Illustrated Catholic Study aims to present the immutable truths of the Christian faith, unencumbered by denominational concerns or political differences

PART ONE:
The primeval events
that resulted in the Fall of Man

PART TWO:
The totally gratuitous
saving works of God


PART THREE:
Why we venerate
the Blessed Virgin Mary

PART FOUR:
The mystery
of our redemption
revealed

PART FIVE:
The spiritually vital mission
of the Holy Church

PART SIX:
Our personal identity
in Jesus Christ


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New, Free, Illustrated, Comprehensive Catholic Faith Study, Available Now: Overcoming the World, the Flesh and the Devil, In and Through Our Lord, Jesus Christ

Down-to-Earth Answers To Heavenly Questions
Key aspects of the Judeo-Christian Faith Tradition
are exquisitely imaged and explained by
combining timeless, religious art with extensive citations
from the Bible, the Catholic Catechism and other
official Church documents, illustrating the rich patrimony
of the original, authentic, universal Church,
as well as its’ primary rationale, practical application
and eternal benefits, in a profound, insightful
and (hopefully) most enjoyable way.

The True Story of Our Salvation In Jesus Christ
The “Hows” and “Whys” are explored and illuminated
according to the official rubrics of The Sacred Deposit of the Faith,
suitably enhanced by authentic, insightful excerpts
from the writings and reflections of some of the greatest
theologians, saints and scholars, of all time.

Extraordinarily Powerful, Yet Easy To Understand
“Overcoming” presents a litany of rational, logical
and deeply satisfying divine truths to the faithful,
while also serving as a “basic primer” on Christianity
for people of non-Christian faith traditions,
or people of no faith tradition, at all.

One Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words
The masterful expressions and subtle nuances
of the classic illustrations greatly enhance the overall experience.

Critical Insights Into the Purpose and Workings of the Holy Church
The complete, SIX PART PRESENTATION
is available to view online, at absolutely no cost,
in the popular, easy to use and easy to view,
full color, PDF file format.

(Download the Free Windows/Mac/Android PDF Reader, below)

Study Virtually Any Time and Anywhere
No cost.
No registration required.
No gimmicks.
No malware or spyware.
No kidding!

PART ONE:
The primeval events
that resulted in the Fall of Man

PART TWO:
The totally gratuitous
saving works of God


PART THREE:
Why we venerate
the Blessed Virgin Mary

PART FOUR:
The mystery
of our redemption
revealed

PART FIVE:
The spiritually vital mission
of the Holy Church

PART SIX:
Our personal identity
in Jesus Christ


Download the latest Adobe PDF Reader Software for free

Overcoming the World, the Flesh and the Devil,
In and Through Our Lord Jesus Christ
is recommended for anyone who wants to learn more
about the essential tenets of Christianity,
as well as the unique, temporal and spiritual efficacies
of The Holy Catholic Church: the original,
authentic, universal Christian Church,
that was personally founded, authorized,
empowered and perpetually guaranteed
by Jesus Christ,
for the purpose of our salvation.

“Overcoming” aims to respectfully present
the immutable truths of the Christian faith
to “The People of God”

unencumbered by denominational concerns
or political differences,
according to the much brighter light
of our common, Christian heritage

and our grace empowered humanity
in Jesus Christ.


Supplemental use of the Holy Bible
and the Catechism of the Catholic Church
is highly recommended.

For detailed information on a wide range of Catholic topics
(available in both English and Spanish language formats)
visit The Catholic Treasure Chest

Recommended for Further Study:
CIS (Catholic Information Service) Free, Certificated
Online Catechetical Faith Formation Courses, Booklets and PDFs

Saints with an asterisk

asterisk

Fast-track beatifications where the will to beatify supersedes the worthiness of the proposed candidate is a dangerous and questionable development. This is what we see with the determined push to rapidly canonize John XXIII and John Paul II. Under the new system that eliminates the Devil’s Advocate, legitimate challenges to the sanctity, orthodoxy, and miraculous intervention of the candidate are left unaddressed. As Vatican postulator Msgr. Luigi Porsi warned, “There is no longer any room for an adversarial function.”

