What's the Point of Purgatory?

06/10/2016 Comments (5)

(Via Wikimedia Commons)

Last time, in this space, we began looking at the Church's doctrine of Purgatory, and we left off with this excellent question:

What's the point of sanctification and Purgatory if you are basically a good person? Wouldn't a God of love accept us as we are?

We often hear "So and so is 'basically a good person.'" What do we mean by it? To find out, suppose someone says, "Einstein was basically a good scientist" or "Bach was basically a good musician" or "Babe Ruth was basically a good ball player." Does this strike you as rather weak? That's not surprising. When we say that somebody is "basically good" we are really saying "despite their mediocrity, they had some good qualities." That is...READ MORE

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Grace and Selflessness at the Speech Contest

06/09/2016 Comments (1)

A local Knights of Columbus chapter has been holding a speech contest for the past few years in our area. My children always take part. All the speeches are chosen from presidential speeches that reference God, and not just in a passing manner the way is done often nowadays. But speeches with God referenced repeatedly.

My son recited a large portion of Lincoln's second inaugural:

If we shall suppose that American slavery is one of those offenses which, in the providence of God, must needs come, but which, having continued through His appointed time, He now wills to remove, and that He gives to both North and South this terrible war as the woe due to those by whom the offense came, shall...READ MORE

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New Film Shows How John Paul II Defeated Communism and Freed a Continent

06/09/2016 Comments (5)

The Communists were no match for St. John Paul II. He was the proverbial “one-man army” in action. But an army backed by heaven.

This is the focus of a new documentary called Liberating a Continent: John Paul II and the Fall of Communism.

On a video showing comments from viewers after the film’s premiere, one said: There was no way the Soviets could be contained by force — “It had to be contained by spiritual power.”  Another said, “The biggest hero of our time, someone larger than life who accomplished the impossible, was Pope John Paul II the Great.”

Carl Anderson, the film's executive producer and Supreme Head of the Knights of Columbus who while serving as a White House office under...READ MORE

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Father Spadaro’s 5 Traits of Pope Francis’ Pontificate

Away with rigidity of rules, mechanisms and institutions — welcome instead “incomplete thought”, discernment and mercy, says Jesuit friend of Pope Francis.

06/09/2016 Comments (11)
Alan Holdren/CNA

Father Antonio Spadaro SJ: Pope Francis' pontificate is one of "discernment and incomplete thought."

– Alan Holdren/CNA

Jesuit Father Antonio Spadaro, a close confidant of Pope Francis who stirred controversy by claiming Amoris Laetitia opened the door to Holy Communion for remarried divorcees, has given a candid, personal and quite revealing interpretation of this pontificate — one that prefers to see the world and the Church in constant flux.

In a blog post on his website entitled For Pope Francis the World is Always in Movement: 5 Traits of His Pontificate, the director of the Jesuit periodical La Civilta Cattolica characterizes this era of Francis as first of all a “pontificate of discernment and ‘incomplete thought’”.

For the Pope, the world is “always in movement”, Father Spadaro writes. Francis...READ MORE

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People Who Think They're “Spiritual But Not Religious” Are Deceived

06/09/2016 Comments (9)

Félix Joseph Barrias (1822-1907), “The Temptation of Christ by the Devil”

Don't you hate it when people claim to be “spiritual but not religious?”

Not I!

I love it! I love it! I love it!

I love it when pretentious, unthinking people mindlessly repeat this meaningless statement to me.

When I have one of these people in my clutches, I furrow my brow (look at the accompanying photo in my bio to the right and imagine me furrowing my brow) and say, "You're spiritual? What does that mean?"

That's the last they expect you to counter with. They're so self-satisfied at hiding behind this nonsense, they've never stopped to think what it actually means.

And then I explain to them why they've been so wrong for so long. (Spoiler alert: You can be spiritual only in a...READ MORE

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4 Lessons on Divine Mercy From the Woman at the Well

06/09/2016 Comment

Guercino (1591-1666), “Jesus and the Samaritan Woman at the Well”

I had the enormous privilege last week of addressing English-speaking priests from around the world who had gathered in Rome for a special Jubilee celebration of the Year of Mercy. I met fathers from the States, Canada, Australia, Latvia, Ghana, Cameroon, Ireland, Nigeria, and many other countries. During the communion at the Mass which followed my talk, I saw hundreds of priests in their albs coming to the altar to receive the Lord, and I thought of the passage from the book of Revelation concerning the white-robed army gathered around the throne of the Lamb.
As a basis for my presentation, I used the wonderful story from the fourth chapter of John's Gospel concerning Jesus'...READ MORE

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Kids Design and Build Backyard Chapel

06/09/2016 Comments (5)

Mary Marsolais and Andrew Lehnen (All photos by Susan Klemond)

Standing outside a cottage in a St. Paul, Minn., backyard with three small altar servers on the feast of the Visitation, Father Lenny Andrie prepared to process in for the inaugural Mass in a chapel that the servers and other children had built themselves.

As the procession entered, about 20 kids and adults rose from diminutive handcrafted wooden benches, singing Immaculate Mary in the pale-yellow chapel that Father Andrie, parochial vicar at St. Joseph in West St. Paul, had just blessed.

Inside, white sheets covered the walls and ceiling, and 14 squares of wood, some bearing faint images of the Stations of the Cross, were promises of a more permanent chapel interior. But everything was...READ MORE

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Guy Fieri and Grandma-Approved Polish Food

06/09/2016 Comment

(Photos: Katarzyna Artymiak)

“The best polish food comes from babcia’s (grandma’s) kitchen,” says Tadeusz Barcikowski or Teddy, the owner of Café Polonia. Located on the southside of Boston in an area called the Polish Triangle, Teddy and his restaurant were recently featured on Food Network’s Diners, Drive in and Dives.  

I spoke with Teddy to find out what makes Polish food so unique and delicious. “The most popular recipes have ingredients that people in villages could grow themselves in their gardens or farms. There were no supermarkets, so if you look at a dish like stuffed cabbage, all the ingredients are from the farm: pork meat, rice, or buckwheat or barley. Potatoes,” he added, “grow everywhere which is why...READ MORE

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