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.

August 4, 2016

I know someone who loves the saints. When she learns about a new one — through a book, a biography or a movie — she says, "I met a new friend."

The saints may have died long ago, but they're more alive now than they were on earth. They're present to us from heaven. Why shouldn't we make friends with them?

This week is full of saints' days. We have St. Dominic on Monday; he told his Dominicans to pray and share with others the fru...

August 4, 2016

The readings for the 20th Sunday in Ordinary Time demonstrate that God's love is a purifying fire to prepare us for eternal glory with Him, because ours is a jealous God who wants us for Himself.

In the first reading, Jeremiah has been put into a cistern and lowered into the mud to be killed. God used Jeremiah to speak a word of repentance to the people of Judah, but they refused to listen. Now the Babylonian army is ready to capture th...

July 28, 2016

La situación se pone peor antes de comenzar a mejorar.

Este es uno de los mensajes centrales de esta lectura — y quizás una buena lección para nosotros.

Comenzaremos con el profeta Jeremías, en el año 597 AC después de la primera oleada del Exilio Babilónico. El falso profeta Ananías dice: En dos años Dios romperá el yugo del rey de Babilonia, y Jerusalén será restablecida. En resumen, está diciendo: "Las cosas están cerca de mej...

July 28, 2016

It's going to get worse before it gets better.

That's one of the central messages of readings this week — and maybe a good lesson for us.

We start with the prophet Jeremiah, after the first wave of the Babylonian Exile in 597 BC. The false prophet Hananiah says: Within two years God will break the yoke of the king of Babylon, and Jerusalem will be restored. In short, he's saying: "Things are about to get better."

But God s...

July 28, 2016

God is always leading us from the familiar to the unfamiliar, from the known and trusted to the unknown and, therefore, to the fearful. If we knew the way to heaven, we would not need God to show us the way.

The reading from the Book of Wisdom begins to develop this theme. The author of the Book of Wisdom wrote, "The night of the Passover was known beforehand to our fathers." However, where did that knowledge come from? It came from God...

July 28, 2016

On July 22, the Church commemorated the feast day of St. Mary Magdalene. On the surface, most Catholics might not be certain why this is newsworthy at all.

Before the Vatican announced in June the change to a feast day, Mary Magdalene's day was celebrated as a memorial, the rank of most saint days in the Church. Feasts are reserved for special events in the life of the Lord (the Transfiguration, for example) or for important saints in t...

Arzobispo Robert J. Carlson
July 21, 2016

Cuál es su definición de gloria?

Una vez concluído el juego de béisbol de Las Estrellas, y con la inauguración de los Juegos Olímpicos casi en frente a nosotros, parece ser una buena oportunidad para hacernos esta pregunta.

Las lecturas de esta semana nos guían claramente para desarrollar una perspectiva bíblica sobre la gloria.

Las lecturas del Antiguo Testamento son tomadas del profeta Jeremías. Nos dan detalles sobre el...

Archbishop Robert J. Carlson
July 21, 2016

What's your definition of glory?

With baseball's All-Star Game behind us, and the opening of the Olympic Games just ahead of us, it seems like a good time to ask the question.

The readings this week provide clear guidance for developing a biblical perspective on glory.

The Old Testament readings are taken from the prophet Jeremiah. They detail the Exile and return of Israel — foreshadowing the death and resurrection of Jes...

Bishop Robert J. Hermann
July 21, 2016

The readings for the Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time are a great gift to us because they remind us that our greatest gifts aren't possessions, but God found within us.

In the first reading, the author reflects on the fruits of human labor. For example, the man who has labored "with wisdom and knowledge and skill" must leave all his property to "another who has not labored over it."

He continues: "For what profit comes to man f...

A statue of Mary from the Cardinal Rigali Center in Shrewsbury.
July 21, 2016

What happened to Mary after Jesus' resurrection? 

As we consider this question, I would like to examine it as we did with the life of St. Joseph: That is, limiting to details contained in the Bible and other places that are objectively verifiable. For greater detail as to how these events unfolded, I heartily encourage reading an account as recounted by one of the mystics approved by the Church.

As Jesu...

July 14, 2016

¿Alguna vez han visto una película de misterio dos veces? La segunda vez que la vemos es una experiencia muy diferente. Las pistas están ahí, solo que ahora ya sabemos lo que significan, y nos preguntamos cómo fue posible que no nos diéramos cuenta la primera vez que vimos la película.

Las parábolas de Jesús son similares — en las lecturas del Evangelio de esta semana Él nos relata una serie de parábolas. En cada una de ellas, Jesús uti...

July 14, 2016

Have you ever watched a mystery movie twice? The second time is a very different experience. The clues are there, only now you know what they mean, and wonder how you missed them the first time.

The parables of Jesus are like that — and He tells a series of parables in the Gospel readings for this week. In each, Jesus uses a physical reality to convey a spiritual truth. The parables are like a mystery movie in this sense: the meaning of...

July 14, 2016

The readings for the Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time make clear that God desires to share His power with sinful mankind.

To fully appreciate the importance of the first reading from Genesis, we must review what had happened just before this passage from Genesis. Abraham and Sarah were very old, many years past the childbearing age. Yet God had promised over and over again to Abraham that he would make his descendants as numerous as...

July 14, 2016

It is important for us to mourn those who have died in an appropriate way. What this means changes from person to person and family to family. Fortunately, there are many ways a Catholic priest or deacon can be present with a family in the hours after death through the funeral rites of the Church.

The most preferred and popular way for a funeral to be celebrated is in the local parish church with the deceased body present. In this rite,...

July 7, 2016

Hemos celebrado el 4 de Julio — El día de la Independencia. Pero, ¿qué sucedería si la independencia no es aquello que nos hace grandes, como individuos o como país? ¿Qué sucedería si, en cambio, la dependencia de Dios es aquello que nos hace grandes?

Interesantemente, como hemos celebrado el día de la Independencia, eso es lo que las lecturas de hoy nos han dicho.

Las lecturas del Antiguo Testamento fueron extraídas del libro de...

July 7, 2016

We've just celebrated July 4 — Independence Day. But what if independence isn't what makes us great, as individuals or as a country? What if, instead, reliance on God is what makes us great?

Interestingly, as we celebrated Independence Day, that's what the readings for the week told us.

The Old Testament readings came from the book of the prophet Hosea, who gave a prophetic history lesson. He showed Israel how independence from G...

July 7, 2016

The readings for the 16th Sunday in Ordinary Time demonstrate that submission to God brings about His glory. In the first reading, Abraham instinctively practices the virtue of hospitality by inviting three men, traveling through the hot desert, a shade tree, water to bathe their sore feet and refreshing food.

He is the father of our faith, and his descendants were reminded to practice hospitality to strangers. Unknowingly, Abraham ente...

July 7, 2016

The life of St. Joseph is largely veiled to us by history. While there are some writings from the early centuries of the Church about St. Joseph, they are part of the apocryphal literature. Writings in this category are largely viewed with suspicion, as they were written more to convey hidden, secret knowledge that was believed to be needed to attain salvation, rather than to give an account of events that took place. We also have the writings...