Index : W
During many centuries pious Christians went as pilgrims to Jerusalem,
but when the Holy land was taken over by the Moslems these pilgrimages
ceased. As a result, in many parts of Europe the custom arose of placing
pictures in churches, representing the journey to Calvary. Probably the
first to do this was Blessed Alvarez, a Dominican, at Cordova in Spain.
About 1350 the Franciscans adopted the practice in Italy and even today
the privilege of erecting the stations of the Cross belongs by apostolic
indult to the Order of Friars Minor.
When freely for the first time, and aided by His Grace, we surrender to God, as through the Act of Surrender, or Gethsemane
Prayer, we give back, in a single act of sacrifice, everything that He has given us, including our freedom, asking only that His Will alone be done.
There are few aspects of the Christian faith that are more satisfying to the human spirit than to know that each one of us has our own personal guardian angel. We may say this is part of Gods loving providence over the human race. If there is one thing that we all appreciate, in fact deeply need, it is the sense of companionship. We want to know there is someone who is near us, who cares about us, and who is ready to assist us in our needs.
The theme of this issue of The Catholic Faith is on the theological virtues. They are the good habits of mind and will, supernaturally infused into the soul. Their immediate object is God. They are faith, hope, and charity.
It is impossible to exaggerate the importance of reflecting, even for a few minutes, on the facts that time was when we did not exist, but having come into being we shall never cease to exist. We began in time; we will live on for eternity.
Article by Fr. Robert Goedert, O.P.
"Mortification, therefore, is self-denial. And self-denial is doing the will of God, even when the Divine will crosses at right angles to our will. Mortification is the imitation of Christ in the surrender of what we naturally like in order to please God." - Fr. John A. Hardon, S.J.
"It might be well at the outset to distinguish between the constant temptations to which we are all exposed by the evil spirit, and the more severe demonic molestations which we have come to call possession and obsession." - Fr. John A. Hardon, S.J.
"Before we begin to answer what it means to believe, it may be useful to explain that faith is not some strange experience professed by some people and denied by others. Faith is a common possession of the human race." - Fr. John A. Hardon, S.J.
"In my judgment abortion and euthanasia are at the heart of the crisis that is plaguing and destroying the modern world. I do not intend to address the issue of defending the rights of the unborn or the aged in this discourse. They obviously have these rights, and abortion and euthanasia are serious crimes against the rights of unborn children, the aged and terminally ill. Rather, our focus will be on the rights of God that are being violated by the crimes of abortion and euthanasia in the most homicidal century in human history." - Fr. John A. Hardon, S.J.
"What is a Catholic priest? He is a man ordained by Christ to continue the Saviors work of Redemption until the end of time. He is therefore a person specially chosen to proclaim the Gospel of salvation and lead the faithful to their final destiny. But he is mainly a person who receives unique powers at ordination to consecrate and sacrifice, and to reconcile a sinful people with their God." - Fr. John A. Hardon, S.J.
"There is more than passing value in stressing the fact that a religious vocation is a grace. It is, therefore, a gift and an opportunity that must be freely responded to if the grace is not to remain sterile and ineffective." - Fr. John A. Hardon, S.J.
"Our closing conference is a double question: What is devotion to the angels and why is it so important? A simple preliminary answer is, devotion to the holy angels is veneration of the angels; it is especially important today because the unholy angels are so active in the modern world." - Fr. John A. Hardon, S.J.
"To believe in exorcism you must first believe in the devil. Exorcism is the act of driving out or warding off evil spirits from persons, places, or things. The means employed for this purpose are especially the solemn and authoritative adjuration of the demons, commanding them in the name of God to leave the person or the object which is under their malevolent influence." - Fr. John A. Hardon, S.J.
"In the present conference I suggest that we ask two questions. What is prayer before the Blessed Sacrament? What are we talking about? And then, why is prayer before the Blessed Sacrament? What are we talking about? And then, why is prayer before the Blessed Sacrament so important in the spiritual life of the priest, the religious and the believing faithful Catholic?" - Fr. John A. Hardon, S.J.
"Not too many years ago it would have been less important to ask the question what is the Catholic Priesthood. It would have been less important because anyone familiar with the Catholic Church not even though not personally a Catholic would have had a fair idea of what a priest, is. The description might have been crude but at least there was no great doubt in anyone's mind as to who or what a priest was supposed to be." - Fr. John A. Hardon, S.J.
"We might begin by observing that there are so many elements in the pursuit of sanctity that we are liable to overlook the most important one on our side. The most important element on Gods side is obviously His grace. The most important on our side is our liberty. My purpose in this class is to look at certain aspect of the subject and while saying just a few words about each aspect to gradually pull things together in such a way that we will have at least a broad overview and an appreciation of the importance of our freedom in the pursuit of holiness." - Fr. John A. Hardon, S.J.
On Holy Thursday night, Jesus did three things: He changed the common elements of bread and wine into His own living Body and Blood. He offered His human life to His heavenly Father, to be accomplished on Calvary, when He would bleed to death in order to restore eternal life to a fallen human family. He gave the disciples His flesh to eat and His blood to drink in order to sustain them in His grace and raise them up on the last day. Then Jesus did one more thing. He ordained His apostles to the priesthood and thus gave them and their successors the power to continue doing what He had doneuntil the end of time.
Nowadays there are so many people who call themselves Catholic, but really are not. There are books and periodicals published; there are conferences given, and symposia sponsored; there are religious programs and celebrations sponsored - and all professedly Catholic. But so many of these are Catholic only in name, and not in reality. In plain English, a revolution has taken place. The revolution is a revolution in doctrine and morality.
