Understanding Our Church

A Treasury of Arkansas Writers Discussing the Catholic Faith

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.

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.” The Church proclaims and celebrates this mystery of Christ in her liturgy so that the faithful may draw life from it and be strengthened
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.
True stewardship gives generously from gratitude more than guilt
Eleanor Henley
Contributions to the Church, whether to the local parish or to diocesan drives, have not kept up with inflation in recent years. Catholics, as a religious denomination, give half as much as their Protestant brothers and sisters.
Novenas: Nine-day faith journeys remind us on loss, preparation
Betsy Wiederkehr Huss
Have you ever said a “novena?” Maybe as a child in parochial school, or attending Mass on nine consecutive first Fridays, or maybe you prayed one recently? These devotions of mourning, of yearning, of prayer, of hope are a part of our Church’s tradition.

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