Catholicism 101

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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Wed

21

Nov

2018

Saint of the Issue: Martin of Tours

by Lourdes Macaspac

 

Saint Martin of Tours, patron saint of the poor, soldiers, tailors, winemakers, and conscientious objectors, ora pro nobis!

 

Martin was born around AD 316 to pagan parents, yet the boy chose another path; drawn to Christianity, Martin decided to become a Christian at age 10. Shortly before his birth, Christianity had been legalized in the Roman Empire under Constantine.

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Wed

21

Nov

2018

Cornerstone: Origins of Monasticism: What About Us?

St. Anthony the Great
St. Anthony the Great

by Mina Ghaly

 

We all know who monks are—ascetics who have left the material world to delve into lives of seclusion, prayer, and fasting in the name of Jesus Christ. The Desert Fathers instituted this life of eternal devotion to Christ, which is still practiced by many sects throughout the world 16 centuries later.

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Wed

21

Nov

2018

Thomas Asks: How Do We Merit to Be Co-Heirs to Eternal Life?

by Gerard DeAngelis

 

It seems the greatest joy of Christianity is that Someone always loves us no matter how sinful we are, and will give us without fail a “good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over” (Lk. 6:38) not because of our “own doing,” but “by grace” (Eph. 2:8). Yet, on the other hand, we know that if we claim to have a relationship with this Great Lover and receive the superabundance of His life, we must “keep the commandments (Mt. 19:17) and work towards Him “with fear and trembling” (Phil. 2:12). 

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Wed

21

Nov

2018

Reclaiming Ember Days

by Alex Wasilkoff

 

“Fasting days and Emberings be

Lent, Whitsun, Holyrood, and Lucie”

 

So the old rhyme goes, listing the times of year when the Ember days fall. These are days of fasting and abstinence which come four times a year at the change of the seasons. The Ember Days occupy the Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday of the week on which they fall. As indicated by the rhyme, they come the week after Ash Wednesday, Pentecost, Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross (Sept. 14), and Feast of St. Lucy (Dec. 13).

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Thu

01

Nov

2018

Martyrs, Confessors, and the Call to Sainthood

by Mathieu Ronayne

 

In his youth, when St. Maximilian Kolbe saw the Blessed Mother in a vision, she offered him two crowns: a white crown for heroic virtue, and a red crown for martyrdom. Willingly accepting both crowns, he went on to live a life of such deep devotion to God that St. Pope John Paul II named him “the patron saint of our difficult century.”

 

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Thu

01

Nov

2018

Cornerstone: Icons or Idols?

by Gjergji Evangjeli

 

From the earliest days of the Church, Christians have kept depictions of Christ and the saints. The Good Shepherd is depicted in the catacombs of Rome, and a Church in Dura-Europos contains depictions of Christ and Peter dating back to AD 235. As Christianity gained ground in the fourth century, such depictions became prominent, and were known as icons. They became widespread under the reign of Emperor Justinian in the sixth century, and Christ was even depicted on Byzantine coins in the seventh and eighth centuries.

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