Gospel

"St. Jerome Writing" (detail) by Caravaggio"St. Jerome Writing" (detail) by Caravaggio

The Holy Bible and Sacred Tradition comprise the Word of God

“Deacon Mike, why do we believe that it belongs to the Church to interpret the bible? Can’t we just read the bible for ourselves? The guys I do bible study with say that we (Catholics) add things that are not there.” A young man who participates in a “non-denominational” bible study recently asked me this question. This question comes up from time […]

Photography © by Andy CoanPhotography © by Andy Coan

Tradition is not a four-letter word!

One of the great battle cries of the Protestant Reformation was “sola scriptura!”  Many thought that the Catholic Church had cluttered up the simple Christian faith by adding all sorts of practices, customs and doctrines over the centuries. They thought the Church in their day was guilty of exactly the same Pharisaical obsession with traditions condemned by Jesus in this […]

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

Strengthen Your Eucharistic Faith

  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 […]

Photography © by Andy CoanPhotography © by Andy Coan

Encountering the Word — John 6:66-69

A Daily Quote from Sacred Scripture After this many of his disciples drew back and no longer went about with him. Jesus said to the twelve, “Will you also go away?” Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life; and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One […]

Photography © by Andy CoanPhotography © by Andy Coan

Faithfulness

Belief in God is rather widespread, at least in America.  Various surveys show that over 90% of Americans “believe in God.” But belief and faith are not quite the same thing.  When many people say “I believe in God” they mean that they believe that God exists, that “there is a God” somewhere up there.  Nothing wrong with having such […]

Photography © by Andy CoanPhotography © by Andy Coan

Encountering the Word — Romans 1:16-17

A Daily Quote from Sacred Scripture “For I am not ashamed of the gospel: it is the power of God for salvation to every one who has faith, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed through faith for faith; as it is written, ‘He who through faith is righteous shall […]

"The Stoning of St. Stephen" (detail) by Rembrandt"The Stoning of St. Stephen" (detail) by Rembrandt

What the Bible really says about calling Catholic priests “Father”

“Call no one on earth your father; you have but one Father in heaven” (Matthew 23:9). Throughout history, including that time since the days when Jesus uttered these words, we have referred to others on earth as father. This title is used in different contexts. For example: In our secular lives, we refer to others as father: City Fathers when […]

Photography © by Andy CoanPhotography © by Andy Coan

Life and the Feast of Faith

From time to time I run across sophisticated people who don’t, of course, believe in God, at least not in the way he’s represented by organized religion.  But they are very happy that the hoi polloi, the vast crowd of ordinary people, do believe in God.  For to them, religion promotes basic morality in society which is, of course, something […]

Photography © by Andy CoanPhotography © by Andy Coan

Encountering the Word — Matthew 7:13-14

“Enter by the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is easy, that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard, that leads to life, and those who find it are few.” (Matthew 7:13-14) Print this entry