Thursday, April 27, 2017

QUOTATION: Sex

Dietrich von Hildebrand
God, and not a boundless search for ‘pleasure,’ should always be king of the bedroom.

--Dietrich von Hildebrand

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

QUOTATION: The Indissolubility of Marriage

Pope Francis
Marital love is not defended primarily by presenting indissolubility as a duty, or by repeating doctrine, but by helping it to grow ever stronger under the impulse of grace.

--Pope Francis, Amoris Laetitia, 134

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

QUOTATION: Crosses

St. Philip Neri
That we are generally the carpenters of our own crosses is a truth sadly easier to recognize in others than in ourselves.

--St. Philip Neri

Monday, April 24, 2017

QUOTATION: The Poor

Dorothy Day
Those who cannot see the face of Christ in the poor are atheists indeed. 

--Dorothy Day

Sunday, April 23, 2017

QUOTATION: Conversion

Fulton J. Sheen
Every conversion starts with a crisis: with a moment or a situation involving some kind of suffering, physical, moral, or spiritual; with a dialectic, a tension, a pull, a duality, or a conflict. This crisis is also accompanied, on the one hand, by a profound sense of one’s own helplessness and, on the other hand, by an equally certain conviction that God alone can supply what the individual lacks.
--Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen, Peace of Soul, 1949

Saturday, April 22, 2017

QUOTATION: The Limits of Science

Peter Kreeft
Though unscientific thought may be inferior by scientific standards, science itself can’t prove whether or not there are other standards by which other kinds of thought might be superior.
--Peter Kreeft, Letters to an Atheist,  2014

Friday, April 21, 2017

QUOTATION: Occasions of Sin

St. Alphonsus Liguori
Avoid idleness, dissipated companions, immodest conversations, and, more than all, evil occasions, especially where there is danger of incontinency; and for this reason one cannot be too cautious in keeping one's eyes from dwelling on any dangerous objects. For a person that does not avoid the voluntary occasions of sin, especially those which have frequently proved fatal to his innocence, it is morally impossible to persevere in the grace of God: He that loves the danger shall perish in it.

--St. Alphonsus Liguori, The Way of Salvation and Perfection

Thursday, April 20, 2017

QUOTATION: Repent While You Can

Blessed John Henry Newman

Never suffer sin to remain upon you; let it not grow old in you; wipe it off while it is fresh, else it will stain; let it not get ingrained; let it not eat its way in, and rust in you. It is of a consuming nature; it is like a canker; it will eat your flesh. I say, beware, my brethren, of suffering sin in yourselves, and this for a great many reasons. First, if for no other than this, you will forget you have committed it, and never repent of it at all. Repent of it while you know it; let it not be wiped from your memory without being first wiped away from your soul. What may be the state of our souls from the accumulating arrears of the past! Alas! what difficulties we have involved ourselves in, without knowing it.

--Blessed John Henry Newman, “Transgressions and Infirmities”, Parochial and Plain Sermons, Vol. 5

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

QUOTATION: Taking Up the Cross

St. Catherine of Bologna
Whoever from deep within her noble and zealous heart wishes to take up the cross through Jesus Christ our savior who died on the field of battle in order to give us life, let her first take up the arms necessary for such battles and especially those which are treated next in order: first is diligence; second, distrust of self; third, confidence in God; fourth, memory of his passion; fifth, memory of one’s own death, sixth, memory of the glory of God; seventh and last, the authority of Holy Scripture as it gives the example of Christ Jesus in the desert.

--St. Catherine of Bologna, The Seven Spiritual Weapons

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

QUOTATION: Justice and Mercy

St. Thomas Aquinas
Justice without mercy is cruelty. Mercy without justice is the mother of all dissolution.

--St. Thomas Aquinas

Monday, April 17, 2017

QUOTATION: Communion

St. Ignatius of Antoch
Make no mistake, my brothers, if anyone joins a schismatic he will not inherit God’s Kingdom. If anyone walks in the way of heresy, he is out of sympathy with the Passion. Be careful, then, to observe a single Eucharist. For there is one flesh of our Lord, Jesus Christ, and one cup of his blood that makes us one, and one altar, just as there is one bishop along with the presbytery and the deacons, my fellow slaves. In that way whatever you do is in line with God’s will.

--St. Ignatius of Antioch

Sunday, April 16, 2017

QUOTATION: Christianity

Pope Benedict XVI
Christianity is not a highly complicated collection of so many dogmas that it is impossible for anyone to know them all; it is not something exclusively for academicians who can study these things, but it is something simple: God exists and God is close in Jesus Christ.

