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.

August 4, 2017

St. Thomas Aquinas sometimes likens God to a pillar. It's important not to misunderstand what he means by the comparison. What he means is this: whether we stand to the right of the pillar or to its left, the pillar itself doesn't change — we change in relation to it. Two episodes from the readings this week help us to understand what the comparison means for our lives.

On Tuesday, we hear the episode of Jesus walking on the water and S...

August 4, 2017

The first and third readings for the 19th Sunday in Ordinary Time make a simple point: Sometimes in the direst circumstances of life, we discover God beneath all our elemental fears.

Jeremiah states, "More tortuous than anything is the human heart, beyond remedy; who can understand it? I the Lord, explore the mind and test the heart, giving to all according to their ways, according to the fruits of their deeds."

Elijah, in the fi...

August 4, 2017

What happens if the (unconsecrated) offertory gifts are dropped? 

Growing up, my parents occasionally went to Shop 'n Save. My job was to bag the groceries. In my teenage gusto, I bagged the groceries heavy, stuffing as much as I could in them. I remember my mom reminding me on at least a few occasions to bag the bread separately and to put it in a separate place, lest it get smashed. I remember a few sandwiches at...

July 27, 2017

En las lecturas de esta semana escuchamos la famosa historia de los israelitas adorando el becerro de oro. La mayoría de las personas recuerdan que Moisés rompió las tablas de los Diez Mandamientos como respuesta, un signo de que el pueblo de Israel había roto su pacto con Dios. Pocos recuerdan que él destruyó el becerro, hizo el oro polvo y lo mezcló con agua, e hizo que los israelitas tomaran el agua. El episodio nos plantea puntos interesan...

July 27, 2017

In the readings this week, we hear the famous story of the Israelites worshiping the golden calf. Most people remember that Moses smashed the Ten Commandments in response, a sign that the people of Israel had broken their covenant with God. Fewer remember how he melted down the calf, had the gold ground into powder and mixed with water, and made the Israelites drink the water. The episode raises interesting points about the relation between Go...

July 27, 2017

The readings for the Feast of the Transfiguration tell us about the future God has in store for people who follow Jesus. Like Jesus, we're ultimately called to live in glory for all eternity.

In the first reading, Daniel has a vision of heaven. The Ancient One, whom we call God the Father, is seated on the throne. "His clothing was bright as snow, and the hair on His head as white as wool; His throne was flames of fire, with wheels of b...

July 27, 2017

The Most Blessed Sacrament of the Altar is a common way to refer to the Eucharist. The full meaning of that phrase gives us better grasp of the value the Eucharist has to the Church.

How we treat the Blessed Sacrament and how we behave in His presence show our reverence and respect for it. Even when cleaning the chalices, ciboria, patens and cloths that contain or touch the Eucharist, we're called to protect and dignify the sanctity of...

July 20, 2017

El número de peregrinos que transitan el Camino de Compostela ha aumentado dramáticamente desde mediados de los años 80. (El Camino es la famosa ruta de peregrinaje europea que termina en el noroeste de España en la Catedral de Santiago de Compostela, donde se cree está enterrado el apóstol Santiago — St. James en inglés) En 1985, menos de 1000 personas hicieron la peregrinación. Entonces el número creció significativamente a más de 25.000 en...

July 20, 2017

The number of pilgrims who have walked the Camino de Santiago has risen dramatically since the mid-1980s. (The Camino is the famous European pilgrimage route that ends in northwest Spain at the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela, which is believed to be burial place of St. James — "Santiago" in Spanish.) In 1985, less than 1,000 made the pilgrimage. Then the number grew significantly to more than 25,000 by 1997, more than 100,000 by 2006 and...

July 20, 2017

The readings for the 17th Sunday of Ordinary Time implicitly celebrate the mystery of God that is hidden deep within us. Reflecting on the word reveals His presence.

Some people are so curious to know their future that they turn to the occult to discover it. The word of God strictly warns us never to go that route. For example, in the Book of Deuteronomy, God tells Moses: "Let there not be found among you anyone who causes their son or...

July 14, 2017

Una investigación reciente mostró que las personas entre 18-33 años revisan su teléfono 85 veces al día. El tiempo total que invierten es de aproximadamente 5 horas.

Más que señalar a los adultos jóvenes, esto debe plantear interrogantes para todos nosotros: ¿Cómo gastamos nuestro tiempo y energía cada día —y hay una mejor manera de hacerlo?

En el evangelio del lunes, Jesús nos dice: "Cualquiera que ama a su padre o a su madre o...

July 14, 2017

Appropriate use of time, connection between suffering and flourishing
let our lives tell story of God's people 

A recent investigation showed that the average 18-33 year old checks his or her phone 85 times a day. The total investment of time adds up to 5 hours.

Rather than pointing a finger at young adults, this should raise questions for all of us: How do we spend...

July 14, 2017

The readings for the 16th Sunday in Ordinary Time blend in a similar way as the figurative yeast from the Gospel parable leavens the whole batch. The Holy Spirit is the leaven that brings these readings to life.

From the Book of Wisdom, the first reading illustrates what the Holy Spirit does in our lives. The Holy Spirit tells us through the prophet: "For your might is the source of justice; your mastery over all things makes you lenien...

July 14, 2017

First, let's review.

Baptism is the necessary sacrament for one to receive to enter the Kingdom of Heaven (John 3:5). While ideally one would receive this sacrament, the Church has understood from her foundation two other ways to receive the graces of this sacrament.

The Baptism of Desire is received by someone preparing for baptism but dying before the sacrament is conferred, or by a person who never hears about Christ but lives...

June 30, 2017

'I give praise to you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, for although you have hidden these things from the wise and the learned you have revealed them to little ones.' 

All three readings for the 14th Sunday of Ordinary Time celebrate what God has done and is doing for us. Alone, we can't save ourselves, and even God can't save us without permission. Salvation is a work that only God performs, but He need...

June 29, 2017

Un paracaidista salta de un avión y se precipita hacia la tierra. Puede ejercer su libertad en dos formas: Tirar del cordón y abrir el paracaídas, o no hacerlo. Cualquiera de las dos decisiones es su escogencia. Pero una lleva a la vida y la otra a la muerte.

Lo mismo es cierto de la ciudad de St. Louis declarándose a sí misma como un santuario del aborto, y de los estados que están considerando legalizar el suicidio asistido por los mé...

June 29, 2017

A skydiver leaps from a plane and speeds toward the ground. She can exercise her freedom in two ways: Pull the ripcord and open the parachute, or not. Either way it's her choice. But one choice leads to life and the other leads to death.

The same is true of the city of St. Louis declaring itself an abortion sanctuary and of states that are considering legalizing physician-assisted suicide. Like the skydiver, the primary question isn't w...

June 22, 2017

Comenzamos esta semana un ciclo de lecturas del Antiguo Testamento que nos llevan a través de las historias de Abraham, Isaac, Jacob y José. En la lectura del lunes, Dios le hace una promesa a Abraham. Esta promesa se repite varias veces a través de la semana. Pero probablemente la fase clave es: "Entonces Abraham viajó por etapas al Negeb."

Etapas. Esta es la clave. La promesa fue hecha a Abraham desde el inicio: descendientes tan nume...