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MyCatholicSource.com Newsletter - January, 2017 [Plain text version (+ image)]

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MyCatholicSource.com Newsletter - January, 2017

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IN THIS ISSUE:

* Greetings

* MCS News & Notes

* The Month of January: Dedicated to the Holy Name of Jesus

* Prayer to the Most Holy Name of Jesus

* Reflection on thanksgiving by St. Peter Julian Eymard

* Liturgical Feasts in January

* 'Catholic Trivia'

* Defending the Faith: "Apologetics Brief" - Do You Reject the Concept of Virginity / Celibacy?

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Dear Friend,

"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit." (Rom. 15:13)

We send our best wishes your way for a blessed and holy new year, filled with many graces & blessings. At this time when so many make resolutions for improved physical health and well-being, we hope you, as a dedicated Catholic, will also consider some resolutions for increased spiritual health. We know that our bodies are mortal while our souls are eternal, so any improvements on the spiritual level will long outlast any mere physical improvements. As a wise priest suggests, we should pray to the Lord for good health of soul, mind, and body -- in that order.

On our end, we are happy to report that the iOS app we mentioned last month has been released. We are very gratified to add this app (technically two apps, My Crucifix and My Crucifix for iPad®) to our app offerings. Please see below for details concerning this 'simple but powerful' new Catholic app, which is now available for sale at a discounted price.

We wish you and your loved ones a blessed & holy new year and thank you very much for your support over the past years,

Your Friends at MyCatholicSource.com

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"Rejoice in the Lord, you just, and praise his holy name." (Ps. 97:12)

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MCS News & Notes

* Traffic Update: We are happy to report that we received our 4.5 millionth visitor* on 12/16/16. We send our thanks to all who have visited MyCatholicSource.com! [* Note: Count is based on raw, unfiltered access logs]

* Reminder: For your free 2017 liturgical calendar-flier (Jan.-Dec.), go to http://www.mycatholicsource.com/mcs/tp/topic_page-catholic_liturgical_year.htm and click your choice of "fliers" links [Note: Fliers are based on the traditional calendar]

* 2017 Resolutions: For assistance with spiritual resolutions for the new year, please try the 'Spiritual Growth' Topic Page at http://www.mycatholicsource.com/mcs/tp/topic_page-spiritual_growth.htm

* Pro-Life Resources: January marks another anniversary of the terrible tragedy of 'legalized' abortion in the U.S. For pro-life resources on our site (including: Life is a Gift From God, Scope of Abortion, Abortion Kills, Abortion is a Grave Sin, Risks & Aftermath, The Abortion Procedure, and More...), please visit http://www.mycatholicsource.com/mcs/tp/topic_page-pro-life.htm

* Second Rosary Week Update: We thank those who expressed interest in the possibility of having a second Rosary Week each year, as suggested by a dear Rosary Week participant. There is apparently some interest in another annual Rosary Week, but unfortunately not a lot of interest. We may revisit this idea in the future if we think there would be enough participation at that time.

* Site Outage: There was a site-wide outage on 12/9/16. This "major outage", which affected numerous sites, was due to issues at our host's datacenter. During the time of the outage we were unable to access our website or receive/send email. We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused our visitors.

* Lenten Preparations: This year Septuagesima Sunday (in the traditional calendar) falls on February 12 (Ash Wednesday falls on March 1). To prepare early for Lent, please try here: http://www.mycatholicsource.com/mcs/tp/topic_page-lent.htm

* Service Delays: Due to medical reasons, please continue to expect some sporadic delays in all correspondence & services (including processing of posts) for the foreseeable future. We apologize for any inconvenience and thank you for any prayers.

* Help keep us online! Donate any amount (from $1+) at http://www.mycatholicsource.com/mcs/cg/donate.htm [note that we do NOT sell donor information to third parties and we do NOT contact you about your donation unless it is necessary (e.g. processing problems)]. Thank you for your much needed support!

* Please invite your friends to visit MyCatholicSource.com. For our "easy to use" invite-a-friend page, please visit http://www.mycatholicsource.com/mcs/fdb/invite_a_friend.htm . Please invite some friends today! Your support helps keep us going!

