September 21, 2012

Thought of the Day

 It's there for a reason: Because we're all "bad" Catholics sometimes.

September 14, 2012

Thought of the Day

“Priests have received a power which God has given neither to angels nor to archangels. It was said to them: ‘Whatsoever you shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatsoever you shall loose, shall be loosed.’ Temporal rulers have indeed the power of binding; but they can only bind the body. Priests, in contrast, can bind with a bond which pertains to the soul itself and transcends the very heavens. Did [God] not give them all the powers of heaven? … What greater power is there than this? The Father has given all judgment to the Son. And now I see the Son placing all this power in the hands of men. They are raised to this dignity as if they were already gathered up to heaven.”

St. John Chrysostom, Bishop and Doctor of the Church

Two Types of Punishment Due to Sin

Deacon Mike Bickerstaff

There are two types of punishment due to sin:

Eternal punishment & Temporal punishment

Eternal punishment, what we might call guilt, is forgiven and removed in the Sacrament of Confession. You carry it in when you enter the Confessional, but you leave without it when you receive Absolution. If you had lost Sanctifying Grace, you have received it again and all eternal guilt and punishment is gone.

But, temporal punishment remains to be paid in this life or in the life to come. Also, any attachments to sin may remain after Confession. It might help to understand temporal punishment by way of an analogy. If one steals something from a friend and goes to that friend seeking forgiveness, that friend might indeed forgive him. Those two people are once again friends. That is what God does with us in Confession. He restores Communion between us. But, just as your human friend might expect you to return to him what was stolen, there may likewise be some act that you must do in cooperation with God’s grace after Confession. Jesus is clear, nothing imperfect will enter into Heaven, so, if after the Judgment, any imperfections, punishments and disordered attachments remain in you that you have not overcome in this life, you will be purified of them in the life to come. This purification is what Catholics call Purgatory. For more information, see the related article,Purgatory Made Simple”. Purgatory is not one of the Four Last Things because after the Universal Judgment Purgatory will no longer exist.

So, that is it. Heaven is what awaits the souls of the Just after death where they will enjoy perfect joy and beatitude in the Beatific Vision… seeing God face-to-face. Hell is the place of everlasting punishment that awaits the souls of the Damned after death. In both places, the soul will be reunited with the resurrected body after the Universal Judgment

Deacon Mike Bickerstaff is the Editor in chief and co-founder of the The Integrated Catholic Life™. A Catholic Deacon of the Roman Rite for the Archdiocese of Atlanta, Deacon Bickerstaff is assigned to St. Peter Chanel Catholic Church where he is the Director of Adult Education and Evangelization.

Unite Suffering to the Cross - Fr. John Riccardo

Go here to view the video

September 12, 2012

Our prayers are never wasted, Pope Benedict says

Vatican City, Sep 12, 2012 / 09:24 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Benedict XVI used his weekly General Audience to explain that there is no such thing as wasted prayer.

“We can be sure that there is no such thing as a superfluous or useless prayer. No prayer is lost,” said the Pope to over 8,000 pilgrims in the Vatican’s Paul VI Audience Hall Sept. 12.

“When faced with evil we often have the sensation that we can do nothing, but our prayers are in fact the first and most effective response we can give, they strengthen our daily commitment to goodness. The power of God makes our weakness strong.”

Pope Benedict was continuing his weekly exploration of prayer in the story of salvation with a particular focus on the second part of the Book of the Apocalypse, the concluding book of the Bible.

Within its passages, he explained, the Christian assembly is called “to undertake a profound interpretation of the history in which it lives” so that it may learn “to discern events with faith” a thus “collaborate in the advancement of the kingdom of God.”

September 11, 2012

Check Out Our Blogroll

Dear Readers,

On the rightsidebar below see our "Blogroll." These websites share our guiding principles and love of the Catholic faith. Our blogroll will be updated periodically. Please visit these sites and others as they are added.

Yours in Christ,

Dumb Ox

Video: How Will You Answer? Featuring Abortion Survivor Melissa Ohden.

On August 28, 2012 the Susan B. Anthony List (SBA List) announced the launch of a $150,000 television ad campaign across Missouri highlighting President Obama's extreme record on abortion and featuring abortion survivor Melissa Ohden. Missouri has recently been at the center of the conversation on abortion.

"In light of the recent national discussion over abortion, it's important Americans know the President's best-kept secret: his extreme record on abortion. Melissa Ohden's powerful story draws a stark contrast to his unbending support of abortion and the abortion industry and reveals the human face to this debate." said SBA List President Marjorie Dannenfelser. "President Obama's appalling record on abortion is not just limited to his four votes to deny rights to abortion survivors but spans to his recent heartless refusal to support bans on sex-selection and late-term abortions. These actions fly in the face of mainstream American views and run counter to the President's first term pre-election talk of finding common ground. Recent polling reveals the majority of Americans support bans on these horrific practices."

September 7, 2012

Homily for the Twenty-Third Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C

Fr. René J. Butler, M.S.
Director, La Salette Shrine
Enfield, NH

Jesus says we cannot be his disciples unless we “hate” our father, mother, sister, brother. This is an excellent illustration of how different our culture today is from that of the ancient Middle East.

It is hard enough for us to understand the Middle East today. One of my cousins is married to a woman of Lebanese descent. She dislikes funerals the way they are celebrated in our culture. She told me, “When my husband dies, I’ll be wailing and screaming and throwing myself on the coffin.” It’s the only way of grieving that makes sense to her. “What makes sense, what is obvious and natural,” is an important distinctive element of every culture.

Now go back 2000 years. No wonder the Bible is so hard for us to understand at times. It reflects a different world, a different time, a different culture.

The French have no word that means “home” in the complete sense, with all the emotional components the English word implies. Some words are truly untranslatable in any exact way from one language to another. If this is true of modern languages, imagine what it is like for ancient languages.

In the Bible, “acquaintance” is rare. People are seen as friend or enemy, kin or alien. Similarly, the verb “to like” is virtually non-existent in the Bible. You either love or hate. And even though the New Testament was written in Greek, it still reflects ancient Middle Eastern thought and culture.

Imagine you have had a meal with friends at their home. When they ask, “How was it?” how do you respond if the only options in your language are “fabulous” and “lousy”?

The language Jesus spoke was a language of either-or. So how else could he say that we have to be faithful to him above all without an all-or-nothing expression? Maybe he would have said it differently in 20th Century English. But the meaning would still be the same. Faith first. Love first. Jesus first.