What Makes a Saint?

To be clear, the Church doesn’t “make someone” a saint. The Church recognizes the holiness of certain individuals and honors some with the title of “saint.” If you make it to heaven, you are a saint – whether or not the Church recognizes you as one publicly.

The title of saint is conferred on someone after what is called the canonization process.

Welcome Home: Your Family, The Catholic Church

We come from all types of families, loud, crazy, large, small, broken. Maybe you don’t feel like you have much of a family at home, maybe you feel like your family doesn’t understand you, or maybe you are the only practicing their faith at home.

The Catholic Church is also a family; in fact the Catholic Church is one big family. We are all adopted sons and daughters of God, we all have the same God as Father (Galatians 4:6-7). Which means we are all brothers and sisters in Christ!

The Sidewalk Missionary: My Divine Appointment from Finland

It was a scorching hot summer day. We left the shade of the high Barcelona city buildings and crossed over a plaza on our way to the pier. It was while we were joking around, probably complaining about the heat and our naive decision not to bring water bottles that God provided a divine appointment.

Tattoos: Does the Church Say They’re Taboo?

While we are no longer bound to the ceremonial law, we are still bound to the moral law; that includes honoring your Mother and Father (Exodus 20:12). If you are not yet an adult, respecting and obeying your parents decisions, especially while you are living with them is an essential part of that command. So, are your parents cool with it?

Who’s Right?: When Truth is “Redefined”

Words and definitions are important. We can't really describe and understand the reality that surrounds us without them. So what happens when a higher power- say, the United States judicial system – tries to redefine words? Can that change our reality?

The Supreme Court, Marriage, and You: Understanding and Moving Forward

The Church is clear on her definition of marriage: it's a lifelong, exclusive union between one man and one woman that must be open to the creation of new life. That's not the same definition our culture is embracing, although that's nothing new. It's not even a definition that all American Catholics embrace . . . although that's nothing new, either.

And, as of June 26th, it's not a definition supported by the Supreme Court of the United States.

One of Us

Sometimes even in the Christian realm, we're segregated in a similar fashion. I recently went to a conference with 25,000 Christians who were on fire for God. It was amazing and one of the most powerful worship experiences I've ever had. However, I think my four friends and I were the only Catholics there.

God's not exclusive. He wants all groups, ethnic circles, social classes, to be brought together as one people, unified in love and faith.

Last week, a non-denominational church launched a campaign called: 'Jesus loves you and your tattoo.' They handed out koozies on the gang-filled streets of Detroit with this message. I love that because it is proclaiming the truth that our God didn't come for the cookie-cutter Christians. He came for everyone . . .

A Father Like Francis

I needed Pope Francis.

And not only because I'm part of the Catholic Church and we were without a shepherd . . . I mean I needed him because I'm sinful, and broken, and I need a constant reminder of how to be like Christ.

I have been awestruck by him from the first moment he walked out onto the balcony, to the last news article I read about him.

Jesus’ House Keys: Interesting Facts about the Papacy

There are so many things worthy of mention, but one of the coolest parts about being Catholic has to be the Tradition. We're a Church built on a 2,000 year old foundation, y'all – with Christ, Himself, as our Founder and 'cornerstone' (Ephesians 2:20, 1 Peter 2:6).

There are a lot of opinions and conspiracy 'theories' floating around about the next pope and the papacy, in general, these days. No doubt there is an author somewhere preparing to rewrite history, once again, in a best-seller telling us all about 'what's really happening” behind the closed doors of this papal election.

Still Standing: Church Teaching vs. Changing Trends

Saint Peter died defending a faith that wouldn't submit to any empire. The witness of millions of martyrs over the past 2,000 years gives testimony to faith that is unflinching and love that is stronger than death.

Today when you walk toward St. Peter's Square, you can't help but notice the obelisk that was once a sign of Rome's power. In the past two millennia, empires and kingdoms, presidents and dictators have risen and fallen . . . but the Church remains standing.

D.I.Y. Religion: Do We Need the Catholic Church?

You know religion comes from the word 'religare' meaning 'to bind' – something we may not like. But you know sin? The word sin comes from a German word 'SÌÄ®ÕÌâ_nde' that means 'to sunder' . . . to tear apart . . . to be divided.

And I don't know about you but I have a sundered heart. I have a divided heart. I have a heart with sin and so I need religion because I have division and I need to be bound back together. I need some binding of my own. And I think God's people – we've been sundered – we need religion, we need religare – we need to be bound.

Why Do Catholics Believe the Pope is Infallible?

The word 'infallible' does not mean that the pope is perfect. It also does not mean that the pope knows everything. Instead, infallibility only applies when the pope speaks about solemn, official teachings on faith and morals, and he can’t ever change, add, or subtract Christian doctrine.

He only helps define or explain what we already believe, and he doesn’t do it on his own. The infallible teachings of the Pope are the result of many years – sometimes hundreds of years – of consultation with the other bishops and theologians of the Church. He is, in effect, voicing the belief of the whole Church.

Is Your Faith Dead or Alive?

Every Sunday morning my routine is the same: wake up, brush my teeth, fix my hair, put on a pretty dress, and head to 8:30AM Mass. But sometimes, when 9:30 rolls around, I realize I've completely missed it all. I missed the Creed, the readings, and even Jesus, Himself, coming down from Heaven onto the altar!

Now, I don't mean that I sometimes press the snooze button so many times that I end up missing Mass. I mean I physically show up, but too often I am still spiritually sleeping throughout the entire Mass.

Is Your Faith Dead or Alive?

Every Sunday morning my routine is the same: wake up, brush my teeth, fix my hair, put on a pretty dress, and head to 8:30AM Mass. But sometimes, when 9:30 rolls around, I realize I've completely missed it all. I missed the Creed, the readings, and even Jesus, Himself, coming down from Heaven onto the altar!

Now, I don't mean that I sometimes press the snooze button so many times that I end up missing Mass. I mean I physically show up, but too often I am still spiritually sleeping throughout the entire Mass.

Relationship: The Answer to Jesus vs. Religion

I have to admit I'm a bit late on this one. I realize that the whole 'Jesus vs. Religion' showdown is sooooo last month, but I think it's worth taking another look at.

Who hasn't thought at one point or another about how great it would be to just have Jesus without all the rules and lists of things we're supposed to do? Why do we need all the rules? Why can't we just have Jesus without all the obligations? Sure, Jesus spoke often about the importance of following His commands (Luke 8:21) but why do we even need religion then? Why do we need labels and definitions? Why can't we just be close to Him and not worry about all the details?