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David’s choice: Falling into the hand of God…

By Dr. Jeff Mirus ( bio – articles – email ) | Apr 30, 2021 Reflecting further on Phil Lawler’s book on the Church’s handling of Covid (see my review of Contagious Faith), I suddenly thought of the predicament King David faced after he took a census of Israel in order to determine the extent of his power. He did this through a significant sin of presumption, so the Lord told the prophet Gad to prepare the king for punishment. Accordingly, Gad instructed David to choose one of three things: Three years of famine, three months of devastation by his foes “while the sword of your enemies overtakes you”, or “three days of the sword of the Lord, pestilence on the land, with the angel of the Lord destroying throughout the territory of Israel” (1 Chr 21). David’s reply is worth remembe...

China’s ominous new regulations for religious personnel went into effect over the weekend…

ROME – Over the weekend, China’s new regulations for religious personnel went into effect, obliging those who hold any formal role in a religious group, among other things, to pledge allegiance to the Chinese Communist Party and to resist foreign interference. Many Catholic observers have voiced fear the new rules not only violate China’s agreement with the Vatican on bishops’ appointments, but that they make reconciliation between the so-called “underground” church and the official government-sanctioned church more difficult. Initially published in November 2020, with a final version released in February by China’s State Administration for Religious Affairs (SARA), the new measures, titled, “Administrative measures for religious personnel,” went into effect May 1. Among other things, the ...

Is love the cause of hatred? The answer may surprise you…..

There is an old saying that the opposite of love is not hate; it is indifference. Indeed, it’s pretty hard to hate or even to have a strong aversion to something or someone we don’t really care about. But when we do love, we care. And the stronger our love, the more intense our concern, anger, or even hatred for what is wrong. But does this mean that love is the cause of hatred? Our instinct is to recoil and say, “Of course not!” As usual, St. Thomas provides help in sorting out some of the details and making proper distinctions. He takes up the question in the Prima Secundae (question 29 and Article 2): “Is Love the Cause of Hatred?” Love … precedes hatred; and nothing is hated, except through being contrary to a suitable thing which is loved. And hence it is that every hatred is caused b...

Police called after Argentine priest holds outdoor Mass for First Communion…

ROME – Despite knowing that religious ceremonies that lasted more than 30 minutes and included more than 20 people in his diocese were banned due to Argentina’s second COVID-19 wave, a local priest on Saturday challenged both his bishop and civil authorities by holding a First Communion Mass in an open-air space with close to 100 participants. The incident took place in the Diocese of Lomas de Zamora, in the greater Buenos Aires metropolitan area. The priest justified his decision by arguing that he had “read in the newspaper” that the latest measures to stop the spread of the coronavirus in the state of Buenos Aires, by far Argentina’s most populated region, allowed for 30 percent occupancy. According to Father Tito Robles math, the outdoor space where he celebrated the Mass could hold 40...

Lengthening the Litany of St. Joseph…

COMMENTARY: For the feast of St. Joseph the Worker, the Holy See’s Congregation for Divine Worship added seven new invocations to the Litany of St. Joseph. Of the lengthening of litanies, there is no end. For the feast of St. Joseph the Worker, the Holy See’s Congregation for Divine Worship added seven new invocations to the Litany of St. Joseph.  Given in Latin, the translations will be up to the national bishops’ conferences. The seven new additions were approved by Pope Francis and are taken from the writings of the recent popes. They are (with an unofficial translation): · Custos Redemptoris (Guardian of the Redeemer), the title of Pope St. John Paul II’s 1989 apostolic exhortation on St. Joseph. · Serve Christi (Servant of Christ), taken from the homily of Pope St. Paul VI for St...

In the darkness we see farther — pondering the paradox of the “dark knowing” of faith…

As human beings we are very visual and there is a certain demand of our flesh to see on its own terms. But of course God, who is pure spirit, will not be seen in this way. How can the human eye perceive what is spiritual? It is not designed to do so. We cannot see God, as God, any more than we should expect to be able to see justice sitting down to lunch with humility. These are not physical concepts; they are metaphysical ones. We may see evidence of their existence, but we do not physically see them. And so also with God. We see lots of evidence of His existence, but we do not see Him with our earthly eyes. There is a well-known (but inaccurate) saying, “Seeing is believing.” But actually it is not; seeing is only seeing. When we see physical things or events, one of ...

A South Sudanese bishop-elect was attacked and shot in both legs. Here’s what happened…..

