Sunday 11th December 2016

To Live And Die In L.A.

October 9, 2013 Frontpage Comments Off on To Live And Die In L.A.

By REY FLORES

LOS ANGELES — To live and die is sadly much more than the title of a 1980s novel, movie, or song.
This first week of October I find myself in the “City of Angels,” and if any one place needed an army of angels, it definitely has to be this place. A more apropos name would be the city of “Lost Angels.”
Los Angeles is the kind of place where certain neighborhoods are not unlike one of those post-apocalyptic Hollywood movies where police helicopters constantly fly overhead, babysitting people who are incapable of behaving themselves civilly.
If you want to get an idea of what martial law looks like, try driving around south-central Los Angeles and you’ll definitely know what I mean. It’s so sad that people live like this.
In my work as director of outreach for the American Life League, I travel across the country to collaborate and provide support on the frontlines against the culture of death. I am visiting the area to meet with … Continue Reading

Christ’s Temptations In The Desert

October 9, 2013 Don Fier, Our Catholic Faith Comments Off on Christ’s Temptations In The Desert

By DON FIER

As we saw in last week’s column, Jesus freely chose to receive the “baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins” (Luke 3:3) from John the Baptist to mark the transition between His hidden life of thirty years and His public ministry of three years. “To inaugurate His public life and to anticipate the ‘Baptism’ of His death,” explains the Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, “He Who was without sin accepted to be numbered among sinners” (n. 105). Jesus’ baptism in the Jordan, then, signified His acceptance of the mission given to Him by the Father to be “the ‘Servant’ wholly consecrated to the redemptive work that He will accomplish by the ‘baptism’ of His Passion” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, n. 565).
The closing verses of St. Matthew’s account of Jesus’ baptism partly reveal a great mystery of our faith: the Most Holy Trinity. The evangelist tells us that immediately upon Christ’s emergence from the water, “the heavens were opened and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and alighting on Him; and lo, a voice from Heaven, saying, ‘This is My beloved Son, with Whom I am well pleased’” (Matt. 3:16-17). It is the Father who speaks, the Son who is baptized, and the Holy Spirit who descends like a dove. However, as pointed out by Pope Benedict XVI in Jesus of Nazareth (JoN), though the mystery of the Trinitarian God is beginning to emerge, “its depths can be fully developed only when Jesus’ journey is complete” (p. 23).
So what course of action does Jesus take at the conclusion of the baptismal scene, which Pope Benedict explains is “to be understood as a kind of formal investiture with the messianic office?” (JoN, p. 25). The three Synoptic Gospels unanimously “speak of a time of solitude for Jesus in the desert immediately after His baptism by John” (CCC, n. 538).
As recounted in the Gospel of Matthew, “Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And He fasted forty days and forty nights, and afterward He was hungry” (Matt. 4:1–2). In other words, led by the Holy Spirit, Christ withdraws to the desert for a time of spiritual preparation and renewal for the work of His messianic mission. He rigorously fasts and prays for forty days and then, in a weakened state, allows Himself to be tempted by the evil one.
Before analyzing the temptations of Jesus, at least two questions come to mind. First, is it significant that the time of preparation was forty days; secondly, how is it possible that the Son of God, true God and true man, could be subject to temptation? The number forty is symbolic in Sacred Scripture as a period of probation and testing. The Chosen People wandered in the wilderness for forty years as a time of testing (see Deut. 8:2) after the crossing of the Red Sea (which itself is a figure or type of Baptism). Moses was on Mt. Sinai “with the Lord forty days and forty nights; he neither ate bread nor drank water” when obtaining the Ten Commandments (see Exodus 34:28). The prophet Elijah, strengthened by food and drink provided by an angel of God, was able to journey forty days and forty nights to Mount Horeb (see 1 Kings 19:8).
Further Old Testament parallels can be identified: the duration of the Great Flood during the time of Noah was forty days and forty nights (see Gen. 7:4, 17); the length of time for the twelve spies sent by Moses to reconnoiter the land of Canaan was forty days (see Num. 14:34); the people of Israel were subject to the Philistines for forty years after doing what was evil in the sight of the Lord (see Judges 13:1); and the Ninevites were given forty days to repent following the preaching of the prophet Jonah (see Jonah 3:4).
Moreover, the Church’s liturgical cycle recognizes the forty days of Jesus’ fast in the wilderness each year: “By the solemn forty days of Lent the Church unites herself each year to the mystery of Jesus in the desert” (CCC, n. 540).
Before we examine how it was possible for Christ to be tempted by the evil spirit, let us first define “temptation.” In his Modern Catholic Dictionary (MCD), Fr. John A. Hardon, SJ, defines it as the “solicitation to sin, whether by persuasion or offering some pleasure. It may arise from the world, the flesh, or the devil” (p. 534). In biblical language, to tempt means to put someone to the test to reveal what is truly in his or her heart: “The Lord your God is testing you, to know whether you love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul” (Deut. 13:3). In both the Old and New Testaments, it is compared to the refining of metals:
“For Thou, O God, hast tested us; Thou hast tried us as silver is tried” (Psalm 66:10); “The crucible is for silver, and the furnace is for gold, and the Lord tries hearts” (Prov. 17:3); “Now for a little while you may have to suffer various trials, so that the genuineness of your faith, more precious than gold which though perishable is tested by fire, may redound to praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 1:6-7).
In the definition given above, three sources of temptation are listed: the flesh, the world, and the devil. For fallen mankind, the foundation for temptation is the flesh: our own weakness, disordered passions, and natural desires. As a direct consequence of the fall into original sin by our first parents, we enter this world subject to the threefold concupiscence as described by St. John: “The lust of the flesh [attraction of carnal satisfaction] and the lust of the eyes [attraction of wealth] and the pride of life [attraction of power and dominion]” (1 John 2:16).
In basic terms, then, as summarily defined by Fr. Hardon, “Temptations of the flesh are all the urges of concupiscence, whether carnal or spiritual, where man’s fallen nature has built-in tendencies to the seven capital sins [pride, greed or avarice, lust, anger, gluttony, envy, and sloth]” (MCD, p. 534). As succinctly stated by St. James, “Each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire” (James 1:14).
Temptations posed by the world oftentimes make use of our personal weaknesses and inordinate desires by luring us to succumb to “the attractiveness of bad example and the psychological pressure to conform” (MCD, p. 534).
The plethora of external allurements and immoral images with which the modern media constantly flood our senses is intended to incite our passions. We are constantly bombarded with messages that entice us to “buy what we do not need with money that we do not have.” Likewise, human respect and the desire to be “politically correct” fall into this type of temptation. Scandal given by public figures and the bad example of those with whom one associates can also be powerful stimuli to lead the weak into sin.