Errors in doctrine undermine Christian morality, and unchristian moral conduct inspires doctrinal error.
There is one thing that we Catholics today need to learn from the faithful Catholics in the early Church. We speak of the Church in the early centuries as the Church of Martyrs. However, the early Church was also the Church of defenders of the faith.
My plan is to briefly identify some of these heresies which the early Fathers of the Church had to refute in order to preserve the true faith. Then I would like to tell you something about how our own responsibility to re-christianize our own beloved country.
When making a serious decision, Father Hardon says, First we set a date when we would make our decision. You, we, all agreed to pray about the issue. Then follow the recommendations of St. Ignatius.
I would then like to briefly repeat what I said before. I would like to speak on who is Mary; why we should love Mary; and third how we should show our love for Mary.
"No words can describe the importance of the sacrament of Penance in the Catholic Church. Christ instituted the Sacrament to give us a ready and assured means of obtaining the remission of our sins committed after baptism. We must say that this sacrament was the first gift to the Church on Easter Sunday night." - Fr. John A. Hardon, S.J.
I never tire repeating: nobody gets to heaven alone. Nobody. Either we help bring others there or we wont get there ourselves. The Decalogue describes the means necessary to do our apostolic duty. God will use us, He wants to use us as His agents in saving souls if and insofar as we are living up to our basic obligations of being faithful to the Ten Commandments elevated by Christ in His Sinai of the New Law. Only holy people sanctify others. And nobody cheats here. Nobody. God-fearing people bring others to submission to the will of God. God-loving people bring others to the love of God. Sanctity is not an end in itself. It is the divinely ordained means for saving and sanctifying others.
This, then, is my principal message to you today. Train the Eucharistic faith of young Catholics today to become the living martyrs of Christ in the next century.
Christ needs martyrs who are willing to shed their blood, if need be, and who do shed their acceptance by the world, out of loyalty to Jesus Christ.
thousands of people from all across our country will testify that one hour each week with Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament is the most peaceful, the most satisfying hour of their whole week." - Fr. Robert Goedert, O.P.
"This is no ordinary question, never was. But it is extraordinarily important to have the right answer today. There are certain mysteries of our faith that are fundamental to Christianity. No one should have any doubt that the most fundamental mystery is the fact that Jesus Christ is true God." - Fr. John A. Hardon, S.J.
If, as we know, prayer is so universal in believing mankind, almost describing believing mankind, and is so much insisted upon in Christian Revelation, it must be important. It is not only important, it is indispensable, and the reason it is indispensable is because it answers to the two most fundamental statements we can make about God and ourselves. So we ask once more "why pray?" We must pray, because God is God and because we are we. This is not a clever phrase. It is at the heart of human existence and the bedrock of our faith. What I would like to do is to briefly recapitulate and go over each of these two fundamental statements. We pray because God is God and because we are we.
"The Catholic Faith" magazine is the response to a request by His Eminence José T. Cardinal Sánchez, Prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy. The purpose of this magazine is to provide the faithful in English-speaking countries with an ongoing guide for the "Catechism of the Catholic Church." Our Holy Father sees the Catechism as a special gift from the Holy Spirit for preserving and understanding the revealed Word of God in the modern world.
We are on the road to sexual suicide because our acceptance of sex liberation further caused us to accept certain social anomalies as a result of sexual liberation. This includes the concept of open marriage where all responsibilities are split equally between the spouses, the high rate of divorce, the large number of fatherless children in broken homes, and women forced to compete in the job market while retaining family responsibilities. Not understanding the cause of these anomalies will cause us as a society to seek solutions that would put us further down the slippery slope of sexual suicide.
"All three Synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark, and Luke) give us a detailed
account of Christs agony in the Garden of Olives, known in Hebrew as
Gethsemane, which means the garden of the oil press. My purpose in this meditation is to select three passages from the Gospel narratives of Christ's agony, quote the words in each case, and then apply the inspired words to ourselves." - Fr. John A. Hardon, S.J.
It was Christianity that gave women, for the first time in human history, an equality with men which they had never enjoyed before. Where Christianity was established, women were not only respected but honored and held in high respect. Among believing Christians, the Blessed Virgin Mary is the greatest woman who ever lived. Except for her, God not only would not have, but could not have, become man. The Incarnation began in the womb of His mother. And the world has been drastically changed ever since.
"The subject of this article on "The Work of the Holy Spirit in the Church and in the World" is an ocean. We might even say that all of Christianity is summarized in this one statement. Our focus will be on our duty to respond to the unique grace that the Holy Spirit conferred on us when we received the Sacrament of Confirmation." - Fr. John A. Hardon, S.J.
Fr. John A. Hardon's Home Study Course in Basic Catechetics, like all good catechisms in the Catholic Church, covers
three main areas of Catholic doctrine, namely, what we are to believe - the Creed, how we are to practice what we believe - the Commandments,
and where we can obtain the light and strength we need to do the will of God - the Sacraments and Prayer.
My purpose here is to look briefly at some of the reasons why writing is such an asset of the spiritual life. To be convinced of the worth of writing, daily - if only a few words - is to have made a giant stride on the road to sanctity.
We are addressing ourselves to a strange subject: "Writing and the Spiritual Life"
. To insure that the revealed word of God would be written, God invented the alphabet. Except for the inspiration to write, we would not have the Sacred Scriptures. What is the Bible except the inspired word of God but in written form?
When the Marian Catechists first began with the encouragement of the Holy See, their foreseen role was to strengthen the faith of believing Catholics and bring the true faith to those who are either not Catholics or even Christians. In the intervening years, both the number of Marian Catechists and their apostolic opportunities have increased beyond all expectations.