The pope that led the Catholic Church into the 13th century was Pope Innocent III. He reigned from 1198 AD to 1216 AD. During his pontificate he proclaimed the fourth crusade, he approved a band of begging brothers founded by Saint Francis, and he convened the Lateran Council in 1215 to deliberate on the improvement of morals, the extinction of heresy, and the strengthening of the faith. In 1216 at the age of 56 he died. Three days later Pope Honorius III was named his successor. In the Netherlands on the day that Pope Innocent III died, St. Lutgarda was praying in her convent when suddenly appeared a man completely engulfed in flames. When she inquired who this was the person responded that he was Pope Innocent III. When she questioned how he could be in such a state he informed her that he was expiating three faults which might have caused his eternal damnation. He explained that thanks to the Blessed Mother he had obtained pardon for them though that he needed to make atonement. He further stated that this expiation was terrible and would go on for centuries unless she came to his assistance. A highly regarded pope was judged worthy of purgatory for centuries for three faults. He begged for assistance in the name of Mary and then disappeared. St. Lutgarda announced that this appearance had occurred to her sisters and they began to pray and perform works of penance to deliver him from purgatory. Some weeks later the announcement that the pope had died arrived at the convent through normal channels.
Father Ripperger, FSSP opens his discussion on Hell with a quote from Sister Lucia from her memoires regarding what she was shown by Our Lady as her vision of Hell when she was a child at Fatima. She says “She opened Her hands once more, as She had done the two previous months. The rays [of light] appeared to penetrate the earth, and we saw, as it were, a vast sea of fire. Plunged in this fire, we saw the demons and the souls [of the damned]. The latter were like transparent burning embers, all blackened or burnished bronze, having human forms. They were floating about in that conflagration, now raised into the air by the flames which issued from within themselves, together with great clouds of smoke. Now they fell back on every side like sparks in huge fires, without weight or equilibrium, amid shrieks and groans of pain and despair, which horrified us and made us tremble with fright (it must have been this sight which caused me to cry out, as people say they heard me). The demons were distinguished [from the souls of the damned] by their terrifying and repellent likeness to frightful and unknown animals, black and transparent like burning coals. That vision only lasted for a moment, thanks to our good Heavenly Mother, Who at the first apparition had promised to take us to Heaven. Without that, I think that we would have died of terror and fear.” [Read more…]
All of us will die!
The Church’s definition for death is the separation of the immortal soul from the body. The soul is the substantial form of the body. This means that it is the soul that makes our body human. The soul remains in the body as long as the body can maintain the activities that are proper to the soul – like thinking and eating. Once the body gets to the point where the soul can no longer act through the body, then the soul departs from it. Death is God’s dose of reality. It brings man to a state of sobriety about his condition and his state. It brings home to man that he is sinful. Because he is plagued both by original and actual sin, his sentence is death. Death is something that makes us sober from the drunkenness that the things of this world can bring. Death brings us away from the pleasures of this world that come and go. Death reminds us that all things in this life are passing and meaningless unless they are referred back to the One who carries out the sentencing for our sinfulness – God. St. Paul tells us that the wages of sin is death. If we turn from God searching for things that cannot provide life, He will give us what we asked for. Through death we learn that we are not the final arbiters of right and wrong, of truth and falsity, or reality. While many people do not want to accept that there is an absolute truth out there, one thing that they will agree upon is that we are all going to die. [Read more…]
In order to answer this question with clarity, there is much in the way of information about The Mass involving the postures and gestures of the participants that are interesting to review. Let’s start with the Mass. [Read more…]
What is the rapture? Is the Left Behind series of books on the rapture scripture based? Will you be “left behind”? Do you want to be “left behind”? The answers to these questions and more can be found in the notes that follow.
Sola scriptura (Latin ablative, “by scripture alone”) is the doctrine that the Bible contains all knowledge necessary for salvation and holiness. Consequently, sola scriptura demands only those doctrines are to be admitted or confessed that are found directly within or indirectly by using valid logical deduction or valid deductive reasoning from scripture. However, sola scriptura is not a denial of other authorities governing Christian life and devotion. Rather, it simply demands that all other authorities are subordinate to, and are to be corrected by, the written word of God. Sola scriptura was a foundational doctrinal principle of the Protestant Reformation held by the Reformers and is a formal principle of Protestantism today. What does the Catholic Church teach about this? Please read more. [Read more…]
The doctrine of sola fide or “by faith alone” asserts God’s pardon for guilty sinners is granted to and received through faith, conceived as excluding all “works,” alone. All mankind, it is asserted, is fallen and sinful, under the curse of God, and incapable of saving itself from God’s wrath and curse. But God, on the basis of the life, death, and resurrection of his Son, Jesus Christ alone (solus Christus), grants sinners judicial pardon, or justification, which is received solely through faith. Faith is seen as passive, merely receiving Christ and all his benefits, among which benefits are the active and passive righteousness of Jesus Christ. Christ’s righteousness, according to the followers of “sola fide,” is imputed (or attributed) by God to the believing sinner (as opposed to infused or imparted), so that the divine verdict and pardon of the believing sinner is based not upon anything in the sinner, nor even faith itself, but upon Jesus Christ and his righteousness alone, which are received through faith alone. Justification is by faith alone and is distinguished from the other graces of salvation. See the Protestant ordo salutis for more detail on the doctrine of salvation considered more broadly than justification by faith alone. What does the Catholic Church teach about this? Please read more.
St. John Damascene, an 8th century doctor of the Church, captures the mystery of angels with the following quote, “The angels are secondary spiritual lights who receive their brightness from the First Light which is without beginning. They have no need of tongue and hearing, rather they communicate their individual thoughts and designs to one another without having recourse to the spoken word. Now, all the angels were created by the Word and perfected by the sanctification of the Holy Spirit and in accordance with their dignity and rank they enjoy brightness and grace. They have no need for marriage because they are not mortal. They illuminate one another by the essence of their rank or nature. They are vigorous and prompt in the execution of the divine will. They watch over the parts of the earth and are set over nations and places in accordance with their disposition by the Creator.”
We are challenged to return to an amazement with the Eucharist. The Church is fed and enlightened by the Eucharist. We get our life from it. John chapter 6 verse 51 states, “I am the living bread that came down from heaven; whoever eats this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world.”
The Holy Bible is the most popular book of all time.
Where did it come from?
Why do some people believe that it is the very word of God, while others believe that it is just a collection of antiquated myths and fables? [Read more…]