Saturday, March 17, 2018

Saint Patrick

The manifold virtues by which the early saints were distinguished shone forth in all their perfection in the life of St. Patrick. When not engaged in the work of the sacred ministry, his whole time was spent in prayer. Many times in the day he armed himself with the sign of the Cross. He never relaxed his penitential exercises. Clothed in a rough hair-shirt, he made the hard rock his bed. His disinterestedness is specially commemorated. Countless converts of high rank would cast their precious ornaments at his feet, but all were restored to them. He had not come to Erin in search of material wealth, but to enrich her with the priceless treasures of the Catholic Faith.

From time to time he withdrew from the spiritual duties of his apostolate to devote himself wholly to prayer and penance. One of his chosen places of solitude and retreat was the island of Lough Derg, which, to our own day, has continued to be a favourite resort of pilgrims, and it is known as St. Patrick's Purgatory.

Another theatre of his miraculous power and piety and penitential austerities in the west of Ireland merits particular attention. In the far west of Connaught there is a range of tall mountains, which, arrayed in rugged majesty, bid defiance to the waves and storms of the Atlantic. At the head of this range arises a stately cone in solitary grandeur, about 4000 feet in height, facing Clew Bay, and casting its shadow over the adjoining districts of Aghagower and Westport. This mountain was known in pagan times as the Eagle Mountain, but ever since Ireland was enlightened with the light of Faith it is known as Croagh Patrick, i.e. St. Patrick's mountain, and is honoured as the Holy Hill, the Mount Sinai, of Ireland.

St. Patrick, in obedience to his guardian angel, made this mountain his hallowed place of retreat. In imitation of the great Jewish legislator on Sinai, he spent forty days on its summit in fasting and prayer, and other penitential exercises. His only shelter from the fury of the elements, the wind and rain, the hail and snow, was a cave, or recess, in the solid rock; and the flagstone on which he rested his weary limbs at night is still pointed out. The whole purpose of his prayer was to obtain special blessings and mercy for the Irish race, whom he evangelized. The demons that made Ireland their battlefield mustered all their strength to tempt the saint and disturb him in his solitude, and turn him away, if possible, from his pious purpose. They gathered around the hill in the form of vast flocks of hideous birds of prey. So dense were their ranks that they seemed to cover the whole mountain, like a cloud, and they so filled the air that Patrick could see neither sky nor earth nor ocean. St. Patrick besought God to scatter the demons, but for a time it would seem as if his prayers and tears were in vain. At length he rang his sweet-sounding bell, symbol of his preaching of the Divine truths. Its sound was heard all over the valleys and hills of Erin, everywhere bringing peace and joy. The flocks of demons began to scatter. He flung his bell among them; they took to precipitate flight, and cast themselves into the ocean. So complete was the saint's victory over them that, as the ancient narrative adds, "for seven years no evil thing was to be found in Ireland."

The saint, however, would not, as yet, descend from the mountain. He had vanquished the demons, but he would now wrestle with God Himself, like Jacob of old, to secure the spiritual interests of his people. The angel had announced to him that, to reward his fidelity in prayer and penance, as many of his people would be gathered into heaven as would cover the land and sea as far as his vision could reach. Far more ample, however, were the aspirations of the saint, and he resolved to persevere in fasting and prayer until the fullest measure of his petition was granted. Again and again the angel came to comfort him, announcing new concessions; but all these would not suffice. He would not relinquish his post on the mountain, or relax his penance, until all were granted.

At length the message came that his prayers were heard:
  • many souls would be free from the pains of purgatory through his intercession;
  • whoever in the spirit of penance would recite his hymn before death would attain the heavenly reward;
  • barbarian hordes would never obtain sway in his Church;
  • seven years before the Judgement Day, the sea would spread over Ireland to save its people from the temptations and terrors of the Antichrist; and
  • greatest blessing of all, Patrick himself should be deputed to judge the whole Irish race on the last day.
Such were the extraordinary favors which St. Patrick, with his wrestling with the Most High, his unceasing prayers, his unconquerable love of heavenly things, and his unremitting penitential deeds, obtained for the people whom he evangelized.
The beautiful prayer of St. Patrick, popularly known as "St. Patrick's Breast-Plate", is supposed to have been composed by him in preparation for this victory over Paganism. The following is a literal translation from the old Irish text:
I bind to myself today
The strong virtue of the Invocation of the Trinity:
I believe the Trinity in the Unity
The Creator of the Universe.

I bind to myself today
The virtue of the Incarnation of Christ with His Baptism,
The virtue of His crucifixion with His burial,
The virtue of His Resurrection with His Ascension,
The virtue of His coming on the Judgement Day.

I bind to myself today
The virtue of the love of seraphim,
In the obedience of angels,
In the hope of resurrection unto reward,
In prayers of Patriarchs,
In predictions of Prophets,
In preaching of Apostles,
In faith of Confessors,
In purity of holy Virgins,
In deeds of righteous men.

I bind to myself today
The power of Heaven,
The light of the sun,
The brightness of the moon,
The splendour of fire,
The flashing of lightning,
The swiftness of wind,
The depth of sea,
The stability of earth,
The compactness of rocks.

I bind to myself today
God's Power to guide me,
God's Might to uphold me,
God's Wisdom to teach me,
God's Eye to watch over me,
God's Ear to hear me,
God's Word to give me speech,
God's Hand to guide me,
God's Way to lie before me,
God's Shield to shelter me,
God's Host to secure me,
Against the snares of demons,
Against the seductions of vices,
Against the lusts of nature,
Against everyone who meditates injury to me,
Whether far or near,
Whether few or with many.

I invoke today all these virtues
Against every hostile merciless power
Which may assail my body and my soul,
Against the incantations of false prophets,
Against the black laws of heathenism,
Against the false laws of heresy,
Against the deceits of idolatry,
Against the spells of women, and smiths, and druids,
Against every knowledge that binds the soul of man.

Christ, protect me today
Against every poison, against burning,
Against drowning, against death-wound,
That I may receive abundant reward.

Christ with me, Christ before me,
Christ behind me, Christ within me,
Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ at my right, Christ at my left,
Christ in the fort,
Christ in the chariot seat,
Christ in the poop [deck],
Christ in the heart of everyone who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks to me,
Christ in every eye that sees me,
Christ in every ear that hears me.

I bind to myself today
The strong virtue of an invocation of the Trinity,
I believe the Trinity in the Unity
The Creator of the Universe.
Moran, Patrick Francis Cardinal. "St. Patrick," The Catholic Encyclopedia, vol. 11 (New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1911) <>.

See for a beautiful icon of Saint Patrick.

Saint Patrick, Apostle of Ireland, pray for us!

Thursday, March 15, 2018

The Days of the Infidel Are Counted

"The days of the infidel are counted. What a fearful thing it is for him to fall into the hands of God in the hour of death! He knows this truth, and because he knows it, he dies in the fury of despair, and, as it were, in the anticipated torments of the suffering that awaits him in hell."

Fr. Michael Müller, C.Ss.R., God the Teacher of Mankind: The Church and Her Enemies, “The Ninth Article of the Apostles’ Creed” (New York: Benziger Brothers, 1880),
269 (

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Stop Abortion Now!

