To tempt means one of two things: (a) to make a test or trial; thus “God tempted Abraham” (Gen. 22:1); (b) to invite, incite, or allure someone to sin. It is in the second sense of the word that the fallen angels tempt human beings. God permits this assault of the demons upon men, and turns it into a human opportunity and benefit; God gives to men all requisite aid to repulse the assaults of demons, and to advance in grace and merit by resisting temptation. — Msgr. Paul J. Gleen

Angels are pure, created spirits. The name angel means servant or messenger of God. They are celestial or heavenly beings, on a higher order than human beings. An angel has no body and does not depend on matter for his existence or activity. They are distinct from saints, which men can become. Angels have intellect and will and are immortal. — Msgr. Paul J. Gleen

Archangels are one of the nine choirs of angels listed in the Holy Bible. In ascending order, the choirs or classes are 1) Angels, 2) Archangels, 3) Principalities, 4) Powers, 5) Virtues, 6) Dominations, 7) Thrones, 8) Cherubim, and 9) Seraphim. For more general information on angels, see What are Angels? A Summary & Exposition on Angels for Catholics which is taken from A Tour of the Summa compiled by Msgr. Paul J. Gleen for Aeterna Press. — Matthew Plese

We become what we worship. Ultimately, each choice forms us accordingly. … In order to give up the things we love, we must find a greater love with which to replace them. The Holy Spirit is the love between the Father and the Son; there is no greater love. When we accept Him, even and especially His convictions, we possess the very true happiness that was sought in all the earthly attachments. And this is accomplished in the small choices and actions of our daily life. It is in these that virtue is built, and God will reward us by activating the gifts of the Holy Spirit already in our souls. — Debra Black

Most Church leaders have contented themselves with managed decline; most priests spend most of their time in their rooms, and most bishops spend most of their time in meetings. Pope Francis has ordered every diocese and every parish and every Catholic to spend the next two years in meetings about how to have meetings (the unfortunate “Synod on synodality,” or “Meeting on meetings”). As with the ordinary American Joe, who has been trained over the last fifty years to eat, watch TV, and let the government do the thinking for him, so Catholic clergy have largely given up on evangelizing the culture. — Fr. Joseph Illo

And so there is something permanent about morality that does not change, amidst all the changes of society which undoubtedly do take place. — Fr. Benedict Ashley, OP, Philosopher and  Moral Theologian

No thanks should be offered to God for finding an accomplice in mortal sin. God condemns mortal sin. He wants us to avoid both it and the near occasion of sin, which means we should shun unholy friendships that may lead to sin. Leading someone to commit sodomy will never produce happiness, but rather plunges the soul into the darkness and disorientation of separation from God. — Fr. Gerald Murray

“Socialism is the philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy.” —Winston Churchill

A good friend is someone who sees right through you – and loves you anyway. — Fr. Derek Sakowski

Why do you think God gave us two rows of teeth and two lips? It’s to keep the tongue inside. — Gregg Laurie

Education is always a challenge, but for the Christian, it’s a supernatural effort. Virtuous education is always a supernatural effort, for “it cannot be severed from morality and religion,” English philosopher Frederic Harrison once noted.   Pope Pius XI conveyed the same message in his 1929 encyclical On Christian Education: “It is clear that there can be no true education which is not wholly directed to man’s last end.” ˆ Paul Brock III

Samuel Smiles, a 19th-century Scottish author, said, “Sow a thought, and you reap an act; sow an act, and you reap a habit; sow a habit, and you reap a character; sow a character, and you reap a destiny.”

Sentimentalism likewise rears its head whenever those who offer reasoned defenses of Catholic sexual or medical ethics are told that their positions are “hurtful” or “judgmental.” Truth, it seems, shouldn’t be articulated, even gently, if it might hurt someone’s feelings. If that was true, Jesus should have refrained from telling the Samaritan woman the facts about her marital history.  Solis affectibus also blinds us to the truth that there is—as affirmed by Christ Himself—a place called Hell for those who die unrepentant. — Dr. Samuel Gregg

“Are you broken in your spirit? Are you spiritually empty? Have you wasted your life? Will you come to Him?” Graham, the president of Samaritan’s Purse and the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, told the crowd. “You need Jesus Christ – He is the only way to God. — Franklin Graham

