What is celibacy, exactly?

Living out chastity for the kingdom of heaven is not ‘unnatural’—it is supernatural By Sister Anna Marie McGuan, RSM Recently, I was asked about priestly celibacy by a person interested in becoming Catholic. The practice of priestly celibacy is viewed with suspicion, he explained, because Protestants are unfamiliar with it, …

Can the existence of evil disprove God’s existence?

If God is all good, why doesn’t He stop people from doing bad things? The answer lies in freedom By Sister Anna Marie McGuan, RSM The existence of evil is a common objection to the existence of God, or at least to a personal God who is all-knowing and all-good. …

Why do people do good?

The answer is that it makes us happy and fulfilled; open up to God and begin to act for the good By Sister Anna Marie McGuan, RSM Humans always act for a purpose. Voluntary acts are by definition purposeful. Involuntary acts, which we don’t choose—such as breathing—are not something to …

Called to community

The choices one makes about identity, meaning, and purpose have an enormous impact on others By Sister Anna Marie McGuan, RSM Men and women are by nature social animals. We usually grow up in a familial setting and attend school with other boys and girls. We learn, through these relationships, …

The resurrection and the Gospels: apostolic eyewitnesses

The Apostles realized that the risen Jesus’ humanity was changed, but He was the same person by Sister Anna Marie McGuan, RSM The readings during the Easter season, especially during the octave of Easter, the eight days from Easter Sunday to Divine Mercy Sunday, go through several apparitions of the …

Jesus fulfills the Old Testament

He came not ‘to abolish the law and the prophets . . . but to fulfill them’ By Sister Anna Marie McGuan, RSM Toward the beginning of the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus says: “Think not that I have come to abolish the law and the prophets; I have come …

Understanding God’s wisdom in the Old Testament

Books of literature express the longing of the human heart for God By Sister Anna Marie McGuan, RSM The Wisdom literature of the Old Testament is an eclectic collection of proverbs, moral lessons, riddles, warnings, extended meditations, and philosophical inquiry and debate. It also includes hymns and even love poetry …

The historical books and their authors

The prophets contain passages full of hope and point to a future king, a Messiah By Sister Anna Marie McGuan, RSM The Pentateuch or Torah ends with the death of Moses and a bold statement about Israel’s religious future: “I call heaven and earth to witness against you this day, …

Examining the Books of Moses—the Pentateuch

The first five books of the Old Testament are sacred in both the Jewish and the Christian traditions By Sister Anna Marie McGuan, RSM Having given a preliminary sketch of the sections of the Old Testament, in this article I expand on the Books of Moses, also known as the …

A look at the divisions of the New Testament

The Gospels, the letters or epistles, and the apocalyptic genre have their equivalents in the Old Testament By Sister Anna Marie McGuan, RSM After having examined the divisions of the Old Testament (the Pentateuch or Torah, the Historical Books, the Prophets, and the Wisdom books—see the April ETC), a similar …

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Understanding the divisions of the Old Testament

The books are grouped into four major sections in the Christian tradition By Sister Anna Marie McGuan, RSM One challenge when reading the Old Testament is dealing with the amount of material contained therein. As a person reads along, he encounters narrative or story-like books or portions of books. The …

Should we view the Bible as a historical book?

Understanding its diverse literary genres can allow for a more fruitful reading of it By Sister Anna Marie McGuan, RSM Most people, when they think of the Bible, think of it as a book of great importance, which it is. It is also a rather complex book, or set of …