“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)