Your guide to reading the Old Testament

The Bible is made up of two parts—the Old Testament and the New Testament. The Old Testament is a set of books that was written before the life of Jesus. The New Testament is a set of books that was written after Jesus’ death. The Old Testament is sometimes also called the Hebrew Bible because most of it was originally composed in ancient Hebrew. However, some books were written in Aramaic or Greek, so the name is not completely accurate. The Old Testament is also sometimes referred to as the Jewish Scriptures because the bulk of it is drawn from the sacred texts of the Jewish people. However, that’s not completely accurate, either, because the Catholic Old Testament includes some texts that the Jewish people do not consider to be sacred. The Old Testament contains 46 books, which can be divided into four parts: Torah (or Pentateuch) Historical Books Wisdom Books Prophetic Books Torah “Torah” is roughly translated as “law,” but it has a more complex meaning. The law of Moses (which is extremely condensed into the Ten Commandments) was given to the ancient Israelites by God. The law is meant to show the Jewish people a right way of [...]

The surprising gospel message of the Green Lantern

In the climactic scene of Green Lantern, test-pilot-turned-superhero, Hal Jordan, leads his mortal enemy, Parallax, toward the sun, hoping that the gravitational pull will suck the monster toward a point of no return. Parallax is the personification of evil—a giant mash up of Medusa, octopus, and factory smoke. Parallax gets his power from the energy of fear. He induces fear in everyone he encounters, feeds on their fear, and grows larger from the energy. He has grown so powerful and fearful that he can now destroy entire planets. He is about to destroy Earth when he is confronted by Hal Jordan. The will to overcome fear Jordan has assumed the role of a Green Lantern, which is a member of an intergalactic corps committed to enforcing peace and justice and destroying evil wherever they find it. Jordan has been empowered for this superhuman role by donning a mysterious ring that harnesses the good “will” of the Universe. But Jordan remains “only human,” even when he is wearing the ring. In order to wield the power of the ring effectively, Jordan must overcome his own fear—through the force of will—and imagine how to defeat his enemy. The primal conflict is between [...]

What do Catholics believe?

Here are some solid Catholic Web sites that provide lots of information on the teachings of the Catholic Church. How to evaluate the quality of a Web site C21 Online (from Boston College) Catholic Update series (from American Catholic.org) Daily Scripture readings (from the United States Catholic Bishops) Here are some blog posts about Catholic beliefs. Jesus Christ The reason [...]

Your guide to reading the Old Testament

The Bible is made up of two parts—the Old Testament and the New Testament. The Old Testament is a set of books that was written before the life of Jesus. The New Testament is a set of books that was written after Jesus[...]

Which Bible should you choose?

In this video, you will learn about the top three Bibles used by Catholics and discover which one is the best choice for you. See also these related articles:[...]

The surprising gospel message of the Green Lantern

In the climactic scene of Green Lantern, test-pilot-turned-superhero, Hal Jordan, leads his mortal enemy, Parallax, toward the sun, hoping that the gravitational pull will suck the monster toward a point of no return. Pa[...]

Why most Christians have never read the Bible—and maybe you shouldn’t either

When we think about reading the Bible, it is interesting to remember that throughout Christian history, most people have not read it. Consider these barriers: The list of books that are considered “biblical” was not [...]

What a Catholic nun and a group of Evangelical teenagers taught me about the Bible

I was standing in a bookstore with my mother; we were looking at Bibles. Who knew there were so many? I expected to find “The Bible.” The choices between “leather” and “leatherette” alone were enough to confu[...]

Finding Your Way around the Bible

In this video, you will discover some helpful tips for navigating your way to the Scripture passages you want to read. The Bible can seem confusing at first, but it’s really pretty easy. See also these related arti[...]

The curious history of auxiliary bishops

My diocese is getting a new auxiliary bishop. This is the first auxiliary in the 30-year history of the San José diocese. There is a lot of energy and excitement all around the diocese about this historic event. And it [...]

A prayer for procrastinators on the Feast of Saint Expeditus

Saint Expeditus, perhaps a fictional saint, is the patron saint of procrastinators. His feast day is celebrated on April 19 (four days after tax day) or, as his followers like to say, whenever you get around to it. Tradi[...]

Ash Wednesday Resources

Dust to dust: a reflection on Ash Wednesday (Faith Field Guide)   Ash Wednesday Quiz (Faith Field Guide)   What Works: What Are You Giving Up for Lent? (Busted Halo)   What’s That on Your Forehead? M[...]

Dust to dust: a reflection on Ash Wednesday

The first time I celebrated Ash Wednesday in a Latino parish, I was overwhelmed. People were lined up around the block; they kept coming all day and well into the night. Old people with canes and walkers, middle aged fol[...]