Lay Witness Magazine

Ask CUF: Does the Church Teach Universal Salvation?

My sister frequently mentions her belief in universal salvation for everyone. She is quoting from the early Church Fathers, even quoting statements by Bl. John Paul II and other popes. I need some guidance in this area. Please help me. The traditional understanding of salvation is that those who die in relationship with God go to heaven (some through purgatory) while those who reject God go to hell. The Church has not concluded that anybody is actually in hell, but maintains the real possibility. Universalism adds that the love of God and His desire for all to be saved is … Continue reading

Bait the Hook: Unobtrusive Evangelization

Chris Sparks From the Nov/Dec 2011 Issue of Lay Witness Magazine You’re sitting on a plane, hoping there’s no problem with the luggage, that the flight attendant will bring another round of snacks, wondering if that clanking noise is normal. Then the person next to you turns and says, “Is it alright if I ask you . . . what’s that book about?” If you are prepared, this could be one more success in the new evangelization. And you wouldn’t have to knock on doors or stand on street corners to do it. But where to start? (God and) Me … Continue reading

Book Reviews – November/December 2011

Various From the Nov/Dec 2011 Issue of Lay Witness Magazine Into Your Hands, Father: Abandoning Ourselves to the God Who Loves Us By Fr. Wilfrid Stinssen (Ignatius, 2011) “God makes use of evil in such a superb way and with such skill that the result is better than if there had never been evil.” This quote, which comes less than three pages into chapter one, gives some indication of the challenges the reader will work through in the short but profound book Into Your Hands, Father: Abandoning Ourselves to the God Who Loves Us. The author, Carmelite Fr. Wilfrid Stinissen, … Continue reading

His Heart, the Heart of the New Evangelization

Katheryn Jean Lopez From the Nov/Dec 2011 Issue of Lay Witness Magazine Whole countries and nations where religion and the Christian life were formerly flourishing and capable of fostering a viable and working community of faith, are now put to a hard test, and in some cases, are even undergoing a radical transformation, as a result of a constant spreading of an indifference to religion, of secularism, and atheism. This particularly concerns countries and nations of the so-called First World, in which economic well-being and consumerism, even if coexistent with a tragic situation of poverty and misery, inspires and sustains … Continue reading

Living Between the Now and Not Yet

Paul Abbe From the Nov/Dec 2011 Issue of Lay Witness Magazine The Catholic Church marks time in a way different from the world around it. Our calendar is liturgical, and our New Year’s Day is not January first. Rather, our new year begins on the first Sunday of the liturgical season of Advent. Advent (from the Latin, “to come”) is a season of preparation and anticipation, a time of longing, waiting, and watching for the long-promised Messiah who is to come. Thus we sing a hymn in which every phrase echoes a deep longing of the heart: “O Come, O … Continue reading

Looking at a Masterpiece: The Nativity

by Guest Columnist James Monti Federico Barocci (c. 1535-1612) was a promising Italian artist in his late twenties when he was stricken with an incurable illness that brought his painting to a standstill. In desperation, he turned to the Blessed Virgin Mary, begging her to intercede for him. The Queen of Heaven responded swiftly. Although Barocci was never fully cured, he soon recovered sufficiently to resume his painting. In gratitude, he painted as a votive offering to Mary a depiction of her clasping the Christ Child, with St. John the Apostle kneeling at her feet. Thereafter Barocci produced one religious … Continue reading

Master Catechist: Pope John Paul Speaks to Americans

Fr. John A. Hardon, S.J., with Michael Mohr From the Nov/Dec 2011 Issue of Lay Witness Magazine Servant of God Fr. John Hardon identifies the most distinctive virtue of Christianity as selfless love of God and selfless love of others out of love for God. Like reproduces like. He calls it the “iron law of spiritual reproductivity, that we shall be conduits of divine grace to generate loving Christians in the degree that we are personally living loving Christian lives.” It is our duty to God and country, and our most effective method of evangelization. —Michael Mohr During [one of … Continue reading

Math and Mystery

Fr. James Wehner From the Nov/Dec 2011 Issue of Lay Witness Magazine Let’s begin with a test. We’ll make it multiple-choice. When you hear the word, “evangelization,” what’s the first image that comes to mind? A. Two men dressed in black pants, white shirts, and narrow black ties traversing your block? B. The earnest face of a friend, sipping coffee, and inquiring if you’ve accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior? C. An energetic preacher, standing in front of a large crowd, passing out tracts on the “sinner’s prayer.” D. Sunday Mass at your parish. Let me guess . … Continue reading

Mother, Mystic, Missionary: Bl. Marie Guyart of the Incarnation

Michael J. Miller From the Nov/Dec 2011 Issue of Lay Witness Magazine The city of Tours in central France was already noteworthy in the days of the Gallic tribes as a crossing point over the Loire River. It became part of the Roman Empire in the first century. Over the next three hundred years its strategic and commercial importance grew by leaps and bounds until it was a provincial metropolis with a large amphitheater. By then Christianity had become established in the province, and in 370 AD a former soldier named Martin, who had once cut his cloak in half … Continue reading

Open Mike: Taking the Evangelization Initiative

Mike Sullivan From the Nov/Dec 2011 Issue of Lay Witness Magazine We all have experienced the sad reality of friends or loved ones who have fallen away from the Catholic faith. It seems that everyone I talk with has one or several family members who have drifted into apathy or converted to some other religion. There are obviously many reasons for this, and all-too-often it is the result of a misunderstanding or misplaced frustration toward the Church or a pastor. This problem is compounded by constant, vicious attacks on the Church by the mainstream media and educational establishments. A good … Continue reading