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.

June 23, 2016

Dos mil años atrás, Jesús observó las acciones de la gente, leyó las intenciones de sus corazones y subió la vara. Pidió una conversión más profunda a todos los que conoció. Si observara nuestras intenciones y si leyera nuestros corazones el día de hoy ¿qué sería lo que Él nos pediría? Las lecturas de esta semana del profeta Amós nos dan una pista.

Amós fue llamado a la profecía en el norte de Israel alrededor del año 750 antes de Crist...

June 23, 2016

Two thousand years ago Jesus looked at people's actions, read their hearts' intentions and raised the bar. He asked for a deeper conversion from everyone He met. Looking at our actions and reading our hearts' intentions today, what would He ask of us? The readings this week from the prophet Amos give us a clue.

Amos was called to prophesy in northern Israel during the middle 700's before Christ. It was a time of apparent stability. Mili...

June 23, 2016

God does great things even in the midst of a sinful people. In the first reading for the 14th Sunday in Ordinary Time, God calls Jerusalem to rejoice. The Israelites had just returned from exile in Babylon, caused by their sinfulness. They had abandoned the covenant of Moses.

God didn't abandon the Israelites. In fact, God used the secular King Cyrus to return the Jews to their homeland and to rebuild the land and the Temple. While in e...

June 23, 2016

In a previous "Dear Father" column, we looked at objections to statues and other images that people have made of one of the Divine Persons, Mary or of one of the saints. This question builds on that article by asking if we have these images, is it appropriate to kneel before them in prayer? By extension, we can include bowing or even reverencing the statue (kissing the statue).

In the Ten Commandments located in the Book of Deuteronomy,...

June 16, 2016

Las lecturas del Antiguo Testamento de esta semana nos dan un breve resumen de la historia detrás del exilio babilónico. Es una historia fascinante por sí misma, pero también por su paralelismo con la vida de Jesús y por tener una lección para nosotros.

Los eventos comenzaron más de 700 años antes de Cristo. El rey de Asiria conquista las tribus del norte de Israel. Los israelitas pertenecientes a estas tribus son desterrados, para no s...

June 16, 2016

The Old Testament readings this week give a brief synopsis of the story behind the Babylonian Exile. It's fascinating in and of itself, but also in how it parallels the life of Jesus and holds a lesson for us.

The events begin more than 700 years before Christ. The King of Assyria conquers the northern tribes of Israel. The Israelites from these tribes are deported, never again to be gathered as part of Israel. (In fact, they become the...

June 16, 2016

Perhaps the responsorial psalm for the 13th Sunday in Ordinary Time captures the theme of the day's reading best. "I set the Lord ever before me; with Him at my right hand I shall not be disturbed."

Elijah does exactly this in the first reading. He has just undergone a conversion from self-pity, depression and despair. Jezebel was chasing him, and he longed for death. At the mountain on Horeb in a cave, Elijah met the Lord.

The L...

June 16, 2016

When I was a server in junior high, I remember one Saturday afternoon being out at my grandparents house in O'Fallon. As the afternoon went on, we decided to stay longer than we originally intended. Then, a bit too late, we also realized that it was my turn to serve at Mass. We made a couple of quick calls, trying to find a substitute, but ended up calling the rectory and telling the priest that I could not make it.

But was it really th...

Arzobispo Robert J. Carlson
June 9, 2016

El domo central de la catedral-basílica de St. Louis tiene una imagen de Elías siendo llevado al cielo en una carroza de fuego. En las lecturas de esta semana hablaremos sobre este episodio.

La carrera profética de Elías está marcada por muchos episodios fascinantes antes de ser llevado al cielo: derrotar a los profetas de Baal en el Monte Carmelo, devolver a la vida a un niño muerto, oír a Dios aun en las voces más pequeñas. Esta seman...

Archbishop Robert J. Carlson ordained 18 men to the permanent diaconate June 4 at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis.
June 9, 2016

The central dome of the Cathedral Basilica bears an image of Elijah being carried off to heaven in a fiery chariot. We hear about that episode in readings this week.

