Ut Unum Sint

“The Council, for its part, considered the Churches of the East with objectivity and deep affection, stressing their ecclesial nature and the real bonds of communion linking them with the Catholic Church. The Decree on Ecumenism points out: ‘Through the celebration of the Eucharist of the Lord in each of these Churches, the Church of God is built up and grows in stature’. It adds, as a consequence, that ‘although these Churches are separated from us, they possess true sacraments, above all—by apostolic succession—the priesthood and the Eucharist, whereby they are still joined to us in a very close relationship.’” … Continue reading “Ut Unum Sint”

Mortification and St. Ignatius of Loyola

In writing this article, I want to clarify any misconceptions that I may generate upfront. I am not arguing against mortification itself. I am not arguing against the practice of what I will call “continuous mortification” for some if not most Christians. What I am thinking through is the notion that continuous mortification is not necessary for all Christians at all times. In some definitions, mortification is a method used by Christians to contract the corruption of our past life of sin and raise us to a new life in Christ. Specifically, this method uses physical or mental approaches of … Continue reading “Mortification and St. Ignatius of Loyola”

The Priesthood of the Church

As a Catholic, in conversations with fellow Christians, the question of the priesthood often arises. What is the purpose of a priest? Certainly, one can point to the importance of having a Church for doctrinal unity, but that points more to the importance of a Church rather than priests. Christ’s Apostles were fishermen, people from various walks of life, distinctly not part of the priestly contingent in Israel’s society. Why then does the Church have a priesthood, and what function does it serve? The quick answer to this question is the sacraments, the greatest of which is the Eucharist. The … Continue reading “The Priesthood of the Church”

Part I: Working at a Gas Station

If you work full-time, a lot of what you do in your life and a lot of important things that happen could be at your job. It really uses up time and you may not have a lot of time left over. This article covers things I have done and some things that happened to me while I was working at a gas station. I had to accept that my job was a big part of my life. I expect God has put a lot of similar things on all our plates. Well, I am learning to eat, like this … Continue reading “Part I: Working at a Gas Station”

If you are not with me…

…you are against me! In that famous scene from Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith, Anakin Skywalker stares at Obi-Wan Kenobi with fierce eyes and quotes… Jesus? In an ever-so-subtle slight against Christianity, Star Wars puts a version of Christ’s words in Darth Vader’s mouth when he says, “If you are not with me, then you are my enemy.” Now, Vader does not take Christ’s full words to heart, for he neglects the command to “love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you” (Matt 5:44). Yes, it would appear that choking your wife, slicing political … Continue reading “If you are not with me…”

Toward a Conversational Christianity

Tell all the Truth but tell it slant —  Success in Circuit lies Too bright for our infirm Delight The Truth’s superb surprise As Lightning to the Children eased  With Explanation kind The Truth must dazzle gradually Or every man be blind.   — Emily Dickinson, quoted in Peterson   I was fortunate. I read Eugene Peterson’s Tell It Slant—a book concerned with “out-of-the-way, unstudied, and everyday conversations” (3)—in the company of friends who relish out-of-the-way, unstudied, everyday conversations. From these friends I have gained a very valuable lesson in run-of-the-mill holiness, that is, the sanctity of that which seems … Continue reading “Toward a Conversational Christianity”

Christian Midrash: In the Church Today

Given my staple here as a writer who submits to and defends the authority of the Catholic Church, I am taking a bit of a step back in these four articles where I will explore some random theological ideas. The articles are based on a paper I wrote in University in which I hope to take what good has come from Midrashic texts and blend it with Christianity. In my first article, I explained what Midrash is and how Christian Midrash can exist. In my second I went into what I see to be a form of Christian Midrash, The … Continue reading “Christian Midrash: In the Church Today”