Articles

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“Unless you eat my body…”: Is John 6:53 Symbolic or Literal?

December 10, 2015

Jesus once said, “Unless you eat my body and drink my blood, there is no life in you” but did He mean His words to be taken symbolically or literally? This text comes from the Gospel of John, 6:53, a text I never preached on as a Presbyterian minister. In fact, I pretty much avoided John 6 during my fifteen-plus years in Protestant ministry because I was uncomfortable with this very question: symbolic or literal. This chapter in John remained safely untouched up on the nice shelf. ... more
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Conversion from Now to Eternity: Five Essentials of Conversion (Part 5)

July 8, 2015

When I was a boy growing up on the west coast of Florida, I used to stand on the beach looking west across the Gulf of Mexico, knowing that Mexico lay on the other side even though I had never seen it. All I could see was the line of the horizon on the water. Our expectation of heaven and being with God is much like that experience. We cannot see heaven and the horizon of our expectations is limited to the line of this world that we can see. ... more
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From “A Church” to “The Church”: Five Essentials of Conversion (Part 4)

June 30, 2015

Conversion to Catholicism often involves tough choices and a transformation in a person’s thinking. This is nowhere more evident than in one’s thinking about the Church. Even many lifelong Catholics have difficulty thinking about the Church properly, much less thinking with the Church. One reason is that they have adopted many secular ideas from the culture around them. ... more
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Eight Things To Love About the Catholic Church Part 8: Women Have a Role in the Church

May 27, 2015

One of the things I love about the Catholic Church is that she is a loving mother, always nurturing her children.  I am quite active in the Church, working on my Master’s in Ministry for the Laity.  What will this allow me to do?  Many things: pastoral associate/minister, college/high school chaplain, hospital/prison chaplain (with additional studies); I can work (again with more studies) as a Canon lawyer in a diocesan tribunal or even as a judge; I could be employed as a college president or parish ... more
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Eight Things To Love About the Catholic Church Part 7: The Bible is Catholic

May 19, 2015

Try explaining to our Fundamentalist brethren about almost any tenet of the Catholic Faith and you’re likely to hear in response, “Chapter and verse, please.”  In other words, of course, they want to know exactly where that teaching is found in the Bible because they adhere to what is spelled out and therefore only such teachings are retained by them. However, not every belief in Catholicism is to be found word-for-word in Sacred Scripture. ... more
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Eight Things To Love About the Catholic Church Part 6: Our Life in the Sacraments

May 12, 2015

Last week we looked at five of the seven sacraments of the Church.  This week I shall explain about the two great sacraments of ministry:  Holy Orders and Holy Matrimony. ... more
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Eight Things To Love About the Catholic Church Part 5: The Great Gift of the Sacraments

May 5, 2015

Seven sacraments—seven great gifts of love from God to his Holy Church.  Anyone aged 50 and over can easily recall from their Baltimore Catechism: “A sacrament is an outward sign instituted by Christ to impart grace”. ... more
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A Sacramental Worldview: Five Essentials of Conversion (Part 3)

May 5, 2015

There’s no denying it. The sacraments are the heart and soul of the Catholic Faith, so much so that when people speak of returning to the Catholic Church after being away for a long time, they often phrase it in terms of returning to the sacraments. The sacraments are God’s answer to our human need for forgiveness, for transformation, and for holiness. Summing up a long tradition, St. Bonaventure spoke of the entire sacramental economy as a Divine Remedy for our original and actual sin. ... more
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Eight Things To Love About the Catholic Church Part 4: Why We Love the Saints

April 29, 2015

Having the family background that I do (I am the only one in my family of origin that is still Catholic—everyone else now worships at the local Assembly of God). I have been asked, “Why do Catholics pray to and worship saints?” I have been told that it is idolatry, and it takes away from Jesus’ role as the “one mediator between God and mankind” (1 Tim. 2:15).  So, this let us look at saints and their powerful witness and intercession. I have also been asked, “Why don’t you just ... more
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Eight Things To Love About the Catholic Church Part 3: Why We Love Mary

April 21, 2015

“Mary, Mary, quite contrary” is what some could call the one who is so misunderstood in her various titles: Mother of God; the Immaculate Conception, Mary Ever-Virgin and others.  Far from worshipping Mary the Church highly venerates Mary as the fairest among creatures. Let’s unpack these and see where it is that Mary fits in with Catholic teaching. ... more
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Eight Things to Love about the Catholic Church Part 2: Things to Love about the Mass

April 15, 2015

The Mass—from the Latin, Missa; in Greek, Leitourgos, meaning “the work of the people”.  It is the most sacred and solemn action whereby heaven and earth meet.  It is the place where Catholics find their weekly (even daily) sustenance before heading out anew to live and proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ in whichever milieu we find ourselves.  It is the holiest of hours. ... more
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Eight Things To Love About the Catholic Church Part 1: The Role of the Bishop in the Church

April 7, 2015

For the past 38 years—since I received the Sacrament of Confirmation (or there abouts)—I am the only one in my family of origin who is still Roman Catholic. My parents ditched the faith in favor of the local Assembly of God where they have worshipped and held membership for umpteen years.  Prior to that they had made their home at a local non-denominational church and prior to that it was another Assembly of God church. My only sibling (older) was largely unchurched during her 23 years of marriage to H#2; ... more