St. Ignatius of Antioch, a disciple of the Apostle John, wrote a series of letters somewhere about c. 107-110, en route to his martyrdom in Rome. These letters are richly Catholic, so much so that the Reformer John Calvin was convinced that they couldn't be authentic. So how do we know that they are?
Most of us aren’t called to be priests or monks or nuns, yet so many spiritual authors assume that their readers live in convents, monasteries, or rectories. So what about the spiritual life of everyone else? Here are three takes on holiness in daily life (from St. Francis de Sales, Blessed John Henry Newman, and […]
Continuing the series on “the Saints and prayer,” I spoke yesterday on prayer and the Eastern Church Fathers. I wanted them as a change of pace for two reasons: I find that Catholics in the West are much more familiar with Western Church Fathers like Augustine, Ambrose, Gregory, and Leo, than they are with Eastern […]
When Catholics talk about praying to Mary, a classic Protestant objection is "but I can go directly to Jesus!" To that, I'd say, "True, you could go to Jesus alone... but if you pray to Mary, you and the Virgin Mary can go directly to Jesus!" The "why not just go directly to Jesus" objection points to one of the real differences between Catholics and Protestants on this question: we Catholics believe that some people's prayers are more efficacious than others.
The Church refers to the Eucharist as a "pledge of future glory." What does that mean, and how does faithfully receiving the Eucharist ensure our salvation and bodily resurrection?
Do Muslims, Jews, and Christians worship the same God? Vatican II seems to say "yes," but how can that be, since Muslims and Jews deny the Trinity?
Is teaching children religion brainwashing? The question was posed at Debate.org, and an astounding 86% of respondents said yes. So why should Christian parents share the Gospel with their children?
Sometimes, when we talk about Christianity, we present it as a great deal. “My yoke is easy, and my burden is light,” Jesus says (Matthew 11:30). But other times, it sounds like Christianity is costly. Remember that Jesus also says “he who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me” (Matthew 10:38). So which view is right? Both of them. Here's are two parables that Jesus gives that explain that apparent contradiction.
The daily morning offering, a Catholic spiritual tradition we can all make use of, serves as a reminder of the areas of Christian disunity, and serves as an unintentional advertisement for the need for prayer.
In Luke 24:13-35, the two disciples on the road to Emmaus have a surprise encounter with the risen Lord, Jesus Christ. There are basically four "stages" of communion in this encounter, and it's the same four stages, in the same order, that we find in the earliest Christian worship, and that we see in the Mass today. So let's look at each of the four stages, and then consider why it matters that they should all follow the same structure and pattern....