I have taught a theological foundations course to mostly college freshman for a few years now. Over the course we read Thomas Aquinas’s Sermon Conference on the Apostles’ Creed. And in his section on the suffering and death of Christ, Thomas says that one of the many things we learn from the example of Christ’s passion is how to despise the things of this world. I have observed a certain amount of confusion among the
In 2000, sociologist Barry Glassner published The Culture of Fear: Why Americans Are Afraid of the Wrong Things. An updated version is expected later this year. Glassner’s thesis is that American concerns about crime, drugs, child abuse, and other issues are not founded on data but are instead the product of the scaremongering tactics mass media outlets depend upon to attract and maintain viewership. Negative stories capture more clicks, more eyeballs, and generate more conversation
Every week, millions of people around the world situate themselves in moderately uncomfortable seating and listen to someone talk at them for an extended period of time. I am, of course, referring to Christians who attend church services and listen to sermons. But how can we tell if a sermon is good? This article suggests three sets of questions for reflecting on this question.
A challenge to churches to rise up to their calling Often a friend of mine tells the story about when his wife became a Christian, “She started reading the Bible in Genesis and began to get bogged down. I told her to skip all that and start with Matthew.” Sometimes I wonder if his wife ever got horribly confused to begin reading the story three-quarters of the way through. It would be like reading The
“Become merciful (it says in the Greek) even as your Father is merciful.” There is movement and action. The word become implies change and growth and development. God is merciful and loving and He never changes. We are the ones who are changeable. The scary thing is that we have the same potential to become unmerciful as we have to become merciful. We are Orthodox Christians. I am very comfortable with that statement. I am also comfortable with
From experience, I tend to believe that doctrine is an important factor to consider in choosing a church. For a Charismatic Christian who practices the gifts of the Spirit, it would be foolish and very difficult to become part of a community that regularly denounces my Christian practice. Similarly, if the peace of a Christian community is threatened by my beliefs, the loving response may be to walk away. The danger is that I could
I must confess that I did not begin studying the Scriptures personally on a daily basis until almost two years ago. I grew up having family Bible reading in the mornings and often in the evenings. But, about two years ago, I came to a point when I realized that it was something I really should do faithfully on my own. I readily admit that when I first made the decision to become faithful in
“ ‘The star-glass?’ muttered Frodo, as one answering out of sleep, hardly comprehending. ‘Why yes! Why had I forgotten it? A light when all other lights go out! And now indeed light alone can help us.’ ”1 The interplay between light and dark is an ongoing part of our lives. In the literal sense, we live in a world where the regular appearance of both provides a measure of regulation to our activities. Figuratively though,
Happy weekend, dear readers, and happy Mother’s Day to all mothers out there! 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
“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
In this desire to love, humans work with that grace that is given them—in the vocations within which they are placed and using the gifts of the Holy Spirit they have received (1 Cor 12:4–11). Our humanity does not disappear when we do good works: it becomes more evident. Nourished by the Word, the Sacraments, and the Church, we grow in loving God and our neighbors. This very growth in love, for Catholics, cannot be divorced from our salvation.
Be willing to be only a voice that is heard but not seen, or a mirror whose glass the eye cannot see because it is reflecting the brilliant glory of the Son. Be willing to be a breeze that arises just before daylight, saying, “The dawn! The dawn!” and then fades away.1 “What prayer are you praying right now that you’re afraid God will answer?” Dark, questioning eyes probed my startled face when my friend
The newsfeed on Facebook (or any social media) is a troubling place. News of bombed planes, war in Gaza, murdered clergymen, and school shootings have all claimed prominent space over the past couple months as I scroll through my newsfeed. To quite literally add insult to injury, people post and comment on Facebook in a degrading, self-righteous, and outright obnoxious manner. Most people accompany the news of violence in the world with violence in their
Way of The Ascetics, by Tito Colliander, is a profound little book that should be a required reading for every Christian. Simple and clear, Colliander proffers the experience of the Orthodox Church together with the fathers about the inner life of the Christian. The book begins with an exhortation to rise to the challenge of living the Christian life, for “Faith comes not through pondering but through action” (Colliander, 1). The “action” he is referring