Lay Witness Magazine

Ask CUF: Can Non-Catholics Enter Heaven?

Recently my brother and I entered a heated discussion over whether, with the Second Vatican Council, the Church’s consistent teaching about salvation has changed. The specific reference is to the phrase “Outside the Church there is no salvation” (extra ecclesiam nulla salus). He cited texts from previous popes on the subject which seem to make no allowance for non-baptized Catholics to enter the gates of heaven. I was saddened that he appeared to take such delight in consigning whole groups of people to hell, based on the aforementioned texts. What am I to make of this? Was my brother correct? … Continue reading

Christ Saves Us from Sin and Leads Us to Life

Readings for the Third Sunday of Easter Reading 1: Acts 3:13-15, 17-19 Responsorial Psalm: Ps. 4:2, 4, 7-8, 9 Reading 2: 1 Jn. 2:1-5a Gospel: Lk. 24:35-48   By Fr. Rich Perozich During the great season of Lent, Holy Mother Church guides both the faithful and catechumens through six weeks of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. Our prayerful reflection on personal iniquity, sin, and transgression brings an awareness of a human nature damaged by original sin. It reveals our utter dependence on salvation through cooperation with the grace given freely by Jesus in the Paschal Mystery. Then during the Sacred Triduum, … Continue reading

Finding Your Faith Story

Watch kids on a trampoline sometime. It’s designed to launch them into the air like leaping frogs. The ordinary kids are in flight, doing backflips and forward rolls. Suddenly they are miniature Peter Pans or Peter Parker Spidermen who can fly. Believe it or not, that’s what religion is supposed to do for ordinary folks. It’s supposed to give us wings. Unfortunately we have turned our religion into exactly the opposite. Instead of a trampoline it has become an easy chair. We have used our religion to support our comfortable lives. We were supposed to launch out on an adventure … Continue reading

For Love of Truth

Those persecuted for righteousness’ sake, Christ promised us, will inherit the kingdom of God. Given the cultural climate, we’d do well to meditate on this promise and prepare ourselves for battle. Take for example the recent incident that erupted in Charlotte, North Carolina. Nashville Dominican Sr. Jane Dominic Laurel gave a presentation at a Catholic high school on the Church’s teaching about marriage, family life, and sexuality. The youthful and engaging Sister, who earned a doctorate in Sacred Theology from the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas in Rome, presented on the theme, “Masculinity and Femininity: Difference and Gift.” Because … Continue reading

Fr. Robert I. Bradley, S.J. 1924-2013: Requiescat In Pace

“A good and holy priest has gone to God.” These words by Jim Likoudis reference the recent passing of Fr. Robert I. Bradley, S.J, the first and longest spiritual director of Catholics United for the Faith. Fr. Bradley died at the Jesuit Center in Los Gatos, CA, on December 20, 2013 at the age of 89. Fr. Bradley was born in Spokane, Washington on May 15, 1924 and entered the Society of Jesus in 1941. After studying theology at the University of Louvain in Belgium, he was ordained to the priesthood on the feast of the Assumption, August 15, 1955. … Continue reading

Looking at a Masterpiece: The Lamentation of Christ

This fresco by Giotto di Bondone in the Scrovegni Chapel in Padua was painted circa 1305. Giotto’s style heralded a new development in the art of the late Middle Ages. The sacred art of the Byzantine period which preceded it had a solemn and holy beauty of its own, but was two-dimensional, immobile, and largely symbolic. Giotto initiated a more natural, emotionally expressive human style, which was–it seems–inspired by the spirituality of St. Francis of Assisi, Giotto being a thirdorder Franciscan himself. St. Francis brought a new focus on, and a richer perception of, the great mystery of the Incarnation–God … Continue reading

Lord, Teach Us to Pray

“Historically, every renewal of the Church was preceded by a renewal of contemplation or mental prayer.” This, according to Dr. Anthony Lilles, is the essential purpose of the Avila Institute for Spiritual Formation. Lilles and co-founder Dan Burke have established this online Institute, which is fully faithful to the Magisterium, to help people advance in the knowledge of their Catholic faith, but more importantly in their relationship with Jesus Christ. The Avila Institute provides a two to four year Masters’ level program and undergraduate studies in spiritual theology. At the same time, it is perfectly suited for those with or … Continue reading

Master Catechist: Penance and Reparation

Fr. Hardon reminds us that the spirit of Lent is the spirit of Christ Crucified. There are two guiding principles for the observance of Lent. We are to grow in our love of Jesus Crucified and practice extra penance. In practicing penance, we should keep in mind that there are two levels of reparation—for our own and other people’s sins. We are to expiate the guilt incurred by failing in one’s love for God, and we are to repair the harm done by disobeying the will of God. —Michael Mohr Penance and reparation are the consequence of sin. In order … Continue reading

Navigating the Life of Prayer: On Seeking the Lord Diligently

In the first rooms of her Interior Castle, St. Teresa of Avila responds to a concern expressed in her time; namely, that she should not reveal the intimate details of the reality of what it means to have an increasingly intense, purifying, and vivifying experience of God. It seems she had received some kind of accusation of sensationalism regarding her astounding experiences of God in prayer. Her opponent’s criticism was that “these things seem impossible, and [it] is good not to scandalize the weak.” Her answer is important and worth pondering. The most important point to our discussion is this … Continue reading

Open Mike: Give Thanks for Lent!

The CUF staff recently had a retreat with our spiritual director, Bishop Jeffrey Monforton of the Diocese of Steubenville, and our chaplain, Father Jonas Shell. Reflecting on generosity, Bishop Monforton presented three kinds of giving: grudge-giving, duty-giving, and thanksgiving. Grudge-giving takes place when one feels compelled to give but does so with resentment. Duty-giving is done out of a sense of obligation, because one ought to give. Unlike these first two, thanks-giving springs forth from a sense of gratitude for the blessings one has received. Thanks-giving is an act of love, offered freely from a generous heart. This attitude can … Continue reading