St Luke: 10 things to know and share

Friday, October 17, 2014 9:06 PM Comments (11)

Who was St. Luke and what debt do we owe to him? Here are 10 things to know and share . . .

October 18th is the feast of St. Luke the Evangelist.

Who was he and what do we know about him?

Here are 10 things to know and share . . .

 

1) Who was St. Luke?

St. Luke is mentioned by name in three passages of Scripture:

  • In Colossians 4:14, St. Paul writes: “Luke the beloved physician and Demas greet you.”
  • In 2 Timothy 4:11, Paul writes: “Luke alone is with me. Get Mark and bring him with you; for he is very useful in serving me.”
  • And in Philemon 23-24, Paul writes: “Epaphras, my fellow prisoner in Christ Jesus, sends greetings to you, and so do Mark, Aristarchus, Demas, and Luke, my fellow workers.”

Since Luke is mentioned in three letters, we can infer that he was a...READ MORE

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Good news from the Synod of Bishops! 12 things to know and share

Wednesday, October 15, 2014 9:52 PM Comments (65)

The last couple of days have brought signs of hope from the Synod of Bishops on the family. Here are 12 things to know and share . . .

The last couple of days have brought some good news from the current synod of bishops on the family.

Where things are going is still far from certain and there is still reason for concern, but there have been a number of welcoming signs.

Here are 12 things to know and share . . .

 

1) If you had to boil it down, what’s the single most important piece of good news?

That there has been widespread pushback among the synod fathers against the document issued Monday, called the relatio post disceptationem.

 

2) What is a relatio post disceptationem?

The phrase means “the report after discussion” or “the report after debate.”

Basically, it’s meant to be a document summarizing the themes...READ MORE

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The Law of Gradualness: 12 things to know and share

Monday, October 13, 2014 5:52 PM Comments (50)

What is the "law of gradualness" and why is it such big news at the Synod of Bishops?

Most Catholics have never even heard of the “law of gradualness,” but it became big news this week at the Synod on the Family.

What is the law of gradualness, and what role does it play in Catholic thought?

Here are 12 things to know and share . . .

 

1) What is the law of gradualness?

It is a principle used in Catholic moral and pastoral theology, according to which people should be encouraged to grow closer to God and his plan for our lives in a step-by-step manner rather than expecting to jump from an initial conversion to perfection in a single step.

 

2) Is there a basis for this idea?

Yes. Human experience testifies that we are not made perfect upon our initial conversion. We...READ MORE

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What's missing from the book of Acts? More than you might think!

Monday, October 06, 2014 9:24 PM Comments (9)

What’s missing from the book of Acts? More than you might think!

The book of Acts does not tell us the full story of early Church history. It provides only partial information.

This is obvious from the fact that it just covers the period between A.D. 33 and 60, when it suddenly stops (providing us an important clue to when it was written).

Even within that time frame, though, it is only a partial record . . .

 

The How Many Apostles?

For example, the book of Acts tracks the activities of three individuals:

  • Peter (ch.s 1-6, 9-12)
  • Philip (ch. 8)
  • Paul (ch.s 9, 11, 13-28)

That gives us a big clue about who Luke’s main sources were in composing the book for those parts that he didn’t personally witness (the so-called “we” passages later in the...READ MORE

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Who was St. Francis of Assisi? 12 things to know and share

Saturday, October 04, 2014 1:33 AM Comments (8)

Who was St. Francis of Assisi? (12 things to know and share)

St. Francis is one of the most famous saints in Church history.

He’s so significant that the current pope—Pope Francis—chose to take his name.

October 4th is his memorial day.

But who was he, and what did he do?

Here are 12 things to know and share . . .

 

1) When did St. Francis live?

He was born in 1181 or 1182 (we’re not sure), and he died in 1226. He thus lived to be only 44 or 45 years old.

He was born—and he died—in Assisi, Italy, which is somewhat near Rome.

You can read about Assisi here.

 

2) How did he get the name “Francis”?

Although many people take new names upon entering religious life, this is not how St. Francis originally got his name.

He was born Giovanni...READ MORE

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8 things to know and share about the Guardian Angels

Wednesday, October 01, 2014 6:34 PM Comments (3)

You have a hidden companion who shadows you wherever you go. But don't worry. He's only there to help! Here are 8 things to know and share . . .

October 2 is the memorial of the Guardian Angels in the liturgy.

Here are 8 things to know and share about the angels it celebrates . . .

 

1) What is a guardian angel?

A guardian angel is an angel (a created, non-human, non-corporeal being) that has been assigned to guard a particular person, especially with respect to helping that person avoid spiritual dangers and achieve salvation.

The angel may also help the person avoid physical dangers, particularly if this will help the person achieve salvation.

 

2) Where do we read about guardian angels in Scripture?

We see angels helping people on various occasions in Scripture, but there are certain instances in which we see angels...READ MORE

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Celebrating the Archangels: 7 things to know and share

Sunday, September 28, 2014 3:56 PM Comments (16)

On Sept. 29th, we celebrate St.s Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael--Archangels. Here are 7 things to know and share . . .

September 29th is the feast of St.s Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael—archangels.

These are the only three angels whose names are mentioned in Scripture, and this is their day.

Here are 7 things to know and share . . .

 

1) What is an archangel?

The word “archangel” (Greek, archangelos) means “high-ranking angel”—the same way that “archbishop” means a high-ranking bishop.

Only St. Michael is described as an archangel in Scripture (Jude 9), but it is common to honor St.s Gabriel and Raphael as archangels also.

 

2) Why are they called “saints” if they’re angels rather than humans?

The word “saint” (Greek, hagios) means “holy one.”

It does not mean “holy human being.” As a result, it...READ MORE

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Did God Deceive Jeremiah?

Sunday, August 31, 2014 1:13 PM Comments (52)

Did God really "dupe" Jeremiah? How could an all-good God do that?

The readings you heard at Mass on Sunday say that God “duped” Jeremiah.

Wait . . . what?

How could an all-holy God “dupe” or deceive anybody?

What’s going on here?

 

Let’s Start with the Text

The readings for the 22nd Sunday of Ordinary Time (Year A), contain a passage from Jeremiah, which reads, in part:

You duped me, O LORD, and I let myself be duped;
you were too strong for me, and you triumphed.
All the day I am an object of laughter;
everyone mocks me [Jer. 20:7].

“Duped”?

Okay, let’s start by noting that “duped” is a tin-eared translation. The word is too colloquial and comes of as jarring in this context.

How does the verse read in other translations? Here it is in the...READ MORE

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About Jimmy Akin

Jimmy Akin
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Jimmy was born in Texas, grew up nominally Protestant, but at age 20 experienced a profound conversion to Christ. Planning on becoming a Protestant pastor or seminary professor, he started an intensive study of the Bible. But the more he immersed himself in Scripture the more he found to support the Catholic faith. Eventually, he entered the Catholic Church. His conversion story, "A Triumph and a Tragedy," is published in Surprised by Truth. Besides being an author, Jimmy is a Senior Apologist at Catholic Answers, a contributing editor to This Rock magazine, and a weekly guest on "Catholic Answers Live."