5 05, 2023

The Apostolic Pardon

By |2023-05-05T18:03:58+00:00May 5th, 2023|Theology|

What are "Last Rites"?  "Last Rites" is simply a compound-noun indicating the sacraments you hope to receive on your deathbed.  First, the priest hears your confession.  Then, you receive your final Holy Communion (aka Viaticum, literally "food for the journey.")  Then, the priest gives you "extreme unction" (a Latin/English compound-noun simply meaning "anointing at the extreme—or end—part of your life.")  After all of this, but before the Final Commendation of the Soul (of which I wrote about here for my mother) the dying person receives the Apostolic Pardon.  (I also gave this to my mother, but didn't write about it in the above-linked blog post because most of you already [...]

19 01, 2023

Why (and How) to Baptize a Miscarried Baby

By |2023-01-19T17:30:44+00:00January 19th, 2023|Theology|

The following was written by Alana M. Rosshirt in a 1958 production of Marriage: The Magazine of Catholic Family Living. Please open the pdf here to read about importance of baptizing miscarried babies, and how to do it.  Also, free to print it. Although the above pdf is the main thing that I hope you will read in this blog post, I want to mention a few more things about baptism.  The following canons from the new code of Canon Law (released in 1984 under Pope John Paul II) reveal some of the most overlooked parts of the theology and practice of infant baptism.  Keep in mind that that the [...]

17 01, 2023

The Four “C’s” of a Good Confession

By |2023-01-17T14:49:18+00:00January 17th, 2023|Theology|

Before going to confession, remember to never bring your phone in the confessional (as a phone even in airplane-mode may be hacked by the government or another enemy.)  Rather, write out your sins on a piece of paper that you may wish to bring into the confessional.  Then, begin your confession by saying to the priest your state in life (married, single, priest religious) and then say how long it's been since your last confession (one week, one month, one year, etc.).  Say, "I accuse myself of the following sins..." as you keep in mind the traditional Four C's of Making a Good Confession: Clear.  Someone recently told me about an [...]

8 09, 2022

Attending Ex-Catholics’ “Weddings”

By |2022-09-09T03:13:25+00:00September 8th, 2022|Theology|

There's a lot of combinations of sacramental debates happening today, but most of them are very similar:  Someone's Catholic family member is getting married outside the Church.  Half the family feels squeamish about it.  A priest steps in and says to the more conservative family members, "You should indeed go to your son's wedding outside the Church, so as to not break the bonds of charity.  That way, you can evangelize him back into the Church later." Then, all the lay people in the family have their consciences euthanized by the smiling priest, and they all go to the "wedding." Here's why that priest is wrong and it's actually a [...]

7 06, 2022

Season After Pentecost or “Ordinary Time”?

By |2022-06-06T21:25:35+00:00June 7th, 2022|Theology|

p/c Star of the Sea, San Francisco. The 1950 Carmelite devotional Divine Intimacy reads: “The Father and the Word, mutually beholding Their infinite goodness and beauty, love each other from all eternity, and the expression of this unitive love is a third Person, the Holy Spirit. As the Word is generated by the Father by way of knowledge, so the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son by way of love. The Holy Spirit is, therefore, the terminus, and the effusion of the reciprocal love of the Father and the Son, an effusion so substantial and perfect that it is a Person, the third Person of the Most [...]

5 06, 2022

Was the Church Formed on Good Friday or on Pentecost?

By |2022-06-05T17:13:27+00:00June 5th, 2022|Theology|

The Church Fathers say that the Catholic Church was formed on Good Friday.  Indeed, this is when the water flowing from the pierced Sacred Heart of Jesus was more than symbolic for the water that would one day wash us clean of sin in baptism.  Was not the Roman soldier, St. Longinus, washed clean by that very water as he pierced the Sacred Heart of Jesus with his own spear and believed in Him?  Furthermore, the Church Fathers teach that the Most Precious Blood that flowed from Christ's pierced heart on the day of His crucifixion is literally the same as the blood that fills the priest's chalice after the [...]

10 03, 2022

Galvanized Love

By |2022-03-10T01:47:59+00:00March 10th, 2022|Theology|

I am on a group Signal thread with a couple getting married and they asked me on that thread about how to explain the sacrament of marriage to a group of believers and non-believers: The audience will be people attending the wedding ceremony. Many of them aren’t Catholic or even Christian. The goal is to explain what they are seeing today and why it is important. Part of the explanation is going to be about Christian Marriage as a permanent union of man and woman. The union was made sacred when Christ raised it to the dignity of a Sacrament. The Sacrament of Matrimony is the essential element of the [...]

17 02, 2022

Ex Opere Operato vs. Ex Opere Operantis

By |2022-02-16T02:10:47+00:00February 17th, 2022|Theology|

Fr. John Hardon SJ is quoted at The Fatima Center defining these two sacramental terms:   Ex opere operantis is a term mainly applied to the good dispositions with which a sacrament is received, to distinguish it from the ex opere operato which is the built-in efficacy of a sacrament properly conferred.   The above is an excellent definition of those two sacramental terms that always must be considered in a balance.  Most amateur theologians today are pretty good at knowing the principle of ex opere operato, namely, that a priest in mortal sin still validly confects the sacraments (provided he say the correct words.)  This is good that amateur theologians know this.  But most amateur [...]

8 02, 2022

Is Water Baptism Necessary for Salvation?

By |2022-02-05T02:13:37+00:00February 8th, 2022|Theology|

Is water baptism necessary for salvation?  The first Pope (St. Peter) wrote under inspiration the following:  Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, Who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, with angels, authorities, and powers having been subjected to Him.—1 Peter 3:21-22. The Catholic Church has interpreted this as water baptism being ordinarily necessary for salvation.  However, there are some extraordinary circumstances to consider.  The Church also teaches officially that baptism by blood (martyrdom) is sufficient for salvation [...]

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