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.

We should all experience Jesus’ presence with joy and anticipation
Deacon Bo McAllister
“May the same spirit that led Simeon and Anna to recognize the child as their Lord and to proclaim him with joy, lead us to recognize him in the breaking of bread until he comes again in glory.”
Worry is natural, but too much worry prevents abundant living
Judy Hoelzeman
I’m a worrier. I’ve been a worrier for as long as I was old enough to be conscious of it. And I’ve worked hard to change, too. But let’s be honest, these days, there seems to be a lot more to worry about.
Overcoming enemies in ‘Battle of Prayer’ helps us grow, know God
Abbot Jerome Kodell, OSB
Part Four of the “Catechism of the Catholic Church” has 13 articles on Christian prayer. The one that has been most helpful to me is titled “The Battle of Prayer” (2725-2745).
True date of Jesus’ birth not important; point is the promise of salvation
Msgr. Richard Oswald
Why do we celebrate the birth of Jesus on Dec. 25? The most common theory about the origins of the date of Christmas is that Christians adopted the day to replace or to counter a pagan festival called The Birth of the Unconquered Sun.
Growth of adult faith formation in our parishes is exciting
Sister Susan McCarthy, RDC
More and more the Church is experiencing a great paradigm shift in faith formation in parishes throughout the United States and Canada. Formation, which in the recent past has been focused on young children and adolescents, is now being directed to adults.
U.S. bishops can’t justify the use of military force in Iraq as a ‘just’ war
Charles T. Sullivan
On Sept. 13 of this year, Bishop Wilton D. Gregory of the United States Catholic Conference of Bishops presented an open letter to President George W.
Saints across the millennia: Friends of Christ and our allies in prayer
Jerre Roberts
As a child, the first creed of the Church that I learned was the Apostles’ Creed. My understanding was rather shallow, as would be expected of a 7 year old preparing for her first Communion, but there was one image in the prayer that fired my imagination. That was the communion of saints.
The sacraments are encounters with the saving mysteries of Christ
Charles T. Sullivan
The word sacrament comes from a Latin translation of the Greek mysterion, which was used by the early Church Fathers to express the “mystery of God in Christ.”
Praying the Scriptures adds an ancient tradition to reading, study
Father Raphael Kitz, OCD
In the last paragraph of Vatican II’s document on divine revelation there is an important recommendation.
With ability to recognize the difference, we are able to choose good
Father Andrew Smith
In his seminal work of theology, the “Summa Theologiae,” St. Thomas Aquinas examines many questions regarding our belief in God and our relationship to one another.