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.

February 16, 2017

The readings for this week teach us about wisdom. The book of Sirach describes wisdom as an attribute of God. The Gospels for the week show us the wisdom of Jesus. Let's take a deeper look at the connections between wisdom, Jesus and us.

Sirach's descriptions of wisdom foreshadow the attributes of the Word in the Gospel of John. Wisdom is created by the Lord from all eternity (John 1:1-2). Wisdom grasps the depths of all creation (John...

February 16, 2017

The readings for the Eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time call us into a new freedom by trusting in God's loving providence that surrounds us. As we open our eyes to this, anxiety is replaced with trustful abiding.

In the first reading, Isaiah expresses Israel's panic that God had forsaken her, since things aren't going Israel's way. God's response is poetically beautiful: "Can a mother forget her infant, be without tenderness for the child o...

February 16, 2017

Before looking at why we abstain from meat as a common penance, we should examine why we even do penance in the first place.

The disciples of St. John the Baptist commonly fasted as a way to express sorrow for their past sins, as well as to help them to learn to say "no" to future sins. They were dismayed, however, when Jesus and His disciples didn't fast, but feasted regularly. Some approached Jesus to ask Him about this. He responded:...

February 9, 2017

Aprendemos mucho de la historia de la salvación a través de los santos. Ellos nos educan con su ejemplo: "¡Se así!" También en la historia de la salvación aprendemos mucho por medio de los pecados. Estos nos enseñan mediante ejemplos negativos: "¡No seas así!"

Las lecturas de esta semana están llenas de enseñanzas mediante ejemplos negativos.

Caín y Abel • Caín sintió cólera y resentimiento hacia Abel. Nosotros t...

February 9, 2017

We learn a great deal from the saints of salvation history. They teach by example: "Be like this!" We learn a great deal from the sins of salvation history, as well. These teach by counter-example: "Don't be like this!"

The readings this week are full of teachings by counter-example.

Cain and Abel • Cain felt anger and resentment toward Abel. We all feel anger and resentment sometimes. But Cain didn't master his...

February 8, 2017

The readings for the Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time suggest there is no limit to our participation in Godliness. The first reading states: "Be holy, for I, the Lord, your God, am holy." That's our open invitation to allow God to possess us with His holiness. He doesn't limit our participation in His goodness.

The more we desire His godliness, the more we discover ourselves doing what He does, loving everyone, even enemies. I shouldn't...

February 8, 2017

Growing up, I remember Mother Angelica on EWTN commenting to callers who had been away from the sacrament of reconciliation or were afraid to go that they would feel so good afterward, that they should go out and buy a pizza. Such a comment came from a heart that had approached the sacrament and found peace in the deep mercy of God.

Such an experience reflects what the Church teaches. In the Catechism of the Catholic Church, our faith t...

February 2, 2017

A lo largo de la semana que viene, las lecturas diarias nos llevan a reflexionar sobre el orden que Dios ha escrito en el mundo a través de la creación y el pacto, sobre lo que sucede cuando nos alejamos de ese orden y cómo Jesús vino para restaurarlo.

Comenzamos la semana con el relato de la creación, del Génesis 1 — una visión magnífica del orden del mundo. Dios habla diez veces, señala la bondad del mundo siete veces, da sus bendicio...

February 2, 2017

Throughout the coming week, the daily readings prompt us to reflect on the order God has written into the world through creation and the covenant, what happens when we turn away from that order, and how Jesus came to restore it.

We start the week with the first creation account, from Genesis 1 — a magnificent vision of the order of the world. God speaks 10 times; He notes the goodness of the world seven times and He gives His blessing t...

February 2, 2017

The readings for the Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time suggest the word of God comes directly from His heart, and if we follow His word, it leads us directly back to His heart.

In the first reading from Sirach, we learn that if we exercise the free choice of keeping His commandments, the commandments will save us. What does it mean to be saved by the word of God? Does it mean we will be saved from starving to death or losing our property or...

February 2, 2017

We can trace the use of bells in the liturgy back to the liturgy of the Old Testament. In the Book of Exodus, the vestments of the high priest are described in detail. Among the ornamentation on the vestments are alternating pomegranates and bells (Exodus 28:33-35).

God instructed the bells to be sewn on the vestments for two reasons.

1) They were part of the joyful noise made to the Lord, as referenced in Psalm 98:4.

2) B...

January 26, 2017

Esta es la Semana de las Escuelas Católicas, y las lecturas del Evangelio de esta semana reflejan las poderosas obras de Jesús. El sana al geraseno endemoniado; cura a la mujer que tocó el borde de su manto; Él levanta a la hija de Jairo de la muerte; los apóstoles cuentan todo lo que ellos han hecho en su nombre.

Ya que la iglesia es el cuerpo místico de Cristo, podríamos pensar de las escuelas católicas como una de las poderosas obras...

January 26, 2017

The Gospel readings for Catholic Schools Week help us reflect on the mighty deeds of Jesus. He cures the Gerasene demoniac; He heals the woman who touched the tassel of His cloak; He raises the daughter of Jairus from the dead. And the apostles report that they have accomplished everything in His name.

The Church is the mystical body of Christ, and Catholic education is one of the mighty deeds of Jesus in our day. Through Catholic schoo...

January 26, 2017

The readings for the Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time reveal the goodness God desires to place in the hearts of His people.

In the first reading from Isaiah, God tells us that when we share the goodness He has bestowed upon us, we will experience His godliness within ourselves.

When you "share your bread with the hungry, shelter the oppressed and homeless ... then your light shall break forth like the dawn, and your wound shall quic...

January 26, 2017

Whenever we speak about handling the Eucharist, we desire to treat the Lord with the greatest respect. Even with this most important desire, there will be unexpected situations that will arise. How do we handle these situations while keeping respect for the Blessed Sacrament at the fore?

First, we need to understand some terms. The monstrance is the stand made of a precious metal that the Blessed Sacrament sits in during adoration. Expo...

January 19, 2017

Considere la traición de Judas. Considere el sacrificio de Jesús. Considere el poder de uno.

Solo se necesita una sola persona para hacer un gran daño. Por ejemplo: La caída de Adán. Solamente se necesita una persona para hacer un gran bien. Por ejemplo: La Cruz de Jesús. Considere el poder de uno.

Eva fue visitada por un ángel. Ella dudó, luego le dijo que sí a la tentación. María fue visitada por un ángel. Ella dudó, luego le d...

January 19, 2017

Consider the treachery of Judas. Consider the sacrifice of Jesus. Consider the power of one.

It only takes one to work great harm. For example: Adam's fall. It only takes one to do great good. For example: Jesus' Cross. Consider the power of one.

Eve was visited by an angel. She hesitated, then said yes to temptation. Mary was visited by an angel. She hesitated, then said yes to God. One woman. One choice. Consider the power of o...

January 19, 2017

In seeking the greatest gift, what we are looking for isn't a rich man to bail us out of poverty, but rather the One who lived in poverty, died as a criminal and now invites us into His poverty. The greatest gift that we receive from God is the very hunger to seek Him.

This seeking is much like our body looking for the next breath. The air we inhale isn't ours, and we can't hold on to it, but we have to exhale it so as to seek more of w...