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

 

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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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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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Cuba’s patron saint, the Virgin of Charity of Cobre

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THE STATUE: It’s now 403 years old and stands just over a foot (35 centimeters) tall, but the petite wooden statue in a small-town church in eastern Cuba is among the most venerated Catholic icons in the world and an object of pride and reverence for hundreds of thousands on the island. Protected inside a glass case, she wears a full, golden dress and her feet rest on a shimmering crescent moon.

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Catholic comedian Jim Gaffigan’s reflections on Pope Francis and the papacy

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It would be great if you had a kid that ended up being Pope. That would be the ultimate bragging rights! “Oh you’re son’s a doctor? Ours is Pope. Oh, yours has a nice house. Our son has his own city. It’s in Europe.”

It would have been weird to go to high school with the Pope. Somebody did! Somebody was sitting at home in Argentina watching TV: “Wait a minute — THAT GUY is Pope?”

It’s not easy being a Catholic today in America. It’s a little like being a Cubs fan for the last hundred years. Love the team, not crazy about some of the management we’ve had.

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Watch this year’s politically correct, social justice, slightly over the top, occasionally sappy Way of the Cross – from Rome

waycrossromeClick here to watch
(90 minutes)

Editor’s note: This wonderful annual, highly inspirational event used to be a must-see for Holy Week. But now we have various social justice groups and specially designated “victims of circumstance” competing for attention with the Passion of Jesus Christ, Our Lord and Savior – and that’s a bit “over the top”.

I give it one and a half stars, due to shameless popery and poorly contrived social justice connotations.

Official Vatican Text