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.

March 15, 2018

Sometimes, this discussion of offering Holy Communion under both forms turns into a contentious issue. Some feel that when the Precious Blood isn't offered, they don't fully participate in Holy Communion or their rights as Catholics have been infringed upon. Far from feeling united in communion, individuals feel divided.

This view might be motivated by the underlying belief that clergy exclusively possess the Eucharist. Others participa...

March 8, 2018

"Por allá pasa un río."

Así dice el pequeño Diamond, el personaje principal en el libro clásico de George MacDonald "Más allá del Viento del Norte". Diamond visitó el cielo en sus sueños. Cuando un viejo amigo y tutor le pregunta: "¿Qué pasa allá?" él le da una respuesta enigmática: "Por allá pasa un río".

El pensamiento de MacDonald y su escritura tienen una tremenda influencia para C.S. Lewis. Lewis no solo publicó un libro de...

March 8, 2018

"A river happens there."

So says little Diamond, the main character in George MacDonald's classic book "At the Back of the North Wind." Diamond has been visiting heaven in his dreams. When an old friend and tutor asks him: "What happens there?" he gives this cryptic reply: "A river happens there."

MacDonald's thinking and writing were tremendously influential for C.S. Lewis. Not only did Lewis publish a book of reflections and qu...

March 8, 2018

The readings for the Fifth Sunday in Lent reflect two seemingly contradictory states (though they are actually complementary): rest and restlessness.

First, the state of rest. Jeremiah saw his share of conflict, but he also saw it was never destined to be a permanent state for mankind. Earlier he had said, "More tortuous than anything is the human heart, beyond remedy; who can understand it?"

Now, years later, through much prayer...

March 8, 2018

This is a question that many people wonder about. We hear of terms such as "mortal sin," "venial sin," "deadly sins" and so on. But what do they mean?

Sin is a "failure in genuine love for God and neighbor caused by a perverse attachment to certain goods" (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1849). It sets us against God's love, for it declares that the love I have for myself or another person or thing is greater than the love I have for...

March 1, 2018

Cuando el pueblo judío regresó a Jerusalén después de 50 años en el exilio, se dedicó a reconstruir el templo. La destrucción del templo no fue su culpa, fue por causa de los pecados de otros, pero la tarea de reconstruirlo recayó sobre sus hombros.

Este ejemplo nos sirve como un patrón para nuestra disciplina cuaresmal, y en realidad, para toda la vida cristiana.

Los seminaristas y sacerdotes de nuestro tiempo — en todo el país...

March 1, 2018

When the Jewish people returned to Jerusalem after 50 years in exile, they set about rebuilding the Temple. The destruction of the Temple wasn't their fault — that was due to the sins of others. But the task of rebuilding fell to them.

Their example serves as a pattern for our Lenten discipline and, really, for all of Christian life.

Seminarians and priests today — across the country and around the world — face a similar situatio...

March 1, 2018

The readings for the Fourth Sunday of Lent illustrate a simple fact: Man's best friend is God, while his two worst enemies are his own flesh and the Evil One.

God revealed to Judah a plan for its future, but the people of Judah had other plans for their happiness. "Early and often did the Lord, the God of their fathers, send His messengers to them, for He had compassion on His people and His dwelling place."

However, the Lord's p...

March 1, 2018

When we hear the word "gospel", our minds immediately turn to the four books at the head of the New Testament. Originally, though, this word had a more expansive meaning.

The word 'gospel' literally means, "good news." It was first used by a different kind of king than Jesus: the Roman emperors. They used this word at the head of any proclamation or message to the people, regardless of the content of the message. Using this word reinfor...

February 23, 2018

Ellos conspiraron para asesinarlo.

De una u otra forma, esta frase aparece cuatro veces en las lecturas de esta semana. Es utilizada con relación al profeta Jeremías, José y su abrigo de muchos colores, y finalmente en el hijo del terrateniente en una de las parábolas de Jesús.

Esto plantea una pregunta para nosotros: ¿Cómo pensamos acerca de la "gloria"?

A menudo, cuando pensamos acerca de la gloria, solamente estamos pen...

February 23, 2018

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 doesn't seem to answer our prayers. He lists four reasons.

The first is that we're asking for something that's bad. In the passage from which St. Augustine is commenting, Jesus says, "Which one of you would hand his son a stone when he a...

February 22, 2018

They plotted to kill him.

Four times, in one form or another, that phrase comes up in this week's readings. It's used in reference to the prophet Jeremiah, Jesus, Joseph and his coat of many colors, and finally the son of the landowner in one of Jesus' parables.

It raises a question for us: How do we think of "glory?"

Often, when we think of glory, we're only thinking of victory: the victory of an athletic team, success at...

February 22, 2018

The readings for the Third Sunday of Lent focus on what the heart sees but the eyes don't.

In the Book of Exodus, God communicates His covenant to His people in order to form them into a community of love. To do this, they will need a common set of teachings and beliefs, hence the Ten Commandments.

This set of beliefs, if lived, will bind them to their God but also establish Godly principles in their heart, and these principles w...

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...