The Road To Emmaus: The Faith Understood: An Interview With Mark Zia S. T. D.

The Year of Faith may be coming to an end, but that doesn’t mean we must also put a stop to the deepening of our faith. Even for lifelong Catholics, the study of our faith should be an endless endeavor. With The Faith Understood: An Introduction to Catholic Theology, both converts and cradle Catholics alike will benefit from the systematic overview of essentials. Authored by Mark Zia, an associate professor of Theology at Benedictine College in Atchison, Kansas, The Faith Understood is a “good fruit” cultivated during the Year of Faith to be enjoyed for years to come. Should Catholics … Continue reading

The Pope Speaks: The Light of Faith

In the Bible, the heart is the core of the human person, where all his or her different dimensions intersect: body and spirit, interiority and openness to the world and to others, intellect, will and affectivity. If the heart is capable of holding all these dimensions together, it is because it is where we become open to truth and love, where we let them touch us and deeply transform us. Faith transforms the whole person precisely to the extent that he or she becomes open to love. Through this blending of faith and love we come to see the kind … Continue reading

Open Mike: The Pope Said What?

Over the past few months, CUF has received numerous phone calls and letters from our members who are confused about various statements made by our Holy Father Francis. When the next inevitable misrepresentation of Pope Francis comes through your newsfeed or flashes on your television screen, here are seven points to keep in mind while critically evaluating what you see, hear, and read: Begin with skepticism when you’re listening to the secular media. Renowned literary critic Harold Bloom is famous for advising readers to approach fiction with a “willing suspension of disbelief.” The opposite is true with media coverage of … Continue reading

The Hostess Diaries: Lessons In Catholic Hospitality: The Perfect Wedding

I’m a girl. And a girly-girl at that. I’m supposed to like weddings. And I do, at least in theory. In theory, I love how a community comes together to celebrate a man and woman becoming one flesh. I also love that through that celebration, people recognize marriage not only as a sacrament for one man and one woman, but also, in a sense, as a sacrament for the community. Graces, after all, come to a community through marriage—through the love between a man and a woman, through the children that love creates, and through the bonds forged between newly … Continue reading

“I Thirst”: Mother Teresa’s Devotion to the Thirst of Jesus

When visiting a chapel of the Missionaries of Charity—the religious order Bl. Mother Teresa founded—one is immediately struck by the simplicity, indeed the austerity, of the sacred space. There are no chairs, pews, or kneelers. The sisters take their shoes off before entering the chapel and sit or kneel on the bare floor. Typically, there are no ornate pieces of religious art. Just a gold tabernacle behind the altar and a statue of Our Lady in one corner. The image that stands out most is a large crucifix behind the altar and the stark words painted in bold, black capital … Continue reading


(Image, 2013) Mary is often put forward as the ideal role model for Christians, but seldom in so engaging a manner as in Walking with Mary: A Biblical Journey from Nazareth to the Cross, by Edward Sri. Through the exegesis of significant dialogues and cryptic events, Sri shows readers that Mary is truly one of us, a fellow human being who faced choices, trials, and uncertainty. The author presents her life in nine “steps”, a series of invitations from God to become more deeply united with Him. At the Annunciation, the wedding at Cana, and other pivotal times, she faced … Continue reading

Unwrapping the Gift of Faith

Faith is the very foundation of the Christian life. Faith is our response to the gift of revelation that God freely offers to us through Christ. It is not just mere intellectual activity, or the simple acceptance of something as true that cannot be “proven.” Rather, it is the complete submission of our intellect and will to God who reveals Himself and offers salvation to us. It is an offering up to our Creator, a rending open of our hearts and minds to Him so that we may fully receive all that He desires to give us. Our response of … Continue reading

Looking at a Masterpiece: The Adoration of the Shepherds

Domenico Ghirlandaio (1449-1494), one of the great Renaissance artists, painted this masterpiece (1485) for the Sassetti Chapel in the basilica of Santa Trinita in Florence. Later the young Michelangelo became his apprentice. Ghirlandaio’s painting was probably inspired by the Flemish artist Hugo van der Goes’ Portinari altarpiece in its attention to detail and its “realist handling” of the three shepherds on the right, the one with brown hair being the artist’s self-portrait. This masterpiece is superbly rich in detail and symbolism. However, rather than unravel its marvelous complexity I will try to discern its overall spirit, what its beauty tells … Continue reading

Letter from H. Lyman Stebbins, Christmas 1973

Editor’s note: On May 9th of 1973, Pope Paul VI proclaimed a Holy Year Jubilee for 1975. The celebratory year began on Pentecost Sunday of 1973 and continued through the year 1975. The Church was encouraged to use the time for renewal and reconciliation. CUF founder H. Lyman Stebbins wrote the following letter acknowledging the Holy Year forty years ago, yet his entreaty to zeal and humility is deeply relevant to our lives today.   Dear Friends,   Please let it be recorded hereafter in heaven that, whatever we in CUF may have done or failed to do, we did … Continue reading

The O Antiphons: Prayers of a Waiting World

Although Advent is regarded by many in the Church as a “favorite” or, even, the most beautiful of the Cycle of Seasons, it is also, perhaps, the most neglected time of the Church’s year of prayer and celebration. In some places, a tendency to regard Advent as a sort of “Little Lent” has endured; in others, Advent is blurred into the celebration of Christ’s birth, becoming a pre-Christmas season that doesn’t respect Advent’s unique character or opportunities for prayer and spiritual enrichment. In its document Norms Governing Liturgical Calendars (promulgated by Pope Paul VI in 1969), the Sacred Congregation of … Continue reading