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.

September 29, 2017

The back wall of the chapel at Kenrick-Glennon Seminary is painted a brilliant gold. When the lights are out, that's all you can see — a gold wall. But when the lights come on you see the pattern painted there.

As with many other elements of the seminary's chapel, in addition to being beautiful, the wall is designed to teach a lesson. In this case, the lesson is that the pattern is always there, but there are some things we will only se...

September 29, 2017

The first and third readings for the 27th Sunday in Ordinary Time may be considered tough talk for tough times. But, behind the tough talk is an infinitely loving God who so dearly desires that all mankind receive and live the invitation to come into the Father's kingdom for all eternity. Sometimes it takes tough talk to break through the barriers our sins create.

God — the source of all life, goodness and love — didn't have to create m...

September 29, 2017

In the first centuries of Christianity, the clergy wore the same clothing as other people. It wasn't until around the sixth century that, as society changed to embrace more extravagant styles, clergy remained with more muted, conservative colors and styles of dress. This split of styles would be the first clerical dress the clergy wore.

As the Middle Ages gave rise to the universities, lay scholars began dressing more like the clergy. T...

September 21, 2017

Alguna vez se ha sentido descorazonado o abrumado por algo que tiene que hacer? Si es así, las lecturas de esta semana son para usted. Para comprender por qué, es necesario conocer el contexto de las lecturas.

Esta semana oiremos de Esdras, Ageo y Zacarías. Los tres vivieron y ejercieron su ministerio justo después del exilio a Babilonia- utilicemos el año 520 A.C. como fecha.

El exilio fue desastroso para Israel. Muchos israelit...

September 21, 2017

Have you ever been discouraged or felt overwhelmed by something you had to do? If so, the readings this week are for you. But to understand why, it's necessary to know the context of the readings.

We hear this week from Ezra, Haggai and Zechariah. All three lived and ministered right after the Babylonian Exile — let's use 520 BC as a date.

The Exile was a disaster for Israel. Many Israelites were killed; much of the leadership wa...

September 21, 2017

The readings for the 26th Sunday in Ordinary Time focus on the unseen and hidden areas of our hearts in which God actively works with the power of His word.

In the first reading, God articulates what is happening in the heart of the Jewish followers: "You say, 'The Lord's way is not fair!'" Thus, God surfaces the hidden attitudes of people called to follow His way to freedom. In effect, He answers by suggesting that His ways are fair an...

September 14, 2017

Las lecturas de la misa de esta semana son de la Primera Carta de San Pablo a Timoteo. San Pablo previene a Timoteo acerca de los gnósticos, un grupo de personas que decían tener un conocimiento especial contrario a la fe. Timoteo debía restringir sus falsas enseñanzas, y preservar la pureza de las enseñanzas de la Iglesia contra sus doctrinas.

Hoy en día, tenemos nuestra propia versión de esta situación.

Algunas personas en nues...

September 14, 2017

The Mass readings this week are from the First Letter of St. Paul to Timothy. St. Paul warned Timothy about the Gnostics, a group of people who claimed to have a special knowledge contrary to the faith. Timothy was to restrain their false teaching, and preserve the purity of Church teaching against their doctrines.

We have our own version of that situation today.

Some people today defend the belief that there's no such thing as r...

September 14, 2017

Every time God speaks to us through His word, it's obvious that He desires to share with us His inner life so that we might become more like Him. We see this in the three readings for the 25th Sunday in Ordinary Time.

In the first reading from Isaiah, God tells us: "Seek the Lord while He may be found, call Him while He is still near." We seek the Lord when we relinquish sinful behavior. "Let the scoundrel forsake his way and the wicked...

September 8, 2017

If God were to reveal to us His incredible goodness which He desires to share with us someday, we would probably perish, overwhelmed by sheer joy.

Therefore, God gives out His goodness in incremental amounts suited to our needs. For example, when we're deeply hurt by the words or actions of another, we suffer intensely and face a clear choice: retaliation, or turning to God for comfort and support.

When we turn to God for comfort...

September 8, 2017

One of the great desires of the Second Vatican Council was to increase knowledge of the liturgy among the faithful. In our archdiocese, thanks to liturgical giants such as Msgr. Martin Hellriegel, former pastor of Holy Cross Parish in Baden, a great love of the liturgy has been instilled in both the clergy and the laity. This legacy is manifested in beautiful liturgies at Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis, vibrant liturgies in our local parishes...

September 7, 2017

Esta semana celebramos la fiesta del Triunfo de la Cruz (14 de septiembre). ¿Cómo debemos celebrarlo? Hay una declaración peculiar de San Pablo que, si la entendemos correctamente, nos muestra la mejor manera para celebrar. Él dice: "y completo en mi propia carne lo que falta de las tribulaciones de Cristo a favor de su cuerpo, que es la iglesia" (Colosenses 1:24)

¿Que podría significar esto?

San Agustín nos da una respuesta bril...

September 7, 2017

The feast of the Triumph of the Cross is Thursday, Sept. 14. How should we celebrate it? There's a curious statement of St. Paul's that, if we understand it correctly, shows us the best way. He says: "In my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ on behalf of His body, which is the Church" (Colossians 1:24).

What could that possibly mean?

St. Augustine provides a brilliant answer. He explains that if Ch...

August 31, 2017

Alguna vez ha oído o ha tenido una reacción negativa a alguna de las enseñanzas de la Iglesia?

Muchas veces en los evangelios, el pueblo tiene reacciones negativas a las palabras de Jesús. Reflexionar acerca de esas reacciones nos puede ayudar a pensar en nuestras propias reacciones.

Comencemos con el poder de la palabra de Jesús tal como lo resaltan varias de las lecturas de esta semana. Él ahuyenta los demonios con su palabra....

August 31, 2017

Have you ever heard or had a negative reaction to some Church teaching?

There are plenty of times in the Gospels when people have negative reactions to Jesus' words. Thinking about their reactions can help us to think about our own.

Let's begin with the power of Jesus' Word as highlighted by several of the readings this week. He drives out demons by His Word. He rebukes a fever with His Word. A great catch of fish follows from ob...

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...