If you’ve finished off all the Easter candy (even the ones you hid from your children!), it’s time for another sweet treat: a birthday cake. On May 20 of this year, we celebrate the birthday of the Catholic Church. This holy day is so vital to the mission and existence of the Church that is falls directly behind Easter and Christmas in importance. Why?
When people talk about Holy Week, the days that come to most people’s minds is Good Friday, Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday. However, Catholics should be aware that it comprises of more days than that. This day, Maundy Thursday, is an excellent example.
In the Catholic Faith, holy days of obligation are days that require us to attend Mass. Sunday is described as the “primordial holy day of obligation,” according to the Code of Canon Law, hence we are expected to go to church on this day but there are other special days as well.
We are part of God’s spiritual family but this does not make us perfect or immune to our sinful nature. Our rights and responsibilities as Catholics guide us in how we express and exercise our faith in the world.
Let us look at what the first two great commandments are and what they mean:
There are many Catholic symbols that we can use in our everyday lives to remind us of our faith. Some choose to wear religious items for this purpose and one of the most popular example is the four and five way medal. These devotional medals are beautiful proclamations of our devotion to God.
The Feast of the Immaculate Conception is celebrated every December 8. It is considered a holy day of obligation or patronal feast and some countries even declare it a public holiday. As this date draws near, let us look back to the meaning of this doctrine to better appreciate its significance in our Catholic Faith.
One of God’s greatest teachings is to love our neighbors just as we love ourselves. It is impossible to be capable of love without feeling mercy and compassion.
Both mercy and compassion refer to the concern we feel for people in need. But although they seem synonymous in the surface, and their usage is sometimes interchanged, they have significant differences.
The role of the Catholic Church in society has existed for many centuries. The Catholic Church is more than an institution. Its influence and authority extends beyond borders, embracing everyone from all walks of life.
It is a home founded in love and faith – the everlasting love God promised his people and the unwavering faith they honour Him with for the rest of their days. When the times get tough, His people turn to him for guidance and there is no better place to find that than in the arms of the church.
Catholic evangelization is one of the main responsibilities of the church and it is as relevant today as it was in the formative years of the early Christian church. The Catholic Church is not just an evangelizer, she is a community made up of believers. As members of the Catholic Church, we all share the responsibility to spread the good news to others.
The Catholic Church teaches us to hold marriage as sacred. It is a gift from the hand of God, who created male and female in his image so that they may become one body. The vision of marriage for the Catholic Church is deeply rooted in the Scripture. In marriage, the love between a man and a woman is blessed by God, a union in faith and a response to God’s call to holiness. The couple becomes the symbol of God’s love on earth.
As Catholics, do we have any special considerations to keep in mind when naming our child? Are we required to name our child after a saint or can we name them with anything we want? What are the reasons why parents choose the name of saints as Catholic baby names?
Are you struggling in your spiritual life? Do you find yourself feeling indifferent toward your religious convictions? If so, you might be experiencing demonic oppression.
Demonic oppression may sound like the stuff that horror movies are made of but it is a very real concern for us Catholics.
A papal conclave is important to us members of the Catholic Faith on so many levels. To better understand the historical, cultural and personal significance of a papal conclave we need to know what this process is about.
The topic of Catholics and Halloween is a controversial one. Many people around the world celebrate Halloween with costume parties, scary decorations and trick-or-treating from one house to the next. Should Catholics participate in these traditions? Should we celebrate Halloween?
IVF is one of the many methods used to overcome infertility but this procedure has stirred up many moral and religious debates. What is IVF and what is the the views of the Catholic Church on it?
There are about 65.6 million refugees, asylum seekers and migrants around the world according to the UN Refugee Agency. Beyond this unprecedented figure are stories of people who have been forced away from the security of their own homes and have to find their way in strange, unfamiliar countries.
Salvation and redemption are at the core of our Catholic Faith. You have probably read about salvation in the bible or heard the word redemption during mass. Are these two concepts interchangeable? What are their key differences?
A pilgrimage is a journey that pilgrims make to a place that is considered holy. To us Catholics, a pilgrimage is more than just traveling to historic sites and viewing religious relics. It is a journey with a deeper and more spiritual meaning.
As Christians, we are expected to manifest the twelve fruits of the Holy Spirit in our lives. These twelve fruits are different from the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit. These gifts are wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety and fear of the Lord. They are granted to us during our baptism and perfected through the Sacrament of Confirmation.
The seven gifts serve as virtues for us to follow while the twelve fruits are the actions that those virtues produce. We are expected to manifest these fruits in our lives as Christians.
Did you know Physician-assisted suicide is legal in five US states? Although it may seem like a viable option if we think about the painful effects of the patient’s degenerative disease, it is not reason enough to consider ending a life.
