Bishop Poprocki further explains what should have already been widely understood about Catholics living in various irregular (objectively sinful) ways

…Critics have been urging me to rescind my “Decree Regarding Same-sex ‘Marriage’ and Related Pastoral Issues.” However, this decree is a rather straightforward application of existing Catholic doctrine and canon law to the new situation of legal marital status being granted in civil law to same-sex couples, which is contrary to the teaching of the Catholic Church. All clergy before they are ordained take an Oath of Fidelity which includes the statement, “In fulfilling the charge entrusted to me in the name of the Church, I shall hold fast to the deposit of faith in its entirety; I shall faithfully hand it on and explain it, and I shall avoid any teachings contrary to it. I shall follow and foster the common discipline of the entire Church and I shall maintain the observance of all ecclesiastical laws, especially those contained in the Code of Canon Law.” Pastors and bishops repeat this oath upon assuming their office to be exercised in the name of the Church. Thus, deacons, priests and bishops cannot contradict Church teachings or refuse to observe ecclesiastical laws without violating their oath, which is a promise made to God.

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Recent Hollywood deaths lead to a renewed focus on how to gracefully handle grief and suffering

momento mori

I find the practical and simple words of St. Jane de Chantal incredibly comforting and useful. She wrote this letter to her own brother, who was the Archbishop of Bourges, and was indeed suffering from mental and physical difficulties:

When you are experiencing some physical pain or a sorrowful heart, try to endure it before God, recalling as much as you can that He is watching you at this time of affliction, especially in physical illness when very often the heart is weary and unable to pray. Don’t force yourself to pray, for a simple adherence to God’s will, expressed from time to time, is enough. Moreover, suffering born in the will quietly and patiently is a continual, very powerful prayer before God, regardless of the complaints and anxieties that come from the inferior part of the soul.

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Read the collected works of St. Teresa of Avila, St. John of the Cross and St. Therese of Lisieux (for free)

teresaofavila

Interior Castle is the work of 16th century Carmelite nun and Christian mystic St. Teresa of Avila. She wrote Interior Castle as a spiritual guide to union with God. Her inspiration for the work came from a vision she received from God. In it, there was a crystal globe with seven mansions, with God in the innermost mansion. St. Teresa interpreted this vision as an allegory for the soul’s relationship with God; each mansion represents one place on a path towards the “spiritual marriage”–i.e. union–with God in the seventh mansion.

Read it at CCEL

stjohncross

A sequel and continuation of Ascent of Mount Carmel, the Dark Night of the Soul is a spiritually moving and mystical book. In it, St. John of the Cross continues his description of the soul’s journey–the “dark night”–to the “divine union of the love of God.”

Read Ascent of Mount Carmel at CCEL

Read Dark Night of the Soul at CCEL

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St. Therese of Lisieux was born at Alencon, Normandy. In 1886 she underwent a religious conversion and thereafter dedicated herself to monastic life. Entering the Carmelite convent at Lisieux at fifteen, she was appointed assistant novice mistress in 1893. One year before her death (1897) from tuberculosis, she volunteered to join the Carmelite missionaries in China.

Her devotional book, The Little Way, was widely acclaimed, as was her autobiography The Story of a Soul. Miracles of healing and prophecy soon were attributed to her name, and an account of these was appended in 1907 to the autobiography.

Read The Story of A Soul At CCEL

Read The Poems of St. Therese at CCEL

 

Catholic priest in Middle East struggles to preserve what remains of the faith

Four Horsemen

He is rounding up ancient manuscripts and relics and hiding them in secure locations around Kurdistan, hoping to save them from the iconoclastic fury of the terror insurgency.

“If Daesh burns down a church we can rebuild it, but the manuscripts are our history. They trace back our roots, they are part of our civilization,” he said, using the Arabic acronym for the group. “If they get destroyed, then we are lost, and our culture will be forgotten.”

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What if the Shroud of Turin image is genuine and what if Jesus resembled his mother?

maryjesusshroud

A Canadian filmmaker has posted a retouched image of a Bouguereau painting of the Virgin Mary — using the face on the Shroud as a guide. The results are, I think, stunning.

His assumption that He would have born a resemblance to His only human parent. He said this about it:

“If you put the shroud on top of this drawing, you will almost match the face, like it could be” an accurate portrayal of His mother’s face.

Exquisitely beautiful – and it does rather make sense that Our Lord would physically resemble his mother!

Submitted by Bob Stanley/The Catholic Treasure Chest Website

More about the works of artist William Bouguereau

In this season of joy, some profound insights into the value of suffering

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Saint Pope John Paul II
– All of those who suffer, especially the innocent, may feel themselves called to participate in the work of redemption, carried out through the cross
– The suffering of the innocent is especially valuable in the eyes of the Lord
– Even when the darkness is deepest, faith points to a trusting acknowledgment: ‘I know that you can do all things’

Sacred Scripture
– Is it not logical that we accept suffering?
– Taking up the cross is the obligation of whoever follows Jesus
– The sufferings of Christ are a cause of rejoicing
– The future glory surpasses all suffering

Saint Thomas Aquinas
– Death and all consequent bodily defects are punishments of original sin

Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church
– Original sin subjected all human nature to suffering
– Sufferings: a means of cooperating with God
– Means of purification and of salvation
– From the greatest of all moral evils God has brought forth the greatest of all goods

Catechism of the Catholic Church
– A new meaning for suffering – participation in the saving work of Jesus
– Makes a person more mature, helping to discern what is not essential

Saint John Chrysostom
– The remedy against pride; the power of God in weak men

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The Uganda Martyrs Died Because They Refused to Engage in Sodomy with King Mwanga

lwonga

Ann Barnhardt contributes a timely and topical article as the Pope visits Africa.

Was this massacre also simply the result of a basic “lack of hospitality” to which modern day sodomites attribute the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah?

Let’s see how the unholy “Spinmeisters” deal with this one.

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Also condemned were Andrew Kagwa, a Kigowa chief, who had converted his wife and several others, and Matthias Murumba (or Kalemba) an assistant judge.

The chief counselor was so furious with Andrew that he proclaimed he wouldn’t eat until he knew Andrew was dead.

When the executioners hesitated Andrew egged them on by saying, “Don’t keep your counsellor hungry — kill me.” When the same counsellor described what he was going to do with Matthias, he added, “No doubt his god will rescue him.”

“Yes,” Matthias replied, “God will rescue me. But you will not see how he does it, because he will take my soul and leave you only my body.”

Matthias was cut up on the road and left to die — it took him at least three days.

Saint Charles Lwanga at Catholic.com