Since the first century the Church has affirmed the moral evil of every procured abortion. This teaching has not changed and remains unchangeable. Direct abortion, that is to say, abortion willed either as an end or a means, is gravely contrary to the moral law:

You shall not kill the embryo by abortion and shall not cause the newborn to perish.75
God, the Lord of life, has entrusted to men the noble mission of safeguarding life, and men must carry it out in a manner worthy of themselves. Life must be protected with the utmost care from the moment of conception: abortion and infanticide are abominable crimes.76
75. Didache 2,2:ÆCh 248,148; cf. Ep. Bárnabae 19,5:PG 2 777; Ad D 5,6:PG 2,1173; Tertullian, Apol. 19:PL 1,319-320.
76. GS 51 § 3.
Pope St. John Paul II, Catechism of the Catholic Church §2271

What are you doing to stop abortion?

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Pray More Rosaries

"Time, not money, is your most valuable currency," says Dr. Taylor Marshall - are you using it well?

Do you have the grace and the time to say more than just five decades of the Rosary every day? I think you do.

Padre Pio, pray for us.

Monday, March 12, 2018

Dionysius the Carthusian

As Blessed Dionysius the Carthusian is one of the patrons of this blog, it is necessary to include a little information about him on March 12, the day he entered Heavenly bliss in 1471. I do not have a beautiful novena prayer, litany, or prayer for his canonization, but let this suffice for today:
The immense literary activity of Denys had never been detrimental to his spirit of prayer. On the contrary he always found in study a powerful help to contemplation; the more he knew, the more he loved. While still a novice he had ecstasies which lasted two or three hours, and later on they lasted sometimes seven hours and more. Indeed, towards the end of his life he could not hear the singing of "Veni Sancte Spiritus" or some verses of the Psalms, nor converse on certain devotional subjects without being lifted off the ground in a rapture of Divine love. Hence posterity has surnamed him "Doctor ecstaticus". During his ecstasies many things were revealed to him which he made known only when it could profit others, and the same may be said of what he learnt from the souls in purgatory, who appeared to him very frequently, seeking relief through his powerful intercession. Loving souls as he did, it is no wonder that he should have become odious to the great hater of souls. His humility responded to his learning, and his mortification, especially with regard to food and sleep, far excelled what the generality of men can attain to. It is true that in point of physical austerities, virtue was assisted by a strong constitution, for he was a man of athletic build and had, as he said, "an iron head and a brazen stomach".

During the last two years of his life he suffered intensely and with heroic patience from paralysis, stone, and other infirmities. He had been a monk for forty-eight years when he died at the age of sixty-nine. Upon his remains being disinterred one hundred and thirty-seven years after, day for day (12 March, 1608), his skull emitted a sweet perfume and the fingers he had most used in writing, i.e. the thumb and forefinger of the right hand, were found in a perfect state of preservation. Although the cause of his beatification has never yet been introduced, St. Francis de Sales, St. Alphonsus Liguori, and other writers of note style him "Blessed"; his life is in the "Acta Sanctorum" of the Bollandists (12 March), and his name is to be found in many martyrologies. An accurate edition of all his works still extant, which will comprise forty-one quarto volumes, is now being issued by the Carthusian Press at Tournai, Belgium.
Edmund Gurdon, "Denys the Carthusian," The Catholic Encyclopedia, vol. 4 (New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1908) <>.

D. A. Mougel mentions the following martyrologies: "Molanus, Natales Sanct. Belgii, XII Martii; Raissius, Auctarium ad Natal., id.; Miræus, Fasti Belgici; Canisius, Martyrol. German.; Balinghem, Calend. Marian.; Ferrarius, Catal. gen. Sanct.; Du Saussay, Martyr. Gallic.; Willot, Martyr. Gallo-Belge; Bolland., Acta Sanct.; etc." [Denys le Chartreux, 1402-1471. Sa vie, son rôle, une nouvelle édition de ses ouvrages (Montreuil-sur-Mer : Imprimerie de la Chartreuse de N.-D. des Prés, 1896), 73 <>].

For the Opera Omnia of Blessed Dionysius, see and

"For the greater glory of God, the spread of [his] devotion, and the consolation of those who trust in [Dionysius]," call on him for favors and pray for his canonization (cf. Fr. Lawrence Lovasik, Treasury of Novenas, Novena Prayer to Saint Rita of Cascia, 254).

More details to follow, God willing.

Bienheureux Denys, priez pour nous!

Image: Porträt eines Kartäusers (Portrait of a Carthusian) by Petrus Christ (1446) via

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Bloody and Unbloody Sacrifice

Christ shall never more offer Himself in sacrifice, in that violent, painful, and bloody manner, nor can there be any occasion for it: since by that one sacrifice upon the cross, He has furnished the full ransom, redemption, and remedy for all the sins of the world. But this hinders not that He may offer himself daily in the sacred mysteries in an unbloody manner, for the daily application of that one sacrifice of redemption to our souls.
Bishop Richard Challoner, note on Hebrews 9:25 (

Image credit: ?

Thursday, March 08, 2018

Benedícite Deum Cœli

"Bless ye the God of heaven, give glory to Him in the sight of all that live, because He hath shown His mercy to you ... bless ye Him, and sing praises to Him. ... bless ye God, and publish all His wonderful works" (Saint Raphael the Archangel in Tobit 12:6, 18, 20). 

Saint Raphael the Archangel, pray for us!

📷: unknown

Tuesday, March 06, 2018

St. Dominic: Champion of Truth and Enemy of Heresy

St. Dominic during his whole career was the champion of truth, and, as such, the determined enemy of heresy. To deny this would be to rob him of one of his chief glories; but to regard the assertion of this fact as equivalent to an admission of his want of humanity, argues a certain confusion of ideas, and the loss in some degree of the sense of what is meant by religious truth. This result has no doubt been produced in many minds by the spread among us of modern liberal ideas, and we need to be reminded that so far from the hatred of heresy being opposed to true charity, it is a necessary part of that love of souls which flows from the love of God. The Saint who "studied only in the book of charity," who was "the lover of souls," because he was "the friend of Jesus Christ," who is invoked as "the most kind Father, Dominic," distinguished even among the saints for his "matchless serenity," and for the tender love that flowed from him as from "a well-spring of sweetness," hated heresy out of the very fulness of his love for souls; and the word VERITAS, which has become the motto of his Order, was in his eyes but another form of the yet sweeter word CHARITAS. This truth, dimmed though it may have become in our own age and country, is the real key to the character of St. Dominic, and of all other Saints in whom this enmity to that which opposes the truth is an integral portion of their love of God ; a Divine instinct, marking their allegiance to His Supreme Sovereignty, and one which can alone explain both their heroic labours in defence of the faith, and the tears they wept over souls perishing in error. 
Augusta Theodosia Drane, The History of St. Dominic, Founder of the Friars Preachers (New York: 15 East 16th Street, 1891), ix-x ( - the image is from the same book

I beg you, brethren, to help me become a worthy son of St. Dominic.

Friday, March 02, 2018

Pray For More Good Priests

But come, ye good priests and religious, and also ye good secular people, of whom I know there is everywhere a great multitude, "Pray ye the Lord of the harvest that He send good laborers into His field;" yea, that He winnow His corn and cleanse it and separate the husks and burn the cockle; for the days are near and they are rapidly coming on, when my Beloved will reveal His Arm, to execute judgment and mercy on the earth. Lift up your heads and see that the summer is nigh and the harvest is whitening. 
Fra Girolamo Savonarola, O.P., "Lamentation of the Spouse of Christ against lukewarm and false preachers; or an exhortation to the faithful to pray to the Lord for the renewal of the Church"

Translated by Fr. James Louis O'Neil, O.P., p. 129 (

Click here to help me become a priest - thank you very much! Praying for you daily. God bless you and yours.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

The Best Answers to Objections to Catholicism

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Matthew 18:17: "And if he will not hear the Church, let him be to thee as the heathen and the publican."