* We love to hear from you! Please submit comments at http://www.mycatholicsource.com/mcs/fdb/newsletter_feedback.htm

* Have friends or family that might benefit from our newsletter? Please invite them to subscribe at http://www.mycatholicsource.com/mcs/fdb/mail_list.htm . Thank you!

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MyCatholicSource.com App News...

* New Apps: We are happy to announce the release of our newest apps, My Crucifix & My Crucifix for iPad®, which are now available for sale at a discounted price. These simple yet powerful apps may help...

· Foster devotion

· Comfort/strengthen in times of suffering, temptation, tribulation

· Gain indulgences

· Draw closer to Christ

· Instruct & inspire

· Aid in prayer & meditation

My Crucifix App: Screenshots

Features Include:

· Full screen crucifix image - choice of 12 images or add your own

· Optional on-screen prayer - or add your own custom text

· Customizable text options for size, color, etc.

· Quick shortcuts

· Separate prayers & meditations screen (w/papal & saint quotes, scriptural meditations)

· Use with a launcher: mycrucifix://

· Easy-to-use interface

· In app help

Great For:

· Daily meditation

· Anytime devotion

· Times away from home

· Hospital stays

· Travel

· Times of suffering or temptation

· Before or after Confession

· Preparation for the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass

· Penitential times

· Fridays

· Lent / Holy Week / Good Friday

· Any other appropriate time

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Away from home? In a hospital or place without a proper crucifix? Crucifix too difficult to see clearly? No more! With My Crucifix on your mobile device you may never have to be away from that precious reminder of God's love for you.

With My Crucifix you can be strengthened & instructed by Christ's sufferings 'anywhere, anytime'. Even if you have only a minute, this app can still be very spiritually beneficial. In fact, sixty seconds meditating on Christ's passion may be the "best sixty seconds you can spend on your soul all day outside of Mass, Confession, and the like"!

As St. Paul of the Cross suggests, "Take the holy crucifix in your hands, kiss its wounds with great love, and ask Him to preach you a sermon. Listen to what the thorns, the nails, and that Divine Blood say to you. Oh! What a sermon."

With My Crucifix you can enjoy many benefits of this precious devotional item without having to be at home or in church.

My Crucifix contains 12 images to choose from or add your own. It offers the option to display the traditional 'Prayer Before a Crucifix' (or optionally, add your own text). Keep the screen on (override auto-lock settings) if desired. Enjoy a variety of aspirations, scriptural & saintly meditations & other prayers to assist with devotion.

Use My Crucifix to strengthen, instruct and comfort yourself whenever you're away from home or whenever you're not near a crucifix.

Some benefits of a crucifix image...

* Inspires to bear suffering patiently

* Shows Jesus' great love for you

* Comforts in sorrows

* Helps to adore Christ

* Helps produce contrition for sins

* Reminds of the price Jesus paid to save your soul

* Helps increase gratitude towards Christ

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"For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ, and him crucified." (St. Paul, 1 Cor. 2:2)

St. Bonaventure, Doctor of the Church, pointing to his crucifix: "This is the source of all my knowledge. I study only Jesus Christ, and him crucified."

"Here learn the science of the saints: All is to be found in the passion of Jesus." (St. Paul of the Cross)

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Great New Year's Resolution: Say the Prayer Before a Crucifix each day!

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For more information, larger screenshots & to purchase, please see the following links...

My Crucifix For the iPad®, iPhone®, and iPod touch® - https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/my-crucifix/id1173426983?mt=8

My Crucifix For the iPad® - https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/my-crucifix-for-ipad/id1181900071?mt=8

Your purchase helps keep MyCatholicSource.com online!

Please get your copy today!

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* Reviews: If you've purchased any of our apps, we encourage you to please leave a review at your place of purchase. Favorable reviews really help us out! To view selected reviews, please visit http://www.bfsnet.com/bfsapps/selected_reviews.htm

* We send our thanks to all who have purchased & rated our apps. Please know that we depend on app sales to remain online.

* If you have any thoughts to share regarding our apps, please contact us using the e-mail address provided in the app or online at http://www.bfsnet.com/bfsapps/bfsapps-feedback.htm

* For more information concerning currently available apps, please visit http://www.mycatholicsource.com/mcs/cg/comrc/apps.htm (shortcut: www.MyCatholicSource.com/Apps ), or visit the applicable app store

Note: Any prices included herein are in U.S. dollars, excluding any applicable tax.

