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.

Catechesis is ‘stirring the flame’ God has placed in our hearts
Sister Mary Glynn, SJC
One day while I was in Ireland this past summer I visited my brother and his family. His daughter, Anna, who is very creative, was working with scraps of material and doing very beautiful work.
Simple, personal stories remind us God works through everyday life
Dr. Linda Webster
This Sunday’s readings are so wonderfully noisy and brash. We’ve got cries and strife in Habakkuk, joyful singing in the responsorial psalm while listening for the Lord’s voice, and testimony to the Lord in second Timothy.
To call upon Mary as mother of God is to pay her honor
Charles T. Sullivan
“From the earliest times, the blessed virgin has been honored with the title ‘Mother of God,’ under whose protection the faithful take refuge …” (Vatican II, Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, 66)
Beyond homilies, Catholics must make time to learn, study the faith
Father James P. West
One of the sad realities of the modern era of the Church’s life is the loss of understanding of the fundamentals of the faith by so many. Even those who are faithful in attendance at Mass will often consider that weekly encounter with God to be their only obligation to their soul.
God’s presence in Ordinary Time makes it anything but ‘ordinary’
Sandy Compas
In Thorton Wilder’s familiar play, “Our Town,” one of the main characters, Emily, dies during childbirth. Emily, homesick for earthly life, is given the opportunity to relive a day, and chooses her 12th birthday.
Love without conditions can be experienced in the presence of God
Judy Hoelzeman
We can never be reminded often enough of God’s love. Maybe that’s because we have been wounded by searching for love everywhere else. As small children, we may consider our parents’ love perfect — until we balk at doing what they ask us to do.
Angelus prayer tells story of salvation from incarnation to resurrection
Abbot Jerome Kodell, OSB
An 1859 painting by Jean-Francois Millet in the Louvre Museum in Paris depicts a man and woman standing in a field with heads bowed. A pitchfork has been thrust into the ground. In the distance can be seen the spire of a church. The painting is titled “Angelus.”
‘The Da Vinci Code’ inaccurately claims Constantine chose Gospels
Msgr. Richard Oswald
“The Da Vinci Code,” authored by Dan Brown, has been at the top of bestseller lists for more than a year. In the introduction to the fictional murder mystery Brown states that all of the supporting elements of the story are factual.
When hatred seems justifiable, prayer yields courage to work for peace
Sister Susan McCarthy, RDC
“Peace be with you” (John 20:19) is the greeting Jesus offers to the disciples. Peace is the fruit of the Spirit offered to us at Pentecost.
Our conscience is a guide when considering how to follow God’s law
Charles T. Sullivan
“In the depths of his conscience, man detects a law which he does not impose upon himself, but which holds him to obedience … a law written by God.