God asks Abraham to sacrifice his only begotten son, but how can a good God demand such a sacrifice? The story of Abraham and Isaac illustrates the great faith and trust of Abraham while also foreshadowing the ultimate sacrifice found in Christ.
Everyday we are tempted to turn away from God for passing goods, but how can we fight against sin and focus our time on strengthening our relationship with the Lord? Practical steps in prayer, confession, fasting and forming good relationships offers us the opportunity to not only avoid sin, but to thrive in our relationship with God.
- Book (available online): The Gospel of Matthew, in particular The Sermon on the Mount, chs. 5-7 (http://www.usccb.org/bible/matthew/5)
- Church Document: John Paul II, Veritatis Splendor, in particular Ch. 1 (http://w2.vatican.va/content/john-paul-ii/en/encyclicals/documents/hf_jp-ii_enc_06081993_veritatis-splendor.html)
- Book (available online): St. Catherine of Siena, Letters (http://www.drawnbylove.com/Scudder%20letters.htm)
Being made in the image and likeness of God; what does that really mean? Fr. Garrett Nelson explains how man and woman, through living out their vocation to love in relationship to one another, come to a deeper understanding of being created in God’s image and obtaining a greater likeness throughout life.
Love your enemies. This teaching is one of Christianity’s greatest contributions to humanity. When Christians truly love, those who were once enemies become siblings. The response of the Coptic Christians towards the ISIS executioners who martyred 21 people in Libya offers a current day testimony of this specifically Christian love.
For believers, the Universe does not simply serve as God’s beautiful masterpiece readily admired. Instead, it offers powerful arguments that God in fact does exist. Discover key arguments pro- and contra- God’s existence via the Universe and how, fundamentally, denying the former is a denial of logic and scientific evidence.
- Book: Archbishop Michael Sheehan. Apologetics and Catholic Doctrine, 2001.
- Book: Kreeft, Peter & Tacelli, Ronald. Handbook of Christian Apologetics, 1994.
- Book: D’Souza, Dinesh. What’s so Great about Christianity? 2008.
- Online: Dr. William Lane Craig. The Cosmological Argument. http://www.reasonablefaith.org/transcript-kalam-cosmological-argument
In St. Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians we find the scriptural basis for “tradition”, both of which — scripture and tradition — work together to express revelation. Concerning the Institution of the Eucharist, pronounced by Christ at the Last Supper, St. Paul is ‘handing on’ what he has ‘received’. This ‘handing on’ from the beginning is what the Catholic Church holds as tradition.
- Book (and online): Catechism of the Catholic Church, paragraphs 75-79. http://www.vatican.va/archive/ENG0015/__PK.HTM
- Online: The New American Bible. http://www.usccb.org/bible/index.cfm
- Online: Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation (“Dei Verbum”) from the Second Vatican Council. http://www.vatican.va/archive/hist_councils/ii_vatican_council/documents/vat-ii_const_19651118_dei-verbum_en.html
- Online: http://www.catholic.com/tracts/scripture-and-tradition – gives a clear presentation of the Catholic Church’s understanding of Tradition.
‘Apostle of the New Marian Era,’ and great martyr of the 20th c., St. Maximilian Kolbe was a light in heavy darkness. Always with joy, he was ridiculed on the streets of Rome and, ultimately, gave up his life in the Auschwitz camps. Every hero, however, has a secret formula for victory. For St. Max’s, tune in and listen up!
Gregorian Chant is not the only reason St. Pope Gregory the Great earned that title; in fact, it is not for that reason at all. Unravel the story of a man who went from worldly fame, to humble monastery life, to the privileged Bishop of Rome. Now homaged as Doctor of the Church and conferred the title of Great, St. Gregory considered himself no more than “Servus Servorum Dei” – Servant of the servants of God.
- Book: Fr. Christopher Rengers, The 33 Doctors of the Church (Tan)
- Book: Eamon Duffy, Saints and Sinners: A History of the Popes (Yale University Press)
- Book: R.A. Markus, Gregory the Great and his World (Cambridge University Press)
A discussion regarding the seeming contradiction between God’s divine providence and free will.
- Book (and online): Catechism of the Catholic Church, paragraphs 302-308. http://www.vatican.va/archive/ENG0015/__P19.HTM
- Book: Fr. Jean Baptiste Saint-Jure and St. Claude de la Colombiere. Trustful Surrender to Divine Providence.
- Book: Kreeft, Peter. The God Who Loves You: Love Divine, All Loves Excelling, 2004.
As Catholics, we have been given a great gift; we have been given the sacraments. The sacraments are tailored specifically for humans, they bring much needed (and free!) grace from God, but are seen in a physical way so that we can be certain of the Lord’s help.