November 22, 2012

Act of Dedication of the Human Race to Jesus Christ King

A partial indulgence is granted to the faithful, who piously recite the Act of Dedication of the Human Race to Jesus Christ King. A plenary indulgence is granted, if it is recited publicly on the feast of our Lord Jesus Christ King.

Most sweet Jesus, Redeemer of the human race, look down upon us humbly prostrate before you. We are yours, and yours we wish to be; but to be more surely united with you, behold each one of us freely consecrates himself today to your Most Sacred Heart.

Many indeed have never known you; many, too, despising your precepts, have rejected you. Have mercy on them all, most merciful Jesus, and draw them to your Sacred Heart.

Be King, O Lord, not only of the faithful who have never forsaken you, but also of the prodigal children who have abandoned you; grant that they may quickly return to their Father’s house, lest they die of wretchedness and hunger.

Be King of those who are deceived by erroneous opinions, or whom discord keeps aloof, and call them back to the harbor of truth and the unity of faith, so that soon there may be but one flock and one Shepherd.

Grant, O Lord, to your Church assurance of freedom and immunity from harm; give tranquility of order to all nations; make the earth resound from pole to pole with one cry: Praise to the divine Heart that wrought our salvation; to it be glory and honor for ever. Amen.

Prayer Source: Enchiridion of Indulgences , June 29, 1968

November 21, 2012

A Primer on Indulgences

The punishment already inflicted by the majority on such a one is enough; you should now relent and support him so that he may not be crushed by too great a weight of sorrow. (2 Cor. 2:6-7)

Indulgences rank among the most poorly understood blessings of the Catholic Church. An indulgence is not permission from the Church to indulge in sin. It is not being indulgent with sinners. It is not the pardon of sin nor the remission of guilt. Now according to the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC):

An indulgence is a remission before God of the temporal punishment due to sins whose guilt has already been forgiven, which the faithful Christian who is duly disposed gains under certain prescribed conditions through the action of the Church which, as the minister of redemption, dispenses and applies with authority the treasury of the satisfactions of Christ and the saints. [CCC 1471]

What an indulgence is and what it does.

First an indulgence is not the forgiveness of sins but only applies to the effects of past, forgiven sins. An indulgence is not a Sacrament but must rely on the Sacrament of Reconciliation (Confession) - the Sacrament through which sins are forgiven by God. Forgiveness of sin and remission of punishment are different.

Secondly sin can have two consequences: eternal (everlasting) punish- ment and temporal (temporary) punishment. Very serious sin, i.e. mortal sin (1 John 5:16), "kills" our friendship with God and deprives us of eternal life. This loss is eternal punishment. It is not punishment from a vengeful God but the consequence of rejecting God - the Source of life. Not all sin is mortal (1 John 5:17), but all sin, even venial sin (less serious sin), needs correction. This correction is temporal punishment. It is demanded by God to correct the bad effects of our sin, e.g. restoring stolen goods.

Spiritually it is the cleansing of our soul from earthly attachments due to our sin. Now Christ's death on the Cross redeems our friendship with God and totally satisfies our eternal punishment once the guilt of our sin is forgiven by God through His Church. So the forgiveness of mortal sin includes the remission of eternal punishment. But temporal punishment can still remain. Ordinarily temporal punishment is satisfied through personal penance; however, indulgences can remove the temporal punishment due to past forgiven sins, both mortal and venial.

A good example of temporal punishment can be found in II Samuel. God through Nathan forgives King David for his sin against Uriah:

"The Lord also has put away your sin; you shall not die. Nevertheless, because by this deed you have utterly scorned the Lord, the child that is born to you shall die." [2 Sam. 12:13-14; RSV]

God forgives David and removes his eternal punishment of death. Nevertheless God punishes David for the deed. According to the translation in the Douay-Rheims Bible, David has "given occasion to the enemies of the Lord to blaspheme." [2 Sam. 12:14] This scandal needed correction (Hebrews 12:5-11).

Thirdly the sufferings of Christ and His saints can be used to satisfy the demands of temporal punishment due to our past sins. In the Bible there are examples of saints making amends for the sins of others. Moses in Exodus 32:32 offers his life to God as a sacrifice for the sins of his people. Job (Job 1:5) offers sacrifice to God for the sins of his children. Even in the New Testament, St. Paul writes to the Corinthians: "I will most gladly spend and be spent for your souls" [2 Cor. 12:15] or to Timothy: "For I am already on the point of being sacrificed." [2 Tim. 4:6] St. Paul sees his martyr's death as a sacrifice and is willing to be spent for the souls of others.

Even though Christ's Sacrifice on the Cross is sufficient for our redemption - the healing of our friendship with God, St. Paul also recognizes that his own suffering is important:

For more go here.

November 20, 2012

The Devil: A Commentary by Fr. Barron


Another part of a video series from Wordonfire.org. Father Barron will be commenting on subjects from modern day culture. For more visit http://www.wordonfire.org/

November 13, 2012

Vatican Pushes Back on Gay Marriage Gains in U.S., Compares It To Polygamy

Following huge gains at the polls in the United States last week, the Vatican began a campaign blitz against same-sex marriage this weekend.

It even went so far as comparing it to polygamy.

According to Reuters, Father Federico Lombardi said in a Vatican Radio address, "It is clear that in Western countries there is a widespread tendency to modify the classic vision of marriage between a man and woman, or rather to try to give it up, erasing its specific and privileged legal recognition compared to other forms of union."

Lombardi was obviously referring to voters in Maryland, Maine, and Washington on Tuesday approving their respective state's initiatives on same-sex marriage.

"Monogamous marriage between a man and woman is an achievement of civilization," Lombardi said. "If not, why not contemplate also freely chosen polygamy and, of course, not to discriminate, polyandry?"

He also said children should have the right to have a father and a mother.

Coincident with Lombardi's address, a front-page article in Saturday’s Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano, the Holy See - the universal government of the Vatican - also pushed back on same-sex marriage framing itself as the lone voice of courage against legal recognition of the practice.

“One might say the church, at least on this front, has been defeated,” L’Osservatore Romano observed. “But that’s not the case.”

According to the Associated Press, the article "insisted that Catholics were putting up a valiant fight to uphold church teaching in the face of 'politically correct ideologies invading every culture of the world' that are backed by institutions like the United Nations, which last year passed a non-binding resolution condemning anti-gay discrimination."

“The church is called to present itself as the lone critic of modernity, the only check ... to the breakup of the anthropological structures on which human society was founded,” the article said.

November 12, 2012

Papal Encyclical on Faith Announced


Pope Benedict XVI’s fourth encyclical will be released in the first half of 2013, timed to coincide with the Year of Faith.

November 8, 2012

Words of Encouragement After the 2012 Elections

Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, gives words of encouragement after the 2012 Elections:

November 6, 2012

A Catholic Priest Speaks to Voters about Faith, Partisanship, and Intrinsic Evil



Fr. Weiss speaks forcefully to Catholic voters, warning them that they must put the Faith ahead of partisanship. This is an election with consequences of Biblical proportion. We cannot grant all issues of public policy the same weight. How to perform the corporal works of mercy, such as feeding the hungry or sheltering the homeless, is a matter for debate. But we cannot be complicit with intrinsic evil. That is not debatable. Among the intrinsic evils are abortion, euthanasia, embryonic stem cell research, contraception, sterilization, and same sex marriage. Father warns that those who have already voted for intrinsic evil, with full knowledge, and without repenting, will lose their souls. Using words from the Declaration of Independence, he calls on us to alter our government, bringing it into conformance with "the laws of nature and of nature's God,"