Oldie but goodie: Pillar Of Fire, Pillar Of Truth.

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You cannot avoid challenges to your Catholic faith. They come from door-to-door missionaries who ask, “Are you saved?”, from peer pressure that urges you to conform to the morals of the world, from a secular culture that whispers there is no God.

Sometimes Catholics who are challenged begin to doubt their faith. If they find themselves unable to answer basic questions about what they believe and why they believe it, they begin to wonder whether the Catholic Church really was founded by Jesus. Sometimes their doubts lead them straight out of the Church.

This doesn’t need to happen. Challenges to your faith should not produce doubts. They should be looked upon as mere difficulties in understanding, and difficulties can be overcome through study and prayer. It has been said that ten thousand difficulties do not make one doubt—a good point to keep in mind. To doubt means to be unsure whether a belief is true; to have a difficulty means to know the belief is true but to be unsure just what it means or why it is true. This unsureness can be overcome.

When mathematicians have difficulties doing their calculations, they don’t allow their difficulties to turn into doubts about the established truths of mathematics. Instead, they study harder and learn more about mathematics so they can understand how its parts fit together. So it is with the Catholic faith.

This booklet presents you with basic Catholic truths. You will find in the Catholic faith answers to life’s most troubling questions: Why am I here? Who made me? What must I believe? How must I act? All these can be answered to your satisfaction, if only you will open yourself to God’s grace, turn to the Church he established, and follow his plan for you.

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In 2005 booklet, Pope Francis unknowingly described Barack Obama, much of Congress, others.

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While many sins can lead to corruption, sinners recognize their own weakness and are aware of the possibility of forgiveness, he said. “From there, the power of God can come in.”

People who are corrupt, on the other hand, have become blind to the transcendent, replacing God with their own powers and abilities, he said.

“A sinner expects forgiveness. The corrupt, on the contrary, don’t because they don’t feel they have sinned. They have prevailed,” he said.

One who is corrupt is “so holed up in the satisfaction of his own self-sufficiency” that his bloated self-esteem refuses to face the reality of his fraudulent and opportunistic behavior, he said.

“He has the face of someone trying to say, ‘It wasn’t me!’ or as my grandmother would say, ‘The face of a darling little angel,” he said.

The ability of the corrupt to disguise their true self should qualify them for an honorary degree in “social cosmetology,” he said.

They hide their thirst for power by making their ambitions seem frivolous and socially acceptable. With “shameless priggishness,” they adhere to “severe rules of a Victorian tint,” he wrote.

“It’s a cult of good manners that cover up bad habits,” he said.

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Understanding God’s Plan for Marriage – by Bishop Peter J. Sartain

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A booklet by Bishop Peter J. Sartain

Dear Friends,

Preparing couples for marriage is one of the most enjoyable aspects of priestly ministry. I have had the priviledge of helping prepare hundreds of couples, and my contact with them did not stop with their wedding. I have celebrated anniversaries with them, baptized their children, prayed with them in times of confusion. I see myself as part of each family, no matter how long ago their wedding or how far away they now reside.

I have also learned many things from these families. They have taught me about love, sacrifice, forgiveness, and generosity. They have supported my ministry with words of encouragement and prayer. They have inspired me by their love of God and their faithfulness to the Church.

Isn’t that the way it should be? If as St. Paul wrote marriage is a sign of Christ’s love for the Church, doesn’t it make sense that strong marriages and families enrich the Church and keep us close to Christ? Doesn’t it make sense that families who stay close to Christ will grow stronger and more loving?

I have prepared this booklet as a gesture of love and support for the engaged and married couples of the Diocese of Joliet. It is a reflection on marriage and the gift of life.

Each chapter ends with reflection questions and a simple prayer. I hope that couples will read this booklet together, taking time to reflect and pray together as you do. I hope you will find in these pages nourishment for your love, wise guidance from God, and encouragement in discipleship. God bless you! May you always remember that God is the origin of your love.

Sincerely in Christ,

Bishop J. Peter Sartain

Diocese of Joliet, Illinois

 

To order copies of Everything I Have is Yours (English)
or Todo Lo Que Tengo es Tuyo (Spanish) by Bishop J. Peter Sartain,
click here: Center for Family Ministry

Or … call 815-838-5334