Sacred Tradition

The Motivation for the Miracles

Photography © by Andy Coan

“Ephphatha!” The miracles of Jesus, particularly the story of Jesus’ healing of the deaf – mute in the Gospel of Mark, raise a big questions — did Jesus Christ truly work miracles and if so, was his motivation compassion or glory? The readings for the Twenty-Second Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year B) are — Isaiah 35:4-7; Psalms 146:7, 8-9, 9-10; James 2:1-5; Mark […]

Does Scripture Bash Tradition?

Photography © by Andy Coan

What does the term Tradition really mean? Is it opposed to the Bible? The sola scriptura principle of the Protestant Reformation assumed it was — here we examine this assumption in the light of a few key scriptures. The readings for the Twenty-Second Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year B) are — Deuteronomy 4:1-2, 6-8; Psalms 15:2-3, 3-4, 4-5; James 1:17-18, 21-22, 27; Mark […]

Lessons from St. John the Baptist that will change your life…

"The Beheading of St. John the Baptist" by Caravaggio

As it is written in Isaiah the prophet, “Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, who shall prepare thy way; the voice of one crying in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight’” (Mark 1:2-3). St. John the Baptist is proclaimed by Jesus as the greatest of the Old Testament Prophets sent to prepare […]

The Holy Bible and Sacred Tradition comprise the Word of God

"St. Jerome Writing" (detail) by Caravaggio

“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 asked me this question. This question comes up from time to […]

Five Lessons for Faithful Discipleship

The Way of the Cross

There is a section of Luke’s Gospel known as the Travel Narrative. In this section, Jesus and his disciples journey together to Jerusalem for the last time where redemption will be won and the Church will be born. St. Luke takes nearly ten chapters (9:51-19:27) to record this journey to Jerusalem. Along the way, Jesus prepares his disciples for the work to […]

Five Discipleship Lessons for Following Jesus

The Way of the Cross

There is a section of Luke’s Gospel known as the Travel Narrative. In this section, Jesus and his disciples journey together to Jerusalem for the last time where redemption will be won and the Church will be born. St. Luke takes nearly ten chapters (9:51-19:27) to record this journey to Jerusalem. Along the way, Jesus prepares his disciples for the work to […]

Can you explain Purgatory to your friends?

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

Keeping it simple! On a recent Friday morning, while leading a bible study for retirees, the question of purgatory, the punishments due to sin, and salvation came up. They already possessed a good understanding of this important doctrine. But, the discussion reminded me that Purgatory remains one of the most misunderstood teachings of the Church, and maybe one that is least […]

The Holy Bible and Sacred Tradition comprise the Word of God

"St. Jerome Writing" (detail) by Caravaggio

“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 […]

Tradition is not a four-letter word!

Photography © by Andy Coan

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 […]