1 Kings (1 Samuel) 3:9: "Speak, Lord, for Thy servant heareth."

Luke 10:16: "He that heareth you, heareth Me; and he that despiseth you, despiseth Me; and he that despiseth Me, despiseth Him that sent Me."

Psalm 94[95]:8 or Hebrews 3:7-8: "Today if you shall hear his voice, harden not your hearts."

John 10:27: "My sheep hear my voice: and I know them, and they follow me."

John 6:61: "This saying is hard, and who can hear it?"

Matthew 11:15: "He that hath ears to hear, let him hear."

John 8:47: "He that is of God, heareth the words of God. Therefore you hear them not, because you are not of God."

John 3:11: "Amen, amen I say to thee, that We speak what We know, and We testify what We have seen, and you receive not Our testimony."

John 6:67: “After this many of His disciples went back; and walked no more with Him."

Jeremiah 6:16-17: "Thus saith the Lord: 'Stand ye on the ways, and see and ask for the old paths which is the good way, and walk ye in it: and you shall find refreshment for your souls.' And they said: 'We will not walk.' And I appointed watchmen over you, saying: 'Hearken ye to the sound of the trumpet.' And they said: 'We will not hearken.'"

1 John 5:10: "He that believeth in the Son of God, hath the testimony of God in himself. He that believeth not the Son, maketh him a liar: because he believeth not in the testimony which God hath testified of his Son."

Matthew 7:13-14: "Enter ye in at the narrow gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way that leadeth to destruction, and many there are who go in thereat. How narrow is the gate, and strait is the way that leadeth to life: and few there are that find it!"

John 8:32: "The truth shall make you free."

John 14:6: "Jesus saith to him: 'I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No man cometh to the Father, but by Me.'"

Isaiah 5:20: "Woe to you that call evil good, and good evil: that put darkness for light, and light for darkness: that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter."

Ezekiel 18:25: "And you have said: 'The way of the Lord is not right.' Hear ye, therefore, O house of Israel: Is it My way that is not right, and are not rather your ways perverse?"

Psalm 24:10: "All the ways of the Lord are mercy and truth, to them that seek after His covenant and His testimonies."

Job 40:3: "Wilt thou make void My judgment: and condemn Me, that thou mayst be justified?"

Romans 11:33-35: "O the depth of the riches of the wisdom and of the knowledge of God! How incomprehensible are His judgments, and how unsearchable His ways! For who hath known the mind of the Lord? Or who hath been His counsellor? Or who hath first given to Him, and recompense shall be made him?"

Isaiah 55:6-9:
Seek ye the Lord, while He may be found: call upon Him, while He is near. Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unjust man his thoughts, and let him return to the Lord, and He will have mercy on him, and to our God: for He is bountiful to forgive. For My thoughts are not your thoughts: nor your ways My ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are exalted above the earth, so are My ways exalted above your ways, and My thoughts above your thoughts.
Galatians 1:8: "But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach a gospel to you besides that which we have preached to you, let him be anathema."

Romans 1:20: "For the invisible things of Him, from the creation of the world, are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made; His eternal power also, and divinity: so that they are inexcusable."

Psalm 13(14):1: "The fool hath said in his heart: "There is no God.'"

Wisdom 13:1-9:
But all men are vain, in whom there is not the knowledge of God: and who by these good things that are seen, could not understand Him that is, neither by attending to the works have acknowledged Who was the Workman: But have imagined either the fire, or the wind, or the swift air, or the circle of the stars, or the great water, or the sun and moon, to be the gods that rule the world. With whose beauty, if they, being delighted, took them to be gods: let them know how much the Lord of them is more beautiful than they: for the first Author of beauty made all those things. Or if they admired their power and their effects, let them understand by them, that He that made them, is mightier than they: For by the greatness of the beauty, and of the creature, the Creator of them may be seen, so as to be known thereby. But yet as to these they are less to be blamed. For they perhaps err, seeking God, and desirous to find him. For being conversant among his works, they search: and they are persuaded that the things are good which are seen. But then again they are not to be pardoned. For if they were able to know so much as to make a judgment of the world: how did they not more easily find out the Lord thereof?
The Church can neither deceive you nor herself; she is "the pillar and the ground of the truth" (1 Timothy 3:15), "subject to Christ" (Ephesians 5:24), "holy and without blemish … a glorious church not having spot or wrinkle, or any such thing" (Ephesians 5:27); "the gates of Hell shall not prevail against" her (Matthew 16:18) because Christ is with her "all days, even unto the consummation of the world" (Matthew 28:20).

St. Athanasius, Letter 59:3: "It is enough merely to answer such things as follows: we are content with the fact that this is not the teaching of the Catholic Church, nor did the fathers hold this."

Fr. Michael Müller, The Catholic Dogma: Extra Ecclesiam Nullus Omnino Salvatur, ch. V, part 1 (PDF / Online text): "The good Catholic silences every objection to his faith by saying: 'The Son of God, Jesus Christ, has revealed it to us by his Church, and we have no more questions to ask.'"

St. Alphonsus Liguori, The Complete Works, vol. 15, 368:
The cause or motive, then, which imposes on me the obligation to believe the truths of faith is, because God, the infallible Truth, has revealed them, and because the Church proposes them to my belief. So we should make out a rule of faith in this way: "My God, because Thou, who art the infallible truth, hast revealed to the Church the truths of faith, I believe all the Church proposes to my belief."
Bishop George Hay, The Sincere Christian, vol. 2, 280-281:
If this doctrine were a mere human opinion, or the result indeed of human reasoning, it might be called uncharitable; but it is a doctrine into which mere human reason does not enter. It is a point which depends solely on the will of the Almighty; and the only question is to know what He has been pleased to decide concerning it.
G. K. Chesterton, Why I Am a Catholic: "The difficulty of explaining “why I am a Catholic” is that there are ten thousand reasons all amounting to one reason: that Catholicism is true."

St. Ignatius of Antioch, Epistle to the Smyrnaeans §8: "Wherever the bishop shall appear, there let the multitude [of the people] also be; even as, wherever Jesus Christ is, there is the Catholic Church."

St. Augustine of Hippo, De Vera Religione §7 (Patrologia Latina 34:128): "The Church is called Catholic by all her enemies as well as by her own children. Whether they wish it or not, heretics and schismatics, when speaking with those outside their own sects, can call the Church by no other name than Catholic, for they would not be understood unless they used the name by which the Church is known to the whole world" [quoted in Fr. E. Sylvester Berry, The Church of Christ: An Apologetic and Dogmatic Treatise (Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock Publishers, 2009), 68)].

St. Augustine, Against the Fundamental Epistle of Manichaeus, ch. 5: "I should not believe the gospel except as moved by the authority of the Catholic Church."

