What in Hell Can We Believe?

By Lawrence Cunningham| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Scripture and Theology

As a child I have a vivid memory of thumbing through a large book owned my grandfather that riveted my attention. It was a collection of the illustrations done by the 19th-century artist and illustrator Gustave Doré for an edition of Dante's Divine Comedy. I would love to report that Doré's depiction of paradise enthralled me, but the truth is I spent most of my time looking at the punishments suffered by those in hell.


Who says the church can't change?

By Christine Gudorf| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Scripture and Theology

There is an Apocryphal story in my family about my great-grandmother Philomena, who died when I was 12 or 13. Great-Grandma was a big TV watcher-soaps, Lawrence Welk, and the evening news-as well as a devout Catholic. When she was in her early 90s, she heard on the news one day that the Vatican, amid preparations for the Second Vatican Council, had just released the conclusions of a study on the historicity of certain saints and had determined that some saints were no longer official saints because of insufficient evidence of their historical existence.


Why sacrifice?

By Christine Gudorf| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Scripture and Theology

Sacrifice was certainly a central factor in the catholic spirituality of my youth. We attended the "sacrifice of the Mass" daily. Sacrifice was not onlystrongly suggested as the appropriate response to the suffering ofothers, as in appeals for the missions or the poor; it was also taught as a good in its own right, as an important part of theprocess of following Jesus Christ. We were encouraged to veneratethose who sacrificed for others, including fathers, who sacrificed intheir jobs to provide for children, and mothers, who sacrificed oftheir time and energy to care for children.


Why sacrifice?

By Christine Gudorf| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Scripture and Theology

Sacrifice was certainly a central factor in the catholic spirituality of my youth. We attended the "sacrifice of the Mass" daily. Sacrifice was not onlystrongly suggested as the appropriate response to the suffering ofothers, as in appeals for the missions or the poor; it was also taught as a good in its own right, as an important part of theprocess of following Jesus Christ. We were encouraged to veneratethose who sacrificed for others, including fathers, who sacrificed intheir jobs to provide for children, and mothers, who sacrificed oftheir time and energy to care for children.


You're holier than you know

By Father Robert Barron| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Spirituality

In June of 1997, while on retreat at St. John's Abbey in Collegeville, Minnesota, I had an opportunity to talk at some length with Father Godfrey Diekmann. One of the giants of the liturgical movement in this country and a major player in the shaping of Vatican II's document on the reform of the liturgy, Diekmann was in his upper 80s but his mind, wit, and tongue were as sharp as ever.


What would a democratic church look like?

U.S. Catholic| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Scripture and Theology

The  20TH Century, punctuated by the reforms of Vatican II, has offered hope to the Catholics who would like to see the church renew it's democratic spirit.  But what would "a democratic Catholicism" look like? It would not, could not, look like our modern political process. And not just anyone could run for office. But why not?


How to build a better priest

By Father Robert Barron| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Parish Life Scripture and Theology

"For too long we've had a preferential option for mediocrity in the priesthood," laments Father Robert Barron, assistant professor of systematic theology at Mundelein Seminary in Mundelein, Illinois. "Teilhard de Chardin said the priest calls down fire on the earth," says Barron. That's a far cry from "organizer of ministries," which is one of the dull-as-dishwater descriptions Barron remembers from his seminarian days. "Who's going to be lit on fire by a term like that?" he fumes.


We need to revise our perfidious views

By Mary C. Boys| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Ecumenical & Interfaith Dialogue Scripture and Theology

Let's get right to the heart of the matter and talk about the fancy "S word." What exactly is "supersessionism," which you say is at the core of Christian anti-Judaism?
I'm sure most people are not familiar with this term, but once it's explained, it's easy to understand: Supersessionism is derived from the Latin supersedere-to sit upon, to preside over-and describes the Christian claim that Christians have replaced the Jews as God's people because the Jews rejected Jesus.


How do we deal with death?

By Mary Smalara Collins| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Spirituality

Someone to watch over me

Marie Allen, of Charleston, South Carolina lost her husband when he died unexpectedly of a heart attack only a few months after their wedding. "That next morning, around 5 a.m., I remember sitting on my bed and thinking that surely this was all a dream, and when the light of day came, it would all be back to normal. I was just full of despair, when suddenly I felt my husband's presence very strongly telling me he was okay and that I would be, too. A peace washed over me. No, the grief wasn't gone, but I could bear it."


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