Father Z explains how indulgences function to obtain the release of holy souls from Purgatory

An indulgence is the remission of temporal punishment due to sins the guilt of which has been forgiven. We gain indulgences through certain works and conditions prescribed by the Church which has Christ’s authority to dispense and to apply the treasury of the satisfactions of Christ and of the saints.

Indulgences can always be applied either to oneself or to the souls of the deceased, but they cannot be applied to other persons living on earth.

An indulgence can be full (plenary) or partial.

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Pope Benedict XVI – dead at age 95

Vatican News

“With sorrow I inform you that the Pope Emeritus, Benedict XVI, passed away today at 9:34 in the Mater Ecclesiae Monastery in the Vatican.”

More news to come.

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A treatise on Saint John the Evangelist: The Pure Apostle to Whom Our Lord Entrusted the Care of Our Lady

Saint John was the only bishop who kept Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ company at the foot of the Holy Cross. Saint John’s unalloyed virginal love for Love Incarnate, Love Crucified and Resurrected, won for him the honor of caring for the Blessed Virgin Mary from the moment she was given him by her Divine Son to be his mother as He spoke to both of them atop the Tree of Life that is His Holy Cross.

The purity and innocence of Saint John the Beloved’s life were responsible for the beauty and profundity of the writing that he undertook under the direct inspiration of the Holy Ghost. Saint John’s Gospel is the most theological of the four Gospels, including within its sacred texts the beautiful description of how the Word was made flesh, and dwelt amongst us.

Indeed, Saint John’s exquisite description of the Word’s Incarnation as Man became so important in the life of the Church over the centuries that Pope Saint Pius V mandated its reading after Mass on most days of the year in his Missale Romanum of 1570 to serve as an antidote to the anti-Incarnational errors of Modernity in general and as an antidote to the anti-Incarnational attacks on the nature of Mass by various and sundry Protestant Revolutionaries.

Read more at Christ Or Chaos

Agape Bible Study on The Beatitudes

Jesus preached the Beatitudes as God’s New Covenant Law in a plan for our salvation journey to heaven. Like any journey there is a beginning point and a destination, but what Jesus presented in that great homily was more than the road map for the journey.

What He called us to experience was the plan for an intimate relationship with God that would allow us to walk in His steps on our journey of faith to salvation and eternal life. But this is a plan that cannot be achieved on a human level “only through Christ can this blessedness be empowered and celebrated in the life of the New Covenant believer: For what is impossible for man (human beings) is possible for God (Luke 18:27).

The lessons are organized into subjects
of one week study per lesson.

This course is a study of the plan
Jesus presented
in His Sermon on the Mount for the radical transformation
of hearts and lives in the blessings known as The Beatitudes.

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Editor’s note: We like to call these often misunderstood
and generally underappreciated,
positive affirmations of Jesus Christ “The Be Attitudes”.

Seen on the web: Catholic humor

Did you hear about the Catholic priest whose thurible flew clean off its chain during Mass?

The entire congregation was incensed.

Thanks (we think) to Classical Studies Memes for Hellenistic Teens

One Mad Mom “vents” about the Pavone Debacle

…Every bishop in the United States and around the world should have been helping the then-Fr. Pavone in his ministry for those many years.

I think even the most faithful of bishops recognize that they haven’t done, nor could they do, the work of Fr. Pavone and the Priests for Life organization.

Most of the diocesan prolife ministries are sorely lacking due to manpower, money, and in some dioceses, bishops. Why? Most have been financially wrecked due to the abuse scandal. And, of course, some just throw out platitudes with no action when it comes to the unborn. Sad and pathetic, but facts.

They could have had Fr. Pavone going to bat for all of them. The man works tirelessly. On many occasions, I’ve seen him finish a day-long event in one state, only to hop a red-eye to be at another one the next day, yet he never seemed to lose his energy. I get tired just watching him.

He has saved more prolife organizations around the country from completely dying, and he’s funded projects for many others.

The less than concrete and seemingly anonymous accusation about financial mismanagement is a joke.

He’s a whiz at making money, and when we’re at the same events, he’s most often at the exact same cheap hotel I’m at – definitely not the Ritz. The guy doesn’t even flip for an awesome haircut. (Sorry, but it’s true)…

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Editor’s note: OMM is precisely correct in what she so eloquently states about this great pro-life leader.

