05 Jan 2016

The Creche and the Year of Mercy

Headlines of religious and secular sites have abuzzed with the recent news of Pope Francis’ opening of the Holy Door of the Vatican in proclamation of the Jubilee of Mercy (also known as the Year of Mercy). Pope Francis speaks of this Year of Mercy as a “revolution of tenderness,” a subtle yet strong act against the violence and the suffering of our age. During this Year of Mercy, the Holy Father urges us to

Laura Norris 1
30 Oct 2015

Round Table: Martin Luther

498 years ago tomorrow, a young Augustinian monk who taught at the University of Wittenberg nailed ninety-five theses on “The Power and Efficacy of Indulgences” to the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg. Though seemingly innocuous as the time, this event has since been hailed as the start of the Protestant Reformation, a theological shake up in the Western Church that has changed the face of Christianity and Western civilization. In response to the

Laura Norris 2
19 Oct 2015

The Martian and the Water of Life

There’s a scene in the new hit movie, The Martian, which has likely disturbed some Christians. After realizing he is stranded on Mars for what could be years, Matt Damon’s character Mark Watney realizes he must grow food in able to survive, since the rations will only sustain him for a few months. He’s a botanist, so at least his knowledge will not fail him. The rations include a few potatoes, sealed and saved for

Laura Norris 7
21 Sep 2015

On Syria and the Virtues of Hope and Charity

Images of drowned children, news of chemical bombs, and devastating stories about refugees flood our media with news of the Syrian civil war. Many Christians have vocalized the same repeated response: surely these are the end times.   I do not know if these are the end times of not; none of us know, only the Father. However, I firmly believe the admission that these clearly must be the end times is a cop-out to

Laura Norris 1
18 Sep 2015

Round Table: What Is Christianity?

What is Christianity? That seems to be a simple question. At least until you sit down and have to precisely and concisely answer it. Is Christianity a religion? A relationship? A worldview? A movement? An institution? A set of doctrinal beliefs? A series of philosophical arguments? All of these? None of these? Some of these? This month,  Conciliar Post has collected no fewer than fourteen answers to this important question of definitions. Ranging across a

Laura Norris 18
24 Aug 2015

John Henry Newman and the Journey of Conversion

“Great acts take time.” – John Henry Newman         In 1839, Oriel College Fellow John Henry Newman was at the height of his career, both as a member of the Oxford Movement and Anglican priest at St. Mary’s. Within six years time, he had resigned both these posts and preparing to leave Oxford for good, not for retirement, or acceptance of a new job, but because he had converted from the Church of England into

Laura Norris 2
27 Jul 2015

Women and the LCMS Church

First off, I wish to preface this article by stating that this is not a diatribe against the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod. I have the utmost respect for the LCMS Church; while I do not agree with them on all issues, such as evolution, my husband, mother, and sister are all members of the LCMS Church, and I spent thirteen spiritually-enriching years in the LCMS Church before becoming Catholic. The focal point of this article, rather,

Laura Norris 1
13 Jul 2015

Must Read Catholic Novels

Summer is almost synonymous with reading. Warm temperatures, long hours of daylight, and weekends on the beach or by a campfire invite the us to put down our phones and pick up a good book. A few weeks ago I wrote about Christian poets worth reading this summer; in this post, I wish to offer a list of must-read Catholic novels. Whether you are a tried-and-true Protestant, a cradle Catholic, or a non-denominational, you will

Laura Norris 0
29 Jun 2015

The Christian’s Guide to Talking about Marriage Equality (or any moral issue) on the Internet

This past Friday, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) ruled that marriage equality must be legalized in all fifty states. I returned from a lovely eight mile run out on some of Seattle’s finest trails feeling spiritually refreshed and grateful for God’s gift. This mood, however, was dampened when I checked Facebook and saw Christians from all political leanings angrily posting and bickering with each other about the SCOTUS ruling. Each morning, after

Laura Norris 5
16 Jun 2015

Here We Raise Our Ebenezer: Conciliar Post After One Year

In honor of Conciliar Post’s one year anniversary, we asked the editorial team to reflect on the past year. You can read Managing Editor Jacob Prahlow’s reflections in his post “How Now Shall We Speak?“. Here is what some other members of the Conciliar Post team had to say: Jody Byrkett Senior Editor Fleeting as days are, it is a bit strange to find that three hundred and sixty-five of them can feel both long and

