This month, I begin a new series that addresses the scandals of the Church that came to light across our nation this past summer.
In the earliest centuries of the Christian faith, the rite of Baptism with its powerful gestures, words and symbolism had a strong emphasis on conversion, a radical reorientation of one’s whole life away from sin and toward God.
Any pilgrim arriving before St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome immediately feels a sense of joy and majesty, before the immense proportions and exceptional quality of the art and architecture.
A favorite Biblical image used by the Church Fathers to describe the fragility and complexity of human life is that of a potter working with clay.
According to a Greek legend, Damocles, from the court of the tyrant ruler of Syracuse, voiced his desire to have the riches and pleasures of the king just for one day. And so, the next day, Damocles was led into the palace, and all the servants were bidden to treat him as their master.
Last month, we began to consider one of the Christian doctrines that many find deeply troubling, namely hell.
Hell is one of the least popular of all Christian doctrines. Many people have trouble reconciling the existence of hell with the truth that God is all good and all loving.
In Rome, amid the district of four-star hotels, expensive restaurants and luxurious residences on Via Veneto, there resides a strange church belonging to the Capuchin Friars called Santa Maria della Concezione, popularly known as the “Bone Church.”
Throughout the course of human history, wars have been waged and their outcomes have shaped the identity of many nations. But, there is another war, although generally unseen by human eyes, that “is not with flesh and blood but with the principalities, with the powers, with the world rulers of this present darkness, with the evil spirits in the heavens” (Eph 6:12).
We walk surrounded by angels. We are not alone, as we journey through life; these spirits, created by God, surround us at all times, even though we cannot see them because they are pure spirits without a body.