Papal authority has divine origin. The Lord made Simon alone, whom He named Peter, the “rock” of His Church. He gave him the keys of His Church and instituted him shepherd of the whole flock. As Isaiah 43:1 points out, the act of naming claims the one named. This “claiming” includes the recognition of a particular purpose or mission.
Month: September 2019
Don’t miss Scott Hahn at the Catholic Life Conference, now to be held virtually October 11-17. The Catholic Life Conference invites men, women, children, teens, young adults, and seniors, to come together as a diocese and as a church. Together we will receive inspiration and food for the journey ahead so that we—each one of us—can say, “This is Why I am Catholic!”
This is the story of how “God came to our assistance and made haste to help us” (Psalm 69) amid the one trial every parent fears most. And He did so using ordinary events, people, and a striking series of coincidences. G.K. Chesterton called coincidences “spiritual puns,” an insight as absorbing as it is relevant to our story. I’ll use only the first names of those involved.
The Catholic Church, precisely on account of what sets her apart from every other community of faith, stands toward them as a foundation, root and source of the supernatural life that is common to them. A basic appreciation of this dynamism demands an etiological analysis. The question to be answered is this: how is the Catholic Church causally related to her separated brothers in Christ?
I personally believe (along with most other Christians) that the God who created the world, the God of Genesis, the cause of the Big Bang, the First Mover, and all the other things described by Aquinas’s proofs, can work miracles. But I also believe that this is not his ordinary mode of operation. Ordinarily, God works through the natural world he made. Miracles are done in reference to human beings and in the context of revealed faith, and are by definition extremely rare.
There are many different questions that need to be asked about God, and they are all distinct from each other. People fall into logical black holes when they fail to understand this simple point. Proving that God exists is not at all the same as proving that he (assuming this is the proper pronoun to use) is omnipotent, or omniscient, or good, or even that there is one of him. These are all completely different questions, whose arguments may or may not be related. If I attempt to prove that God exists, that argument should be examined according to what it is attempting to do, not anything else. If that argument does not prove that there is one God, or that God is all-powerful, or anything else, that is not a problem.
The Catholic Church has always taught that in the Most Blessed Sacrament of the Eucharist, the body and blood, together with the soul and divinity, of our Lord Jesus—the whole Christ—is truly, really, and substantially present. This teaching is rooted in Scripture, taught by the Fathers and doctors of the Church, and reaffirmed by popes and ecumenical councils throughout Church history. This teaching is summarized in paragraphs 1373-81 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
On the Monday between one Christmas and New Year’s Day, I had to work for part of the day to meet a few clients, tie up loose ends for the year, and do some preparation for the New Year. It was challenging to be pulled away from my family over the holidays, especially with my easily bored sons out of school during the break. I felt guilty, but I needed to be a good steward of my business and financial responsibilities and get some of my work done.
I took my family out to dinner one evening after my younger son’s lacrosse practice. As we were catching up on each other’s day and making plans for the coming weekend, I noticed a family had been seated at the table next to us. What struck me as odd was that the dad was on his phone answering an email, the mom was texting, and their teenage daughter was also texting—all at the same time!
Human beings always faced the challenge of getting to know one another deeply. Today the difficulty seems especially great. We’re busy. We’re transient. Wanderlust or the need to move interrupts relationships. Distractions abound. Advances in computer technology enable frequent opportunities to “connect” but often screen out the body language and tone of voice which some experts say account for 50 to 80 percent of real communication. We hunger for deep relationships, but often try to build them on an anemic diet of texts and emails versus the richness of true face-to-face interaction.