Blogposts

Rectitude of Intention

12-01-2021From the desk of Fr. Villa

The life of the first Christians and their witness to the world make known to us their quality and their character. Their norm of conduct was not to take the easy way out, or opt for the more comfortable line or the more popular decision but rather did they seek to fulfill completely the will of God. They ignored the danger of death… they forgot how few they were, they never noticed how many were against them or the power or strength or wisdom of their enemies. Their power was greater than all of that: theirs was the power of him who had died on the Cross and risen again.[i] They had their gaze riveted on Christ, who gave his life for all men. They were not seeking their own personal glory, nor the applause of their fellow citizens. They always acted with a right intention, because they had their eyes fixed on the Lord. That is what allows St. Stephen to say at the moment of his martyrdom: Lord do not take their sin into account…[ii]

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There’s Language ….And Then There’s Sacred Language

11-21-2021From the desk of Fr. VillaJohn Byron Kuhner

There was a recent article in Inside the Vatican September-October 2021 wherein the author John Byron Kuhner raises the question how does language operate in the liturgy? He then asks the provocative question: why wouldn’t we want our prayers and Mass in the mother tongue instead of Latin? In answering this question he raises the notion not simply of language but what’s called hieratic or sacred language. A couple of bullet points from his essay:

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The Saint Paul the Apostle Purgatorial Society: What Is It?

11-05-2021From the desk of Fr. Villa

In the history of the Church there have been associations of the faithful called Purgatorial Societies. Purgatorial societies are Catholic associations or confraternities which aim to assist souls in purgatory to get to heaven. One of the crises following the Second Vatican Council was ceasing to preach and teach the doctrine of the Church about souls in Purgatory and clergy and people starting placing the deceased at funerals in heaven, which is really Protestant doctrine.

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Catechism on the Angels Part II

10-20-2021From the desk of Fr. VillaFr John Hardon S.J.

8. What was the grace which the angels possessed when they were created? It was sanctifying grace. It was a supernatural gift of God which gave them a share in the divine nature along with a title to inherit the Kingdom of God in the beatific vision. Associated with sanctifying grace, the angels also received the infused virtues and gifts of the Holy Spirit, together with a right to those actual graces which were necessary to preserve and increase the supernatural life.

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Catechism on the Angels Part I

10-07-2021From the desk of Fr. VillaFr John Hardon S.J.

Although human reason can reasonably speculate that angels exist, the existence of pure created spirits requires divine revelation to make the fact absolutely certain. Indeed a fair index of sound Christianity is the acceptance of angels as created by God and now living in two states of being: those in heaven who also minister to our needs, and those in hell, who are demons and bent on the destruction of the human race through estrangement from God. Why a catechism on the angels? Because we need one. There is such a preoccupation with human psychology and physiology as almost to exclude the whole world of reality which is at once intelligent and deeply involved in the affairs of men. Even in Christian circles, the complaint has been justly made that "the angels have taken flight from Catholic schools of thought," with only token attention from some professional theologians.

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St. Augustine on Good and the Evil in the Church

09-22-2021From the desk of Fr. Villa

The same [Church] is spoken of, when, in regard to the fewness of her numbers as compared with the multitude of the wicked, it is said: Strait is the gate and narrow is the way which leads unto life, and few there be that find it. Matthew 7:14 And again, it is of the same Church that it is said with respect to the multitude of her members: I will multiply your seed as the stars of heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea-shore. Genesis 22:14

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Join the St. Paul the Apostle Purgatorial Society

09-02-2021From the desk of Fr. Villa

A Purgatorial Society is an association of Catholics who pledge to pray for the souls in Purgatory. The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches the following: #1030 All who die in God's grace and friendship, but still imperfectly purified, are indeed assured of their eternal salvation; but after death they undergo purification, so as to achieve the holiness necessary to enter the joy of heaven.

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Pray for the Persecuted Church

08-01-2021From the desk of Fr. Villa

July 17 was the feast of the Carmelite Martyrs of Compiegne killed during the French Revolution and immortalized in the book and opera The Dialogue of the Carmelites.

July 22 was the anniversary of the defeat of the Turks in the Battle of Belgrade. The Turks were once again seeking to overrun Europe and attack Christianity. The church-bells were ordered to ring at noon in thanksgiving for this victory by Pope Callixtus III and this custom continues to this day even in some of the Protestant churches.

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