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A Leaven In The World… Bringing People To Grace

October 26, 2015 Our Catholic Faith Comments Off

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK The feast day of Blessed Karl of Austria landed on the calendar providentially during the final week of the Synod in Rome on the Family. His cause for canonization in process and no doubt one of the signposts for the movement to declare him a saint were his words to his wife Empress Zita on the day after their nuptials, when he said, “Now, we will help each other to get to Heaven.” In a few words, here precisely is what we hope the synod will teach about in marriage in continuity with the witness of Blessed Karl and all those before and after who understand the beautiful meaning and purpose of holy matrimony in…Continue Reading

An Apologetics Course… The Origins Of Protestantism And Its Disunity

October 25, 2015 Our Catholic Faith Comments Off

By RAYMOND DE SOUZA, KM Part 25 In the previous article we considered the fact that Christ founded one Church, and only one, not thousands. There is no such a thing as a “Protestant Church,” in the singular; instead, there is a myriad of Protestant churches, in the plural, divided among themselves in faith, worship, and government. A plateau de fromage of religion. The Protestant revolution is inaccurately enough called the “Reformation,” but in reality it did not reform the Church. It is true that the Church was in dire need of an authentic Reformation — but instead Luther made a Deformation by creating a new church, of new churches. It began in Germany in the 16th century, and from…Continue Reading

The Consecrated Life

October 24, 2015 Our Catholic Faith Comments Off

By DON FIER Part 2 All members of the Christian faithful, “destined for [God] through Baptism” (Catechism of the Catholic Church [CCC], n. 946), are called to practice the evangelical counsels — chastity, poverty, and obedience — in accordance with the genuine demands of their vocation if they wish to belong to the Kingdom of God. However, as we saw last week, some receive a special call to more radically dedicate themselves to Jesus Christ. Through public profession of the evangelical counsels, those entering the religious state of life consecrate themselves to God in a permanent and stable way that is recognized by the Church. Moved by the Holy Spirit to follow our Lord in a totally committed way, they…Continue Reading

Catholic Replies

October 23, 2015 Our Catholic Faith Comments Off

Q. At a Bible study on the Acts of the Apostles, there was a reference to the 71 members of the Sanhedrin. The facilitator didn’t know why the number was 71. Do you know? — N.C., Massachusetts. A. After consulting several sources, we know that the Sanhedrin wielded considerable power in New Testament times and that its 71 members consisted of chief priests, elders, and scribes, with the high priest serving as president of the council, but we’re not sure where the number 71 came from. There is a possibility that it originated in the Book of Numbers, when the Lord said to Moses: “Assemble for me seventy of the elders of Israel, men you know for true elders and…Continue Reading

The Solemnity of All Saints

October 22, 2015 Our Catholic Faith Comments Off

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Readings: Rev. 7:2-4, 9-14 1 John 3:1-3 Matt. 5:1-12a Living Like Children Of God We live in a day and age where it has become vogue to adhere to the idea of universal salvation. This is the idea that everyone goes to Heaven. Others would suggest that there may be a few people in Hell, like Stalin, Hitler, and their ilk, but everyone else goes to Heaven. These ideas run contrary to the teaching of our Lord who spoke of trying to enter through the narrow door, of the road to perdition being wide and smooth with many on it, while the road to life is rough and narrow with few on it. This has led…Continue Reading

Synod Interventions . . . Concerns About Threats To The Families, Hopes For True Renewal

October 21, 2015 Our Catholic Faith Comments Off

(Editor’s Note: Below are four interventions from the ongoing Synod on the Family, which express fears over attacks on marriage and the family and hopes for the renewal of authentic family life in Christ. Texts are from various sources; all rights reserved.) + + + Robert Cardinal Sarah Prefect Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments October 7, 2015 Your Holiness, Your Eminences, Your Excellencies, participants of the Synod, I propose these three thoughts: 1) More transparency and respect among us I feel a strong need to invoke the Spirit of Truth and Love, the source of parrhesia in speaking and humility in listening, who alone is capable of creating true harmony in plurality. I say frankly…Continue Reading

A Leaven In The World… A Tale Of Two Synods

October 19, 2015 Our Catholic Faith Comments Off

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK One of the most haunting memories from the time of turmoil in the Church after Vatican II was the terrifying remark of Paul VI, no less than the pastor himself at the helm of the universal Body of Christ, who said, “from some fissure the smoke of Satan has entered the temple of God.” That alarum has been raised again in the Synod Hall in Rome this month as our bishops and cardinals meet to hammer out a document in aid of families today. The concern which gave rise to this is the overwhelming sense among some that doctrine on marriage and family may not come out of the synod unscathed. As many of our…Continue Reading

An Apologetics Course… Christ’s Church Is One, Not A Collection Of Churches

October 18, 2015 Our Catholic Faith Comments Off

By RAYMOND DE SOUZA In the previous article, the characteristics that identify the Church founded by Jesus Christ were made clear for all to see: His Church is One, Holy, Catholic, Apostolic, Imperishable, Infallible, and Visible. Let us take a look at the kind of churches claiming to be the Church of Christ in existence today, and assess their claims in the light of the seven marks, and not according to the individual interpretations of the Bible chosen by their founders or by the majority opinion of their members. The first mark of the Church of Christ is that she must be one in faith, worship, and government to the end of time, because her divine Founder has promised to…Continue Reading

The Consecrated Life

October 17, 2015 Our Catholic Faith Comments Off

By DON FIER So great is the dignity and vocation of the lay faithful that they are able to participate in the priestly, prophetic, and kingly offices of Christ. They share in His priestly office “especially in the Eucharist by offering as a spiritual sacrifice ‘acceptable to God through Jesus Christ’ (1 Peter 2:5) their own lives with all of their works, their prayers, their apostolic undertakings, their family life, their daily work and hardships borne with patience, and even their consolations of spirit and body” (Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church [CCCC], n. 189). By gathering up all their activities and spiritually uniting them to Christ’s sacrificial offering on Calvary, “the laity consecrate the world itself to…Continue Reading

Catholic Replies

October 16, 2015 Our Catholic Faith Comments Off

Q. I noticed that when the priest was celebrating benediction at the end of eucharistic adoration, he wrapped a vestment around his hands before he picked up the monstrance to bless the people. Why did he do this? — T.S., Massachusetts. A. The vestment is called the humeral veil and the priest covers his hands with it before elevating the monstrance to show that it is Jesus Himself who is blessing the people and not the priest. Q. In a column some time ago, you said that lay people should not anoint others with blessed oil. But I am sending you a packet of St. Anne’s blessed oil from St. Anne’s Shrine in Cleveland, Ohio. The card accompanying the oil…Continue Reading