July 26 is the feast of Joachim and Anna. Who are they and what do we know about them?

07-22-2018Why do we do that?

Joachim and Anna are the parents of Mary, the mother of Jesus, yet there is absolutely no biblical reference to them whatsoever. So where do we get their names, and what is their story?

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What is the difference between mortal and venial sin?

07-15-2018Why do we do that?

Sin is a deliberate thought, word, action, or omission contrary to God's law. Since the beginnings of the Church, sin has been distinguished by its gravity. "Grave matter" is traditionally defined by the Ten Commandments. If a person commits a grave sin with full knowledge of the action's evil and with the complete consent of their will, this is a mortal sin. The effects of mortal sin are grave - the loss of sanctifying grace, which can be restored by a fresh outpouring of God's mercy in the sacrament of Reconciliation.

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God knows everything we do, why do we need to go to Confession?

07-08-2018Why do we do that?

Another term for the Sacrament of Confession is the Sacrament of Reconciliation. We go to this sacrament not only to confess our sins, but to be reconciled with God. Of course, this begs the question, "If I can pray to God on my own, why can't I be reconciled to God on my own?" In the seven sacraments, we recognize the importance of community. Sacraments like Baptism or Matrimony happen in the context of the wider church to remind us of the communal impact of our lives. We are not alone in our walk of faith!

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There seems to be a lot of division in some Christian churches over moral issues, especially abortion, ordination, and end-of-life care. If all Christians follow the Gospel of Jesus, why is there such a difference of opinion?

07-01-2018Why do we do that?

There is always a struggle between culture and religion, and part of that struggle is politics. To be politically correct means that you must embrace the secular virtue of the moment so that you are "enlightened," "sensitive," "aware," and, most importantly, "open-minded." Unfortunately, common sense can be sacrificed in the race to be "PC."

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June 24 celebrates the feast of the Nativity of Saint John the Baptist. How was that date chosen and why?

06-24-2018Why do we do that?

The date set for John the Baptist's birth only came into existence once the date to celebrate Jesus' birth was set. Evidence shows that by the middle of the fourth century Christians were celebrating the birth of Jesus around December 25. No one at that time knew when Jesus was born, but the date seemed to be selected to counter the Roman festival to the sun god.Once December 25 had been selected for the birth of Jesus, a number of other dates could be set, using the biblical evidence at hand. When the angel appeared to Mary and she conceived, her cousin, Elizabeth, the mother of John the Baptist, was in her sixth month.

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