Most Catholics know the story of the Maid of Orléans. Few, however, have all the facts about the remarkable role she played in the history of civilization. Behind the myth is a true story of extraordinary piety and courage.
We live in difficult times—times that require us to be joyful warriors in God’s army. But it’s easy to allow ourselves to become battle-weary and to succumb to anger, bitterness, and rancor. But it is especially difficult times that call for saints of serenity and joy who can rebuild the Church and the culture.
How can an atheist explain love? After all, if there is no God and no spiritual realm, then all that exists is the material world. Biology may be able to explain sexual impulses, but it cannot adequately explain love. So an atheist who genuinely loves another person isn’t as far from God as he may think. Love inevitably leads to God.
When it comes to the tough questions, we want to go to a reliable authority for answers, but how do we know if the authority is reliable? One sign that the Catholic Church’s authority is genuine is that its teachings are intellectually challenging yet accessible to the simplest people; its adherents include the greatest minds in history and simple peasants.
"Where the bishop is, there is the community, even as where Christ is, there is the Catholic Church."
~ Ignatius of Antioch (Smyrn., viii, 2) circa A.D. 110, laid down this principle on true union with the Church, versus schism; all the more impressive because his casual use of the word "Catholic" demonstrates the widespread acceptance of the term at a very early date.