Articles Under: Adult Faith Formation

Too often, those responsible for adult faith formation in their parishes set aside the Catechism of the Catholic Church as too difficult and thus too daunting for their audience. Or they might consider it not relevant to people’s experience, not practical or personal enough, or uninspiring. To overlook the Catechism as a foundational resource in adult faith formation would be to do the People of God a great disservice. The Catechism is a gift from the Church—or more properly, from the Holy Spirit, working through the successors of the apostles, to all the members of Christ’s Body. In his apostolic... Read more
Maybe it’s too much of a stretch to say that an unmarried tailor who lived with his mother is the reason communism fell in the west. Then again, maybe it’s not. Venerable Jan Tyranowski was, in many respects, an ordinary working class bachelor. But when he was 35, a homily changed his life. “It is not difficult to become a saint,” the priest said, and Tyranowski believed him. He began reading the Carmelite mystics and praying up to four hours a day. When many of Poland’s priests were sent to death camps in 1940, one of those left behind asked... Read more
Amid the dark shadows that have at times been cast over the face of the Church, too often obscuring for our contemporaries the clear light of Christ shining from her (see Lumen Gentium n. 1), we need to focus anew on the universal call to holiness . It is very striking that, amid all the crises of the 20 th Century, the central message of the Second Vatican Council was simple, direct, and clear: that every one of us, in every state of life, is called to the fullness of the Christian life and the perfection of love; that is,... Read more
¿Siquiera es posible la santidad hoy en día? Antes de que nos casáramos, mi esposo, Curtis, y yo cada uno por su parte nos habíamos encontrado con nuestro Señor a través de unas conversiones profundas y ambos ya éramos muy comprometidos con seguir a la voluntad de Dios en nuestra vida matrimonial. Dios nos invitó a vivir nuestra fe en la arena pública a través de la pastoral universitaria donde estudiábamos, The Fellowship of Catholic University Students (La Confraternidad de Estudiantes Universitarios Católicos) (FOCUS), y de manera más íntima en nuestro propio hogar. Curtis y yo hemos estado casados desde... Read more
On November 2, the Church commemorates the Feast of All Souls. In contrast to the Feast of All Saints the day before, the All Souls liturgy remembers all who have died, not just the saints in heaven. As such, it is a much more somber occasion. After all, many souls will never be saints in heaven: they have elected an eternity separate from the love of God and must therefore suffer the torments of hell. But even though “it is not the will of your heavenly Father that one of these little ones be lost” (Mt 18:14), the punishment of... Read more
The Wounded Heart “Time heals all wounds,” except when it does not. When we are hurt by someone, all too often, time makes a wound grow deeper and fester. The Divine Doctor, Jesus, gave us very clear instructions for the healing process: forgive the ones who hurt you. Yet for many Catholics, this is not striven for in their spiritual life. We have no rite, no ritual, no process that would guide us to forgive. Often, we focus our attention on God’s forgiveness of our sins, our own faults, and our hurtful actions towards others. While these are important, we... Read more
The fifth chapter of Lumen Gentium on “the universal call to holiness” reads very much like it could have been composed by St. Francis de Sales, as it echoes what he had written around 1609 in the first pages of his Introduction to the Devout Life . What St. Francis refers to repeatedly throughout his text as “devotion” could easily be rendered “holiness” or “sanctity.” This vocation is universal; that is, there is no member of the Church, configured to Christ dead-and-risen in the waters of baptism, who is not called to sanctity. However, what precisely this sanctity will look... Read more
The matrimony of two of the baptized…is in real, essential and intrinsic relationship with the mystery of the union of Christ with the church…it participates in its nature…marriage is deeply seated and rooted therefore in the Eucharistic mystery. [1] This spiritual vision of marriage, as articulated by Cardinal Caffara, may appear as novel or even bizarre or “cultist” to many younger members of western culture. The defining characteristic for marriage today is that it has no defining characteristic . It is open and runny and borderless. We decide what marriage is, and hence it has devolved from a sacrament to... Read more
Surely one of the most beautiful, one of the most enduring, and one of the most sublime teachings of Vatican II is the universal call to holiness in Lumen Gentium, chapter 5. I have never reread this chapter without feeling an increase of my own zeal for answering this call, even as I become more aware, at the same time, of how much I fall short. Still, it is so beautiful, it makes me want to persist. But what is holiness? I want to suggest that it is not, in the first instance, a concept abstracted from concrete holy persons... Read more
What is holiness? In our lead article, Dr. John Cavadini describes holiness as the Second Vatican Council did, as “the perfection of love.” [1] How can we begin to imagine love’s perfection? Considered abstractly, we cannot wrap our minds around it. We need to somehow see it, if we are to understand the aim above every other in the Christian life. For this, we look to the Trinity, and to Jesus, Holiness Incarnate. In every page of the Gospels, divine, self-sacrificing love emerges in its splendor. We also need to see holiness reflected in people who began life under the... Read more