Judgment—What Every Catholic Must Know About The Four Last Things

Michelangelo's "Last Judgment" on the Altar Wall in the Sistine Chapel Photography by Mark Armstrong

The Four Last Things Catholic teaching identifies the Four Last Things as: Death Judgment Heaven Hell In the first installment of this series on the Four Last Things, we examined what every Catholic needs to know about death. In this second installment, we will look at the Particular and Universal Judgments, the second of the Four Last Things. The Particular and […]

In life, in death, O Lord, abide with me

“Christ at 33” (detail) by Hofmann

“In life, in death, O Lord, abide with me.” Today we will remember the victims of September 11, 2001 in our prayers as we mark the seventeenth anniversary of that tragic day. As I prepare this article, Florence bears down on the Carolina coasts. We should include the victims of the storms of this year, around the globe, in our prayers as […]

What Every Catholic Must Know About The Four Last Things—Death

"St. Jerome Writing" (detail) by Caravaggio

One of the recurring themes you will read on this site is that we are not made for Earth, but for Heaven. Our time on Earth is important—we are pilgrims on Earth, journeying to our true home in Heaven. Each of us has a beginning (conceived by our parents) and each of us will have an end. What we will […]

Religion that is True, Good and Beautiful

“The School of Athens” (detail showing Aristotle with the elder Plato) by Raphael

A number of years ago, Sister Regina Marie OCD, spoke here at the Atlanta Catholic Business Conference. It was one of the most profound, yet accessible and relevant, talks I have ever heard. She asked, “What is the greatest of truths?” The answer she gave after a time of discussion with the audience was simply this, “God is.” “God is […]

John 6 and Your Eucharistic Faith

Mission Dolores Altar (San Francisco) Photograph © by Andy Coan

Four Sundays ago, I mentioned here that the liturgical calendar of the Church was taking a short break from the Gospel of Mark, which we had been hearing this year at Sunday Mass. Next Sunday, we will return to Mark’s Gospel. Counting today, we have spent five consecutive Sundays hearing from the sixth chapter of John’s Gospel. Its content has been […]

Celebrating the Assumption of Mary

"The Assumption of the Virgin" (detail) by Guido Reni

On August 15th of each Liturgical Year, the Church celebrates the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. In the United States, the Assumption is a Holy Day of Obligation unless it  falls on a Saturday or Monday, in which case the precept to attend Mass is abrogated: “Whenever January 1, the solemnity of Mary, Mother of God, or August 15, […]

Elijah and the Lord—Lessons for Living!

"The Prophet Elias" (detail) by Daniele da Volterra

Here’s a quick test for you!  You didn’t know there was going to be a pop quiz, did you?  I thought one might be in order to celebrate the start of the coming school year. Yes?  No? Seriously!  Here’s the question… “Who was the famous prophet in today’s first reading?” The prophet is none other than Elijah!  In his ministry, he […]

Food That Endures For Eternal Life

Photograph Copyright © by Deacon Michael Bickerstaff

Today’s Gospel is taken from St. John and continues our short five-week break from Mark’s Gospel that we’ve been hearing during this liturgical year. The focus of the passages during these five weeks is the Eucharist and the Lord’s abundant love for each of us. So much power and promise are contained in the sixth chapter of John’s gospel, that […]

The Eucharist in John’s Gospel

"Mulitplication of the Loaves and Fishes" (detail) by Très Riches Heures

During this Liturgical Year (Year B), the gospel readings at Mass on Sundays are taken primarily from the Gospel of Mark. However, beginning this weekend, we will spend five consecutive Sundays hearing from the sixth chapter of the Gospel of John and the focus will be on the Eucharist. To set the scene, we need to look back to last […]

Receive, O Lord. I am all Yours!

"King David in Prayer (detail)" by Pieter de Grebber

There is a great old popular jazz standard written by Gerald Marks and Seymour Simons titled All of Me that is one of my favorite tunes.  I particularly like the rendition performed by Louis Armstrong and another done later by Willie Nelson. The song is about a fellow who lost his heart to a girl who left him, so he […]