*Everything in the Catholic Faith conforms to reason. It seems unreasonable, then, to assume that a drastic loosening in the procedure for canonization would yield the same secure results as the “thorough and scrupulous” method that had been in place for centuries.

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March 25 is Abortionist Repentance Day (and the great feast of the Annunciation)

abortrepentday

Download the PDF form for free

Submitted by Frank V.

Produced by Church Militant TV – http://www.churchmilitant.tv/

Invincible ignorance neither saves nor condemns. So, what is it?

question

…a person who wants to go east, but, by an innocent mistake, gets on a train going west, will, as soon as he finds out his mistake, get off at the next station, and take a train that goes east. In like manner, a person who walked on a road that he, in his inculpable ignorance, believed was the true road to Heaven, must leave that road, as soon as he finds out his mistake, and inquire for the true road to Heaven. God, in His infinite mercy, will not fail to make him find out, in due time, the true road to Heaven, if he corresponds to His grace. Hence we asked the following question in our Familiar Explanation: 

“What are we to think of the salvation of those who are out of the pale of the Church without any fault of theirs, and who never had any opportunity to know better?”

To this question we give the following answer:

“Their inculpable (invincible) ignorance will not save them; but if they fear God and live up to their conscience, God, in His infinite mercy, will furnish them with the necessary means of salvation, even so as to send, if needed, an angel to instruct them in the Catholic Faith, rather than let them perish through inculpable ignorance.” (St. Thomas Aquinas)

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A “blueprint” for the coming end of days, based on the prophesies of Catholic saints

palehorse

Well, let me lay this out for you in very simple terms.  The good ol’ days ended a long time ago, long before any of us were born, and long before anyone alive today can remember.  Would it surprise you to learn that our time was prophesied centuries ago with alarming accuracy?  Here, let me give you an example…

After the year 1900, toward the middle of the 20th century, the people of that time will become unrecognisable. When the time for the Advent of the Antichrist approaches, peoples minds will grow cloudy from carnal passions, and dishonour and lawlessness will grow stronger. Then the world will become unrecognisable. Peoples appearances will change, and it will be impossible to distinguish men from women due to there shamelessness in dress and style of hair. These people will be cruel and will be like wild animals because of the temptations of the Antichrist. There will be no respect for parents or elders, love will disappear, and Christian pastors, bishops, and priests will become vain men, completely failing to distinguish the right hand way from the left. At that time the morals and traditions of Christians and the Church will change. People will abandon modesty, and dissipation will reign. Falsehood and greed will attain great proportions, and woe to those who pile up treasures. Lust, adultery, homosexuality, secret deeds and murder will rule in society.

— St. Nilus, 430 AD

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The Tremendous Value of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass

masscalvary

At the hour of death the Holy, Masses you have heard devoutly,
will be your greatest consolation. Every Mass will go with you
to Judgment and will plead for pardon for you.
By every Mass you can diminish the temporal punishment due to your sins,
more or less, according to your fervor.

By devoutly assisting at Holy Mass you render the greatest homage
possible to the Sacred Humanity of Our Lord. Through the Holy Sacrifice,
Our Lord Jesus Christ supplies for many of our negligences and omissions.

He forgives you all the venial sins which you are
determined to avoid. He forgives you all your unknown sins
which you never confessed.
The power of Satan over you is diminished.

By piously hearing Holy Mass you afford the souls in
purgatory the greatest possible relief; One Holy Mass heard during your life
will be of more benefit to you than many heard for you after your death.

Through the Holy Mass you are preserved from many dangers
and misfortunes which would otherwise have befallen you.
You shorten your purgatory by every Mass.

