The Church since the Council has to a large extent put off its mystical characteristics; it has become a Church of permanent conversations, organizations, advisory commissions, congresses, synods, commissions, academies, parties, pressure groups, functions, structures and restructurings, sociological experiments, statistics: that is to say, more than ever a male Church  … May not the reason for the domination of such typically male and abstract notions be because of the abandonment of the deep femininity of the Marian character of the Church?— Hans Urs von Balthasar

I just love it when these clergy make their opinions so obvious (about women clergy, celibacy, etc) but then say “the Holy Spirit will guide us.” Their Holy Spirit is the equivalent of the Ouija  board we played with in 5th grade. Someone is pushing the needle where she wants it to go.  These men will allow themselves to “be guided” where they want to go. They will not be open to the Truth that the Holy Spirit wants them to hear. — From a Faithful Catholic Woman

From Golgotha’s gibbet flows the full and steady stream of graces, of strength and courage, that alone enable man to walk that path with firm and unerring step. —  Stephen P. White

“Ideology is a specious way of relating to the world. It offers human beings the illusion of an identity, of dignity, and of morality while making it easier for them to part with them.”  Thus, the only way to oppose ideology, thought Havel, was “living in the truth”: refusing to participate in the culture of lies. — Václav Havel quoted by Randall Smith

We cannot find order in ecclesial politics or the life of the Church, but we can find order in our own Catholic life. Prayer, the Sacraments, knowing our Faith, a life of charity—this is where we must keep our focus, our own internal order. — Eric Sammons

The number of words needed to support an idea is inversely proportional to the amount of truth it contains. — Scott Hogenson

Master story-teller and devout Catholic, J.R.R. Tolkien, in a letter to his son, Michael, wrote: “remembering my own sins and follies, [I] realize that men’s hearts are not as often as bad as their acts, and very seldom as bad as their words.”  A little more of Tolkien’s humility and charity would go a long way to healing our broken society and helping us live as neighbors instead of enemies. — Msgr. Charles Fink

“Everything is habit-forming, so make sure what you do is what you want to be doing.” — WILT CHAMBERLAIN

The 12th-century mystic St. Bernard of Clairvaux pointed out that many souls refuse to turn to the Lord because they don’t know him to be a God of mercy. If people don’t know God’s patience, how ready God is to forgive, and how much he can heal their weaknesses, then why would they bother trying to repent? — Edward Sri

Behind the debate you’re having about some moral issue is a real person who has his own struggles with various weakness, sins, hurts and fears — a person who needs God’s loving help.— Edward Sri

These souls need more than an argument about why what they’re doing is wrong (moral truth). Yes, they need that, but they also need the encouraging news that they can be forgiven and healed and have a fresh start in life (mercy).— Edward Sri

Let’s offer them not just a condemnation of certain actions, but a way out of their sins by sharing the good news of how much God still loves them and wants to forgive and heal them. Let’s pray for them, make sacrifices for them and share with them the Good News of God’s truth and his mercy. — Edward Sri

With God’s grace, these seven keys can help you open up moral truth in their lives: Lead With Mercy, Law Equals Love, “I Disagree” Doesn’t Mean “I Hate You”,  The Intolerance of “Tolerance”, Relativism Is a Mask, Relativism Wounds People, Taking on the Heart of Christ — Edward Sri

A religious leader should be very careful about spreading his thinking too thin; a pope is not an omniscient source of opinions about everything. Msgr. Richard C. Antall

“When have you felt the most empowered?”  Her answer: Motherhood. “I have felt this feeling seven times now as I bring these sacred souls to the earth … after I hold that newborn baby in my arms,” she said. The feeling of motherhood … is the most empowering feeling I have ever felt.” — Hannah Neeleman, Mrs. American 2023

Praying the rosary is a sacred act for faithful Catholics. Using the rosary to claim a false Catholic identity as a form of performance art is idolatrous and should be condemned.  — Anne Hendershott

Tolkien explained in a letter that Catholics must hold themselves to a high standard, but that any judgment of other people must be “tempered by ‘mercy’.” He used the “double scale” of rigor for oneself, mercy for others. — Holly Ordway

He [Tolkien] believed that all people have been made in the image and likeness of God, and have received the gift of conscience. Yes, he held that some “reject their chances of nobility or salvation, and appear to be ‘damnable’.” But he chose the word with care: “damnable” rather than “damned.” As he remarked, “we who are all ‘in the same boat’ must not usurp the Judge.”— Holly Ordway

Moreover, to be an ardent Catholic, particularly, a young devoted Catholic, is even more rebellious – it is contrary to the intellectual, social, and media elite culture of our day – a rebel cause worth dying for.  — Fr. Thomas Weinandy, OFM, Cap.

When you’re next in line for confession and the person ahead of you has already been in there for half an hour … First, don’t ramble in the confessional.  Know what you are going to say ahead of time.  That means, second, examine your conscience before getting into the confessional.  Give only relevant details.  JUST SAY  IT without circumlocutions. — Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Never leave the Catholic Church, even if its leaders’ teaching should obscure the truth. Find those who believe what the Church has always taught, who worship as the Church has always worshiped, who are charitable toward the poor materially and in spirit, and walk with them. Common sense tells me I don’t need to believe everything that comes from the mind of a man in power in the church, rather I must believe the truth of Jesus when such a man declares it, and that I cannot stop him speaking his personal opinions even when they do not reflect what Jesus taught in the bible and in the deposit of faith. Such opinions neither lead me to Jesus nor to eternal life, but I cannot stop authorities from expressing them, so I don’t let them bother my spirit. I live God’s revealed Truth while others live their opinions, their mindsets, their experiences, and their chosen lifestyles. — Fr. Richard Perozich

Once society allows individuals to claim an identity grounded exclusively in emotion or desire, anyone can claim to be a practicing Catholic no matter their beliefs or actions. — Anne Hendershott

  • Anne Hendershott

The moment that you feel that your sexual passion is overtaking your ability to control it, fall down on your knees and begin to hold an image in your mind of Jesus Christ crucified on the cross. Hold an image of His blood falling from the cross onto all different parts of your body. In that moment, Jesus will say to you “Do you want me or do you want your passion. If your mind turns to your passion He will leave you with your passion. But if you say, “Lord, I want you” and you maintain the image in your mind of Jesus on the cross while you repeat, “take away my passion and let your Holy Spirit abide in me,” He will answer that prayer 100% of the time. — Brian Murphy

Yet, the state of our souls at the moment of reception conditions The Effects of Holy Communion on us. … The first and most minimal condition is to be in a state of grace. … When received in such a state – a state of serious sin without repentance – holy communion actually has the opposite effect of sanctification. It results in further loss of respect for holy things and perhaps eventually even the loss of faith altogether. — Fr. James Brent O.P.

Faith, humility, confidence, desire, and reverence. Spiritual dispositions such as these serve to open our hearts to receive more fully the effects of holy communion. — Fr. James Brent, O.P.

We need faith in the Eucharist. Faith in the real presence brings us under the influence of Jesus Christ’s working power in the sacrament. It is good to recall often, but especially in preparation before Mass, how the appearances of bread and wine are merely appearances. In reality, the sacrament is truly the body and blood of Jesus Christ himself. In this sacrament, God himself comes to us in love and floods us with his grace. — Fr. James Brent O.P.

We need humility before the Eucharist. Holy communion is not something owed to us as a matter of natural justice, but is an undeserved supernatural gift – a grace. … In every Mass, however, the eternal Son of God does something more astonishing still. He stoops down to feed us with his own body, blood, soul, and divinity – his very Life – in the Eucharist. —Fr. James Brent, O.P.

We need confidence in the Eucharist. Confidence consists of counting on God for good things to come. … Each and every one of those graces is particularly adapted to our personal needs according to God’s eternal designs for our lives. — Fr. James Brent, O.P.

We need desire for the Eucharist. … “With desire have I desired to eat this pasch with you” (Lk. 22:15). Knowing by faith his desire to eat with us and to be with us, the only appropriate response is to desire to eat with him, to be with him, indeed, to desire Him. — Fr. James Brent O.P.

We need reverence for the Eucharist. Reverence is primarily an interior acknowledgment of the greatness and majesty of God, but reverence in the heart normally shows itself in outward behaviors of various sorts. … We come to the sacrament fasting — Fr. James Brent O.P.

Receiving on the tongue, however, demonstrates a special reverence for the Eucharist. To this day, reception on the tongue remains the norm in all the churches of the Christian East. — Fr. James Brent, O.P.

Ponder how valuable your soul must be for Satan to tirelessly pursue it, and the King to lay down his own life for it. — Unknown

Sin starts as a worship problem. We give non-God things God-like weight in our hearts … “Root” idols: “Approval”: We want to be accepted by others, so we become a slave to the opinions of others … “Power”: We love the feeling of superiority … “Control”: In order to feel safe, we need things to go according to our plan. So we attempt to dominate the people and circumstances around us … “Pleasure”: We worship sensual pleasures – J.D. Greear

For the Church to renew society, we must come to at least some expectation of faithfulness in belief and practice for our leaders. — Jared Staudt

“It is a miserable time when a man’s Catholic profession is no voucher for his orthodoxy, and when a teacher of religion may be within the Church’s pale yet external to her faith.” — John Henry Newman

Like Newman’s day, there is a clear and hostile force of unbelievers assailing the Church, seeking to push faith and its implications to the margins of society … They must find some profit from leveraging Catholic institutions and their positions within them for prestige and profit, which they could not do by simply competing within the secular realm. Perhaps they find easy pickings within the Catholic world. — Jared Staudt

To refrain from cursing in a curse-filled world is a constant reminder that Christians are never completely at home in this world. Conversations and situations filled with vice or sin should prick our consciences, for we know they are wrong. To be Christian can mean being alone with the Lord, suffering in silence, while simultaneously being surrounded by others in public. — David G. Bonagura, Jr.

But if we realize that cursing is displeasing to God who loves us more than imaginable, we can acquire much-needed supernatural motivation to master our tongues. And if we can resist the temptation to curse, we will develop the virtue of self-restraint that will keep us from falling into other temptations.—  David G. Bonagura, Jr.

Yes, curse words reveal disorder in our souls, which are torn between concupiscence and the God who calls us to perfection in Him. More than that, though, the nonchalance with which curse words are uttered points to a great danger of the spiritual life: the acceptance of sin as a normal part of living – not as something to be fought daily and eradicated.— David G. Bonagura, Jr.

Mortal sinners are not born but made through the slow, cancerous growth first of vice and then of venial sins. David G. Bonagura, Jr.

An impure word falling upon a weak mind spreads its infection like a drop of oil on a garment, and sometimes it will take such a hold of the heart, as to fill it with an infinitude of lascivious thoughts and temptations. St. Francis De Sales

faith “draws the future into the present, so that it is no longer simply a ‘not yet.’” The “present is touched by the future reality.” So, faith is also an objective, substantial presence here and now of realities that will eventually be fulfilled, that is to say, made fully present. — James Matthew Wilson drawing from Pope Benedict XVI Spe Salvi

“In our own Catholic Church, we’re in a struggle about living our faith in a world that’s become very secularized — but secularized not in the sense of apart from religion, but with a value system that’s hostile to some basic values that we have,” the archbishop said. “How do we live our faith with integrity?” — Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone

If you are like me, the most terrifying thing of all is to be forever changed. But that is always the risk of encountering Christ. As Paul encouraged the Ephesians, “put away the old self of your former way of life, corrupted through deceitful desires, and be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and put on the new self, created in God’s way in righteousness and holiness of truth.” And that, it turns out, is how you start a revival. It begins with the courageous response of an open heart, transformed by an encounter with the Lord. — Stephen P. White

The Eucharistic Congress–the event itself–is not the endpoint of the Eucharistic Revival. Rather, it is the summons. — Stephen P. White

That’s one reason why the encyclical’s [Veritatis Splendor] analysis of Christ’s encounter with the rich young man identifies the choice to always follow the negative commandments listed in the Decalogue’s second tablet (don’t murder, don’t steal, etc.) as “the basic condition” (VS 13) for life in Christ. For these “negative precepts” protect and promote goods like life and truth-telling which are core to our nature as humans and provide content to the great commandment to love God and our neighbor (VS 13). — Dr. Samuel Gregg

John Paul wrote in his 1984 exhortation Reconciliatio et paenitentia, that there are “acts which, per se and in themselves, independently of circumstances, are always seriously wrong by reason of their object.” His next line describes this as “a doctrine, based on the Decalogue and on the preaching of the New Testament, and assimilated into the kerygma of the Apostles and belonging to the earliest teaching of the Church” (RP 17). — Dr. Samuel Gregg

God created man in his image, in the divine image he created him; male and female he created them. (Genesis 1:27)  God got gender right, and we must too. Otherwise, we may not be able to tell the difference any longer between a moral masterpiece and a moral horror. — Monsignor Robert J. Batule