Bishop Louis Gaston de Ségur, Short and Familiar Answers to the Most Common Objections Urged Against Religion (New York: P. O'Shea, 1880), 76:
My faith in the Christian mysteries is then supremely reasonable. It proves a sound and logical mind. My reason has said to me, "These witnesses [Jesus Christ and His Catholic Church] can neither deceive you nor themselves. They bring you THE TRUTH from heaven!" I should not be true to my reason were I not to believe their word.
 Orestes Brownson, Protestantism Antichristian, Works, vol. 8, 456-457:
No doubt, this will be complained of as illiberal, as quite too severe; but the only question we have to ask is: Is it true? Is it the law? If it is the law of God, it is true; if it is what the Church teaches, we have nothing to do with the question of its liberty or illiberality, of its severity or its leniency. All we have to guard against is against asserting it in a harsh or illiberal spirit, in a severe and cruel temper, or with any uncharitableness towards those who expose themselves to the terrible consequences of rejecting Christ and his law, or who refuse to suffer him to reign over them. We may love and pray for them, but to seek to alter the divine constitution of his kingdom is to incur ourselves the guilt of rebellion. There is but one right way; and while it is our duty to walk in it, it is also our duty to do our best to show it to those who are out of it, and induce them to come into it. It were a sin against charity to leave them to think that they can be saved out of it, or by any other way. It would alter nothing in the law, which is, independent alike of them and of us, were we to do so. A man may be as liberal as he pleases with what is his own, but to give away what is another’s is an injustice. God is just and merciful, and he loves all the works of his hands, for never would he have made anything, if he had hated it. Christ so loved even sinners that he gave his life for them, and it is a want of faith in him to doubt the wisdom or justice, the goodness or mercy of his law. The Church cannot save those who reject her, but she weeps as a loving mother over those who are out of the way, and go to sure destruction. Charity is higher and broader than blind sentimentality. It loves all men, but it loves them in God.
Orestes Brownson, "Controversy," Works, vol. 5, 570: "Tell the truth in your own way, and by all means in a matter as little offensive as possible, but TELL IT."

Pope St. John Paul II, Homily for the Canonization of St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (Edith Stein): "Do not accept anything as the truth if it lacks love. And do not accept anything as love which lacks truth!"

Scandals, Bad Catholics
Dr. Ludwig von Pastor, The History of the Popes, vol. 6, 140-141:
In the Church there have always been unworthy priests as well as bad Christians; and that no one might be scandalized by this, our Lord Himself has foretold it. He likens her to a field in which the tares grow up with the wheat; to a net in which are both good and bad fish; even amongst His disciples He endured a Judas.

Just as the intrinsic worth of a jewel is not lessened by an inferior setting, so the sins of a priest cannot essentially affect his power of offering sacrifice or administering Sacraments or transmitting doctrine. The personal holiness of the priest is, of course, of the highest importance for the lives of the faithful, inasmuch as he constitutes a living example for them to follow, and compels the respect and esteem of those who are outside. Still the goodness or badness of the minister can exercise no substantial influence on the being, the divine character, or the holiness of the Church; on the word of revelation; on the graces and spiritual powers with which she is endowed. Thus, even the supreme high priest can in no way diminish the value of that heavenly treasure which she controls and dispenses, but only as a steward. The gold remains gold in impure as in pure hands.
Alfonso Cardinal Capecelatro, The Life of Saint Philip Neri, Apostle of Rome, vol. 1, 257: "Our true glory is this: that for one bad Pope we can point to a hundred good ones; and that the worst of the Popes was never permitted to err in defining and promulgating anything that pertains to Catholic faith and morals."

Ven. Archbishop Fulton Sheen: "Judge the Catholic Church not by those who barely live by its spirit, but by those who live closest to it."

Evil and Original Sin
Fr. Bertrand Louis Conway, C.S.P., The Question Box Answers, 11: "Does God cease to be infinitely good because the creatures He made with free will to obey His law, and endowed with the grace necessary to fulfil their destiny, refuse knowingly and deliberately to observe that law, and reject God's proffered help?"

St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologiæ II-II, q. 10, art. 11, corp.: "Although God is all-powerful and supremely good, nevertheless He allows certain evils to take place in the universe, which He might prevent, lest, without them, greater goods might be forfeited, or greater evils ensue."

Servant of God Fra Girolamo Savonarola, O.P., The Triumph of the Cross, Book 3, ch. 9, 121-122:
There is nothing unjust in the fact that all men have to suffer the penalty due to one. Man had no natural right to original justice, in the sense in which he has a right to the use of his limbs. Justice was a free gift of God; and the giver has power to choose the time, and manner, of his gift. If God gave to Adam original justice, with the understanding that if he did not sin, both he and all his posterity should keep this gift; but that if he did sin, both he and his descendants should be deprived of their privilege, what ground have we for complaint? Human nature, in its entirety, was included in Adam. Since, then, original justice is, in no sense, our due, we could not murmur had Adam never been graced with it. How therefore can we complain that, in consequence of Adam’s violation of the conditions imposed upon him by God, our nature has been deprived of this privilege? Original sin does not, as is often thought, mean simply a wound inflicted on human nature, which has injured it by depriving it of some good proper to it. It means, rather, the deprivation of that state of original justice, to which human nature has no claim. It is as unreasonable to murmur at being born in our purely natural state, as it would be to complain that we were not sanctified in the womb, or were not created in the enjoyment of happiness.
Romans 8:28, 31-39:
And we know that to them that love God, all things work together unto good, to such as, according to His purpose, are called to be saints.  ... What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who is against us? He that spared not even His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how hath He not also, with Him, given us all things? Who shall accuse against the elect of God? God that justifieth. Who is he that shall condemn? Christ Jesus that died, yea that is risen also again; Who is at the right hand of God, Who also maketh intercession for us. Who then shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation? or distress? or famine? or nakedness? or danger? or persecution? or the sword? (As it is written: For Thy sake we are put to death all the day long. We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.) But in all these things we overcome, because of Him that hath loved us. For I am sure that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor might, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Pope St. John Paul II, Address at the University of Rome Tor Vergata on August 19, 2000:
It is Jesus in fact that you seek when you dream of happiness; He is waiting for you when nothing else you find satisfies you; He is the beauty to which you are so attracted; it is He Who provokes you with that thirst for fullness that will not let you settle for compromise; it is He Who urges you to shed the masks of a false life; it is He Who reads in your hearts your most genuine choices, the choices that others try to stifle. It is Jesus Who stirs in you the desire to do something great with your lives, the will to follow an ideal, the refusal to allow yourselves to be grounded down by mediocrity, the courage to commit yourselves humbly and patiently to improving yourselves and society, making the world more human and more fraternal. 
St. Augustine, Confessions, book 1, ch. 1: "You move us to delight in praising You; for You have made us for Yourself, and our hearts are restless until they rest in You."

Fr. Michael Müller, C.Ss.R., God the Teacher of Mankind: The Sacraments of the Holy Eucharist and Penance, 143: "God alone can make such deep impressions on the soul; God alone can thus absorb our minds and make us forget all creatures; God alone can thus calm the most violent passions; God alone can so change hearts, draw them to Him, and constitute their happiness here below!"

St. Cyril of Jerusalem, Catechetical Lecture 22 § 1: "Since then He Himself declared and said of the Bread, 'This is My Body,' who shall dare to doubt any longer? And since He has Himself affirmed and said, 'This is My Blood,' who shall ever hesitate, saying, that it is not His blood?"

