In the sixth chapter of St. Mark’s Gospel, we find the account of Jesus sending out the Twelve, two by two, on mission. The first thing he gave them, Mark tells us, was “authority over unclean spirits.” The first pastoral act they performed was to “drive out many demons.” When I was coming of age in the 60's and 70's, it was common, even in seminaries, to dismiss such talk as primitive superstition or perhaps to modernize it and make it a literary device, using symbolic language evocative of the struggle with evil in the abstract.
Why don’t we follow all the laws of the Old Testament regarding circumcision, kosher diet, etc.? Didn’t Jesus say that not a jot or tittle of the law would pass away?
The Torah, or law in Hebrew, was put in place to keep the community holy and to distinguish it from all other people. It also pointed toward and prepared for the ushering in of the new creation promised by God through the prophets. For Christians, Jesus is this long anticipated new creation. In other words, the law, or Torah, was consummated in Christ. The law has not passed away, but has been fulfilled.
The heartbreaking account of the martyrdom of Perpetua and Felicity was written by Perpetua herself and continues to mystify and edify Christians today.
St. Perpetua became a Christian in 203 A.D. during a period of persecution. Her father was against her decision and attempted to dissuade her.
In an earlier issue, we looked at why the Church teaches us to reject contraception. I’ve received some shorter questions on the topic and will hit as many as I can here.
Isn’t NFP simply the same as contraception?
Not at all. The Priests For Life website gives us some great reasons why:
As we celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Diocese of Lansing, and the Year of Faith and Year of Prayer, Sister Ann will be writing about the rich tradition of various Catholic devotions throughout the year. This month, she explores the Morning Offering.
(For a prayer card containing various Catholic devotions, including a guide to saying the rosary, please visit www.faithmag.com)