If it’s not a human life why do you have to kill it?’  “Our fundamental human right, that we all share in this room, is life. It’s the first human right. Laws are meant to protect the weak. In a society, who’s the weakest? Who’s the weakest in the society? A child. They don’t have a voice. They can’t speak.”  “Whether you live 10 minutes or 10 years or a hundred years, you’re human life and you have the right to not be killed. And that’s what the pro-life fight is all about,” she continued. “That’s what we’re fighting for. A culture of life where we provide real health care. You know, abortion is the intentional destruction of an innocent human life. We can do better than that.” — Lila Rose

Evil talks a lot about “tolerance” when it’s weak. When evil is strong, real tolerance gets kicked out the door. This in turn explains a lot about our current cultural climate. To put it simply: Evil cannot bear the counter-witness of truth. It cannot co-exist peacefully with goodness, because evil insists on being seen as right, and worshiped as being right. Therefore, the good must be made to seem hateful and wrong. — Archbishop Charles Chaput

The very last thing anyone needs is a new, ersatz brand of Catholic thought, shaved of its hard edges, that amounts to camp-following a world so spiritually desiccated that it lacks even a pagan grasp of the supernatural. — Francis X. Maier

Augusto Del Noce argued that:  “whereas a discussion with a rigorously Marxist intellectual is possible, it is not so with a Catholic progressive.  Not because we despise him, but because he despises his critic, treating him already from the start as somebody who stops at mere formulaic intellectualism.  Therefore one does not discuss with a Catholic progressive, but in front of him, just hoping that our arguments may provide an opportunity to stimulate critical reflection.” — Francis X. Maier

The Lord will help me to speak the truth if I do not speak on my own authority. For if I speak on my own authority, I will be a shepherd nourishing myself and not the sheep. However, if my words are the Lord’s, then he is nourishing you no matter who speaks.Thus says the Lord God: Shepherds of Israel, who have been nourishing only themselves! Should not the shepherds nourish the sheep? In other words, true shepherds take care of their sheep, not themselves. This is the principle reason why God condemns those shepherds: they took care of themselves rather than their sheep. Who are they who nourish themselves? They are the shepherds the Apostle described when he said: They all seek what is theirs and not what is Christ’s.  — St. Augustine

Many lay Catholics aren’t ready for the role abruptly being thrust on them by the Church’s current movement toward synodality. Without serious remedial action, it’s possible that—as seems already to have happened in Germany—synodality will fall prey to a minority eager to manipulate the process on behalf of their agenda. — Russel Shaw

… even within the Church, those who follow Christ must endure opposition. Everyone is called to the daily obedience of embracing the small sufferings of family life, work and the Christian life, taking up our crosses in those little things that shape us into the image of Christ. Jesus is the reason for accepting every hardship, humiliation, and failure. — Dr. R. Jared Staudt

“If we achieve great things outside of ourselves, and the achieving of them does not effect any change or development in ourselves, we have done nothing. Life’s purpose is to purify us, not gratify us.”  So says Father Edward Leen reflecting on “the triumph of failure,” the way in which God’s work in the soul, and correspondingly in the world, cannot be judged on the surface (see his book In the Likeness of Christ, published in 1942 by Sheed & Ward). Judged rightly, Leen tells us that “there is nothing so sad as the sight of those who once pressed forward to the goal of perfection frittering away the days and hours in silly preoccupation about things that are futile, transient and unsubstantial.”   Those are precisely the things that take up most of our attention! The things we seek to avoid — suffering, misunderstanding, and even failure — are precisely the tools God uses to purify us. — Dr. R. Jared Staudt

There is a saying, “Come, let us reason together.” Tyrants and totalitarians do not seek reason, they seek power and control, and demand obedience, conformity, and subjugation…abject surrender. — Allen West

Are we really listening? This question is multi-layered. Are we aware of and listening to the movements of our own heart? Are we listening to God speaking in the silence of our heart? Are we listening to the people around us … in what they are communicating about themselves by what they share and how they share it? Are we listening with the intent of responding and getting our point across or are we listening for the purpose of receiving and questions are asked for greater understanding? Are we hearing the message through pre-conceived filters? Does the topic or the messenger block our hearing? Are we presuming goodness when we hear from someone we struggle with, or critically judging her comments based on assumptions I have made about her person? — Sister Mary Scholastica, OCD