St. Gregory of Nyssa, The Great Catechism 37:
Rightly, then, do we believe that now also the bread which is consecrated by the Word of God is changed into the Body of God the Word. For that Body was once, by implication, bread, but has been consecrated by the inhabitation of the Word that tabernacled in the flesh. Therefore, from the same cause as that by which the bread that was transformed in that Body was changed to a Divine potency, a similar result takes place now. For as in that case, too, the grace of the Word used to make holy the Body, the substance of which came of the bread, and in a manner was itself bread, so also in this case the bread, as says the Apostle, "is sanctified by the Word of God and prayer;" not that it advances by the process of eating to the stage of passing into the Body of the Word, but it is at once changed into the Body by means of the Word, as the Word itself said, "This is My Body."
Almighty God has confirmed, in at least seventeen different ways, the Church's faith in the real presence of Jesus Christ (Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity) in the Blessed Sacrament: "17 Proofs of the Real Presence" summarizing Fr. Michael Müller, God the Teacher of Mankind: The Sacraments of the Holy Eucharist and Penance, 58-145.

Catholic Religion Proved by Protestant Bible:
Christ's Church existed 350 years before the New Testament was under one cover [and for about 70 years before the last book of the New Testament was written] and over 1400 years before it could be printed; which completely refutes the "Bible Only" theory of today's 33,800 sects. Meanwhile the Protestant Bible itself proves the marks, attributes and basic doctrines of the ancient one-faith-fold-shepherd Church of Christ – as shown herein.
St. Thomas Aquinas, Compendium Theologiae, c. 183:
The suffering of eternal punishment is in no way opposed to divine justice. Even in the laws men make, punishment need not correspond to the offense in point of time. For the crime of adultery or murder, either of which may be committed in a brief span of time, human law may prescribe lifelong exile or even death, by both of which the criminal is banned forever from the society of the state. Exile, it is true, does not last forever, but this is purely accidental, owing to the fact that man’s life is not everlasting; but the intention of the judge, we may assume, is to sentence the criminal to perpetual punishment, so far as he can. In the same way it is not unjust for God to inflict eternal punishment for a sin committed in a moment of time.

We should also take into consideration the fact that eternal punishment is inflicted on a sinner who does not repent of his sin, and so he continues in his sin up to his death. And since he is in sin for eternity, he is reasonably punished by God for all eternity. Furthermore, any sin committed against God has a certain infinity when regarded from the side of God, against whom it is committed. For, clearly, the greater the person who is offended, the more grievous is the offense. He who strikes a soldier is held more gravely accountable than if he struck a peasant; and his offense is much more serious if he strikes a prince or a king. Accordingly, since God is infinitely great, an offense committed against Him is in a certain respect infinite; and so a punishment that is in a certain respect infinite is duly attached to it. Such a punishment cannot be infinite in intensity, for nothing created can be infinite in this way. Consequently a punishment that is infinite in duration is rightly inflicted for mortal sin. 

Moreover, while a person is still capable of correction, temporal punishment is imposed for his emendation or cleansing. But if a sinner is incorrigible, so that his will is obstinately fixed in sin, as we said above is the case with the damned, his punishment ought never to come to an end.
St. Anthony Mary Claret, Autobiography:
If I saw anyone about to fall into a pit or a fire, would I not run up to him and warn him, and do all in my power to help him from falling in? Why should I not do this much to keep sinners from falling into the pit and fires of Hell?

Neither can I understand why other priests who believe the selfsame truths as I do, as we all must do, do not preach or exhort their flock so that they might avoid this unbearable eternity of Hell. It is still a source of wonder to me how the laity - those men and women blessed with the Faith - do not give warning to those who need it. If a house were to catch fire in the middle of the night, and if the inhabitants of the same house and the other townsfolk were asleep and did not see the danger, would not the one who first noticed it shout and run along the streets, exclaiming: "Fire! Fire! In that house over there!" Then why should there not be a warning of eternal fire to waken those who are drifting in the sleep of sin in such a way that when they open their eyes they will find themselves burning in the eternal flames of Hell?
Bible (Inerrancy, Hard Sayings)
Many Bible passages are explained in the Fr. George Leo Haydock Bible commentary (

Mary, Devotion to
St. Louis Marie de Montfort, True Devotion to Mary §94: "For we never give more honor to Jesus than when we honor his Mother, and we honor her simply and solely to honor him all the more perfectly. We go to her only as a way leading to the goal we seek — Jesus, her Son."

Let anyone who still doubts read St. Alphonsus Maria Liguori, The Glories of Mary, new revised edition (New York: P. J. Kennedy & Sons, 1888)

Fr. Louis Monden, S.J., Signs and Wonders: "The Roman Catholic Church, while not claiming an absolute monopoly, which could not be proved because of the very nature of history, does have a practical monopoly on what we have called 'major miracle'" (321), and "they occur with a regularity that excludes all possibility of error and fortuitous coincidence," that is "in an unpredictable and yet regular manner, which is in striking contrast with non-Christian religions and other Christian denominations, where its absence is glaring" (250). [E.g., only in the Catholic Church do we see the complete, immediate, and permanent healing of properly diagnosed organic lesions like a terminal tumor, not capable of natural explanation and verified by objective criteria and multiple credible witnesses and rigorously checked by the Church].

No Salvation Outside the Church
Pope Leo XIII, Immortale Dei §7:
Now, it cannot be difficult to find out which is the true religion, if only it be sought with an earnest and unbiased mind; for proofs are abundant and striking. We have, for example, the fulfilment of prophecies, miracles in great numbers, the rapid spread of the faith in the midst of enemies and in face of overwhelming obstacles, the witness of the martyrs, and the like. From all these it is evident that the only true religion is the one established by Jesus Christ Himself, and which He committed to His Church to protect and to propagate.
Fr. Michael Müller, C.Ss.R., The Catholic Dogma: Extra Ecclesiam Nullus Omnino Salvatur (PDF / Online text):
No one can go to heaven unless he knows the way to heaven. If we wish to go to a certain city, the first thing we do is to ask the way that leads to it. If we do not know the way, we cannot expect to arrive at that city. So, too, if we wish to go to heaven, we must know the way that leads to it. Now, the way that leads to it is the knowing and doing of God's will. But it is God alone who can teach us his will; that is, what he requires us to believe and to do, in order to be happy with him in heaven.

To know God's will is to know the true religion or the true way to heaven. As God is but one, so his holy will is but one, and therefore his religion is but one and the same. In order that we might learn, with infallible certainty, this one true religion, Almighty God appointed but one infallible teaching authority - the Roman Catholic Church – and commanded all to hear her and believe her infallible doctrine, under pain of exclusion from eternal life.
"As there is," says Pius IX, "but one God the Father, one Christ his Son, one Holy Ghost, so there is also only one divinely revealed truth, only one divine faith - the beginning of man's salvation and the foundation of all justification, by which (faith) the just man lives, and without which it is impossible to please God and to be admitted to the Communion of his children; and there is but one true, holy, Catholic, Roman Church and divine teaching Authority, (cathedra) founded upon Peter by the living voice of the Lord, out of which (Church) there is neither the TRUE FAITH nor ETERNAL SALVATION, since no one, can have God for his Father, who has not the Church for his Mother." (Encycl. Letter, March 17, 1856.)
Orestes Brownson, "The Great Question," Works, vol. 5, 547:
That those in societies alien to the church, invincibly ignorant of the church, if they correspond to the graces they receive, and persevere, will be saved, we do not doubt, but not where they are, or without being brought to the church.
Bishop George Hay, The Sincere Christian, vol. 2, 300:
if they live and die in that state [invincible ignorance of the truth] they shall not be saved, and ... according to the present providence they cannot be saved; but the great God is able to take them out of that state, to cure even their ignorance though invincible to them in their present situation, to bring them to the knowledge of the True Faith, to the Communion of His Holy Church, and to salvation: and we further add, that if He be pleased, of His infinite mercy, to save any who are at present in invincible ignorance of the truth, in order to act consistently with Himself, and with His Holy Word, He will undoubtedly bring them to the union of His Holy Church for that purpose before they die
Pope Leo XII, Encyclical Ubi Primum §14:
It is impossible for the most true God, who is Truth Itself, the best, the wisest Provider, and the Rewarder of good men, to approve all sects who profess false teachings which are often inconsistent with one another and contradictory, and to confer eternal rewards on their members. For we have a surer word of the prophet, and in writing to you We speak wisdom among the perfect; not the wisdom of this world but the wisdom of God in a mystery. By it we are taught, and by divine faith we hold one Lord, one faith, one baptism, and that no other name under heaven is given to men except the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth in which we must be saved. This is why we profess that there is no salvation outside the Church. 
Eastern Orthodoxy
A Sinner, "Why God Led Me To Rome Instead of Constantinople":
G.K. Chesterton said, "The difficulty of explaining 'why I am a Catholic' is that there are ten thousand reasons all amounting to one reason: that Catholicism is true." I say, "The difficulty of explaining 'why I am not Eastern Orthodox' is that there are ten thousand reasons all amounting to one reason: that Eastern Orthodoxy is not true."

