Evangelizing through the Catholic Arts

Want to Know God’s Will? Seek Understanding!

seek understandingAre you like me, always wondering if you are doing God’s Will, rather than your own? I want to do God’s Will.  However, I sometimes wonder how much of a spin I place on any given task by inserting my own thoughts and feelings into the situation. When I’m not sure, but feel a sense of unease, I seek understanding.

Seek Understanding

How do I know, for sure, that what I do comports with God’s Will? I pray about it. I ask God for insight. He has this way of answering me through others, as well as through His Word in Scripture.

Understanding, as a virtue, can be defined as the desire to know God better, as well as Continue reading

Jesus Asks: Do You Believe Me Now?

BelieveIn today’s Gospel, from John 16:29-33, we witness Jesus having a discussion with His Apostles. I love this passage because of the Apostle’s presumption of understanding. They think that they know all there is to know. What they do know is that Jesus came from God, and they think that is all there is to know. Yet, Jesus tries to tell them otherwise, by first asking a question: Do you believe me now? (John 16:31). For it is through faith, that we find full understanding of God.

Oh, how I can relate to the Apostles! I can’t tell you the number of times that I think I have it all figured out, only to learn later that God thinks otherwise. Continue reading

Understanding God’s Word

God's WordIn today’s Gospel, we hear Jesus tell the parable of the sower. Jesus knew that the Apostles did not completely understand what He tried to convey. He responded to them by asking, “Do you not understand this parable? Then how will you understand any of the parables” (Mark 4:13)? Understanding God’s Word requires some interpretation.

As you read Scripture, do you confidently think you truly understand what God conveys in the passages that you read? Odds are the answer is no, and if you answered no, then you are in good company. Some passages are easy to discern. Then there are others that have multiple meanings, or multiple layers to discern. How, then, are we to discern the Continue reading

Understanding Priestly Ordination

Christ the High Priest

Within the Catholic Church, priestly ordination continues to be reserved for males only. This is predominantly because of the fundamental reasons described by Saint Pope John Paul II in his encyclical Ordinatio Sacerdotalis.   “These reasons include: the example recorded in the Sacred Scriptures of Christ choosing his Apostles only from among men; the constant practice of the Church, which has imitated Christ in choosing only men; and her living teaching authority which has consistently held that the exclusion of women from the priesthood is in accordance with God’s plan for his Church.” 1

Many would counter this reasoning with the fact that in the time of Christ, women were considered second class citizens.  Therefore, for Christ to Continue reading

Understanding Use of Contraception

marriage

Contraception: What’s the Big Deal?

Sexual union is reserved for married spouses and spouses are to be opened to new life.1 I expressed this teaching of the Catholic Church to a family member one day, and the response I got was “enter the 21st century!” What this family member failed to realize is that God’s teachings are timeless and need not be “revamped” for the 21st century. When God created marriage at the dawn of mankind, He deemed it to be a covenantal relationship between spouses to share their love and to procreate (Gen 1: 28), of which Jesus affirmed during His ministry (Matt 19:6). It is quite clear by Saint Paul’s words in 1 Cor 6:9-10, Continue reading

Understanding Respect for All Life

Respect for All Life

Saint Pope John Paul II defines respect for all life with a twist, by first defining what it means to disrespect all life in his encyclical, Veritatis Splendor, where he states:

 “Whatever is hostile to life itself, such as any kind of homicide, genocide, abortion, euthanasia, and voluntary suicide; whatever violates the integrity of the human person, such as mutilation, physical and mental torture and attempts to coerce the spirit; whatever is offensive to human dignity, such as subhuman living conditions, arbitrary imprisonment, deportation, slavery, prostitution,  and trafficking in women and children; degrading conditions of work which treat laborers as mere instruments of profit, and not as free persons; all these and the like are Continue reading

Embracing Understanding of God

Faiith and Reason

Why should you embrace an understanding of God? Gaining an understanding of God’s ways is a good place to start in building a relationship with Him. Yet developing an understanding of God requires some effort. Understanding is a gift from the Holy Spirit. We are each gifted with the capability to understand God and His ways, through a natural, cognitive approach to take knowledge and apply reason to arrive at understanding.

Understanding is also a virtue that falls under the umbrella of  the theological virtue of Faith. What we believe and how we go about acting on our beliefs derives from knowledge that we have acquired over time. Believing in something because someone else told you to Continue reading

Understanding God and His Workings

Understanding

Understanding God is both a gift from the Holy Spirit and a virtue. Pope Francis teaches that:

“It is a grace only the Holy Spirit may infuse and which awakens in the Christian the capacity to go beyond external appearances and to scrutinize the depths of God’s thoughts and His plan of salvation…This gift enables us to comprehend things as God does, with God’s understanding…It is a gift intimately linked to faith. When the Holy Spirit abides in our heart and enlightens our mind, it allows us to grow, day after day, in our understanding of what the Lord has said and done.”1

We have the capacity for understanding God and His workings (gift) as well as Continue reading