[Thomas} Merton had recently converted to Catholicism and told [Bob] Lax he wanted to be a good Catholic. Lax shook his head. “What you should say is that you want to be a saint.” …  I don’t deny it, but I think we worry too much about the “world.” As I think Mother [Theresa] showed, it’s the person right in front of us who matters – someone hungry for love. — Brad Miner

… the Pope’s authority is based on the fact that Christ Himself has given him the authority, and no one else. “Peter acts in the authority of Christ as His Vicar. His authority to bind and loose is not a participation in the Omnipotence of God,” Müller insisted. He goes on to say that “the apostolic authority of the Pope and of the bishops is not of their own right but only a spiritual power conferred to serve the salvation of souls through the proclamation of the Gospel, the sacramental mediation of grace, and the pastoral direction of the pilgrim People of God to the goal of eternal life.” — Cardinal Gerhard Müller

In every act of virtuous obedience, there must be a minimal judgment of the subordinate that the superior’s command is consonant with the commands of Christ. When there are reasons to doubt, obedience becomes rash, not wise; sinful, not virtuous. — Peter Kwasniewski

“Clericalism” isn’t just a problem that beset the Church’s sexual abuse scandal. Clericalism is an issue of power and privilege, a sense of being above the rules that apply to everyone else. The only remedy is a certain humility. You don’t curtail clericalism by bemoaning it. You curtail clericalism by humbly refraining from speaking like a politician, especially when the way politicians speak today is so often given over to emotional manipulation rather than reasonable argumentation. You curtail clericalism by focusing on moral principles rather than on partisan political positions. And you curtail it by distinguishing clearly between violations of exceptionless moral norms, on the one hand, and prudential judgments about different means to an end, on the other — matters best left to the judgment of the laypeople who have done extensive study on the problem and those who have been entrusted with care of the common good of the community. —Randall B. Smith

Satan is called the “Father of Lies,” (Jn 8:44), Mendacii Pater in the Rite of Exorcism. I have noticed that demons will sometimes visibly react when the phrase Mendacii Pater is spoken aloud in the Rite. No doubt they feel it as a stinging rebuke and the truth which they are loathe to face. Not only are they compulsive and habitual liars, their entire life has become a lie. Unwittingly, by living a lie herself, M gave the demons a hold on her. Facing the truth and confessing her sin, plus the forgiving love of her parents, was a liberating moment. M’s next step was to take her repentance into the confessional to receive the sacramental graces. — Fr. Stephen Rossetti

Clearly, this issue of humor, levity, and mirth is gravely serious business. It’s necessary not just for the pleasantness of daily life, but for the success of the spiritual life. The man who takes himself too serious[humility] leaves no room for God and for that reason God will have no room for him. But the man who sees himself in the proper proportion depends entirely on God and cultivates a carefree, mirthful spirit. — Fr. Paul Scalia

One of the primary reasons, however, that God gives actual graces to all people is to lead all of humanity by stages and degrees to the grace given in baptism. For in baptism a human being receives sanctifying grace – a personal share in the very life of God who comes to dwell in the soul. Sanctifying grace is no transitory touch of God, but something of his supernatural and divine Life rooted in the depths of our souls. Sanctifying grace is the root of the whole spiritual life in us. — Fr. James Brent, O.P.

“It was clear through unlearned men that the cross was persuasive, in fact, it persuaded the whole world. Their discourse was not of unimportant matters” [virus/vax, immigration, lgbtq, socialism, climate, race, etc —rp] “but of God and true religion, of the Gospel way of life and future judgment, yet it turned plain, uneducated men into philosophers. How the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and his weakness stronger than men!” — St. John Chrysostom

Writing in Communio’s synodality issue, Nicholas Healy, who teaches at the John Paul II Institute in Washington, D.C., nailed the problem with deadly accuracy. Synod-related documents from official sources, he wrote, “convey the impression of a theologically impermissible democratization of governance and magisterial judgment in the Church.”  The point isn’t that lay people should have nothing to say about such matters. It’s that, in Healy’s words, “the authority to teach and govern the Church is a sacramental gift. Not all members of the Church receive this sacramental gift.” — Russell Shaw

