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January 2, 2014 Our Catholic Faith Comments Off

Q. Within the context of exhorting Catholics ever deeper into the ecumenical program, Pope Francis says: “We hold the Jewish people in special regard because their covenant with God has never been revoked, for ‘the gifts and the call of God are irrevocable’ (Romans 11:29). The Church, which shares with Jews an important part of the Sacred Scriptures, looks upon the people of the covenant and their faith as one of the sacred roots of her own Christian identity (cf. Romans 11:16-18). As Christians, we cannot consider Judaism as a foreign religion; nor do we include the Jews among those called to turn from idols and to serve the true God (cf. 1 Thess. 1:9). With them, we believe in…Continue Reading

Evangelii Gaudium . . . A Document To Savor And Return To

January 1, 2014 Our Catholic Faith Comments Off

By MOST REV. PHILIP EGAN (Editor’s Note: The Most Rev. Philip Egan, bishop of Portsmouth, England, sent the following message to the priests and people of the Diocese of Portsmouth on the publication of Pope Francis’ post-synodal apostolic exhortation Evangelii Gaudium. He called the exhortation a stimulus to put faith into action. The bishop’s message was dated December 9, 2013, the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception. ZENIT News Agency provided the text; all rights reserved.) +    +    + On November 24 this year, the Solemnity of Jesus Christ, the King of the Universe, in conclusion to the Year of Faith, Pope Francis published the apostolic exhortation Evangelii Gaudium (“The Joy of the Gospel”) that followed up the Synod of Bishops…Continue Reading

They Found The King Of Heaven

December 31, 2013 Our Catholic Faith Comments Off

By Fr. ROBERT ALTIER Solemnity of the Epiphany (YR A) Readings: Isaiah 60:1-6 Eph. 3:2-3a, 5-6 Matt. 2:1-12 In the first reading today we hear God speak through His prophet, stating that darkness covers the earth and thick clouds cover the people. Contrast that with Jerusalem of which it is said that its light had come and the glory of the Lord shines upon her. This is not a physical light and darkness as it was with the ninth plague in Egypt when the Egyptians were in darkness while the sun shone on the Israelites; rather, it is spiritual. When we read what St. Paul says about being children of the light and even stating that we were once darkness…Continue Reading

A Leaven In The World . . . Epiphany: Rich In Catholic Customs And Traditions

December 29, 2013 Our Catholic Faith Comments Off

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK Our Catholic faith is best handed on within our families through the practice of the customs by which the “domestic Church,” which is each family, marks within the home the liturgical celebrations of the mysteries of faith throughout the year. Epiphany is particularly rich in these traditions. The Catechism of the Catholic Church defines the meaning of the mysteries of faith revealed through the epiphanies, or “manifestations,” of the Lord. “The Epiphany is the manifestation of Jesus as Messiah of Israel, Son of God and Savior of the world. The great feast of Epiphany celebrates the adoration of Jesus by the wise men (magi) from the East, together with His Baptism in the Jordan and…Continue Reading

Catholic Replies

December 28, 2013 Our Catholic Faith Comments Off

Q. What do I look for in a Bible for a Catholic boy who will be making his Confirmation in the spring? What Catholic Bible should I purchase? — E.C., via e-mail. A. We would recommend The Catholic Teen Bible, which is published by the St. Jerome Press. It retails for $9.95 and is available from www.saintjeromepress.com or by calling 800-845-2648. In addition to the Bible content, the book also features short articles about many teachings of the Catholic faith. We would also recommend the Youth Catechism of the Catholic Church, popularly known as Youcat, which features an easy question-and-answer format. It retails for $19.95 and is available from www.ignatius.com or by calling 800-651-1531. If you have a local Catholic…Continue Reading

Priestly Celibacy: Unnatural? Or…Supernatural? The Biblical Foundations Of Celibacy

December 27, 2013 Our Catholic Faith Comments Off

By RAYMOND DE SOUZA, KM Part 1 Years ago in New Zealand I listened to a talk by Scott Hahn where he told the story of a conversation he had had with a young man from Steubenville University. The youth has shared his desire to go to the seminary to become a priest. Some time later, the same young man found a lovely young lady on campus and realized that priesthood was no longer for him, since he now wanted to marry his newly found love. Scott’s reply was masterly: If you attend Steubenville where you find a large number of virtuous, Godly young ladies, and you do not fall in love with one of them, there’s definitely something wrong…Continue Reading

The Written Word Of God

December 26, 2013 Our Catholic Faith Comments Off

By DON FIER In previous installments of this series, it was established that “Sacred Tradition and Sacred Scripture make up a single sacred Deposit of the Word of God” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, n. 97), and that “the task of interpreting the Word of God authentically has been entrusted solely to the Magisterium of the Church” (CCC, n. 100). Furthermore, it has been demonstrated that these three elements (as italicized above) depend one upon the other and, in fact, are inseparable if God’s Revelation is to be truthfully and accurately made manifest to mankind. This installment will focus in particular on the written word of God, that is, Sacred Scripture, and its faithful interpretation. For, as we are candidly told…Continue Reading

And There Were Shepherds…

December 25, 2013 Our Catholic Faith Comments Off

By MARK AMOROSE Luke 2:8-14 A living beam of light fell from the sky as if some searchlight worker on the ground had heaved his apparatus up on high to scour the earth for aircraft that were downed. And there the angel was. And there great fear that strafed each soul and laid each conscience bare until a siren sounded in each ear, and of the angel’s words they were aware: Fear not — behold — great joy — this day is born — And then bright fire flowered all around as if incendiary bombs had torn the earth, or napalm grown out of the ground. But suddenly the fear of heaven’s might gave way to heaven’s peace: the airborne…Continue Reading

Mary: Pondering The Prophecies

December 24, 2013 Our Catholic Faith Comments Off

By JOHN YOUNG All parents wonder about their child’s future, but that future is for them a closed book. The Blessed Virgin is an exception, for she had a book in which to read her Child’s future: the Old Testament. She and St. Joseph must have closely studied the prophecies about the longed-for Messiah: those enigmatic words sprinkled through the pages of God’s Revelation to the Jewish people. When the Angel Gabriel appeared to her he would have told her who he was — as he had told Zechariah when announcing the coming birth of John the Baptist. Our Lady, on hearing the angel’s name, must have recalled the passages in the Book of Daniel where that same Angel Gabriel…Continue Reading

Why Jesus Was Born

December 23, 2013 Our Catholic Faith Comments Off

BY FR. ROBERT ALTIER Fourth Sunday of Advent (YR A) Readings: Isaiah 7:10-14 Romans 1:1-7 Matt. 1:18-24 In the second reading today St. Paul speaks of Jesus as being descended from David according to the flesh. While professing Him also to be God, a point proven by the Resurrection, St. Paul wants to put his focus on the promises God had made to the people of Israel. There are a number of those promises which establish the human lineage of the Messiah. The first promise is in the Book of Genesis immediately after our first parents had sinned. So this demonstrates merely that the Messiah will be of the human race as the offspring of Adam and Eve. Then there…Continue Reading