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* Please see our Notices page at http://www.mycatholicsource.com/mcs/cg/notices.htm for dates of anticipated service delays through January 2017

* To shop at Amazon.com in support of MyCatholicSource.com, please use this link: http://www.amazon.com/gp/redirect.html?ie=UTF8&location=http://www.amazon.com/gp/site-directory/&tag=mycathcom-20&linkCode=ur2&camp=1789&creative=9325 (shortcut MyCatholicSource.com/ShopAmazon ). You can shop here for books, household & office products, Catholic items, electronics, and much more. Already shop at Amazon.com? It doesn't cost any extra to shop at Amazon using this link, yet we can benefit from your purchases. Thank you for your support!

* Reminder: To help ensure delivery of your newsletter, please put our e-mail address in your 'trusted senders' list - or use other applicable options your e-mail provider may offer to let them know that our e-mail is wanted. Thank you.

* Please visit our Notices page for timely news and other important information regarding MyCatholicSource.com - http://www.mycatholicsource.com/mcs/cg/notices.htm

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The Month of January: Dedicated to the Holy Name of Jesus

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"And after eight days were accomplished, that the child should be circumcised, his name was called JESUS, which was called by the angel before he was conceived in the womb." (Lk. 2:21)

"...at the name of Jesus every knee should bend, of those in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." (Phil. 2:10-11)

"And whatever you do, in word or in deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him." (Col. 3:17)

"[W]hatsoever you shall ask the Father in my name, that will I do: that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you shall ask me any thing in my name, that I will do." (Our Lord Jesus Christ, Jn. 14:13-14)

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Related Resources...

* Jesus (Topic Page) - http://www.mycatholicsource.com/mcs/tp/topic_page-Jesus.htm

* Litany of the Most Holy Name of Jesus - http://www.mycatholicsource.com/mcs/pr/prayers_and_hymns_litanies.htm

* More Prayers to Jesus - http://www.mycatholicsource.com/mcs/pr/prayers_and_hymns_Jesus.htm

* Jesus (Reflections) - http://www.mycatholicsource.com/mcs/qt/catholic_basics_reflections_Jesus_Christ.htm

* Jesus (Papal Writings) - http://www.mycatholicsource.com/mcs/pd/classic_encyclicals_by_category.htm

* Jesus' Teachings (A-Z) - http://www.mycatholicsource.com/mcs/pcs/jesus_teachings.htm

* Jesus' Emphasized Statements - http://www.mycatholicsource.com/mcs/pcs/jesus_emphasized_statements.htm

* Jesus' Parables - http://www.mycatholicsource.com/mcs/pcs/parables.htm

* Jesus' Miracles & Signs - http://www.mycatholicsource.com/mcs/pcs/jesus_miracles_and_signs.htm

* Who Jesus is and Why You Should Believe - http://www.mycatholicsource.com/mcs/pcs/who_jesus_is_and_why_you_should_believe.htm

* Fulfilled Biblical Prophecies Concerning Jesus - http://www.mycatholicsource.com/mcs/pcs/biblical_prophecies.htm

* Who Jesus Is / The Divinity of Christ (Apologetics) - http://www.mycatholicsource.com/mcs/nc/non_catholics__Divinity_of_Christ.htm

* Jesus Christ, Our Lord (Crossword Puzzle) - http://www.mycatholicsource.com/mcs/pca/crossword_puzzle_Jesus.html

* Jesus Christ, Our Lord (Word Search) - http://www.mycatholicsource.com/mcs/pca/word_search_Jesus.htm

* Jesus (Coloring Pages) - http://www.mycatholicsource.com/mcs/pc/catholic_activities/catholic_fun_coloring_activities.htm

Looking For Something Else? Try Our Various Indexes For 15,000+ Entries - http://www.mycatholicsource.com/mcs/help.htm

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"With the Name of Jesus we shall overthrow the demons; we shall put them to flight." (Catechism of the Cure de Ars)

"I have neither silver nor gold, but what I do have I give you: in the name of Jesus Christ the Nazorean, (rise and) walk." (St. Peter, Acts 3:6)

"No voice can sing, nor heart can frame, nor can the memory find a sweeter sound than Thy blest name, O Savior of mankind." (St. Bernard of Clairvaux, Doctor of the Church)