Contemplative prayer is the pinnacle of the Christian life.  In vocal prayer and meditation, one approaches God and encounters Him through words, thoughts, and sentiments from one’s own heart.  As important and necessary as this approach is, it will always remain “worldly,” since all of our words and concepts, even about God, are sprung from the categories of this world. In contemplative prayer one does not so much approach God, but is approached by God.   Fr. Jeremiah Shryock

… He desires that whatever is in him may live and rule in you: his breath in your breath, his heart in your heart , all the faculties of his soul in the faculties of your soul, so that these words may be fulfilled in you: … These great gifts in the follower of Christ originate from baptism. They are increased and strengthened through confirmation and making good use of other graces that are given by God. Through the holy eucharist they are brought to perfection. — St. John Eudes

It’s easy to think that those in Christian churches have chosen their God and are faithful to Him,” said LifeWay Research Director Scott McConnell. “However, pastors quickly acknowledge how divided their congregations’ allegiances can be. These gods don’t have a physical shine, but they compete for the hearts of Christians.” — Tré Goins Phillips

Only the humility and silence of the mystical tradition can unlock its greatest potential: moving toward God in deeper wisdom and understanding.  The LORD is in his holy temple: let all the earth keep silence before him (Habakkuk 2:20) — Monsignor Charles Pope

I am convinced that one of the reasons certain bishops and priests seem determined to suppress the TLM and isolate, marginalize the people who want it is because the TLM unsettles, disturbs, annoys, irritates, needles, vexes clerics involved in one of the sins that cries to heaven.   Even if these bishops and priests have never seen or been to a TLM in their lives, they know that the TLM would remind them of what the Novus Ordo does not: sin, guilt and judgment.   The TLM reminds priests in a sobering way about their failings as men and as priests, that they are unworthy sinners who, by the grace of God alone, can stand at the altar to renew the sacred mysteries.  This is one of the Church’s precious and encouraging gifts to priests.   Contrary to the claims of those who hate the Traditional Mass, it is the best antidote to clericalism that there is.  —  Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

“It took the power of Christ to free men from the corruption caused by sin; it was the task of the apostles through strenuous labor to keep that corruption from returning.” — St. John Chrysostom

Grace is first of all the mystery of God saying: “here, have Me.” — Fr. James Brent, O.P.

“I truly have a blessed life.

I truly don’t deserve it. . .

There is no deserve.

There just is.”  – Evan Daniel Bogart

Life in the kingdom of grace leads to the purification and illumination of the deep heart in each of us. It leads to the renewal of the image of God in the depths of our hearts. It leads to increasingly greater interior likeness to God – divinization. Life according to grace leads to a new awareness of God speaking to us in Scripture and liturgy, a new awareness of the presence of God dwelling in our hearts, a new awareness of God shining out all around us in people and in nature in different ways. In short, it leads to contemplative prayer and to wisdom of heart. — Fr. Brent James, O.P.

I have also found these three R’s helpful in overcoming the normal temptations of life, which are often fueled by evil spirits. Whenever we are tempted, we can say: “In the holy name of Jesus, I reject the evil spirits of [name the temptation]. I reject them; I renounce them; I rebuke them. In Jesus’ holy name, I cast them out!” I have personally found it helpful. I suspect others would as well. — Monsignor Stephen Rossetti

“… reality is not dependent upon your belief in it … I care about human beings and don’t want to see them suffer. Plus, I have a little thing I like to call “affection for the truth.” That makes it impossible to sit by silently as people lie for political gain. — Derek Hunter

”Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Do not be carried away by all kinds of strange teaching”, … bishop of Córdoba, Spain, Demetrio Fernández explained some of the challenges of the synodal process. However, he clarified, “It is the Holy Spirit who speaks in us. And here’s where the ambiguity can come in, because there is no lack of people who confuse the Holy Spirit with their own strange ideas.” — Nicolás de Cárdenas

Obedience to the moral law is the surest path to freedom – the freedom to become who we were made to be, to love God and neighbor as we ought. That’s why God engraves the law on our hearts, reveals it to us in Scripture, and then give us the Church to safeguard and pass on the same. And that’s why Veritatis Splendor can insist, “human freedom finds its authentic and complete fulfillment precisely in the acceptance of that law.” Our Lord says to his disciples, “If you love me you will keep my commandments.” — Stephen P. White

