In Part 2 of my series on purgatory, I talked about St. Paul’s reference to the typology of fire in 1 Corinthians 3:10–15. Over the centuries, many great theologians and doctors of the Church took this reference, and references to the fires of hell in the New Testament, in a literal, corporeal sense. But how could that be? How is it even possible for a soul to suffer from corporeal fire after it’s been separated
In his First Letter to the Corinthians (3:10–15), St. Paul says that a Christian life can have its foundation only in Jesus Christ, but that on that foundation, the life we go on to live may be more or less worthy, as it’s constructed of works that conform more or less perfectly to Christ, or not at all. Much of what we do is unworthy of our Christian vocation and so, won’t survive judgment. Employing
The doctrine of purgatory is often seen as a Roman accretion that’s distorted Christianity’s thesis that salvation is a free gift of grace by introducing the Pelagian idea that we have to earn our salvation. That’s because, when people think about purgatory, they typically think of something like a medieval prison or dungeon, only worse. Not only are there damp, black, stone walls with rats who run away with the few crumbs of bread we’re
Why does the Church celebrate a special feast day for All Saints? The veneration of saints had once been mostly a local phenomenon, so the Solemnity of All Saints has a great catholicizing effect. If you really want to be Catholic, you have to venerate all the saints, not just the one’s you grew up thinking about. Why does the Church celebrate a special feast day for All Saints? After all, doesn’t every saint
The path of ancient philosophy is not a dry academic subject; it is not primarily a system of beliefs (although it certainly includes beliefs); it is not just an erudite recollection of the history of ideas. Rather, philosophy in its ancient and original meaning is a path to be followed. It is a way of life that leads to understanding, personal growth, and interior peace. The old way of philosophy is suggested by the very
Many Catholic men and women are awakening to the need to deepen their faith, and the church has consistently taught that the systematic study of philosophy and theology is one of the primary means for doing so. However, for lay people, there is an emerging gap in Catholic education. Many adult Catholics want something more than parish-level catechesis, but do not have the desire or opportunity to pursue a four-year degree in theology or philosophy.