--Pope Benedict XVI, Questions and Answers, 2008

Saturday, April 15, 2017

QUOTATION: Private Judgement

Pope Pius XII

Wherefore, let the faithful also be on their guard against the overrated independence of private judgment and that false autonomy of human reason. For it is quite foreign to everyone bearing the name of a Christian to trust his own mental powers with such pride as to agree only with those things which he can examine from their inner nature, and to imagine that the Church, sent by God to teach and guide all nations, is not conversant with present affairs and circumstances; or even that they must obey only in those matters which she has decreed by solemn definition as though her other decisions might be presumed to be false or putting forward insufficient motive for truth and honesty. Quite to the contrary, a characteristic of all true followers of Christ, lettered or unlettered, is to suffer themselves to be guided and led in all things that touch upon faith or morals by the Holy Church of God through its Supreme Pastor the Roman Pontiff, who is himself guided by Jesus Christ Our Lord.
--Pope Pius XI, Casti Connubii, 104

Friday, April 14, 2017

QUOTATION: Love in Marriage

Pope Francis
Our teaching on marriage and the family cannot fail to be inspired and transformed by this message of love and tenderness; otherwise, it becomes nothing more than the defence of a dry and lifeless doctrine.

--Pope Francis, Amoris Laetitia, 59

Thursday, April 13, 2017

QUOTATION: Learning to Pray

St. Philip
A most excellent means of learning how to pray? Acknowledge that we are unworthy to pray, and so place our efforts entirely in the hands of the Lord.

--St. Philip Neri

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

QUOTATION: After Death

Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange

We must now recall briefly, first what we have said above on the nature of knowledge in the separated soul; secondly, on particular judgment.
These souls, since they have their bodies no longer, cannot exercise the operations of sense-life. But they do retain and can exercise the superior faculties of intellect and will. They carry with them all their knowledge and all their virtues, theological and moral, but they must exercise these possessions without the support of the imagination.
This preternatural mode of being is accompanied by a preternatural mode of acting. Infused ideas enable them to know the singular in the universal, in particular to know persons remaining on earth with whom they have a special relation.
Further, they see themselves intuitively, as the angels do. Hence they know very clearly their own spirituality, immortality, liberty. In themselves, as in a mirror, they have perfect natural knowledge of God, the author of their nature. And they know one another.
The particular judgment, we have said, comes at the very instant of separation from the body. This instant terminates merit and demerit. The sentence of judgment, in the form of an intellectual illumination, covers their entire terrestrial life, and is therefore definitive.
--Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange, Life Everlasting

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

QUOTATION: Death

Fulton J. Sheen
Death is God’s necessary gift to a universe in which evil has been let loose.

--Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen, Peace of Soul, 1949

Monday, April 10, 2017

QUOTATION: Science Does Not Disprove the Supernatural

Peter Kreeft
How could science, which validly explores the physical universe and only the physical universe, possibly prove either that there is or that there is not something else real besides the physical universe? It has no data beyond scientific data. It can’t, by its very nature. Saying there are no souls “science sees no souls” is like saying there can be no souls because souls do not leave fossils or emit radiation. It’s a really simple point: How could a fish whose experience is confined to its fishbowl know  whether there’s world outside the fishbowl?

--Peter Kreeft, Letters to an Atheist, 2014

Sunday, April 9, 2017

QUOTATION: Occasions of Sin

St. Alphonsus Liguori
Avoid idleness, dissipated companions, immodest conversations, and, more than all, evil occasions, especially where there is danger of incontinency; and for this reason one cannot be too cautious in keeping one's eyes from dwelling on any dangerous objects. For a person that does not avoid the voluntary occasions of sin, especially those which have frequently proved fatal to his innocence, it is morally impossible to persevere in the grace of God: He that loves the danger shall perish in it.

--St. Alphonsus Liguori, The Way of Salvation and Perfection

Saturday, April 8, 2017

QUOTATION: Hating Sin

Blessed John Henry Newman

The common mode of reasoning adopted by the religion of the day is this: some sins are compatible with true faith, viz. sins of infirmity; therefore, wilful transgression, or what the text calls "departing" from God, is compatible with it also. Men do not, and say they cannot, draw the line; and thus, from putting up with small sins, they go on to a sufferance of greater sins. Well, I would take the reverse way, and begin at the other end. I would force upon men's notice that there are sins which do forfeit grace; and then if, as is objected, that we cannot draw the line between one kind of sin and another, this very circumstance will make us shrink not only from transgressions, but also from infirmities. From hatred and abhorrence of large sins, we shall, please God, go on to hate and abhor the small.