Interior Senses

Lastly, the devil, content to be unknown (even to have his very existence denied), is always lurking. His method is “to encourage every form of avarice or selfishness, in order to lead one to pride, and through pride to all other sins” (MCD, p. 534). As St. Peter warns us, “Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8).
Although the evil one does not have the power to enter the citadel of the spiritual part of our soul (intellect and will) and force us to sin, he does have the power to touch our interior senses. For example, the devil is able to induce desolation, arouse the emotions, suggest images to the imagination, and so forth.
So how could Christ be tempted? Unlike us, He did not have a fallen human nature and was not subject to concupiscence. His sense appetites and passions were wholly under His dominion and could not rebel against right reason. So He could not be tempted from within but only from outside Himself — either by the world or by the devil. Like us in all things except sin, Christ had natural desires and corresponding emotions and that is precisely what the evil one sought to exploit by approaching Him in a state of human weakness from the hunger of His forty-day fast.
Next week, we will look at why it was fitting that Christ be tempted and unpack the Church’s teachings on the lessons to be learned from each of the three strategies employed by Satan.

+ + +

(Don Fier serves on the board of directors for The Catholic Servant, a Minneapolis-based monthly publication. He and his wife are the parents of seven children. Fier is a 2009 graduate of Ave Maria University’s Institute for Pastoral Theology. He is doing research for writing a definitive biography of Fr. John A. Hardon, SJ.)

