Understanding the sacraments: How many sacraments?

By Father Randy Stice The final number was finally set after a centuries-long discernment process involving many suggestions How many sacraments are there? Two? Five? Seven? Eight? Twelve? Each of these answers has been proposed at some point by someone. This question was only answered after a long process, as …

Pray for one another

When we pray generously for others, we truly become like Simon of Cyrene—bearers of the cross When a request for assistance is made to help someone in need, I am always amazed at how generous people can be, even strangers, with their time, resources, and monetary support. But there is …

Brides of Christ

With the mystery of woman, we learn how to be better ‘turned toward’ our heavenly Bridegroom Often it seems that God speaks to me through my wife, Ann, the mother of our six children. Of course, I don’t mean that quite as literally as she would perhaps like me to …

The Bread of Life

 In Christ, we have his Word and flesh in the liturgy and Eucharist August is a straight-forward month. Its four Sundays take the Gospel from the sixth chapter of the Gospel According to John and the New Testament reading from the fourth and fifth chapters of Paul’s Epistle to the …

Reflecting on the work of bishops

Lessons from great churchmen of the past bode well for U.S. Catholic Church in the future We had a priest in the Nashville diocese, Father Aaron T. Gildea, who was ordained to the sacred priesthood on June 8, 1929. Many of our readers have never heard about him as he …

The anamnesis

Making present God’s saving power in keeping with liturgical actions and ritual traditions The Catechism (1106) teaches that two elements are “at the heart of each sacramental celebration”: the invocation of the Holy Spirit, known as the epiclesis (discussed in a previous column); and the anamnesis. The anamnesis is “the …

Protecting what we celebrate

The truths, rights and freedoms our country commemorates also are a summons to protect and defend Independence Day always reminds me of the Gateway Arch on the west bank of the Mississippi River in St. Louis. Since the time it was completed in 1965, when I was 8 years old, …

The extraordinary ordinary

Beautiful examples teach us how to live righteously in this world As opposed to last month when we were blessed with an abundance of such solemnities as Trinity Sunday, Corpus Christi and the feast of John the Baptist, in July we come to the unnamed Sundays in Ordinary Time called …

Close to your heart

Let there be nothing closer to your heart than Christ, Our Eucharistic Lord and Savior  With the end of the Easter season, we enter into another season that the Church calls Ordinary Time, which in truth is anything but ordinary—we are, after all, fully into the baseball season! But seriously, …

From Cross to Crucifix

Memorial Day has special meaning for me as it does for so many, particularly for those who have lost loved ones in the service of their country. Six years ago on this day, at my retirement from the Marine Corps, I had the great honor to lay my uniform down …

God does not punch a clock as he builds

Jubilees mark growth of the Catholic Church as dioceses plan for milestone celebrations  As we continue to bask in the glories of the faith during April, May and June, we have an opportunity every year to examine, review, reflect and remember such great mysteries as the Incarnation, the Redemption, the …

Come to My House and Stay

The mystery of woman and motherhood is intimately connected with the mystery of the Church One of the many things I love about the Easter Season are the daily Mass readings that take us through one of my favorite books of the Bible—the Acts of the Apostles. During these 50 …