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.

Self-sufficient attitude in our spiritual life locks God outside
Sister Mary Clare Bezner, OSB
For a large number of us, there is a basic, deep-down, hidden lack of trust in God’s love and care for us. We can’t see that he is the light and that he illuminates us and provides for us, and that having him is enough.
Creativity, being present are ways to live spiritually to fullest
Judy Hoelzeman
“She lived life to the full.” It’s a phrase we might hear at a funeral or read in an obituary. Living life fully is a great goal to work toward. Thinking about our own death is not a bad thing if it moves us to thinking about how we are living our lives.
Join suffering to that of Christ and turn it into an offering
Kelli Nugent
How often do we wonder and ask the question, “Why?” Why did this happen to me, to my family, to those I love? How could God allow something like this to happen?
Cultural diversity enriches our faith life, opens our hearts to love
Betsy Wiederkehr Huss
Ever been the only one of your race at a gathering of people? Or the only one who did not speak or understand the language being spoken around you? Or ever attend a religious or worship service different than your traditional way of worshiping? It can be eye opening. It can be mind opening.
We need to find new ways to reach out to young adults
Jeff Hines
Father Matt Garrison tells a story of a rainy night in Florence, Italy. The last train of the night was canceled, and he had no place to go. He took shelter in a nearby alcove. Soon, other travelers in the same predicament joined him there.
Reading Scripture critically can help us know God more powerfully
Edward C. Dodge
Among the most powerful of Pope Benedict’s reflections in his book “Jesus of Nazareth” is on the parable of the two sons, which taught me to read Scripture more critically while helping me to understand better God’s mercy, that faith is a relationship and to beware of legalism.
God’s surprises considered ‘sacred delights’ in the life of Christians
Deacon Mike Cumnock
When reading sacred Scripture, I am often amazed by the unexpected ways God finds to surprise us, call us and turn our expectations upside down. This has been true throughout our history as his people.
In Ordinary Time, our Savior can bring order to our chaotic lives
Father Erik Pohlmeier
After the long press of holiday season it makes sense to most people to think about this time of year as ordinary time. There are lots of comments about getting back to normal. People are now deciding whether to stick with New Year’s resolutions, to eat better and get more exercise.
Teachings of Islam, like Catholicism, are often misunderstood
Father Jerome Kodell, OSB
In our divided world, too many of the divisions are over religion, and very often not those caused by real differences of religious perspective and faith but by mistakes about the religion of the other.
As pure spiritual beings, angels do exist
Chris Thomas
“Angel of God, my Guardian dear, to whom God’s love commits me here. Ever this day be at my side, to light and guard, to rule and guide.”