God Is Always Faithful

October 3, 2013 Our Catholic Faith, Sunday Sermons Comments Off on God Is Always Faithful
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He has made promises to us and He will remain faithful to what He has promised. On one hand, this seems so obvious because He is God and, therefore, He cannot change. But on the other hand, to know that there is someone who does not change, someone who is a Rock, someone who is always faithful is mind boggling to us. … Continue Reading

Christ’s Temptations In The Desert

October 3, 2013 Our Catholic Faith Comments Off on Christ’s Temptations In The Desert

As recounted in the Gospel of Matthew, “Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And He fasted forty days and forty nights, and afterward He was hungry” (Matt. 4:1–2). In other words, led by the Holy Spirit, Christ withdraws to the desert for a time of spiritual preparation and renewal for the work of His messianic mission. He rigorously fasts and prays for forty days and then, in a weakened state, allows Himself to be tempted by the evil one.
Before analyzing the temptations of Jesus, at least two questions come to mind. First, is it significant that the time of preparation was forty days; secondly, how is it possible that the Son of God, true God and true man, could be subject to temptation? The number forty is symbolic in Sacred Scripture as a period of probation and testing. The Chosen People wandered in the wilderness for forty years as a time of testing (see Deut. 8:2) after the crossing of the Red Sea (which itself is a figure or type of Baptism). Moses was on Mt. Sinai “with the Lord forty days and forty nights; he neither ate bread nor drank water” when obtaining the Ten Commandments (see Exodus 34:28). The prophet Elijah, strengthened by food and drink provided by an angel of God, was able to journey forty days and forty nights to Mount Horeb (see 1 Kings 19:8).
Further Old Testament parallels can be identified: the duration of the Great Flood during the time of Noah was forty days and forty nights (see Gen. 7:4, 17); the length of time for the twelve spies sent by Moses to reconnoiter the land of Canaan was forty days (see Num. 14:34); the people of Israel were subject to the Philistines for forty years after doing what was evil in the sight of the Lord (see Judges 13:1); and the Ninevites were given forty days to repent following the preaching of the prophet Jonah (see Jonah 3:4).
Moreover, the Church’s liturgical cycle recognizes the forty days of Jesus’ fast in the wilderness each year: “By the solemn forty days of Lent the Church unites herself each year to the mystery of Jesus in the desert” (CCC, n. 540).
Before we examine how it was possible for Christ to be tempted by the evil spirit, let us first define “temptation.” In his Modern Catholic Dictionary (MCD), Fr. John A. Hardon, SJ, defines it as the “solicitation to sin, whether by persuasion or offering some pleasure. It may arise from the world, the flesh, or the devil” (p. 534). In biblical language, to tempt means to put someone to the test to reveal what is truly in his or her heart: “The Lord your God is testing you, to know whether you love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul” (Deut. 13:3). In both the Old and New Testaments, it is compared to the refining of metals:
“For Thou, O God, hast tested us; Thou hast tried us as silver is tried” (Psalm 66:10); “The crucible is for silver, and the furnace is for gold, and the Lord tries hearts” (Prov. 17:3); “Now for a little while you may have to suffer various trials, so that the genuineness of your faith, more precious than gold which though perishable is tested by fire, may redound to praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 1:6-7).
In the definition given above, three sources of temptation are listed: the flesh, the world, and the devil. For fallen mankind, the foundation for temptation is the flesh: our own weakness, disordered passions, and natural desires. As a direct consequence of the fall into original sin by our first parents, we enter this world subject to the threefold concupiscence as described by St. John: “The lust of the flesh [attraction of carnal satisfaction] and the lust of the eyes [attraction of wealth] and the pride of life [attraction of power and dominion]” (1 John 2:16).
In basic terms, then, as summarily defined by Fr. Hardon, “Temptations of the flesh are all the urges of concupiscence, whether carnal or spiritual, where man’s fallen nature has built-in tendencies to the seven capital sins [pride, greed or avarice, lust, anger, gluttony, envy, and sloth]” (MCD, p. 534). As succinctly stated by St. James, “Each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire” (James 1:14).
Temptations posed by the world oftentimes make use of our personal weaknesses and inordinate desires by luring us to succumb to “the attractiveness of bad example and the psychological pressure to conform” (MCD, p. 534).
The plethora of external allurements and immoral images with which the modern media constantly flood our senses is intended to incite our passions. We are constantly bombarded with messages that entice us to “buy what we do not need with money that we do not have.” Likewise, human respect and the desire to be “politically correct” fall into this type of temptation. Scandal given by public figures and the bad example of those with whom one associates can also be powerful stimuli to lead the weak into sin.