"Jesus! A sweet name, a delightful name! A name that comforts sinners and offers blessed hope. A name that is a joyful cry from the heart, that is music to the ear and honey in the mouth." (St. Anthony of Padua, Doctor of the Church)

"Jesus is the proper name of the God-man and signifies Savior: a name given Him not accidentally, or by the judgment or will of man, but by the counsel and command of God." (Catechism of the Council of Trent)

"Is anyone among you sad? Let but Jesus come into his heart, and the mouth echo him, saying Jesus! And Lo! The light of that Name disperses every cloud, and brings sunshine back again. Have any of you committed sin? And is despair driving you into the snare of death? Invoke the Name of life, and life will come back to the soul. Was there ever a man, that, hearing this saving Name, could keep up that common fault of hardness of heart, or drowsiness of sluggishness, or rancor of soul, or languor of sloth? If anyone, perchance felt the fountain of his tears was dry, did it not gush forth more plentifully than ever and flow more sweetly than ever, as soon as he invoked the Name of Jesus? If any of us were ever in danger, and our heart beat with fear, did not this name of power bring us confidence and courage the moment we pronounced it? When we were tossed to and fro by perplexing doubts, did not the evidence of what was right burst on us as we called upon the Name of light? When we were discouraged, and well nigh crushed, by adversity, did not our heart take courage, when our tongue uttered the Name of help? All this is most true; for all these miseries are the sicknesses and faintings of our soul, and the Name of Jesus is our Medicine." (St. Bernard)

"Praise be to Thy holy name, O Lord Jesus Christ, and adoration to Thy majesty, always and for ever. Amen." (Sts. Adaeus & Maris)

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Prayer to the Most Holy Name of Jesus

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The following is an English translation of the Latin prayer "O Bone Jesu". Text below is taken from the Raccolta. [Note: "Jesu (...from Latin Iesu) is sometimes used as the vocative of Jesus in English."]

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O good Jesu! O most tender Jesu! O most sweet Jesu! O Jesus, Son of Mary the Virgin, full of mercy and kindness! O sweet Jesu, according to Thy great mercy, have pity on me! O most merciful Jesu, I entreat Thee by that precious Blood of Thine, which Thou didst will to pour forth for sinners, to wash away all my iniquities, and to look upon me, poor and unworthy as I am, asking humbly pardon of Thee, and invoking this holy Name of Jesus. O Name of Jesus, sweet Name! Name of Jesus, Name of joy! Name of Jesus, Name of strength! Nay, what meaneth the Name of Jesus but Saviour? Wherefore, O Jesu, by Thine own holy Name, be to me Jesus, and save me. Suffer me not to be lost, - me, whom Thou didst create out of nothing. O good Jesu, let not my iniquity destroy what Thy Almighty goodness made. O sweet Jesu, recognise what is Thine own, and wipe away from me what is not of Thee! O most kind Jesu, have pity on me, while it is the time of pity, and condemn me not when it is the time of judgment. The dead shall not praise Thee, Lord Jesu, nor will those who go down into hell. O most loving Jesus! O Jesu, most longed for by Thine own! O most gentle Jesu! Jesu, Jesu, Jesu, let me enter into the number of Thine elect. O Jesu, salvation of those who believe in Thee. Jesu, consolation of those who fly to Thee. Jesu, Son of Mary the Virgin, pour into me grace, wisdom, charity, chastity, and humility, that I may be able perfectly to love Thee, to praise Thee, to enjoy Thee, to serve Thee, and make my boast in Thee, and that all those who invoke Thy Name, which is Jesus, may join with me in these acts. Amen.

