Apologetics Corner

DSC_0048

Reading St. John Paul II’s Fides et Ratio—Like a Mother

Pope St. John Paul II’s encyclical Fides et Ratio was given in 1998 to address the relationship between faith and reason. The purpose of reading an encyclical is, in my opinion, to work it into your life, and at this point, everything goes through my mommy-lens. If you struggle with philosophical language, as I do, try first reading the work straight through and writing a short summary of what struck you most after [...]

"All Saints" by Fra Angelico"All Saints" by Fra Angelico

Do Catholics Really Pray To Mary and the Saints in Heaven?

I overheard a conversation after a morning bible study at my parish about praying to Mary and the Saints.  It went something like this (names changed)… “Thanks so much for inviting me, Beth. You have a wonderful group here. I have a question, though. I hope it doesn’t offend you, but being non-Catholic, I just don’t understand this praying to [...]

woman-praying-profile-featured-w740x493

Confessions from a Reluctant Evangelist

I flirted with fundamentalism during my college years. I’d met a group of Christians who talked about their faith with the same zeal as a weight lifter, all beefed up on steroids and vanity, might talk about his health regimen. They called this “being on fire for Christ.” I still wince every time I hear the phrase. I mistook their [...]

"All Saints" by Fra Angelico"All Saints" by Fra Angelico

The Problem with “Praying to Saints”

At one time in my life I viewed Christians as shallow people blindly following silly rules. As I was to discover, these perceptions were not only wrong, they were worlds away from reality. The root cause of my misconception was my confident ignorance. Until I allowed Christians to speak to me and define their faith their words, I was unable [...]

"All Saints" by Fra Angelico"All Saints" by Fra Angelico

A Constellation of Saints

There are as many saints as there are stars in the sky… The night sky in its magnificent beauty has beckoned to me ever since I was a small child. At night, especially on a summer’s night, I would slip away and sit on our front porch, or better still, I would lie on the grass and just look up [...]

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)

Irrationality and Infallibility

Not too long ago I spoke with yet another Protestant minister who is about to leave his ministry and join the Catholic Church. He said he ended up in this situation because he had a seminary professor who kept challenging his students to, “Think it through.” He tried to think through his opposition to Catholicism because he had a parishioner [...]

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

“Flower of Carmel” — One of the Most Beautiful Prayers Ever Written

Every year on July 16th, Carmelites throughout the world celebrate the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, patroness of the Carmelite Order.  If you want to know how we feel about Mary, our Mother, spend a few minutes reflecting on one of the most beautiful prayers ever written, the Flos Carmeli. Most of us pray — before meals, morning and/or [...]

"The Meeting of Abraham and Melchizedek" (detail)
by Peter Paul Rubens"The Meeting of Abraham and Melchizedek" (detail) by Peter Paul Rubens

Melchizedek Priest of the God Most High

Perhaps the most mysterious, enigmatic and intriguing figure in all of the Old Testament is Melchizedek the Canaanite priest who makes a brief appearance in the Old Testament in Genesis. He is also mentioned in the Book of Psalms and is referred to eight times in the New Testament Letter to the Hebrews. Speculation, conjecture, and sometimes just pure wild [...]

"Our Lady of Mt. Carmel" (detail) by Pietro Novelli"Our Lady of Mt. Carmel" (detail) by Pietro Novelli

Reflecting on Our Lady of Mount Carmel

I think of Mary as a gardener throughout human history. Trouble in France? Here comes Mary with rosary in hand and a full dose of prayer. Something’s tough in Russia? Mary’s on her way, pulling a hose behind her for some special fertilizing. They need help in the United States? There’s Mother Mary, clad in gloves, trowel in hand. There’s [...]

Andrew WerkheiserAndrew Werkheiser

A Faith-Filled Heart — The Story Continues

Why my heart is filled with faith; a true story of near-death experiences and the undeniable truth that there is a greater power. Feeling like you have your life all figured out is one heck of a feeling. But finding out you are nowhere near that point, after thinking you were, is devastating. By the time I was 20 I [...]