John Paul II reminds us of the traditional teaching that a soul expresses itself in a body, and a body is informed by an immortal spirit. He adds too that “by rejecting all manipulations of corporeity which alter its human meaning, the Church serves man and shows him the path of true love, the only path on which he can find the true God.” — Monsignor Robert J. Batule

In isolation from the truth, normativity, and goodness, objectively understood, freedom acts like an independent contractor, hiring itself out to the highest bidder. — Monsignor Robert J. Batule

Fathers of the Second Vatican Council. Optatum Totius, the Decree on Priestly Training, called for renewal or perfection of moral theology. The renewal or perfection, they said, would be achieved by focusing “more on the teaching of the Bible.” — Monsignor Robert J. Batule

Addressing the confusion regarding Catholic moral teaching that some feel due to statements made by Pope Francis, Beard said, “It does not matter to me what Francis says or does not say. What matters to me is where you land. All I care about is your soul. Stop worrying about what he says or doesn’t say; stop worrying about what Joe says or doesn’t say. The only thing that matters is your soul.” — Fr. Mark Beard, RIP

“Well Father [Bishop – Cardinal – Holy Father], if we don’t have to pay attention to the Scriptures, then we don’t have to pay attention to you. Because the only reason we’re here listening to you is that we think you’ll help us understand more deeply the word of God.  So, if you say this isn’t the word of God, I’m tuning out.” — Randall Smith

Saying “No” may be the kindest, most “pastoral” thing you can do.  The “end game” of the Synod, of any undertaking of the Church, should be to bring others to Christ.  The Catholic Church claims to know how. She credits God with revealing the Truth and man with having the capacity to know the Truth. She goes further and claims God has given that Truth to the Church. That is, after all, why many have converted to the Church. — Robert B. Greving

And yet, without the robust and strong leadership that should be given to them, there remain many baptized Christians – small shepherds with mere stones – who have taken up the mantle and will not accept the white flag of a false surrender of wayward shepherds. They will continue to seek truth, labor for goodness, and accept persecution in defense of beauty. They will fight the good fight, run the race so as to win, and zealously seek the imperishable crown that is promised to those who love God. — Fr. Jeffrey Kirby

I take heart that the synod will also be hearing many individual voices from Africa, where the family remains treasured, the gravity of its challenges appreciated, and the Catholic Church a sign of contradiction. — Dan Maher

Within these omissions resides the radical irrelevance of the synodal path in the third decade of the 21st century. Where is the Catholic Church, the defender of marriage and the family, at this moment of social and cultural collapse in the West? — Dan Maher

A radically inclusive Church can never clearly say what a man or a woman is lest it offend, and will most certainly feel compelled to revamp discourse that “marginalizes” homosexual activity. — Dan Maher

I am not a victim, nor a pawn for Catholic priests who want a different church. — Dan Maher

To allege that Church discourse is an “obstacle” keeping me at a distance or that its doctrines make my faith journey “tremendously burdensome” is to mimic a culture that nurtures weakness. — Dan Maher

When a radically inclusive prelate declares that “the Catholic community contains structures and cultures of exclusion that alienate all too many from the church or make their journey in the Catholic faith tremendously burdensome,” he cedes sovereignty to sentiments. — Dan Maher

The collective voice heard by Fr. Martin originates in politics and “what it asks to be called” is, as Carl Trueman explains, fundamentally incoherent. — Dan Maher

A designation without any limiting principle seeds the synodal path with the instability and self-indulgence of a culture in the invasive grip of queer and gender theories. No one chooses LGBTQ+ to modify Catholics unless ulterior motives are afoot – and they are. — Dan Maher

For if they are Catholic adults, they must know that their own physical safety, their own worldly life, is not the most crucial thing to secure. — David Warren

For arrogance is a terrible crime, when uttered from a pulpit, and so is cowardice. To be silent when St. Michael and the Angels have been summoning our attention to an outrage against Christ, is arrogance in reverse. The priest’s task is to speak with the angels; to make himself heard in the world. — David Warren

When we attend the Mass, we do so as Christians, not as freethinkers or members of some exclusive cult. It is wearying to listen, for instance, to homilies which frankly contradict Christian doctrine, or carefully avoid defending it. — David Warren

for the Catholic Christian. As long as a belief is possible to hold, or is, as it were, theologically viable, it may be welcomed. But the moment it begins to contradict and chew away at what is established as true, the honorable Christian walks away. — David Warren

An adult might decide, in face of this fact, that he cannot be a Catholic. …  He might try to explain himself, but it is himself that he is explaining.— David Warren

The Church believes differently, and there will be, perhaps, a sincere parting of the ways. For the individual would do irresponsible damage, if he stayed within the fold, when he is tempted to subvert it. An adult would of course not be tempted in this way. He would instead grieve that he had lost the faith of his fathers.— David Warren

For one would have to be an adult to realize that what has been impossible for 2000 years (and more), cannot suddenly become possible when the pope tinkles a bell, or some synod holds a vote on it. — David Warren

Rather than assimilate, with growing wisdom, the experience of the Church, over her many centuries, the very young (of all ages) try to replace this growth with their own experience. This is very much the case when bishops, even priests, decide to promote women to positions they cannot hold, or bless behavior that is objectively sinful. — David Warren

Much of what I lament about the “new world” since Vatican II has little to do with “Church policy” directly, but only with her functionaries. The dogmas haven’t changed, for instance; they just happen to be taken less seriously, and those functionaries seem less and less inclined to subscribe. — David Warren

“Reform means to preserve in renewal, to renew in preservation, in order to bring the testimony of faith with new clarity into the darkness of the world,” — Peter Seewald

Peter Seewald also recalled that [Pope] Benedict, as a young theologian, “distinguished between a church of the wicked and a church of the just in an interpretation of Augustine.” In an essay published in 1956, the future pope wrote that “the Antichrist belongs to the Church, grows in it and with it up to the great separation, which will be introduced by the ultimate revelation.”

For the word of God is a light to the mind and a fire to the will. It enables man to know God and to love him. And for the interior man who lives by the Spirit of God, through grace, it is bread and water, but a bread sweeter than honey and the honeycomb, a water better than wine and milk. For the soul it is a spiritual treasure of merits yielding an abundance of gold and precious stones. Against the hardness of a heart that persists in wrongdoing, it acts as a hammer. Against the world, the flesh and the devil it serves as a sword that destroys all sin. — St. Lawrence of Brindisi, priest

It is the Church’s infallibility, please note, not the pope’s. The pope can exercise that charism under certain clearly defined circumstances, but it is not his personal attribute. — Rev. Peter M.J. Stravinskas

“Putting a muzzle on dissenting voices is typical of those who have no arguments to refute them: this is how the deep state acts towards those who fight against the globalist coup and the deep church with those who denounce the apostasy of the Bergoglian Hierarchy,” — Archbishop Viganò

“No one is punished for lying. People are only punished for telling the truth.” — Tucker Carlson, requoted by Archbishop Viganò

God is not going to rewrite the bible for your generation.  Stop trying to change scripture when it’s written to change you. — Unknown

Catholic artists don’t generally ask for much, just as hard-working priests who do smell of the sheep – that is, who really do get involved in the sewage-tide that passes for our culture, and who get to know its human victims – do not ask for much.  Recognition, a word of approval now and then, a trace of gratitude?  That would be beyond their expectations.  Mostly they would like to be left alone to do that hard and thankless work. — Anthony Esolen

Most of those ordinary people no longer have any experience of excellence in sacred art, and their priests and bishops are very often in the same position, regardless of where they stand on the mostly nauseating issues of our time.  To smell like the sheep, then, is to try to understand how bare and thin our education has been, even while we have been led to believe that we are wiser and better than our forebears. — Anthony Esolen

The snobbery of the modernist is almost axiomatic, for what is modernism if not the rejection, usually with contempt, of traditional forms, or even of form itself?  But why should the prelates of the Church ever have gone along with modernism?  That is not hard to explain.  People in charge of things want very much to appear to be in the know, to be on the cutting edge, to be leading a charge. — Anthony Esolen

Catholicism takes the human person as he is: broken by sin and in need in redemption. The Church truly welcomes him by calling him to healing, which demands conversion. Conversion first of all involves repentance, because people’s fundamental problem is their enslavement to sin and evil. The word used in the New Testament for “conversion” and “repentance” is metanoiete (from which comes the Anglicized “metanoia”). Metanoiete literally means “to change one’s mind,” “to change one’s way of thinking.” — John Grondelski


If the synod were serious about how to better convey the Faith to this brave new world, it would be talking about the need for a massive effort at Catholic education. Only the Catholic tradition has the resources to respond to the disastrous worldview that, as Bishop Barron never tires of saying, is the primary reason young people say they find the Faith no longer credible. — Robert Royal

The synod is already talking a lot about “mission,” but mostly that means “listening,” not teaching.  What we need, instead, is to shed the largely imaginary fear of “proselytizing.” And to forget apologies for alleged colonialism and imperialism.— Robert Royal

Jesus Christ is the way, the truth, and the life – the Savior who sets us free. If you can’t proclaim that without apology or equivocation, what’s the point of walking together? — Robert Royal

Underscoring the essential role of the priest as intercessor before God, the cardinal said that a priest’s first task … is to pray, because the priest is a man of prayer: He begins his day with the Office of Readings and ends his day with the Office. A priest who does not pray is about to die. A Church that does not pray is a dead Church.“The priest is a man of God who is day and night in the presence of God to glorify him, to adore him. The priest is a man immolated in sacrifice to prolong the sacrifice of Christ for the salvation of the world.”  —  Cardinal Robert Sarah

… true freedom is the expression of reason in our actions and emotions, and at the same time, it is a freedom from being directed by what is contrary to reason.  Thus, both of what are called “positive” and “negative” freedom are contained in the Catholic conception. Now here are the three adjustments.  The first is that the most fundamental freedom for us is freedom from sin.  All other freedoms ultimately depend on this.  Indeed, the main problem in “theologies of liberation,” Ratzinger taught, was that they spoke as if unjust social structures were the fundamental unfreedom, rather than sin. — Michael Pakaluk

… true freedom is the expression of reason in our actions and emotions, and at the same time, it is a freedom from being directed by what is contrary to reason.  … The second adjustment follows from this.  The mistaken “theologies of liberation” were based upon Marxist falsehoods about human nature. Freedom, however, essentially depends on truth.  “The truth will set you free.” (John 8:32)  “The complete truth about man is the basis for any real liberation,” Cardinal Ratzinger insisted.— Michael Pakaluk

“Catholics of America!” St. John Paul II concluded his homily, “Always be guided by the truth – by the truth about God who created and redeemed us, and by the truth about the human person, made in the image and likeness of God and destined for a glorious fulfillment in the Kingdom to come. Always be convincing witnesses to the truth.”  (Remember that the word martyr means “witness.”)  No words could be more relevant today. — Michael Pakaluk

… true freedom is the expression of reason in our actions and emotions, and at the same time, it is a freedom from being directed by what is contrary to reason.  …  The third adjustment, in turn, follows upon this.  Sin and dullness to truth are, as it were, the two great external impediments to freedom. But the internal one is a lack of virtue.  To succeed in expressing our rationality in our actions and affections, we need to acquire the virtues, which implies following the natural law.— Michael Pakaluk

The old inscriptions on law schools said such things as “true freedom is obedience to law.”  Pope Leo teaches the same thing.  For freedom to exist, “there must be law; that is, a fixed rule of teaching what is to be done and what is to be left undone. . .in the moral necessity of our voluntary acts being in accordance with reason, lies the very root of the necessity of law.”— Michael Pakaluk

Human action has two effects: it does things in the world and shapes me.  Taking my neighbor’s property without his consent does two things. It’s stealing and it shapes me: it makes me a thief.  Moral action has both objective and subjective effects. … freedom put in the service of evil is not freedom.  Such a use of freedom is self-destructive, eventually simply enslaving the doer and those he affects.  Rather than expanding freedom, it destroys it.The modern apotheosis of false freedom, treating freedom per se rather than good as the end of human action, denies all this. — John Grondelski

For many, the whole truth is too much to swallow. They will reject what exposes the lie they’ve lived for so long. Victims of long-term spiritual starvation are fragile and must be fed gradually to rebuild their dissipated strength and stamina. As St. Paul wrote to some early catechumens, “You need milk, not solid food… Solid food is for the spiritually mature, who by constant practice have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil” (Hebrews 5: 12, 14). — Richard M. DellOrfano

One who has seen God has, in the act of seeing, gained all that is counted good: life without end, everlasting freedom from decay, undying happiness, a kingdom that has no end, lasting joy, true light, a voice to sing pleasingly in the spirit, unapproachable glory, perpetual rejoicing, in a word, the totality of blessing.Such is the wonderful hope held out by the beatitudes. … If it is clear that those who taught that the contemplation of God was beyond their powers are themselves blessed, and if blessedness consists in the vision of God and is granted to the pure in heart, then purity of heart, leading to blessedness, is certainly not among the things that are impossible. — Gregory of Nyssa

If patterns of sin persist in our lives, the question is not why the sins persist if we are receiving holy communion. The question is where you and I would be if we were not receiving communion. Holy communion drives aways demonic activity. Many people seek out the assistance of exorcists, but exorcists spend a great deal of time simply urging those who come to them to receive holy communion more frequently and devoutly. The enemy does indeed prowl about like a roaring lion, but the sight of the Eucharist terrifies the enemy much more.  — Fr. James Brent, OP

The IL [Instrumentum Laboris = working document of the synod] opens with a proclamation: “The People of God have been on the move since Pope Francis convened the whole Church in Synod in October 2021.” Really? Meetings have certainly been held. Long and windy and vague texts produced. All this, it’s said, better to preach the Gospel.  But what is that Gospel? The human alienation from God due to sin and God’s unmerited grace in redeeming us in Jesus Christ. — Robert Royal

You absolutely must schedule a regular time for prayer, whether you are a “scheduler” with other things in your life or not. “Catch as catch can” simply won’t work for prayer; it will mean less and less prayer, or none at all. — Dr. Peter Kreeft

… we must “tolerate” the sinner, we must forgive all of the offenses committed against us, instructing and admonishing all who have erred—with love, according to the teachings of the Church and the Gospel Truth]—that she “welcome” back into the treasury of her souls, those who were lost in error. While, at the same time, remaining always vigilant in the refusal to accept—the error into the treasury of [the Church’s] wisdom. —  Rev. Kenneth M. Dos Santos, M.I.C.