Interior Senses

Lastly, the devil, content to be unknown (even to have his very existence denied), is always lurking. His method is “to encourage every form of avarice or selfishness, in order to lead one to pride, and through pride to all other sins” (MCD, p. 534). As St. Peter warns us, “Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8).
Although the evil one does not have the power to enter the citadel of the spiritual part of our soul (intellect and will) and force us to sin, he does have the power to touch our interior senses. For example, the devil is able to induce desolation, arouse the emotions, suggest images to the imagination, and so forth.
So how could Christ be tempted? Unlike us, He did not have a fallen human nature and was not subject to concupiscence. His sense appetites and passions were wholly under His dominion and could not rebel against right reason. So He could not be tempted from within but only from outside Himself — either by the world or by the devil. Like us in all things except sin, Christ had natural desires and corresponding emotions and that is precisely what the evil one sought to exploit by approaching Him in a state of human weakness from the hunger of His forty-day fast.
Next week, we will look at why it was fitting that Christ be tempted and unpack the Church’s teachings on the lessons to be learned from each of the three strategies employed by Satan.

+    +    +

(Don Fier serves on the board of directors for The Catholic Servant, a Minneapolis-based monthly publication. He and his wife are the parents of seven children. Fier is a 2009 graduate of Ave Maria University’s Institute for Pastoral Theology. He is doing research for writing a definitive biography of Fr. John A. Hardon, SJ.)

Date Set For Canonizations . . . Monsignor Reflects On The Legacies Of Two Saintly Popes

October 3, 2013 Frontpage Comments Off on Date Set For Canonizations . . . Monsignor Reflects On The Legacies Of Two Saintly Popes

By ANN SCHNEIBLE

ROME (ZENIT) — The Vatican has confirmed that John XXIII and John Paul II will be canonized in the same ceremony on April 27, 2014.
The date, which had been hinted at by Pope Francis, was confirmed by the Holy Father during a consistory held September 30 in the Apostolic Palace.
According to a statement released by the Vatican, Pope Francis “decreed that Blesseds John XXIII and John Paul II will be enrolled among the saints on April 27, 2014, the Second Sunday of Easter, of the Divine Mercy.”
This past July, the Pope approved the second miracle in the cause for John Paul II’s canonization: A Costa Rican woman was healed of a terminal brain aneurysm on May 1, 2011, the day of the late Pontiff’s beatification.
Pope Francis also authorized the cause … Continue Reading

Pope Francis: rigidity, worldliness a disaster for priests

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis celebrated Mass in the chapel of the Casa Santa Marta on Friday morning, focusing his remarks following the readings of the day on the need for priests to serve as authentic mediators of God’s love, rather…Continue Reading

Hopes for transfer of Archbishop Sheen’s body high despite emergency ruling

Hopes buoyed in the Diocese of Peoria by a November 17 court ruling allowing Archbishop Fulton Sheen’s family to transfer the sainthood candidate’s remains from New York to Peoria were tempered by an emergency stay being granted to the Archdiocese…Continue Reading

A Plea Against an Unprincipled Papalism

Editor’s note: The following is a guest essay from Dr. Markus Büning. Dr. Büning was born 1966 in Ahaus (Westfalen, Germany). He studied Catholic Theology and Philosophy at the University of Münster. After graduating in 1990, he studied Law in Münster…Continue Reading

At The Request Of U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops . . . Hudson church considers taking in 21 Syrian refugees

Church leaders and members of St. Patrick Parish in Hudson have been praying overtime in the past couple of weeks as they decide whether to welcome five Syrian refugee families into their community next summer. The Rev. John Gerritts The…Continue Reading

Catholic Scholar Attacked for Catholic Views at Catholic College

Prominent Catholic scholar of Renaissance literature Anthony Esolen is under attack for daring to talk openly about the teachings of the Catholic faith. The orthodox professor at the Dominican-led Providence College in Rhode Island is the author of many books,…Continue Reading

Congress doubles budget for investigation of Planned Parenthood baby parts scandal

WASHINGTON, D.C., December 2, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – Congress voted to double the budget of the Select Investigative Panel on Infant Lives, meaning the panel will continue investigating Planned Parenthood and the sale of aborted baby body parts through 2016. Republicans…Continue Reading

Catholic church prepares to fight ‘grave evil’ of mass deportations

American leadership in the Catholic church laid low during the presidential election but San Diego Bishop Robert McElroy is now making clear that if President-elect Donald Trump makes good on campaign promises of mass deportations of unauthorized immigrants, the church is prepared to take…Continue Reading

Fake Catholic Groups and the “Catholic Spring” Emails

Beginning in 2007, orthodox Catholic writers including myself wrote dozens of articles in an attempt to expose the funding and duplicitousness of two fake Catholic groups: the OSF funded Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good and Catholics United. (For…Continue Reading

