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.

April 20, 2017

I often pray to God, but he never seems to answer my prayers. What am I doing wrong? 

St. Augustine, in his writings on the Sermon on the Mount — one of the places in Scripture Jesus encourages us to ask, seek and knock for the Father's answer to our needs in prayer — comments on why God does not seem to answer our prayers. He lists four reasons.

The first is that we are asking for something that is...

April 13, 2017

Hemos visto al Señor!

Este es el mensaje de las lecturas de esta semana en la que celebramos la Pascua. Y nos plantea una pregunta importante: ¿Cómo se nos ha aparecido Jesús a cada uno de nosotros?

Algunas personas se preguntan: ¿Por qué Jesús no se manifiesta el día de hoy, en la forma que Él se manifestó a los apóstoles cuando resucitó de entre los muertos? ¿Esto no haría más fácil que creyéramos en Él, y convertir a un mundo...

April 13, 2017

We have seen the Lord!

That's the message of this week's readings as we celebrate Easter. It raises an important question: How has Jesus appeared to each of us?

Some people wonder: Why doesn't Jesus show Himself today, the way He did to the apostles when He rose from the dead? Wouldn't that make it easier for us to believe, and to convert an unbelieving world? The answer is twofold.


April 13, 2017

As exciting as Christ's resurrection was to the apostles on Easter Sunday morning, what happens on Easter Sunday evening is even more exciting.

On Easter Sunday morning, the apostles were very excited that Jesus rose from the dead. This knowledge brought joy to their hearts, because they were looking forward to reconnecting with Him.

However, Jesus realized on Easter Sunday morning His work was not completed, so He revisited them...

April 13, 2017

One image of purgatory that was presented during my time in the seminary has stuck in my mind due to its vibrant, fearful image. In it, Mary is pictured with a scapular fishing souls out of purgatory, which is depicted as a sea of fire tormenting those occupying it. Needless to say, such an image wouldn't inspire anyone to want to go there.

While no one wants to go there, purgatory remains a truth that we can't escape. Popularly speakin...

April 6, 2017

Cuando Dios creó a Adán y Eva, les dio el aliento de vida. El primer regalo anuncia el don del Espíritu Santo en Pentecostés — el aliento de Dios — que le dio a los apóstoles la propia vida de Cristo.

Cuando Dios vio la maldad en la tierra en la época de Noé, Dios lavó sus pecados con el diluvio. El diluvio del Antiguo Testamento nos anuncia el bautismo, que lava el pecado original de nuestro cuerpo y nuestra alma.

Nuestros coraz...

April 6, 2017

When God created Adam and Eve, He gave them the breath of life. This first gift foreshadowed the gift of the Holy Spirit — the very breath of God — at Pentecost, which gave the apostles Christ's own life.

When God saw the wickedness of the earth in the time of Noah, He washed away its sins with the flood. The Old Testament flood foreshadowed baptism, which washes original sin from our body and soul.

Our hearts recoil at the story...

April 6, 2017

Easter Sunday celebrates the greatest feast of the entire year, Christ's resurrection from the dead. But we need to ask ourselves: "Is my experience of Christ's resurrection primarily head knowledge, or is my experience both head and heart knowledge?"

Exploring the readings, beginning with the Gospel, helps us answer the question. In the Gospel of John, Mary of Magdala "came to the tomb early in the morning, while it was still dark, and...

Father John Mayo
April 6, 2017

Q: What did Jesus really mean when from the cross He said, ‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?’

This cry by Christ from the cross comes to us in the Gospels of St. Matthew and St. Mark. The words are a combination of Hebrew and Aramaic, which the Gospel writer then translates into Greek. This formulation is kept in major Bible translations, which first print the Hebrew and Aramaic word...

Arzobispo Robert J. Carlson
March 29, 2017

Estamos en la cuenta regresiva de la Semana Santa, y las lecturas de esta semana son algo así como las 10 Mejores del Antiguo Testamento. Una y otra vez los inocentes se enfrentan a la muerte — como Susana cuando fue acusada falsamente de adulterio. Una y otra vez pusieron su fe en Dios — como Jeremías cuando el pueblo se confabuló contra él. Una y otra vez Dios interviene — por ejemplo, cuando mando un ángel a salvar a Sadrac, Mesac y Abedneg...

Archbishop Robert J. Carlson
March 29, 2017

We're counting down to Holy Week, and the readings for this week are a kind of Old Testament Top 10. Time and again the innocent face death — such as Susanna when she was falsely accused of adultery. Time and again they put their faith in God — such as Jeremiah when the people plotted against him. Time and again God intervenes — such as sending an angel to preserve Shadrach, Meschach and Abednego when they were cast into the fiery furnace.

Bishop Robert J. Hermann
March 29, 2017

Holy Week begins the greatest week of the liturgical year. As we enter more deeply into His passion and death, we discover Jesus entering our passion, our struggle with sin, weaknesses and inconsistencies. There's no doubt that Christ suffers much in our lives, gradually conquering our rebellious nature with the same love that led Him through His passion.

When I think of God's love for sinful humanity, I recall the image of the Holy Tri...

Father John Mayo
March 29, 2017

Once we get past the basic logistics of praying the Rosary and learn the order of the mysteries, we might ask: "OK, so now I am doing this. What am I supposed to be getting out of it?" To help, there are many aids to help us to pray the Rosary.

One of the most simple is to remember the fruit of the mystery. This fruit is the truth at the heart of the mystery. For example, in the first joyful mystery, we pray for the fruit of humility. T...

March 23, 2017

We have three full weeks of Lent behind us, and three more weeks until Easter. In the Gospels this week, Jesus is performing signs. How do these signs help us intensify our preparation for Easter in the second half of Lent?

Reading about the signs that Jesus did in the Scriptures helps us reflect on the signs that Jesus is doing in our own lives. Perhaps we saw something in the news that brought us not only joy or sorrow, but brought us...

March 23, 2017

Tenemos por delante tres semanas completas de la Cuaresma, y tres semanas más para la Pascua. En los Evangelios de esta semana, Jesús está haciendo señales. ¿Cómo nos ayudan estas señales a intensificar nuestra preparación para la Pascua en la segunda mitad de la Cuaresma?

Leer en las Sagradas Escrituras acerca de las señales que Jesús dio nos ayuda a reflexionar sobre las señales que Jesús está dándonos en nuestras propias vidas. Quizá...

March 23, 2017

The purpose of symbols is to move our minds to think about the reality being represented. For instance, the waters of baptism call to mind the washing away of sin that occurs in this sacrament. When we fail to understand the meaning of a symbol, it becomes a meaningless gesture. To question the meaning of a symbol, then, is a good thing. It helps us understand what it means and how it is to move our minds and hearts.

As we began the Len...

March 22, 2017

The readings for the Fifth Sunday of Lent have many levels of meaning, but ultimately they tell one thing: The glory of God is on the way for all those who choose Jesus as Lord and Savior.

In the first reading, God tells Ezekiel, "O my people, I will open your graves and have you rise from them, and bring you back to the land of Israel." Here God isn't speaking literally about the resurrection but rather that He will bring them back fro...

March 16, 2017

Esta semana celebramos la solemnidad de San José — el padre adoptivo de Jesús y esposo de la Bienaventurada Virgen María. Quiero aprovechar la ocasión para referirme a algo en lo que he estado pensando desde hace un tiempo: el acoso sexual.

Mi hermana compartió conmigo una cita de la Hermana Diane Bergant, una religiosa de la Congregación de Santa Inés, profesora y autora: "El reino de Dios puede ser realizado por Dios solamente a travé...