Fr. Christian Carlassare, Bishop-elect of Rumbek, South Sudan is recuperating in a Nairobi hospital after he was shot in his home by intruding gunmen early Monday morning. Three priests and nine other people have reportedly been arrested in connection with the shooting. Here’s what happened: Bishop-elect Christian Carlassare recovers in a Nairobi hospital after being shot April 26. Credit: Comboni Missionaries. The shooting Just after midnight April 26, two gunmen entered the home of Fr. Christian Carlassare, near the Holy Family Cathedral in the South Sudanese city of Rumbek. They fired 13 bullets at the priest.  Carlassare, 43, is the bishop-elect of the Diocese of Rumbek. The priest is an Italian member of the Comboni Missionaries religious order and a long-time missionary in South...

Venezuela’s “doctor of the poor,” José Gregorio Hernández, beatified in austere ceremony…

BOGOTÁ, Colombia (CNS) — A Venezuelan doctor who treated patients during the Spanish flu pandemic and was one of the first to introduce microscopes to his nation’s hospitals was beatified April 30 in an austere ceremony held in Caracas, the city where he spent much of his life tending to the sick. Blessed José Gregorio Hernández led a pious life marked by science, faith and public service. He was a founding member of Venezuela’s academy of medicine and tried unsuccessfully to become a priest. Along with his colleagues, Blessed Hernández resisted a dictator’s plans to shut down a university in Venezuela at the turn of the 20th century, while introducing the study of pathological anatomy. But Blessed Hernández was known most of all for being a kind doctor who refused to charge his poorest pa...

Taking a ‘wait and see’ stance on Pope’s latest blow for accountability…

ROME – Perhaps no one was as startled this week when a 46-year-old woman was placed under house arrest for aggravated theft from a small church in the far southern Italian province of Reggio Calabria as the woman herself. Her name hasn’t been released by Italy’s military police, who made the arrest, but they did provide details on the case. The woman works as a cleaner, and the church was among her clients. She apparently told police the pastor paid her almost nothing for several hours of intense work every week, so, some time ago, she’d adopted the habit of simply lifting cash out of the poor box when she opened it to dust. In effect, she said, the money was part of her compensation, even if she’d never technically been given permission to take it, and she insisted she hadn’t done anythin...

8 things to know and share about St. Catherine of Siena…

April 29 is the memorial of St. Catherine of Siena. She is a saint, a mystic and a doctor of the Church, as well as a patroness of Italy and of Europe. Who was she, and why is her life so significant? Here are 8 things to know and share… 1. Who is St. Catherine of Siena? In 2010, Pope Benedict gave an audience in which he discussed the basic facts of her life: Born in Siena [Italy] in 1347, into a very large family, she died in Rome in 1380. When Catherine was 16 years old, motivated by a vision of St. Dominic, she entered the Third Order of the Dominicans, the female branch known as the Mantellate. While living at home, she confirmed her vow of virginity made privately when she was still an adolescent and dedicated herself to prayer, penance and works of charity, espe...

Antinomianism, the “woke heresy,” is the fashionable heresy today…

A friend recently made a short comment, “Antinomianism is the fashionable heresy today.” I hadn’t seen it before, but he’s right. Antinomianism has been around since the early church battled with the gnostics, but it gained its name in the wake of the rise of Lutheranism. Antinomianism is the heresy that once you are saved you don’t have to bother with the moral laws. You can see how it flourished: If, as the Protestants taught, you were saved by faith through grace alone and not through good works, then one might conclude that good works and morality generally don’t matter. Under the Manicheans and other gnostic sects (and later the Albigensians) the emphasis was not so much on salvation by faith as it was on a belief that the “spiritual” was superior to the physical realm and consequentl...

The miraculous discovery of St. Louis De Montfort’s ‘True Devotion to Mary,’ hidden for 150 years…

For over a century, St Louis de Montfort’s masterpiece the Treatise on True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin remained completely hidden and mysteriously concealed. Although St Louis wrote the book in the early 1700s, it was only in 1842 that the manuscript was unearthed by a librarian at the mother-house of the Montfort Fathers at St. Laurent-sur-Sèvre, France. Was the manuscript discovered by chance or Providence? It seems the latter. St Louis himself foretold that his book would be exposed to vicious attacks and kept hidden by Satan who would try to suppress any means of spreading the ‘true devotion’ to Our Lady. St Louis penned these prophetic words: “I clearly foresee that raging beasts will come in fury to tear to pieces with their diabolical teeth this little book and the one the Holy ...