One: Among the Orthodox there is neither "unity of government" (no visible center, just "independent, national churches, united only in their opposition to Rome") nor "unity of faith ... the official creeds ... teach contradictory doctrines on many important points, and in many cases their official teaching is contradicted by their liturgies" (Fr. E. Sylvester Berry, The Church of Christ, 103).

Because the Eastern Orthodox Church does not have an infallible magisterium,{1} it has been unable to definitively solve issues such as the following{2}: the procession of the Holy Ghost; the nature of the primacy of the Pope; the validity of Catholic Baptism; the canon of Sacred Scripture; whether there is a real distinction in God between His essence and energy; the form of the Eucharist; the immediacy of retribution; Purgatory; and other issues. Fr. Jugie adds, "The Græco-Russian Church, throughout the long centuries of schism, not only has not been able to resolve in a definitive way any of the questions controverted with the Catholic Church, but also it has presented on each of these questions the spectacle of continual variations in its official declarations as well as in the teaching of its theologians. Among the opinions upheld by these latter on each point, the Catholic thesis always figures with a considerable, and sometimes preponderant, number of representatives. A detailed demonstration of this conclusion would require a large volume."{3} As St. Robert Bellarmine says, "The Thirteenth Mark [of the Church] is the Confession of our Adversaries. Truly, the force of truth is so great, that it even compels our adversaries to give testimony to it now and again, according to that which is read in Deuteronomy [32:31]: 'The Lord our God is not as their gods, and our enemies are judges.'"{4}

{1} Fr. Martin Jugie, A.A. (†1954), Theologia dogmatica Christianorum orientalium ab Ecclesia Catholica dissidentium IV:525-529.
{2} Op. cit., 538-539.
{3} Fr. Martin Jugie, "Will Union Be Easy for the Orientals?" (Peekskill, NY: Graymoor Press, 1949), 8-9.
{4} On the Marks of the Church, trans. Ryan Grant, 122.

Holy: The Catholic Church abounds in examples of those who have exercised the virtues of faith, hope, charity, prudence, justice, temperance, and fortitude to a heroic degree (cf., exceeding "what is ordinary even among those who live virtuously ... in the excellence of [the] act and the intensity of the habit from which it comes" and "numerous in proportion to the opportunities for action" [K. V. Truhlar in NCE XIV:554]. The Orthodox do not have faith, because they do not submit their intellect and will to God revealing and the Church proposing, and they do not have charity, because they are separated from the Mystical Body of Christ, the Church. "Without faith it is impossible to please God" (Hebrews 11:6), "and if I should distribute all my goods to feed the poor, and if I should deliver my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing" (1 Corinthians 13:3). The "phenomenon of religious orders is found--on any significant scale--only in the Catholic Church" [Fr. Aidan Nichols, O.P., Figuring Out the Church]. The Catholic Church has a "practical monopoly" on "major miracles" such as the well-authenticated, objectively scientifically tested immediate/complete/permanent healing of properly diagnosed organic lesions directly attributable to the posthumous intercession of a person who has lived a life of heroic virtue ("On Non-Catholic Miracles").

Catholic: "The schismatic churches of the East, even when considered as one church, are in no sense Catholic or universal in their diffusion. They are limited almost entirely to Asia Minor, Egypt, Abyssinia, and eastern Europe" (Fr. E. Sylvester Berry, The Church of Christ, 103). On the other hand, the Catholic Church has "a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and tribes, and peoples, and tongues" (Revelation 7:9). Behold the fruits of the missions of the Catholic Church! The Orthodox Church is comparatively lacking in terms of missions (Fr. Martin Jugie, Theologia dogmatica Christianorum orientalium ab Ecclesia Catholica dissidentium IV:593). As Fr. Nichols says regarding heroic holiness, there should also be here "a stream, not a trickle" (Figuring Out the Church).