The call to contemplation is, in many respects, the call to a second conversion.  During our first conversion, we must leave behind those aspects of our life that are incompatible with a life of grace.  During our second conversion, which often coincides with the beginning of contemplative prayer in a soul, one must leave behind those aspects of God that are purely sensory.  In other words, contemplation invites us to an intimacy with God that transcends our senses and is, therefore, beyond words, ideas, and images.  — Fr. Jeremiah Shryock, CFR

“A fool contributes nothing worth hearing and takes offense at everything”…. “Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all”…. “It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.” – Aristotle

“In keeping silent about evil, in burying it so deep within us that no sign of it appears on the surface, we are implanting it, and it will rise up a thousand fold in the future. When we neither punish nor reproach evildoers, we are not simply protecting their trivial old age, we are thereby ripping the foundations of justice from beneath new generations.” – Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago

“Whenever law ends, tyranny begins.” – John Locke

Our men in priestly robes are to be watchmen, not turnstiles.  “If I say to the wicked,” says God to Ezekiel, “O wicked man, you shall surely die, and you do not speak to warn the wicked to turn from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity, but his blood I will require at your hand.” (33:8)  And since we are all priests of God, ordained or otherwise, we bear a like responsibility.   That does not mean we go finding fault in other people, to enjoy the delight of criticism.  But it does mean we must never present evil as anything other than evil … If you do the evil, it does not matter that you have worked up a justification for it.  It does the spiritual harm, nonetheless.  It can kill. The watchman in Ezekiel sins by defect.  Is that what is going on when Christians in our time commend what God has forbidden … it is what God really wants, despite what he has expressly said? — Anthony Esolen

We share deep connections with Israel since the Judeo-Christian principles that underpin the civil society gave rise to our democratic republic. There is no Bill of Rights, no capitalism —the greatest prosperity ever experienced by the broadest group of peoples —, no inalienable rights, no liberty apart from the unique and Christian foundation laid by our forefathers. The history of progressivism, statism, collectivism — whatever you’d like to call it — is one of tyranny and blood. The only utopia to be found in this life, is the inner life of peace with God through repentance and faith in the completed work of the Son of God. — John Nantz

It is very hard to remain angry at someone for whom you often sincerely pray. The essence of charity is the desire of the good of the other. A path to purifying our hearts and memories of past wrongs and to heal our thoughts about those who harm us is the threefold act of 1) asking the Lord to forgive the person, 2) telling the Lord we forgive the person, 3) asking the Lord to forgive us. And GO TO CONFESSION! — Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

“the fear of God, principium sapientiae [the beginning of wisdom].  This instinct does not serve us well when weakened faith—abetted by exaggerated piety, misguided fervor, or religious realpolitik—directs the gaze of transference to a fallible mortal, especially one who is surrounded by malign influences and subject to the corrupting effects of fame and power. The pope is the successor of St. Peter, the vicar of Christ, the patriarch of the West, and the sovereign of the Vatican City State. He is the supreme human authority in the Church. But he is not God, and he is not dogma, and he is not sacred Tradition. Rather, he is custos traditionis: the guardian of ecclesiastical realities that utterly transcend him. — Robert V. Newman

“Many times we nurture a devotion to a particular saint, thinking we have chosen the saint. It may be the other way around. Maybe, by the grace of God, a particular saint is chosen for us.” — Monsignor Stephen Rossetti

“Progress wants everything to change except for progress itself, which must remain. Progress must preserve progress as something incontestable and never able to be criticized, never surmountable, never erasable. The same may be said of the revolution: revolutions change everything except for the immutable reality of the revolution, which remains absolute. Likewise, “cancellation” must cancel everything, but cancellation must remain an absolute principle.” — Archbishop Giampaolo Crepaldi of Trieste

Cardinal Sarah said that people go to a priest to seek God and “not to save the planet.” He also referred to Francis’s words that the Church is not an NGO. “The day after his election, the Holy Father said that if the Church stops seeking God through prayer, it risks betrayal.” God is found mainly in the sacraments such as baptism or confession – Robert Cardinal Sarah

When God gave us the gift of freedom. He placed it within a framework. He also gave us a well-defined guideline for the effective use of the gift.   A fish is free as long as it stays in the water. If it suddenly declares that it wants the freedom to fly in the air like a bird, disaster occurs. A train is free as long as it stays on the track. However, if it demands freedom to take off down a major highway, the result is devastation and destruction. We, too, can only experience true freedom to its fullest if we remain within the framework of freedom. Often this requires accepting responsibility and practicing discipline. — Gigi Graham Tchividjian