During the Holy Mass you kneel amid a multitude of holy
angels, who are present at the Adorable Sacrifice with reverential awe.
Through the Holy Mass you are blessed in your temporal goods and affairs.

When you hear Holy Mass devoutly offering it to Almighty God
in honor of a particular saint or an angel thanking God for the favors
bestowed; you afford that saint or that angel a new degree of honor,
joy and happiness, and draw his special love and protection upon yourself.

Every time you assist at the Holy Sacrifice of the
Mass, besides other intentions, you should offer it
in honor of the saint of the day.

When the Priest offers the Host
I place upon the paten my heart:
the hearts of all those near and dear to me,
especially the hearts of my relatives:
the hearts of all those for whom
I have promised to pray:
the hearts of all those who have injured me:
the hearts of all those whom I may have injured:
the hearts of all the agonizing.

O Lord Jesus Christ, when Thou changest the bread and wine
into Thy Precious Body and Blood, change our hearts
into hearts pleasing to Thee.

When the Priest offers the Chalice.
I place within the chalice the souls of all my relatives
for whom I should pray: the souls of those for whom
I may have forgotten to pray,
the souls most devout to the Sacred Heart and the Blessed Virgin Mary,
the souls of the most abandoned.

O Lord Jesus Christ, when Thou changest
the wine into Thy Precious Blood change these poor souls
from their place of suffering unto eternal happiness.

Eternal Rest grant unto them O Lord
and let the perpetual light shine upon them.

Prayer to the Blessed Virgin Mary
O most beautiful flower of Mount Carmel! Fruitful vine!
Splendor of Heaven! Blessed Mother of the Son of God!
Immaculate Virgin, assist me in this my necessity!
O Star of the Sea, help me, and show me herein thou art my Mother!
O Holy Mary Mother of God, Queen of Heaven and Earth,
I humbly beseech thee from the bottom of my heart,
to succor me in this necessity there are none
that can withstand thy power.

O show me herein thou art my Mother!
O Mary conceived without sin,
pray for us who have recourse to thee. (3 times)
Sweet Mother I place this cause in thy hands. (3 times)

Link (PDF)

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What you lose when you pass up Holy Communion

Don’t forget to pray for the holy souls in Purgatory

Visit the site

This light-hearted but informative video explains the connection between Halloween and All Saints Day, plus much, much more.

Watch the video

Pope Benedict canonizes 7 saints, including 2 Americans

VATICAN CITY — Pope Benedict XVI added seven more saints onto the roster of Catholic role models on Sunday, saying their example would strengthen the church as it tries to rekindle the faith in places where it’s lagging. Two of them were Americans: Kateri Tekakwitha, the first Native American saint from the U.S. and Mother Marianne Cope, a 19th century Franciscan nun who cared for leprosy patients in Hawaii.

More…

The efficacious virtue of divine light and grace remains our only true hope for salvation.


by Doug Lawrence

The only church that was ever personally founded by Jesus Christ is the one, holy, apostolic and universal church … known today as Catholic.

The ordinary means of personal salvation in Jesus Christ is through baptism … which is “the door” by which someone typically enters … along with a lifetime of subsequent, faithful participation in all of the work, worship, sacraments and devotions of the Catholic Church.

Outside the Catholic Church there is no salvation. But God is sovereign, merciful, and all powerful … and he can save whomsoever he wishes … for any reason or for none … even in direct exception to the rules of the church, which are necessarily subject to the will of God, in all things.

Yet, anyone God chooses to save is saved only by the effective application of the grace that Jesus obtained for all, on the cross at Calvary.

The Catholic Church itself has canonized only a few thousand saints. Hence, the church claims no direct knowledge of the salvation … or damnation … of the great majority of souls.

In spite of all this, some Catholics maintain
that we can be absolutely confident of the salvation
of other apparently “good” people,
who through no fault of their own,
never became members of the Catholic Church.

Yet we know not of a single one, for certain!