Rubio on Castro Condolences: Obama’s Response ‘Pathetic’; My Catholic Faith Does Not Bind Me to Pope’s Foreign Policy Stances

(CNSNews.com) – Asked Sunday about Pope Francis’ expression of sorrow on the death of Fidel Castro, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) said that as a Catholic he believes in the Pope’s theological authority but his faith does not bind him when…Continue Reading

Head of Vatican Court: Cdl. Burke Could Be Stripped of Red Hat

The Dean of the Roman Rota, the Vatican’s top canonical court overseeing marriage, is issuing an ominous warning to Cdl. Raymond Burke that he may be stripped of his cardinalate for allegedly causing “grave scandal.” Speaking Tuesday at a lecture at the…Continue Reading

Cardinal Pell defends four cardinals for asking ‘significant’ questions

Cardinal George Pell has come to the support of the four cardinals who have submitted dubia about the interpretation of Amoris Laetitia. Following an address to an audience in London, the Australian cardinal was asked whether he agreed with the…Continue Reading

Third bishop backs four Cardinals: I was ‘overwhelmed’ with similar questions

POLAND, November 25, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – A third bishop has now publicly risen in defense of the four Cardinals who have been vilified by influential prelates after going public with their request that Pope Francis clarify whether or not his…Continue Reading

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This Weeks Comments And Letters . . .

Culture Of Life 101 . . . “An Introduction To The Problem Of Euthanasia”

By BRIAN CLOWES Part 2 (Editor’s Note: Brian Clowes has been director of research and training at Human Life International since 1995. For an electronic copy of chapter 23 of The Facts of Life, a 150-page treatise on all of the aspects of euthanasia, e-mail him at bclowes@hli.org.) + + + We have covered the definitions of the varieties of…Continue Reading

Today . . .

23 scholars sign letter supporting four Cardinals, warn of ‘metastasizing crisis’ in Church

December 8, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – Twenty-three prominent Catholic academics and pastors released a letter Thursday expressing their “profound gratitude and full support” of the dubia four cardinals sent to Pope Francis asking for moral clarification on Amoris Laetitia. “As has been widely publicized, these cardinals have formally submitted five dubia to Pope Francis, asking him to clarify five fundamental points of Catholic doctrine and sacramental discipline, the treatment of which in Chapter 8 of the recent Apostolic Exhortation…Continue Reading

Vatican updates guidelines for educating priests

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — The Catholic Church needs holy, healthy and humble priests and that requires prayers for vocations and the careful selection and training of candidates, said the Congregation for Clergy. Updating 1985 guidelines for preparing men for the Latin-rite priesthood and ensuring their continuing education, training and support, the Congregation for Clergy Dec. 7 released “The Gift of the Priestly Vocation,” a detailed set of guidelines and norms for priestly formation. The updated…Continue Reading

Bishop Schneider likens treatment of four Cardinals to Soviet regime: ‘We live in a climate of threats’

ROME, Italy, December 6, 2016, (LifeSiteNews) — Before a packed room in Rome’s Centro Lepanto on Monday, Bishop Athanasius Schneider of Kazakhstan urged the faithful to ardently hold on to the Church’s Magisterium on the indissolubility of marriage within the current state of ongoing ambiguities. “When Christ preached 2,000 years ago, the culture and reigning spirit were radically opposed to Him. Concretely religious syncretism ruled, also Gnosticism among the intelligent leaders, as well as permissibilism…Continue Reading

Magisterium ‘debased’ by pope’s ‘refusal to answer’ four Cardinals: famed German philosopher

December 5, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) — The foremost Roman Catholic philosopher in Germany has come out in support of the four Cardinals who asked Pope Francis to clarify ambiguities in his Apostolic Exhortation regarding the sacraments for divorced and remarried Catholics. “It is deplorable that only four Cardinals have taken the initiative regarding this topic,” Robert Spaemann said in defense of the dubia voiced by four Cardinals. In an interview with the Italian Nuova Bussola Quotidiana…Continue Reading

Vatican Spin Machine Intensifies . . . From L’Osservatore Romano

barth

When speaking of God, the descriptive language that we adopt is love. And when speaking of love, the fundamental dimension that we attribute is divine. This is why the Apostle of Love defines God as love. (1 John 4.8) When our dear brother and Bishop of Rome, His Holiness Francis, issued his apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia earlier this year, it was around the time that we jointly travelled to the island of Lesbos in Greece,…Continue Reading

