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

teresaofavila

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

stjohncross

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

thereselsx

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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Lost in translation: The true “sense” of Catholicism

Donald R. McClarey at The American Catholic writes:

As the center of a global institution that includes one-sixth of the human race, one would have thought that the issue of translation of Church documents would have been something that the Vatican would long ago have mastered.  Alas no, apparently.

Joe at Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam has been doing yeoman work in attempting to correct the inexcusably sloppy translation from Spanish to English of Evangelii Gaudium.  Go here to read all about it.

Spanish and English are not minor languages in the Church.  One would have thought that the Vatican could easily have translated a Spanish document into English.  Apparently such confidence would have been misplaced.

This whole foul up reminds me of the words of Pope John XXIII when he was asked how many people work in the Vatican.  “About half.” was the Pope’s laconic response.

The First Thanksgivings Were Catholic

The first two Thanksgivings in the present day United States were actually Catholic. The Pilgrims can only claim a third one, a correction I suggest should be made in school history books.

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A baptized Catholic Native American orchestrated what became known as Thanksgiving

Squanto, the beloved hero of Thanksgiving, was the Native American man who mediated between the Puritan Pilgrims and the Native Americans.

Squanto had been enslaved by the English but he was freed by Spanish Franciscans. Squanto thus received baptism and became a Catholic.

So it was a baptized Catholic Native American who orchestrated what became known as Thanksgiving.

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Interesting Facts About the Spanish Inquisition

Modern historians have long known that the popular view of the Inquisition is a myth. The Inquisition was actually an attempt by the Catholic Church to stop unjust executions.

Heresy was a capital offense against the state. Rulers of the state, whose authority was believed to come from God, had no patience for heretics. Neither did common people, who saw heretics as dangerous outsiders who would bring down divine wrath.

When someone was accused of heresy in the early Middle Ages, they were brought to the local lord for judgment, just as if they had stolen a pig. It was not easy to discern whether the accused was really a heretic. The lord needed some basic theological training, very few did. The sad result is that uncounted thousands across Europe were executed by secular authorities without fair trials or a competent judge of the crime.

The Catholic Church’s response to this problem was the Inquisition, an attempt to provide fair trials for accused heretics using laws of evidence and presided over by knowledgeable judges.

From the perspective of secular authorities, heretics were traitors to God and the king and therefore deserved death. From the perspective of the Church, however, heretics were lost sheep who had strayed from the flock. As shepherds, the pope and bishops had a duty to bring them back into the fold, just as the Good Shepherd had commanded them. So, while medieval secular leaders were trying to safeguard their kingdoms, the Church was trying to save souls. The Inquisition provided a means for heretics to escape death and return to the community.

Most people tried for heresy by the Inquisition were either acquitted or had their sentences suspended. Those found guilty of grave error were allowed to confess their sin, do penance, and be restored to the Body of Christ. The underlying assumption of the Inquisition was that, like lost sheep, heretics had simply strayed.

If, however, an inquisitor determined that a particular sheep had purposely left the flock, there was nothing more that could be done. Unrepentant or obstinate heretics were excommunicated and given over to secular authorities. Despite popular myth, the Inquisition did not burn heretics. It was the secular authorities that held heresy to be a capital offense, not the Church. The simple fact is that the medieval Inquisition saved uncounted thousands of innocent (and even not-so-innocent) people who would otherwise have been roasted by secular lords or mob rule.

Where did this myth come from? After 1530, the Inquisition began to turn its attention to the new heresy of Lutheranism. It was the Protestant Reformation and the rivalries it spawned that would give birth to the myth. Innumerable books and pamphlets poured from the printing presses of Protestant countries at war with Spain accusing the Spanish Inquisition of inhuman depravity and horrible atrocities in the New World.

For more information, see:
The Real Inquisition, By Thomas F. Madden, National Review (2004) http://www.nationalreview.com/comment/ma…
Inquisition by Edward Peters (1988)
The Spanish Inquisition by Henry Kamen (1997)
The Spanish Inquisition: Fact Versus Fiction, By Marvin R. O’Connell (1996): http://www.catholiceducation.org/article…

As seen on Yahoo Answers. Posted by ImACatholic2.