Apologetics Corner

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

The Four Causes of Holy Mother Church

“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 […]

"The Virgin in Prayer" (detail) by Sassoferrato"The Virgin in Prayer" (detail) by Sassoferrato

The Truth About Mary

by Sister Sophia, OCD Our Lord entrusts each of us into the care of the most blessed of all women—Mary, His mother. Sammy was a playful boy, like most of the five-year olds in my kindergarten classroom. Almost three feet tall with dark, dark eyes and dark, dark hair, Sammy possessed a smile that radiated from his soul. He came […]

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

The “Problem” with Praying to the 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 in their words, I was unable to get anywhere […]

"Christ in Gethsemane" (detail) by Heinrich Hofmann"Christ in Gethsemane" (detail) by Heinrich Hofmann

Twelve Surprises About Catholicism and Evangelicalism

Over the past dozen years I’ve had the amazing and accidental opportunity to do something few Christians get to do: dive deeply into both the Catholic and Evangelical worlds.  That experience has been enlightening, confusing, encouraging, frustrating and inspiring all at once.  As a result, I’ve arrived at 12 realizations that surprised me about each side of Christianity, and the […]

"Return of the Prodigal Son" (detail) by Murillo"Return of the Prodigal Son" (detail) by Murillo

“Have you been saved?”

Have You Been Saved? In Acts 4, St. Peter delivers a powerful sermon. He concludes by saying, “There is no salvation through anyone else, nor is there any other name under heaven given to the human race by which we are to be saved.” I have written before in these pages of the time when I was growing up in the […]

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An Angel’s Message on All Souls’ Day

A thick fog has settled on the shore. The sun looks bleached and bone-white, almost like the moon. Usually I head to the beach in the warmer months, but some impulse has called me here on this crisp November morning. Strangely, the beach is filled with other people, walking slowly and huddled together against the chill. Suddenly I realize someone […]

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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 […]

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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 […]