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21 Nov 2014 Q&A Comments (6)

i want to start reading the bible, but i don't know where to start, please help...thank you & God bless

Full Question: i want to start reading the bible, but i don't know where to start, please help...thank you & God bless Answer: I would start with the Gos…

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04 Oct 2016 News No comments

Normandy church where Fr Hamel was murdered by ISIS reopens

The Archbishop of Rouen led a procession through Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray before celebrating Mass at the church The Normandy church where Islamic extremists cu…

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11 Sep 2014 Vatican No comments

Italian prime minister meets with Vatican Secretary of State

Vatican City, Sep 11, 2014 / 12:02 am .- The newly created Italian cardinals lunched Tuesday with Matteo Renzi, prime minister of Italy, discussing with him and…

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30 Mar 2015 Q&A Comments (4)

Did Jesus break Old Testament Law by telling his followers to drink his blood?

Full Question Jews were prohibited from drinking blood by the Old Testament. So if the Catholic idea about the Eucharist as the "Blood of Christ" is correc…

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20 Aug 2016 Q&A No comments

Is it true that Christ's presence in the Eucharist is equal to his presence in the Word and the assembly?

Full Question My pastor says that after Vatican II we now believe that Christ's presence in the Eucharist is equal to his presence in the Word, in the sacr…

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10 Nov 2016 News No comments

Vatican prays Trump's presidency will bring peace: 'Lord illuminate him and sustain him in the service of his homeland'

The Vatican has released a statement and offers prayers for the new President of the United States: Donald Trump. According to Vatican Radio, The Vatican Sec…

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31 Mar 2015 Q&A No comments

Is it permissible for a priest to offer confession in his office?

Full Question Is it permissible for a priest to offer confession in his office? Answer Yes, but it must be with just cause. Here is what the Code o…

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31 Dec 2015 Middle East News No comments

U.S. Democratic presidential candidate declares ISIS persecution of Christians 'Genocide'

U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton said at a campaign event in New Hampshire that ISIS violence against Iraqi - Syrian Christians, and other…

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09 Dec 2015 News USA Comments (1)

Minnesota Diocese files emergency bankruptcy following verdict on 1978 sex abuse case.

Catholic diocese of Duluth on Monday filed for bankruptcy protection following a jury's decision ordering the diocese and a Catholic religious order to pay more…

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The Gospel in Full Color

“Man’s ability to see is in decline,” wrote the Thomist philosopher Josef Pieper. “We do not mean here, of course, the physiological sensitivity of the human eye. We mean the spiritual capacity to perceive the visible reality as it truly is” (Only the Lover Sings: Art and Contemplation, Ignatius).

Pieper was concerned that the assault of constant images on billboards, movie screens, and television were deadening our ability to see things as they really are. He was writing in 1952: long before billboard-sized home theater systems, music videos on cell phones, and DVD players in SUVs. The volume of visual noise has increased exponentially, and our sight isn’t getting any better. As a society, we have eyes to see but do not see (cf. Ezekiel 12:2, Mark 8:18).

Our failing sight is a concern of Pope Benedict XVI. The remedy he proposes is not just to fast from the junk food of coarse and vapid images, but to feast on a wholesome diet of the Church’s great treasury of art. To that end, he included fourteen sacred images in theCompendium of the Catechism. The fourteen images are all in full color. That is surprising: Reproducing full-color images is expensive. Most publishers would cut the artwork to keep the price down.

But what others might consider an extravagance or a decoration, our Holy Father considers essential. He selected the images himself, and he insists that those same fourteen images be placed in every edition. Moreover, each image must always be positioned in the same place in relation to the text. Why go to so much trouble and expense over pretty pictures? In the introduction to the Compendium, he writes:

Images are also a preaching of the Gospel. Artists in every age have offered the principal facts of the mystery of salvation to the contemplation and wonder of believers by presenting them in the splendor of color and in the perfection of beauty. It is an indication of how today more than ever, in a culture of images, a sacred image can express much more than what can be said in words, and be an extremely effective and dynamic way of communicating the Gospel message.

Over the last two years, we have made a concerted effort to include inThis Rock images that preach the Gospel. Many of those images were worthy of a full essay of explanation rather than the quick caption that yours truly could cobble together. Now, providentially, we can do better. We are adding a department dedicated to art and apologetics. Michael Schrauzer, a gifted artist and writer (see his work at, will help us to develop Eyes to See.

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By: Cherie Peacock


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