Monstrosities of such conscious design do not emerge from the calculations of a few degenerate men or of small groups of men; they come from processes of agitation and poisoning which had been long at work. What we call moral standards – responsibility, honor, sensitivity of conscience – do not vanish from humanity at large if men have not already been long debilitated. These degradations could never have happened if its culture had been as supreme as the modern world thought. — Romano Guardini

Humility! is not quite as effective a battle cry as Pride! Humility is hard to embrace because it always carries the stinging reminder of our created and fallen nature – that we neither create nor save ourselves. Pride presumes the power to define ourselves and to brush off the creaturely limits of male and female. In so doing, it closes itself off from – it becomes intolerant of – a Savior. — Fr. Paul Scalia

Humility opens us to the Savior who has opened his Heart to us. “Learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart.” (Matthew 11:29) The feast of the Sacred Heart bids us open our hearts in humility to the One who has opened his Heart in humility to us. It is a fitting feast to turn away from the pride that divides and toward the humility that saves. Jesus, meek and humble of heart, make my heart like unto thine! — Fr. Paul Scalia

For enemies and the unfaithful, pray thusly: Lord, frustrate their evil designs and convert their hearts as you convert mine.

Those who live without God in their lives are also spiritually poor. As with material poverty, spiritual poverty has a range: those who do not know God or have forsaken Him are the most destitute; those who have God but not Christ are a rung up; those who have Christ but not the Catholic Church are less poor but still suffer from not having their needs completely met; those who are Catholic but do not attend Mass are blind to their poverty. — David G. Bonagura, Jr.

Beware of paying any attention to the wisdom, skill, or intelligence of a superior; if not, you will exchange divine obedience for human; for you will be led to obey for the sake of the qualities you perceive in him, and not for the sake of God imperceptibly present in his person.  Oh what great havoc the devil works in the hearts of religious, when he succeeds in making them regard the qualifications of superiors. – St. John of the Cross

When once I shall be united to you with my whole being, I shall at last be free of sorrow and toil. Then my life will be alive, filled entirely with you. When you fill someone, you relieve him of his burden, but because I am not yet filled with you, I am a burden to myself. My joy when I should be weeping struggles with my sorrows when I should be rejoicing. I know not where victory lies. Woe is me! Lord, have mercy on me! My evil sorrows and good joys are at war with one another. I know not where victory lies. Woe is me! Lord, have mercy! Woe is me! I make no effort to conceal my wounds. You are my physician, I your patient. You are merciful; I stand in need of mercy. — St. Augustine

The liturgical seasons preceding it (Advent, Christmas, Lent, and Easter) tell the miraculous story of our redemption. The Time After Pentecost sheds new light on various dogmas of faith and the furtherance of the Christian life (see The Liturgical Year). In other words, this season invites us to root ourselves in the Catholic faith and to allow Christ to shape every aspect of our lives. It gives us opportunities to practice what we proclaim.  “Now, it is during the period called, by the Liturgy, The Time after Pentecost, that there is signified and expressed this regenerated life, which is to be spent on the model of Christ’s, and under the direction of his Spirit.” (The Liturgical Year). —Sarah Damm

“Now, why is this distinction important? Because the temporal power, a purely natural power, bereft of grace, is not capable of leading people to God,” he continued. “It’s just not. It needs the spiritual power in the sense that our minds… need grace… to discern what God requires. The same thing with the temporal power. The temporal power requires the spiritual power to lead it in the right direction.”  — Joshua Charles

“With the Enlightenment … we started looking at nature as something to be manipulated and control for the purpose of power, whereas… in… the medieval Christian mindset… nature was sacramental, meaning you looked at something in nature and you automatically associated it with the divine. How does this natural thing point to that which is higher than itself? That really changed with the Enlightenment.” — Joshua Charles

Lord, heal our hearts and purify our minds so that we may always love our enemies. Keep us always in the Faith of our Fathers and in the love of our neighbors. — Joseph Pearce

1 Jn 4:5-6 They belong to the world; accordingly, their teaching belongs to the world, and the world listens to them. We belong to God, and anyone who knows God listens to us, while anyone who does not belong to God refuses to hear us. This is how we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of deceit.

The Catechism quotes St. Augustine:  The Eucharist is our daily bread,” and St. Peter Chrysologus, “The Father in heaven urges us, as children of heaven, to ask for the bread of heaven. [Christ] himself is the bread who, sown in the Virgin, raised up in the flesh, kneaded in the Passion, baked in the oven of the tomb, reserved in churches, brought to altars, furnishes the faithful each day with food from heaven. — Michael Pakaluk

“Take man away from the supernatural, and he is not left with the natural but with the unnatural.” Apart from God, man does not die. Much worse. He becomes a monster. Oh, he looks the same; but his soul, like Dorian Gray’s attic portrait, becomes disfigured, twisted, and grotesque.” — G.K.Chesterton

“Christian culture,” writes Christopher Dawson in The Crisis of Western Education (1961), “is the embodiment of Christianity in social institutions and patterns of life and behavior.” Hence, for most Catholics, this culture was caught, rather than taught, and it served as the cement foundation for Catholics’ beliefs. In Dawson’s telling, “[a]rchitecture and painting and sculpture, music and poetry were all enlisted in [Christian culture’s] service, and no one was too poor or too uneducated to share in its mysteries.”— David G. Bonagura, Jr.

I believe that a triangular-shaped garden fertilized with three nutrients—the family, the parish, and the Catholic school—can offer enough fertile soil for a counterculture to develop. All three, with their unique emphases, can provide the cultural elements necessary to support faith growing within parents and their children.  The effort must be intentional, with all three points operating in unison with the same level of understanding, and openly critical of the prevailing secular culture that bursts through our screens with hurricane strength throughout the day. Young people will be willing to stay rooted in the countercultural Catholic garden only if they both feel the benefits of remaining there while also seeing the flaws of the secular culture. The rule in sports applies for evangelization: the best defense is a good offense.  — David G. Bonagura, Jr.

The Church deteriorates, as it is doing today, when it becomes in effect an administrative bureaucracy, and men cling to it only for the sake of their careers. It becomes a Church that actually discourages martyrdom (“witnessing”), and like all political and “materialist” agencies it makes its mission health, comfort, and convenience. For these are the things of this world, which never did require heavenly promotion. — David Warren

The Devil has no goods of his own to sell, so to speak. He can only use the goods created by the Creator to try to make us disordered. One of the hard tasks assigned to Christians in the present generation is to resist and name disordered virtues. To withstand slurs about bias and hate, by affirming the fullness of truth – and love. No small or easy task. But the one to which Divine Providence has decreed we are called. —  Robert Royal

He gave the sacrament of Holy Orders to his Church when he gave his disciples the power to forgive sins: “Whose sins you forgive, they are forgiven; whose sins you retain, they are retained” (Jn 20:23). It is all the actions performed by Our Lord that constitute the sacrament of Holy Orders, above all the words of the Upper Room. — Bishop Huonder

To remember today these actions of Our Lord and the power associated with them is anything but clerical: it is to fulfill a duty towards an anticlerical society, or rather a society that wants to eliminate the clergy. In this context, to insult clerics by using the term clericalism is abusive, is wrong. On the contrary, we must encourage anyone who follows the Lord’s call and accepts to be one of his disciples [in this way], thus becoming a cleric: a deacon, a priest, even a bishop. — Bishop Huonder

The word cleric is derived from the Greek word κλῆρος, which means lot, participation, share of inheritance. The cleric is a man who takes part in the Lord’s inheritance, who gives himself totally to the Lord, who goes with the Lord, who goes with him to the cross, remembering his words, “If anyone wants to come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me” (Mt 16:24)….   The cleric is a man, as Jesus said on other occasions, who drinks from the same chalice as the Lord (cf. Mt 20:22). In this context, the chalice is a symbol of κλῆρος, of share of inheritance. This is what it means to be a cleric, to be a priest: to drink the very chalice of the Lord! To share in the same share that the Lord has received. — Bishop Huonder

The one who has received the priesthood, the presbyterate, is consecrated specifically in view of the priestly task, which is to offer the reenactment of the sacrifice of the cross and to exercise the ministry of the remission of sins. This is the heart of the priesthood, the first task and duty of the priest, which defines him. — Bishop Huonder

There are so many painful examples of this slavery to human respect today. The clergy fail to teach and affirm the ageless Christian faith and morals because they are afraid of being labelled rigid or homophobes. We pretend we do not see the evil that is destroying our loved ones because we do not want to be called judgmental. We remain silent in the face of scandals because we are afraid of being called bigots. — Father Nnamdi Momene, OMV

Our thoughts in this present life should turn on the praise of God, because it is in praising God that we shall rejoice for ever in the life to come; and no one can be ready for the next life unless he trains himself for it now. So we praise God during our earthly life, and at the same time we make our petitions to him. — St. Augustine

Monsignor Pozzo from Ecclesia Dei asked Bishop Fellay from the Society of St. Pius X, “Pope Francis asked me, ‘Where do they have so much money?’And I answered him, ‘All these buildings which we purchase which we build they do not come from so much money they come from faithful who have the faith, these are works of the faith when people are convinced, convinced of their faith of this duty to glorify God, this faith removes mountains.Here you can touch that truth.— Bishop Fellay.

It is by the soul, enclosed within the body, that the body is held together, and similarly, it is by the Christians, detained in the world as in a prison, that the world is held together. The soul, though immortal, has a mortal dwelling place; and Christians also live for a time amidst perishable things, while awaiting the freedom from change and decay that will be theirs in heaven. As the soul benefits from the deprivation of food and drink, so Christians flourish under persecution. Such is the Christian’s lofty and divinely appointed function, from which he is not permitted to excuse himself. — From a Letter to Diognetus

Christians love all men, but all men persecute them. Condemned because they are not understood, they are put to death, but raised to life again. They live in poverty, but enrich many; they are totally destitute, but possess an abundance of everything. They suffer dishonor, but that is their glory. They are defamed, but vindicated. A blessing is their answer to abuse, deference their response to insult. For the good they do they receive the punishment of malefactors, but even then they rejoice, as though receiving the gift of life. — From a Letter to Diognetus

… common-sense people will always anchor themselves to the truth wherever they can find it.  Truth prevailing, sooner or later, is indeed the “iron law of the universe.” — Will Alexander

“I want a laity, not arrogant, not rash in speech, not disputatious, but men who know their religion, who enter into it, who know just where they stand, who know what they hold, and what they do not, who know their creed so well, that they can give an account of it, who know so much of history that they can defend it. I want an intelligent, well-instructed laity. — Cardinal Newman from Fr. Peter M.J. Stravinskas

And what will such a “well-instructed laity” accomplish?  It will be: your gaining that proper confidence in self which is so necessary for you. You will then not even have the temptation to rely on others, to court political parties or particular men; they will rather have to court you. You will no longer be dispirited or irritated. . . , at finding difficulties in your way, in being called names, in not being believed, in being treated with injustice. You will fall back upon yourselves; you will be calm, you will be patient. Ignorance is the root of all littleness. — Cardinal Newman from Fr. Peter M.J. Stravinskas

Synod language is packed with terms like inclusivity, accompaniment, listening, participation (especially of women, young people), the “marginalized,” even LGBTQs. In other words, with contemporary political categories. But the heart of the Faith – crucial realities like sin, redemption, grace, repentance, judgment, Heaven, Hell – is nowhere in evidence. The political and social have all but replaced the moral and spiritual. — Robert Royal