Jesus remains the Blessed Hope of our salvation. Until the moment Jesus, the just judge  personally invites into heaven (or banishes us to hell) the best we can do is depend upon his saving grace, so that we might one day, like Saint Paul, be able to truthfully exclaim:

For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished [my] course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing. (2 Timothy 4:1-8)

St. Paul turned out to be correct, and the Church subsequently confirmed as much, by officially declaring him a saint. Yet we have absolutely no specific knowledge of anyone outside the church ever being admitted to heaven.

But what about St. Daniel the Prophet, St. John the Baptist, St. Dismas – the “good” thief, and the many prophets and patriarchs of old? It remains a complicated subject!

Read Lionel Andrades latest column on this matter.

A priest reaffirms his faith in the Catholic Church, in a strange kind of way.

The Catholic Church is like the Old Testament. There is Noah, lying drunk and naked. There’s Abraham disobeying God and taking his maid instead of his wife. There’s David ogling Bathsheba and plotting to kill her husband after he makes her pregnant. The same rich stink of sin wafts through the Catholic Church too, and that is what makes it seem real.

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No serious baseball fan would ever question the value of Catholic relics.

by Doug Lawrence

Anyone who ever attended a major league baseball game would be loathed to throw back a foul ball … let alone a genuine souvenir bat, cap, or glove, especially one that that was actually used by their favorite ball player.

These things serve as lasting remembrances of extremely rare, real-life events that remain dear to the heart of many, many fans for a long, long time. They also inspire many a great story.

So it is with authentic Catholic relics … only more so … since such things serve to remind us of the true realities of our faith, the work of Jesus Christ, the apostles, martyrs and saints, and the love of God.

While the ranks of professional baseball players have always been quite small, and the length of their careers short … it remains quite possible, with the help of the church, for anyone to become a saint … and remain so eternally!

All the more reason authentic Catholic relics should inspire us to greatness, in Christ.

For those who are religiously opposed to such things, please take a look at the recent 9-11 remembrances, erected all around the country, which used many types of architectural details, flags, and other remnants from the twin towers, to effectively and permanently commemorate what happened there.

Idolatry? Heck no!

Souvenirs, memorials and relics serve to remind us of important truths and events, by bringing very real parts of the past, into the present day.

In that respect, the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is without equal, since it is there that Jesus Christ becomes present on the altar for us, under the sacramental auspices of bread and wine, making present the one time, once for all, perfect and eternal sacrifice, who redeemed us from eternal slavery to Satan, sin, and death.

And while baseballs and home run kings constitute essential elements of America’s pastime, Jesus Christ is without a doubt, King of Kings, Lord of Lords, and mankind’s greatest hero of all time … with all of the saints faithfully “lined up” right behind him.

That’s what we Catholics remember at every Mass, and that’s what we Catholics remember when we venerate relics of the saints.

Now … Play Ball!

Kreeft: How to successfully discern God’s will for your life … and act accordingly.

Does God have one right choice for me in each decision I make?

When we pray for wisdom to discern God’s will when it comes to choosing a mate, a career, a job change, a move, a home, a school, a friend, a vacation, how to spend money, or any other choice, big or little, whenever there are two or more different paths opening up before us and we have to choose, does God always will one of those paths for us? If so, how do we discern it?

Many Christians who struggle with this question today are unaware that Christians of the past can help them from their own experience. Christian wisdom embodied in the lives and teachings of the saints tells us two things that are relevant to this question.

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Reader Paul comments on JPII beatification and papal Mass article

I am writing just to congratulate you on the very good review you gave on John Paul’s Mass in Chicago, re:

All criticisms aside, you can’t help loving John Paul II. I figure God does, too! of 2nd May weblog

I am always seeing red when I see some supposedly intelligent Catholics pour scorn on the person of John Paul. It seems to me in passing that they lack common charity and for all their intellectual rumblings they present a mean minded lord as fit for devotion by a very few elite.

