US Catholic Faith in Real Life

What do Catholics believe about the devil?

By John Switzer |
Article Your Faith

The most popular explanation of Satan maintains that he is a fallen angel tempted by pride. He is said to be a seducer originally created as good and whose rebellion against the divine will is reflected in the temptation that he offered to Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden.

What is original sin?

By Joel Schorn |
Article Your Faith

You won’t find the phrase “original sin” in the Bible. The story of humanity’s “fall” in Genesis 1 doesn’t use the term, and St. Paul, one of the church’s earliest theologians, only hints at it in places. After the first century the early church fathers started to define it, but those in the East and West took different approaches.

Who invented the nativity scene?

Anyone who has erected a nativity scene is following Francis’ 13th-century example.

By Kathleen Manning |
Article Your Faith

On Christmas Eve 1223, St. Francis created the first nativity in the Italian city of Greccio. With the help of a local nobleman, Francis celebrated the birth of Jesus in a cave outside the town. The liturgy featured a hay-filled manger in front of the temporary altar, and as Francis preached, the nobleman arranged to have an ox and a donkey stand at the altar as well.

Glad You Asked: What is the Liturgy of the Hours?

By Joel Schorn |
Article Your Faith
The Liturgy of the Hours is a small but bulky and intimidating-looking red-bound prayer book with lots of confusing multicolored ribbons. It is that, but of course it’s much more.

Does the church tell me how to vote?

Every election season, Catholics wonder about the relationship between their church and politics.

By Jim Dinn |

"I believe in an America where... there is no Catholic vote, no anti-Catholic vote," declared John F. Kennedy. But today some wonder whether U.S. Catholic bishops are trying to create a political bloc by telling Catholics how to cast their ballots.

Glad you asked: Would God lead us into temptation?

By Joel Schorn |
Article Your Faith
"Lead us not into temptation.” Christians have prayed these words so many times, it’s easy to slide over their meaning, but they are a bit curious, aren’t they?

Would God really lead people into temptation? Isn’t that supposed to be the job of the other guy, the one with the horns and pitchfork?

Why does the church require miracles for sainthood?

By Heidi Schlumpf |
Article Your Faith
The church requires two miracles before a person can be canonized. Why?

A Catholic friar on a plane that made a dramatic emergency landing in Poland last fall clutched a lock of hair from Blessed John Paul II while praying for the safety of his fellow passengers. Will this be the second miracle needed for the late pontiff’s canonization?

How similar are Catholics and Anglicans?

By Bryan Cones |
Article Your Faith

The Vatican's October announcement of a special process to admit Anglicans to the Roman Catholic Church raised questions for many who perhaps thought that "crossing the Tiber" would require a major shift in belief for Anglicans.

The relationship between Anglicanism and Roman Catholicism, however, has always been somewhat different from the other Catholic-Protestant divides, which may make it easier for Anglicans to find a home in the Roman communion.

Can St. Anthony help me find my keys?

Faith and prayer involve a lot more than solutions to personal difficulties.

By Joel Schorn |
Article Your Faith

When my mother was a girl, she lost a ring that meant a lot to her. Given that she was a very devout child, she did what any right-thinking Italian American in her neighborhood would do: Go to the statue of St. Anthony of Padua in church and pray for the ring’s return. A few days later she was passing the statue, and at the feet of St. Anthony lay her ring. Miracle? Or the work of someone—maybe a janitor—who found the ring and put it in a place where its owner would likely find it?