“Diversity, equity, and inclusion” are the new “self-evident truths” governing the nation and the hollowed-out moral shells of many religious denominations (and too many senior members of the Catholic hierarchy). — Fr. Jerry Pokorsky

BORN AGAIN MEANS: “in baptism two ends were proposed: on the one hand, the destroying of the body of sin, that it may never ripen into death; on the other hand, our coming to life in the Spirit, ripening and having our fruit in holiness. Like a tomb, the water receives the body, symbolizing death; while the Spirit pours in the quickening power, renewing our souls from the deadness of sin into their original life. This then is what it is to be born again of water and of the Spirit, the water bringing the necessary death while the Spirit creates life within us.” — St. Basil

Behind the subtleties and complexities of Aristotle and Aquinas lie what Chesterton called “sanity,” deeply rooted in reality, not “socially constructed” as the sophists in every age claim, but the framework of the world in which we live and the truth about our own being as well. — Robert Royal

If we spend enough time in the Bible, the supernatural realm becomes more natural to us, because we realize that much of what God accomplished in the natural realm actually began in the supernatural (spiritual) realm. It’s hard to read the account of Creation in Genesis and arrive at any other conclusion. — Craige McMillan

Tolerance will reach such a level that intelligent people will be banned from thinking so as not to offend the imbeciles.— Dostoievski

All who justify their sin will want the company that misery desires; but that desire is perhaps sharpest in those whose sin assumes the character of love.  The murderer says he wanted justice, the miser wanted security, but they who sin sexually have love itself as their defense, or what they wish love were … I am attracted to some good, and I desire it, but I choose against the desire, subjecting it to judgment.  It is not only that I decline to pursue that good.  I decline to affirm the desire.  I may go further.  I may condemn the desire, using my reason, and calling into battle other desires – for honor or purity or integrity of life.— Anthony Esolen

The best way for the person to keep the demonic out is to live out a committed relationship with God.As Catholics we would say, you go to Mass, pray, you receive the Sacraments, continue to read the Bible.With these 4 things the devil is already on the run.Again we don’t have to do anything extraordinary to defeat the devil.It is the ordinary aspects of our faith that will always keep the devil at bay.— Fr. Vincent Lampert, exorcist

The most evident mark of God’s anger and the most terrible castigation He can inflict upon the world are manifested when He permits His people to fall into the hands of clerics who are priests more in name than in deed, priests who practice the cruelty of ravening wolves rather than the charity and affection of devoted shepherds. — St. John Eudes

Politics involves the use of power.  And power always has a moral dimension.  Thus, political engagement is a Christian duty.  We have the obligation to make this world as good as we can. . .without ever deluding ourselves that it’s our final home.  Because – as history teaches – when we try to create heaven on earth, we build a pretty good copy of hell instead. — Francis X. Maier

Now is not the time, therefore, for the Church to abandon the robust moral and spiritual vision of the Church’s moral tradition in general or of Pope John Paul II in Veritatis Splendor, in particular. Because its vindication is at hand if we but had the eyes to see it and the courage to teach it. And now is certainly not the time to give heed to those who have apparently lost their prophetic edge and their ecclesial nerve. — Dr. Larry Chapp

At the end of the day, there are two alternatives: faith or nihilism. For the thinking man, it comes down to these two, and the only goal in life is to become a saint or to die trying. —  Peter Kwasnewski, Ph.D.

Catholicism isn’t primarily about “the Church”—that is, the Church on earth in her structures, laws, works, affairs. It’s about union with Christ, which is the Church’s reason for existing. In baptism I died and rose with Him; in the Eucharist I receive Him. There is no other reason to belong to the Church except to guarantee life from the Life, light from the Light. The Church gives me access to Him by divine guarantee, and that’s why I’m a Catholic. I’m not a Catholic in order to have access to clergy or even to glorious liturgies; I welcome the (good) clergy and the (good) liturgies because they lead me closer to Him, Who is my life and my light. He is the measure, the meaning, the goal, of all of it. — Peter Kwasnewski, Ph.D.

If God is our happiness, then what makes us happy in this life?  Whatever brings us closer to God and makes ultimate union with him possible.  And thus the “science of happiness” is exactly the same as the “science” of holiness.  Avoid mortal sin.  Have frequent recourse to the sacraments.  Pray daily and often. Do all things for God.  Live in his presence.  Follow his law not your own will.  Aim to live the virtues heroically.  Learn the life of Christ and pattern your life on his. — Michael Pakaluk

To count one’s blessings is perhaps the most basic religious exercise of all. In our weakness, we all tend to focus on our struggles and sorrows, but it is much more fruitful for us to focus instead on our blessings and literally start counting them. One simple thing to do is to get out a rosary, go through the beads one by one, and on every bead name a blessing and make a quick act of thanksgiving to God for it. When we count all the blessings God has poured forth upon us, the memory of his blessings gives birth to gratitude and thanksgiving — the original meaning of the word “eucharist.” — Fr. James Brent, OP

In his passion, as well as in his heavenly worship now, the Lord Jesus adores the Father. To adore someone is to acknowledge with love the outstanding qualities of the person. Adoration connotes being in awe over some special goodness we are beholding.— Fr. James Brent, OP

One of the most basic functions of Christians in the world is to plead with God and call down graces upon people, and the best place to do so is together in the celebration of the Eucharist.— Fr.  James Brent, OP

“Climate Change,” once known as “Global Cooling” and later as “Global Warming, is recognized by most of humanity as “the weather.” As a political agenda, however, it has always been a moving target. — Katarina Carranco

Experience needs to be interpreted. It needs a “hermeneutic” [interpretation] to ascertain whether that experience is leading is in the direction of weal or woe. To make experience the hermeneutic [interpreter] of experience is something like a puppy chasing its tail: it gets wound up in circles but it’s a very closed system. So, what is going to be your “hermeneutic”? Catholics should answer: the received teaching of the Church. That’s because of what the Church is: the continued presence of God in Christ through the Holy Spirit with man until the end of time. The Church is not just (or even first of all) an institution. She is first and foremost the vehicle of making God’s saving work present here and now. John Grondelski, Ph.D.

Brothers, look at the humility of God, and ‘pour out your hearts before Him’ [Ps 62:9]! Humble yourselves that you may be exalted by Him! Hold back nothing of yourselves for yourselves, that He Who gives Himself totally to you may receive you totally. — St. Francis of Assisi

“Behold, each day He humbles Himself as when He came from the royal throne into the Virgin’s womb; each day He Himself comes to us, appearing humbly; each day He comes down from the bosom of the Father upon the altar in the hands of a priest” — St. Francis of Assisi

The inner life of a committed Catholic – one who has heroically acquiesced in the adventure of sanctification – is a non-stop, action-packed thrill ride of the soul.In contrast, the hedonistic life, in which there is nothing to do but satisfy the self, seems empty and sad. More like an illusion than a life. — Peter Laffin

To any young person who is searching for true freedom with ears to hear, may your Catholic elders speak in one voice: To feel free, find someone to love with all your heart who is capable of loving you in return. And once you have, pour yourself out recklessly, give everything to marriage and family, or to a vocation, and miraculously, your cup will forever overflow.It doesn’t make sense, but it’s not supposed to. It’s only supposed to be true. It is. And it will set you free.— Peter Laffin

With the rambunctious and common-sensical Hilaire Belloc as our guide, then, we can enumerate a short list of important manly activities: 1.Hunting, .2 Shooting, 3. Drinking, 4. Boating, 5. Dancing, 6. Singing, 7. Hand crafts, 8. Hearing Mass —Julian Kwasnewski

“If we are going to be people of dialogue, we have to first have a dialogue with God; synodality needs to be based on a dialogue with Scripture and the Lord.” — Canadian and U.S. Bishops Report

“Those who control language control thought, and eventually semantic corruption leads to the adulteration of thought itself.” — William Brennan, Ph.D., Professor of Social Work in the Saint Louis University School of Social Work.

“Original sin is the only thing about man which makes him capable of conceiving of his own perfection and incapable of achieving it.”  (Reinhold Niebuhr).Once we think of ourselves as gods, we can no longer think of ourselves as God’s.  And there pride lurks – the beginning of all sin. — Deacon James Toner

A church is not just another “group” and, religious illiteracy notwithstanding, people who poke their head into a church are generally not unaware of the Christian message about sin and redemption, at least in its broad strokes. And make no mistake about it: that message is Gospel, εὐαγγέλιον, good news.” A diagnosis of illness is not good news. The possibility of its cure is.  A church which confuses diagnosis with cure, dissembling about the latter so as not to address the former, shouldn’t “welcome” anybody. It should close its doors to avoid spiritual malpractice. — John Grondelski, Ph.D.

The reset, the new creation, the new Passover, is fulfilled in Christ, the unique, indispensable, eternal truth, the living and true Word of the Eternal Father. The true reset is returning to the truth of Christ, of the one who said of Himself: “I am the way, the truth, and the life.” A Truth that is, while error in contrast has no existence. A Truth that demands sincerity on our part – in azymis sinceritatis [unleavened sincerity]– as a necessary response to light of truth – et veritatis [truth]. — Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò

Purging the old leaven means starting over from the beginning, accomplishing a true “great reset” of each individual soul and of the social body, cancelling the ferment of malice and perversity, and starting afresh with unleavened bread, a figure of the Holy Eucharist and Blessed Sacrament of the new and eternal covenant made by Christ with His Church, made new in grace and not subject to the changes of time, fashion, and circumstances.— Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò

If instead we choose not to fight for the truth, or even to allow error to be proclaimed or to spread it ourselves, we align ourselves on the side of Satan, the prince of lies, on the side of the one who makes promises and does not keep them, for the sole purpose of dragging us into that abyss of damnation into which he chose to sink when, committing the sin of pride, he believed he could put himself in the place of God and decide what is and what is not, that is, what is true and what is false, what is good and what is evil, what is beautiful and what is ugly. And in fact, the infernal world we are rushing headlong into today is composed of lies, malice, and ugliness. Nor could it be otherwise.— Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò

The feminine diaconate is a lie, which with the alibi of giving a role to women attacks the Mass and the sacraments and tampers with the Holy Orders instituted by Our Lord. The possibility of divorced and cohabitating couples receiving Holy Communion is a lie, the blessing of homosexual unions is a lie, the entrance of transsexuals into the seminary is a lie: morality does not follow the fashions of the day, … — Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò

The acceptance of sodomy is a lie, which too often seems to want to legitimize the conduct of many prelates and clergy rather than saving the souls of poor sinners.These lies have the effrontery to manifest themselves as obvious falsehoods, deprived of any rational or credible arguments. They are not the lies with which one clumsily tries to hide something: they are the arrogant affirmation of falsification, of the subversion of logic, of the negation of the truth.— Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò

But why do so many people voluntarily choose to renounce their own critical judgment and accept blatant lies as rational and true? Because adherence to error is the price that the world asks of its adorers, of those who do not want to be marginalized, criminalized, and persecuted. And who is the prince of lies if not Satan, the father of lies, he who was a murderer from the very beginning?— Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò

Even with the most sophistical twisting of words, contemporary exegetes cannot conceal the revealed truth that the denial of God results in the lie about the right relationship of man and woman and that consequently the sexual intercourse of people of the same sex contradicts the two-sex natural disposition of man and thus constitutes a grave sin (cf. Rom 1:18-32; 1 Cor 6:9f). — Cardinal Gerhard Müller

The resolutions of the “Synodal Way” rob faithful Catholics of the “truth of the Gospel” (Gal 2:5), only to replace it with the cheap lentil mash of a sex-fixated ideology, the true center of gravity of the German “Synodal Way”, a kind of nihilistic materialism that is a mockery of God who created man in His image and likeness as male and female. — Cardinal Gerhard Müller

the sacraments are valid even if they are administered by a schismatic or heretical bishop – but only if he merely intends to do what the Church understands by these sacraments. But one should also avoid these persons who lead so many of the sheep of Christ entrusted to them on the wrong path. Incidentally, many Fathers of the Church have also been severely persecuted by heretics, e.g. Athanasius the Great, John Chrysostom, Pope Martin I, and others.— Cardinal Gerhard Müller

The so-called blessing of same-sex couples is a labeling fraud. The appearance of the gesture of blessing does not correspond to any reality of the helping grace communicated by God. It is a grave sin to invoke the name of God in order to justify the frivolous transgression of God’s commandments (which always save us from the calamity of sin) with the love of God. “For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome. For whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that overcomes the world, our faith.” (1Jn 5, 3-4)— Cardinal Gerhard Müller

As a priest in an age of failing faith, the Curé [St. John Vianney] set his face like flint pursuing souls and crucifying himself with Christ. Driven out of bed each morning out of burning love for Christ, he knew the proper response to bringing an uncatechized generation to God was preaching the furnace of the Gospel, tirelessly praying, and taking up severe penances for souls. He dared to love his little flock as Christ loved from the cross.  — Kevin Wells [I see it as the same challenge for us priests today: need for a burning love for Jesus, preaching truth to an uncatechized generation, prayer and penance — rp]