In Praise Of Clarity

By DONALD DeMARCO A hostess sent out party invitations to her friends that requested RSVPs. When she received a completely illegible response from a particular doctor, she asked her husband what she should do. Upon his advice, she brought the indecipherable letter to a druggist since members of the pharmaceutical profession are reputed to be…Continue Reading

A Book Review… Missing Joe Sobran

By CHRISTOPHER MANION Joseph Sobran’s Subtracting Christianity: Essays on American Culture and Society, $27.00; Hustler: The Clinton Legacy, $23.00 — both available postpaid from the Fitzgerald Griffin Foundation, 713 Park St., SE, Vienna, VA 22180, 1-877-726-0058. Or online at fgfBooks.com or at Amazon.com. When Al Matt asked me some ten years ago to take over…Continue Reading

Restoring The Sacred… The Beauty Of Purity

By JAMES MONTI Advent is a season we journey though in the company of our Lady. For her sacred pregnancy was indeed the first Advent, an Advent of nine months that culminated in the first Christmas. The Advent Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe testifies to this association, for the miraculous image of Guadalupe, revealed…Continue Reading

A Book Review . . . Proclaim The “Great Story Of Jesus Christ”

By DONAL ANTHONY FOLEY Forming Intentional Disciples: The Path to Knowing and Following Jesus by Sherry Weddell, Our Sunday Visitor, 224 pages; paperback, $16.95 plus shipping. See: https://www.osvcatholicbook store.com. The subtitle of Forming Intentional Disciples is, “The Path to Knowing and Following Jesus,” and that sums up what the book is about since we will…Continue Reading

Culture Of Life 101… “Why Euthanasia Is Wrong — From A Secular Viewpoint”

By BRIAN CLOWES (Editor’s Note: Brian Clowes has been director of research and training at Human Life International since 1995. For an electronic copy of chapter 23 of The Facts of Life, “Euthanasia,” e-mail him at bclowes@hli.org.) + + + “You are a member of the first generation of doctors in the history of medicine…Continue Reading

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Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

What Is Faith?… God’s Creation And Purpose

By RAYMOND DE SOUZA Part 15 I think of the word “gullible” whenever I hear the words “Big Bang” mentioned to explain the origin of the universe. We are supposed to believe that in the beginning there was nothing and then, somehow or other, a huge condensed solid mass of matter came out of the nothing, and without anybody doing…Continue Reading

Gifts Of The Holy Spirit — Fortitude

By DON FIER An underlying principle that sums up why the gifts of the Holy Spirit are necessary for the attainment of eternal life is that the natural instincts of mind and will — even elevated by the infused theological and moral virtues — cannot always cope with critical situations or problems that present themselves during life’s journey. As expressed…Continue Reading

Catholic Replies

Editor’s Note: Regarding a recent question about omission of the Epistle and Gospel at a Latin Mass, M.C. of Michigan sent the following by e-mail: “I have been going to Sunday Mass in the Extraordinary Form with some regularity ever since Pope St. John Paul issued his indult, both in my home state of Michigan and on trips to at…Continue Reading

The Obedience Of Faith

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Fourth Sunday Of Advent (YR A) Readings: Isaiah 7:10-14 Romans 1:1-7 Matt. 1:18-24 In the second reading today St. Paul says that he was made an apostle in order to bring about the obedience of faith for the sake of the Name of Jesus. It is this obedience to which every single person on Earth is…Continue Reading

Advent As A Liturgical Season

By FR. EDWARD McNAMARA, LC (Editor’s Note: Below is a ZENIT column by Legionary of Christ Fr. Edward McNamara, professor of liturgy and dean of theology at the Regina Apostolorum University. ZENIT News Agency published the column. All rights reserved.) + + + Q. May you help me on the issue of Advent season, since we are approaching it? What is…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . St. John Damascene

By CAROLE BRESLIN “The Fathers of the Church were those saintly writers of the early centuries whom the Church recognizes as her special defenders of orthodoxy. And the Patristic Age is the period during which they lived. “It is generally held that the last of the Western Fathers (Latin) was St. Bede the Venerable (673-735), and the last of the…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . St. Peter Fourier

By CAROLE BRESLIN In the Catholic Church, there are many examples throughout history of religious orders that have been reformed or have been in need of reform. After many years the members of religious orders tend to relax rules until they do not live much differently than the laity. It seems that discipline and fervor are closely related — without…Continue Reading