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.

Jesus humbled himself, became one of us so we could become like him
Charles T. Sullivan
A few years ago, while making a sales pitch to a prospective client, I was caught completely off guard when the man suddenly reached into his desk drawer, pulled out an obviously well-read Bible and challenged me with this question: “Can you sum up in one sentence the central theme of this book?”
Jesus must be present in our lives in order to share intimacy with him
Father Raphael Kitz, OCD
“It is important to realize that he did this not only 2,000 years ago to his own, but continues to do so in our own concrete lives. The Lord, also, opens our eyes, mind and the Scriptures.”
Christ’s death paved the way to life in the past, present and future
Father Andrew Smith
It is not easy to understand all that is happening in the Gospel reading for Passion (Palm) Sunday, even with the benefit of hindsight and the experience of the Church.
Devotions served past need, but Mass nurtures present Church
Eleanor Henley
Some Catholics regret the fact that fewer people attend once-popular devotions such as the Stations of the Cross, Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament or public recitation of the rosary or novenas. There may be several reasons for this.
A season of suffering, death is necessary for resurrection to be joyous
Betsy Wiederkehr Huss
Our Church divides the year into different liturgical seasons and we will soon be experiencing the season of Lent. Changes will take place in nature as we leave winter and return to spring during this time.
Vocation inquiries should be taken seriously, not ‘nipped in the bud’
Father James P. West
Do you ever wonder what your own personal role is in promoting vocations to the priesthood and to the religious life? Did you notice the mere asking of that question indicates every single one of us actually does have a responsibility in this area?
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.

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