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For more prayers, please try here - http://www.mycatholicsource.com/mcs/tp/topic_page-catholic_prayers.htm

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Reflection on thanksgiving by St. Peter Julian Eymard

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Thanksgiving is the soul's most delightful act of love as also the most pleasing to God; it is a perfect homage to His infinite goodness. The Eucharist itself is perfect thanksgiving. The word Eucharist means thanksgiving. Jesus Eucharistic renders thanks to His Father for us; He is our own thanksgiving. Give thanks therefore to God the Father for having given you His Divine Son not only as Brother in the Incarnation, as Teacher of truth, and as Savior on the Cross, but especially as your Eucharist, your bread of life, your Heaven already begun. Thank the Holy Ghost for continuing, through the priests, to produce Him daily on the altar, as He did the first time in Mary's virginal womb. Let your thanksgiving ascend to the throne of the Lamb, to the Hidden God as a sweet-smelling incense, as the most beautiful hymn of your soul, as the purest and tenderest love of your heart. Thank Him in all humility of heart, like Saint Elizabeth in the presence of Mary and the Word Incarnate; thank Him with the vibrant ardor of Saint John the Baptist when he felt the closeness of his Divine Master, hidden like himself in His mother's womb; thank Him with the joy and generosity of Zacheus when he received the visit of Jesus in his house; thank Him with the Holy Church and the heavenly court. In order that your thanksgiving may never cease and go on forever increasing, do what is done in Heaven. Consider the goodness, the beauty ever old and ever new of the God of the Eucharist, Who for our sake is consumed and reborn without ceasing on the altar. Contemplate His sacramental state, the sacrifices He has made since its institution in the Cenacle in order to reach you, and the struggle He has had to undergo against His own glory in order to lower Himself to the very edge of nothingness and sacrifice His freedom, His body, His very Self. He has done that without any condition as to time or place; and with no other protection than His love, He surrendered Himself to the love as well as to the hate of man. In the presence of so many kindnesses of the Savior towards all men and above all towards you, since you possess Him, enjoy Him, and live of Him, open your heart and let thanksgiving leap from it like the flame of a great fire; let it envelop the Eucharistic throne; let it join, unite, and blend itself with the Divine fire, with the radiant and devouring flame of the Heart of Jesus. Let these two flames rise to Heaven, to the throne of God the Father Who has given you His Son - in Whom you receive the Holy Trinity.

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Note: For more reflections, please try here - http://www.mycatholicsource.com/mcs/qt/reflections_categorized.htm

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Liturgical Feasts in January

The following is a listing of all liturgical feast dates for January as they appear at http://www.mycatholicsource.com/mcs/pc/saints/feasts.htm

Note: (T) = Traditional, (N) = New (Novus Ordo)

Reminder: Feasts may be superseded / transferred / etc.

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January 1 - Circumcision of Our Lord Jesus Christ (T) *

January 1 - Octave Day of Christmas (T)

January 1 - Octave of Christmas (N)

January 1 - Solemnity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God (N) *

January 2 - St. Basil the Great (N)

January 2 - St. Gregory Nazianzen (N)

January 3 - The Most Holy Name of Jesus (N)

January 4 - St. Elizabeth Ann Seton (N)

January 5 - St. Telesphorus, pope (T)

January 5 - Vigil of the Epiphany (T)

January 5 - St. John Neumann (N)

January 6 - Epiphany of Our Lord (T)

January 6 - Epiphany [Note: Epiphany is celebrated on 1/6 in the universal calendar, but in the U.S. it may be transferred to the Sunday after the first Saturday in January] (N)

January 7 - St. Raymond of Penyafort (N)

January 11 - St. Hyginus, pope (T)

January 13 - St. Hilary of Poitiers (N)

January 14 - St. Felix of Nola (T)

January 14 - St. Hilary of Poitiers (T)

January 15 - St. Maurus (T)

January 15 - St. Paul the First Hermit (in Thebaide) (T)

January 16 - St. Marcellus I, pope (T)

January 17 - St. Anthony the Abbot (T)

January 17 - St. Anthony the Abbot (N)

January 18 - Chair of St. Peter the Apostle at Rome (T)

January 18 - St. Paul (T)

January 18 - St. Prisca (T)

January 19 - St. Canute (T)

January 19 - Sts. Marius, Martha, Audifax & Abachum (T)

January 20 - St. Fabian, pope (T)

January 20 - St. Sebastian (T)

January 20 - St. Fabian, pope (N)

January 20 - St. Sebastian (N)

January 21 - St. Agnes (T)

January 21 - St. Agnes (N)

January 22 - St. Anastasius (T)

January 22 - St. Vincent (T)

January 22 - St. Vincent (N)

January 23 - St. Emerentiana (T)

January 23 - St. Raymund of Pennafort (T)

January 24 - St. Timothy (T)

January 24 - St. Francis de Sales (N)