--Blessed John Henry Newman, “Transgressions and Infirmities”, Parochial and Plain Sermons, Vol. 5

Friday, April 7, 2017

QUOTATION: Doing Too Much

St. Catherine of Bologna
When the enemy sees that he cannot impede the servant of Christ from doing good, he will seek to entice her with doing too much.

--St. Catherine of Bologna, The Seven Spiritual Weapons

Thursday, April 6, 2017

QUOTATION: A Child is a Gift

Pope Francis
If a child comes into this world in unwanted circumstances, the parents and other members of the family must do everything possible to accept that child as a gift from God and assume the responsibility of accepting him or her with openness and affection.

--Pope Francis, Amoris Laetitia, 166

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

QUOTATION: Religion

Dorothy Day
Together with the works of mercy, feeding, clothing, and sheltering our brothers, we must indoctrinate. We must "give reason for the faith that is in us"...otherwise our religion is an opiate, for ourselves alone, for our comfort or for our individual safety or indifferent custom.

--Dorothy Day 

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

QUOTATION: The Pope

St. Catherine of Alexandria
He is insane who rises or acts contrary to the Vicar who holds the Blood of Christ crucified. Even if he was a demon incarnate, I should not raise my head against him, but always grovel and ask for the Blood out of mercy.... God wants neither you nor anyone else to set themselves up as a righter of the wrongs of His ministers.

--St. Catherine of Siena, Letters, Vol. 1, letter #28

Monday, April 3, 2017

QUOTATION: Euthanasia

I have always been mystified how so many libertarians, who do not trust the government to pick up garbage, trust the authorities to create a system in which doctors get to murder their patients.
--Charles Lewis, “Autonomy’s Open Road”, National Catholic Register, June 9th, 2016.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

QUOTATION: No Private Religion

Pope Benedict XVI
Is it consistent to profess our beliefs in church on Sunday, and then during the week to promote business practices or medical procedures contrary to those beliefs? … Any tendency to treat religion as a private matter must be resisted. Only when their faith permeates every aspect of their lives do Christians become truly open to the transforming power of the Gospel.
--Pope Benedict XVI

Saturday, April 1, 2017

QUOTATION: Priests

I cannot understand why some priests are so eager to be indistinguishable from other Christians, forgetting or neglecting their specific mission in the Church, that for which they have been ordained. They seem to think that Christians want to see the priest as just another man. That is not so. They want to find in the priest those virtues proper to every Christian man and, indeed, every honorable man: understanding, justice, a life of work -- priestly work in this instance -- and good manners.

--St. Josemaria Escriva, "A Priest Forever", In Love with the Church.

Friday, March 31, 2017

QUOTATION: Self-Love

St. Philip Neri
The skin of self-love is fastened strongly on our hearts, and it hurts to flay it off. And the more we get down to the quick of it, to what is real in our hearts, the sharper and more difficult it is to bear.

--St. Philip Neri

Thursday, March 30, 2017

QUOTATION: God's Pardon

Fulton J. Sheen
God has promised men pardon if they are penitent, but not if they procrastinate.

--Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen, Peace of Soul, 1949

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

QUOTATION: Today's Skepticism

G.K. Chesterton
The general rule is that nothing must be accepted on any ancient or admitted authority, but everything must be accepted on any new or nameless authority, or accepted even more eagerly on no authority at all.
-- G.K. Chesterton

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

QUOTATION: God's Mercy is Our Salvation

St. John Chrysostom
Even if we have thousands of acts of great virtue to our credit, our confidence in being heard must be based on God's mercy and His love for men. Even if we stand at the very summit of virtue, it is by mercy that we shall be saved.

--St. John Chrysostom

Monday, March 27, 2017

QUOTATION: Assent

Pope Pius XII
Nor must it be thought that the things contained in Encyclical Letters do not of themselves require assent on the plea that in them the Pontiffs do not exercise the supreme power of their Magisterium. For these things are taught with the ordinary Magisterium, about which it is also true to say, 'He who hears you, hears me.'

--Pope Pius XII, Humani Generis

Sunday, March 26, 2017

QUOTATION: Faith and Our Weaknesses

Blessed John Henry Newman
Faith, if it be true and lively, both precludes transgressions and gradually triumphs over infirmities; and while infirmities continue, it regards them with so perfect an hatred, as avails for their forgiveness, and is taken for that righteousness which it is gradually becoming. And such is a holy doctrine; for it provides for our pardon without dispensing with our obedience.

