Thomas Aquinas on the Purpose of Prayer
If God is omniscient and immutable (unchangeable), what then is the purpose of prayer? It would seem as if prayer would be rendered of little value, given that God knows everything and is incapable of changing in response to our prayers. In his lectures on Matthew 6:9-11, Thomas Aquinas discussed the question of God’s omniscience and immutability and the purpose of one’s prayer.
Read MoreThomas Aquinas on the Question: Should We Pray, Even If God Already Knows Everything? CHSS 46
Robert Bellarmine on a Catholic Christian’s Use of Money
Monetary wealth, argued Bellarmine, can be a great temptation in the Christian life. In chapter five of his treatise The Art of Dying Well, Cardinal Robert Bellarmine maintains that the Christian should be especially vigilant in the use of their financial assets.
Read MoreSt. Robert Bellarmine on How a Catholic Christian Should View Money – CHSS 44
Robert Bellarmine on the Need for Spiritual Vigilance
Spiritual vigilance is one of the most important considerations for the Catholic Christian. Bellarmine seeks to equip Catholic Christians with an acute sense of the need for spiritual vigilance throughout the Christian life. Working from the text of Luke [12:35]-37, Bellarmine seizes upon Jesus’ parable of staying spiritually alert for the Day of Judgement.
Read MoreSt. Robert Bellarmine on the Need for Spiritual Vigilance – Catholic Heritage Spirituality Show 43
Robert Bellarmine on Faith, Hope and Love
To die well, Robert Bellarmine argued, one must live well. The keys to living well are twofold: the virtues and the Seven Sacraments. In this episode, we discuss Bellarmine’s understanding of the theological virtues of faith, hope and charity (love).
Read MoreRobert Bellarmine,The Art of Dying Well – Faith, Hope and Love – CHS 42
Robert Bellarmine on the Purpose of Prayer
Prayer is critical for the Christian life. For Bellarmine, prayer performs a multitude of purposes, especially in view of the reality facing each human being–death. From strengthening trust in God to
Read MoreRobert Bellarmine, Art of Dying Well – On Prayer – CHSS 41
This episode briefly discusses the eternity of Christ’s kingdom.
Read MoreBonaventure, Tree of Life – Twelfth Fruit – Eternity of Christ’s Kingdom – CHSS 37
Bonaventure on the Sublimity of Christ’s Ascension
In the Tenth Fruit, Bonaventure reflects on Christ’s Ascension into heaven and the descent of the Holy Spirit among the early leaders of the Church. Bonaventure finds in the post-Resurrection actions of Jesus the triumphal leading of the saints
Read MoreBonaventure, Tree of Life – Tenth Fruit – The Sublimity of Christ’s Ascension – CHSS 35
Bonaventure on Christ’s Resurrection
In the Ninth Fruit, Bonaventure discusses Christ’s resurrection from the dead. Taking as his point of departure the Apostle’s Creed and the various statements from the Gospels, the Pauline and Catholic Epistles,
Read MoreBonaventure, Tree of Life – Ninth Fruit – The Novelty of Christ’s Resurrection – CHSS 34
Bonaventure, Tree of Life – Eighth Fruit – Jesus’ Victory in the Conflict of Death – CHSS 33
In the Seventh Fruit, Bonaventure reflects upon the sentencing of Jesus to death by Pontius Pilate, his torture and execution on the cross. He again sets in stark contrast the impiety of Jesus’ persecutors with his humility, mercy and grace.
Read MoreBonaventure, Tree of Life – Eighth Fruit – Jesus’ Victory in the Conflict of Death – CHSS 33
In the Seventh Fruit, Bonaventure reflects upon the sentencing of Jesus to death by Pontius Pilate, his torture and execution on the cross. He again sets in stark contrast the impiety of Jesus’ persecutors with his humility, mercy and grace. Bonaventure seeks to portray yet again for his audience, as promised in his prologue, the nature of a life crucified with Christ.
Read MoreBonaventure, Tree of Life – Seventh Fruit – Jesus’ Constancy under Torture – CHSS 32
In the Sixth Fruit, Bonaventure looks at the final hours of Jesus’ life, specifically the events surrounding Jesus’ trials before Herod and Pilate. He sets in stark contrast the impiety of Jesus’ persecutors with his humility, mercy and grace.
Read MoreBonaventure, Tree of Life – Sixth Fruit – Jesus’ Patience in Maltreatment – CHSS 31
In the fifth fruit, Bonaventure focuses our attention on Jesus’ confidence in his final trials. Focusing on the betrayal by Judas to his arrest in the garden of Gethsemane, Bonaventure shows his readers how Jesus operated with a deep understanding of God’s providence. In light of this overarching perspective, Jesus treated Judas with compassion and approached his captors with calm and conviction.
Read MoreBonaventure, Tree of Life – Fifth Fruit – Jesus’ Confidence in Trials – CHSS 30
In the third fruit, Bonaventure focuses our attention on the Loftiness of Jesus Christ’s Power. From Christ’s baptism to his transfiguration, Bonaventure takes the reader across the life of Christ to help focus the reader’s attention on Christ’s power.