Apostolic: "In some cases [the Orthodox] may have a material succession of bishops from Apostolic times, but this avails them nothing, since they lack both unity and Catholicity--two essential marks of the true Church. In no case do they have legitimate succession; there is no transmission of jurisdiction because they have withdrawn from communion with Rome, the center and source of all jurisdiction" [Fr. E. Sylvester Berry, The Church of Christ, 103-104]. Since the time of Photius and Michael Cerularius, there have been many Catholic occupants of the sees of Constantinople, Alexandria, Antioch, Jerusalem, Kiev, Serbia, Tarnovo, Ohrid, Moldavia, Armenia, etc., but no "Orthodox" Popes.
Fr. Joseph Gill, S.J., Personalities of the Council of Florence, 61-62:
Mark [of Ephesus] was impervious to argument. The Latin spokesman had quoted, besides scripture, a most imposing array of Latin Fathers who taught the “and from the Son” and an equally impressive list of Greek Fathers who wrote of the Holy Spirit as proceeding “through the Son” or either from the Father and “flowing,” “bursting forth,” “issuing,” etc., etc. “through” or “from” the Son, or “from Both.” After the end of the public sessions Bessarion, George Scholarius, Isidore, Gregory, and Dorotheus pressed the parallelism. They started from what was an axiom for the Greeks, for Mark as much as for any of the others—all saints are inspired by the same Holy Spirit and so teach the same truth even in different words. Their conclusion was, the “from” of the Latin saints” means the same as the “through” of the Greek. Mark should have been forced to the same conclusion. He accepted the axiom; he could not deny the testimonies from the Greek Fathers, because he was confronted with the codices that contained them; what he did, perforce, was to accuse the Latins of presenting garbled and deliberately falsified quotations that could not be checked because he, Mark, with most of the Greeks knew no Latin. Not a few Latin treatises, however, especially those of that greatest advocate of the Filioque, St. Augustine, had long been translated into Greek, and there were, of course, some of the Greeks, like Scholarius, who knew Latin well and who tried to disabuse him. But he would not be disabused. The Latins were heretics, and that was that.
Fr. Louis Monden, S.J., Signs and Wonders, 76:
God could not seal with miraculous approval a teaching that is false. With the certainty of faith, we may affirm that a miracle invoked to confirm error in the profession of doctrine, the announcement of a message, or the communication of a private revelation which contradicts the divine revelation which the infallible teaching presents us, is merely an illusion and imposture. On this question Pascal justly remarked, 'Miracles are the test of doctrine, and doctrine the test of miracles' [Pensées 803].
T. G. Pater, "Miracles, Theology of," New Catholic Encyclopedia, vol. 9, 669-670:  
God would not work a miracle under such circumstances that it could reasonably be interpreted as divine confirmation of another religion as a whole or of a doctrine contrary to the teachings of Christ and his Church.
St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologiæ II-II, q. 178, art. 2, ad 3:
Miracles are always true witnesses to the purpose for which they are wrought. Hence wicked men who teach a false doctrine never work true miracles in confirmation of their teaching, although sometimes they may do so in praise of Christ's name which they invoke, and by the power of the sacraments which they administer. If they teach a true doctrine, sometimes they work true miracles as confirming their teaching, but not as an attestation of holiness. Hence Augustine says (QQ. lxxxiii, qu. 79): "Magicians work miracles in one way, good Christians in another, wicked Christians in another. Magicians by private compact with the demons, good Christians by their manifest righteousness, evil Christians by the outward signs of righteousness."
Mohammedanism (Islam)
St. John Bosco, Il Cattolico istruito nella sua religione: trattenimenti di un padre di famiglia co’ suoi figliuoli, secondo i bisogni del tempo, epilogati dal Sacerdote Bosco Giovanni, part 2, ch. 13:
Mohammed established his religion with violence and arms; Jesus Christ established His Church with words of peace using His poor disciples. Mohammed incited the passions; Jesus Christ commanded the denial of self.  Mohammed worked no miracles; Jesus Christ worked uncountable miracles in broad daylight and in the presence of countless multitudes.  Mohammed’s doctrines are ridiculous, immoral and corrupting; Jesus Christ’s are august, sublime and pure. In Mohammed not even one prophecy was fulfilled; in Jesus Christ all were.
Servant of God Fra Girolamo Savonarola, O.P., The Triumph of the Cross, Book 4, ch. 5, 180-183:
so aptly do the prophecies of the Old Testament apply to Christ and to His Church, that if the Jews were not loud in proclaiming the antiquity of Moses and the Prophets, their predictions might be taken for forgeries of Christianity.
in Daniel we read: "Seventy weeks are shortened upon thy people, and upon thy holy city, that transgression may be finished, and sin may have an end, and iniquity may be abolished; and everlasting justice may be brought; and vision and prophecy may be fulfilled; and the Saint of saints may be anointed. Know thou, therefore, and take notice: that from the going forth of the word, to build up Jerusalem again, unto Christ the prince, there shall be seven weeks, and sixty-two weeks: and the street shall be built again, and the walls in straitness of times. And after sixty-two weeks Christ shall be slain: and the people that deny Him shall not be His. And a people, with their leader that shall come, shall destroy the city and the sanctuary: and the end thereof shall be waste, and after the end of the war the appointed desolation. And he shall confirm the covenant with many, in one week: and in the half of the week the victim and the sacrifice shall fail: and there shall be in the temple the abomination of desolation: and the desolation shall continue even to the consummation, and to the end" (Dan. ix. 24-27).
We can easily see from these words, that Jesus Christ is the true Messiah. For the seventy weeks mentioned have passed long ago; and there is no one except Christ with whom we can connect them. In the Holy Scriptures, as we learn from Leviticus xxiii. and xxv., a week may signify either seven days or seven years. Now, seventy weeks of years amount to 490 years. And this period has elapsed, four times, between the days of Daniel and our own. And, if any one should object, that Daniel meant by a week neither seven days nor seven years, but some longer period, we would ask him what the longer period may be? And as he will not be able to answer, except in our terms, it is clear that any period assigned by him, and unspecified by Holy Writ, will be his own invention. Surely, if by a week God intended to signify a number of days and years not mentioned in Scripture, He would, by not apprising Daniel of the fact, have rendered his prophecy useless, and a cause of confusion and error. It must, therefore, be conceded that the time appointed for the advent of the Messiah is past; and, that He has already come. It were vain to answer, that, although the weeks predicted by Daniel have elapsed, the Messiah has not arrived; and to argue that neither Daniel nor the other Prophets indicate how soon after the close of the seventy weeks Christ is to come. For, if this argument held good, it would follow that the Prophets never foretold, with any certainty, anything concerning the Messiah.
St. Bernadette Soubirous: "My job is to inform, not to convince."

Sirach 5:8: "Delay not to be converted to the Lord, and defer it not from day to day."

May this post help you, dear reader, to "sanctify the Lord Christ in your hearts, being ready always to satisfy every one that asketh you a reason of that hope which is in you" (1 Peter 3:15).

Pray for me, a sinner. Hoping to better organize this post and translate it into other languages.

Ave Maria!

Mirror link

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Catholic Church: The One and Only Path to Salvation

We are guardians of something given, and given to the Church universal; something which is not the result of reflection, however competent, on cultural and social questions of the day, and is not merely the best path among many, but the one and only path to salvation: “there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved” (Act. 4, 12). The People of God and those near and far must hear the name.
Pope St. John Paul II, Address to the Metropolitan Bishops of the USA at the Conclusion of the Special Assembly (March 11, 1989)

Full of Reverence and Dignity

The People of God need to see priests and deacons behave in a way that is full of reverence and dignity, in order to help them to penetrate invisible things without unnecessary words or explanations. In the Roman Missal of Saint Pius V, as in several Eastern liturgies, there are very beautiful prayers through which the priest expresses the most profound sense of humility and reverence before the Sacred Mysteries: they reveal the very substance of the Liturgy.
Pope St. John Paul II, "Address to the plenary assembly of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments on September 21, 2001"

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Ecce Quam Bonum

Ecce quam bonum et quam jucundum, habitare fratres in unum! Behold how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell in unity (Psalm 132:1).

📷: St. Dominic (right) meets St. Francis in Rome

Saint Dominic and Saint Francis we need your help! We love you! Pray for us! Help rebuild God's holy Church. Send us good friars after God's own heart (1 Samuel 13:14).

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Hasten to the Mountain

"Fishes, if they remain long on dry land, die. And so monks lose their strength if they loiter among you and spend their time with you. Wherefore as fish must hurry to the sea, so must we hasten to the mountain. Lest haply if we delay we forget the things within us." - St. Anthony the Great to the duke who asked him to stay (St. Athanasius, Life of St. Anthony §85 
St. Anthony the Great, pray for us! St. Athanasius, pray for us!
Dearly beloved, please pray for me as I visit the convent. Pray that I will begin religious life soon. "Love does not tolerate delay," says Padre Pio. Help me clear my debt!

Saint Raphael, Lead Us to Heaven!

"May the Archangel Raphael, Angel of Light, guide us safely to our heavenly home!"

- Angela Carol, St. Raphael: The Angel of Marriage, of Healing, of Happy Meetings, of Joy and of Travel (TAN Books, 1999), 45 (

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Our Lady of the Snows (August 5)

Our Lady of the Snows, pray for us! 

A lovely image of Our Mother with Our Lord via (saved to Pinterest)

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Oculus Non Vidit

"Oculus non vidit, nec auris audivit, nec in cor hominis ascendit, quae praeparavit Deus iis qui diligunt illum: eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither hath it entered into the heart of man, what things God hath prepared for them that love Him" (1 Corinthians 2:9).

