Archive for the ‘Faith’ Category

Is it a sin to be judgmental?

By Fr. Basil Cole, O.P.

In the Gospel of Luke, Jesus is quoted as saying: “Do not judge, and you will not be judged; do not condemn and will not be condemned.” Is our Lord demanding that his followers become naive? And while he is not a “Thomist” who makes distinctions but a divine-human who expressed himself with a Semitic mind frame of reference, further distinctions have to be made in light of revelation to understand the Lord correctly.

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Iconoclasm in Flannery O’Connor’s “Parker’s Back”

One of the virulent attacks on Catholic and Orthodox churches in the past has assumed the form of “image-smashing,” the literal meaning of the Greek word iconoclasm. Eamon Duffy’s book on this subject entitled The Stripping of the Altars explains how the Protestant Revolt in England denuded churches of statues, paintings, stained glass windows, vestments, and every vestige of ornamental beauty that adorned churches to glorify God and express the beauty of holiness....

Who Are the Barbarians?

The word ‘barbarian’ originated in ancient Greece. The barbarian (bàrbaros) was someone who spoke in a non-Greek language and, therefore, was unintelligible to the Greek ear. The term was specifically directed to Persians, Egyptians, Medes and Phoenicians. It was as though these so-called barbarians were simply uttering “bar-bar-bar”. Consequently, the barbarians were incoherent “babblers”. Late in the Roman Empire, the term applied to those who lacked Greek or Roman traditions, specifically to...

“There but for the grace of God, Go I”

By Catherine Mendenhall-Baugh

I’m sure you’ve heard the expression or maybe even said it yourself after avoiding a near misstep from a catastrophe or frightening experience; “There, but for the grace of God, go I.” When saying it, you have acknowledged outside factors like “the grace of God” having just played a role in avoiding a similar fate or catastrophic event as that of someone not as fortunate.

Initially, this phrase was thought to be credited to a...

Daily Bread and Manna in the Wilderness: The Sign of God’s Providence

In the journey of the Israelites to the Promised Land God provided daily food through the gift of manna. However, it was under one condition. They were not to save or store extra manna for the following days because it would spoil. “Manna kept is worms” as the saying goes. Likewise, in the Lord’s Prayer the petition for food is for “our daily bread,” not enough for a week, month, or year. God...

Words That Perform Spiritual Works of Mercy

Much of the moral life depends on the proper use of words and the manner of speech. What one says and what does not say make a difference in all human relationships. Without sacrificing truth or integrity, a person can speak the truth with gentleness, kindness, and civility instead of with harshness, coarseness, or insensitivity. Living the moral life also requires that all persons express gratitude, pay compliments, and offer praise to the deserving...

“I am working out my Salvation with fear and trembling with hopeful promises of Christ”

By Catherine Mendenhall-Baugh

Is there assurance we will all get to heaven? Let’s begin this discussion with the obvious of what we know. We are certain and assured that Jesus gave his life and was crucified and died on that Cross and entered into heaven for the purpose of standing before God on our behalf. But does that mean there is no process needed for our own participation to gain heaven? Is it enough to accept Jesus and therefore...

Freedom for Mission: A Fundamental Right

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.” These famous words from the Declaration of Independence are worth pondering as the Church in America observes the sixth annual Fortnight for Freedom from June 21 through July 4.

It doesn’t take much for us weak human creatures...