Why do Catholics and Orthodox Christians celebrate Easter on different days?
Since the early Middle Ages, all Christians have used the same method for determining the date of Easter, though they arrive at a different result. Described authoritatively in The Reckoning of Time by eighth-century English scholar Bede, “The Sunday following the full moon which falls on or after the equinox will give the lawful Easter.” The equinox is observed on March 21. This straightforward method based upon an easily observable natural phenomenon survived the Schism of 1054, when the Catholic and Orthodox Churches split from each other.
15 years ago in U.S. Catholic: I had to laugh
Might Easter be just the time for a little holy humor?
This article appeared in the April 2000 issue of U.S. Catholic (Vol. 65, No. 4, page 49).
We are Catholic, therefore we celebrate. We can celebrate for weeks at a time, not to mention celebrating the 900th anniversary of Saint So-and-So. We have seasons of sorrow as well as joy. While the world needs joy, it also needs laughter.
Who was St. Patrick, and would he drink green beer?
c. 2015 Religion News Service
For Catholics, Episcopalians and some Lutherans, March 17 is the Feast Day of St. Patrick. For the rest of us, it’s St. Patrick’s Day — a midweek excuse to party until we’re green in the face. But who was Patrick? Did he really drive the snakes out of Ireland or use the shamrock to explain the Trinity? Why should this fifth-century priest be remembered on this day?
Q: Was St. Patrick a real guy, and would he approve of green beer?
30 years ago in U.S. Catholic: Let Lent bring out the best in your kids
Alicia Marsland offers some advice on how to make Lent make sense to families.
By Alicia Marsland
This article appeared in the March 1985 issue of U.S. Catholic (Vol. 50, No. 3, pages 30-31). It is a reprint from Bringing Religion Home, published by Claretian Publications.
Let's look at the fault in our selves this Lent
This Lent I decided to borrow from 12-step programs and do a “searching and fearless moral inventory.”
Every year I look forward to the solemnity of Lent with a feeling that’s somewhere between awe and dread. On the one hand, Lent is—as a friend of mine calls it—a palate cleanser for the spirit. It is all of the wonderful clichés and then some: a chance to start fresh, a movement from death into new life, a dedicated spiritual preparation for Easter and resurrection.
Oscar Romero declared a martyr as Vatican inches him toward sainthood
c. 2015 Religion News Service
VATICAN CITY (RNS) Archbishop Oscar Romero, the hero of the Catholic left who was assassinated in 1980 while celebrating Mass in El Salvador, is inching one step closer to sainthood after his case languished in bureaucratic limbo for decades.
According to the Italian Catholic bishops daily, Avvenire, a panel of theologians at the Congregation for the Causes of Saints has ruled unanimously that Romero should be considered a martyr, or murdered “in odium fidei” (Latin for “hatred of faith”).
Warm up your new year
If 2014 was a bit rocky for your family, this long New Year’s weekend might be just what you need to get back on track. Find a cozy time and talk as a family about some things you’d like to do better in 2015. Consider having a calendar out, so you can write down any good ideas that come up. Pour some hot cocoa or steaming cups of cider—studies show that hot liquids make us feel warmer and more generous toward others.
Here are some New Year's resolutions that could help your family have a better year in 2015:
What is the communion of saints?
Borrowing from the Letter to the Hebrews and from theologian and Sister of St. Joseph Elizabeth Johnson, we can imagine the communion of saints as a giant stadium of people, all of whom have run, or are running, a great race. As each of us takes our turn at the starting line, we are lifted up by the love and encouragement of all those who know well the challenges ahead of us and who have stayed to accompany us and cheer us on.
Can you question the Virgin Birth and still be a Christian?
(RNS) It’s a tough sell: A young, unmarried teenager gets pregnant, but the father isn’t a man but God himself. And the girl is a virgin—and (some believe) remains one even after she delivers a strapping baby boy.
That’s the story of the Virgin Birth, one of the central tenets of faith for the world’s 2 billion Christians. The story is embraced by every branch of Christianity, from Eastern Orthodoxy to Mormonism, Catholic, and Protestant.
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