Some temptations are easier to overcome than others and we often hear people use the phrase, “I am only human and humans are bound to sin” in order to justify falling into temptation. But is this argument valid?
The Catholic Faith liturgy follows its own unique set of religious rituals and traditions which are part of the Catholic Mass Order. As a member of the Catholic Faith, you probably observed some of these practices which include sitting, standing and kneeling during mass. So why do we do these things and what do they signify?
As Catholics we have been taught about charity work through the gospels and various practices like outreaches. Thomas Aquinas esteems charity as “the most excellent of the virtues.” What does charity mean in the context of the Catholic Faith and why is charity work important to us as Catholics?
Some people put religion at the center of their family relationships and traditions while others do not put as much importance on it. Let’s look into the differences between religious and nonreligious families to better understand how religion affects their relationships.
Catholic cremation is a divisive topic within the Catholic Faith community because not many people understand the Church’s teachings on it. When a loved one passes away, it is up to surviving family members to make arrangements regarding what to do with the remains and cremation may come up as a possible option.
Let’s examine the advantages and disadvantages of Catholic cremation and what the Church says about it.
Both the cross and the crucifix are important symbols in the Catholic Faith. To non-Catholics these two may look similar but certain meaningful differences exist between them and these differences can mean a lot to Catholic devotees. As a result, some Catholics may struggle in deciding whether to embrace a crucifix or just stick to a plain cross for use in their daily spiritual devotion.
Are Catholics Called to Protect the Environment? Catholic Social Teaching: The Catholic Perspective On The Environment
We as stewards of God’s creation must look into the Catholic social teaching on the environment so that we can understand the role we play in addressing its issues. Now more than ever we are confronted by many pressing environmental problems. We hear about global temperatures rising, with the year 2016 said to be the warmest year on record, ice sheets melting and many species of animals going extinct.
Growing up in the Catholic Faith you probably wondered about the water basins put up at the entrance of the church and why the water contained inside it is considered holy. Holy Water is an important part of the Catholic Religion and there are many uses for it. To better appreciate its significance in various Catholic traditions and practices, let’s first understand its history and the meaning of Holy Water.
The Counter Reformation was a period of spiritual, moral and intellectual revival which the Catholic Church engaged with in response to the Protest Reformation. Sometimes called the Catholic Revival or Catholic Reformation, this movement began in 1545 during the start of the Council of Trent and ended in 1648 during the end of the Thirty Years’ War.
Faith is at the center of our lives as Catholics but what does living by faith truly mean? To live by faith in today’s world can be quite a challenge especially because contemporary culture conditions us to value hard facts and accuracy and faith is quite the opposite of these things. Faith requires a certain degree of uncertainty and surrender. It can be quite intimidating when we think about it.
Catholic Prayers: Why do Catholics use statues, paintings, and light candles as part of their faith?
Do you light candles after you say your Catholic prayers? Whenever you go to mass, do you notice the religious statues and beautiful paintings that adorn the church? Have you ever wondered what these artifacts and traditions mean and what value they hold to our faith?
Going to church every Sunday is one of the most basic traditions that we associate with our Catholic faith. We have been taught to go to church and attend mass at an early age but is it really necessary for Catholics? Is going to church every Sunday still relevant in today’s times
According to the 2017 Annuario Pontifico (Pontifical Yearbook), there are about 1.287 billion Catholics in the world in 2015. As a major world religion, the Catholic Church provides many interesting insights into the religious history of the world. We, as members of the Catholic Faith, will find it useful to know about the history of the Catholic Church so that we can better appreciate its teachings and traditions.
The month of May is the perfect time to celebrate our devotion to Mother Mary. During May, in line with Mother’s Day, we commemorate the Blessed Virgin Mary’s extraordinary role as a mother to both Jesus Christ and the whole Catholic Church. Mary is a central figure in the Catholic Faith and her life illustrates how our Almighty Father works in our lives. Mary came from a simple background and yet she was called by God to fulfill a very extraordinary role; that of becoming the mother of Jesus Christ.
We live in a world that values cold logic and reason so a term like “spiritual warfare” may seem irrational, even impossible for many “modern” and “intellectual” people. However, spiritual warfare is very real and it is not just limited to exorcisms and casting out demons. As children of God, we engage in an unseen battle every day and what’s at stake is our most prized possession; our soul.
Confession, also known as the Sacrament of Penance or Reconciliation, is an important tradition in our Catholic Faith. After baptism, it is required that we claim forgiveness for wrongdoing by confessing our sins at church.
Through the powerful act of confessing our sins, we are reconciling ourselves with God and reconnecting with our church family. Confession heals our soul and lets us reclaim God’s grace.