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.

October 26, 2017

What's the standard by which we judge our lives? "I've never done anything horrible. I'm a decent human being." Very often it's something along those lines. Let me suggest, as we prepare to celebrate All Saints' Day, that we're using the wrong standard.

What's the right standard? Jesus gives it to us in the Beatitudes. The Beatitudes are actually a portrait of Jesus, and an invitation to be like Him. That's why, along with the teachings...

October 20, 2017

Estamos en la mitad de un mes completo de lecturas de la Carta de San Pablo a los Romanos, es pertinente preguntarnos "¿Qué aprendemos de San Pablo?" La respuesta son dos cosas de diferente clase.

En primer lugar, aprendemos grandes conceptos teológicos.

En Romanos 1, San Pablo nos dice: "Desde la creación del mundo, los atributos invisibles de poder eterno y divinidad de Dios pueden comprenderse y percibirse en lo que Él ha crea...

October 20, 2017

As we are in the middle of a whole month of readings from St. Paul's Letter to the Romans, it's pertinent to ask "What do we learn from St. Paul?" The answer is two kinds of things.

In the first place we learn great theological concepts.

In Romans 1, Paul tells us: "Ever since the creation of the world, God's invisible attributes of eternal power and divinity have been able to be understood and perceived in what He has made." Thi...

October 20, 2017

The readings for the 30th Sunday in Ordinary Time speak healing words to the heart of the racial divide in our society. Our reaction to the phrase "Black Lives Matter" often depends very much on the color of our skin. However, what we may not realize is that the evil one is using human divisions to win converts for his kingdom of evil.

Let us begin with the rich readings the Church offers us in the liturgy. The first reading from Exodus...

October 12, 2017

En un par de semanas, los luteranos conmemorarán el 500º aniversario del comienzo de la Reforma. Y para el próximo mes — desde el 16 de octubre al 11 de noviembre — las lecturas de la misa provienen de la carta de San Pablo a los Romanos.

La comprensión de San Pablo acerca de la justificación, como está establecido en la carta a los Romanos, fue (y es) uno de los puntos centrales de la división entre católicos y protestantes. En forma e...

October 12, 2017

In a couple of weeks, Lutherans will mark the 500th anniversary of the start of the Reformation. And for the next month — from Oct. 16 to Nov. 11 — Mass readings will come from the letter of St. Paul to the Romans.

St. Paul's understanding of justification, especially as set forth in Romans, was (and is) one of the central points of division between Catholics and Protestants. Most famously, St. Paul declares: "For by grace you have been...

October 12, 2017

God is the invisible power behind every good thing that happens, which is supported by the readings for the 29th Sunday in Ordinary Time. In the first reading, God explains to King Cyrus, a Gentile king, that God has anointed him, grasped his hand and subdued nations before him.

Remember that God chose the Persian King Cyrus as the leader to return the Israelites to the Promised Land and even to help them rebuild the temple. God does al...

October 12, 2017

Is it OK to leave Mass immediately after receiving Communion? 

The word that stands out to me the most in this question is the word "OK." This word means that what's being proposed is satisfactory, and thus the question asked is: Is it a satisfactory practice to leave Mass immediately after receiving Communion?

Let's first look at the question by way of an analogy. If my boss calls an important, man...

October 6, 2017

The readings for the 28th Sunday in Ordinary Time aren't recommended for anyone who wants to remain joyless, bored, depressed, discouraged and driven to accomplish everything that leaves him or her empty.

These readings spell the destruction of all the above, containing an invitation to an unimaginable banquet. We need only take the time to forsake our joyless toys and endless activities that leave us frustrated, exhausted and depressed...

October 6, 2017

Both the Nicene Creed and the Apostles' Creed share the quality of being a creed of the Church. The word creed comes from the Latin word credo, meaning "I believe." The meaning of this word reflects the purpose of these statements: They are structured and succinct ways of expressing the beliefs of the faith.

The Apostles' Creed is traditionally linked to being written by the apostles, hence its name. It's said that on Pentecost, the apo...

October 5, 2017

Esta semana leeremos del libro del profeta Jonás. La mayoría de nosotros recuerda que a Jonás se lo tragó una ballena. Pero tres elementos del libro nos ayudan a comprender más profundamente su mensaje.

El Primero, el contexto del libro. Jonás fue enviado a Nínive, la capital de Asiria — uno de los grandes enemigos históricos de Israel. El hecho de que Jonás fuese enviado allí significa no solo que Yahvé es el único Dio...

October 5, 2017

We read the book of the prophet Jonah this week. Most of us remember that Jonah was swallowed by a whale. But three elements of the book help us to understand its message more deeply.

First, is the context of the book. Jonah is sent to Nineveh, the capital of Assyria — one of the great historical enemies of Israel. That Jonah was sent there means that Yahweh isn't only the God of Israel, He's the God of every nation and...

September 29, 2017

La pared trasera de la capilla en el Seminario Kenrick-Glennon está pintada de dorado brillante. Cuando las luces se apagan, es todo lo que usted puede ver, una pared dorada. Pero cuando las luces se encienden se puede ver el patrón pintado allí.

La pared dorada, como con muchos otros elementos en la capilla del seminario, además de ser preciosa, fue diseñada para enseñar una lección. En este caso, la lección es que el patrón siempre es...

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...