January 25 - Conversion of St. Paul (T)

January 25 - St. Peter (T)

January 25 - Conversion of St. Paul, apostle (N)

January 26 - St. Polycarp (T)

January 26 - Sts. Timothy & Titus (N)

January 27 - St. John Chrysostom (T)

January 27 - St. Angela Merici (N)

January 28 - St. Agnes (T)

January 28 - St. Peter Nolasco (T)

January 28 - St. Thomas Aquinas (N)

January 29 - St. Francis de Sales (T)

January 30 - St. Martina (T)

January 31 - St. John Bosco (T)

January 31 - St. John Bosco (N)

* Holy Day of Obligation [Note: 1/1 falls on Sunday this year]

Please Note: Above may exclude moveable feasts. For moveable feasts, see below & try here: http://www.mycatholicsource.com/mcs/pc/latin_mass_and_tradition/traditional_liturgical_calendar.htm . For other feasts, try the MCS Daily Digest each day at http://www.mycatholicsource.com/mcs/cg/mcs_daily_digest.asp

Also...

1/2/17 - Holy Name of Jesus (T)

1/8/17 - Feast of the Holy Family (T) | Epiphany (N) [Trnsfr.]

1/9/17 - Baptism of the Lord (N)

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'Catholic Trivia'

1. What book did St. Francis de Sales say he carried in his pocket for at least eighteen years and never read without profit?

2. Who was born first, St. Jerome or St. Augustine?

3. Which relative of the Holy Family was martyred at age 120?

4. Did Jesus refer to the New Testament at all?

5. What is the Annuario Pontificio?

6. Traditionally, what are three principal blessings observed by the Church during the year?

7. Once a person has died, there is no longer any place for what?

8. Who was the first non-martyred saint to be honored by the whole Church?

9. Why has the Church traditionally prescribed penance on Wednesdays?

10. According to St. John Climacus, how should persons react to places of sin?

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Answers:

1. "It is clear and very practical. Yes, my daughter, the Spiritual Combat is a great book, and a book dear to me. I have carried it in my pocket for at least eighteen years, and I never read it without profit." (St. Francis de Sales, Doctor of the Church)

2. St. Jerome was born about 12 years before St. Augustine.

3. St. Simeon, Bishop of Jerusalem and relative of the Holy Family was martyred at age 120. [Ref. Liturgical Year]

4. Jesus did not speak directly of New Testament Scripture since the New Testament was not written until years after His death and Resurrection.

5. The Annuario Pontificio (Pontifical Annual/Pontifical Yearbook) is an annual directory of Holy See containing names of cardinals bishops, priests, dioceses, statistics, etc.

6. Traditionally, the principal blessings include: Blessing of the Candles, the Blessing of the Ashes, and Blessing of the Palms.

7. "When once you have departed this life, there is no longer any place for repentance, no way of making satisfaction. Here life is either lost or kept. Here, by the worship of God and by the fruit of faith, provision is made for eternal salvation. Let no one be kept back either by his sins or by his years from coming to obtain salvation. To him who still remains in this world there is no repentance that is too late." (St. Cyprian of Carthage)

8. St. Martin of Tours was the first non-martyred saint to be honored by the whole Church. [Ref. Liturgical Year]

9. "Such is the impious scheme devised on this day [Spy Wednesday, namely the handing over of Jesus by Judas for thirty pieces of silver], within the precincts of the temple of Jerusalem. To testify her detestation at it, and to make atonement to the Son of God for the outrage thus offered Him, the holy Church, from the earliest ages, has consecrated the Wednesday of every week to penance. In our own times, the fast of Lent begins on a Wednesday; and when the Church ordained that we should commence each of the four seasons of the year with fasting, Wednesday was chosen to be one of the three days thus consecrated to bodily mortification." (Gueranger)

10. "Run from places of sin as from the plague." (St. John Climacus)

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For more information concerning the topics above, try our General A-Z Index at http://www.mycatholicsource.com/mcs/help.htm

Like trivia? You might enjoy our crossword puzzles located at http://www.mycatholicsource.com/mcs/pc/catholic_activities/catholic_fun_crossword_puzzles.htm

You might also be interested in the Q & A and historical information which may be found each day on the MCS Daily Digest at http://www.mycatholicsource.com/mcs/cg/mcs_daily_digest.asp

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Defending the Faith: "Apologetics Brief" - Do You Reject the Concept of Virginity / Celibacy?