--Blessed John Henry Newman, “Transgressions and Infirmities”, Parochial and Plain Sermons, Vol. 5

Saturday, March 25, 2017

QUOTATION: Children Have the Right to Exist

Pope Francis
From the first moments of their lives, many children are rejected, abandoned, and robbed of their childhood and future. There are those who dare to say, as if to justify themselves, that it was a mistake to bring these children into the world. This is shameful! … How can we issue solemn declarations on human rights and the rights of children, if we then punish children for the errors of adults?

--Pope Francis

Friday, March 24, 2017

QUOTATION: Worldly Approval

St. Jean-Marie Vianney
Do you know the first temptation the devil presents to someone who has begun to serve God better? It is human respect.
--St. Jean Vianney

Thursday, March 23, 2017

QUOTATION: The Right to Life

Pope Pius XII
Every human being, even a child in the mother's womb has a right to life directly from God and not from the parents or from any society or authority.  Hence there is no man, no human authority, no science, no medical, eugenic, social, economic or moral 'indication' that can offer or produce a valid juridical title to a direct deliberate disposal of an innocent human life; that is to say, a disposal that aims at its destruction whether as an end or as a means to another end, which is, perhaps, in no way unlawful in itself.
--Pius XII, Allocution to Large Families, November 26, 1951

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

QUOTATION: Conscience

Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger (Pope Benedict XVI)
It is strange that some theologians have difficulty accepting the precise and limited doctrine of papal infallibility, but see no problem in granting de facto infallibility to everyone who has a conscience.
--Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger (Pope Benedict XVI), “Bishops, Theologians and Morality”, 1984

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

QUOTATION: Desolation

St. Alphonsus Liguori
There is nothing which occasions so diligent a search for God as does desolation; neither is there anything that attracts God to the heart so much as desolation, since the acts of conformity to the divine will which are made in desolation are more pure and perfect than others; and hence, the greater the desolation, the greater is the humility, the purer is the resignation, the purer is the confidence, the purer are the prayers, and so the more abundant are the divine graces and assistances.

--St. Alphonsus Liguori, The Way of Salvation and Perfection

Monday, March 20, 2017

QUOTATION: Scientism

Peter Kreeft


Scientism seems to me to suffer from two fatal flaws. One is logical self-contradiction. For scientism is not a scientific claim about the universe but a philosophical claim, a claim in epistemology, about human knowledge, about the relation between human knowledge and science (or the scientific method). The claim is that only scientific knowledge, knowledge by the scientific method is reliable. But that claim cannot be verified or falsified by the scientific method. There is no empirical data, no mathematical measurement, and no logical reduction of the opposite claim (that knowledge extends beyond science) to a self-contradiction.  If all knowledge claims that cannot in principle be verified or falsified by the scientific method are unreliable and should be rejected, then that very statement is unreliable and should be rejected.
My other objection is even simpler. How can the reliability of one kind of knowledge (science) disprove the reliability other kinds of knowledge? That’s like the ear telling the eye that it is unreliable just because it can’t hear anything, or like the mystic telling the scientist that he cannot have any valid knowledge of reality because he has never had a mystical experience.

--Peter Kreeft, Letters to an Atheist, 2014

Sunday, March 19, 2017

QUOTATION: Faith

St. Augustine of Hippo
Faith opens the door to understanding, unbelief closes it.
--St. Augustine, Letter 137

Saturday, March 18, 2017

QUOTATION: Truth-Seeking Rests on Belief

Pope St. John Paul II
There are in the life of a human being many more truths which are simply believed than truths which are acquired by way of personal verification. Who, for instance, could assess critically the countless scientific findings upon which modern life is based? Who could personally examine the flow of information which comes day after day from all parts of the world and which is generally accepted as true? Who in the end could forge anew the paths of experience and thought which have yielded the treasures of human wisdom and religion? This means that the human being—the one who seeks the truth—is also the one who lives by belief.
--Pope St. John Paul II, Fides et Ratio,  #27

Friday, March 17, 2017

QUOTATION: Assisted Suicide

Archbishop Terence Prendergast
The constant teaching of the Catholic Church is life must be respected from conception to natural death. To kill an innocent person is always morally wrong, and Catholics must understand requesting an assisted suicide or euthanasia is also morally wrong and puts their souls at risk.

