Month: December 2018

Crucifixion of St. Peter, Nero, Villains of the Early Church

Why Nero Goes Down as One of the Worst Villains in History

Pilate was a waffling dupe. Judas was a tortured soul who didn’t have the courage to repent. But perhaps no villain in Christian legend comes out as completely and utterly villainous as Nero. He isn’t just a sinner who made the wrong choice: in much of Christian legend, and even theology, he is literally the Antichrist.

Patrick Coffin, birth control, contraception deception, church teaching on birth control

Birth Control and the Blessed Trinity

Many people feel it’s impossible, even pointless, to try to understand the Trinity. They feel it’s either an unsolvable puzzle, like a square circle, or an abstraction up in the clouds somewhere. For others, it’s an article of faith, and that’s enough for them. “It’s a mystery,” they shrug, and turn back to the football game.

Looking at a Masterpiece, Madeleine Stebbins, Adoration of the Shepherds

The Adoration of the Shepherds

Domenico Ghirlandaio, one of the great Renaissance artists, painted this masterpiece for the Sassetti Chapel in the Basilica of Santa Trinità in Florence. Later the young Michelangelo became his apprentice. Ghirlandaio’s painting was probably inspired by the Flemish artist Hugo van der Goes’ Portinari Altarpiece in its attention to detail and its realist handling of the three shepherds on the right, the one with brown hair being the artist’s self-portrait.

Son of David, Edward Sri, the genealogy of Jesus, Mystery of the Kingdom

Son of David: What the Genealogy of Jesus Tells Us

For most readers of the Bible, reading a genealogy is about as exciting as reading a telephone book. Yet this is exactly how the entire New Testament begins in chapter one of Saint Matthew’s Gospel:

The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham. Abraham was the father of Isaac, and Isaac the father of Jacob, and Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers, and Judah the father of Perez and Zerah . . . (Matt 1:1–3).

Advent, Christmas, Readings for Advent, John the Baptist and Jesus, Loosing the Lion, Leroy Huizenga

Why Is John the Baptist Important During Advent?

In Advent, thoughts naturally turn to the birth of little baby Jesus and his Mother, the Blessed Virgin Mary. And yet, the lectionary readings for the first and second weeks of Advent feature quite a few stories about John the Baptist, either with John himself as the protagonist or with Jesus discussing John and his significance.

Giving Back to Our Priests

For over a decade, the St. Paul Center has invited priests from around the country and the world to come together for fellowship, spiritual renewal, and the latest theological scholarship. When we first began, we saw the hunger for this type of formation and the spiritual renewal that came with it.

Three Things to Ask Ourselves As We Prepare for Christmas

Do you remember Christmas when you were a child? I recall the excitement that the approach of the holiday created in me. During the month of December, Christmas was never far from my thoughts. What gifts would I receive? With little resources, what present could I give to my mom and dad? Of course, the closer to December 25, the more my excitement intensified.