I recall back in 2005 and it was Wednesday of that Easter week when I complained to God that I did not understand why he had not taken him at Easter? Like a slap in the face, I was immediately pulled up on where in the week I was and recall saying out loud at this realization “Oh. . My God . .”

I knew at once that Jesus had done one last act of his divine will in wanting to take the Holy father on his feast of The Divine Mercy . .with all its promises revealed. I believe his cardinals and especially Pope Benedict understood the significance of dates and what Jesus was doing for John Paul. If I am correct and I believe here I am, then His Holiness Benedict 16th well knows the eternal fate of his old friend and mentor. It is not surprising that he has backed a fast track of grace for the memory of his predecessor. We should always recall that The Catholic Church does NOT make saints, only God can do that . .but the Church sometimes is allowed to Recognise a saint by their life and heroic virtues etc or by the revelation of Jesus.

As for the poor in charity that suggest John Paul did not speak out against this or that corruption within the church their arguments are not logical.

We pray for both what we do and what we fail to do but lack of condemnation cannot logically be assessed as agreement. Otherwise these same claimants will surely argue that Our lord does not condemn some of the wrongs of his day for example the sermon on the mount makes no perception on slavery or the economic abuses of social structure of the day. Indeed Our Lord rather backs these economic structures by suggesting that we should render to Caesar what is Caesars . To suggest that this means he cared little or is responsible for the abuse of such structures is clearly absurd and borders on grave sin. We are not allowed to express a view that is harmful or leading to a character assassination of the living or the dead. As Christians such acts are reprehensible and belong to the works of Satan not Christ.

My argument against these supposed catholic thinkers with ideas above their station is that they should always and at all moments remember Love and act accordingly. Salvation is not guaranteed to any of us but it is impossible without love. If we recall the love of Jesus and his followers then we should be inspired to pick up our cross and follow Christ. It is not simply poetical license it is a command from love itself and we must respond.

If the Now Blessed John Paul is in heaven, he is a saint. If Jesus and his divine mercy wish us to follow him then we can be assured that his saints are there to help us and not trip us up or sneer at our weaknesses. As Catholics through out the ages have known, The Communion of Saints means that these individuals in Heaven, in Eternal Glory are our hope and friends. To harden our hearts to Gods Justice, Mercy and Will by turning from The Church or these Holy icons is less than sad. Our personal and eternal salvation are greatly assisted by these saints and by the Holy Catholic Church. What is required of us is a conversion from sin to grace, a child-like acceptance of Gods wonders and an opening to Love that reveals grace in everything we do.

John Paul had human weakness because he was a human but we are not called upon to expose errors nor cast stones because we expect our selves to be so pure in heart. We are called to celebrate the Goodness of this great man and whether we like it or not, to respond to Gods call to Love and accept his Divine Mercy.

What’s so great about the Catholic religion?


Q: What’s so great about the Catholic religion?

A: The Catholic Church is the only church that was ever personally founded by Jesus Christ … while he still walked the earth. (Jesus is God, incarnate.)

The Catholic Church has Jesus Christ as its eternal head, and the Holy Spirit as its perpetual guide and advocate.

The only church that was ever authentically established and empowered in this way … the Catholic Church remains the living eye-witness for the Gospel of Jesus Christ in the world today, just as it has been since the very beginning.

Despite the internal and external human corruption with which the Catholic Church has always contended, the truth of the church’s essential doctrines, dogmas, liturgies and devotions has miraculously, never been compromised.

The church remains the only infallible guide to a proper moral existence, although few within the church have actually managed to live up to that ideal. Those who are known to have have successfully done so are called “Saints”.

In addition to being The Universal Christian Church on Earth … the Catholic Church is also a sovereign nation-state, known as the Vatican. The Vatican constitutes the world’s oldest, continuously operating government (of any kind).

