Category Archives: Catholic Church

Why We Are Going Back to Meatless Fridays

Friday it's still a thing

When I was a kid, we did not eat meat on Fridays.  Then, after Vatican II, we understood (wrongly it turns out) that we only had to do that during Lent. 

According to the article linked below, the only change Vatican II made was to give national episcopal conferences the power to make the meatless Friday an option, rather than a mandatory penance.

In some countries, meatless Fridays are still mandatory.  In the U.S., we can substitute a different kind of penance on Fridays, but abstaining from meat is still the penance of choice.*

I’m seriously annoyed that I did not know this.  I mean … I taught RCIA for 5 years!  How come NOBODY EVER TOLD US?!  Sheesh.

The article linked below lists three positives to choosing abstaining from meat for one’s Friday penance.

1. Symbolism. Friday was the day of Christ’s passion and death. When we do some kind of penance on Friday, we recall His sacrifice.  When we abstain from flesh foods, we specifically recall the sacrifice of His body.  (This is why cold-blooded flesh foods, like fish, are okay.)

2. Simplicity. It’s easy to remember, it’s time-tested, and it’s neither too easy nor too demanding for most people.  (There’s nothing stopping vegetarians from choosing something else to skip.)

3. Solidarity.  Friday abstinence is like ashes on Ash Wednesday.  It’s part of one’s Catholic identity. A single shared sacrifice is more powerful of us than the more generic doing-of-something-penitential on Fridays.

I’m convinced.  Dearest and I are going meatless on Fridays from now on, just like when we were kids.

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*It is inappropriate to do penance on a solemnity.  A solemnity is a very special feast day.  Most solemnities are one day long, but the two greatest solemnities in the Catholic calendar — Easter and Christmas — last for eight days.

The eighth day is called “octave day” and the days in between are said to be “within the octave.”  The days within the octaves are “little” solemnities; the first and eighth days are “big” solemnities.

Any Friday that falls within the octaves of Easter or Christmas are not days of abstinence or penance.

Sources:

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Gaining Insight Into Today’s Political and Cultural Scene

I’ve been reading How the Catholic Church Built Western Civilization.  It’s a fascinating book that makes a very compelling argument for why Catholic-Christianity is responsible for the moral, ethical, and legal basis for Western civilization.

When the author compares some element of Western civilization with the way the pagan world operated in Christ’s time, I am often struck by how similar the pagan world was to the way the Left wants our world to become.

I recommend this book, even if you’re no fan of Catholicism.  All of Christianity was Catholic until 1517, by which time Western civilization was well established.

Even where they reject certain Catholic doctrines, most Protestants take Catholic values for granted.  This is very evident in the Constitution, which was written by Protestants and which the Left wants to radically alter.

This book can give you a good insight into the political and cultural battles we face today and make it even more clear that it’s not so much a political and cultural battle as it is a spiritual one.

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Blessed Josef Mayr-Nusser

Blessed Josef and wife

A northern Italian layman, Josef Mayr-Nusser, has been beatified by the Roman Catholic Church.  His feast day is Oct. 3.

Beatification is a step on the way to canonization.

In 1944, Mayr-Nusser, a Catholic husband and father, refused to take the oath of allegiance to Hitler after being drafted into the SS.

He believed that Nazi ideals could in no way be reconciled with Christian ethics and values.

As a result of his refusal, he was jailed, put on trial and sentenced to death for treason.

He was ordered to march to the Dachau concentration camp, where he was to be shot by firing squad.  He died of dysentery along the way.

On Sunday, Pope Francis said that Blessed Josef is a model for all laymen and fathers “on account of his great moral and spiritual stature.”

Dachau concentration camp held many religious prisoners of Nazi Germany, and became known as the “largest monastery in the world” because of the number of clerics there.

The camp housed some 2,700 clergy, roughly 95 percent of whom were Catholic priests from Poland, making it one of the largest residences for priests in the history of the Church.

Source:

http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/this-man-was-killed-for-defying-hitler-and-now-hes-been-beatified-99560/

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Are Sundays part of Lent?

LENT

Interesting article here for us Catholics.

EXCERPTS:

Deciding to give up something during Lent at all is purely voluntary. You are free to set the conditions of your Lenten sacrifice. This means that if you decide to allow yourself to enjoy whatever it is you have given up for Lent on Sundays, you may do so. You don’t need anyone’s permission. Likewise, if you want to maintain your Lenten sacrifice straight through, with no break on Sundays, that is perfectly fine, as well. There is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ here.”

Also, “when a solemnity falls on a Friday during Lent (as sometimes happens with the Solemnity of St. Joseph on March 19) that abstinence is not customarily observed.”

Read the rest:

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Unrestricted Immigration: It’s not a Catholic thing

2017_01-22-pope-francis-on-border-control

The Roman Catholic Church has a longstanding teaching, drawn from natural law, that the nation is an extension of the human family.

