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.

Forgiveness, love found in Eucharist; gift empowers us to forgive
Father Andrew Smith
In the history of the Church, there has always been devotion to the Eucharist, our source of life. But the devotion has taken different forms throughout the centuries.
There are lessons to be learned from early Church communities
Dr. Linda Webster
The image of all these faithful people living, rejoicing, and sharing together that Luke describes in this Sunday’s passage from Acts (2:42- 7) seems rather frenzied, yet profound.
Peace Prayer attributed to St. Francis because it reflects his spirit
Betsy Wiederkehr Huss
In today’s turbulent world, as Holy Week approaches and Lent comes to a close, I keep reflecting on a prayer that has been dear to me since my childhood.
Seven things I’ve learned about the Mass since my First Communion
Judy Hoelzeman
I made my first Communion when I was 7. I remember my mother’s warning not to fall off my bike — “You don’t want to skin your knees before your First Communion.”
Scrutinies also us to see sinfulness in our lives
Sandy Compas
On the third, fourth and fifth Sundays of Lent, we celebrate the scrutinies — minor rites in the process of Christian initiation.
Eucharist should be focus of Lenten season
Father James P. West
As Ash Wednesday approached in 2004, so many Catholic Americans were anxiously awaiting the release of Mel Gibson’s epic portrayal of the final moments of our Lord’s earthly life.
Private revelations may be real, but no one is bound to accept them
Abbot Jerome Kodell, OSB
In the early 1990s, Father Benedict Groeschel, CFR, put together a small book, which is still very helpful for understanding the place of private revelations in the Church and the principles to be applied in dealing with them.
New Year is an opportunity to cherish gift of life and Christ’s coming
Msgr. Richard Oswald
One week ago we celebrated the beginning of the year 2005. It was a day to thank God for the gift of life and for a new year in which to live it. It was a day to reflect on the past and dream of the future.
In Advent, Isaiah calls for holiness by living justly and caring for poor
Sister Susan McCarthy, RDC
Hans Christian Andersen’s story, “The Emperor’s New Suit,” provides a wonderful example of how easy it is for us to be deceived by others and to deceive ourselves.
Church’s creeds help faithful stay focused on what really matters
Charles T. Sullivan
Avery wise confessor once gave my mother some excellent advice for facing anxiety or doubt: “Just recite the Apostles’ Creed,” he told her, “and pray daily for the grace to stay focused on those things that really matter. The rest will take care of itself.”