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.

October 13, 2016

The responsorial psalm ties together the good news of all three readings for the 30th Sunday in Ordinary Time, which tell that the Lord is deeply moved by the prayers of the lowly.

In the first reading, Sirach says God shows no favorites "but He hears the cry of the oppressed....The prayer of the lowly pierces the clouds; it does not rest till it reaches its goal, nor will it withdraw till the Most High responds."

The poor aren't...

October 13, 2016

The Most Blessed Sacrament of the Altar is a common way to refer to the Eucharist. When we think about the phrase's full meaning, we better grasp 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 are called to protect and dignify the sanctity of...

October 6, 2016

Aquí hay algo más grande que Salomón ... Hay algo más grande que Jonás."

Esto no es solamente algo que dice Jesús en Lucas 11, en una de las lecturas de esta semana, sino también un tema del Nuevo Testamento. Jesús es más grande que Juan el Bautista (Jn 1; 26-28). Él es más grande que Moisés (Hb 3; 3-6). Él es más importante que el Sabbath (Mc 2; 27-28). Él es más importante que el Templo (Mt 12;6).

El hecho que Jesús sea "más gr...

October 6, 2016

There is something greater than Solomon here ... there is something greater than Jonah here."

This isn't only something Jesus says in Luke 11, which we read this week, it's also a theme of the New Testament. Jesus is greater than John the Baptist (John 1:26-28). He's greater than Moses (Hebrews 3:3-6). He's greater than the Sabbath (Mark 2: 27-28). He's greater than the Temple (Matthew 12:6).

The fact that Jesus is "greater than"...

October 6, 2016

The readings for the 28th Sunday in Ordinary Time stress the importance of persistence in prayer before our God.

In the first reading, the Israelites battle the superior army of Amalekites. Joshua was to engage the Amalekites in battle, while Moses climbed to the top of a hill overlooking the battlefield. He raised his arms toward heaven, and as long as he kept them raised, the Israelites were victorious. But when his arms grew weary, t...

October 6, 2016

To worry is to think about problems, especially because we think something bad might happen. Immediately in this definition we see that worry is mostly a self-centered activity, focusing exclusively on my thoughts. Also, notice how worry presupposes that we are anticipating an outcome to the situation we are thinking about.

Both of these elements about worry contradict the meaning of prayer. When we pray, we do not just say these things...

September 29, 2016

El 4 de octubre celebramos la fiesta de San Francisco de Asís. La figura de Francisco podría ser considerada demasiado romántica para nuestro tiempo; una de sus estatuas lo representa vigilando un jardín interminable, y lo reduce a poco más que una bonita estatua de jardín. Sin embargo, aún esta noción romántica apunta hacia la verdad- que podemos considerar de provecho: La vida de San Francisco nos ayuda a seguir a Jesús y a encontrar la paz....

September 29, 2016

We celebrate the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi Oct. 4. The figure of Francis may be a bit over-romanticized in our time; a statue of him watches over countless gardens, reduced to little more than a nice garden statue. But even that romantic notion points to a truth — that we could ponder with profit: Francis' life helps us to follow Jesus and find peace.

In the exchange between St. Francis and Sultan Malek al-Kamil in the Fifth Crusad...

September 29, 2016

The readings for the 28th Sunday in Ordinary Time demonstrate the power that gratitude and thanksgiving have in our lives.

In the first reading, a Gentile, Naaman the leper, comes to Elisha, the Lord's prophet, for healing. Naaman was a man of considerable means and had servants at his disposal. Leprosy was a profound embarrassment for him. Even more embarrassing, Elisha refused to come out to meet Naaman, to lay hands on him and pray w...

September 22, 2016

Qué pasa si tenemos que sufrir? — ¿Cómo soportamos con fe el sufrimiento?

Las lecturas de esta semana son del libro de Job, así que es un buen momento para hacer esta pregunta.

Una característica importante de la historia de Job es el sufrimiento inmerecido. El sufrió la pérdida de sus bueyes, ovejas y niños — todo en el mismo día. Sus amigos preguntaron qué pecado había cometido para merecer este castigo. Job insistió — verdader...

September 22, 2016

What if we have to suffer — how do we bear it with faith?

This week features readings from the book of Job, so it's a good time to ask that question.

An important feature of Job's story is unmerited suffering. He suffered the loss of oxen, sheep, camels and children — all in one day. His friends asked what sin he had committed to deserve this punishment. Job insisted — truthfully — that he had committed no sin.

In the cont...

September 22, 2016

Paul wrote in the letter to the Galatians, "I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me." Perhaps this passage shows how the readings for the 27th Sunday in Ordinary Time are interconnected. These readings tell us there is something within us that we perceive ever so dimly.

These readings throw the light of faith on our intuitions. We see this expressed so well in the selection from Habakkuk. Habakkuk...

September 22, 2016

Preparing to receive Jesus' Body and Blood starts at home — well before Mass. The Church teaches that Catholics should abstain from food or drink, except water, for one hour prior to receiving Communion. As we long for a drink or something to munch on while waiting for Mass, we should be reminded of our spiritual hunger to receive Jesus into our souls.

Our preparation continues at church, where we spend a few minutes in silent prayer, a...

September 15, 2016

I haven't resolved every issue regarding the upcoming election, nor do I intend to. My intention is to help us form our consciences and frame our conversations as we prepare to vote.

In addition to the immediate issue of this election, however, I'd like to raise our eyes to a broader horizon for a moment.

When we do so, I return to one of my main questions: Can't a voting bloc of 25 percent of the nation create a political landsc...

September 15, 2016

No he resuelto cada tema en relación con la próxima elección, ni tampoco lo pretendo. Mi intención es ayudarlos en la formación de nuestra conciencia y dar forma a nuestras conversaciones a medida que nos preparamos para votar.

Además de los temas inmediatos de esta elección, me gustaría que elevaran sus ojos por un momento hacia un horizonte más amplio.

Cuando hacemos esto, regreso a una de mis principales preguntas. ¿No puede u...

September 15, 2016

Since we are a people covenanted to the Lord, the readings for the 26th Sunday in Ordinary Time spell out the everlasting consequences of our everyday decisions, whether good or bad.

In the first reading, the Lord clearly speaks to His chosen people, "Woe to the complacent in Zion! Lying upon beds of ivory, stretched comfortably on their couches, they eat lambs taken from the flock, and calves from the stall!"

The Lord isn't cond...

September 15, 2016

Blessed John Henry Cardinal Newman began life as a High Church Anglican. At Oxford, he became a leader within the Oxford Movement, which emphasized the Catholic elements of the Church of England to help reform it. Through his studies in this movement, particularly of the Church Fathers, he converted to Catholicism, eventually becoming a cardinal.

But who were these people that led him to convert? Obviously, by the name, they were the ea...

Archbishop Robert J. Carlson
September 8, 2016

Sometimes, when we consider all the election issues and give each its proper weight, we're left with a dilemma. What if one candidate is unacceptable on a set of issues that are non-negotiable for a Catholic voter, while the other candidate is unacceptable on a set of issues that a Catholic voter can't ignore? What should we do then?

First, we should pray. We should pray for the guidance of the Holy Spirit in our discernment. We should...