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

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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

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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

 

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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A Catholic reading list of a lifetime

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Any directory like this is bound to have lacunae for no scholar can know everything. Nevertheless, Fr Hardon comes close. His learning was famously encyclopedic. He gives each author a couple of pages. He describes their lives,  their cultural context, their writings and then recommends some further reading. As the writers are listed chronologically you can get a sense of the flow of history and how one leads on to the next and how they influence one another.

This book is a Catholic reading list of a lifetime.

Read more from Fr. Longenecker

See the whole list (PDF)

Buchanan: Either the Church has been in grave error in the past, or the Church is toying with heresy today.

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Saturday, The Washington Post described the synod as a “brawl over Francis’ vision of inclusion.”

Reporter Anthony Faiola compared the synod deliberations to a Tea Party rebellion in John Boehner’s House caucus, and the pope to a change agent like Barack Obama who finds himself blocked and frustrated by conservatives.

Saturday’s document from the synod ignored the call for a new Church stance toward homosexual unions. And it did not approve of giving Communion to divorced and remarried Catholics, whom the Church considers to be living in adultery.

Yet, in Sunday’s sermon the pope seemed angered by both the defiance of the resisting bishops and the conclusions the synod reached.

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An interesting piece about the Nephilim, Noah’s flood and evil spirits who still wander the world, seeking the ruin of souls

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The belief in the Nephilim is rooted in the Hebrew Scripture, in the Book of Genesis. Genesis 6:4: There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown.

St. Clement of Rome was a disciple of the Apostle St. Peter. He also succeeded Peter as Bishop of Rome (Pope). Clement first century writings record a teaching of the Apostle Peter about these creatures in context of the Fallen Angels. Fr. Jack Ashcraft in his booklet: “Fallen Angels And Nephilim” includes this:

In light of the recently concluded papal visit, what are we to make of this?

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Pope’s revised annulment procedures might make synod back room shenanigans unnecessary

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The changes move the church away from a set of 18th-century safeguards meant to make sure that the annulment process wasn’t subject to abuse, Martens said. Those changes, set up by Pope Benedict XIV, included a provision that would require a mandatory appeal of the lower court’s decision.

“What guarantee do you have for a fair trial if you take away those guarantees that were put in the past?” Martens said. “Sometimes you want to go so quickly, you miss elements and make mistakes. Procedure law takes time to unfold.”

Martens said the way Francis changed the annulment process was unusual, because he did not go through the Synod on the Family, as expected, in October. [It takes some things off the table for the Synod, which explains something of the timing of this.]

“If I were a bishop, I would be upset,” Martens said. “It’s a bit strange and even a sign of contradiction that a pope who is big on consultation and collegiality seems to forget that on something like this. It’s highly unusual for legislation like this to get through that way.”

Read more from Father Z