Gospel

"General Judgment" (detail) by Michelangelo"General Judgment" (detail) by Michelangelo

Lord, will those who are saved be few?

I once heard a comment from a friend who was preparing a homily for today’s passage from Luke’s Gospel (see Luke 13:22-30). He was finding it difficult to preach on the “fact” that there will be so few in heaven. He has no problem on preaching about death, judgment, Heaven and Hell; but, he is disturbed and sad that, in his understanding, […]

Photography © by Andy CoanPhotography © by Andy Coan

Where do you stand?

Jesus’ call to enter through the narrow door seems to conflict with the idea that God wants all to be saved, that the universal, Catholic Church means “here comes everybody.” But a deeper look resolves the inconsistency. Start small, finish big.  That seems to be God’s motto.  He begins salvation history with two people from what is now Iraq.  When […]

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

The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary

I once asked a college theology class if anyone could explain the doctrine of the Assumption.  A student replied, “yeah, that’s the teaching whereby the Catholic Church ‘assumes’ that Mary is in heaven.” There’s a bit more to it than that.  The Church does not just “assume” that any canonized saint in is in heaven.  Rather, it authoritatively declares that […]

Photography © by Andy CoanPhotography © by Andy Coan

Not Peace, but the Sword

One of the themes of Pope Francis at World Youth Day 2013 was to “shake things up.” This is quite different from the advice I was given as a child: “In polite conversation, never bring up politics or religion.”  This is quite good advice, if your aim is to be well-liked.  Politics and religion are risky because they involve deeply […]

Pope St. John Paul IIPope St. John Paul II

Catholic Quote of the Day — from Pope St. John Paul II

“No peace without justice, no justice without forgiveness: I shall not tire of repeating this warning to those who, for one reason or another, nourish feelings of hatred, a desire for revenge or the will to destroy. ” (Pope St. John Paul II; World Day of Peace; January 1, 2002) Print this entry

Photography © by Andy CoanPhotography © by Andy Coan

Encountering the Word — Luke 12:54-56

A Daily Quote from Sacred Scripture He also said to the multitudes, “When you see a cloud rising in the west, you say at once, ‘A shower is coming’; and so it happens. And when you see the south wind blowing, you say, ‘There will be scorching heat’; and it happens. You hypocrites! You know how to interpret the appearance […]

Photography © by Andy CoanPhotography © by Andy Coan

What is Faith and Belief?

I recently visited Italy and was reminded of the religious contrast between America and Europe.  In Europe, large numbers of people consider themselves agnostics or even atheists. In America, something like ninety-five percent of the population “believes in God.”  Nearly as high a percentage also believes that there is a life after death and that people are rewarded or punished by […]

Photography © by Andy CoanPhotography © by Andy Coan

Encountering the Word — Luke 12:32-34

A Daily Quote from Sacred Scripture “Do not be afraid any longer, little flock, for your Father is pleased to give you the kingdom. Sell your belongings and give alms. Provide money bags for yourselves that do not wear out, an inexhaustible treasure in heaven that no thief can reach nor moth destroy. For where your treasure is, there also […]

Photography © by Andy CoanPhotography © by Andy Coan

The Root of All Evil?

In his space trilogy, C.S. Lewis called him “the Bent one.”  That is really an apt name for the one the Bible is calls “Satan” or “the Accuser.”  The perverse choice he made to serve himself rather than his Creator warped his nature, and ever since his delight has been twisting anything he can get his hands on. Take sexual […]