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.

November 30, 2017

We start the second week of the new liturgical year with the beginning of St. Mark's Gospel. St. Mark makes it clear that this is the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, but it's also a continuation of the unfolding revelation found in the Old Testament.

Isaiah tells us: "Behold, I am sending my messenger ahead of you; he will prepare your way. A voice of one crying out in the desert, 'Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight His...

November 30, 2017

To sign or be marked by the cross originates in the Old Testament. In the Book of Ezekiel, the Babylonians threaten to conquer the city of Jerusalem. This is symbolized in Ezekiel's vision by six armed men approaching the city from the north. While they approached, a man with a writing case came and stood in the temple. God instructs this man to go throughout the city and mark those who have persevered in their faith with the sign of the Tav....

November 22, 2017

This is the last week in Ordinary Time. The first reading each day this week is from the Book of Daniel, and the responsorial psalm for each day is from a hymn in the Book of Daniel. It's as though the Church wants us to learn from the Book of Daniel as we close out the liturgical year.

Daniel is the only "apocalyptic" book in the Old Testament. Two characteristics of apocalyptic books are: 1) they typically came out of times of tribula...

November 22, 2017

Esta es la última semana del Tiempo Ordinario. La primera lectura de cada uno de los días de esta semana es del libro de Daniel, y el salmo responsorial de cada día es tomado de un himno del mismo libro. Parece como si la Iglesia quisiera que aprendiésemos del libro de Daniel a medida que nos acercamos al final del año litúrgico.

El libro de Daniel es el único libro "apocalíptico" en el Antiguo Testamento. Dos características de los lib...

Bishop Robert J. Hermann
November 22, 2017

A new liturgical year begins on the First Sunday of Advent, and the readings help us get in touch with our collective cry of lament and frustration. We're frustrated because of our repeated failures to live up to the desires for the infinite put into our hearts by God.

Beneath it is a weariness with our fickle and undependable efforts to live up to God's expectations. However, good news comes in the form of our need for a Savior to resc...

November 17, 2017

On Nov. 26, we celebrate the Feast of Christ the King. The feast describes our commencement time on earth; the Scriptures vividly describe our future. Each of us, without fail, will be there. For some, it will be a time of receiving a sentence, and for others a diploma or reward — both unending.

To get a better idea of that day, look at the Scriptures to learn more about the God who invites us. We know that out of love He has freely cre...

November 16, 2017

Algunos saduceos, aquellos que niegan que hay una resurrección, se adelantaron y le plantearon una pregunta a Jesús".

Estamos entrando en las últimas dos semanas del Tiempo Ordinario. Las lecturas se están volviendo hacia los pensamientos del final de los tiempos. En medio de esto, nos encontramos con esta pregunta acerca de la resurrección.

Esta es era una pregunta "candente" en el tiempo de Jesús. En sus comienzos, el judaísmo...

November 16, 2017

S ome Sadducees, those who deny that there is a resurrection, came forward and put a question to Jesus."

We're entering the last two weeks of Ordinary Time. The readings are turning toward thoughts of the end times. In the midst of that, we encounter this question about the resurrection.

This was a "hot button" question at the time of Jesus. At its beginning, Judaism didn't have a belief in the Resurrection. And it isn't explicit...

November 10, 2017

The readings for the 33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time reflect the over-abundance of God's love for us. We're inundated with His goodness, and all He asks of us is to receive it in gratitude and invest these gifts in His kingdom.

The first reading describes a wife and mother who is an entrepreneur. God's gifts and talents surround her, and she invests them in her family and neighbors. She isn't the self-pitying victim of others' thoughtlessn...

November 10, 2017

To what extent may Catholics be fans of a sport where violence is part of the competition? 

This question comes at an interesting time in the sports world.

In contact sports, there's debate about what constitutes appropriate contact. Thus, as we better understand the long-term effects of injuries, such as football, there's a desire to make the sport safer and control as much as possible the contact...

November 9, 2017

Quah-kah-ka-num-ad. That's the name the Potawatomi Indians gave to St. Rose Philippine Duchesne: "Woman Who Prays Always."

We celebrate St. Rose Philippine's feast day this week (Nov. 18). We're also reading sequentially through the Gospel of Luke, and the passage that just happens to come up on her feast day tells of Jesus instructing the disciples "about the necessity for them to pray always" (Luke 18:1). Maybe this remarkable coincid...

November 9, 2017

Quah-kah-ka-num-ad. Es el nombre que los indios Potawatomi dieron a Santa Rosa Filipina Duchesne: "Mujer que ora siempre"

Celebramos la fiesta de Santa Rosa Filipina esta semana (el 18 de noviembre). También leeremos secuencialmente a través del Evangelio de San Lucas, y el pasaje que justamente corresponde en el día de su fiesta, habla de Jesús instruyendo a los discípulos "acerca de la necesidad de que oraran siempre" (San Lucas 18:1)...

November 3, 2017

There is a cliché in business journals that goes something like this: "If you don't know where you are going, any road will take you there."

A similar question we need to ask ourselves is this: "Based upon my present behaviors, where is my life leading me?"

The first reading for the 32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time speaks of the gift of wisdom, saying it is resplendent and unfading and "is readily perceived by those who love her and...

November 3, 2017

To answer this, we first must ask 'What is a superstition?'

Superstitions presuppose a supernatural world that interacts with our world. These interactions cause both positive and negative effects on our life. Moreover, through superstitions, we can in some way control these interactions to make them work more favorably for us.

So, for instance, I wear my lucky tie to an interview and I land the job that I want. The fact that I w...

November 2, 2017

Esta cerca de oscurecer, en dos sentidos.

En primer lugar, esta semana pasaremos del horario de verano al horario estándar. Ciertamente, la cantidad actual de luz del día será la misma. Sin embargo, el cambiar el reloj da la sensación de que todo está más oscuro, ¿no es así?

En segundo lugar, ahora que pasó el Halloween, el bombardeo publicitario de la Navidad está por comenzar. Su implacable empuje — pasando por el día de Acción...

November 2, 2017

It's about to get dark, in two senses.

In the first place, we switch from Daylight Saving Time to Standard Time this week. Sure, the actual amount of daylight stays the same. But changing the clocks makes it feel like it's getting a lot darker, doesn't it?

Second, now that Halloween is over, the Christmas advertising blitz is about to begin. Its relentless push — rolling right over Thanksgiving, for the most part — can give the n...

October 27, 2017

In the readings for the 31st Sunday in Ordinary Time, God simply tells us that when we take His word to heart, it produces good things in our hearts and therefore in our lives. When we fail to live that word, we fail to realize the happiness and peace that God's word is meant to bring.

In the first reading from Malachi, the Lord speaks to the leaders of the Jews and tells them: "You have turned aside from the way, and have caused many t...

October 26, 2017

Cuál es el estándar por el cual juzgamos nuestras vidas? "Nunca he hecho nada horrible. Soy un ser humano decente". Muy a menudo nos expresamos de esa manera. Permítanme sugerir, mientras que nos acercamos a la celebración del día de Todos los Santos, que estamos utilizando el estándar equivocado.

¿Cuál es el estándar correcto? Jesús nos lo da en las Bienaventuranzas. Las Bienaventuranzas son el retrato real de Jesús, y una invitación a...