The Pope is the chief pastor and the leader of the Church, on earth. The holy office of the papacy was also established personally by Jesus Christ. St. Peter was the first pope … the “Rock” on which Jesus Christ would build his church. And lest anyone doubt this is indeed the case … the bones of St. Peter rest today, in an ancient cemetery, almost directly beneath the main altar of St. Peter’s basilica, in the Vatican. See also the Gospel of Matthew, Chapter 16, verses 18 &19.

Endowed with the “Keys to the Kingdom of Heaven” … and the virtually unrestricted power of  “Binding and Loosing” … on earth and in heaven … the Pope wields truly awesome power and authority.

After the fall of Rome, the Catholic Church took it upon itself to rebuild western civilization in the image of heaven. And in many ways, it succeeded!

The Holy Bible remains a thoroughly Catholic book … preserved, compiled, translated, certified and infallibly endorsed as the totally inerrant, divinely inspired, written Word of God, by the Catholic Church alone … more than a thousand years before any other Christian church even existed.

There are more than 1.1 billion Catholics in the world, today.

Since its original institution in the early first century, the Catholic Church has consistently fulfilled its prophetic mission of saving souls and offering acceptable worship to God … something it never fails to do … every hour of every day … every day of every year … in every nation on earth.

Four “marks” serve to identify the authentic Catholic Church, from age to age:

1) One. The Catholic Church is unique: Jesus Christ founded only one church … the Catholic Church.

2) Holy. The Catholic Church is holy. With Jesus as its founder, the Holy Spirit as its perpetual advocate, and God the Father as its eternal patron, the Catholic Church belongs solely to God. Pure and spotless. Set apart for God’s purposes alone, the church can never be corrupted by sin, or by any other human fault.

3) Apostolic. The Catholic Church is apostolic. The divine power and authority given to the Catholic Church by Jesus Christ is passed down through the generations from the original apostles, to their duly ordained successors, the bishops. And so on.

4) Universal. The word “Catholic” means “universal”. Jesus Christ founded one church to be the universal sacrament of salvation for all.

There’s much, much more … but I think you probably get the idea.

A Saint Anthony Story

The most humorous story I ever heard regarding Saint Anthony was told by my mother. She had an aunt who prayed to Saint Anthony for many years. Every night she knelt before her statue of Saint Anthony and asked him to find her a husband. She prayed and prayed faithfully, but her prayers just weren’t being answered.

Finally one day, feeling discouraged and angry that Saint Anthony wasn’t answering her prayers, she took the statue and threw it out the window. It flew out of her apartment window and bonked an pedestrian on the head. The man saw which window the statue had come from, and returned it to her.

They married shortly after. I’m sure the bump had healed by then.

Read more at Domestic-Church.com

Father Corapi: Many saints will be forged in the crucible of the coming years. Make sure you are among them.

From Fr. Corapi:

As we have entered a new era in politics and perhaps society in general, keep something in mind: WE WIN!

No matter what political party is in power at a given point in time, in the end those that remain faithful to Jesus Christ win the war. We may have to fight many battles outnumbered and even despised and looked upon as criminals and outcasts by a society that is unraveling and degenerating into something no one could have imagined.

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Ask Alice: How to treat a 1st class relic (one you’re not currently married to.)


Send A Question To Alice

She’ll answer as many questions as possible,
right here, every Thursday.

Email responses will also be provided, as time permits.

Joan asks: I have in my possession a 1st class relic of Blessed Seelos and need to know how to take care of it when it is not being used by someone in special need.  What is the best paper back book on Saints (one that gives  a detailed account of Saints lives. )

Alice replies: How fortunate you are to have a first class relic of the New Orleans priest, dubbed the “cheerful saint” who was blessed with the gift of healing. If the Blessed Seelos relic is contained in a reliquary (relic case) you can keep it in any little box on your dresser. If the relic is simply affixed to a small paper or cloth, you can place the relic inside a clear plastic box.

