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Understanding the Difference Between Intellect and Sense (4729)

COMMENTARY: Part 4 in a Register series on the gifts of the Holy Spirit.

02/27/2013 Comment
Detail of painting by Fra Bartolomeo (1472-1517)

St. Thomas Aquinas wrote about Understanding in his master work 'Summa Theologiae.'

– Detail of painting by Fra Bartolomeo (1472-1517)

The second sanctifying gift of the Holy Spirit is understanding. What is understanding anyway? And what do we mean when we speak of understanding as a sanctifying gift?

Before we talk about understanding as a gift of the Holy Spirit, we need to talk about understanding as a natural human faculty. St. Thomas Aquinas tells us:

“Understanding implies an intimate knowledge, for intelligere [to understand] is the same as intus legere [to read inwardly]. This is clear to anyone who considers the difference between intellect and sense, because sensitive knowledge is concerned with external sensible qualities, whereas intellective knowledge penetrates into the very essence of a thing, because...READ MORE

Filed under catholic faith, confirmation, gifts of the holy spirit, thomas aquinas, understanding

Harvard Debate Stresses Meaning and Purpose of Marriage (6395)

Law student warns against the social harm that would come from a redefinition of marriage.

02/27/2013 Comments (30)

WASHINGTON — At the heart of the national debate on same-sex “marriage” and unions is a fundamental disagreement on the nature of marriage, said a participant in a recent discussion at Harvard Law School.

Arguments in favor of redefining marriage are simply “wrong about what marriage is,” explained debater Sherif Girgis.

He added that enshrining same-sex “marriage” in law “would be harmful for the common good, and in particular for the common goods that get government involved in marriage in the first place.”

Girgis is a law student at Yale Law School as well as a Ph.D. candidate at Princeton University. He recently co-authored the book What Is Marriage with professor Robert George...READ MORE

Filed under education, marriage

Benedict’s Last Wednesday Audience: God Will Guide Church in Days Ahead (3637)

The Holy Father reflects on his last eight years as the bishop of Rome.

02/27/2013 Comments (3)
EWTN/Peter Gagnon

Pilgrims throng to Pope Benedict’s final general audience Feb. 27 in St. Peter’s Square.

– EWTN/Peter Gagnon

VATICAN CITY — Pope Benedict XVI told the hundreds of thousands of people who came to his final general audience Feb. 27 that he is filled with trust and peace as he prepares to resign because the Church is not his, but God’s, and he will “not let it sink.”

“In this moment,” the Pope said, “there is in me a great trust because I know, we all know, that the word of truth of the Gospel is the strength of the Church; it is her life. … This is my trust; this is my joy.”

The Pope made his way through St. Peter’s Square in his popemobile and was welcomed by cheering throngs of pilgrims from all over Europe and abroad.

“The heart of a pope,” he told the assembly, “reaches out to the entire...READ MORE

Filed under benedict xvi, prayer, vatican

Did Mary Ask Pope Benedict to Step Down? Barriers to Teaching Boys How to Become Men and More! (4364)

The Best in Catholic Blogging

02/27/2013 Comment

Did Mary Ask Pope Benedict to Step Down? Follow the link by Taylor Marshall, Ph. D., to read more.

Did Mary Ask Pope Benedict to Step Down? by Taylor Marshall PhD - Big Pulpit

Barriers to Teaching Boys How to Become Men – Donald DeMarco PhD, Crisis Magazine

How Can I Forgive? – Daniel Burke, Roman Catholic Spiritual Direction

The Catholic Gentleman: Attire for Mass – Nicholas, Whiskey Catholic

POW Servant of God To Receive Medal of Honor – Donald R. McClarey JD, The American Catholic

The Veil and I – Michelle Arnold, Catholic Answers

This Bad Catholic – J. Q. Tomanek, Ignitum Today

Review: St. Edmund Campion Missal and Hymnal for the Extraordinary Form Mass – Fr. Z's Blog

All You Want to Know About the Conclave - Big Pulpit

Chesty Puller and the Catholic Chaplains –...READ MORE

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Benedict’s Men: U.S. Vocations Strengthen During His Eight-Year Papacy (14646)

Seminarians and young priests credit the Holy Father’s example of fidelity with opening their own hearts to the call of Christ.

