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.

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.”
At Thanksgiving we can celebrate the Eucharist, ‘God’s greatest gift’
Father Erik Pohlmeier
In many ways Thanksgiving is the model holiday. It is a time of gathering with family and friends for good food and good memories, but without the commercial blitz of Christmas or the aisles and aisles of Halloween costumes and candy.
To Holy Father, praying rosary is looking at face of Christ with Mary
Father Raphael Kitz, OCD
In his apostolic letter, “Rosarium Virginis Mariae,” (Rosary of the Virgin Mary) Pope John Paul II offers a rich and profound teaching on this beloved devotion. He sums up his exhortation by saying that to recite the rosary is nothing other than to contemplate the face of Christ with Mary.
Eucharist signifies communion between Christ and his Church
Father Andrew Smith
When we eat his body and drink his blood, we are given a share in Christ’s life. When we share the body and blood of Christ we are united to him and to each other. The celebration of Mass is a celebration of unity and life.”
Christian family is a domestic church
Sandy Compas, Special To Arkansas Catholic
Have you ever thought of your mini-van as a chapel or confessional, or your kitchen table as a sacred gathering space? The family vehicle may become a place of prayer as parents take advantage of quiet time during their daily commute.

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