St. John Paul II stressed the need to pray for the Souls in Purgatory. He said, "The first and highest form of charity for brothers is the ardent desire for their eternal salvation ... . Christian love knows no boundaries and goes beyond the limits of space and time, enabling us to love those who have already left this earth." Therefore, not only the belief in purgatory but also the spiritual duty to pray for the souls there remains part of our Catholic faith. Contrary to what some may erroneously believe, Vatican II's "Dogmatic Constitution on the Church" asserted, "This sacred council accepts loyally the venerable faith of our ancestors in the living communion which exists between us and our brothers who are in the glory of Heaven or who are yet being purified after their death; and it proposes again the decrees of the Second Council of Nicea, of the Council of Florence, and of the Council of Trent" (No. 51).READ MORE
Dear brothers, [...] we have heard the passage from the Acts of the Apostles (20:17-38) in which Saint Paul speaks to the presbyters of Ephesus, intentionally recounted by Saint Luke as the testament of the apostle, as a discourse destined not only for the presbyters of Ephesus, but for the presbyters of all time. Saint Paul is speaking not only with those who were present in that place, he is really speaking with us. So let us try to understand a little of what he is saying to us, at this time. [...]READ MORE
They who want to win the world for Christ must have the courage to come into conflict with it.
Hearing (Mark 8:34ff), the following hard words of Jesus hit home: For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him will the Son of Man also be ashamed, when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.READ MORE
One of the sources of the Church’s beliefs is the liturgy and sacraments of the Church belonging to the Church’s received Tradition from the Apostles. Another area which reflects the Church’s teachings is the area of prayers approved by the Church for use. In the prayer below, used by the priest in preparation for Mass, there is a wonderful exposition of the meaning of the Mass and the Incarnation:READ MORE
One occasionally hears the accusation that early Christians derived Christmas and Easter from pagan celebrations, and that these feasts are therefore pagan (though overlaid with a thin veneer of Christianity). How much truth is there in this assertion?
Since the Western Christmas (25 December) falls near the Winter Solstice (21 December), it occurs at the same time of the year as certain pagan solstice feasts. One such feast was the Roman celebration of Dies Natalis Solis Invicti (Nativity of the Invincible Sun), which commemorated the birth of the sun god Mithra. After Emperor Aurelian declared Mithra/Sol Invictus to be the patron of the Roman Empire in 274 AD, this feast in his honor became very popular.READ MORE
The Limits of Imperial Authority. Freedom of Speech Is the Benchmark of Power That Is Not Tyrannical.
St. Ambrose set himself as bulwark and defense of the Catholic Faith against the Arian heresy.
Through his many theological and scriptural writings, he is one of the four great doctors of the Church in the West. St. Ambrose, Doctor of the Church, in the letter to Paternus shows his desire to call things as they are: “to beat an enemy is victory, to strike against the guilty is equity, to strike the innocent is homicide (hostem ferire victoria est, reum aequitas, innocentem homicidum).READ MORE
The Humpty Dumpty (HD) Nursery Rhyme shows the loss of peace. The high wall that HD sits on is human nature created by God enhanced with His special gifts: immortality, perfect harmony of body and soul, easy access to knowledge, and intimate friendship with God through sanctifying grace. HD’s great fall was original sin and HD’s humanity pulled apart, fractured by original sin. Sin is not about breaking rules as often is said but about wounds to our humanity, which as the nursery rhyme goes no King, or earthly power can put HD back together again. The person, who sins, acts against himself. The meaning of peace, the Hebrew word shalom is to be made whole, to be put back together again. This is the gift of the Messiah, Jesus Christ our Lord to those who will accept it. The meditation below is by Fr. Francis Fernandez in his book of meditations, Conversation with God Volume 1. (Edited)READ MORE