It is good for Catholics to be able to defend their faith against attacks (or even simple questions) from those outside the Church. We therefore hope you may find the following "apologetics brief" helpful.

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Note: Text below is taken from http://www.mycatholicsource.com/mcs/nc/non_catholics__priests.htm

The following may be used as discussion points when discoursing with those outside the Church (or even among Catholics).

Topic: Do You Reject the Concept of Virginity / Celibacy? [Note: Topic is directed at Protestants]

Consider:

* Are you aware that there is a biblical basis for celibacy? For example, consider that...

· In the Old Testament, the priest would only give the holy bread to David and his men if they had abstained from women (1 Sam. 21:2-7). Since a Catholic priest handles the true Holy Bread daily - the Body of Christ - such abstinence should be perpetual - in fact, this fact alone may be considered to necessitate priestly celibacy.

· The priests of the Old Law were required to abstain from women during the time they performed sacred functions. Catholic priests have sacred functions to perform every day.

· Jesus recommends celibacy (see Mt. 19:8-12) and promises rewards to those that give up spouses and children for his sake (Mt. 19:27-29, Mk. 10:29-30, Lk. 18:29-30)

· St. Paul recommends celibacy (see 1 Cor. 7:7, 1 Cor. 7:32-40)

· Scripture tells us that only the virgins follow the Lamb wherever he goes (see Rv. 14:1-5)

* Are you unaware of the many practical reasons for and benefits of celibacy? For example, consider that...

· Priestly celibacy prevents a man from being torn between his wife and the Church.

· Priestly celibacy is necessary due to the tireless work of a priest.

· Priestly celibacy is admired by the flock - and those outside the flock. It sets a good example of chastity, so necessary in today's world.

· Priestly celibacy enables priests to be free for missionary activity - so necessary for the salvation of souls.

· Priestly celibacy shows the world one's faith.

· Priestly celibacy gives the priest more time for his flock.

· Priestly celibacy, a continual act of self-denial which "frees the priest from the flesh" and from temporal concerns, may help advance the priest in sanctity.

· Priestly celibacy maintains a priest's purity and helps to keep his thoughts chaste.

· Priestly celibacy frees the priest from many duties and obligations that would otherwise interfere with his priestly ministry.

· In times of persecution, priestly celibacy prevents a priest from being torn between competing loyalties.

· Priests simply don't have time for a wife and children.

· Priestly celibacy allows the priest to dedicate himself completely to God and service to the Church.

· Consecrated virginity is a sacrifice of love for God and for one's neighbor.

· Priestly celibacy frees priests from many temporal cares.

· Priestly celibacy sets priests apart from the world.

· Celibate priests may merit higher respect than married priests.

· Priestly celibacy gives priests more freedom.

· Priestly celibacy ensures that a priest puts his flock first (instead of a wife and children).

* Priestly celibacy is Christ-like. Remember that Christ was an example of celibacy, recommended celibacy, and was born of a Virgin into a chaste home.

* Priestly celibacy may traced back to the earliest ages of the Church. Even the apostles who were married lived with their wives "as brother and sister" after being called by Christ.

* Do you think the Church forces priests to be celibate? This is untrue. The Church does not force priests to take a vow of celibacy. Although she may require celibacy for admission to the priesthood - and it is in her power to set down requirements for her ministers - the candidate makes this conscious choice on his own. He gives this gift of himself only after full reflection and preparation. It is a fully conscious choice with the realization that he is making a life-long commitment. Since the Church is a loving Mother who knows what is best for her children, she seeks to provide them with the best priests possible - those priests dedicated to God and zealous for the spiritual welfare of their flock. Those who are unwilling to vow celibacy are not forced to do so - they are simply considered unsuitable candidates for the priesthood. [Note: The Church has made some provision for married priests (e.g. in Eastern Rites), however, virginity is always esteemed.]

