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.
While they were eating, Jesus took bread, said the blessing, broke it, and giving it to his disciples said, “Take and eat; this is my body.”
The Stations of the Cross, also known as the Way of the Cross, Via Crucis, and Via Dolorosa (Latin for Way of Sorrows), is a devotion that reflects on Jesus’ final days on Earth—from being condemned to death to dying on the cross and being placed in the tomb.
These are the words of St. Isadore (560-636 AD) on what we gain when we pray and read the Catholic Bible regularly. How many times have you felt alone trying to figure out life’s rough patches, or needed words of wisdom and encouragement, or have given up praying because God doesn’t seem to answer? Lots of times, right?
Can you recall the last time you ate and thought about how the food is helping to nourish your body and helping it to function properly? How about reflecting on the fact that for so many, food and clean drinking water is a luxury?
The word novena comes from the Latin word, “novem,” which means nine. A novena is nine-day period of prayer (private or public) to “obtain special graces, to implore special favors, or to make special petitions” for yourself or for others. The practice of praying a novena goes back to the days of the Apostles when they along with the Virgin Mary, prayed for a period of nine days until the coming of the Holy Spirit (Pentecost). Why...
The Act of Contrition is that prayer that brings many of us back to our childhood— to that time when we were preparing to receive the Sacrament of Penance.
What is the meaning of the Hail Mary prayer? Each line of the popular Catholic prayer recited countless times since our childhood—the Hail Mary—is rich in meaning and is meant to lead us to reflect deeply on our faith.
What does giving someone the thumbs up, the o.k. sign, and making the sign of the cross have in common? They’re all frequently used gestures that we perform countless times throughout our lifetime. Unlike the first two gestures, the sign of the cross is steeped with religious symbolism. When is the last time you made the sign of the cross and stopped to think about what you’re doing? Do you make the gesture consciously and piously? Do...
As one of the seven sacraments in the Catholic Church, marriage is more than a legal contract; according to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, “The sacrament of matrimony signifies the union of Christ and the Church. It gives spouses the grace to love each other with the love with which Christ has loved his Church.” A marriage is sealed and strengthened by God’s love and is rooted in the divine plan of creation— the procreation and education of children in the faith.
Baptism is the pivotal first step we take in becoming initiated members of the Church. Along with communion and confirmation, baptism makes up the three sacraments of initiation. The Sacrament of Baptism is steeped in history, dating back to the time of Jesus, when He was baptized by John the Baptist.
Spring is a busy time in the Catholic Church; not only is it the season when we celebrate Easter, it’s also the season when the sacraments of Reconciliation, Communion, and Confirmation are typically received. Those receiving Confirmation have gone through many months of instruction, reflection, and prayer.
“I love those who love me, and those who seek me diligently find me.” (Proverbs 8:17). There are 1.2 billion Catholics worldwide, filling more than 221,700 parishes. Each year, many adults are called to join the Catholic faith. How does someone join the Catholic Church? Through a process called the RCIA.
What are sick call sets? These sets usually consist of a crucifix, two candles, a vessel for holding holy water, and a stand.
Each year the Church celebrates the Feast of Christ the King on the last Sunday before Advent, also known as the last Sunday of the liturgical year. As Catholics, we’ve been recognizing Christ as our King for over 2,000 years. Each time we attend mass, genuflect in front of the altar, or receive a sacrament, we are honoring our King. So why do we have a special day set aside to remember our King? The man who holds the answer is Pope...
Whether it’s a small nativity consisting of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Joseph, and the Christ child, or an elaborate scene complete with a stable, animals, and the three kings, displaying the nativity scene, or crèche, has long been a Christmas tradition in the Catholic Church.
The Catholic Church is filled with symbols and images meant to be visual reminders of our faith. These symbols tell a story and often reveal a powerful message. Besides the cross—the most recognizable image of the Catholic faith — the Miraculous Medal, or the Medal of the Immaculate Conception, is another popular image that’s rich with meaning.What makes the Miraculous Medal so significant is that the Virgin Mary appeared to a French...
The crucifix is one of the most recognizable images in the world and for many it evokes a range of emotions. The crucifix is a powerful image. Unlike a simple cross, the wall crucifix features the figure of Christ being crucified.
June 8th - Feast Day of Sacred Heart of JesusJune 8th is an important day. Can you guess what it is? Hint: it doesn’t have to do with the World Cup or the end of school year and the start of summer vacation. What is it? It’s the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. As a Catholic, you’ve seen the image of Jesus depicted in many ways--kneeling in prayer, surrounded by children, as a child in the arms of St. Anthony, and dying on the...
Sacred Heart — Immaculate Heart Blessed be the Most Loving Heart and Sweet Name of Our Lord Jesus Christ and the most glorious Virgin Mary, His Mother, in eternity and forever....
In the Catholic Church the month of May is Mary’s month. It’s the month we honor Blessed Mary as the Mother of Jesus and our Heavenly Mother. If you attended Catholic school, you probably remember taking part in the “May crowning” in the beginning of May–where a wreath of flowers was placed on the head of the statue of Mary as prayers were said. As an older student you understood that this ritual was a way to show our love for Mary.
[SlideDeck2 id=569 iframe=1] The canonization of Pope John Paul II and Pope John XXIII on April 27, 2014 will be an exciting time for Catholics around the world. Millions of people will be watching in person and on TV, an event similar in popularity to Prince William and Kate’s royal wedding or the Super Bowl. What makes this event so exciting is that Pope John Paul II is breaking the record for becoming the fastest saint in...
By Judith Costello When we think of “vacation” we often imagine heading for the beach or the mountains to relax and unwind, while the kids are pleasantly occupied with new outdoor distractions. But sometimes, what we really need is “soul liberation!” Our souls, perhaps more than our bodies, need the opportunity to SOAR by experiencing holy places. Why not consider a pilgrimage for you and / or the entire family? Sound unusual?...
How awesome is God’s mercy! Only a God of Love would extend mercy to sinners like us. Since the beginning of time, humans have ignored, disobeyed or turned cruelly against our Creator and Lord. Sometimes, these sins have happened right after God makes His presence known in a spectacular manner. Imagine being there when God parted the waters of the sea to offer your people a safe escape route, and yet a short while later, you are...