As the father of a family has not only the right but also the duty to protect those in his charge, the properly constituted authorities of a state have a duty to use their power to advance the common good of the nation.

“Political authorities, for the sake of the common good for which they are responsible, may make the exercise of the right to immigrate subject to various juridical conditions, especially with regard to the immigrants’ duties toward their country of adoption. Immigrants are obliged to respect with gratitude the material and spiritual heritage of the country that receives them, to obey its laws, and to assist in carrying civic burdens — The Catechism of the Catholic Church #2241

The mistaken idea that the RCC supports unrestricted immigration stems from its teaching on the personal right of migration.  This teaching says that someone in straitened circumstances should be allowed to leave his country of origin, bringing with him those under his care.  However, it does not include the unlimited right of migrants to settle wherever they wish.

“The more prosperous nations are obliged, to the extent they are able, to welcome the foreigner in search of the security and the means of livelihood which he cannot find in his country of origin.” — The Catechism of the Catholic Church #2241 BOLD added

The key phrase is “to the extent they are able.”  The authorities of the receiving country have a primary duty to act in the common good of their own citizens, because each country, as Pope Francis said, has the “right to control its borders.”

Source:

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Leftist Outrage is Misplaced and Immature

coexist-mama-unborn

From Jonathon van Maren at Life Site News:

“For the last couple of weeks, everyone has been going insane. I have never seen this level of hysteria, hyperbolic rhetoric, and fearmongering, not even when the Left collectively decided that George W. Bush was worse than Hitler.

“It appears that the progressive movement has decided that a former New York liberal is the embodiment of pure evil and represents everything that must be opposed, however incoherently. Some of the critiques are warranted, but all of them, so far, have been hypocritical—especially considering that the other option for president of the United States was Hillary Rodham Clinton. …

“With Trump’s arrival, they have found that their exaggerated sense of self-righteousness does not entitle them to anything in a democracy. They gave up making arguments quite some time ago, and instead spent their time lecturing the rest of us sanctimoniously. People got tired of it, and took their power away.

“I was no Trump fan, but now that Trump is president, I take the same approach as Ben Shapiro and the National Review: Support the president when we can support him, and criticize him when we can’t. In other words, treat him like a flawed politician. The Left, however, is treating him like an invading demon that they must exorcise, and have completely lost their ability to see things objectively.”

Read the rest of this excellent summary of the Left’s insanity here.

CtH: Marren says, “The brazen hypocrisy of the Left combined with their swooning hysteria have revealed that they have lost their ability to see those they disagree with in political terms.”

I would suggest that they have lost their ability to see us in HUMAN terms.  How else could Nancy Pelosi go so far as to cast her party as righteous saviors against all of us traditional, patriotic Americans, Republicans, people of faith, and pro-lifers?

She actually said that we “pray in church on Sunday and then prey on people the rest of the week.”  Yet she is the one screaming loudly for taxpayer funding of abortion on demand and without restrictions.

We’re not the ones who said that investigating Planned Parenthood for trafficking in fetal remains was “un-American.”  Or who claimed that homosexual “marriage” was consistent with Catholic teaching, which is is totally not.

As for her statement on late-term abortion —  “As a practicing and respectful Catholic, this is sacred ground to me when we talk about this.” — dear God in Heaven, do not get me started.

We’re not the predators or the hypocrites, Ms. Pelosi.  I’d like to hope and pray you wake up and repent before it’s too late, because Hell awaits.  Sadly, I suspect you’ve been stewing in your sinful lies for so long that you’re past the point where you are capable of repentance.

Source:

https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/pelosi-rips-faithful-americans-they-pray-in-church-on-sunday-and-then-prey

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MYTH: Catholic Doctrine is Un-Biblical

I love my Catechism and include it in my daily Bible and prayer time.  It is full of information and is often quite beautiful in the spiritual truths it expresses.

It is also copiously footnoted.  Recently, I became interested to learn just how many pages had Bible footnotes.  I finished the count today.

myth-catholic-doctrine-is-un-biblical

Read it for yourself.  Catechism of the Catholic Church is available in print for a small fee or on-line for free:

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Curious about Catholicism?

This September saw the beginning of the 20th season of EWTN’s The Journey Home program.  At this link are the most viewed and shared episodes of 2016:

http://www.chnetwork.org/2016/12/top-10-journey-home-episodes-2016/

I’m listening right now to this one featuring a former Assemblies of God pastor. His struggles with not wanting Catholicism to be true are humbling to me.  It makes me feel so grateful that I was raised Catholic.  I had to come to Jesus in a real way, something that a dear Baptist friend helped me with.  But I had no issues with Catholic doctrine or practice, because it’s how I was raised.

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