So What Does Purification After Death Mean?

06-28-2020Weekly Reflection

Immediately after death, after the soul leaves the body, a person is judged based on his or her life in the body. If the person dies in friendship with God, that means, in a state of sanctifying grace, which conveys the life of the Blessed Trinity to the believer, but not completely loving God, he or she is incapable of the vision of God and must undergo a purification of the person's love for God. This recalls the great remark of St. John of the Cross, "At the end you will be judged on your love. Strive to love as God desires to be loved and abandon your present state." God has indicated how He desires to be loved in the Great Commandment: You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your mind, all your strength. The Book of Revelation 21:27 states: " Nothing impure will ever enter it…" it being the vision of God, known as the Beatific Vision.


Despite What You Have Heard, Even at Funerals, Everyone Does Not Go Straight to Heaven

06-21-2020Weekly ReflectionSacred Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith

You may have heard at funerals that a deceased is in heaven. Does that reflect Catholic teaching? The answer is no. The deceased may be in heaven but funerals are not canonizations and hence no one can say with certainty any deceased is in heaven except baptized infants and canonized saints. In the confusion following the close of the Second Vatican Council many Catholic teachings were ignored or denied especially those on death and what happens after death. Sadly some of the biggest offenders in this regard were clergy and religious, who often enough, after denying those teachings, left the priesthood or religious life. However it is still common today to hear clergy place people in heaven in funeral homilies. This crisis prompted a restatement of Catholic teaching in 1979. This restatement recalls Catholic teaching:


Understanding the Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and What it Means

06-14-2020Weekly ReflectionBishop Donald J. Hying

When I was a child, a beautiful picture of the Sacred Heart of Jesus hung in my parents’ bedroom. A warm, smiling Jesuslovingly pointed to His heart, pierced and crowned with thorns, in an eternal gesture of invitation. Whenever I looked at thatpicture, I felt good — embraced, loved, cared for — as if the Lord were inviting me to step into His joy and peace. My motherhad a great devotion to the Sacred Heart; every First Friday, we would consecrate our lives anew to His love and mercy.


Science and the Ascension of Christ

06-07-2020Weekly ReflectionFr. George W. Rutler

A legion of publishers will attest that Father Stanley Jaki (1924-2009) did not suffer fools gladly, and under that category he filed virtually all editors. He wrote in perfect English but with a discernible Hungarian syntax so that his footnotes could be longer than the main text, and verbs often were fugitive. His patience with anyone who corrected the smallest iota was that of General Hunyadi dealing with a Turk. But like any remnant Magyar, his bloodline also breathed on occasion Liszt and Mindszenty.


Finding One's Predominant Fault

05-31-2020Weekly Reflection

By Fr Konrad Loewenstein, FSSP Dowry, FSSP Periodical N. 41, Spring 2019

1. Its Nature

Each of us has a particular temperament which encompasses our whole manner of feeling, judging, sympathizing, willing, and acting. This temperament is to be perfected in each one of us by the practice of the Christian virtues. What can impede this work of perfection, and even bring each of us to our eternal ruin, is what is known as "the Predominant Fault".


Catholic Philosopher Edward Feser Reminds Us of the Stakes: No hell, no heaven

05-24-2020Weekly Reflection

As Aquinas teaches, Christ did not die to save the fallen angels, because they cannot be saved. They cannot be saved because their wills are locked on to evil. It is impossible for them to repent. It is impossible for them to repent because they are incorporeal, and thus lack the bodily preconditions for the changeability of the will's basic orientation toward either good or evil. An angel makes this basic choice once and for all upon its creation. It is because we are corporeal that Christ can save us. But he can do so only while we are still in the flesh. Upon death, the soul is divorced from the body and thus, like an angel, becomes locked on to a basic orientation toward either good or evil. If it is not saved before death, it cannot be saved. It's game over. I explained the reasons for all this in a post on the metaphysics of damnation.


During this pandemic, some wisdom and truth from Venerable Fulton J. Sheen

05-17-2020Weekly Reflection

Man and woman are created to praise, reverence, and serve God our Lord, and by this means to save their souls; the other things on the face of the earth are created to help them in attaining the end for which they are created.
—Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius Loyola Foundational Teaching

Canon 1752 of the Code of Canon Law: …the salvation of souls, which must always be the supreme law in the Church, is to be kept before one's eyes.


The Wolves, the Anti-Christ, the Man of Lawlessness, the Anti-Church

05-12-2020Weekly ReflectionExcerpts from a Homily of Cardinal Ivan Dias at Lourdes 2007

Pope-Emeritus Benedict XVI recently caused a stir on the occasion of the appearance in Germany of a book by Peter Seewald called, Benedict XVI: A Life (Benedikt XVI: Ein Leben). It’s due to come out in English in November 2020. Referenced in the book was a remark Pope Benedict made when he was elected Pope: Pray for me that I do not flee in the face of the wolves. Benedict XVI resigned in 2013. Who are the wolves?

The question addressed to the Pope by Peter Seewald was: Did you forsee what would be waiting for you? Maike Hickson in Life Site News summarized the Pope’s response in this new book this way:


The Fourteen Holy Helpers

05-10-2020Weekly Reflection

During medieval times, particularly during the Black Plague, devotion arose for the Fourteen Holy Helpers or Auxiliary Saints. This lists the saints and their patronage. 

The Fourteen "Auxiliary Saints" or "Holy Helpers" are a group of saints invoked because they have been efficacious in assisting in trials and sufferings. Each saint has a separate feast or memorial day, and the group was collectively venerated on August 8. These saints were often represented together. Popular devotion to these saints often began in some monastery that held their relics. All of the saints except Giles were martyrs. Devotion to some of the saints, such as St. George, St. Margaret, St. Christopher, St. Barbara and St. Catherine became so widespread that customs and festivals still are popular today. 


Thank God, Governor Cuomo

05-03-2020Weekly ReflectionFr. John A. Perricone

Upon hearing the puerile remarks of Governor Andrew Cuomo last week, Chesterton came to mind. The lapsed Catholic governor is usually prone to inanity and offense, but this reached new heights: "We have turned the corner on the Coronavirus plague. It was not faith or prayers that did it. Only hard work and science." To such blather, Chesterton says: "The madman is the one who has one idea completely right, but one does not know where it fits into the whole of things." Indeed, as with so many men of modernity, the governor is a madman. Yet he does have one idea right: essential to man's flourishing is hard work and the pursuit of knowledge.


Op-Ed: Suspending public Mass is not new

04-24-2020Weekly ReflectionFr. Carl Gismondi, FSSP

Last week the Archbishop of Philadelphia suspended public Masses throughout the archdiocese. He was not the first bishop to do this in the United States, and by the end of the week it appeared that every diocese in the United States had suspended public Mass. I've had a number of phone calls, emails, conversations with the faithful. Some have expressed frustration and disappointment with the U.S. bishops. One person seriously thought it was the end of the world. In addition, on the internet—where things are less filtered— comments have been more critical. Suspending public Mass is not new. In 1918, during the Spanish Influenza Epidemic, in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, public Masses were suspended for a number of weeks in October 1918.