St. Paul

Uncomfortable Christianity

“It’s time to recognize that Christianity is not a comfortable religion. The doctrines we profess are stumbling blocks, and the demands are uncomfortable.” We have gotten too comfortable. Walking around as baptized Christians, we probably don’t often think about what that means. Christianity is radical. If we really profess what Christianity professes and live what Christianity demands, we will not […]

The Church needs Tentmakers

“As a tentmaker, you have a unique role to play in the Church – that of evangelist, of disciple, in the nitty gritty of life, in the ‘temporal order.’” In his memoir, A Severe Mercy, Sheldon Vanauken details his conversion to Christianity, a journey in which the writings of C.S. Lewis played a part. After readings the works of Lewis, […]

Pray Always?

"Road to Emmaus" (detail) by Robert Zünd [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

“Seriously? Pray always?” That is not an uncommon reaction to St. Paul’s admonition to pray always without ceasing. Does he know what we’re up against, the demands on our time and energy, the pace of our modern world, not to mention the fragility and inconsistency of our human nature? He can’t possibly mean always, as in, all the time and […]

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 […]

Sunday Reflection—Spirit vs. Flesh

Photography © by Andy Coan

SPIRIT VS. FLESH The Theology of the Body as outlined by Pope John Paul II has challenged a fundamental assumption about the Catholic faith, namely, that it considers the body and bodily pleasures as unspiritual or even evil. This article helps to illumine what St. Paul means in Galatians 5:17 when he speaks of “the flesh” being at war with […]

Encountering the Word — 2 Corinthians 12:9-10

Your Daily Quote from the Holy Bible “…but he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ I will all the more gladly boast of my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities; […]

We are earthen vessels… with a responsibility

“The Church is made up of sinners, yes, but gives those sinners the graces to become saints.” I love the Church. I’m not saying this always comes easily for me, but it is something I strive to toward, praying for an increase in that love. Again, it’s not easy. In fact, it can be downright painful and confusing. In times […]

Paul on the Areopagus — A Master Class in Evangelization

"St. Paul Preaching in Athens" (detail) by Raphael [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

The account of St. Paul’s address on the Areopagus in Athens, found in the seventeenth chapter of the Acts of the Apostles, is a sort of master class in the evangelization of the culture, and anyone engaged today in that essential task should read it with care. The context for Paul’s speech is his mission to Greece, which commenced when […]

Whom do I persecute?

"Conversion of Saint Paul" (detail) by Caravaggio

“When we hurt someone in the Body of Christ, we hurt Christ.” Today’s Gospel is perhaps one of the greatest stories of all time—a story whose power may be overlooked because it has become so familiar. The Conversion of St. Paul is described three times throughout the book of Acts. There are many facets to the incident; it reveals to […]