Spirituality for Widows

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In the New Testament, widows flourish in their ministry as they draw close to Christ and to Christ’s people. They are free to follow the Crucified One ... Concerning widows in the early Church ... some of them constituted the first form … [Read more...]

Questions Answered

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Is it true that Hell is not a permanent condition? Are there any clear statements in Scripture that homosexuality is a sin and unnatural? Question: Is it true that Hell is not a permanent condition?  Answer: The question of the … [Read more...]

What Evangelicals Can Learn From Catholics

Evangelicals and Catholics collage

The biggest thing that Evangelicals can learn from Catholics is how to worship ... liturgy, when celebrated reverently, can also give worshipers a connection to the sacred that is just not available through the type of worship service ... … [Read more...]

Doctrinal Homily Outlines for the Year of Faith

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...the Scriptures are not a systematic presentation of the faith. Nevertheless, the doctrines of the faith are contained in Sacred Scripture, so the Lectionary readings can be the basis for preaching about doctrine.    Pope Benedict XVI … [Read more...]

Are doctrine and morals too controversial?

Preaching on controversy collage

What happens to a parish, and to its parishioners, when the pastor refuses to preach Catholic doctrine and morals on the grounds that they are now “too controversial”?   Cardinal Francis George and Cardinal Timothy Dolan are well … [Read more...]

Obstacles to Reading Scripture in Modernity: Von Balthasar’s Response

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Hans Urs von Balthasar’s theological aesthetics {are} a remedy for the breakdown in modern biblical exegesis and the groundwork of an approach to revelation that allows the glory of God to show forth in all of its splendor. In the … [Read more...]

Pope Benedict XVI: Theologian of the Bible

The twentieth century was a tumultuous time in the Catholic Church for all concerned with the interpretation of the Bible. For the past few decades, this topic has been a principal concern of one prominent theologian. His interest in the … [Read more...]

Scripture breathes the Holy Spirit

Recently I read a little book on the mystery of God’s word by Fr. Raniero Cantalamessa, O.F.M.Cap. (Jesus Began to Preach, Liturgical Press, 2010). The author is the well-known theologian and preacher to the papal household.  He has held … [Read more...]

In defense of dogma

I want to raise my voice in defense of dogma. Since the Vatican Council dogma has been neglected, downplayed and even reviled by some theologians. This has been the result of the emphasis on Holy Scripture, because the Council urged … [Read more...]

The meaning of sacrament

In October 2008 I covered the Roman Synod of Bishops for HPR. My report and summary of the synod appeared in the February 2009 issue. At a special press conference during the synod it was announced that the German publishing company, … [Read more...]

St. Paul’s Gospel

On June 29 we concluded the year in honor of St. Paul, the Apostle of the Gentiles and author of half of the books in the New Testament. Earlier this year, having noticed that Pope Benedict XVI was preaching regularly on St. Paul, I decided … [Read more...]

The paradox of Christian freedom

“For freedom Christ has set us free” (Gal. 5:1). St. Paul tells us that faith in Christ makes us free. In the contemporary world there is a universal demand for more freedom—personal, political and economic. Freedom, however, is a … [Read more...]

Ephesians 5: Bridegroom and Bride

It is Mass on the Twenty-first Sunday of Ordinary Time, in late summer only a few years ago. Fortunately the air conditioning seems to be holding up, for this year at least. The celebrant offers the Opening Prayer, asking the Father for … [Read more...]

Praying with the Bible

At the Roman Synod on the Bible in October 2008, which I covered for HPR, the most common topic mentioned was the need to recommend “Lectio Divina” as a pious practice among the faithful. You have probably seen the phrase mentioned in … [Read more...]

Heaven is not an abstraction

“Today’s feast (Assumption) impels us to lift our gaze to Heaven; not the heaven consisting of abstract ideas or even an imaginary heaven created by art, but the Heaven of true reality which is God himself.” —Benedict XVI, Homily, … [Read more...]

NeverWinter Astral Diamonds