Real Transformation from the gospel of John, the plan for man’s salvation

Unless one is born anew, he cannot see the kingdom of God. (3:3)
Unless one is born of water and the spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. (3:5)
Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. (6:53)
Unless you believe that ‘I AM,’ you will die in your sins. (8:24)
Unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone. (12:24)
Unless I wash you, you have no part in me. (13:8)
As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. (15:4) — Dr. Leroy Huizenga

Basis for Holy Orders  The question, then, concerns why the rubrics for the ritual command that viri selecti—“chosen males”—have their feet washed, and not women. The answer is that the footwashing scene in the Gospel of John is not only meant to be an example of humble service, but primarily a record of the institution of the Christian priesthood and thus the Scriptural root of the sacrament of holy orders. … Fr. Jerome Neyrey, SJ, longtime professor of New Testament at Notre Dame, demonstrated that the footwashing scene in John 13 is a “status transformation ritual” in which the disciples are made priests of the new covenant. — Dr. Leroy Huizenga

Ratzinger also observed this historical fact:  To many, this demand for the ordination of women, this possibility of having Catholic priestesses, appears not only justified but obvious: a simple and inevitable adaptation of the Church to a new social situation that has come into being. — Dr. Leroy Huizenga [this error of “adaptation to new social situation” is the red herring used by ideologues to impose their will upon the church: acceptance of lgbtq rights, women voting in bishops’ meetings, women clergy, and the list goes on.What God has revealed must yield to what man desires, i.e. the Original Sin —rp]

The more intellectually shallow pretend the logic of non-contradiction can be ignored; the more arrogant insist that even more foundational principles of theological anthropology (sexual differentiation as the divine plan, procreation as blessing and vocation, etc.), and even received understandings of the Bible, should then be readjusted.“Profound rather than casual sex” lets us run anywhere one likes on the dogmatic football field. The problem is that yesterday’s theologians and today’s churchmen pretend they can pull theological threads but keep the “central truths” of the faith from unravelling.That’s another game some theologians play. — John Grondelski, PhD

For the poor are like the rest of us, the same as us—not a class apart. Our Lord does not see rich or poor, privileged or unfortunate, low class or high. He sees only fallen men and women whom He loves.Christ’s only preference is for poor sinners. Who dares improve upon that?Fr. John A. Perricone

ideologues insist that all “the poor” must ever see is their misfortune. Misfortune defines them. Their lack of what others have becomes their identity. Their humanity is eviscerated as ideologues entomb them perpetually as “the poor.” This is the capital sin of Envy writ large.  This is the problem with any ideology/heresy: it forgets its place in the natural and supernatural order of things. Rather than liberate the human person, it smothers him. —Fr. John Perricone

In fact, from the ’60s to this very day, a Catholic would be hard put to find mention of “saving souls” in any sermon or part of the voluminous Catholic mainstream academic literature (used in Catholic colleges, universities, seminaries and various houses of formation) accumulated since Vatican II. So thorough was the revolution that the mere mention of the phrase “saving souls” today in well-heeled circles is met with arched eyebrows or awkward embarrassment. —Fr. John Perricone

In the raucous wake of the ending of the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965) a significant number of the theological bien pensant executed a doctrinal coup d’état. Under the banner of aggiornamento, they masterminded a tectonic shift in the raison d’être of the Roman Catholic Church. No longer was the Church’s mission “saving souls”; respectable Catholics now spoke of “social justice.”   The goal of the society was not to help the poor, this was only a means. Our object was by the practice of Charity to strengthen ourselves in the Faith, and to win others for it…. Personal perfection and not the eradication of poverty per se is the primary goal of the Society. —Fr. John Perricone

The preferential option for the poor ideologues design a manipulable tribe called “the poor,” who are forbidden to thirst for the truth and beauty which is the patrimony and comfort of all human beings. These ideologues insist that all “the poor” must ever see is their misfortune. Misfortune defines them. Their lack of what others have becomes their identity. Their humanity is eviscerated as ideologues entomb them perpetually as “the poor.” This is the capital sin of Envy writ large. — Fr. John Perricone

The more intellectually shallow pretend the logic of non-contradiction can be ignored; the more arrogant insist that even more foundational principles of theological anthropology (sexual differentiation as the divine plan, procreation as blessing and vocation, etc.), and even received understandings of the Bible, should then be readjusted.“Profound rather than casual sex” lets us run anywhere one likes on the dogmatic football field. The problem is that yesterday’s theologians and today’s churchmen pretend they can pull theological threads but keep the “central truths” of the faith from unravelling.That’s another game some theologians play. — John Grondelski, PhD

Woman’s destiny is love. When she is loved, she is most completely herself, able to expand and unfold the riches of her being as a flower opens its full beauty only in sunlight. When she loves, she is exercising her great mission in life. And if love is the life work of all women, it is the particular vocation of the contemplative religious woman. — MOTHER MARY FRANCIS OF OUR LADY, P.C.C.

I am yours, God. Not, “I must loosen the collar of this regulation-shirt so that I can really do something for You, God.” What mental strutting about we do when we talk of doing something for God! What can we do for Him but love Him? And how can we love Him more profoundly or comprehensively than simply by being His? — MOTHER MARY FRANCIS OF OUR LADY, P.C.C.

The present moves forward in exactly the measure in which it gathers wisdom from the past. If ancient usages continue to be conducive to humility, charity, and patience, then they are as modern as they are ancient. If they are not, then it is time to think about updating or maybe even abolishing them. But we shall first want to make sure that something is really wrong with the usage and not instead something wrong with the nun. — — MOTHER MARY FRANCIS OF OUR LADY, P.C.C.

This means that if you’re not working on someone’s salvation, it isn’t love. Call it what you will. However intensely you may feel it, with whatever part of you may feel it —it doesn’t matter if it’s not helping a person progress in holiness. It is not love. And no dialogue, no encounter, no listening session, not even listening to the “lived experience of people at the peripheries now pulled into the center” can change that. — Fr. Robert McTeigue, SJ

This “hate speech” weapon is being used to silence Catholic objections to homosexuality.  And used with a high degree of success.  When is the last time you heard a priest denounce homosexuality?  Every parish priest knows that if he does so, he will provoke the ire of more than a few parishioners.  They will leave his parish, or they will reduce their financial contributions, or they will write to the bishop complaining of his “hatred” and “bigotry.”  And he knows that many a bishop, instead of complimenting him on his courageous defense of the faith, will advise him to be “prudent.” —  David Carlin

It is not mercy to lie about sin, much less is it to leave the faithful in a state of sin because of the confessor’s fearfulness in speaking to the faithful as an authoritative father and caring physician. Only a misunderstood mercy, devoid of Christian realism, can abdicate the very serious task of judge and physician that Christ entrusts to the Apostles and their successors. Which Christ entrusts to every confessor!… “It is neither doctrinally nor pastorally to be believed that equivocation about the judgment of sinful acts and their clear identification can bear any positive fruit—Cardinal Mauro Piacenza

Using all the means of fraternal dialogue, authentic spiritual paternity and helping the faithful to perceive the infinite goodness of God and the Lord’s permanent readiness to cover and destroy, with the fire of His Mercy, every sin, the individual priest has the grave duty to admonish the sinner about the seriousness of his condition and, if he did not do so, he himself would answer for it before God. —Cardinal Mauro Piacenza

And if even this term – ‘pastoral’ – has been and is widely abused, attributing to it every possible unjustified subjective creativity, in the name of an alleged, as much as ineffective closeness to people, we well know that all that is pastoral can only refer back to the one Good Shepherd.—Cardinal Mauro Piacenza

A common disease among even good Catholics, cardinals, bishops and priests included, is that a command or law imposed by one’s superior is necessarily always good, just and, therefore, must be obeyed. This is sheer legal positivism at work. It is a practical manifestation of “might makes right,” that the lawgiver by merely enacting a law makes the object of his law a good and virtuous thing aligned with justice and the common good of his subjects.… deeds done under the false cloak of authority must be denounced and rejected. The faithful, bound by the First Commandment of God and their baptismal promises, must defend and maintain their Catholic life and refuse to be treated as pariahs in their own churches and parishes.— Anonymous Priest, article by Fr. Maike Hickson

Flannery O’Connor, the southern muse, explained this in a letter to someone who criticized the Church, in his generation: “All your dissatisfaction with the Church seems to me to come from an incomplete understanding of sin. This will perhaps surprise you because you are very conscious of the sins of Catholics.” On priests, she expounds, “the hidden love that makes a man, in spite of his intellectual limitations, his neuroticism, his own lack of strength, give up his life to the service of God’s people, however bumblingly he may go about it.”— David Warren

It is easy enough to find things that are big and need some change, in our humble opinion, but which cannot be changed, from our humble station…. And it easily becomes a form of lust, as the complainer derives a perverse pleasure from enumerating the many faults throughout Church, priests, and lay Catholics, eagerly piling them into a very human commination. It becomes an “expense of spirit in a waste of shame.”— David Warren

“It’s our business to try to change the external faults of the Church – the vulgarity, the lack of scholarship, the lack of honesty – wherever we find them and however we can,” Miss O’Connor declared. We carry these faults with our pain, our suffering; and this is what we were after all called to do. Our Founder is crucified by all Catholics.— David Warren

He did not carry the banner of reform and revolution, however. His detestation was restricted to sin, and his scheme for amendment restricted to holiness.— David Warren

O’Connor: “To expect too much is a sentimental view of life and this is a softness that ends in bitterness. Charity is hard and endures.” — David Warren

These days, the idea of the development of doctrine is often reduced to a species of casuistry, a means for justifying any manner of deviations from what has been handed down to us. Development of doctrine is a corollary to the profound unity of the faith across time and space. Authentic doctrinal development is not a technique for manipulating Tradition, a means for bending Tradition to our purposes or to the world’s. But we are not masters of the Word of God. Not even the bishops are. — Stephen P.White

in Dei Verbum: [T]he task of authentically interpreting the word of God, whether written or handed on, has been entrusted exclusively to the living teaching office of the Church, whose authority is exercised in the name of Jesus Christ. This teaching office is not above the word of God, but serves it, teaching only what has been handed on, listening to it devoutly, guarding it scrupulously and explaining it faithfully in accord with a divine commission and with the help of the Holy Spirit, it draws from this one deposit of faith everything which it presents for belief as divinely revealed. — Stephen P. White

The teaching office of the Church, exercised in the name of Jesus Christ, is not above the word of God, whether written or handed on – that is, as concerns both Scripture and Tradition! – but rather serves it. The unity of the Church is not extraneous to the revealed word of God as found in the Scriptures and Tradition but is utterly inseparable from it. — Stephen P. White

What’s key is to distinguish firmly between “forgiveness” and “reconciliation.” If by “forgive” you mean “letting go” and not clinging to wrongs and craving vengeance, then, yes, that’s a good idea. It’s spiritually and even psychologically healthy. … I still have a duty, when necessary, to warn people who might come into danger of suffering at such villains’ hands.— John Zmirak

Who spends a lot of time worrying about their sexual psychology?  Or about women in the priesthood?  Or navel-gazing about “governing structures” in the Church?Not the poor.  They’re busy just keeping body and soul together, trying to eke out another day’s living to support their families.  No, these are the obsessions of a class of bourgeois intellectuals who elbow aside everyone else in order to maximize their self-interest and to ensure the self-created identities of people who share their lifestyle. They see themselves as governing by divine right, and they are not especially tolerant of those who defy them. — Randall Smith

Joseph lived as a kind of proto-model of the evangelical counsels: poverty – materialism held no sway over him; chastity – his sexuality was under control; obedience – to God’s way, not his own. St. Joseph is the preeminent model of manhood and fatherhood, so desperately needed in our current crisis of masculinity. He offers an especially powerful witness for men today as no lust, no unbridled passion, no turning of persons into objects for personal gratification ever clouded his relationship to his holy spouse. — Rev. Peter M. J. Stravinskas

Whereas in the past people derived meaning in life from their religion — their religious community, their house of worship, from Bible study — religious sources of meaning have begun to disappear from our secular society.… And where do people look? To career and political activism — and ideally, the merger of the two. — Dennis Prager[The church in Germany and some Catholic clergy no longer derive meaning from the traditional faith and worship.Now they seek meaning in their careers and for political activism rather than in transformation into the image of Jesus Christ. — Fr. Perozich.

We must understand that Satan is not just a liar and the father of lies; we must understand that means every fiber of his being is based upon lies and the promotion of lies.  His every purpose is to lead the inattentive, unsuspecting and unaware astray in order to destroy them physically and spiritually.  It’s no less important for us to understand that Christians comprise membership in these groups – the inattentive, unsuspecting and the unaware. — Mykal Massie   Fr. Perozich: They inhabit synods, dioceses, and Catholic media.

