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 31, 2017

In the readings for the 23rd Sunday of Ordinary Time, God commands each of us to be a spokesperson for His saving truth.

In the first reading, God tells Ezekiel, "You I have appointed watchman for the house of Israel; when you hear me say anything, you shall warn them for me...."

About 45 years ago, I was at a prayer meeting, and I got the inner urge to share this very passage from Ezekiel, but chose not to for fear of turning of...

August 24, 2017

El calendario transiciona de agosto a septiembre esta semana. Esto significa que la estación cambia al otoño en tres semanas. De una manera interesante, también cerramos nuestras lecturas del Evangelio de San Mateo esta semana; la próxima semana comenzamos nuestras lecturas de San Lucas. ¿Como podríamos manejar estas transiciones?

La Fiesta de San Agustín, que celebramos el 28 de agosto, nos da una pista.

Uno de los grandes traba...

August 24, 2017

The calendar turns from August to September this week. That means the season changes to fall in a few weeks. Interestingly, we also close out our readings from the Gospel of Matthew this week; next week we begin to read from Luke. How should we handle these transitions?

The Feast of St. Augustine, which we celebrate on August 28, gives us a clue.

One of St. Augustine's great works is his Confessions — the title of his autobiograp...

August 24, 2017

All three readings for the 20th Sunday in Ordinary Time celebrate the power of God to change human hearts.

The selections begin with Jeremiah's complaint against God, alleging that God deceived him and also that Jeremiah let himself be deceived. Several chapters earlier he stated, "When I found your words, I devoured them; they became my joy and the happiness of my heart, because I bore your name, O Lord, of hosts. ... Under the weight...

August 24, 2017

I love my mother. She is a great, holy woman. But whenever she calls me, her first question is, "Where are you?"

When I was a bit younger, this question could make me a bit nervous. But now I understand her question had two meanings. First, it's the natural curiosity of a mother. Second, she wanted to be present with me in her thoughts and prayers in whatever I was doing at that moment.

This deeper understanding over the years no...

August 18, 2017

The readings for the 21st Sunday in Ordinary Time make it clear that God intends to establish His authority on the face of the earth, in the hearts of all mankind so that mankind will come to know Him and accept His invitation to enter into the life of the Most Holy Trinity for all eternity.

In the first reading, God replaces Shebna as the master of the palace and gives that authority to Eliakim. Apparently, there had been mismanagement...

Arzobispo Robert J. Carlson
August 17, 2017

¿Cuál es el patrón de tu vida?

Cada adicto en proceso de recuperación conoce los patrones fundamentales de pensar, sentir y actuar que apoyan su adicción o su recuperación.

Los israelitas también reconocieron los patrones fundamentales de su vida como el pueblo de Dios.

Un patrón es expuesto claramente en el libro de Jueces: Israel peca contra Dios, todo va mal y son conquistados por una nación extranjera, pero Dios les da...

Archbishop Robert J. Carlson
August 17, 2017

What's the pattern of your life?

Every addict in recovery knows the fundamental patterns of thinking, feeling and acting that support their addiction or their recovery.

The Israelites, too, recognized fundamental patterns in their life as God's people.

One pattern is laid out clearly in the Book of Judges: Israel sins against God, everything goes wrong and they're conquered by a foreign nation, but God raises up a mighty l...

August 11, 2017

God is the relentless source of goodness to all who come to Him in hope and humility, an image depicted in the readings for the 20th Sunday in Ordinary Time.

In the first reading, the Lord tells us: "Observe what is right, do what is just; for My salvation is about to come, My justice about to be revealed." Justice and righteousness are divine prerogatives. Man can't justify himself by his works; he can only receive righteousness as a g...

August 11, 2017

The basic concept of karma is simple to explain: what we sow in the world through our words and actions is what will be returned to us. So, when we're friendly with others, people will be friendly with us in return. But how this concept is explicated is where the Church concentrates her thoughts.

Karma is most associated with the Buddhist and Hindu faith traditions. In them, karma helps to explain what happens when someone is reincarnat...

August 10, 2017

Existe un patrón fundamental que puede ayudarnos a comprender la biblia y a servir de guía para nuestras vidas. Las lecturas de la Fiesta de la Asunción — que celebramos esta semana (el 15 de agosto) — nos proveen de un ejemplo perfecto.

La lectura del Antiguo Testamento para la vigilia nos recuerda cómo David llevó el arca de la alianza a Jerusalén. El arca de la alianza no solo era el símbolo de la presencia de Dios. Los israelitas la...

August 10, 2017

There's a fundamental pattern that can help us to understand the Bible and provide guidance for our lives. The readings for the Feast of the Assumption — which we celebrate this week (Aug. 15) — provide a perfect example.

The Old Testament reading for the vigil recalls how David took the ark of the covenant into Jerusalem. The ark of the covenant wasn't just a symbol of God's presence. The Israelites considered it His actual dwelling pl...

August 4, 2017

Santo Tomas de Aquino a veces compara a Dios con un pilar. Es importante no malinterpretar lo que él quiso decir con esta comparación. Lo que significa es lo siguiente: si nosotros nos colocamos a la derecha del pilar o a su izquierda, el pilar no cambia — nosotros cambiamos con respecto a él. Dos episodios de las lecturas de esta semana nos ayudan a comprender lo que esta comparación significa en nuestras vidas.

El martes, escuchamos e...

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...