In 2016, Pope Francis raised the rank of today’s celebration of Mary Magdalene from Memorial to Feast in the liturgical calendar. This means that not only will the special readings for the day be proclaimed, but the Gloria will be prayed, and, for the first time ever, a special Preface to the Eucharistic Prayer will be included in the celebration of the Mass.
In the previous installments of this series, I described preaching as a relationship that leads to an encounter with God. But what constitutes “good” preaching? Can it really change people’s lives? How we define “good” preaching affects both how preachers evaluate themselves and how listeners respond in feedback. If preacher and parishioner are to work together to renew Catholic preaching, then what does “good” mean?
During a recent conversation with an acquaintance of mine, I found myself striving at all costs to evangelize via information. This person recently shared that they were interested in exploring multiple denominations of Christianity, curious to seek out the Truth after only ever knowing one particular theology. After a few discussions, I learned that this individual was holding a certain belief about God that I personally thought fell short. In turn, getting excited about the potential of their conversion and feeling a responsibility to instruct, I combated my friend’s theological idea with numerous scriptural references. This approach, unfortunately, did not produce the results I had hoped for. Instead, I fell right into a trap known as the “righting reflex”—a trap that I, as a counselor, have been trained to avoid.
Social media (and its potential vices) has been widely discussed since its inception. The conversation has become particularly fractured in the Catholic community—whether or not Catholics ought to take an active role in shaping our online culture is taken up in countless articles, op-eds, and debates. With Lent just around the corner, many people are considering fasting from social media, but it’s worth considering the potential gifts it has to offer the Church as well.
Monday, January 13 marks the one-year anniversary of the launch of the McGrath Institute Blog. Over the past year we have published articles meant to help our readers live and hand on the Catholic faith, especially in the family home and parish. Our writers have shared their personal experiences of faith, provided suggestions for how to deepen one's prayer life, recommended spiritually enriching books, and more. Featured below are the ten most popular posts we published over the past year. Thank you to each one of our readers for following along with us this year and allowing us to share in your journey of faith.