Still, what we do, we do, and our actions become what we are.  … The sin ate into the soul and assimilated it to itself, and to such an intimate depth that …he … no longer felt any shame … but he set it down as a positive good.Anthony Esolen

I make no judgment as to his eternal disposition.  God is the judge.  But what we do see, we may declare.  Sin deforms, and sinning with what you feel is a clear conscience, …will deform you all the worse.  Thus the prostitute who wept before Jesus was healthier than was Simon the leper, sinning in his pride, with a conscience as clear as day.Anthony Esolen

Sin is to the soul as disease is to the body, but with a crucial difference that makes the sin more insidious.  The body may fight off disease by its own resources.  The soul cannot fight off sin that way.  That is, again, because the sin is more than an invader.  “Who will deliver me from this body of death?” cries Saint Paul, when he describes the plight of one who knows what the good is, and who even wishes to choose the good, but chooses the bad instead.Anthony Esolen

The plight of someone who no longer recognizes the good is worse still.  It should be clear that no effort of the soul can avail, because the dross of the sin is thoroughly mixed up with the ore.  There is no vantage from which the ore can drive out the dross; it is, for the soul, all one.  Only the operation of grace can avail, with the word of God that cleaves between the marrow and the bone. — Anthony Esolen

Hence also the dire need to preach the truth. …  We are all sinners, and all have fallen short of the glory of God.We must turn to God and say, “A clean heart create in me,” a bold thing to ask, for the re-creation of one soul is a greater wonder than was the creation of the world.  We must not say, “Judge what I might have been,” but, “Forgive what I am, and make me new.” — Anthony Esolen

We are not judged by conscience detached from truth; rather, we are judged by truth and our sincere efforts to live by it. Insofar as one is not morally justified by following a culpably ill-formed conscience, it does not have the privileged place in moral decision making. Rather, in this respect it is truth, which is discoverable by the proper exercise of reason and humble recourse to Church teaching, that holds the privileged place in moral decision making by enabling one to come to an objectively true judgment of conscience. — E Christian Brugger

The presumption should be that if a person knows the Church teaches that a kind of chosen behavior is gravely immoral, and he continues to choose that behavior, that he should sacramentally confess every instance of that behavior and leave the question of the certainty of culpability to divine judgment.— E Christian Brugger

“The real scandal,” he points out, “is not the existence of sinners, for mercy and forgiveness always exist precisely for them, but rather the confusion between good and evil caused by the tergiversations [conflicting, evasive, equivocating statements] of Catholic shepherds.  If men who are consecrated to God are no longer capable of understanding the radical nature of the Gospel message and seek to anesthetize it, we will be going the wrong way.” —Cardinal Robert Sarah quoted by James Toner

Betrayal Trauma: The phrase “betrayal trauma” can be used to refer to a kind of trauma independent of the reaction to the trauma. From Freyd (2008): Betrayal trauma occurs when the people or institutions on which a person depends for survival significantly violate that person’ s trust or well-being.” — Jennifer J. Freyd. Ph.D. 

Bishops and priests, please stop calling us backward, rigid.Please stop promoting your opinions as pastoral care.Please give us back our worship styles.Please stop oppressing our Catholic Traditions.You do not know better than Jesus or than we do.  — rp

The controversy involving the 1962 rite of Mass, sometimes known as the Tridentine rite, serves, among other things, as a study in Catholic toleration. Most people, Catholic or otherwise, believe that ours is a more tolerant age than those that preceded it. Modern toleration is a selective thing, however, as it is applied to only certain issues (these days, often involving sexual behaviors) — Robert Shaffern

Even if a member of the laity never personally hears the bishop speak, he or she should experience the effects of the bishop’s guidance and supervision of the priests in the diocese, and his careful response to egregious examples of false preaching, poor example, moral laxity, error in expounding Catholic theology, or a dangerous and destructive permissiveness in tolerating within the members of God’s Mystical Body unwholesome lifestyles and scandalous behavior.Clarity in teaching the Gospel, faithfulness in living it, and courage in speaking the truth in season and out of season should be the hallmarks of all bishops. This is achieved both by proclaiming truth and denouncing falsehood. — Fr. C. John McCloskey (d. 2023)

Whatever you are having yourself, à la carte Catholicism is leading to less conversions, less baptisms, marriages and religious vocations. — Hermann Kelly

… clerical “forgiveness” seems to have degenerated into some magic concept that imagines forgiveness can be proclaimed even when repentance seems unclear, even absent. — John. M. Grondelski

Where do you see hope for Church? Hope for the world? Christ crucified is Christ risen is Christ reigning is Christ returning. Christ will share His victory with His faithful. — Fr. Robert McTeigue, SJ

Do not lie in bed beyond the due time of rising; give your first thoughts to God; make a good visit to the Blessed Sacrament; say the Angelus devoutly; eat and drink to God’s glory; say the Rosary well; be recollected; keep out bad thoughts; make your evening meditation well; examine yourself daily; go to bed in good time, and you are already perfect. — St John Henry Newman

The remedy to a Church ridden with dissent is a Church that understands what are the unchanging teachings of Christ and what are matters of prudence. But more than understanding, both bishops and laity must also live those teachings {the unchanging teachings of Christ] in their entirety and debate matters of prudence with humility and charity. — Erika Ahern

“I don’t gossip; I just explain the faults of others.” — Mother Angelica

it [fasting] but increases the excitability and susceptibility of our hearts; in all cases it is therefore to be viewed, chiefly as an approach to God – an approach to the powers of heaven – yes, and to the powers of hell.” — St. JH Newman

John Paul II spoke of the “fundamental questions” that “have their common source in the quest for meaning which has always compelled the human heart.”  The answers people give to these questions, he says, will “decide the direction they seek to give to their lives.”… if a person has never considered these questions … it’s likely that his life is being determined by the implicit, unreflected-upon-answers given to him by others. He’s likely “living out a script written by someone else.” … For Christians, the ultimate touchstone for such a critique would come from divine revelation and the truths of faith.  This is what it means to scrutinize the signs of the times – not merely be subject to them, but scrutinize them – “and interpret them in the light of the Gospel,” as a famous passage from Vatican II’s Gaudium et Spes goes on to say. —Randall Smith

What is the first thing an enemy does to you, once you are captured?  1—He disarms you; 2- He shackles you; 3— He renders you powerless to do your own will.Even when we have fallen into sin, we retain free will, but our will is already weakened due to original and actual sin.  We can become so mired in sin that we can’t rule ourselves. The Sacrament of Penance is a great gift.  It frees us from our self-inflicted chains. We must strive to live without mortal sin. But we fall.  In mortal sin we divest ourselves, as it were, of our spiritual armor. We make ourselves prisoners. Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

We offer “Mass for the repose of the soul of X” because the Eucharist is a sacrifice, a re-presentation of Christ’s sacrifice on the Cross, an offering of the Most Precious Gift that Jesus Christ, true God and true man, offered in and with His Real Body and Blood which is really made present here and now in this sacrament and really part of His one great offering of Himself “for us and for our salvation.”  — John  M. Grondelski

The “Old Testament,” or Tanakh, is the foundation for our faith as Christians. Without it, we cannot fully appreciate, or explain, or comprehend the work of Jesus, the very Jewish God-Man, who came to atone for the sins of the world and build His kingdom here in Earth. — Joseph Farah

If you pray every day, read a little every day from the Word of God, and stay close to the sacraments, you’re definitely on the Way. We need to learn how to ignore the noise and conflict in the world, at least for a few hours. They’re distractions; invitations to confusion and anger. We’re responsible for our own actions and the people we love. If we focus on doing those things well, we’re living in the Truth. — Archbishop Charles Chaput

what are the greatest areas of reform needed to renew the Church?   Familiar cleric [Archbishop Charles Chaput]: Us; all of us. We’re the problem. Structures and policies are important, but people are decisive. In a sense, the focus of real Church reform is always the same: you and me. It’s that simple, and also that difficult. No one really likes to change, because it’s hard. And the essence of conversion is a sea change in the way we think and live. In its Hebrew root, “holy” doesn’t mean “good,” although holy people are always good. Holy means “different from” and “other than.” Christians are meant to be different from and other than the ways of the world. So if we want to reform the Church, we first need to reform ourselves. — Francis X. Maier

The New Moralists, on the other hand, permit people to remain in their mitigated guilt by treating it as mere veniality. They falsely reassure with words like “conscience,” “affirmation,” and “inclusion.” They’re silent about the damage done or the malice that eats at the heart of all who sin (even without full culpability). Thus, they cozily misdirect admitted sinners’ attention away from Christ and his freedom by not repeating his call to metanoia, fidelity to the Gospel, and the observance of all his commands. That’s not the Gospel. And it’s not new. It’s the very stratagem the Serpent used in tempting our first parents. May God protect and deliver his sinful flock from such “affirming” shepherds. — Fr. Timothy Vaverek

There are three ways for wisdom or prudence to abound in you: if you confess your sins, if you give thanks and praise, and if your speech is edifying. Man believes with his heart and so he is justified. He confesses with his lips and so he is saved. In the beginning of his speech the just man is his own accuser, next he gives glory to God and thirdly, if his wisdom extends that far, he edifies his neighbor. — St. Bernard, abbot

“Politeness and consideration for others is like investing pennies and getting dollars back.” —THOMAS SOWELL

One of the great gifts of conversion to Catholicism was that it liberated me from the tedious and futile project of self-invention. — Peter Laffin

Rom. 12:16; 1 Cor. 3:18-19; 1:23, 24 Never allow yourself to be self-satisfied; if you pride yourself on your worldly wisdom, you will have to unlearn it all before you are truly wise; – worldly wisdom is foolishness in the eyes of God. We preach a crucified Christ, and he is the power of God and the wisdom of God. – Worldly wisdom is foolishness in the eyes of God.

I think the best way to understand demons is by analogy to intellectuals. You may deal with them; listen to their advice; imagine the consequences. But you would be a fool to actually do what you have been told by an intellectual.Note, that this is not because the intellectual is stupid. The truth is, he may actually have a higher IQ than the average, or have mastered vocabulary that will make him shine. … For that “smart” characteristic is all mere display, and the more one tries to display it, the more its absence is revealed. — David Warren

Warmly Welcomed, But Not Continuing to be Comfortable in Sin On a practical level, that means that the young, drug-addicted, non-believing couple living together out of wedlock should feel welcomed and loved when they walk into one of our services. They should encounter people who have joy, who are thrilled to see new faces, and who treat them as if they were family.   At the same time, if the gospel is being preached and the Holy Spirit is moving, at some point they will become conscious of their sin and will be called to repent and receive mercy and grace through the cross. — Michael Brown

You cannot have a healthy Church unless you have strong Catholic families, and you cannot have those families unless you have many traditions (such as those proms once were) that assume that men and women are for one another. And you cannot have those traditions unless you protect them with the moral rules that strengthen us when temptations are strong and our resolve is weak, and that guard us from our worst selves. And you cannot have those moral rules if you accept sodomy, fornication, divorce, adultery, and the production and consumption of pornography. — Anthony Esolen

Speaking With Clarity is About Being Responsible to God for People.This is about people, not just issues, about people for whom Jesus died. And when God has entrusted us with leadership positions in the Body, it is imperative that we speak with clarity. … Pastors and leaders, your people need guidance and help. What do the Scriptures teach? What is the will of God in these difficult matters? How should we respond and how should we live? To fail to give wise, Word-based guidance is to be a spiritually negligent shepherd. Did Jesus leave us any doubt about where He stood on the essential issues? — MichaelBrown

Once abandon the idea that chastity is a great Catholic virtue, and sooner or later you (or your children or grandchildren) will abandon the remainder of your Catholicism. — David Carlin [but isn’t that precisely what the synod on synodality is proposing for the new church?—rp]

The essence of America is self-rule under God. Leave out either part, and we end up with tyranny. Without God as the secure source of our rights, from whence come those rights? … Thomas Jefferson said, and you can see this quote in the Jefferson Memorial: “And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are the gift of God?” — Jerry Newcombe.  [And to Synod on Synodality leaders, novel impositions on the faithful without God as the source  from Scripture and Tradition give us tyranny not faith.  — Richard Perozich]

The Church excludes no one who professes the Faith.  The faithful often exclude themselves to a greater or lesser extent by what they say & do.  We never impose, but only propose.  Rejection of Catholic propositions does however have consequences.  Anything short of repentance and an honest effort at conversion is at best “cheap grace”  or at worst an “eating & drinking of condemnation upon themselves”.  Their nonsense can not stand.  — A faithful priest of the diocese of San Diego

By being in the state of grace, we can more easily see God’s will for us as pro-life warriors, for the salvation of all souls. If we’re not in the state of grace. It’s like our lens are smudged, they’re dirty. And that’s where we make a mad dash to confession and ask for absolution from our Lord through persona Christi,” said Sister Deirdre, referring to the priest acting in the Person of Christ. — Sister Dierdre Byrne, M.D.