Clearly, laws that eliminate personal responsibility failed. Character has weakened and unwanted pregnancies have become a crisis with people rising to the streets begging for the right to kill the unwanted. Rebuilding a society that affirms human dignity and the human capacity to self-govern, by exercising and strengthening internal laws, is what empowers and liberates people. When human weakness or evil prevails, surely no child should be forced to pay the ultimate price for these failures or crimes of adults.   Can we, especially churches, embrace God’s call to Israel in 2 Chronicles 7:14 and humble ourselves, turn from wicked ways, including giving discipleship of children to the secular state. God promised forgiveness and healing of the land. — Mark Shepard

“Our goal has never been simply to make abortion illegal. Our goal is to make it unthinkable.” —Archbishop Alexander Sample of Portland in Oregon

“Marriage is not a formality to be fulfilled. You don’t get married to be Catholic ‘with the label,’ to obey a rule, or because the Church says so, or to throw a party,”… “You get married because you want to base your marriage on the love of Christ, which is as firm as a rock.” “We can say that when a man and a woman fall in love, God offers them a gift: marriage. A wonderful gift, which has in it the power of divine love: strong, enduring, faithful, able to recover after any failure or fragility, … Family is not a beautiful ideal, unattainable in reality. God guarantees his presence in marriage and family, not only on your wedding day but throughout your life. And he sustains you every day in your journey.” — Pope Francis

In the Catholic context, what the Church expects from each of us in sorting through tough moral issues is to follow our consciences—but first to form our consciences intelligently and faithfully, in accord with Christian truth. Conscience needs to be fed, developed, and disciplined to discern what’s right. Then it needs to tell us what’s right, rather than what we’d prefer to hear. And what the Church asks is that, before we act, we at least make a sincere effort to consider and understand the truths that she teaches and why, and to try honestly to follow her wisdom. If we do that, we’ve done what our faith requires. This isn’t easy. In practice, it’s very hard, because serious thinking about anything is drowned out in our current culture by emotion, distraction, dumbed-down slogans, and noise. — Francis X. Maier

“ … the Magisterium of the pope and bishops ‘is restricted to the contents of the infallible Magisterium of the Church in general, and it is restricted to the contents of the Holy Scripture and tradition’ (Denz.-H 3116). The second was a statement by Cardinal Manning, which was quoted by Michael Davies: ‘Infallibility is not a quality inherent in any person, but an assistance attached to an office.’ … history shows that magisterialism and hyperpapalism are the spurious fruits of the Liberal Catholic current, which resorts to authoritarianism to impose its errors.” — José Antonio Ureta

“We must be willing to let go of the life we planned so as to have the life that is waiting for us.” ― Joseph Campbell  — Then Jesus said to all, “If anyone wishes to come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it.” — Jesus Christ (Luke 9:23-24)

… is it wonderful that we too, the descendants of the first pair, should still be in a world where there is a forbidden fruit, and that our trials should lie in being within reach of it, and our happiness in abstaining from it? — John Henry Newman

There seems to be seething anger in the world today that seeks someone to attack. It is a world where there is little room for redemption or forgiveness. It’s a one-and-done trial. You have a visible sin, and it’s over. Like the gladiators with swords to the neck of their defeated opponent, they look to the coliseum masses for a verdict. The thumbs-down condemnation seems unanimous. There is no mercy to be had. — Terry Paulson

The essence of idolatry is that we create a god in our image, confusing His nature with ours and thereby conforming Him to our standards. … May He change us, and may we never attempt to change Him. — Michael Brown

“The true ‘sign of our times’ is that our society has lost sight of Christ, lost a desire for truth as it embraces all sorts of ideologies, and no longer knows that there is a loving and merciful God who has created the universe and desires that all come to salvation and know the truth,” … “One senses in this document a church that has become tired and has lost its sense of purpose; a church that has surrendered to the surrounding cultural ethos,” he added. The document too rarely speaks of “bringing people under the grace of salvation by a bold proclamation of the cross of Christ.” — Archbishop Julian Porteous

