Recently the Shroud of Turin went on display for the first time in many years. Over two million pilgrims came to view and venerate the mysterious image imprinted there—among them the Holy Father himself. The Shroud reveals the power of an image. Like all Christian art, it shows us that he who created us in his image knows we need images to understand the reality they reflect.
What is happiness? That is the question raised by a fifth-century Roman philosopher named Boethius. He pondered the answer in prison, facing execution. Though his Consolation seems absent of Christian doctrine, in Boethius’ dialogue with Philosophy, we see that man’s final end is the good that has but one source: God.
Can converts and apologists be formed within prison walls? Lots of convicts "find Jesus"—for a while, say skeptics. But those who labor behind bars to help fellow inmates recognize Christ’s true Church and join it often tell a different tale.
In Evangelium Vitae John Paul II declared the need for capital punishment to be "rare, if not practically nonexistent." His statement created controversy in some quarters while strengthening conviction in others. But did it represent a shift in doctrine?
The latest abuse scandals struck the Church like a tsunami, leaving many of the faithful reeling from renewed accusations of cover-up and neglect. But the scandals offer an occasion to reflect on what is wrong—and in some cases right—in the Church and in the surrounding culture. Does this signal the return of Church discipline?
~ Maximus, martyr, saint, about A.D. 250, in answer to the demand of the civil authorities for sacrifice to the pagan gods; a test in common use as belief in a single Godhead was known to be definitive in the early Christian community; thus any Christian might be called on to seal with his blood his faith in the One God. (See: The Blessed Trinity)