Prayer, at its foundation, is communication with God. There are many ways to pray, including, having a casual conversation with God to share what’s on your mind, repetitive prayer to help facilitate meditation, scriptural prayer, and liturgical prayer (where we worship God in community). Today, I will talk about a type of prayer called relational prayer. The method follows the acronym ARRR and is sometimes affectionately called “pirate prayer.”READ MORE
Today, I would like to spend some time deepening our understanding of what is referred to as “private revelation,” how it is authenticated, and how it can enhance our faith. Recognizing that God is not absent, and that He can, and does, still communicate with His people, the Catholic Church maintains a unique openness to private revelation, which serves to draw our attention to supernatural realities. However, before we get too far, I want to explain “public revelation” briefly.
Public revelation refers to how God has made Himself known by deeds and words to His people throughout salvation history. It includes all of Scripture, but most fully in each of the Gospels, as God comes to live amongst us in human flesh to teach us His will for us. Jesus is the fullness of public revelation; as such, there will be no new public revelation until He comes again. The Catechism states, "Yet even if Revelation is already complete, it has not been made completely explicit; it remains for the Christian faith gradually to grasp its full significance over the course of the centuries,” (CCC 66).READ MORE
This week concludes a three-week examination of the three degrees of Holy Orders. First, we talked about bishops, who receive the fullness of the Sacrament. Then, we looked at the second degree, priests, who are on the front lines, directly ministering to the people of the Church. Now, we will look at the lowest degree of Holy Orders – the deacons.
The word “deacon” comes from the Greek word diakonos, which means "servant." While the priest performs his duties in persona Christi, or in the person of Christ, the deacon operates in persona Christi servi, as an icon of Christ the Servant. There is a threefold aspect to the ministry – Word, Sacrament, and Charity – which I will expand on in a moment.READ MORE
Last week, we talked about bishops and how they receive the fullness of the Sacrament of Holy Orders, giving them particular and unique gifts in the areas of teaching the Faith and governing the Church. Today, we will look more closely at the second order of holy orders, the presbyterate, which is more commonly known as the priesthood. Out of the three orders, priests are the ones which we, as laypersons, encounter the most in our day-to-day spiritual journeys.
Choosing to be a priest is a bit different than choosing matrimony as one’s vocation. Comparatively speaking, there is less preparation involved with marriage and less scrutiny over one’s fitness to carry out the obligations of a spouse and parent properly. At some point in his life, a man may discern that he may not feel called to the Sacrament of Matrimony and may instead be called to the life of the priesthood, which requires more investigation. He will then enter a period of formation and deeper discernment, with the length of time varying among diocese, institutions, and orders, but typically not shorter than five years.READ MORE