Last week, the Roman Catholic Church celebrated the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. While there is common confusion that the immaculate conception celebrates the conception of Christ without sin, the doctrine actually refers to the conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary without original sin. Because Mary was destined to be the Mother of God, God by his grace intervened so that Mary would be free of the stain of original sin. The immaculate conception officially
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.
Christ has come to give us life, and that in abundance. He does not hold back. We ask to know Him, we ask for mercy, we ask Him to show us the path. And He answers us with the truth. There are no riddles to decipher or secret panels to open.
Hello, readers! Here is a round-up of different religion, theology, and current events articles from our own authors and across the internet.
A few weeks back I received a postcard in the mail from a local non-denominational church inviting me to attend. The invitation also instructed me to bring the postcard with me to church in order to receive a free cup of coffee from their coffee shop. This was their gimmick, their way to get me in the door. Not the chance to meet my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, not the opportunity to worship with
I recently completed my Master of Arts in Theological Studies at the University of Dayton. My emphasis was not in the traditional systematic theological studies, where I contemplated the Trinity, the Incarnation, and grace; nor did I focus on Biblical Studies, delving into the ancient languages, the context, and the literatures that produced what we understand as the Word of God (although I did dabble in Hebrew for three semester and can discuss the influence
“And he told them a parable, saying, ‘The land of a rich man produced plentifully, and he thought to himself, “What shall I do, for I have nowhere to store my crops?” And he said, “I will do this: I will tear down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. And I will say to my soul, ‘Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many
For my birthday, a group of Conciliar Post writers banded together for a brilliant round table discussion on the imago dei. Okay, it was coincidentally on my birthday, not in celebration of it. The round table is a fantastic piece that I commend to your reading. In an unusual twist for the internet, the comments section is also full of edifying dialogue. You should go read all of it and come back. I’m not here
I asked my nephew once whether he thought God wanted us to be happy. His answer, not surprisingly, was a resounding yes. When I asked him why he thought that, he said, “Because it’s fun.” When I pressed him for more information, he got rather tired of the discussion and went off to play. After all, he was only five years old. I had a good chuckle. I even wrote a blog post about it
“Then children were brought to him that he might lay his hands on them and pray. The disciples rebuked the people, but Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.” And he laid his hands on them and went away.” (Matthew 19: 13-15)1 About once a quarter, Pastor John, a towering figure with grey hair and rosy cheeks, corners my
In my last post, I discussed Julian of Norwich and Margery Kempe in the context of English vernacular mysticism. Mysticism is one of the two dominant fields of medieval theology along with scholasticism, and throughout the centuries of the Church has been an important mode for expressing spirituality, theology, and Christian practice. In this article I provide a bit of background on medieval Christian mysticism, in hopes to be able to engage my readers in
As an adult who’s spent the last year of his life writing and revising a Christian novel he helplessly describes as a “rock n roll zombie comedy,” I’ve wasted a considerable number of hours pondering that psychic disturbance we call funny. What is funny? What is it made of? Does it get good mileage on the highway? I’ve come to the conclusion that at the core of the best and the purest of humor and
On a typical day, I find that the hospital smells a bit like the last moments of my life are being wiped up by a janitor with a clean rag and a gallon of disinfectant. Today, it smells less like finality and industrial cleaner and more like an outhouse. This is because an uncapped and not-quite-empty urine jug is about a foot beneath my nostrils. When I asked the patient if he wanted to pray,
Religion News Service contributor David Gibson recently penned an opinion piece on the growing concerns of American Christian leaders that our beloved land of freedom and good Christian virtue “ain’t what she used to be.” These leaders apparently caught on that America as a whole is behaving precisely how we told it not to behave in Sunday School, and now some leaders are now equating the religious right’s loss of cultural and political clout with
“When a stranger sojourns with you in your land, you shall not do him wrong. You shall treat the stranger who sojourns with you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God.” (Lev 19:33-34)1 Last time, I covered approaching the topic of illegal immigration (specifically the recent surge of unaccompanied minors across the U.S.-Mexico border) with
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
In my previous post, I spoke about the problems of modern secular feminism, and I offered Saint John Paul II’s teaching on the dignity and vocation of women as an alternative for the modern Christian woman. This week, I intend to delve more deeply into this teaching, which represents centuries of the Catholic Church’s teaching on women. In subsequent posts in this series, I wish to closely examine the lives, writings, and teachings of various
With America still reeling from the recent Isla Vista killings, the blogosphere has since exploded with a smorgasbord of theories about what led to the carnage. I certainly do not wish to opine any further on this matter, however, one of the responses to that event – “We Created Elliot Rogers” posted at Ethika Politika – does offer a pertinent example for what I do want to discuss here. The article’s author, Elisabeth Cervantes, moves
Introduction Awhile back, I found myself defending the Catholic Church to a few strangers. One young man—I will call him Adam—was convinced that the Church was not actually doing anything good in the world, least of all for the poor. (I was waiting for him to suggest that we should just “sell the Vatican.”) Crossing his arms, he asked me concretely: what is the Church actually doing for the poor? Although the answer would have
When I was 13-years-old my dad challenged me to do 40 situps every day for two weeks. I informed him after the two weeks that I successfully completed his challenge and planned to continue the exercise. And I did. I kept it up for quite some time. When I began to see the slightest definition in my 13-year-old abdomen muscles I was ecstatic. I naively thought that I could take it easy for a while