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.

December 8, 2016

We celebrate the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe on December 12, and three closely related elements of this celebration deserve our attention: Mary's Visitation to Elizabeth 2,000 years ago, Mary's visitation to the people of Mexico in 1531, and Mary's visitation to us today.

The Visitation is an option for the Gospel reading on the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe. As part of the mystery of the Incarnation and pregnant with Jesus, Mary br...

December 8, 2016

Sunday, Dec. 18, is a week from the celebration of the birth of the God-Man who comes to save the world from sin. The closer we get to this great event, the deeper we enter into the mystery of His coming in time and in our hearts.

In the first reading for the Fourth Sunday of Advent, God desires to reveal a sign of God's coming to Ahaz, but proud Ahaz refuses to ask for the sign, saying, "I will not tempt the Lord!"

Despite Ahaz'...

December 8, 2016

The character of the Advent season reflects the meaning of the word Advent.

Advent comes from the Latin word advenio, meaning to come. By the very name of the season, the Church calls us to reflect on the two comings of Christ: at the end of time and in His birth at Bethlehem.

Reflection on these comings form the tempo of the Advent season. For about the first two weeks of Advent, the Church focuses more on the coming of Christ a...

December 1, 2016

Esta semana, celebramos la Fiesta de la Inmaculada Concepción — el hecho que María desde el momento en que fue concebida en el vientre de su madre no tenía pecado original.

Uno podría preguntarse: ¿Si esta es la fiesta de la Concepción de María por santa Ana, porque leemos en el evangelio el relato de la concepción de Jesús por María? En parte, es porque los Evangelios no nos dan un relato de la concepción de María. Más profundamente es...

December 1, 2016

This week, we celebrate the Feast of the Immaculate Conception — the fact that Mary was without sin from the moment she was conceived in her mother's womb.

One might wonder: If this is the feast of Mary's conception by St. Anne, why do we read the Gospel account of Jesus' conception by Mary? In part, it's because the Gospels don't give us an account of the conception of Mary. More deeply it's because of a fundamental theological truth:...

December 1, 2016

On Dec. 11, the third Sunday of Advent, we celebrate "Gaudete" Sunday. The entrance antiphon exhorts us to: "Rejoice in the Lord always; again I say rejoice. Indeed, the Lord is near." The readings blend twin calls to have hope and patience.

The first reading from Isaiah celebrates the marvelous future transformation of the parched land and the desert into a land that "will bloom with abundant flowers and rejoice with joyful song." "The...

December 1, 2016

Such a timely, good question, and one that I have wondered about myself.

Once, I stopped by a coffeehouse to enjoy coffee with a good book and saw that they were selling chocolate Advent calendars. To me, it made for a curious sight — a secular coffeehouse chain selling a seeming religious item.

The remote origins of this custom come from St. John of the Cross, the great Spanish Carmelite mystic. He carried statues of Mary and Jo...

Archbishop Robert J. Carlson
November 23, 2016

Let it be done for you according to your faith" (Matthew 9:29).

When Jesus heals two blind men, He said this to them. If Jesus said that to us, would anything happen?

Faith is among the great themes of the Gospel readings in the first week of Advent. The first readings for the week come from the Book of Isaiah. One of the great refrains is: "On that day." This is a reference to what will happen on the day when the Lord comes. The...

November 23, 2016

Hágase en ustedes según su fe." (Mateo 9;29)

Cuando Jesús sana dos hombres ciegos, les dice esto. Si Jesús nos dijera eso a nosotros, ¿sucedería algo?

En la primera semana de Adviento la fe está entre los grandes temas de las lecturas del Evangelio. Las primeras lecturas para la semana son del libro de Isaías. Uno de sus grandes estribillos es: "En ese día". Esto es una referencia a lo que sucederá en el día que el Señor venga. E...

Bishop Robert J. Hermann
November 23, 2016

The readings for the Second Sunday of Advent validate the hunger our hearts experience for a lasting peace and harmony that eludes us now. As St. Augustine said, "Our hearts are restless, until they rest in you, O Lord." God placed in our hearts a profound hunger for unity, harmony, happiness and fulfillment, and that hunger nurtures our hope for what God promises in the depths of our spirit.

Isaiah speaks about a future unlike anything...

Father John Mayo
November 23, 2016

My priest recently gave a homily saying that yoga is spiritually dangerous. But I just do it to exercise! How is that bad? 

Yoga is a popular way for individuals to exercise, maintain balance and flexibility, and to feel more peace in their life. Yet the spirituality of this practice gives the Church pause.

Yoga is a discipline that originates from Hinduism. The original purpose is to seek enlightenment thro...

November 17, 2016

San Cipriano era el obispo de Cartago en el norte de África a mediados de los años 200. Fue llevado a juicio ante el gobernador, durante la persecución de los cristianos en el año 258. Al final del juicio, el gobernador leyó la sentencia: "Se ha decidido que Tascio Cipriano debe morir por la espada." San Cipriano simplemente respondió: "Gracias a Dios."

A medida que se aproxima el día de Acción de Gracias, debemos hacer una pausa para c...

November 17, 2016

St. Cyprian was the bishop of Carthage in North Africa in the mid-200s. During the persecution of Christians in the year 258, he was brought to trial before the governor. At the conclusion of the trial, the governor read the sentence: "It is decided that Thascius Cyprian should die by the sword." St. Cyprian responded simply: "Thanks be to God."

As Thanksgiving approaches, we pause to consider the good things in our lives. It's natural...

November 17, 2016

The responsorial psalm captures and simplifies the theme of the readings for the first week of Advent. We're called to walk in the "light of the Lord."

Isaiah states: "In the days to come, the mountains of the Lord's house shall be established as the highest mountain and raised above the hills." This doesn't mean Mount Zion is physically the highest mountain, rather God chose this mountain as His special dwelling place.

"All nati...

November 17, 2016

Instructing the early Christians on death, St. Paul reminded them that to be with the Lord, we must die here on earth (2 Corinthians 5:1-10). After receiving recompense for what we did in this life, we wait with the Lord for the end of the world. Then, as St. Paul stated, we will receive our bodies back from the Lord incorruptible so that we may dwell with Him in the new heavens and new earth forever (1 Corinthians 15:50-55; Revelation 21:1-8)...

November 10, 2016

La elección ya pasó. El día de Acción de Gracias es la próxima semana. El Adviento comienza el domingo después del día de Acción de Gracias. Las lecturas de la escritura para esta semana están providencialmente ubicadas para este preciso momento. ¿Qué nos dicen estas lecturas? Este es el momento de que caigan las barreras.

En el primer evangelio de la semana, Jesús se aproxima a Jericó — la ciudad del Antiguo Testamento, donde los israe...

November 10, 2016

The election is over. Thanksgiving is next week. Advent begins the Sunday after Thanksgiving. The Scripture readings for this week are providentially arranged for this precise moment. What do they tell us? That it's time for the walls to come down.

In the first Gospel of the week, Jesus approaches Jericho — the famous Old Testament city, where the Israelites cooperated with the power of God and the walls of the city came tumbling down....

November 10, 2016

On Nov. 20, we celebrate the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe. The most powerful image in the universe isn't a national flag or a coin or a monument. The most powerful image in the universe is the crucifix of Jesus Christ, the image of power over the entire created universe.

All three readings for this Sunday give a glimpse of what that power really is. In the first reading, it's the image of King David being ano...