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? — Michael  Brown

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)