Knowledge

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  • I feel trapped by my obligations!

    by William J. Byron, S.J.

    I once heard a priest explain in a homily that the First Beatitude, “Blessed are the poor in spirit” (Matthew 5:3), means that we should not let ourselves become “possessed by our possessions.” That’s an interesting thought, but I find… read more

  • Is it wrong to leave Mass after Communion?

    by William J. Byron, S.J.

    I am saddened when I see a large number of people leaving our parish church immediately after receiving Holy Communion. I always believed we were to stay until we received the final blessing. Am I wrong? P.O., Illinois You’re right; we should… read more

  • I doubt my faith. What should I do?

    by William J. Byron, S.J.

    As I grow older and experience more physical suffering and the deaths of loved ones, I feel that my faith is waning and not increasing. Sometimes I worry that there really is no afterlife and doubt God's existence amid the many trials I’ve seen… read more

  • What is tithing?

    by William J. Byron, S.J.

    What is the meaning of tithing as taught by the Catholic Church? I understand it is a certain percentage of one’s earnings. If there is more than one wage-earner in the family, does the tithe apply to all income? To whom does the money go — the … read more

  • Am I "saved?"

    by William J. Byron, S.J.

    When I was young, a Baptist girl friend told me if I accept Jesus as my personal savior, I am saved. However, the Baltimore Catechism answers I later memorized seemed to tell me that salvation is not that simple. I’m much older now, and I feel … read more

  • Is a "just war" possible?

    by William J. Byron, S.J.

    Considered in the light of Jesus’ teachings about nonviolence, isn’t the concept of “just war” an oxymoron?- B.B., SOUTH DAKOTAIn 1983 the bishops of the United States issued a peace pastoral that laid out “some principles, norms, … read more

  • Did the Virgin Mary die?

    by William J. Byron, S.J.

    I have two questions. Was John the Baptist born without original sin? I don’t understand how a man with sin on his soul could baptize the Son of God. And my second question relates to the Virgin Mary. Did she die? Since death is a punishment for… read more

  • How much money does a parish priest make?

    by William J. Byron, S.J.

    I’m curious about salaries for parish priests. How much do priests make each year? Can they keep what they earn?- T.M., IllinoisYour question arrived in the same mail that brought my copy of the Baltimore Catholic Review for July 5, 2007. That … read more

  • What is purgatory, and why do we pray for the dead?

    by William J. Byron, S.J.

    Why do we pray for the dead? And how do we pray for the dead? I think a lot about these questions and hope you can give me some insight.- S.P., ConnecticutThese are good questions, shared by many others, and they touch upon a long tradition in the Church… read more

  • Do people who commit suicide go to hell?

    by William J. Byron, S.J.

    What is the Catholic Church’s teaching on suicide? Do people who take their own lives go to hell? My son committed suicide. In the note he left, he said he was going to hell for this, but didn’t know what else to do. He made many mistakes… read more