KNOWLEDGE & IGNORANCE: This combination of expert knowledge and deep ignorance certainly causes us to ponder. It reveals the whole problem of knowledge that remains self-sufficient and so does not arrive at Truth itself, which ought to transform man. In a different way again, we encounter this same combination of knowledge and failure to understand in the story of the wise men from the East. The chief priests and scribes know exactly where the Messiah is to be born. But they do not recognize him. Despite their knowledge, they remain blind. (cf. Mt 2:4-6).  — Pope Benedict XVI

Darkness either overcomes you or it compels you to shine your light to repel it. — Marc Little

Why does the West want to annihilate what it built in the first place? The real enemy of the West is the West itself, its imperviousness to God and to spiritual values, which resembles a process of lethal self-destruction. — Robert Cardinal Sarah,  “The Day Is Now Far Spent”

The most noticeable thing about progressive Christianity is how “weary, stale, flat, and unprofitable” it is.  It hasn’t had a new idea in more than a hundred years.  Of itself, this stolidity is not damning.  Most new ideas, thankfully, do not survive.  But it is another matter when you pride yourself on new ideas that you do not have, even as you toss aside hard-won truths of old. — Anthony Esolen

People today are willing to accept the premise of God, but it seems they want a god in their own image. As Voltaire pointed out, “God made man in His image, and man returned the favor.” And that is what we largely have today: a generation that believes in a god of their own making. — Greg Laurie

“You fast, but Satan does not eat. You labor fervently, but Satan never sleeps. The only dimension with which you can outperform Satan is by acquiring humility, for Satan has no humility.” St. Moses the Black (Ethiopian)

Similarly, the wine of Christ’s blood, drawn from the many grapes of the vineyard that he had planted, is extracted in the wine-press of the cross. When men receive it with believing hearts, like capacious wineskins, it ferments within them by its own power. — St Gaudentius of Brescia

“What is it that today makes true followers of Christ cast luxuries aside, leave pleasures behind, and endure difficulties and pain? It is living faith that expresses itself through love. It is this that makes us put aside the goods of the present in the hope of future goods. It is because of faith that we exchange the present for the future.” — from a eulogy for St. Fidelis of Simaringen

The reason we have such massive slaughter of innocents is because we have become a fornicating society, an adulterous society, a homosexual society and a contraceptive society. Unchaste people are selfish people. They will not stop at murder if an unborn child would be a burden to their indulgence and sexual pleasure. — Fr. John Hardon

So to this woke (in essence) child, they see nothing wrong with breaking their “silly rules,” simply because they are down for the fight. When you consider it, they’ve grown up in a world where marriage was redefined, societal adherence to taking money away from those who earn it and just giving it to people who don’t, and the moral “good” their leftist icons did in taking their civil and constitutional rights away, masked them up, and they liked it. These are not stable people. — Kevin McCollough

States that can manage to restrict abortion after Roe falls should absolutely do so, but those states should also be prepared to be as generous as possible in making sure mothers and babies (and dads) have the support they need to make choosing life as easy as possible. As abortion regulation returns to the states, winning the abortion issue on the local and personal level – as demonstrated through actions as much as rhetoric – will become even more politically imperative. — Stephen P. White

If men engage in evil things, that is those things which follow the domain of Satan and his minions, then in the end the demons gain control over a particular nation. When man fails to follow the law of God in the realm of politics and governance of the nation, the effect is the incursion of diabolical influence. — Fr. Chad Ripperger

[Mao Zedong} wrote that, “Weapons are an important factor in war, but not decisive. Weapons are necessarily wielded by people. It is people, not weapons, that are decisive.” His words fit very well with our purpose today. And here’s why. C.S. Lewis described Christianity as a “fighting religion” because that’s how the Word of God describes it. We’re engaged in a struggle for the soul of the world. Our weapons are charity, mercy, patience, and courage – not bitterness and violence. But spiritual conflict is part of our reality, with a very long history in Christian experience. — Francis X. Maier

“The mourning of which the Lord speaks,” writes Pope Benedict, “is nonconformity with evil; it is a way of resisting models of behavior that the individual is pressured to accept because ‘everyone does it.’  The world cannot tolerate this kind of resistance; it demands conformity.  It considers this mourning to be an accusation against the numbing of consciences.”
“Those who do not harden their hearts to the pain and need of others, who do not give evil entry to their souls, but suffer under its power and so acknowledge the truth of God – they are the ones who open the windows of the world to let the light in.”  (Benedict XVI)

