Dear Father John, I am confused. Jesus said he is the way the truth and the light, but the Church has moved away from believing salvation lies only in the Church. Even learned people in the Church (my Spiritual Director included) now say that God is bigger than we can comprehend so we need to be open to the possibility that God is calling even those outside the Church. It makes the line very gray as to the purpose of evangelization.... Read More
Dear Father John, please explain plenary indulgences. If one confession fulfills the requirement of plenary indulgences 8 days before and 8 days after, it seems to me that if someone went to Communion everyday, prayed for the intentions of the Holy Father everyday and prayed the rosary before the Blessed Sacrament everyday, that she could release 17 souls from purgatory in 17 days. Is that right? Aside from the problem of mathematical... Read More
Dear Father John, What does it mean to have a “personal relationship with Christ?” I pray regularly (rosary, Liturgy of the Hours, etc.) and go to mass regularly, however, I don’t know that “personal relationship” would describe my understanding and experience of God. Am I missing something? Maybe, but maybe not. Let’s start answering your question with a question: When you “pray and go to Mass... Read More
What does the “born again” experience have to do with our salvation, and with our friendship with Christ?
Dear Father John, I am a fairly recent convert to the faith. My conversion took place over a period of 3 years in which I had a series of powerful experiences of God’s presence and action in my life. It wasn’t just coming into the Church for me – it was discovering that Jesus is a real person, someone interested in my life. During my conversion, I understood this turn-around (this discovery of Jesus) as being “born again.”... Read More