What none of us is allowed to do – Cardinals, bishops, priests, or laity – is to substitute conscience for the Gospel lived, proclaimed, and handed down by Christ in His Church. Jesus, not our sincere judgment, is the authentic source and measure of every person’s identity and life. No other accompaniment can heal and save us. — Fr. Timothy Vaverek

Everyone has “values.” Christians, however, have been entrusted with the revealed Word of God. There is a big difference between “values” and “truth.” Values are a part of ever-changing cultures and people groups. Truth is eternal and unchanging. Scholars define truth “that which corresponds to reality.” — Alex McFarland

The most important thing of all to him [St. Paul], however, was that he knew himself to be loved by Christ. Enjoying this love, he considered himself happier than anyone else; were he without it, it would be no satisfaction to be the friend of principalities and powers. He preferred to be thus loved and be the least of all, or even to be among the damned, than to be without that love and be among the great and honored. — St. John Chrysostom

Every work of the Church – her teachings, sacraments, and governance – is ultimately intended for this purpose, to make her members better followers of Christ. To view the Church as having any other purpose (social justice, political advocacy, environmental activism, etc.) is to misunderstand and misrepresent her. — Fr. Paul Scalia

Christ doesn’t need to save a planet; He is given for an inheritance. But as for the souls of men, they must decide if they want Christ. The invitation to salvation is universal—no one is refused. But the decision is always up to each and every individual that hears the gospel.The self-appointed saviors of the planet cannot save the planet, themselves, or any other person in this present world.“But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.” (Jn 1:12)It is not our carbon footprint, but it is our guilty stains that we must deal with, before the final curtain comes down.   —  There is a fountain filled with blood — Drawn from Immanuel’s veins; —And sinners, plunged beneath that flood, — Lose all their guilty stains. — Michael Bresciani

The world mounts a double attack on the soldiers of Christ. It offers temptations in order to lead them astray; but it also terrifies, in order to break them. Let us not be held fast by our own pleasures, let us not be terrified by someone else’s cruelty, and the world has been vanquished.   At each attack, Christ comes running to the defence, and the Christian is not vanquished. — St. Augustine

The Greek word for church – ekklesia – comes from the verb to call. Members of the Church have been “called” – out of sin, out of the world, into communion with God.  — Fr. Paul Scalia

These weeks between Baptism of the Lord and Ash Wednesday belong to Ordinary Time on the Church calendar.  They’re a kind of Great Plains on the Christian wagon train to our real home.  They’re where everyday life happens; where the choices are made and the directions are set for our final destination.  In other words, they matter. — Francis X. Maier

[The] “antichrist” comes in all shapes and sizes.  As John says, it’s the spirit of all things not of God.  Which means that my kind of antichrist – and yours – is the sin we find easiest to absolve or ignore in ourselves; the sins hardest to resist and most congenial to our appetites.  Their name, if we’re honest, is Legion. — Francis X. Maier

God uses imperfect people. But there’s a simple reason for that. Imperfect people are the only kind of people that exist. Who can else can God use? … … heaven will be at one and the same time a great eye opener and a great mouth closer.You will be shocked to see certain people there, and they will be shocked to see you. — Michael Brown

Pope Paul VI would promulgate his encyclical Humanae Vitae in which he rightly prophesied that some of the consequences of artificial contraception would be: “This course of action could open wide the way for marital infidelity and a general lowering of moral standards. Young, who are so exposed to temptation—need incentives to keep the moral law, and it is an evil thing to make it easy for them to break that law. Man who grows accustomed to the use of contraceptive methods may forget the reverence due to a woman, and, disregarding her physical and emotional equilibrium, reduce her to being a mere instrument for the satisfaction of his own desires, no longer considering her as his partner whom he should surround with care and affection.” — David Gray from Martin Luther King and Planned Parenthood

To hear the voice of Jesus is, then, to hear the very voice of the Father – the Father’s Word.  Moreover, as we were created in the image of the Son, so the Word incarnate re-creates us into his likeness.  Having died for our sin and vanquished death, our risen Lord and Savior re-creates us by pouring out the Holy Spirit upon all who believe in him.  The Word’s Spirit of Truth transforms us into the truth-filled image of the Father’s Son.  Being so transformed, Christians are commissioned to be Spirit-filled proclaimers of the Word. — Fr. Tomas G. Weinandy, OFM. Cap

Of Joseph Ratzinger, “There are men whose gaze is a sign of God” …There are men whose look is a sign of God. It is part of it…”“The Church must regain its doctrinal solidity and firmness” — Bishop André Léonard

A human mind can grasp an intelligible story, which the Bible tells. It gets lost in the world of theory, where principles are at stake. It can understand the Trinity – three Persons, abstract except to serious contemplation. This one “Godhead,” of three, and the three in one, are manifest in prayer as they are through the universe. Over a lifetime, they become familiar to him who sincerely prays, notwithstanding he is lost when he turns away. A lifetime seems necessary to grasp them. — David Warren

Let us reform society, let us discard much of old-fashioned morality, and let us reform the moral and psychological education of our children – all this in order that you, poor suffering ones, will no longer feel pain.” But this “compassion” – to speak plainly – is empty sentimentality. It is not the fullness of Christianity but its last, dying ember. — David Carlin

The entire reason God made man was to have rightly ordered worship. — Fr. Chad Ripperger

The Church’s social teaching argues on the basis of reason and natural law, namely, on the basis of what is in accord with the nature of every human being. It recognizes that it is not the Church’s responsibility to make this teaching prevail in political life. Rather, the Church wishes to help form consciences in political life and to stimulate greater insight into the authentic requirements of justice as well as greater readiness to act accordingly. And finally: “The Church cannot and must not take upon herself the political battle to bring about the most just society possible. She cannot and must not replace the State.”  — Benedict XVI “Deus Caritas Est”

1990 encyclical, Redemptoris Missio, on the Church’s perennial missionary mandate, in which he [John Paul II) goes to great lengths to demonstrate several things: 1. Christ as the only source of salvation for the human race. 2. The Church as the necessary sign and instrument of that salvation. 3. The theological and inner stimulus toward evangelization on the part of all believers from the inspiration of the Holy Spirit 4 The primary focus of the Catholic mission to the world. 5. The ways dialogue should be conducted with those not in full communion with the one true Church of Christ, with non-Christians, and with non-believers. 6.The mutually supportive roles of all Catholics toward the total missionary movement. And: 7. The meaning of a missionary spirituality for all. — Fr. Peter Stravinskas

“We are not some casual and meaningless product of evolution. Each of us is the result of a thought of God.”… “Each of us is the result of a thought of God. Each of us is willed. Each of us is loved. Each of us is necessary.” ― Pope Benedict XVI

The Christian faith is based on solid truth, and Christian doctrines are developed to help us better understand truth — not change it. In the current relativistic climate, it is vital to our faith that we understand and hold fast to the unchanging truth and reject that which pretends to be so, even if the latter appears to be more relevant to our transitory times. — David Harrison on John Henry Newman

Exaggerating man’s foreknowledge and discounting the mystery of Divine Providence, worldly wisdom holds that man alone determines the outcome of events. Worldly wisdom, despite all its claims to higher knowledge of the dark secrets that lead to victory, amounts to false prudence — Mark Kalpakgian

I miss Benedict XVI, as a someone who makes easier it to believe. — Fr. Mario Azevedo

The infant Christ cries out for a response. In his littleness and poverty, he has proportioned himself to us, fallen creatures. May we not deny him access to our weakness and wounds. — Fr. Paul D. Scalia

Hosea 13:6, “When I fed them, they were satisfied: when they were satisfied, they became proud: then they forgot me.” … That is a common pattern—that we forget God because we don’t think we need Him. But every beat of the human heart is courtesy of Jesus Christ. We do indeed need Him. And a key way to acknowledge that is to give Him thanks. … “Oh, God, You’ve given me so many things. Please give me one more thing: a grateful heart.” —Jerry Newcombe

You destroy those who are tiny in body because fear is destroying your heart. — St. Quodvultdeus

After working with troubled patients in a clinical practice, [Karl] Menninger concluded that he was at a loss to help these same persons unless and until sin was addressed realistically, and not treated as some sort of outdated “archetype.” To understand sin intellectually and identify it existentially can be far more medicinal than a fifty-minute session plumbing the deepest and darkest regions of memories associated with family breakdown, especially fatherlessness. — Msgr. Robert J. Batule

If we decide to devote ourselves to each other’s well-being and happiness, God’s grace is already at work in us. If we dedicate ourselves to it, that love will grow. It just takes a little faith. — Randall Smith

BLACK CLAD LIVES MATTER: So, to you, black-clad men of our Church, we proclaim that you matter.  Not with a mere slogan, but with genuine gratitude from those you have been called to serve.  Without you, consecrated priests, nothing.  No Mass.  No Eucharist.  No absolution.  No anointing.  If you disappeared, we would be left to our lack, our poverty, our desert.  You bring streams into the dry land and light where shadows reign.  And to do so, you must fight many days against voices of doubt and mockery.  Does it matter?  This sacrifice I made?  Does anyone see my exhaustion, my insecurity, my hopes, my fears, my overwhelming desire to serve Our Lord, to be His hands and feet, His heart?   Yes, dear priest!  We see you.  In our hearts, we hold you.  Your existence comforts us, as we walk the path of life.  —Elizabeth A. Mitchell. 

“He [Satan] will set up a counter-Church which will be the ape of the Church because, he the devil, is the ape of God. It will have all the notes and characteristics of the Church, but in reverse and emptied of its divine content. It will be a mystical body of the anti-Christ that will in all externals resemble the mystical body of Christ. In desperate need for God, whom he nevertheless refuses to adore, modern man in his loneliness and frustration will hunger more and more for membership in a community that will give him enlargement of purpose, but at the cost of losing himself in some vague collectivity.” “Who is going to save our Church? Not our bishops, not our priests and religious. It is up to you, the people. You have the minds, the eyes, and the ears to save the Church. Your mission is to see that your priests act like priests, your bishops act like bishops.” — Fulton J. Sheen

Fatherhood is a terminal condition. Fatherhood is not just “unto death.” It’s aimed at something; it’s headed somewhere. It points to Someone who isn’t me. It’s an unmerited chance to participate in the love of God the Father. A chance to be, for someone else, a glass through which, however darkly, they can glimpse Him. It’s humbling and not a little terrifying, and wondrous beyond measure. — Stephen P. White

The advocates of the New Paradigm believe being open to those behaviors provides a Christ-like affirmation for people who with good intentions live that way. Declaring that such actions are impediments or injurious to human flourishing is viewed as a judgmental rejection based on unachievable ideals. Accordingly, formerly “unchaste” behavior can now be called “good.”  This approach fundamentally misrepresents Jesus and his saving work. Christ calls everyone to share his life by abandoning their sins and innocent errors. That’s why he insisted on conversion of heart, mind, and behavior through fidelity to him and his Gospel. — Fr. Timothy Vaverek

Every act of idolatry is an act of self-idolatry. We make the “god” we want.  And the results are disastrous.  If we want to be formed into God’s image – the God of justice and love – we begin by following the commandments written on those two tablets. … As idolatry is forming God to your image, to fit your wants and desires, so too heresy is forming the Church to fit your preferences and dispositions. — Randall Smith

Spiritual leaders must work to show people how “our faith becomes works and that our works lead us to faith. It’s a circle.” — Pope Francis

Joy arises because of the awareness that the greatest battles in life – against the world, the flesh and the Devil –  have been fought – and won – by Jesus Christ; it but remains for us to claim the victory.  This perspective on reality provides a person with a real sense of humor, which is a fitting and necessary pre-condition for entrance into a state of eternal joy. … Only when Holy Mass is honored, do the other aspects of the day have any real meaning; indeed, then the present-opening, the visiting of friends, the Christmas banquet all become “sacraments” of the Sacrament.  Nor should we forget that for Catholics, Christmas happens every day as the great mystery of the Incarnation is re-presented in the Eucharist when Emmanuel once more “pitches His tent among us.” — Fr. Peter Stravinskas

Eric Metaxas, author, Letter to the American Church: “You need to understand the hour in which we find ourselves. The Church of Jesus Christ has to stand. We have to behave in a way that shows the world we believe what we say we believe.” … “many Christian leaders today fail to call out the evils of our time, like so-called gay marriage, gender mutilation and forced inoculation.”

The Venerable Fulton J. Sheen once said, “The refusal to take sides on great moral issues is itself a decision. It is a silent acquiescence to evil. The tragedy of our time is that those who still believe in honesty lack fire and conviction, while those who believe in dishonesty are full of passionate conviction.”

“Monastic life,” says Fr Hugh Allan, the abbot of a Norbertine community in Chelmsford in England, “is that reminder to the world to be careful how you live here and now because your life and actions now are what will echo for eternity. The cemetery is full of people who thought they were indispensable.”

