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Thomas Aquinas on the Question: Should We Pray, Even If God Already Knows Everything? CHSS 46

Thomas Aquinas on the Question: Should We Pray, Even If God Already Knows Everything? CHSS 46

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

St. Robert Bellarmine on How a Catholic Christian Should View Money – CHSS 44

St. Robert Bellarmine on How a Catholic Christian Should View Money – CHSS 44

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

St. Robert Bellarmine on the Need for Spiritual Vigilance – Catholic Heritage Spirituality Show 43

St. Robert Bellarmine on the Need for Spiritual Vigilance – Catholic Heritage Spirituality Show 43

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,The Art of Dying Well – Faith, Hope and Love – CHS 42

Robert Bellarmine,The Art of Dying Well – Faith, Hope and Love – CHS 42

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, Art of Dying Well – On Prayer – CHSS 41

Robert Bellarmine, Art of Dying Well – On Prayer – CHSS 41

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

Bonaventure, Tree of Life – Twelfth Fruit – Eternity of Christ’s Kingdom – CHSS 37

Bonaventure, Tree of Life – Eleventh Fruit – The Equity of Christ’s Judgement – CHSS 36

Bonaventure on the Equity of Christ’s Judgement

In the Eleventh Fruit, Bonaventure discusses Christ’s future role as judge of all human beings and as the bridegroom of the Church. Following the tradition of Augustine and the Western Church, Bonaventure paints a picture of Christ’s work as judge

Read MoreBonaventure, Tree of Life – Eleventh Fruit – The Equity of Christ’s Judgement – CHSS 36

Bonaventure, Tree of Life – Tenth Fruit – The Sublimity of Christ’s Ascension – CHSS 35

Bonaventure, Tree of Life – Tenth Fruit – The Sublimity of Christ’s Ascension – CHSS 35

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, Tree of Life – Ninth Fruit – The Novelty of Christ’s Resurrection – CHSS 34

Bonaventure, Tree of Life – Ninth Fruit – The Novelty of Christ’s Resurrection – CHSS 34

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

Bonaventure, Tree of Life – Eighth Fruit – Jesus’ Victory in the Conflict of Death – CHSS 33

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

Bonaventure, Tree of Life – Seventh Fruit – Jesus’ Constancy under Torture – CHSS 32

Bonaventure, Tree of Life – Seventh Fruit – Jesus’ Constancy under Torture – CHSS 32

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

Bonaventure, Tree of Life – Sixth Fruit – Jesus’ Patience in Maltreatment – CHSS 31

Bonaventure, Tree of Life – Sixth Fruit – Jesus’ Patience in Maltreatment – CHSS 31

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

Bonaventure, Tree of Life – Fifth Fruit – Jesus’ Confidence in Trials – CHSS 30

Bonaventure, Tree of Life – Fifth Fruit – Jesus’ Confidence in Trials – CHSS 30

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

Bonaventure, Tree of Life – Third Fruit – The Loftiness of His Power – CHSS 28

Bonaventure, Tree of Life – Third Fruit – The Loftiness of His Power – CHSS 28

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

Bonaventure, Tree of Life – Second Fruit – The Humility of His Mode of Life – CHSS 27

Bonaventure, Tree of Life – Second Fruit – The Humility of His Mode of Life – CHSS 27

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

Bonaventure, Tree of Life – First Fruit – His Distinguished Origin – CHSS 26

Bonaventure, Tree of Life – First Fruit – His Distinguished Origin – CHSS 26

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

Blessed Miguel Pro: Life, Work and Martyrdom – CHSS 0014

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

Augustine on Scripture, Theology and Spirituality – CHSS 0011

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 – CHSS 0010

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 on Providence and Conversion – CHS 0008

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

St. Augustine on Sinful Clergy, Donatism and the Spiritual Life – CHS 0006

St. Augustine on Sinful Clergy, Donatism and the Spiritual Life – CHS 0006

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

St. Augustine on Sinful Clergy, Donatism and the Spiritual Life – CHS 0006

Augustine’s Confessions – How God Works in a Life – CHS 0005

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

Summary of Spe Salvi (Saved by Hope) by Pope Benedict XVI – pt 3 of 3

Summary of Spe Salvi (Saved by Hope) by Pope Benedict XVI – pt 3 of 3

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

Summary of Spe Salvi (Saved by Hope) by Pope Benedict XVI – pt 3 of 3

Summary of Spe Salvi (Saved by Hope) by Pope Benedict XVI – pt 1 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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What is Hope?

What is Hope?

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.

 

Why God is in Bread and Wine

Why God is in Bread and Wine

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

Bl. John Henry Newman – Advent Sermon pt 2 – CHSS 017

From Conversion to the Lord of the Rings – John Henry Newman on the Educated Christian, Prayer and Providence

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

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