Understanding Our Church

Explore this treasury of Arkansas writers discussing the Catholic faith on a wide variety of topics. Find what you're looking for by browsing the whole list or search by keyword or author. All articles have been reviewed for theological accuracy. Opinions expressed are those of the author.

Resistance to confession comes from fear and shame
Brother Roch McClellan, OSB
As a non-denominational convert baptized into the Catholic Church at the age of 43, I can say that the biggest obstacle I faced in my early faith journey was that of confession. But it wasn’t for any of the typical reasons.
Celebrate men who emulate St. Joseph, on Father’s Day and always
Agnes Tirrito
We recently celebrated Father’s Day, so it is a good opportunity to celebrate another father we sometimes do not hear a lot about: St. Joseph. As coincidence would have it, I started writing this column on May 1 as I prayed in the adoration chapel of my parish, St. Edward’s in Texarkana.
Beautiful churches are instruments of evangelization
Father Jason Tyler
On April 15, as Arkansas priests were gathered for the annual Chrism Mass and day of recollection, the topic of conversation during an early afternoon break quickly became the fire then burning at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris.
Catholic radio, podcasts a way to gain spiritual growth on the go
Paula Standridge
I can’t remember when I started listening to Catholic radio, but it has been several years now. Every weekday morning I tune into the “Son Rise Morning Show” via my iCatholicRadio app and listen to live broadcasting while I am getting ready for work.
Self-sufficient attitude in our spiritual life locks God outside
Sister Mary Clare Bezner, OSB
For a large number of us, there is a basic, deep-down, hidden lack of trust in God’s love and care for us. We can’t see that he is the light and that he illuminates us and provides for us, and that having him is enough.
Creativity, being present are ways to live spiritually to fullest
Judy Hoelzeman
“She lived life to the full.” It’s a phrase we might hear at a funeral or read in an obituary. Living life fully is a great goal to work toward. Thinking about our own death is not a bad thing if it moves us to thinking about how we are living our lives.
Join suffering to that of Christ and turn it into an offering
Kelli Nugent
How often do we wonder and ask the question, “Why?” Why did this happen to me, to my family, to those I love? How could God allow something like this to happen?
Cultural diversity enriches our faith life, opens our hearts to love
Betsy Wiederkehr Huss
Ever been the only one of your race at a gathering of people? Or the only one who did not speak or understand the language being spoken around you? Or ever attend a religious or worship service different than your traditional way of worshiping? It can be eye opening. It can be mind opening.
We need to find new ways to reach out to young adults
Jeff Hines
Father Matt Garrison tells a story of a rainy night in Florence, Italy. The last train of the night was canceled, and he had no place to go. He took shelter in a nearby alcove. Soon, other travelers in the same predicament joined him there.
Reading Scripture critically can help us know God more powerfully
Edward C. Dodge
Among the most powerful of Pope Benedict’s reflections in his book “Jesus of Nazareth” is on the parable of the two sons, which taught me to read Scripture more critically while helping me to understand better God’s mercy, that faith is a relationship and to beware of legalism.

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