--Archbishop Terence Prendergast, “Why the assisted dying bill will hurt Canada and is morally wrong”, Ottawa Sun,  April 15, 2016

Thursday, March 16, 2017

QUOTATION: Mortification

St. Philip NeriWe must not become so attached to the means [of the pursuit of holiness] as to forget the end. We mortify the flesh but we must also mortify the brain, which is the chief means by which we become sinners or saints.

--St. Philip Neri

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

QUOTATION: Be Brave

St. Catherine of Siena
Start being brave about everything, driving out darkness and spreading light as well. Don’t look at your weakness, but realize that in Christ crucified you can do everything.
--St. Catherine of Siena

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

QUOTATION: The Apostles

Mother Angelica
The apostles wouldn’t pass the seminary today. Heck, I doubt if they’d make it past the psychological screening.

--Mother Angelica

Monday, March 13, 2017

QUOTATION: How Religions Resemble One Another


Blessed Cardinal John Henry Newman

I observe, then, that whether it came from Noah after the flood or not, so it is, that all religions, the various heathen religions as well as the Mosaic religion, have many things in them which are very much the same. They seem to come from one common origin, and so far have the traces of truth upon them. They are all branches, though they are corruptions and perversions, of that patriarchal religion which came from God. And of course the Jewish religion came entirely and immediately from God. Now God's works are like each other, not different; if, then, the Gospel is from God, and the Jewish religion was from God, and the various heathen religions in their first origin were from God, it is not wonderful, rather it is natural, that they should have in many ways a resemblance one with another. And, accordingly, that the Gospel is in certain points like the religions which preceded it, is but an argument that "God is One, and that there is none other but He;"—the difference between them being that the heathen religions are a true religion corrupted; the Jewish, a true religion dead; and Christianity, the true religion living and perfect. The heathen thought to be saved by works, so did the Jews, so do Christians; but the heathen took the works of darkness for good works, the Jews thought cold, formal and scanty works to be good works, and Christians believe that works done in the Spirit of grace, the fruit of faith, and offered up under the meritorious intercession of Christ, that these only are good works, but that these really are good:—so that while the heathen thinks to be saved by sin, and the Jew by self, the Christian relies on the Spirit of Him who died on the Cross for him. Thus they differ; but they all agree in thinking that works are the means of salvation; they differ in respect to the quality of these works.

--Blessed John Henry Newman, “The New Works of the Gospel,” Parochial and Plain Sermons, Vol. 5

Sunday, March 12, 2017

QUOTATION: Dehumanization

Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen

We are scandalized at seeing what the release of the sub-human has done to the Fascists, Nazis, and Communists. Yet we have not learned that the same deleterious effects can be present in the individual who, starting with the philosophy that he is only a beast, immediately proceeds to act like one. To just the extent that a man is unmortified in his selfish passions, it becomes necessary for some external authority to control and subdue those passions. That is why the passing of morality and religion and asceticism from political life is inevitably followed by a police state, which attempts to organize the chaos produced by that selfishness. Law gives way to force; ethics is replaced by the secret police.

--Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen, Peace of Soul, 1949

Saturday, March 11, 2017

QUOTATION: The Two Ways

Lactantius
God calls to life by labour; the devil, to death by delights.

-- Lactantius

Friday, March 10, 2017

QUOTATION: Truth

Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger aka Pope Benedict XVI
The concept of truth has been virtually given up, and replaced by the concept of progress. Progress itself “is” the truth. But through this seeming exaltation, progress loses its direction and becomes nullified. For if no direction exists, everything can just as well be regress as progress.
--Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger (Pope Benedict XVI), “Conscience and Truth”, 1991.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

QUOTATION: The Unborn

Pope Francis
Let us pause to think of the great value of that embryo from the moment of conception. We need to see it with the eyes of God, who always looks beyond mere appearances.
--Pope Francis, Amoris Laetitia, 168

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

QUOTATION: Atheism

Jacques Maritain
Absolute atheism starts in an act of faith in reverse gear and is a full-blown religious commitment. Here we have the first internal inconsistency of contemporary atheism: it proclaims that all religion must necessarily vanish away, and it is itself a religious phenomenon.
--Jacques Maritain, The Meaning of Contemporary Atheism

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

QUOTATION: The Death of God

Étienne Gilson
God will really be dead when no one will think of denying his existence. Until then, the death of God remains an unconfirmed rumor.”
--Etienne Gilson, “The Idea of God and the Difficulties of Atheism.”