Image via

Friday, February 09, 2018

Fear Ye Not

Background image credit:

Thursday, February 08, 2018

Are Tattoos Gravely Sinful?

Yes, tattoos are gravely offensive to God. Done with "sufficient reflection and full consent of the will," the giving and receiving of tattoos is mortally sinful, enough to send a person to Hell forever, if not repented of before death. If your priest tells you otherwise, he is wrong: "But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach a gospel to you besides that which we have preached to you, let him be anathema" (Galatians 1:8). 

Tattoos are unlawful because they are a form of unnecessary mutilation of the body, which is "the temple of the Holy Ghost," as St. Paul says: "Know you not, that your members are the temple of the Holy Ghost, who is in you, whom you have from God; and you are not your own?" (1 Corinthians 6:19). Cf. St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica II-II, q. 65, art. 1. When the tattoo is of something like a Crucifix or Our Lady, the sin of sacrilege is added.

The good Lord prohibits tattoos in Leviticus 19:28: "You shall not make any cuttings in your flesh, for the dead, neither shall you make in yourselves any figures or marks: I am the Lord." Sometimes one hears from Catholics that this prohibition is merely a ceremonial precept, which Christ abrogated, not an unchangeable moral precept (cf. St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica II-I, q. 103, art. 3). This is merely a lame excuse for allowing tattoos, which no Catholic would have dared to make but for the current crisis in faith and morals.

Our Lady of Fátima, pray for us.

Was Muhammad Evil?

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Feminine Genius, Feminine Holiness

The Church gives thanks for all the manifestations of the feminine "genius" which have appeared in the course of history, in the midst of all peoples and nations; she gives thanks for all the charisms which the Holy Spirit distributes to women in the history of the People of God, for all the victories which she owes to their faith, hope, and charity: she gives thanks for all the fruits of feminine holiness. 
Pope St. John Paul II, Mulieris Dignitatem §31 quoted in Tom Perna, "'Mondays with Mary' – 10 Quotes from Pope St. John Paul II on the Dignity and Vocation of Women" (

Thursday, February 01, 2018

Jesus, King of Love

O Jesus, King of Love, I put my trust in Thy loving mercy. 

More information about this wonderful invocation via the Silverstream Priory, "Mother Yvonne-Aimée de Jésus" (

And for more beautiful images of the Child Jesus, go to

Let us pray for the canonization of Mother Yvonne-Aimée de Jésus: "Those persons who receive graces attributable to the intercession of Mother Yvonne-Aimée of Jesus are requested to make them known to the Community of Augustinians - 56140 Malestroit – France."

Sunday, January 28, 2018

What Reward Wilt Thou Have?

It is not surprising to read in the biographies of St. Thomas that he was frequently abstracted and in ecstasy. Towards the end of his life the ecstasies became more frequent. On one occasion, at Naples in 1273, after he had completed his treatise on the Eucharist, three of the brethren saw him lifted in ecstasy, and they heard a voice proceeding from the crucifix on the altar, saying "Thou hast written well of me, Thomas; what reward wilt thou have?" Thomas replied, "None other than Thyself, Lord" (Prümmer, op. cit., p. 38). Similar declarations are said to have been made at Orvieto and at Paris.
Fr. Daniel Kennedy, "St. Thomas Aquinas," The Catholic Encyclopedia, vol. 14 (New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1912) <>.

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Sunday, January 21, 2018

Communion Under One Kind Only

Granted that communion under both kinds (the accidents of bread and of wine) was “customary” from 33-1200, and that communion under one kind (the accidents of bread only) was customary from 1200-1970.

In 1414 Jacob of Mies invented the Utraquist heresy: “Man, in order to be saved, must receive Holy Communion when he wishes and where he wishes, under the forms of bread and wine (sub utraque specie). This … is of Divine precept.”[1] Pope Martin V approved the 1415 definition of the Council of Constance against this heresy (Denzinger 626 at Although the priest celebrating Mass must receive under both kinds, communion under both kinds is not obligatory for the laity.

These reasons can be adduced:
(a) Christ the Lord attributes eternal life to communion under the species of bread alone in John 6:52 and John 6:58; we can receive both Body and Blood by communicating under the species of bread alone (Hay, The Sincere Christian 2:42 <>)

(b) Christ gave communion under one kind (bread alone) to St. Cleopas and the other disciple in Luke 24:30-31 (Hay 2:43)

(c) St. Paul says in 1 Corinthians 11:27 that a sacrilegious communion in one kind makes one “guilty of the Body and of the Blood of the Lord” (Scheeben 2:426); some Protestants, recognizing the force of this, changed “or drink the chalice” to “and drink the chalice”

(d) the Apostles, "as occasion required," distributed Holy Communion under one kind in Acts 2:42 (Hay 2:44)

(e) “Christ is whole and entire under either kind alone” (Scheeben 2:426)

(f) for example, if at Pentecost the Holy Ghost descended both in the form of fiery tongues and of a dove, the Apostles would not have received two Holy Ghosts or more of the Holy Ghost than they did if under the accidents or appearance of fiery tongues alone (Hay 2:41)

(g) the Church, prior to Jacob of Mies’s statements in 1414, recognized no divine precept binding the laity to receive under both species (Toner)

(h) “numerous instances of communion under one kind alone” in the early centuries of the Church (Scheeben 426), which are mentioned in the Dictionnaire de théologie catholique, ed. Alfred Vacant and Eugene Mangenot (Paris: Letouzey et Ane), vol. 3, 552-572 (pages 276-286 of the PDF file <>)

(i) Matthew 26:27 “Drink ye all of this: This was spoken to the twelve apostles; who were the all then present; and they all drank of it, says St. Mark 14. 23. But it no ways follows from these words spoken to the apostles, that all the faithful are here commanded to drink of the chalice; any more than that all the faithful are commanded to consecrate, offer and administer this sacrament; because Christ upon this same occasion, and at the same time, bid the apostles do so; in these words, St. Luke 22. 19, Do this for a commemoration of me” (Fr. George Leo Haydock footnote from

(j) the danger of spilling the Precious Blood with large congregations (Council of Trent qtd. in Scheeben 2:426)

(k) “if the species of wine were long unconsumed it might turn acid” (ibid.)

(l) scarcity and costliness of wine in certain locales (ibid.)

(m) the aversion of some folks to the taste and smell (accidents of) of wine ()

Consider also that Martin Luther, the Calvinists in France, and the early Anglicans under the formerly Catholic King Henry VIII of England permitted communion under one kind only.[2]

Some object that Pope St. Leo the Great and Pope St. Gelasius insisted on communion under both kinds. Let Archbishop Francis Patrick Kenrick respond:

St. Leo complained of the Manicheans, who abstained from the sacred cup, regarding wine as a production of the evil principle. They also disbelieved the reality of the sufferings of Christ, and were therefore opposed to the receiving of the Blood, which the faithful believed to be given in the mystery. In order to discover and separate them from the faithful, Pope Gelasius ordered that all should receive under both kinds.[3]

If anyone objects, let him hear the words of St. Athanasius: "It is enough merely to answer such things as follows: we are content with the fact that this is not the teaching of the Catholic Church, nor did the fathers hold this" (Letter 59:4 <>).

[1] Fr. Joseph Hughes, “Utraquism,” The Catholic Encyclopedia, 1912 <>
[3] A Vindication of the Catholic Church (Baltimore: John Murphy & Co., 1855), 101 <>