Doctrine

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, […]

Love and… Responsibility?

It is routinely pointed out that about half of all marriages end in divorce. But what is not often discussed is the other half of the equation: the marriages that don’t break up. Are those marriages thriving? Do married couples that stay together feel truly close to one another? Do they achieve true, lasting, personal intimacy? The picture on this […]

Jesus Christ Truly Present

Photograph Copyright © by Deacon Michael Bickerstaff

The Mass readings for the Solemnity of The Body and Blood of Christ (Year B) are: Exodus 24:3-8; Psalms 116:12-13, 15-16, 17-18; Hebrews 9:11-15; Mark 14:12-16, 22-26. Use the player to listen to listen to the homily or download the mp3 audio file. The Altar of Sacrifice of the Old Covenant The passage from Exodus used for today’s first reading recounts the […]

Imagining and Imaging the Trinitarian Communion of Love

"The Holy Trinity" (detail) by Antonio de Pereda

Last week we celebrated the feast of Pentecost, when the apostles and disciples were strengthened by the Holy Spirit to fulfill the mission Jesus gave them ten days before at his ascension. We see the marching orders Jesus gave them and us in today’s Gospel: “Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father […]

The Four Causes of Holy Mother Church

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

“In the Nicene Creed we profess the four Marks of the Church which are one, holy, catholic and apostolic. These four marks are intrinsically intertwined. These are those things by which we can distinguish the true Church from a false one provided all four are properly fulfilled by the true nature and essence of the One True Church built upon […]

I Believe in God

"The Exhortation to the Apostles" (detail) by James Tissot

CREDO When we say “I believe” as we recite the Apostle’s Creed we are making a statement about our Faith. The theological virtue of Faith is supernatural and infused by gift of the Holy Spirit. St. Thomas Aquinas points out that Faith is not only the first thing we need, but that we cannot be proper Catholics without it.1 St. […]

Why We Pray for the Dead

"The Madonna of Carmel and the Souls of the Purgatory" (detail) by Giovanni Battista Tiepolo

I’ll never forget that bleak January day when my father died.  It was very hard to believe in the resurrection as I watched the undertakers carry away his lifeless corpse in a body bag. But imagine this scene.  You are an unborn child who has lived in cozy but cramped quarters with your twin for nine months.  But now you […]

Give Full Assent to the Teachings of the Church

Detail of "Triumph of St. Thomas Aquinas over the Heretics" by Filipino Lippi

This is an age of disbelief, material reductionism, and subjectivism. It is increasingly difficult to give our full assent to Holy Mother Church’s teaching because they are difficult to reconcile with our modern ethos. One may rightfully object that there are many things about which men of good will can disagree, but the unchanging, dogmatic articles of faith of the […]

Three Root Issues that stand between Catholics and the Modern World

Disputa (Disputation of the Blessed Sacrament - Detail) by Raphael

The great philosopher Aristotle said “The least initial deviation from the truth is multiplied later a thousand fold.” These modern times bear out this wisdom. When influential thinkers of the past such as William of Occam, Francis Bacon, Rene Descartes, John Stuart Mill, Immanuel Kant, G.W. F. Hegel and several others took deviations from the truth in their philosophies, it […]

Beauty of the Soul

“Let us go forth to see ourselves in Thy beauty.” Yes, a little tiny human embryo has an immortal soul, infused into it by God at conception. Of all the wonders of the world, of all that is pleasing to the eye, of all that the ear can hear, there is nothing , one as beautiful as the soul of […]