The Catholic Faith Explained

The Weight of Glory

Photography © by Randy Hain

We can believe we are mere mortals dreaming the dream of immortality, while in fact, we are immortals dreaming the terrible dream of mere mortality. We all know what the weight of glory is, whether or not we have read Lewis’ golden sermon. We know it from the magic words of the poets; or we know it from the wordless […]

The Origin and Sacramental Nature of Marriage

"The Wedding Feast at Cana" by Julius Schnorr von Carolsfeld

Marriage is a principle and guiding theme throughout the Holy Scriptures. It is the symbol and sign of God’s sacred covenant with His people. The Creation and institution of marriage appears woven throughout the Bible, first at the beginning of Genesis and last in the book of Revelation 19:9, where it says “blessed are those who are invited to the […]

Christ’s Gift of the Eucharist—Do you believe or will you leave?

"Adoration of the Mystic Lamb" (detail) by van Eyck

Today we celebrate the Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ—Corpus Christi. Jesus began to prepare us for this great gift of the True Presence of His Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity in the Most Holy Eucharist when He performed the miracle of the Multiplication of the Loaves and Fishes and by His Bread of Life Discourse. This teaching […]

The True Beauty and Confidence found in Knowing Jesus

“Christ at 33” (detail) by Hofmann

The Oracle of Delphi was said to have the charge “Know Thyself” written above his door. Socrates discovered that the best way to fulfill this task was through conversation with others. Little did he know that the One who could lead us to our truest identity had not yet come. We can know Jesus. And it is in knowing Him […]

Why Do Catholics Abstain from Meat on Fridays and Fast?

"Christ in the Desert (detail)" by Ivan Kramskoy

Our bookstores are filled with books written to help us advance in prayer and the spiritual life. The “secret” we all look for is really no secret at all.  At its heart, the gospel message is one of self-denial and detachment from all things that are obstacles to our growth.  Jesus tells us that if we are to be his […]

Heaven and Hell—What Every Catholic Must Know About The Four Last Things

Photography © by Randy Hain

In the first two installments of this series on the Four Last Things, we examined what every Catholic needs to know about death and judgment. In this third installment, we will look at what follows judgment: Heaven or Hell. Who goes where? Heaven and Hell Popular, secular opinion seems to conclude either: 1) there is no after-life or 2) everyone and […]

Judgment—What Every Catholic Must Know About The Four Last Things

Michelangelo's "Last Judgment" on the Altar Wall in the Sistine Chapel Photography by Mark Armstrong

The Four Last Things Catholic teaching identifies the Four Last Things as: Death Judgment Heaven Hell In the first installment of this series on the Four Last Things, we examined what every Catholic needs to know about death. In this second installment, we will look at the Particular and Universal Judgments, the second of the Four Last Things. The Particular and […]

What Every Catholic Must Know About The Four Last Things—Death

"St. Jerome Writing" (detail) by Caravaggio

One of the recurring themes you will read on this site is that we are not made for Earth, but for Heaven. Our time on Earth is important—we are pilgrims on Earth, journeying to our true home in Heaven. Each of us has a beginning (conceived by our parents) and each of us will have an end. What we will […]

Pray the Most Holy Rosary!

Venerable Archbishop Fulton Sheen once explained the goal of prayer by deliberating on age. He asked the question, “What does it mean to get old?” He answered that we get old in a measure that determines our chronological distance from the source of life. We are born and we count the increasing years that further separate us from the womb; […]

John 6 and Your Eucharistic Faith

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

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 been […]