Month: October 2018

The Communion of Saints, Indulgences, and Luther: A Primer

The Catholic Church’s practice of indulgences and in her claimed authority to distribute them, she expresses an intercessory and administrative authority that has been endowed to her for the benefit of her children. This notion has been radically imagined in the idea of a family storehouse of extrinsic merits, which the Church distributes and imputes to her needy penitents, so that they might offer the merits of another to God as though they were their own.

Fifth Annual Gala (2018) Highlights

Thank you to everyone who joined us for our Fifth Annual Gala Dinner. Our Gala has become one of our most popular, and most blessed, events. It’s certainly one of the most anticipated events for our staff, as we get the pleasure of meeting our friends and supporters in person and sharing the exciting work of the Center.

The Burning Coal: Eucharist in the Old Testament

If I asked you to identify passages in Sacred Scripture that speak about the Eucharist, what passages would come to mind? Perhaps the Last Supper accounts in the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke. Or maybe Jesus’s synagogue sermon on the Bread of Life in the sixth chapter of John’s Gospel. One might also cite St. Paul’s remarks on the sacrament in 1 Corinthians 10–11. But few of us, I suspect, would turn our thoughts to the Book of Isaiah.

Recovering Halloween

Halloween has been murdered. No, that’s not the start of a tacky horror movie. Rather, it’s a sober assessment of the culture. How do I know that this holiday has been done to death? Because if I were to say, “Halloween is an opportunity to help young people to get excited about their journey to Heaven!” most readers would respond, “What on earth is she talking about?!”

Spiritual warfare in the Bible, Genesis, Revelation 12, Mary crushes the serpent's head

The Subtle Serpent: Lessons on Spiritual Warfare from the Bible

In Genesis we read the beautiful story of God’s creation of the universe. After physical creation is completed Adam and Eve are present in the garden. The very first of God’s laws is introduced: Do not eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil in the middle of the garden. Into this situation enters the serpent, who was “more subtle than any other wild creature that the LORD God had made” (Gen 3:1).

What does the Church teach about Purgatory, human spirit hauntings

Do Catholics Believe in Ghosts?: Church Teaching on Purgatory

Catholicism is clear on the existence of a soul that survives the body, an accounting before God, and an eternal condition in either heaven or hell. Catholics also believe in purgatory: a temporary condition for the soul that has passed personal judgment but still has the temporal component of sins to atone for before attaining the beatific vision. There is a tradition within the Church of offering Masses and prayers for the dead in order to speed this purgation.

exorcism, satan and his demons

The Devil Is Real: Combating Spiritualism

Jesus was very clear about the reality of the Devil. He exorcised demons in seven major Gospel accounts. He differentiated between healings of natural illness, healings of the effects of sin, and the casting out of demons. He empowered and explicitly charged His disciples to cast out demons as part of their mission before He ascended to heaven (see Mk 16:17). The Church responded to His command and performed many exorcisms from the very beginning of Christianity onward. Exorcism was an integral part of baptism into the early Church. Oftentimes these early exorcisms were done by lay people, but in the following centuries, after much experience, the Church wisely limited the ministry to select priests with proper traits and training.

Catholic Halloween, all souls day, all saints day

Keeping the First Commandment: How to Avoid Misguided Spirituality in a Culture Hooked on Halloween

Spiritual self-help can be organized into four general categories: preventative measures, corrective measures, avoiding false religions, and avoiding violations of the First Commandment. The primary corrective tool for people is Confession followed by Mass. Usually everything up to possession can be resolved through a healthy sacramental life and regular prayer. Moving a person out of the state of grace is the goal of temptation, and confession can move them back into the state of grace, preparing them to fully participate in the Mass where the greatest graces are provided.