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
Wednesday, March 29, 2017
Tuesday, March 28, 2017
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
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
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
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?
Friday, March 24, 2017
Thursday, March 23, 2017
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
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
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
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
Saturday, March 18, 2017
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
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
We 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
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
Monday, March 13, 2017
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
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
Friday, March 10, 2017
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
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
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
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.”
Monday, March 6, 2017
When you have to listen to abuse, that means you are being buffeted by the wind. When your anger is roused, you are being tossed by the waves. So when the winds blow and the waves mount high, the boat is in danger, your heart is imperiled, your heart is taking a battering. On hearing yourself insulted, you long to retaliate; but the joy of revenge brings with it another kind of misfortune - shipwreck. Why is this? Because Christ is asleep in you. What do I mean? I mean you have forgotten his presence. Rouse him, then; remember him, let him keep watch within you, pay heed to him… A temptation arises: it is the wind. It disturbs you: it is the surging of the sea. This is the moment to awaken Christ and let him remind you of those words: ‘Who can this be? Even the winds and the sea obey him.
--St. Augustine of Hippo, Sermons 63:1-3
Sunday, March 5, 2017
Hypotheses may fascinate, but they do not satisfy. Whether we admit it or not, there comes for everyone the moment when personal existence must be anchored to a truth recognized as final, a truth which confers a certitude no longer open to doubt.--Pope St. John Paul II, Fides et Ratio, #27
Saturday, March 4, 2017
All the anxiety of scrupulous persons consists in the fear lest, in what they do, they are not acting with scruple merely, but with real doubt as to the act being simple, and are therefore incurring sin. But the chief thing they ought to consider is this: that he who acts in obedience to a learned and pious confessor, acts not only with no doubt, but with the greatest security that can be had upon earth, on the divine words of Jesus Christ, that he who hears his ministers is as though he heard himself: He that heareth you heareth Me.
--St. Alphonsus Liguori, The Way of Salvation and Perfection
Friday, March 3, 2017
Thursday, March 2, 2017
Wednesday, March 1, 2017
Another argument against epiphenomenalism is that if thought is merely a by-product of matter, a kind of fart of the brain, then you can’t account for the validity of thought—of any thought, and therefore of that thought, too. If we can’t help how our tongues happen to wag because some blind and dumb molecules are pushing it one way rather than another, then why should you pay attention to my words any more than to tea leaves in the fortune-teller’s cup? It seems to me that materialism is akin not to science but to primitive superstition.--Peter Kreeft, Letters to an Atheist, 2014