Catholicism 101

Thu

28

Feb

2019

Theatre and Theology: Performing the Passion

Crucifixion from the Passion Play at Oberammergau
Crucifixion from the Passion Play at Oberammergau

by Adriana Watkins

 

This time next year, in the spring of 2020, many men in the German village of Oberammergau will be in desperate need of a visit to the barber-shop. Their long hair and beards are, indeed, part of a fashion trend—one established over 400 years ago, when Oberammergau first began staging its famous Passion Play. The performance, which has occurred every 10 years since the 17th century, is the town’s lasting legacy of gratitude to God—and it’s part of a greater history of honoring the Easter mysteries with theatre.

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Thu

28

Feb

2019

The Mystery of Our Lady at the Grotto

by Lourdes Macaspac

 

It is almost certain that when I meet someone, they will express their appreciation for the beauty of my name and will ask about its origin. My personal prayer is that many more will come to find beauty, admiration, and love for Our Lady of Lourdes, after whom I am named.

 

The Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes is on February 11—this was the first day in 1858 when Our Lady appeared to a peasant girl named Bernadette Soubirous, who was 14 years old at the time. Centuries before, the Grotto of Massabielle was a military base for France. However, in 1858, it was no longer a military base but a muddy grotto. On February 11, St. Bernadette, along with her sister and a friend, went to gather firewood for the family. When the three girls went out, Bernadette was told to stay on one side of the river, out of concern that her asthma would be triggered if she traveled through the freezing water.

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Thu

28

Feb

2019

Thomas Asks: Life in the Fast Lane

by Gerard DeAngelis

 

Every Ash Wednesday, the Gospel reminds us of how we should act when we perform some of the most fundamental Christian works—namely, almsgiving, prayer, and fasting. Jesus’ main lesson in this reading is to teach us to avoid hypocrisy by not even letting “your left hand know what your right hand is doing” (Mt. 6:3). What I find most interesting about this Gospel, however, is not Jesus’ main message, but rather what He assumes of His audience. He says “when you pray,” “when you give alms,” and “when you fast.” It is clear that Jesus thinks the need for these practices is so obvious that He doesn’t even bother telling us we should do them!

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Wed

30

Jan

2019

Cornerstone: Devotion to the Holy Name

by Jonathan Gaworski

 

Reverence for the name of Jesus is at least as old as the New Testament. In his “Christ Hymn of Philippians,” St. Paul proclaims that “God exalted [Jesus] to the highest place and gave Him the name above all names, that at the name of Jesus, every knee shall bow” (Phil. 2:10). This early Christian devotion instantiated in St. Paul's hymn grew out of the immemorial Jewish tradition of reverencing the name of God. The second commandment of the Decalogue instructs the Jewish people not to take the name of the Lord in vain. Within Judaism, respect for the name of the God of Israel was so profound that Jews seldom uttered the name “I AM” by which the Lord revealed himself to Moses on Mount Sinai.

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Wed

30

Jan

2019

Countering Modalism

by Gjergji Evangjeli

 

While talking about Trinitarian theology in one of my classes, the professor shared that a concerning number of BC undergraduates (and likely young people in general) often slip into a confused sort of modalism. In an effort to combat this pervasive heresy, I will offer a brief account of what modalism is and why it is wrong.

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Wed

30

Jan

2019

Thomas Asks: Who is the Most Beautiful Woman?

Virgin and Child with Saints Dominic and Thomas Aquinas by Fra Angelico
Virgin and Child with Saints Dominic and Thomas Aquinas by Fra Angelico

by Gerard DeAngelis

 

Who is the most beautiful woman in the universe? Many might say their wife, girlfriend, mother, or daughter. Catholics, however, know that one woman has all these beat—the Blessed Virgin Mary. It is for this reason we never tire of declaring “Hail Mary!” time and time again in prayers like the Rosary. Like a husband who could never put a limit on how many times he says “I love you” to his wife, Catholics should never tire of loving, venerating, and growing closer to our Blessed Mother. Indeed, as St. Bernard says, “Of Mary, there is never enough!”

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Wed

12

Dec

2018

The Advent of Advent

by Justin Schnebelen

 

Christ’s awe-inspiring and apocalyptic depictions of His Second Coming which dot the beginning of our Advent readings often leave the Faithful with more questions than answers. In the same way, an inquiry into the history of Advent leaves one largely bereft of solid evidence and overrun by a heap of unanswered questions.

 

Nonetheless, this feast which marks the beginning of the Church year has roots in a fascinating number of locations, and their underlying purposes speak volumes to the significance of the season, as we know it.

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Wed

12

Dec

2018

“Behold, a New and Wondrous Mystery”

The Nativity by Duccio di Buoninsegna
The Nativity by Duccio di Buoninsegna

by Patrick Stallwood

 

Christmas is almost upon us, and with it, the most popular Mass of the year. Priests will be preparing for their homilies like an NFL coach prepares for the Superbowl. One bishop has set the gold standard for concise, yet inspiring sermons to a congregation of thousands­­—St. John Chrysostom. He was the archbishop of Constantinople in the late 4th century and is now a Doctor of the Church. Known for his empowering homilies and exceptional rhetoric, he was given the nickname “Chrysostom,” meaning golden mouth. 

 

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