Read MoreBonaventure, Tree of Life – Third Fruit – The Loftiness of His Power – CHSS 28
What was one of the salient characteristics of Christ’s life? Bonaventure points to Christ’s humility as the guiding principle for all his actions. In his treatment of the second fruit, Bonaventure argues that humility is the root and the guardian of
Read MoreBonaventure, Tree of Life – Second Fruit – The Humility of His Mode of Life – CHSS 27
What are Christ’s pre-incarnate origins? In this episode, we examine Bonaventure’s high Christology, which forms the basis of his theological reflection on Jesus Christ’s two natures (human and divine) in his singular and divine person. Join us this week as we discuss how Bonaventure
Read MoreBonaventure, Tree of Life – First Fruit – His Distinguished Origin – CHSS 26
For Bonaventure, what was the Tree of Life spoken of in Revelation 22? In this episode, we review not only Bonaventure’s answer to this question, but we also
Read MoreBonaventure, Tree of Life – Prologue – CHSS 25
Bonaventure was a prolific medieval theologian at the university of Paris and the Master General of the Franciscan order.
Read MoreBonaventure Seraphic Doctor – CHSS 24
What are some practical tips for daily prayer? In today’s episode, we talk about Catholic forms of prayer such as
Read MoreThe Backstory of the Catholic Heritage – CHSS 23
What are some practical tips for daily prayer? In today’s episode, we talk about Catholic forms of prayer such as
Read MorePrayer Tips for Catholic Christians – CHS 22
Catholic Marriage Preparation Advice
What are the keys to preparing for a good Catholic marriage? In this episode, Mary and Dr. Estrada talk about the keys to entering and sustaining a fulfilled Catholic marriage
Read MoreCatholic Marriage Preparation Advice – CHSS 21
What Does the Epiphany Mean?
Why do Catholic Christians celebrate the Epiphany? The Feast of the Epiphany commemorates the events recorded in Matthew 2, where the author mentions the arrival of magi from the East who came to see the newborn king. Following the star,
Read MoreWhat Does the Epiphany Mean? CHSS 20
Why Do Catholics Call Mary the Mother of God?
Why do Catholics refer to Mary as the “Mother of God”?
Read MoreWhy Do Catholics Call Mary the Mother of God? – CHSS 19
Fulton Sheen on the Nativity
What was the spiritual significance of Christ’s birth? In this episode, we discuss the parallels Bishop Fulton Sheen saw
Read MoreFulton Sheen on the Nativity – CHSS 18
Bl. John Henry Newman – Advent Sermon pt 2
What is the purpose of struggle in the spiritual life? Newman argues that spiritual struggle
Read MoreBl. John Henry Newman – Advent Sermon pt 2 – CHSS 017
Bl. John Henry Newman – Advent Sermon pt 1
How did John Henry Nemwan think about the season of advent?
Read MoreBl. John Henry Newman – Advent Sermon pt 1 – CHSS 016
Bl. John Henry Newman – Life, Work and Writings
Who was Bl. John Henry Newman? In this episode, we provide a brief overview of his life
Read MoreBl. John Henry Newman – Life, Work and Writings – CHSS 015
Blessed Miguel Pro: Life, Work and Martyrdom
November 23rd is the feast day of Blessed Fr. Miguel Pro, a Mexican priest and martyr of the early 20th century. Join us in this episode as we discuss the life and work of this Catholic martyr who remains
Read MoreBlessed Miguel Pro: Life, Work and Martyrdom – CHSS 0014
Education and Christian Spirituality pt 2
Bishop Frank Caggiano recently asked US Catholics that if they had 60 seconds to share a single idea with the Youth Synod 2018 in Rome, what would it be. Our answer?
Read MoreEducation and Christian Spirituality pt 2 – CHSS 0013
Education and Christian Spirituality pt 1
Bishop Frank Caggiano recently asked US Catholics that if they had 60 seconds to share a single idea with the Youth Synond 2018 in Rome, what would it be. Our answer?
Read MoreEducation and Christian Spirituality pt 1 – CHSS 0012
Augustine on Scripture, Theology and Spirituality
In his Confessions, Augustine maintains that to hold a true understanding of God, one has to begin with a proper understanding of how people come to know the truth of Christianity.
Read MoreAugustine on Scripture, Theology and Spirituality – CHSS 0011
Augustine on Divine Transcendence and Immanence
In his Confessions, Augustine maintains that God is both transcendent and immanent. In taking this position, Augustine drew upon the Christian and Platonist traditions and merged them to formulate two main pillars of his spirituality.
Read MoreAugustine on Divine Transcendence and Immanence – CHSS 0010
Augustine’s Confessions on Prayer
Augustine’s Confessions from beginning to end is a prayer to God. On every page, Augustine turns to God in prayer, whether in confession for past sins to praise for God’s grandeur.
Read MoreAugustine’s Confessions on Prayer – CHS 0009
Augustine on Providence and Conversion
Augustine’s Confessions, the most famous of his writings, are dominated by the motif of divine providence in a human being’s conversion. On nearly every page, this motif shines through as Augustine views his entire life through the lens of God’s provident care over his every step.
