Apologetics Corner

St. Peter's Basilica at Night (and Ponte Sant Angelo over the Tiber)St. Peter's Basilica at Night (and Ponte Sant Angelo over the Tiber)

Rome Speaks for Herself and She says “Catholic”

Much of the evidence that the Catholic Church is one, holy, catholic, and apostolic can be found in Rome.  How else does one explain that the Church has the greatest treasure of early Christian artifacts in the world?  I don’t mean this in an arrogant way, but more as look and see… and think.  If our Church is steeped in the relics [...]

Photography © by Randy HainPhotography © by Randy Hain

Rapture or Rupture

Last December, the Rev. Harold Camping, who predicted the second coming of Christ several times, finally got to meet Christ. Before his death’ he had predicted the end in May 2011. When it didn’t happen’ his followers didn’t experience the rapture, but they did experience a rupture–in their belief system. I was brought up in a fundamentalist church that followed [...]

"Madonna and Child" (detail) by Sassoferrato"Madonna and Child" (detail) by Sassoferrato

Knowing Mary Through the Bible: Mary’s Question — a Vow?

“How can this be since I do not know man?” (Lk. 1:34) Mary has only one question for the angel Gabriel. And it’s a question that provides a beautiful window into Our Lady’s unique spiritual life, but one we might overlook if we don’t read the Annunciation account carefully: Mary says to the angel, “How can this be since I [...]

St. John DamasceneSt. John Damascene

Idol Speculation

I was brought up in an independent Bible church in the USA, so my first visit to a Catholic church was a big culture shock, and it confirmed everything I was told about Catholics. There were racks of candles guttering away in front of statues. There were images of Jesus on the cross, Jesus with his heart on the outside, Mary [...]

"Christ in the Desert" by Kramskoy"Christ in the Desert" by Kramskoy

The Biblical Basis for the Catholic Practice of Fast and Abstinence

Last week, I asked the question, “Are you looking for the secret to a better, deeper, more joyful life in Christ?” and responded by exploring the reasons for the Catholic practice of self-denial. We saw that “fasting and other forms of self-denial, as spiritual practices of materially subduing and controlling the physical appetites of the body, helps us, by God’s grace, [...]

"Christ in the Desert" by Kramskoy"Christ in the Desert" by Kramskoy

Why do Catholics Practice Fast and Abstinence?

Would you like to know the secret to a better, deeper, more joyful life in Christ? Of course you would.  We all would. Our bookstores are filled with books written to help us advance in prayer and the spiritual life. The “secret” we all look for is really no secret at all.  At its heart, the gospel message is one [...]

"The Conversion of St. Paul" (detail)
by Caravaggio"The Conversion of St. Paul" (detail) by Caravaggio

Three Conversion Stories from the Bible

Nearly everyone loves conversion stories. Over the last couple of decades, the conversion stories of people who have entered the Catholic Church have exploded onto the scene in the form of compilations of short stories found in books such as Surprised by the Truth and more detailed accounts such as found in Scott and Kimberly Hahn’s Rome Sweet Home. But no book contains more [...]

Night image of St. Peter's Basilica, Ponte Sant’Angelo and Tiber River in Rome, Italy.Night image of St. Peter's Basilica, Ponte Sant’Angelo and Tiber River in Rome, Italy.

Daily Catholic Quote from St. Ireneaus

“Having founded and built the Church, the blessed apostles entrusted the episcopal office to Linus, who is mentioned by Paul in the Epistles to Timothy; Linus was succeeded by Anacletus; after him, in the third place from the apostles, the bishopric fell to Clement, who had seen the blessed apostles and conversed with them, and still had their preaching ringing [...]

"Baptism of Christ" (detail) by Pietro Perugino"Baptism of Christ" (detail) by Pietro Perugino

Are Catholics “Born Again”?

“Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God” (John 3:5). My mother was Catholic and my father Baptist. My mother was firmly committed, as was my father after serious and prayerful consideration, to raise their children Catholic and baptize us at infancy. Years later I met [...]

Sassoferrato_Madonna_And_Child_jesus_LV-featured-w480-300

How can Mary be God’s mother?

Each January 1st (on the Octave of Christmas), the Church celebrates the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God.  I receive more comments and questions from non-Catholics, and even some Catholics, about the Church’s Marian practices and teachings than just about any other topic. Some want to know where we can find these teachings in the bible. Some even suggest that Catholics pay [...]