Many fascinating episodes mark Elijah's prophetic career before he's taken to heaven: defeating the prophets of Baal on Mount Carmel, raising a dead child to life, hearing God in the still small voice. This week we hear about an interaction with the notorious King Ahab.

...
Bishop Robert J. Hermann
June 9, 2016

The readings for the 12th Sunday in Ordinary Time celebrate God's plan of redemption for His people. As usual, the prophetic passages from the Old Testament speak in a veiled yet hopeful language.

Zechariah quotes the Lord; "I will pour out on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and petition." What does it mean "to pour out...a spirit of grace and petition"? Could this be a people's acknowledgment of...

June 9, 2016

May I pray for a family member who has died to intercede for me, or may I only ask canonized saints? 

Fundamentalists tend to disagree with Catholics on praying to the dead at all, even to the saints. They cite Biblical texts such as Deuteronomy 18:10-11, in which the Lord prohibits any oracles, or communication, with the dead.

A Catholic response to this objection begins by reading such texts i...

Bishop Robert J. Hermann
May 27, 2016

The readings for the Tenth Sunday in Ordinary Time demonstrate how God makes His invisible divinity visible in His actions in our midst.

In the first reading, the prophet Elijah prays over the dead son of a widow and raises him back to life. However, context is needed to understand the significance of this event.

Prior to this event, there was a drought in Palestine, and God commanded Elijah to go to a widow in Sidon. There he wa...

Arzobispo Robert J. Carlson
May 26, 2016

Esta semana celebramos la fiesta del Sagrado Corazón de Jesús (viernes 3 de junio). Cuando pensamos en el corazón, naturalmente lo asociamos con los sentimientos. Así que, esta fiesta nos ofrece la oportunidad de pensar acerca del papel de los sentimientos en el seguimiento de Jesús.

Cuando se trata de sentimientos podemos caer en dos tipos de errores.

1) Podemos hacer mucho de ellos, como si fueran lo único importante. (¡No lo s...

Archbishop Robert J. Carlson, right, presented Bishop Edward M. Rice with the medal of St. Louis at a Mass of Thanksgiving May 24 at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis. Bishop Rice will be installed as the seventh bishop of the Diocese of Springfield-Cape Girardeau on June 1.
May 26, 2016

We celebrate the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus this week (Friday, June 3). When we think of the heart, we naturally think of feelings. So, this feast offers us a chance to think about the place of feelings in following Jesus.

We might fall into two errors when it comes to feelings.

1) We can make too much of them, as though they're all that matters. (They are not!)

2) We also can make too little of them, as though the...

Arzobispo Robert J. Carlson
May 19, 2016

El domingo siguiente a Pentecostés es el domingo de la Santísima Trinidad. En esta ocasión es apropiado preguntar: ¿Es la Santísima Trinidad un hecho acerca de Dios que no hace ninguna diferencia en nuestras acciones, o por el contrario es un hecho que nos da un modelo fundamental para nuestra vida?

Pienso que la Trinidad es, y debe ser, lo segundo. Permítanme señalar dos maneras en las que creo que la Santísima Trinidad puede darle for...

Archbishop Robert J. Carlson presented Father James Knapp, SJ, with the St. Louis the King Award. The award is the highest honor given in the Archdiocese of St. Louis.
May 19, 2016

The Sunday following Pentecost is "Trinity Sunday." It's appropriate to ask: Is the Trinity a fact about God that doesn't make a difference for our actions, or is it a fact that provides a fundamental pattern for our lives?

I think the Trinity is, and should be, the latter. Let me point out two ways that belief in the Trinity can shape our day-to-day lives.

The Trinity: Putting relationships first

When w...

Bishop Robert J. Hermann
May 19, 2016

Only God's grace lets us wrap our hearts around the mystery of Christ's love that we celebrate on the Feast of the Body and Blood of Christ.

Paul tells the Corinthians, and us, "For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the death of the Lord until He comes." However, we might ask just what that means.

Does it mean that when we proclaim the death of the Lord, we also proclaim the forgiveness of sin? Does i...