Read MoreAugustine on Providence and Conversion – CHS 0008
The Papacy and Catholic Identity
What makes Catholic Christians distinct from all other types of Christians? In this episode we will explore the papacy, the distinct feature that makes Catholicism different from
Read MoreThe Papacy and Catholic Identity – CHS 0007
St. Augustine on Sinful Clergy, Donatism and the Spiritual Life
St. Augustine of Hippo (354-430) devoted much of his work as a bishop to writing about the spiritual life and sinful clergy. In light of the recent scandals in the Catholic Church,
Read MoreSt. Augustine on Sinful Clergy, Donatism and the Spiritual Life – CHS 0006
Augustine’s Confession: How God Works in a Life
St. Augustine wrote much about the spiritual life, especially God’s work in drawing human beings to himself. The Confessions presents an intriguing look at the various ways in which God works in a human beings life.
Read MoreAugustine’s Confessions – How God Works in a Life – CHS 0005
Augustine’s Confession: A Brief Introduction
In this episode we briefly review the historical, literary and religious context of Augustine’s Confessions.
Read MoreAugustine’s Confessions – Overview – CHS 00004
Summary of Spe Salvi (Saved by Hope) by Pope Benedict XVI – pt 3 of 3
In part 3 of this series on hope, we look at the biblical example Abraham and how his trust in God appeared foolish, particularly in his sacrifice of Isaac. We discuss the gratuitous nature of love, and
Read MoreSummary of Spe Salvi (Saved by Hope) by Pope Benedict XVI – pt 3 of 3
We continue our discussion of Christian hope and Pope Benedict XVI’s encyclical, Spe Salvi. In this episode, we explore the specific ways in which we can cultivate and grow in hope.
Read MoreSummary of Spe Salvi (Saved by Hope) by Pope Benedict XVI – pt 2 of 3
How do Christians define hope and what is the basis for Christian hope? As St. Paul tells the Romans, “in hope we were saved.” Pope Benedict XVI delves into the virtue of hope in his encyclical, Spe Salvi. In this episode, we discuss Benedict’s encyclical, the role of hope in the spiritual life, its part in transforming the world, its identifying characteristics, and the impact it has on the believer by looking at several examples in the Christian tradition.
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Hope comes to us in various forms, with varying degrees of impact and duration. Some feel that their greatest hope is their children whose future is still to be written. Some find hope in their curiosity and sense of wonder. For others, it is when they see people working to make the world a more just and good place. But for Christians, how does hope look different? Hope is more than just a conviction or feeling; it is an offering of a reality we come to possess and which gives us a new life. This new life saves us. As Paul says, “in hope, we were saved” (Rom [8:28]).
When we hope, we can live differently. The future carries a certainty with it when we have hope and that certainty helps shape our present way of living. In this sense redemption is a trustworthy hope that helps us face our present. As Pope Benedict XVI says “we have been given hope, trustworthy hope, by virtue of which we can face our present: the present, even if it is arduous, can be lived and accepted if it leads towards a goal, if we can be sure of this goal, and if this goal is great enough to justify the effort of the journey.” (Spe Salvi).
And just what is this redemptive hope that Christianity is talking about? To come to know God, which is to have faith, means to have hope because he has given us new life. We can have faith in him because he is our true shepherd, who walks with each of us on the final path of solitude, where no one else can accompany us. God himself has walked this path, through the kingdom of death, and has conquered it. And he has returned to accompany us. He gives us the certainty that together with him we can find a way through. And the goal for the Christian is eternal life. It is a life of overwhelming, uninterrupted joy with God.
When we have a trustworthy hope it is redemptive. “The one who hopes lives differently; the one who hopes has been granted the gift of a new life.” We can see that redemption is more than informative. It is more than just a conviction. It is also performative. It changes the course of how we live our lives, and we come into possession of a new life, and we begin to live for others because we know we are living for God.
We also have the great example of the blessed company of saints. Many endured afflictions with patience and confidence because they had a lasting hope. This hope gave them new life that could not be taken away by their sufferings. As masters of the art of living and dying well, the saints have given us examples of how to live for God and others.
One of the greatest spiritual experiences is to be in communion with God and for Catholics that is available through God’s grace, the sacraments, and in a most special way, the Eucharist.
The Eucharist as Vatican II says is “the source and summit of the Christian life.” But how can we believe that God is really present, that His body and blood, soul and divinity are present in bread and wine? Most baffling, some might say, is why God would be present in such a humble form?
I think some points of reflection may help with this question. As I
Read MoreWhy God is in Bread and Wine
Intelligence and Faith Working Together
Cardinal John Henry Newman is one of the great modern figures of the Christian tradition. A 19th century English academic who converted to the Catholic faith in his forties, Newman was a person of both committed scholarship and deep piety. With the increasing number of people
Read MoreFrom Conversion to the Lord of the Rings – John Henry Newman on the Educated Christian, Prayer and Providence