The blog is a convenient format for my to write about what’s on my mind in terms of how we live our faith and it allows you to comment on what I have written.
Perhaps you have a question to ask. You can submit your question here and I will do my best to respond to it.
Hi, Fr. Jeff. Where will you be after you leave St. Mary’s?? Since you threw out that tease, I trust you’ll not leave us in suspense.
The fact that I am leaving is not meant as a tease but a simple fact. I am completing my third year and the diocesan norm is to change parishes after three years for new priests. I do not know where I am going and I will probably not know until April or May. When I know I will share it here.
I’ve read that when we die it will feel as if we’ve gone to sleep, and then will “awake” when the Lord comes for Judgment Day. If this is true, then why do we pray to saints? Aren’t they still asleep waiting for Judgment Day, too?
Please help clear up my confusion – Thanks!
Good question Anne.
In actuality we do not know (as fact) exactly what will happen to us after our earthly death. Jesus has clearly told us that he goes to prepare a place for us in our Father’s house (John 14:1-6). So we know we have eternal life waiting for us. We also are told of the Resurrection of the body at the end of time. Jesus was the first to rise and we will share in that Resurrection.
What is more unclear is what happens between the time of our earthly death and the Resurrection at the end of time. There are references to “sleeping in Christ” but we do not know what that will be like.
So, if they are sleeping in Christ, why do we pray to them? This is part of what we call the “Communion of Saints”. You can read more about in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, Part I, chapter 3, article 9, paragraph 5.
It is there we read “So it is that the union of the wayfarers with the brethren who sleep in the peace of Christ is in no way interrupted, but on the contrary, according to the constant faith of the Church, this union is reinforced by an exchange of spiritual goods.”
Somehow our prayers offered to the saints are answered. The evidence of this is part of the canonization process for sainthood; there must be proof of prayers offered through the saint were answered.
I would like to add that we do not pray for the saints to do “miracles.” God is the one who does the miracles. When we pray to the saints, we are praying that they, in turn, pray to God (interecede) for us. We do not worship the saints. God is the only one we worship. We venerate the saints.
Hi Fr. Jeff,
I’ve been subscribed to your blog for a month or so now and have enjoyed your posts – keep up the good work. I started poking around your site and was reading your “Life Before Seminary” article and was curious about this comment:
“while EWTN played an important role in my return to church I discovered the “conservative” nature of the programming and do not watch it much now.”
I’ve heard similar comments from other priests in the diocese and remain befuddled by this position. I am a convert and EWTN played a big part (not solely, but still big) in my entry into the Catholic faith. I still thoroughly enjoy EWTN programming. The only show I can think of that could possibly be considered conservative is perhaps Raymond Arroyo’s show since he discusses political issues. I’ve found that every other show simply teaches as the Church does. Perhaps there are shows that I don’t know about? Are there particular shows that you would say are too conservative or perhaps a specific issue that you think they are too conservative on? I guess I’m just wondering if you could expand on that.
Again – I’m enjoying the blog and I think it’s great that you take the time to do it.
I am glad you enjoy my blog. It helps keep me motivated to keep writing articles when I know people are reading and enjoying them.
Now to your question about my comment about the “conservative nature” of EWTN. You are not the first person to comment on it. At first I did not include the comment you question and people took my watching EWTN to mean I am very traditional and conservative. So I added the comment but then a person or two took the comment to mean I am a liberal. After reading your comment I have decided to remove the extra comment and leave it as a statement of fact that EWTN was part of my return to church.
I watched EWTN for a year or two after my return to church. Then, I drifted away from watching it. Part of it was seeing it as more traditional than I care for. Part of it was some of the program just didn’t interest me. In the last ten years I haven’t watched EWTN much. Occasionally I catch a program while channel surfing but that is about it so I really can’t comment on its programming being conservative.
You mention Raymond Arroyo’s program as the only one that might be conservative because it discusses politics. “Conservative” and “liberal” are labels that extend well beyond politics. However, I really don’t like labels like “conservative” or “liberal.” I don’t think they are accurate. For instance, some people consider me a liberal simply because I have a strong interest in Social Justice. In our secular government it does tend to be the liberals who are interested in social programs. But I do not consider myself a liberal. I don’t consider myself a conservative. I simply what to do what Jesus wants me to do. I believe the Catholic teaching is instrumental in knowing what that is.
EWTN has been very helpful to me with regard to staying Catholic. I left the church in the mid 1980s, having reached my limit with all the lay preaching, disrespectful Masses where the priests were so self-centered that they started to act like game show hosts, and the stripping of beautiful churches to make them plain and round. EWTN, and the beautiful traditional worship shown on the station, helped me to realize that there is still a glimmer of hope in the Church; that not everyone had lost their way. I watched more and more as the years went on. When we finally were able to get a Latin Mass at St. Stanislaus, I jumped at the opportunity. I have been attending every week now for almost two decades.
EWTN was, and is very important for me as a Roman Catholic.
Thanks for the quick response, Father – I appreciate it. I guess what I’m wondering is what is especially traditional or conservative about EWTN? Usually when I’ve heard people call such resources too conservative it’s because they don’t like official Church teaching. They’d rather promote dissident resources like US Catholic and the like. Anyways, I don’t mean to push it too much – it’s just I’ve been blown away since becoming Catholic (3 years ago) how many Catholics (priests, bishops, religious, laypeople) around here aren’t in line w/ Church teaching. As a recent convert, I see the major issue is that the faith is watered down and truths aren’t taught. Then when actual truth is presented (as it is on EWTN), it’s seen as too traditional or conservative. But in reality they are just presenting exactly what our Church teaches. I think presenting people with these truths is a very good thing. Sure, some people might not like it and go become protestants, but that’s what they are anyways. But, that’s just my take.
As I said, I do not watch EWTN much now so I cannot comment with any specifics. I will just try to clarify a little by saying that for me it was more about the style of presentation than the content. To catechize adults it is not just about presenting a list of doctrine. We need to present it in a way that is friendly, welcoming, and helps people understand how to truly live it in the heart and not just as a rule.
I do agree that a problem with doing what I just said is that the teaching gets watered down. When I write for the blog and website I don’t want to water anything down. I want to help people understand and live it.
I stumbled on your blog yesterday. You are doing good work with this form of communication and ministry. Regarding EWTN and its slant as “conservative”. One area where it is conservative – and wrong, in my opinion – is in its strong bias against biological evolution.
You have pointed out Raymond Arroyo’s conservative bias. But EWTN would do well to discuss the non-conservative points of view that are also in harmony with Catholic teaching. They would do well to give more emphasis to the teachings regarding the rights of workers to collectively bargain the conditions of their workplace.
Thank you for the compliment. Where do I point out “Raymond Arroyo’s conservative bias”? I found a comment where a person said Arroyo was conservative but it was not my comment. I have tried avoid using labels or align myself with a particular bias (left or right, conversative or liberal). I simply seek to help people what our Catholic Church says about how we are called to live our faith in the world.
How does a Catholic man survive in a sexless marriage? I love my wife very much.
Please see the article I wrote at http://blog.renewaloffaith.org/blog/?p=1962. The first part is some background written for people in general with the latter part responding more to your question. Please feel free to ask more questions.