yet love the person who commits the sin?

As we mark the 45th anniversary of the legalization of abortion in the United States, it's crucial that we answer this question correctly.

Contemporary culture wants to tell us that we can't do both: either we accept the person and endorse their actions, or we hate the person because we don't approve their behavior.

...
January 19, 2018

¿Es posible condenar un pecado en los términos más claros posibles, y sin embargo amar a la persona que comete el pecado?

Al señalar el 45º aniversario de la legalización del aborto en los Estados Unidos, es crucial que respondamos esta pregunta correctamente.

La cultura contemporánea quiere decirnos que no podemos hacer ambas cosas: o aceptamos la persona y respaldamos sus acciones, o la odiamos porque no aprobamos su comportami...

January 19, 2018

What are the sounds that drive us? Recently I was waiting at a red light and saw a driver in a car opposite me. He was bobbing his head up and down and side to side rhythmically. The movements seemed so extreme that I wondered how he could tell when the red light changed.

Granted, the body was simply responding in a musical way to the rhythms on his radio. Thank God there was a reason his body responded in this patterned way. If that we...