8 things you need to know about Easter Sunday

03/26/2016 Comments (1)

The great day has finally arrived! Here are 8 things you need to know about Easter . . .

The great day is finally here: Easter, the most important day of the Christian calendar. More important even than Christmas.

What happened on this day?

Was Jesus' resurrection a real, historical event?

How does the Church celebrate this day?

Is Easter a pagan holiday?

Here are 8 things you need to know.

 

1. What happened on Easter?

Among other things:

  • The women went to the tomb to anoint Jesus' body.
  • They saw angels, who told them he wasn't there.
  • They went to tell the apostles, who initially didn't believe them.
  • Peter and the beloved disciple rushed to see the tomb and found it empty.
  • Mary Magdalen, in particular, had an encounter with the risen Christ.
  • So did the...READ MORE

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12 things you need to know about Holy Saturday

03/25/2016 Comments (4)

On Holy Saturday the earth waits in stillness for the Resurrection of the Lord. Here are 12 things you need to know about it.

Everytime we say the creed, we note that Jesus "descended into hell."

Holy Saturday is the day that commemorates this event.

What happened on this day, and how do we celebrate it?

Here are 12 things you need to know.

 

1. What happened on the first Holy Saturday?

Here on earth, Jesus' disciples mourned his death and, since it was a sabbath day, they rested.

Luke notes that the women returned home "and prepared spices and ointments. On the sabbath they rested according to the commandment" (Luke 23:56).

At the tomb, the guards that had been stationed there kept watch over the place to make sure that the disciples did not steal Jesus' body.

Meanwhile . . .

 

2. What happened to...READ MORE

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9 things you need to know about Good Friday

03/24/2016 Comments (2)

Good Friday is the most somber day of the Christian year. Here are 9 things you need to know . . .

Good Friday is the most somber day of the Christian year.

It is the day our Savior died for us.

It is the day we were redeemed from our sins by the voluntary death of God Himself at the hands of man.

Here are 9 things you need to know.

 

1. Why is this day called "Good Friday"

It's not for the reason you might think.

Despite the fact that "good" is a common English word, tempting us to say the name is based on the fact that something very good (our redemption) happened on this day, that's not where the name comes from.

Precisely where it does come from is disputed. The Catholic Encyclopedia explains:

The origin of the term Good is not clear. Some say it is from "God's Friday" (...READ MORE

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10 things you need to know about Holy Thursday

03/23/2016 Comments (2)

Holy Thursday was one of the most important days in all of history. It was a pivotal day in the life of Jesus Christ. Here are 10 things you should know about it and how we celebrate it today.

Every single Mass, we hear the words "on the night he was betrayed."

That night was Holy Thursday, and it is one of the most important nights in all of history.

Here are 10 things you need to know.

 

1. What happened on the original Holy Thursday?

An amazing amount of stuff! This was one of the most pivotal days in the life of Jesus Christ.

Here are some of the things the gospels record for this day (including events that happened after midnight). Jesus:

  • Sent Peter and John to arrange for them to use the Upper Room to hold the Passover meal.
  • Washed the apostles' feet.
  • Held the first Mass.
  • Instituted the priesthood.
  • Announced that Judas would betray him.
  • Gave the "new...READ MORE

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6 things you need to know about Triduum

03/22/2016 Comment

What is Triduum, and why is it so important?

We are about to leave Lent and enter the liturgical season known as "Triduum."

What is this season, and why is it does the Church say that it is "the culmination of the entire liturgical year"?

Here are 6 things you need to know.

 

1. What does "Triduum" mean?

It comes from Latin roots that mean, essentially, "the three days" or "period of three days" (tri- = three, -dies = days).

Today it refers to the liturgical season that follows Lent and precedes the Easter season.

According to the main document governing the celebrations connected with Easter, Paschales Solemnitatis:

38. . . . This time is called "the triduum of the crucified, buried and risen"; it is also called the "Easter...READ MORE

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What does science say about the darkness during the Crucifixion?

03/20/2016 Comments (26)

What does science suggest about the darkness that occurred during Jesus' Crucifixion?

What does science say about the darkness during the Crucifixion?

This Sunday I winced when we got to the following line in the Gospel reading:

It was now about noon and darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon because of an eclipse of the sun (Luke 23:44-45).

“An eclipse of the sun”? Really? Surely the translators of the New American Bible, which we hear at Mass, didn’t render the passage that way!

But they did.

Sigh.

Here’s why I had the reaction I did . . .

 

How the Moon Works

Luna—or “the moon” (as anyone who’s ever lived there calls it)—orbits the earth every 29.5 days. It also rotates on its axis once every 29.5 days.

That’s not a bizarre coincidence....READ MORE

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Palm (Passion) Sunday: 9 Things to Know and Share!

03/17/2016 Comment

Why is Jesus' entry into Jerusalem so important? What is going on here?

Palm Sunday--or is it Passion Sunday?--marks the beginning of Holy Week.

This day commemorates not one but two very significant events in the life of Christ.

Here are 9 things you need to know.

 

1. What is this day called?

The day is called both "Palm Sunday" and "Passion Sunday."

The first name comes from the fact that it commemorates Jesus' triumphal entry into Jerusalem, when the crowd had palm branches (John 12:13).

The second name comes from the fact that the narrative of the Passion is read on this Sunday (it otherwise wouldn't be read on a Sunday, since the next Sunday is about the Resurrection).

According to the main document on the celebration of the feasts connected with...READ MORE

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The Scandal of "Preachy Prayers"

03/06/2016 Comments (13)

Have you ever felt someone was trying to manipulate you by what they were praying on your behalf?

Have you ever felt someone was preaching at you under the guise of praying to God?

Did it turn you off?

Make you feel manipulated?

You were right.

 

That We May What?

Many dioceses are currently conducting their annual Catholic appeal for various diocesan needs.

Fine. They need to do that.

But the way this works out at the parish level can leave something to be desired.

For example, at St. Nameless the Ambiguous’s Parish they’ve been having an entry in the prayers of the faithful which goes like this:

Petition: That we may respond generously to the annual Catholic appeal . . .

Response: Lord, hear our prayer.

I cringe when I hear this—and other prayers like it

 

“Preachy...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 the Senior Apologist at Catholic Answers, a contributing editor to Catholic Answers Magazine, and a weekly guest on "Catholic Answers Live."