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.

April 12, 2018

What do we focus on?

Many of us pick up the news first thing in the morning when we're just getting going, and then again in the evening when we're tired from a long day. At those vulnerable moments, where do we focus? The news tends to focus our attention on the worst possible things that have happened in the past 24 hours, and we often follow that lead.

I'm not suggesting, by any means, that we ignore the bad things that happen...

April 12, 2018

The impression I get from the readings for the Fourth Sunday of Easter is that Jesus says to each of us, "I want to be on stage in your life wherever you go and in whatever you do."

In the first reading, Peter points out that the main character in their midst is the invisible Jesus Christ. He is the one engendering such a fervent and furious ferment.

Peter says, "If we are being examined today about a good deed done to a cripple,...

April 12, 2018

Once we get past the basic logistics of praying the Rosary and learn the order of the mysteries, we might ask: "OK, so now I am doing this. What am I supposed to be getting out of it?" To help, there are many aids to help us to pray the Rosary.

One of the most simple is to remember the fruit of the mystery. This fruit is the truth at the heart of the mystery. For example, in the first joyful mystery, we pray for the fruit of humility. T...

April 5, 2018

Esta semana celebramos la fiesta de la Anunciación.

En esta fiesta, escucharemos una lectura del profeta Isaías, que nos dice: "La virgen concebirá y dará a luz un hijo, y le pondrá por nombre Emmanuel, que significa ¡Dios con nosotros!". Una cosa curiosa acerca de este pasaje es que el texto hebreo simplemente dice "una joven" concebirá un hijo. Sin embargo, cuando los eruditos judíos tradujeron el texto del hebreo al griego, unos 200...

April 5, 2018

We celebrate the Feast of the Annunciation April 9.

On the feast, we hear a reading from the Prophet Isaiah, who tells us: "The virgin shall be with child, and bear a son, and shall name Him Emmanuel, which means 'God is with us!'" A curious thing about this passage is that the Hebrew text simply says "a young girl" shall be with child. But when Jewish scholars translated it into Greek some 200 years before Christ, the Greek word they c...

April 5, 2018

The readings for the third Sunday of Easter make a simple point: knowledge of the Resurrection of Jesus impels all hearers to reassess how they're living their daily lives. Up until Christ's Passion, Jews who came into the presence of Jesus, made an effort to conform their behavior to Jesus' presence and to His teaching.

Now all that has changed. Jesus shows up unexpectedly and catches them off guard. To not be caught off guard, they no...

April 5, 2018

Notably on Easter Sunday, but also on every Sunday of the year, we celebrate Christ's resurrection from the dead. As we commemorate this event every Sunday, we know it happened on Easter Sunday morning. He rose once from the dead this morning and did not have to rise multiple times on that or any other morning.

Yet when we use the word again, we usually mean that an action that has happened in the past is occurring again in the present....

March 29, 2018

¡Cristo ha resucitado!

Esta semana los Evangelios de cada día nos hablan acerca de las apariciones de Jesús resucitado a sus discípulos.

Una característica común de estas apariciones — y una muy curiosa — es que los seguidores de Jesús no siempre lo reconocen.

Así pasó con María Magdalena cuando fue a la tumba: "Ella se dio la vuelta y vio a Jesús allí, pero no sabía que era Jesús".

Igual sucedió con los discípulos...

March 29, 2018

Christ is Risen!

Every day this week the Gospels tell us about one of the appearances of the risen Jesus to His disciples.

A common feature in these accounts — and a curious one — is that Jesus' followers didn't always recognize Him.

So it was with Mary Magdalene when she went to the tomb: "She turned around and saw Jesus there, but did not know it was Jesus."

So it was with the disciples on the Road to Emmaus: "Jes...

March 29, 2018

The readings for the Second Sunday of Easter make it clear that God engages His people in a new way, through the power of the Holy Spirit. Jesus spent three years presenting His followers with the truth of God's love for them, and He extended to His people the invitation to return that love.

At times, they briefly experienced the power of God's love when they witnessed a miracle, but that brief experience of love quickly faded. They did...

March 29, 2018

In 1931, a young Polish nun, now known as St. Faustina, received an apparition of Jesus. He appeared with red and white streams coming from His heart. Over time, He revealed His desire that this image be painted and that a feast dedicated to Divine Mercy be instituted on the Sunday following Easter Sunday.

This request of Jesus was bringing new emphasis of a theme already present in that liturgy. St. Augustine, one of the Fathers of the...

March 22, 2018

"¡Hazlo otra vez!" Los niños a menudo dicen eso cuando algo los deleita. Esta es también la visión de Dios de la historia de la salvación, y las lecturas para la Semana Santa nos dan varios buenos ejemplos.

Esta semana oiremos el episodio de Abraham e Isaac, en el cual el hijo amado lleva él mismo la madera a la colina donde será sacrificado. Luego, vemos a Jesús hacerlo otra vez en su Pasión.

Esta semana escucharemos del profeta...

March 22, 2018

'Do it again!" Children often say this when something delights them. It's also God's approach to salvation history, and the readings for Holy Week give several good examples.

This week we hear the episode of Abraham and Isaac, in which the beloved son carries the wood up the hill where he himself will be sacrificed. Then, we see Jesus do it again in His Passion.

This week we hear about the "Suffering Servant" from the prophet Isa...

March 22, 2018

The Feast of the Resurrection is as spectacular as it is mysterious. We'll never comprehend this mystery, we'll only experience it someday. The mystery touches us in inexplicable ways every day. Contemplating this mystery should profoundly alter the way we relate to others, because Christ relates to others through us.

In attempting to explain the meaning of this day, St. Heshchius of Jerusalem wrote: "This day brings us a message of joy...

March 22, 2018

This highly theoretical question has been pondered by many a great mind through history. It all boils down to this: Could Jesus have simply declared to the whole human race that all their sins were forgiven without His suffering on the cross? We're tempted to say yes, if that were God's will, because nothing is impossible for God (Luke 1:37).

On the other hand, God created this universe with a certain order and structure, and, in order...

March 15, 2018

Nosotros celebramos la fiesta de San José el 19 de marzo.

Antes de decir nada acerca de él — y hay mucho que decir — es tiempo de aclarar algo: José y María estaban casados cuando María concibió a Jesús por causa del Espíritu Santo.

San Juan Pablo II escribió sobre José, en su exhortación apostólica "Redemptor Custos". "De acuerdo con las costumbres judías antiguas, el matrimonio toma lugar en dos fases: la primera era la legal,...

March 15, 2018

We celebrate the feast of St. Joseph on March 19.

Before saying anything else about him — and there's much to be said — it's time to clear up something: Joseph and Mary were married when Mary conceived Jesus by the Holy Spirit.

St. John Paul II explained this in "Redemptor Custos," his apostolic exhortation on Joseph. "According to ancient Jewish custom, marriage took place in two stages: first the legal, or true marriage was cel...

March 15, 2018

On Palm Sunday, we enter into the most moving week of the liturgical year.

As we enter into His passion through quiet prayer, we engage the love in His heart that embraces the sufferings and insults of all humanity. This is Christ's opportunity to pour out on mankind God's unfathomable love and mercy. As we encounter His outward silence, let us be in touch with the inward roar of saying "yes" to the Father. Jesus models the strength and...