Salvation Army falls short: approves of abortion, does not offer any valid form of Baptism.

The popular religious group known as The Salvation Army is ubiquitous around Christmas, with it’s numerous donation kettles and bell ringers.

But, while there’s no doubt the “Army” accomplishes some good works, it falls well short in two areas that should be extremely important to true Christians:

The Salvation Army admits that it approves of abortion, in certain circumstances. And those circumstances are known to vary, considerably.

The Salvation Army does not offer the Sacrament of Baptism, or any similar, Catholic Church accepted “rite” or valid practice that is even similar to Baptism. No water. No Holy Trinity. No Baptism.

The “Army” was also recently involved in releasing a church document that many interpreted as dangerously “woke”, supporting the principles and tenets of Critical Race Theory.

Hence, serious Catholics may want to reconsider any support they provide to this well known, but somewhat misguided and misnamed Christian denomination.


Today’s question: Does the catholic Church recognize the baptism of the Jehovah Witnesses Church?

Question: Does the catholic Church recognize the baptism of the Jehovah Witnesses Church?

Answer: The Catholic Church does not recognize the baptism of the Jehovah Witnesses Church. This decision is based on the lack of proper form and intention on the part of the ministers.

Read more at Catholic Doors FAQ’s

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Just in case anyone has forgotten…

By Doug Lawrence

Under the terms of the Old Covenant, perfectly keeping the Law of Moses (The Ten Commandments, plus all the related statutes and ordinances) was required, but even keeping the Law provided no sure and certain means of obtaining Heaven, since the Law was not, in and of itself, sufficient for Divine Justification.

Nor is it, today.

The only sure and certain means of Divine Justification is our Holy Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

It is only by the timely application of the grace that Jesus obtained for us on the cross, solely according to the judgment of the One who personally obtained that grace, that any person might be justified – which is why the passage from the Gospel of Saint Matthew appears on the base (the foundation) of the monument shown above.

Jesus Christ is the all powerful, all knowing, totally sovereign, Holy God and Savior. Jesus alone has the power to invite a soul into Heaven – for any reason, or for none at all – however he sees fit.

Jesus wrote the Law. Jesus gave the Law. Jesus perfectly kept the Law. Jesus is the just judge who perfectly applies the Law, according to his divine grace and tender mercies.

The Law serves as a perfect “guide” for all the faithful, but Jesus Christ alone is truly our best and final recourse and the only means by which any man might hope to be invited into Heaven.

Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses and all the other Old Testament biblical figures, as well as all “the just” who ever lived, would have to wait for Jesus’ incarnation and his saving death on the cross, followed by his awesome, divine judgment, in order to finally receive their opportunity to enter Heaven.

If we truly love God, then we strive always, to faithfully, keep his Commandments. If we fail, we have recourse to God’s grace, mercy and forgiveness – typically, through the Mass and the Sacraments of the Holy Catholic Church – which Jesus personally instituted, for the purpose of our salvation.

So, keeping God’s Law is one important aspect of the Judeo-Christian faith tradition. But, it’s through a lifetime of full, faithful participation in all the work, worship, sacraments and devotions of the Holy Catholic Church that we hope to: Keep (y)ourselves in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ, unto life everlasting. (Jude 1:21)

Merry Christmas!

More on this subject from Bob Stanley’s “The Catholic Treasure Chest”

The Qur’an Denies the Historical Fact of Jesus’s Crucifixion and Death: Explaining to Muslims How Muhammad Keeps Them From True Islam (Submission to God)

The Apostles and bishops were martyred for teaching that Jesus died on the cross (as Jesus foretold) and that Jesus rose from the dead on the third day after his true crucifixion.

Jesus told the Apostles that in order for him to fulfill the Torah of Moses (cf. Qur’an 61:06) that he would have to become a sacrifice for the people; that he would have to die in order to free the world from sin and death (Matthew 16:21).

Since Christ Jesus was born of the Virgin Mary (Mariam) in a miracle by the power of God, Christ Jesus was the power of God and could raise himself from death. For this reason, Jesus could truly die and death could not hold him. He would destroy death for all who submit to God by following his ways as God’s true representative.

