Oct 23, 2015

Prayers For Souls In Purgatory St. Gertrude


   Have you lost a loved one who passed away, or know someone who has? Prayers for souls in purgatory can help them! While we can derive great comfort from the hope that our loved ones are enjoying Eternal Life with God, it never hurts to pray for their souls in any case. 

In purgatory, the souls of many of those who have died in God’s grace undergo purification so that they may enter heaven.

The Prayer of St. Gertrude, below, is one of the most famous of the prayers for souls in purgatory. St. Gertrude the Great (pictured at left) was a Benedictine nun and mystic who lived in the 13th century. According to tradition, our Lord promised her that 1000 souls would be released from purgatory each time it is said devoutly. 

Eternal Father, I offer Thee the Most Precious Blood of Thy Divine Son, Jesus, in union with the masses said throughout the world today, for all the holy souls in purgatory, for sinners everywhere, for sinners in the universal church, those in my own home and within my family. Amen.

Many of the Fathers of the Church, such as St. Augustine and St. John Chrysostom, considered prayers for souls in purgatory to be essential. The church has endorsed the doctrine of purgatory from the Councils of Florence and Trent in the 15th and 16th centuries right up through Vatican II in the 1960’s...

Keep reading this article by OurCatholicPrayers.com

Prayers For Souls In Purgatory To Help Them Reach Their Heavenly Home

Remember November 2nd is All Soul's Day. Pray for them, pray for us!

Oct 12, 2015

Did The Pope Really Say Jesus Was A Failure?

    I've been seeing a lot of talk about how the Pope said that Jesus failed or that he was a failure. I am sure you've heard this too. Jimmy Akin did a post as about this too for Catholic Answers. You should also check that out.

I have a good idea that those spreading the claim in question probably didn't stop to actually read the official document. They are most likely repeating the words of those who also didn't read the official document.

 Here is the official quote in context. 

I am writing this to those who want to know the truth about what the Pope actually said and not rely on their own or others preconceived notions. Despite what people are saying he didn't say the cross was a failure. He didn't say christ's redemption was or is a failure. The Pop wouldn't say that because that would be wrong.

"We can get caught up measuring the value of our apostolic works by the standards of efficiency, good management and outward success which govern the business world. Not that these things are unimportant! We have been entrusted with a great responsibility, and God’s people rightly expect accountability from us. But the true worth of our apostolate is measured by the value it has in God’s eyes. To see and evaluate things from God’s perspective calls for constant conversion in the first days and years of our vocation and, need I say, it calls for great humility. The cross shows us a different way of measuring success. Ours is to plant the seeds: God sees to the fruits of our labors. And if at times our efforts and works seem to fail and produce no fruit, we need to remember that we are followers of Jesus… and his life, humanly speaking, ended in failure, in the failure of the cross."

Note the words "humanly speaking." He means that to those who didn't believe in Christ it seemed as though he was a failure. The Romans and the Jewish leadership wanted Christ dead and they got it! But they were unbelievers. To them Christ failed his mission little did they know his mission had only begun!

Next time you hear a claim that the Pope or a Pope said
something blasphemous simply ask for their source and read the official documents. Chances are they are mistaken and have not read it either.

Read the official document here.

By Joanne Utke

Oct 11, 2015

Embracing Halloween

   I felt this article touched on All Hallows Eve (Halloween) in a wonderful way and from a Catholic Christian perspective. I hope it can help you put Halloween in the correct perspective. Also see my Halloween article or just share this post with both great articles. 

    "As we near All Hallows Eve, aka Halloween, we fired some questions at the walking encyclopedia that is Father Steve Grunow, and he responded with everything you ever wanted to know about Halloween and its deeply Catholic roots.
QUESTION: I always figured that Halloween had pagan roots, but you are telling me they are Catholic. Huh? How so?
Fr. Steve: The origin and traditional customs associated with Halloween require no other explanation than that they are examples of the kinds of festivity that served as a means of celebrating the various holy days of the Catholic Liturgical Year. This includes everything from masquerades, feasting, and the associations of a given day of the year with supernatural or spiritual truths.
I would draw a distinction between the violent, macabre imagery that characterizes the modern appropriation of Halloween as a kind of secular celebration and the more traditional customs that are characteristic of a Catholic cultural ethos. The descent of Halloween into the madness of an annual fright fest is a relatively recent development, but the true substance of Halloween belongs to the Church. Halloween (or “All Hallows Eve”) is the festive precursor to the celebration of the Church’s public commemoration of All Saints Day.
There has been an appropriation of the festivities of Halloween by modern pagans, but please understand that modern paganism is precisely modern and should be distinguished from the cults of ancient religions. The origins and practices of the modern paganism do not extend farther back than the late nineteenth century. Also, remember, the term “pagan” is a slippery one. What does it mean? The worship of the gods and goddesses from long ago? Those cults have long since passed away with the cultural matrix that once supported the world views that were the conditions for their possibility. You can’t just reinvent those cults without the culture that supported them..." 
Keep reading at wordonfire.org

Oct 7, 2015

Enchiridion of Saint Augustine

The Enchiridion On Faith, Hope, And Love By Saint Augustine A.D. 420 (5th century)

     This post is about one of my favorite books. I have it in Kindle form and in audio from from Librivox.org. You can also read it online via several different websites.

New Advent Catholic Encyclopedia and Catholic Treasury are two other great sources for this book. You can read chapters 11-17 concerning the topic of Good and Evil here on my blog.

I love his explanations so profound and beautifully written!

I like to read it and listen to it on my phone at least once a year. Saint Augustine is my buddy in Christ and I have learned a lot from him. His Enchiridion is a 5th century Catechism/Apologetic handbook. In fact Enchiridion is Greek for handbook although it was first written in Latin the common language in the 5th century and one Augustine spoke most fluently. It outlines the main tenents of the Christian faith as understood by Augustine and the Church in the 5th century. Augustine was Bishop of Hippo. He is also considered an early father and doctor of the Church. In this book Saint Augustine doesn't deviate from unanimously held doctrine in Christian orthodoxy on matters such as the Divinity of Christ, which he explains nicely, God, good and evil, faith and works, angels, and so much more.

"You are anxious, you say, that I should write a sort of handbook for you, which you might always keep beside you, containing answers to the questions you put, viz.: what ought to be man'schief end in life; what he ought, in view of the various heresies, chiefly to avoid; to what extent religion is supported by reason; what there is in reason that lends no support to faith, when faith stands alone; what is the starting-point, what the goal, of religion; what is the sum of the whole body of doctrine; what is the sure and proper foundation of the catholic faith. Now, undoubtedly, you will know the answers to all these questions, if you know thoroughly the proper objects of faith, hope, and love. For these must be the chief, nay, the exclusive objects of pursuit in religion. He who speaks against these is either a total stranger to the name of Christ, or is a heretic. These are to be defended by reason, which must have its starting-point either in the bodily senses or in the intuitions of the mind. And what we have neither had experience of through our bodily senses, nor have been able to reach through the intellect, must undoubtedly bebelieved on the testimony of those witnesses by whom the Scriptures, justly called divine, were written; and who by divine assistance were enabled, either through bodily sense orintellectual perception, to see or to foresee the things in question." (Chapter 4)

Good stuff!

I want to encourage everyone to read and listen to his wonderful words and insights into scripture and Christian teaching. May he be a blessing in your life as he has been in mine.

Sincerely Joanne Utke

Saint Augustine Restless Heart