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.

May 18, 2017

Nuestro deber con el octavo mandamiento — No mentirás — es fascinante. El primer nivel es obvio, aunque no siempre es fácil: debemos hablar con la verdad. Sin embargo, las lecturas de esta semana nos iluminan a un nivel más profundo.

Fijemos nuestra reflexión en el discurso de San Pablo en el Areópago, el cual oiremos el miércoles.

El Areópago era un lugar para la discusión y el debate público. Pablo dio un mensaje sofisticado, b...

May 18, 2017

Our duty to the Eighth Commandment — Thou shalt not lie — is fascinating. The first level is obvious, even if it isn't always easy: our speaking must be truthful. But deeper levels are illuminated by the readings this week.

Let's anchor our reflection in St. Paul's speech at the Areopagus, which we hear on Wednesday.

The Areopagus was a place for public discussion and debate. Paul gave a sophisticated, well-reasoned, inculturated...

May 18, 2017

The feast of the Ascension of Our Lord marks the transition between Jesus' earthly ministry and the early Church's ministry.

When the time came to depart this earth, Jesus turned over the ministry to the apostles, who were to be filled with the Holy Spirit on the coming feast of Pentecost.

God had given "all power in heaven and on earth" to the Crucified One, and Jesus in turn passes this authority to the apostles: "Go, therefore...

May 18, 2017

Before His ascension, Jesus told His apostles, "Go into the whole world and proclaim the Gospel to every creature" (Mark 16:15). While these words were meant for the whole Church, the apostles were the first to embrace them. They traveled, sometimes great distances, to preach the Gospel. All but one of the apostles were martyred for their belief in Christ and proclaiming Him to others.

With that, let us look at what the apostles did aft...

May 11, 2017

Un sacerdote de la Florida que conozco regresó recientemente de un viaje a un país extranjero. Al pasar por la aduana le preguntaron si tenía algo que declarar. Con un brillo en sus ojos y una sonrisa en su cara respondió: "Si, ¡Jesucristo es el Señor!"

Esta no era la respuesta que ellos esperaban; pero, aun así, su declaración produjo varios "Amén" de parte de los agentes de aduana.

Esta historia simple (¡y cierta!) resalta uno...

May 11, 2017

A priest I know from Florida was recently returning from a foreign country. When he went through customs they asked him if he had anything to declare. With a twinkle in his eyes and a smile on his face, he responded: "Yes. Jesus Christ is Lord!"

It wasn't the response they were expecting; still, his declaration elicited several "Amens" from the customs agents.

This simple (and true!) story highlights one of the main themes from t...

May 11, 2017

Jesus' words in the Gospel reading for the Sixth Sunday of Easter, which were spoken before Pentecost, help us to understand the first readings, which took place after Pentecost.

Jesus tells His disciples, "And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Advocate to be with you always, the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot accept, because it neither sees nor knows Him."

By definition, an advocate is a person who publ...

May 11, 2017

Thank you for asking this difficult question. It's a question that I believe is on the heart of many after a funeral. Unfortunately, it isn't brought up very often. After all, we don't want to say or think anything negative about our loved one, nor do we want to doubt the power of God's merciful love for anyone. This question remains something nagging our mind that we rarely address.

Bring this concern now forward in your mind. As you f...

May 4, 2017

Un día en mayo de 1917, María se le apareció a tres niños pastores. Ella continúo apareciendo ante ellos cada mes hasta octubre, concluyendo con el "milagro del sol" el 13 de octubre, evento presenciado por una multitud. La Iglesia declaró formalmente las apariciones como dignas de ser creídas en 1930.

La Iglesia no dice que estas apariciones pertenecen a los Depósito de Fe — la revelación definitiva de Jesucristo que es esencial para l...

May 4, 2017

One day in May 1917, Mary appeared to three shepherd children. She continued to appear to them every month until October 1917, concluding with the "miracle of the sun" on October 13, an event that was witnessed by a great multitude. The Church formally declared the apparitions worthy of belief in 1930.

The Church doesn't say that these apparitions belong to the Deposit of Faith — the definitive revelation of Jesus Christ that's essentia...

May 4, 2017

The readings for the Fifth Sunday of Easter are intended to help us to see the kingdom of God, not only in the next life, but also in our present life.

Beginning with the Gospel, we see Jesus try to allay the fears of the apostles, telling them He must go away to prepare a place for them and then He will return. "Do not let your hearts be troubled. You have faith in God; have faith also in me." He acknowledges their faith in God, and no...

April 27, 2017

No hay forma de evitarlo — el discurso del Pan de Vida — pues las lecturas del evangelio de esta semana son del capítulo 6 de san Juan. En vez de tratar de ignorarlo, vayamos directamente al grano.

El lunes, Jesús nos dice que trabajemos por el pan que da vida eterna. El martes, Él nos dice que Él es el pan de vida, y que quien vaya a Él nunca tendrá hambre. El jueves, nos dice que el pan que nos dará es su carne. Y el viernes, cuando l...

April 27, 2017

There's no way to avoid it — the Bread of Life discourse — since this week's Gospel readings are taken from John 6. Rather than trying to get around it, let's wade right into it.

On Monday, Jesus tells us to work for food that endures for eternal life. On Tuesday, He says that He is the bread of life, and whoever come to Him will never hunger. On Thursday, He tells us that the bread He will give us is His Flesh. And on Friday, when peop...

April 27, 2017

The readings for the Fourth Sunday of Easter vividly describe how the living, resurrected presence of Jesus transforms our lives, which is illustrated by St. Peter in the first reading.

In Peter's speech at Pentecost, the risen Lord's presence pours out of Peter, who had allowed Christ's resurrected presence into his heart, replacing the old and dark side of Peter.

Perhaps Peter's inner darkness reached its nadir the moment he de...

April 27, 2017

Many times as a priest, I encounter people who are undergoing great suffering in their life. This suffering may be physical, mental or emotional pain, disunity and brokenness in their family, troubles at work or illness. In the midst of such sufferings, when answers are hard to come by, people at times say to me, "Well, Father, I guess I am just going through my purgatory here on Earth."

Let us first acknowledge the foundation in faith...

April 20, 2017

Reflexionar sobre la misericordia luce apropiado para la semana después del Domingo de la Divina Misericordia. Las lecturas de la semana nos dan una amplia oportunidad para hacerlo. Uno de los temas puede ser resumido muy simplemente como: ¡Respuesta incorrecta!

Nicodemo viene a ver a Jesús. Jesús le habla acerca de la necesidad de volver a nacer. En lugar de preguntarle que le está tratando de decir con eso, Nicodemo trata de imaginars...

April 20, 2017

It seems appropriate, for the week after Divine Mercy Sunday, to reflect on mercy. The readings for the week give us ample opportunity to do so. One of their themes can be summarized very simply: Wrong response!

Nicodemus comes to see Jesus. Jesus talks to him about the need to be born again. Instead of asking what He means by that, Nicodemus tries to figure out how a person can re-enter his mother's womb. Wrong response!

The San...

April 20, 2017

Stay with us, for it is nearly evening and the day is almost over."

If Easter is about anything at all, it is about God's radical desire to be intimate with each of us.

To take on mankind's sinful nature and then to suffer crucifixion at the hands of His creatures is indeed a mind-boggling demonstration of God's desire to remove sin as the barrier to the intimacy He longs to share with us.

Consider the Resurrection the gre...