Archive | February, 2012

My Ordeal

It was exhausting and exhilarating. Between the end of one semester and the beginning of the next, I spent ten days working to establish a more visible and permanent presence for the St. Paul Center in southern California—teaching, speaking, taping, consulting with bishops, meeting with scholars and Hollywood stars. At night I sometimes caught chill,

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Intro to Lent II: Fasting

Second in a series of three posts. “Why do Catholics have to fast?” The question came from a non-Catholic Boy Scout in my son’s troop. We had spent a long, soggy weekend in the middle of the woods. And now, Sunday morning, the adults announced that breakfast would be delayed so that the Catholics could

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Natural Revelation in the Catholic Tradition

Natural revelation refers to God’s self-disclosure in creation, through the things that have been made. Scripture and magisterial teaching are equally clear and emphatic that the knowledge of the existence of God and his basic attributes can be achieved by human reason reflecting on the created order: The heavens are telling the glory of God;

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Intro to Lent 1: Prayer

First in a series of three posts.Reprinted from 2007. How do you know it’s Lent? It’s not so much by the ash mark on your forehead or fish marks on the calendar. Tradition tells us that Lent has three distinguishing marks: prayer, fasting and almsgiving. This three-part series will examine those practices. Prayer is surely

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Thoughts on the Church’s Old Testament Canon

The Canon of the Old Testament in the Days of Jesus There was no universally-accepted canon of Scripture among the Jews in the first century A.D. Instead, different sects within Judaism had divergent views of which books were inspired and authoritative. The Samaritans and the Sadducees, although very different in their religious views and practice,

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