Theology is the study of God, coming from the combination of the Greek words: theos (god) + logia (study). Theology's end is twofold: love of God and neighbor. However, many think that the subject is irrelevant to today’s culture. Surprisingly, theology is very pertinent to daily living, and is important for every Catholic—whether a scholar or not.
A lay person can enjoy theology because he/she is able to respond to “being in love”:
“O that you would kiss me with the kisses of your mouth! Make haste, my beloved...” (Song of Solomon, 1:1-8:14)
The main purpose of studying theology is the desire of being an amazing lover! The theologian's whole life is a romance. This life-long adventure gives purpose: being wholly consumed in the deepest love, the love of God. Being a "theologian" is not limited to reading, writing, or teaching, but actually living. more...
Every person was uniquely created to participate in the Kingdom of God; we know this because God said to Jeremiah: “Before you were in the womb, I knew you.” (Jeremiah 1:5) This indicates Divine Providence, a plan for each of God’s creatures. However, unlike robots, He did not “program” us to respond to His plans in an autonomous way. This is because God wants us to freely choose to love Him.
“God, infinitely perfect and blessed in Himself, in a plan of sheer goodness freely created man to make him a share in His own blessed life.” (CCC 1)
The ability to choose to love or reject Him also means that we are responsible for the consequences—good and bad— of all we do. For instance, if we choose to overindulge in sweets, God isn’t going to step in and “magically” undo the effects. He is like a good parent who allows His children to discover and explore; He wants us to learn how to recognize and act for not just the perceived good (instant gratification of taste), but the actual good (health and longevity of life). Also, like a good parent, He doesn’t leave us “unguided”. Thus, while He allows us to make our own choices, He never turns a blind eye to us, but gives us the tools and gifts we need to make informed decisions. more...
Sacraments are the outwards signs that were instituted by Jesus Christ to give grace, that is, they give the capability to respond to God’s general and specific call for our lives. Our general call is to know, to love, and to serve God, our Creator. Our specific call is the particular way that we are to do this using our unique talents.
“The fruit of the sacramental life is that the Spirit of adoption makes the faithful partakers in divine n ature by uniting them in a living union with the only Son, the Savior.” (CCC 1129)
In total, the Catholic Church offers her members seven direct means of grace: Baptism, Confirmation, Reconciliation (Penance/Confession), Eucharist, Matrimony, Holy Orders, and Anointing of the Sick (Extreme Unction). The are efficacious only because, “in them Christ himself is at work: it is He who baptizes, he who acts in his sacraments in order to communicate the grace each sacrament signifies.” (CCC 1127) more...
Have you ever weeded Raspberries only to discover that ant obnoxious weed growing up with them are Nettles— those horrific stinging plants? This is a survival tactic. Nettles closely resemble the Raspberry leaves, including its texture. By looking like the “wanted” plant, it is more likely to remain and steal nutrients
In a similar way, evil presents itself as a good, or intermingles with the good, so that it can stay alive in our lives. However, ultimately, it will always seek to choke the good and replace it. For instance, eating is a good; it is something that sustains us. Pleasant tastes are also a good. But when we forget that the purpose of eating is to perpetuate our life, and instead eat or drink for the purpose of experiencing pleasure, then eventually our bodies become accustom to the doctoring and the over indulgence of sweets, salt, fat, alcohol, etc.,.— factors in obesity, diabetes, cancer, and other diseases. more...
Everyone dreams of being excellent: some in their physique, some in their clothing style, while others are focused on technology, talent, careers, financial security, relationships and many other things. Yes, some joy may be presently found in the accumulation of these goods and in the achievements of certain goals, however, eventually honors, objects, and even health can be taken away. For unfortunately, nothing lasts. In fact, all that is material will eventually deteriorate. Records will be surpassed. Even relationships are not guaranteed. So then, lasting happiness, if it exists, is something that cannot be trumped, or be taken away. This happiness will reside in the things that can never break down or cease; that is, genuine happiness includes the eternal: accomplishments of the soul, in particular, spiritual excellence. more...
Imagine that you are on a battlefield. There are men fighting in close combat: sword to sword. As you take in your surroundings, you notice that one man is running into battle swinging his arms around and boldly attacking. He opens his body up in a very vulnerable way, taking no account of his own personal peril. He is stabbed and falls to the ground. You are shocked at the lack of conscious personal preservation.
You also notice another man. He is of a different sort altogether. Hiding behind a massive rock, you see him trembling; he makes no effort to join the battle or to even navigate safely through to advance with his countrymen. He is paralyzed by his own fear and doesn’t notice an enemy sneaking up behind him. He is fatally wounded. His cowardice killed him.
Another man captures your attention. He moves with caution, but every step is confident. He attacks the enemies closest to him, and takes shelter often, moving with his battalion; he is aware of what is going on around him, neither making himself unnecessarily vulnerable, nor abandoning his duty. His actions are wise and his survival more likely. more...
Jesus asks that His disciples to “pray unceasingly.” (Luke 21:36) This is a hard command and requires great discipline in both the mind and body. Essentially to pray unceasingly is to “be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect,” (Matt 5:48) for it is constantly keeping at the forefront of one’s mind and heart the twofold commandment: “love God and your neighbor.” (Luke 10:27) Prayer is putting these commandments into action.
To aid in a personal and perpetual active relationship with God, the Church has Mass offered daily; this is the highest form of prayer. Additionally, the Church has laid out holy hours to bring her members into prayer all throughout the day and night. These moments are called the “holy hours” or “Divine Office". These hourly prayers are divided into four categories: morning (lauds, terce), daytime (sext, none), evening (vespers, compline) and night prayers (matins).
“From ancient times the Church has had the custom of celebrating each day the liturgy of the hours. In this way the Church fulfills the Lord’s precept to pray without ceasing, at once offering its praise to God the Father and interceding for the salvation of the world.” – Office of the Sacred Congregation for Divine Worship. more...