While sinful people meant harm by Jesus’s murder and death on a cross, God’s wisdom would reveal this foolishness through the glory of Jesus’s resurrection. Jesus would bring God even greater glory through Jesus’s submission even to death (true Islam). Humility, obedience to God, patience and charity would be revealed as the greatest of virtues.

Jesus publicly taught that it was part of God’s plan that he must die in order to free men from sin and destroy the power of the devil. Jesus taught that through his own death he would conquer death for all those who die.

No longer would souls be apart from God after death. Through Jesus’s dying and resurrection, humans (past, present, and future) could immediately be taken into glory through union with Jesus’s death and acceptance of Jesus’s sacrifice.

Jesus taught that he must die and that he had the power to raise himself from the dead because he was one in being with the Father (John 10:17-30). The whole message of Jesus and Jesus’s promises are tied to his death and anyone who has read one of the four Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, or John) – which his real Apostles either wrote or supported – would know this.

These accounts were in writing and records hundreds of years before Muhammed and so were all the records that show the Gospels contained this teaching. No one ever tampered with these teachings of Jesus.

Read more from Prof. Matthew A. Tsakanikas

Editor’s note: This article serves as a comprehensive summary of both Christian and Muslim beliefs; how they agree; how they differ; how they are proved or disproved, according to the actual history of the world.

Bringing about God’s Kingdom IN AND THROUGH FAMILIES

Family Consecration can bring about God’s kingdom on earth—starting with families and spreading to all of society.

Visit the site

Why not take advantage of a Bible study or a sermon by listening to the written words of a disciple of an Apostle or their immediate descendants rather than from someone who is 20 centuries removed from the Apostles?

Find out what the Church Fathers believed about baptism, the Church, justification, the Bible, tradition, the second coming of Christ, the resurrection and host of other doctrines.

Read the Collected Works of the Early Church Fathers

If a faithful Catholic watches The Chosen series, he finds serious flaws and much blasphemy in it.

An insulting portrayal of Our Lord

The “Messiah” of The Chosen series is one who is morally different from the Messiah of the Scriptures. One needs only to look at an official promotion piece for this TV series and he will see a clear different moral approach, although with a physical resemblance: One has complete lack of seriousness while the Other has a divine severity.

Instead of the majestic, just, grave Divine King Who walked on this earth among men, teaching and healing, the actor portrays an Our Lord as a goofy, joking friend. He dances, hugs and is that big “buddy” whom Protestants like to believe he is. This is not just unbiblical, it is an irreverence against His Sacred Person that is not far from blasphemy.

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What did Christmas represent for Our Lady?

It is obvious that the moment when Our Lord left the maternal cloister – without damaging her virginity in any way – must have been a very elevated one. That moment when Our Lady brought Christ forth into the world must have been one of an extraordinary manifestation of her jubilance and love for Him, as well as an extraordinary union of soul with Him.

Simultaneously, the act of His birth – which included the participation of the Three Persons of the Holy Trinity – was commemorated by all the Angels in Heaven with canticles of joy. The Birth of Our Lord is surely one of the greatest feasts in Heaven and one of the most glorious moments in all History. Thus, we can see how momentous and important this act was for her.

I believe, however, that there was something more that Our Lady would have experienced. She had not yet seen the face of Our Lord. The physical reality is a symbol and expression of the spiritual reality. In the features of the Holy Face of Our Lord, one would be able to perfectly distinguish His flawless soul. His body would be the expression of His soul, united with the Second Person of the Trinity.

Thus contemplating His gaze, His Holy Face and His body, Our Lady acquired a new knowledge of Her Son that increased her understanding of His mentality. She could love Him and be united with Him in this new way, which certainly inspired the adoration she offered Him on Christmas Night.

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The medical facts that explain why people with more shots get more covid.

As it turns out what is now in the data is that IgG3, which the component that provides most of the protection against Covid is down to a flat zero by the time you take the third shot while IgG4 which causes the body to tolerate the infection and not clear it skyrockets from nothing prior to the second shot to being extremely high for the third and subsequent.

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Military goes woke. Recruits go bye-bye.