“The Church is not a social organization to meet the problems of migration or poverty,” he continued. “The Church has a divine purpose: to save the world.” — Cardinal Robert Sarah

Whoever emerges from the waters of baptism is truly a child of the Light and of the Day, and has great potential to recover still more from the effects of the fall, to grow in the life of grace, and to glorify God by a holy way of life. .… Yet God also calls us to participate consciously and freely in the process of our transformation.   Fr. James Brent, OP

When we get caught up in any semblance of compromise in our integrity and authenticity, giving preference to political ideologies over our allegiance to the Gospel, we weaken the Church’s ability to be a force for good and truth. Mistakenly engaging first and foremost in the worldly will keep our sights ultimately limited. A Church unable to transcend the ephemeral will lose its relevance and authority when speaking about the eternal. — Michael R. Heinlein

For the Church Fathers, the moral sense of Scripture is, as Henri de Lubac put it, the spiritual sense par excellence. God knows that man cannot fail to love himself, to seek his fulfillment or happiness. God made him this way. And this is why all of divine revelation is an appeal to man’s freedom, and an invitation to entrust himself to God for this very happiness. — Douglas Bushman

The faith is handed down to us by the Church. We don’t get to invent it. But we do share in the task and responsibility of trying to understand it. Hence we require both humility and boldness if we want to do theology well. — Dr. Douglas Farrow

We see this even among bishops and Cardinals, particularly in the developed world, whose increasingly desperate attempts to make the Church “relevant” would lead her to abandon Scripture and Tradition – the Gospel itself – in order to win approval in the eyes of the world. The Church is God’s chosen means for extending His offer of salvation to a world condemned by its own sin. If this is not true, then the Church is utterly irrelevant. If it is true, then that is all the “relevance” the Church ever needs. … Pope Francis has said, “Faith begins when we realize we are in need of salvation.” Our world has inoculated itself against the Good News by rejecting the premise that we have need of saving. In the celebration of the Eucharist, the worthy reception of Holy Communion, the adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, we can become living witnesses not only to our need for salvation, but to God’s promise of mercy and salvation. We will be healed. We will be transformed. We will become the missionary disciples we are called to be. — Stephen P. White

Eating the body of Christ and drinking his blood changes everything. We may bring our work to the Mass, though our worship flows back into our work. Enlivened by God’s presence, we do not simply work through our own powers. God works in and through us to transform the world as we extend the communion that we have with him to the rest of our lives. The Eucharist leads us to live differently, living as a new creation. Strengthened and gladdened by eating divine food, our inner lives should overflow into our relationships and work, making them to be more than they ever could on their own. Living a Eucharistic life of prayer and work offers a witness to others, inviting them to bring their own work to the altar, to find its fulfillment in the Eucharistic sacrifice. — Dr. R. Jared Staudt

Just as persuasion builds unity, coercion pressures people to conform. The former is how Just Law was established to protect individual rights and secure liberty. The latter is overt lawlessness manifesting as tyranny. — Uncola

Morality is doing what is right regardless of what you are told. Obedience is doing what is told regardless of what is right. ― H.L. Mencken

It would be a serious mistake not to realise that the progressive liberal mindset wants to change the ethics of the faith. So it replaces the categories of “holiness and sin”  with “inclusion and alienation”. The roots of this usage of the term alienation are of course found in Marx. But as our society has become more attuned to the language of existential angst, alienation has become the new terror, the new shibboleth. Sin and separation from God are not as alarming as alienation, angst and separation from society. The supernatural is replaced by the political. —Gavin Ashenden

The Church has not been on the wrong track for 2000 years to be enlightened and corrected in our days by a synodal process in the 21st century. For that, we need neither a third Vatican Council nor a slimmed-down substitute event called the “Synod on Synodality.” — Bishop Marian Eleganti

The only bar to entering the Church is refusing to accept what the Church is. Those who join themselves to her must recognize that she is the body and bride of Jesus Christ, and therefore must accept the reality of the graces she imparts, the Divine mandate of her constitutional structure, the truth of her doctrines, the validity of her sacramental ministry, and the authority she possesses to articulate without error the moral commands of Almighty God.  — Dr. Jeff Mirus

“If anyone shall assert that sometimes, according to the progress of science, a sense may be able to be given to dogmas propounded by the Church different from that which the Church has understood and understands; let him be anathema” (Vatican I)

“TAKE IT, CARRY IT with you, and read it every day: it is Jesus Himself who is speaking to you. … The important thing is to read the Word of God, by any means, but read the Word of God. It is Jesus who speaks to us there. And welcome it with an open heart. Then the good seed will bear fruit!” – Pope Francis

We see this in countless saintly examples: Catherine of Siena, Gemma Galgani, Padre Pio, the Cure of Ars, and many, many others. God allowed these holy souls to be tempted, assaulted, and purified in the crucible of their valiant struggle against evil. No doubt their emerging victorious from these struggles is an unseen grace for countless souls throughout the world, especially those in bondage to the Devil. — Monsignor Stephen Rossetti, exorcist and psychologist 

“The Church has been and will always be intolerant so far as the rights of God are concerned, for heresy, error, and untruth affect not personal matters on which She may yield, but a Divine Right in which there is no yielding.” — Fulton J. Sheen

“Radical inclusion is simply the abuse of two words by the Left in order to reconfigure the boundaries of exclusion. What becomes excluded is Judeo- Christianity and what becomes included is perversity and transgression.” — Gavin Ashendon

The apostles begged Jesus to teach them to pray. It did not occur to them to beg Jesus to teach them to love, and yet that was what Jesus was doing, constantly, and often to their disappointment or consternation. — Anthony Esolen

But the human heart, without grace, hardly beats at all. It is a tangle of vipers, and when it beats, it squeezes out its poison. —Anthony Esolen

“Such love is hate, and such desire is shame,” says the poet Edmund Spenser, referring to a lust to possess the body of one you have fallen for, outside of marriage, and with no thought of marriage at all. It doesn’t help matters that the lover in this case is a young woman who mistakes another woman, a paragon of chaste desire disguised as a knight as she searches for the man she is destined to marry, for a male. — Anthony Esolen

The wrong question … ensure[s] the wrong answer. — Regis Nicoll

 “Confused children need to be protected from experimentation; it cannot be left up to the doctors, because they’ve been ideologically captured.” — CHLOE COLE VICTIM OF MEDICAL MUTILATION

‘Authority is defined by its limits, and obedience is also defined by its limits. Awareness of these limits leads to perfection in the exercise of authority and perfection in the exercise of obedience.’ — Bishop Athanasius Schneider

The Founders knew that to survive, our republic required virtuous citizens. Ordered liberty was the end; religion was the means. Flash forward to today, when the goal of ordered liberty has been replaced by expressive individualism. … The individual maximizes his clout by declaring his most coveted desires “rights” over which no person or entity may trespass. … Shaped into individualists by the culture, these Americans have no interest in a governor to regulate their appetites, nor a mother or teacher to form their minds. They do not need an intermediary to direct them to God when they see their gods whenever they look in the mirror. Hence, they determine what is right and wrong according to their own will, and they act as they see fit. — David Bonagura

So the Spirit moves the saints to plead with sighs too deep for words by inspiring in them a desire for the great and as yet unknown reality that we look forward to with patience. How can words express what we desire when it remains unknown? If we were entirely ignorant of it we would not desire it; again, we would not desire it or seek it with sighs, if we were able to see it. — St. Augustine

In between pagan Rome and pagan today there was, and still is, a group of God-loving people who will protect those who are incapable of independent existence because they sense in their own frailty the mercy of God and, therefore, resolve to extend it to others. — Fulton J. Sheen

Our culture expresses aggressive, unequivocal moral outrage over race, sex, gender, abortion, and climate change, to name but a few hot-button issues. Prominent representatives of this culture, such as Nikole Hannah-Jones, Dan Savage, and Greta Thunberg, are anything but relativists. If you are not “anti-racist,” pro-LGBTQ+, green activists, you are morally repugnant. — Casey Chalk

We’ve already seen that fixation on the same old questions that Benedict identified 30 years ago – women’s ordination, contraception, abortion, and now homosexuality – all long-ago settled by Catholic tradition and papal authority, are now very much present as the Church allegedly  “listens” to the voices of  “the faithful.”  It’s the nature of the beast that the most passionate activists show up whenever there’s an opening like this, in worldly matters as well as in the Church. And they keep showing up, long after traditional participants have gone home to tend to jobs, families, parishes – the places where meaning is found in concrete daily lives, not political/ecclesial crusades. — Robert Royal

The conflict that is playing itself out in the drama of your story and my story cannot be resolved until Christ, the great protagonist, is allowed to be present to all of it. This is why we Catholics put the Paschal Mystery at the center of all things. Every Sunday we gather to remember and participate anew in the saving event that is the suffering, dying, and rising of Jesus. Every year we enter the Paschal Triduum – the holy three days that is one single celebration – to remember THE story – the only story, the one true story, without which our human experience cannot be redeemed or resolved. — Fr. Derek Sakowski

The Latin root of the word religion speaks of being bound closely to or embraced by God (re = again + ligare = to bind). Thus the virtue of religion binds one’s heart, mind, and soul. One’s whole self is bound fast to God, held tightly by Him in an embrace of love and truth. Many people denigrate the word religion today as sounding too institutional. Many say they are “spiritual but not religious.”  But as can be seen from its root, religion is a beautiful word describing an embrace with God. Msgr. Charles Pope

Everyone is drawn by his delight’, not by necessity but by delight, not by compulsion but by sheer pleasure, then how much more must we say that a man is drawn by Christ, when he delights in truth, in blessedness, in holiness and in eternal life, all of which mean Christ? — St. Augustine

Haidt wonders whether for many universities some conception of social justice has become the telos. (One must say “some conception of” because once detached from truth, who can say whether that conception really does represent social justice?)  Universities must choose either truth or social justice as their dominant telos, Haidt says. … As a classical scholar and expert in John Henry Newman, my first instinct is to answer from the nature of the case.  Every university, I think, from its nature must have truth as its telos; therefore, so must any Catholic university. — Michael Pakaluk

A true Catholic university cares so ardently about truth that it will not neglect any reliable path of truth.  It won’t scruple that some fundamental truths (about the Trinity, about the Incarnation) are in effect handed to it, not attained through human efforts alone. … A Catholic university’s privileged task is “to unite existentially by intellectual effort two orders of reality that too frequently tend to be placed in opposition as though they were antithetical: the search for truth, and the certainty of already knowing the fount of truth.” … —  Michael Pakaluk

In almost 9 cases out of 10, those who have once had the Faith but now reject it, or claim that it does not make sense, are driven not be reasoning, but by the way they are living. — Bishop Fulton J. Sheen

… get your kids to Mass … There is no greater antidote for the poisons of this world than ensuring your children can sit in the Eucharistic Presence of Christ their Lord. What a gift in these dark times that they can witness the Holy Sacrifice and bathe in the grace that flows from the altar … It matters not whether they can grasp everything intellectually. Who among us can? … What a celestial education they will wordlessly receive from their angels who will accustom them to divine worship and present them to be blessed by the Savior Himself (Mark 10:14). … The day grows short. We must be all in for our children. — Taynia-Renee Laframboise

Cardinal Mueller is a weighty theologian and unlike many – inside and outside the Faith – who would like to let contemporary obsessions reshape the Church, he insists that the “listening” that must always first take place is to God, especially as he has revealed Himself in Jesus Christ. … Cardinal Mueller deserves the final word about what the leaders of the “synodal process” have created, “They have the intention to substitute their own subjective ideas, against a revealed reality of Jesus Christ. . .the [path to the] destruction of the Catholic Church.” … I must say it openly, because the definition of the pope is, and [based in] the Vatican Council and also the history of Catholic theology, he has to guarantee the truth of the Gospel and the unity of all the bishops, and in the Church, in the revealed truth. —Robert Royal citing Cardinal Gerhard Müller

For decades, American Catholics, myself included, have preached-through-example so conscientiously as to render an entire generation functionally illiterate in all things Catholic. … The preach-through-example model also enables us to shirk the responsibility of explaining the complexities of our faith. Even communicating the basics … takes preparation, practice, and effort. … It’s time we preach the Gospel and use words more often, especially those of us with many friends and acquaintances in the secular world. … keep a closer lookout for evangelical opportunities as they present themselves. That when the door cracks open in conversation, we help the other swing it open so the light can pour in. — Peter Laffin

Anywhere the Gospel is proclaimed confidently in full; anywhere the adventures (and risks) of discipleship are taken seriously; anywhere the mission laid upon each and every Catholic by virtue of Baptism is taken seriously; there the Church has hope. There the Church has a future.  Where the Church insists on measuring the Gospel according to the “wisdom” of the world; where the faith accommodates itself to the spirit of the age; anywhere the Church is reduced to a “charitable NGO” (as Pope Francis has warned) there the faith will continue to wither. Stephen P. White

While goods are certainly universal—things like peace, prosperity, family—that is not the same things as the singular, indivisible, communal, and limited common good that is the proper object of political life. The common good is not some aggregate of other goods. It is rather something that exists prior to us as individuals, something in which we can then flourish by participating in it. — Emile Doak

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)