An excellent paperback about saints’ lives is: Saint of the Day (5th revised edition) by Leonard Foley, O.F.M. and Pat McCloskey, O.F.M. (2003) ISBN 0-86716-535-9.  Another fine paperback is titled: The Saints from A to Z, by Cynthia Cavnar (2000) ISBN 1-56955-190-1.

****
Joseph asks: Today is November 26, and a terrorist killed more than 100 people, calling them unbelievers and believing that by killing, God will reward them. How can one Love such people????

Alice replies:

I am very sorry to learn of the 100 innocent people who lost their lives on November 26. Your question is one of the biggest challenges of our faith.

One of my favorite scripture passages is (Luke 6:27-28) where Jesus said, “Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who maltreat you.”

Forgiveness is a vital component of love. It is the fabric from which miracles are fashioned.

As Jesus was dying, He forgave the repentant thief on the cross. St. Stephen, the first martyr, forgave the people who stoned him.

Ten years ago, Jennifer Bishop Jenkins taught me a lesson about loving one’s enemies: With God’s grace, Jennifer forgave the teen who brutally murdered her sister Nancy, her brother-in-law, and the couple’s unborn child.

As she lay dying Nancy wrote, “I (heart) YOU” in her own blood, on the wall of the couple’s townhouse.
Gradually, Jennifer realized that Nancy left her family a message of love to guide them for the rest of their lives.

Jennifer’s story changed my life forever. If Jennifer could forgive the unrepentant teen who murdered her beloved Nancy and her family, how can I not forgive people for everything they’ve done against me?

As human beings, we are naturally incapable of forgiveness. It is only with God’s grace that we can forgive others. “To err is human, to forgive is divine.”

Forgiveness is a process. When I ask God for the grace to forgive an enemy, He always answers my prayer. Please pray for the souls of the 100 victims who died on November 26, and pray for their murderer(s) as well. In this way you provide relief for their souls and heal your own heart, as well.

Doug Lawrence adds: Forgiveness is the true test of love. Jesus commanded Christians to love God and love our neighbors. Yet, unless an offender sincerely apologizes and makes amends, forgiveness appears to remain optional. And when it comes to matters of life and death (as in self-defense) it’s sometimes necessary for we Christians to preserve our rights (and our lives) by use of the “sword”.

The Catholic Church has formulated doctrines to guide us in such matters, but there are really no invariable, hard and fast rules to go by … other than the commandment mentioned above.

In an earlier post (on a different matter) Msgr. Charles Pope explained things this way: We do not love merely with good results in mind, we love unconditionally, as God does. God loves because God is love and that’s what Love does, He loves. And so to for us, called to be possessed of God’s love, we love. We risk  to love. The Lord was killed for the love he had for us. We do not love merely to get something from it, we simply love. Others may accept or refuse our love, but as for us we love. So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him (1 John 4:16).

Christians also need to believe that God will restore whatever we might (temporarily) lose, by faithfully acting as “other Christs”. (Nobody ever said the Christian life would be easy.)

Forgiving, like love, is fundamental to our faith. Once we make up our mind to do it, just because Jesus asked, the matter should be settled. And from a purely practical point of view, when we refuse to forgive, we provide God with an exceedingly strict rule, by which to judge our personal soul:

Our Father who art in Heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on Earth, as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us

What Catholics know about God that Protestants typically don’t. Or won’t.


God respects the dignity of the human race, (which he created in his own image and likeness) by kindly remembering to include the People of God (along with our good works/voluntary cooperation with his grace) in his ongoing, universal plan of salvation.

It makes no difference where we (or the saints) might presently happen to be, since Heaven poses absolutely no obstacles to the awesome power of divine love and grace (with the unfortunate but notable exception of those already in Hell.)

This is the basic premise behind the Traditional Catholic practice of venerating the Blessed Virgin Mary, along with all the other saints. It also forms the basis for the belief that the saints do indeed have the necessary power and authority from God, to intercede on our behalf.

It’s all totally biblical, and an essential function
of God’s “amazing” grace.