Corpus Christi Blog

Who can be Saved?

06-16-2024Weekly ReflectionJen Arnold, M.A.

The Catholic Church teaches the dogma of extra ecclesiam nulla salus, or “outside the Church, there is no salvation.” The Catholic Church is indeed the sole source of salvation for any soul hoping to go to heaven, but this truth has been the topic of much debate and confusion, making more than a few family gatherings uncomfortable at times. However, it does not mean that anyone who is not a formal member of the Catholic Church has no hope whatsoever of obtaining a place setting at the heavenly banquet. Let's look at the nuances of this teaching to help us navigate these conversations about how salvation is possible for anyone.

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The Nature of Sin

06-09-2024Weekly ReflectionJen Arnold, M.A.

In this Sunday’s first reading, we see the aftermath of the Fall as Adam and Eve hide from God in their shame and guilt. Of course, as we now live in a fallen world darkened by all kinds of sin, it is easy for us to wonder why it was so difficult for them to obey a straightforward command. Had they done so, they would have received the benefits of living in a perfectly harmonious world in union with God. This presents an excellent opportunity to explore the nature of sin, so we can be better equipped to navigate our own path to holiness. In 1981, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger (the future Pope Benedict XVI) gave four homilies on the theology of creation, later published as a book entitled, In the Beginning… For this article, I will refer to the fourth homily in the series — “Sin and Salvation.”

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Answering Objections to the Eucharist

06-02-2024Weekly ReflectionJen Arnold, M.A.

As we celebrate the Feast of Corpus Christ, also known as the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ, many of us are filled with joy and peace knowing that Jesus still lives and moves among us in the Sacrament of the Eucharist. Many of us have experienced healing, miracles, and grace through our devotion to the Blessed Sacrament and can attest to the reality of the true presence of Christ. After all, it's difficult to be healed by a piece of bread, so something else must be at work. Sadly, however, Pew Research surveys indicate that the vast majority of Catholics do not believe in the true presence anymore.

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The Interrelatedness of the Trinity and the Eucharist

05-26-2024Weekly ReflectionJen Arnold, M.A.

Today, we celebrate the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity, which focuses on the mystery of God as three persons in one divine nature. We are also in the midst of a national Eucharistic Revival to increase understanding and faith in the reality of the Eucharist. The Catechism refers to the mystery of the Most Holy Trinity as “the central mystery of the Christian faith and of Christian life” and refers to the Eucharist as “the source and summit of the Christian life,” positioning both mystical realities at the center of everything we believe and live as Catholics (CCC 261, 1324). Given their importance, the two mysteries are necessarily linked, with neither able to exist without the other, providing the foundation for all other doctrines and matters of faith. Let's explore the relationship between them to draw ourselves deeper into the gift of these mysteries.

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The Holy Spirit — A Mighty Rushing Wind

05-19-2024Weekly ReflectionJen Arnold, M.A.

“When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting.”- Acts 2:2

Pentecost is the day we celebrate the Holy Spirit, the gift Jesus promised to send us after his ascension to offer us guidance and wisdom as we travel on our earthly journey. The Holy Spirit is a distinct person of the one Triune God with his own attributes and activity. Still, he is arguably the most difficult for our human minds to comprehend. During Pope St. John Paul II’s general audience on October 17, 1990, he provided some catechesis on how the Church uses symbols to give us insight into who the Holy Spirit is and how he exercises his divinity in our lives.

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How the Message of Fatima is Still Relevant Today

05-12-2024Weekly ReflectionJen Arnold, M.A

Tomorrow, we celebrate the feast of Our Lady of Fatima, which commemorates the visits Mary paid to three shepherd children – Lucia, Francisco, and Jacinta – in Portugal in 1917. During her visits with them, the Blessed Mother warned them about the world's state, the consequences of unrepented sin, and what would happen if people continued to offend God. She also communicated concrete actions the faithful can take to change the trajectory of the world. Even though these visions occurred at a specific time in history, the message of Fatima is still relevant today, and it is even more dire than when it was first presented. Therefore, it is a good idea to reexamine Fatima's message through the lens of our current times and learn how to engage in some of the battles we see going on around us today.

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Eros & Agape

05-05-2024Weekly ReflectionJen Arnold, M.A.

A couple of weeks ago, on Good Shepherd Sunday, I discussed ways that God expressed his ultimate love for us by emptying himself (kenosis). First, in the Incarnation, he humbly unified his divine nature with our human nature, and then he again emptied his very life when he died on the cross for our salvation.

This Sunday’s readings are also about love — specifically, how God has shown his love for us and how we are called to respond by loving him in return and loving others. In the gospel reading, Jesus says, “Love one another as I have loved you.” In other words, he exemplifies love in action, and we are challenged to imitate this divine love as best we can in our humanity.

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