Again, at the end of the day, I really don’t care whose head is adorned with a red hat or whose petard sits in an office chair on the Via della Conziliazione. The immediate needs of my day and the tidal undertow and sinful entropy of my degraded life seem much more pressing to me. I seek Christ and Him crucified. To that end, I think the whole Church needs to take a deep breath, take stock of itself in light of the “one thing necessary”, gaze Eastward toward the rising Son, and ask: “Quo vadis, Domine?” — Larry Chapp

It’s ok to be creative as Catholics, to seize upon little opportunities to share Christ with someone with your lips, to be Christ to someone with your kindness. Especially when the forgotten, the lost, the dejected, and the hurting who have no one else to turn to present themselves. As one example, St. Francis de Sales used to write his sermons on pieces of paper and slide them under the doors where Calvinists lived. — Rob Marco

We are called to make disciples of all nations (Mt 28:19-20). This doesn’t have to be big, monumental exercises that draw attention to ourselves. We shouldn’t forget that we are simply beggars showing other beggars where to get bread. — Rob Marco 

The fact is that we can be bold without being brash. We can be anointed without being obnoxious. We can be courageous without being carnal. We can be immovable without being idiots. — Michael Brown

Clerical leaders may say many things and impose their will upon structures in the church.  For me, I’ll give them a hearing while obeying Jesus in the Scripture and Tradition of the Church: Prayer, Sacraments, Commandments.  I do not get too involved with the machinations of prelates, honors, elevations to power.  Jesus is the One sent for redemption and salvation, not any church leader who is called to herald the Lord with clarity rather than to opine an ideology.  I follow Jesus over anything that is not revealed by Him or not in accord with what He taught.  Jesus is present to me to forgive me, to lead me to repentance, to guide me through this life through the cacophony of studied ambiguities from so many who were given holy office and orders to proclaim him.  I work out my salvation by reading the Bible, studying the Fathers of the church, and moving on with my life with Jesus,  while some in power use their time trying to create new structures and statutes that fit their thinking and ideology.  “Now is the acceptable time.  Now is the day of salvation (2Cor 6:2).. Jesus is the same yesterday, today, forever (Hebrews 13:8). — Fr. Richard Perozich

Evil thrives off ambiguity. — Nadia Bullock

Loneliness is the true taste of Hell, just as the love we have for God and each other is a foretaste of heaven.  Which is why the Word became flesh and dwelt among us . . . .and why the greatest story of them all has a happy ending. — Francis X. Maier     

Spiritists always rely on “the power of evil working through them,” whether knowingly or unknowingly, he said. “And any time somebody would engage forces of evil eventually the demonic is going to attack them and try to destroy them, even if initially it seems to be a benefit.”   “Someone goes to see a psychic or a medium, and they hear something that’s pleasing to them, and so they keep going back again and again,” with curiosity leading to reliance, Fr. Lampert said. “But the connection that’s going to be made is with the demonic world, and eventually the devil’s going to want to be paid.”  “And the way that he’s paid is by trying to destroy someone else’s life,” he cautioned. — Fr. Vincent Lampert, exorcist

“God needs to be at the foundation of human life. It doesn’t mean that everything is always going to be perfect,” he told Carlson. “It’s just recognizing that God has His rightful place to play in our lives. And when we reject that, there is a demand, because that’s exactly what [the devil] did.”— Fr. Vincent Lampert, exorcist

As Catholics, the reawakening of the soul to the Good, True, and Beautiful is what one of our principal tasks should be. We come not as apologists of the zeitgeist seeking to affirm drifting souls in the city of man with the ethos of the city of man. We come as shepherds bringing the love and wisdom of God to souls who need it. When we actually meet people where they are at with the intention of directing them back to God, we find conversion and transformation. — Paul Krause

…  there are two “wedge issues” he believes will drive persecution. One is the “exclusivity of Jesus and salvation” and the other is the command of Jesus for obedience regarding the hotly contested issues of sexual morality, gender identity, marriage, family and biblical justice. — Andrew Brunson

“Scandal is an attitude or behavior which leads another to do evil.” “The person who gives scandal becomes his neighbor’s tempter. He damages virtue and integrity; he may even draw his brother into spiritual death. Scandal is a grave offense if by deed or omission another is deliberately led into a grave offense,” the Catechism says (CCC 2284)