Three Rome-themed mini-posts to commemorate Sts. Peter and Paul: (I) the necessity of being united with the Roman Church, (II) the Roman Church not being the Seat of the Antichrist, and (III) an exciting new Catholic podcast centered around Rome.
The Catholic Deuterocanon - the set of seven books accepted by Catholics and rejected by Protestants - clearly teaches the morality of praying to the Saints and praying for the souls of the deceased. But can we trust that the Deuterocanon is canonical? Evidence from Romans 9 -- a favorite passage amongst many Protestants -- strongly points to a "yes" answer.
Be Bartimaeus. The Gospel presents Bartimaeus to us to show us that this is what it looks like to follow Jesus. This is what we’re called to. So what can we learn from him? I would propose three things: (1) see your blindness; (2) beg boldly; and (3) make Jesus’ Way your way.
A lesson in forgiveness from St. John Paul II.
The world has just learned that three more Assyrian Christians have been executed in a particularly barbaric way by ISIS… who’ve promised to continue this murderous campaign if the Christians of the Middle East don’t submit. Pope Francis has repeatedly tried to call our attention to the ongoing genocide of these Christians, and that’s exactly what it is: a systematic attempt to wipe Christians off of the map, permanently. All of this bloodshed is being perpetrated in the name of a radical and expansionist form of Islam. To be sure, this isn’t the only form of Islam practiced, but it is nothing new, either. From the very beginning, there have been groups, beginning with Muhammad himself, who sought to spread Islam by the sword.
We, the Church, we are the Body of Christ. We say that all the time, but do we really believe that? If we do, then we need to know two things: (1) that Mary is our Mother, and (2) that our sorrows have meaning, they have a purpose. Jesus didn't say, “take up your Cross and throw it away,” but “take up your cross and follow me.” He doesn't suffer and die so that we don't have to suffer. He suffered and died so our sufferings have meaning.
It was through wood that we fell, and it is through wood that we have been redeemed. It goes back to Adam and Eve. The Fall of Man happens after the serpent tempts them into eating from the fruit of the forbidden tree. But from the very moment of the Fall, we're promised that sin and rebellion aren't the end of the story. God promises that a Redeemer will come who will crush the serpent, Satan, underfoot. And the passage in Genesis ends with a tantalizing clue: an angel with a fiery sword is sent to guard the Tree of Life, lest man eat of it and live forever. Salvation, eternal life, will come through the tree, but we can't reach it on our own.
The scroll and seven seals of the Book of Revelation couldn't be opened without the Lamb standing as though slain, the Eucharistic Christ. Here are seven other mysteries of the faith that we need the Eucharist to unlock: (1) the New Covenant; (2) the Old Covenant; (3) the Mass; (4) Early Christianity; (5) the Church; (6) the lives of the Saints; and (7) your own spiritual life.
This Sunday, you'll hear the wander Jews in the desert announce their preference for the security of slavery in Egypt over the uncertainty of following Moses (and God) in the Exodus, and you'll hear the followers of Jesus in John 6 prefer free bread over saving truths. It's easy to condemn these people, but are we really so different?
"O happy Rome, stained purple with the precious blood of so many princes! You excel all the beauty of the world, not by your own glory, but by the merits of the saints whose throats you cut with bloody swords."
Did the Virgin Mary know about the Resurrection before it happened? There’s a gap of thirty years, called the “silent years” of Jesus, in which Scripture simply doesn’t tell us what happened between Jesus’ infancy and the beginning of His public ministry. But there’s one interruption to this silence, a single event that Scripture records from […]