Laura Norris 4
15 Jun 2015

4 Ways to Practice Christian Stewardship of the Environment

Both the Christian and secular media is currently abuzz with the upcoming encyclical on environmentalism from Pope Francis. Following in line with Saint Pope John Paul II’s sense of mountain-climbing adventure and Pope Benedict XVI’s call for stronger environmental protections, Pope Francis urges believers to adopt a strong environmentalism as an integral sense of their Christian identity. In a homily he delivered in February of this year, Pope Francis asserted,  “A Christian who does not

Laura Norris 4
01 Jun 2015

The Spiritual Value of Christian Poetry and Christian Poets You Should Read

Summer is a season that invites you to pick up a book. The longer daylight provides more hours for reading, the break from school opens up schedules and frees from the demands of syllabi, and vacations to the mountains or the beach beckon us to leisure away our time while nestled in a good book. While many people reach for the latest bestsellers, classic works of literature, or (as is likely for many of our

Laura Norris 2
04 May 2015

There’s a Saint for That (A Brief Reflection)

One critique that some groups of non-Catholics rail against Catholicism that there are saints for very obscure or mundane purposes. Think of Saint Ambrose of Milan, the brilliant 4th century theologian who is the patron saint of beekeepers, or Saint Isidore of Seville, who anachronistically became the patron saint of the Internet in 2003. Why have saints for such small things, or designate saints to technologies they did not even use? There’s quite literally a

Laura Norris 2
20 Apr 2015

Men, Women, and Spiritual Friendship

In a catechesis address on April 15 at the Vatican, Pope Francis spoke about the difference between men and women. Some who wish to develop a discontinuous narrative of John Paul II and Benedict XVI as traditionalists and Francis as a progressive pope expressed their disappointment at Francis’s statements, as the pontiff warned against the prevalence of gender theory in modern society. “We risk taking a step backward,” Francis stated, and he claimed that “so-called

Laura Norris 1
11 Apr 2015

Weekly Reads (April 11)

Happy Easter weekend, dear readers! And happy Easter to our Orthodox brothers and sisters! Here is a round-up of different religion, theology, and current events articles from our own authors and across the internet. The following articles do not necessarily reflect the views or mission of Conciliar Post. These articles have been selected based on their prevalence across popular blogs and social media and their relevance to current events. We invite you to engage in friendly

Laura Norris 0
06 Apr 2015

What “Unbroken” Can Teach Us About Resilience, Hope, and the Christian Life

  “However dark the night, however dim our hopes, the light will always follow darkness.” While stranded on a lifeboat in the Pacific for 47 days, Louis Zamperini reflected upon the words he had heard years previously at an ordinary Sunday Mass. He clung to those words as Japanese planes shot holes in their raft, as a fellow crew member died of dehydration, and as with each day passing the hope of survival seemed less

Laura Norris 0
04 Apr 2015

Weekly Reads (April 4)

Happy Easter weekend, dear readers! Here is a round-up of different religion, theology, and current events articles from our own authors and across the internet. The following articles do not necessarily reflect the views or mission of Conciliar Post. These articles have been selected based on their prevalence across popular blogs and social media and their relevance to current events. We invite you to engage in friendly and positive discussion about these articles. If you read

Laura Norris 2
01 Apr 2015

Round Table: Resurrection

This week, Western Christians celebrate Holy Week, the last days of Jesus Christ on earth before his crucifixion at the hands of Pontius Pilate, torturous suffering on a cross, and death. Of course, the story of Christ does not end there, but continues on Sunday with Jesus’ resurrection from the dead. This act—the defeat of death—became the launching point of the Christian faith, the linchpin of the Gospel: God has come to earth and he

Laura Norris 5
28 Mar 2015

Weekly Reads (March 28)

Happy weekend, dear readers! Here is a round-up of different religion, theology, and current events articles from our own authors and across the internet. The following articles do not necessarily reflect the views or mission of Conciliar Post. These articles have been selected based on their prevalence across popular blogs and social media and their relevance to current events. We invite you to engage in friendly and positive discussion about these articles. If you read

Laura Norris 0
23 Mar 2015

Can Christians Practice Yoga?

Recently, a new series of exercises DVDs emerged, marketed exclusively toward Catholics. SoulCore combines core strengthening, isometric movements, and the praying of the Rosary into 60 minute videos to exercise the body while nourishing the mind. SoulCore defines itself against one of the most popular forms of exercise, yoga. “SoulCore is not yoga, nor are yoga poses referenced at any time.”[1] Instead, SoulCore emphasizes uniting the mind and body in prayer and putting the body

Laura Norris 7