02/26/2013 Comments (12)
Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images

Pope Benedict speaks April 19, 2008, to a Young Catholics event at St. Joseph's Seminary in Yonkers, N.Y.

– Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images

WASHINGTON — Pope Benedict XVI’s papacy may have lasted eight years, but the retiring Holy Father and his reforms have left their mark on the American priesthood and sparked a new uptick in vocations.

Father Michael Roche, 34, remembers when he left his desk at a Pittsburgh accounting firm to watch the news of Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger’s election to the papacy in 2005.

“I was just thrilled and filled with tremendous joy,” Father Roche recalled. He had walked away from his cubicle at the Grossman, Yanak and Ford building upon hearing the news of “white smoke” to watch the television in the company cafeteria. He was a layman asking questions about his vocation at the time and felt a...READ MORE

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The Rise of Religious Orders, 3 Very Different Roads that Led to Rome, Choose Your Pope and More! (2714)

The Best in Catholic Blogging

02/26/2013 Comment

The Rise of Religious Orders. Follow the link by E. Neubauer to read more.

The Rise of Religious Orders by E. Neubauer - Big Pulpit

Three Very Different Roads that Led to Rome – Jim Graves, The Catholic World Report

Choose Your Pope! – D. McClarey, The American Catholic

Five Ways Catholics Can Make a Difference – Randy Hain, Integrated Catholic Life™

Are You Swatting at Flies? – P. D. Yoko, Catholic Stand

Abstinence from Meat and Family Gatherings After Death of Loved One – Jimmy Akin, Catholic Answers

Eavesdropping on the Sacra Conversazione – Emi Parker, Ignitum Today

Forgiveness and the Gospel of Life – Roland Millare, Truth and Charity Forum

Pope Benedict XVI Experienced Hatred on Twitter – Big Pulpit

And Still They Come to Be Catholic –...READ MORE

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Pro-Life Groups Urge Grassroots ‘Call to Conscience’ (2489)

Initiative asks Congress to include conscience protection in essential legislation in response to the HHS mandate.

02/26/2013 Comments (1)

WASHINGTON — In response to ongoing controversy over the federal contraception mandate, a diverse coalition of more than 30 pro-life groups is urging Congress to include conscience protections in any new government funding legislation.

“There must be no religious ‘test’ by the government as to who, and what type of entities, are entitled to a conscience,” said Marjorie Dannenfelser, the president of Susan B. Anthony List, one of the groups in the Call to Conscience campaign.

“Congress must act immediately to ensure the right of citizens to be free from government compulsion of this most fundamental issue,” she said.

The campaign is found at Call2Conscience.com, a grassroots action...READ MORE

Filed under catholic, congress, hhs mandate, religious freedom, religious liberty

Cardinal Wuerl Thanks Pope for Guidance and Humble Example (2186)

Approximately 3,000 people gathered at the National Shrine in Washington for a Mass of thanksgiving for the service of the Pope.

02/26/2013 Comments (1)

Cardinal Donald Wuerl


WASHINGTON — Pope Benedict’s eight years of service to the Church should leave the faithful filled with gratitude and renewed in both faith and love, said Cardinal Donald Wuerl of Washington.

“We are able to recognize that our Holy Father’s action speaks to us of his greatness and his ability to recognize the needs of the Church universal today,” the cardinal said at a Feb. 24 Mass of Thanksgiving for the service of Pope Benedict XVI.

Around 3,000 people gathered at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception for the Mass.

In his homily, Cardinal Wuerl voiced gratitude to the Holy Father for his leadership and loving care.

He explained that “our hearts are...READ MORE

Filed under cardinal donald wuerl, new evangelization, pope benedict xvi

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