The service experienced a shortfall of 15,000 recruits in fiscal 2022, which caused it to miss its congressionally-authorized end strength by nearly 20,000 soldiers.

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Today’s “Gem” from Bob Stanley’s “The Catholic Treasure Chest”: The Genealogy of Jesus Christ Through Mary.

But that is not Biblical, so it is said by many.
Well, let us look and see what we can find…

Jesus Christ is descended from David

If He is from the line of David, then certainly Joseph could not be of his immediate paternal bloodline since Joseph was not his natural father. The bloodline could only be traced through His mother, Mary. She alone provided 100% of His genetic material, and thus provided the “flesh of the offspring of David”, as shown in Romans 1:3,
“…concerning His Son who was born to Him according to the flesh of the offspring of David.”

Matt 1:1, “The book of the origin of Jesus Christ, the Son of David, the Son of Abraham.”

John 7:42, “…Does not the Scripture say that it is of the offspring of David, and from Bethlehem, the village where David lived, that the Christ is to come.”

2Tim 2:8, Remember that Jesus Christ rose from the dead and was descended from David.”

Luke 1:32, “He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord GOD will give Him the throne of David, His father, and He shall be king over the house of Jacob forever.”

Gal 4:4, “But when the fullness of time came, GOD sent His Son, born of a woman, born under the law.”

See also all of these verses which refer to Jesus Christ as the Son of David:
Matt 9:27,12:23,15:22,20:30-31,21:9,21:15,22:42,22:45, Mark 10:47-48,12:35,12:37, Luke 18:38-39, Luke 20:44.

I have shown so far that Jesus Christ is descended from David, but through the genealogy of Mary it is only implied. However, Jesus had no human father. There was no human exchange for the conception of Jesus and so the human bloodline cannot be traced through Joseph.

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Editor’s note: Further study shows that Mary is descended from both the Royal and the Priestly lines and so, is completely suitable to be the mother of Jesus – who is our Heavenly High Priest, as well as the Eternal King of the Royal House of Israel.

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Today’s question: Why did God permit Satan to continue existing on earth after he was defeated by Christ, on the cross, at Calvary?

Question: Why did God permit Satan to continue to exist on earth after he was defeated by Christ, on the cross, at Calvary? Why wasn’t Satan sent immediately, to Hell?

Answer: One possible answer is: It’s a mystery.

Others would point out that scriptural support exists for Satan having the “right” to “walk the earth” until this present age/dispensation of time is over. (Job 1:7)

Then, there’s the prevailing view, based on the grace and power that Jesus obtained for all the faithful, that Satan remaining here on earth is, for him, nothing less than a very severe penalty, leading up to the execution of his ultimate, eternal sentence, in Hell.

How so?

Consider our Baptismal Promises:

V. Do you reject Satan?
R. I do.
V. And all his works?
R. I do.
V. And all his empty promises?
R. I do.
V. Do you believe in God, the Father Almighty, creator of heaven and earth?
R. I do.
V. Do you believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, who was born of the Virgin Mary was crucified, died, and was buried, rose from the dead, and is now seated at the right hand of the Father?
R. I do.
V. Do you believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy Catholic church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting?
R. I do.
V. God, the all-powerful Father of our Lord Jesus Christ has given us a new birth by water and the Holy Spirit, and forgiven all our sins. May he also keep us faithful to our Lord Jesus Christ for ever and ever.
R. Amen.

Consider the effect of our Baptismal Promises on Satan:

We have God, the Church, the Communion of Saints (and all that goes with them) on our side. How then, can we expect anything less than complete victory over Satan and the forces of evil? Through our voluntary cooperation with God’s awesome power and grace, even the wickedness and snares of the devil can be successfully turned back against him.

Satan as tester of faith: Absent temptation, how else would our faith truly be tested?

Satan as deceiver: Absent Satan’s evil works and empty promises, how would our wisdom, prudential judgment and divine charity be challenged and honed?

Satan as adversary: Our grace empowered faith in God, as well as our positive and virtuous choices in this life serve as a stern rebuke to Satan and all his works.

Satan as an unrepentant, convicted criminal: Those who manage to overcome the world, the flesh and the devil, in and through our Lord Jesus Christ, by their faithful and willing cooperation with God’s grace, will remain a constant source of suffering, failure and grief for the Evil One, right up until the moment that Jesus comes again in glory, at the end of the age. The Bible describes this as “eating dirt”. (Genesis 3:14)

Of course, given the choice, Satan would refuse to cooperate, but Satan’s “options” are now, very limited.

Thanks to Jesus Christ, Satan and his minions have become little more than a band of malevolent, vagabond spirits, prowling about the world, seeking the ruin of souls, through various types of lies, temptations, evil consorts and other, clever subterfuge – possessing very little “real” power.

So, anyone who swears allegiance to Jesus Christ, who fully and faithfully participates in all the work, worship, sacraments and devotions of the Holy Catholic Church and who continues to rely on all God’s promises, should also be fully capable of prevailing against the Evil One, while hopefully, obtaining his/her own eternal salvation, according to the grace and mercy of our Holy Lord, God and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Related study (PDF)

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The reason for our joy: Christmas is proof that God always keeps his promises

by Doug Lawrence

The first thing God did after Adam fell from grace was call a meeting. (That probably explains why meetings have always seemed like a form of punishment, to many of us.)

The Old Testament Bible Book of Genesis, Chapter 3, verse 15, duly records the promise God made to Adam at that meeting … the promise of a redeemer … who would one day come to repair the damage that had been done … something that Adam could never hope to accomplish on his own.

Genesis 3:15 I will put enmities between thee and the woman, and thy seed and her seed: she shall crush thy head, and thou shalt lie in wait for her heel.

Until that day, all of mankind would remain enslaved to Satan, sin, and death … except for the Virgin Mary, who was, by special privilege of God, conceived without sin, in order to make it possible for her to become the mother of our holy Savior, Jesus Christ. (That’s also why the above Bible verse has both a decidedly masculine as well as feminine “sense” to it.)

When Almighty God sets out to fulfill a promise, there’s nothing in the universe that can stop him … hence the joyous and absolutely confident proclamation of the angels, on that first Christmas:

Luke 2:10-14 And the angel said to them: Fear not; for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy that shall be to all the people: For, this day is born to you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord, in the city of David. And this shall be a sign unto you. You shall find the infant wrapped in swaddling clothes and laid in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly army, praising God and saying: Glory to God in the highest: and on earth peace to men of good will.

As we all know, within the space of some thirty-three short years, that mild babe in the manger went on to perfectly fulfill all the prophecies and promises that God had ever made, concerning him … destroying Satan’s evil dominion, reconciling sinful mankind, opening the gates of Heaven, and permanently establishing the Kingdom of God, on the Earth.

Thanks to Christ, the state of war that had existed between Satan dominated, sinful mankind and God, was over. From that day forward, God’s grace would trump sin and death, while Satan, the former slave master and undisputed “Prince of this World” would remain a tragic, desperate, fugitive on earth, waiting for his sentence to be ultimately carried out, much like the late Iraqi dictator Sadaam Hussein, who spent his last days cowering in an underground “spider hole”, until justice finally caught up with him.

Now (and forever) Jesus reigns
as King of Kings and Lord of Lords!

Merry Christmas!


How to immediately conquer temptation

With what arms are we to fight temptations in order to conquer?
by S. Alphonsus Liguori, Bishop & Doctor of the Church

The first and principal, and I may say the only, and absolutely necessary means for conquering temptations, is to have recourse to God by prayer. This means is particularly necessary for conquering temptations against purity; In temptations it is also very useful to make the Sign of the Cross.

The second means of conquering temptations is to humble yourself, and to distrust your own strength. Thus let us humble ourselves, and at the same time let us have recourse with confidence to God Who protects all that hope in Him. He is the protection of all that trust in Him. (Ps. Xvii. 31).

The third means of overcoming temptations is to make them known to your spiritual Father.

The fourth means, which is a very important one, of relieving one’s self from temptations is to avoid what occasions them. He that loveth danger, shall perish in it (Ecclus. iii. 27). i.e. He that loves danger, and goes in search of it, shall perish in it: nor is it of any use to hope for aid from God; to trust in God, and to expose one’s self voluntarily to the occasion of sin, is not a holy but a rash confidence, which merits chastisement.

Link to story