* Think celibacy has led to the clerical abuse scandals? If so, you should know that the majority of the atrocious acts have been committed by homos*xuals and many involve adolescents. Obviously, allowing priests to marry would not change this sad state of affairs. In fact, even if there were no longer a celibate priesthood, scandals would still occur (in addition to those which have already been committed by homos*xuals and against adolescents, one would likely then have to add adultery to the list of scandals). In fact, it may be argued that it is harder for married persons to obey God than those who take a vow of celibacy. Furthermore, the scandals involving priests vowed to celibacy have been shown to be not out of proportion with those of other persons who are married (including married Protestant 'ministers'), and involve only a small amount of all priests. Also, it should be remembered that it is not celibacy that caused the scandals - it is some priests' failure to live up to their vow of celibacy that caused the scandals. It would be an error in logic to say that since something is abused, it is bad! Rather, it is the abuse of a good thing that is bad, not the thing abused! "The value of a thing must not be judged by its abuse." And finally, the failure on the part of some prelates to thwart further problems exacerbated the scandals. These factors cannot rightly be blamed on priestly celibacy.

* Think that the requirement of celibacy is a rejection of marriage? If so, then do you also accuse Christ and St. Paul of rejecting marriage, since they both recommended celibacy (see above)? This is obviously false, and especially so considering that Christ raised marriage to the dignity of a Sacrament. In the case of the Church, it would be fair to say that the Church is the strongest defender of marriage in the entire world. Not only does she honor it as a Sacrament and reject practices harmful to it (e.g. contraception), but she has emphatically rejected divorce, holding that marriage is indissoluble until death.

* Think celibacy is against nature? If this was true, why would Christ and St. Paul both recommend it? Why did the apostles practice it after they were called by Jesus - even the married ones? "Virginity is natural and marriage came after the fall." (St. Jerome, Doctor of the Church, 5th century A.D.) Also, do not forget that all persons will be celibate in heaven (cf. Mt. 22:30, Mk. 12:25).

* "What really seems more 'apostolic' to you - our celibate priests who live in poverty and dedicate their lives to God and their flock or Protestant 'ministers' who go home each night to their wives and children?" 

* Celibacy allows priests to work 100% of the time for the Church, for souls, and for God.

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"Who can doubt the moral and spiritual richness of such a life, consecrated not to any human ideal, no matter how noble, but to Christ and to His work...?" (Pope Paul VI)

"[T]he priest in all his activities seeks nothing beyond the good of souls, and looks toward no one but Christ to Whom he consecrates his energies and his whole self." (Pope Pius XII, "Menti Nostrae", 1950 A.D.)

"That virginity is good I do agree. But that it is even better than marriage, this I do confess. And if you wish, I will add that it is as much better than marriage as heaven is better than earth, as much better than the angels are better than men. And if there were any other way in which I could say it even more emphatically, I would do so." (St. John Chrysostom, Doctor of the Church, c. 391 A.D.)

"[T]he Virgin Christ and the Virgin Mary have dedicated in themselves the principles of virginity for both sexes. The Apostles were either virgins or remained continent after their marriages. Those persons chosen to be bishops, presbyters, or deacons are either virgins or widowers; or certainly, having once received the priesthood, they remain forever chaste." (St. Jerome, Doctor of the Church, c. 392 A.D.)

"Virginity, the conduct of the angels, is the property of all incorporeal nature. We do not say this as speaking ill of marriage, perish the thought! For we know that the Lord blessed marriage by His presence, and we know the saying, 'Marriage is honorable and its bed undefiled.' But we say this by way of recognizing that however good marriage may be, virginity is better." (St. John of Damascene, Doctor of the Church, c. 8th century A.D.)

"Further, the Fathers of the Church, such as Cyprian, Athanasius, Ambrose, John Chrysostom, Jerome, Augustine, and many others, have sung the praises of virginity. And this doctrine of the Fathers, augmented through the course of centuries by the Doctors of the Church and the masters of asceticism, helps greatly either to inspire in the faithful of both sexes the firm resolution of dedicating themselves to God by the practice of perfect chastity and of persevering thus till death, or to strengthen them in the resolution already taken." (Pope Pius XII, "Sacra Virginitas", 1954 A.D.)

"[H]oly virginity surpasses marriage in excellence. Our Divine Redeemer had already given it to His disciples as a counsel for a more perfect life. St. Paul, after having said that the father who gives his daughter in marriage 'does well,' adds immediately 'and he that gives her not, does better.' Several times in the course of his comparison between marriage and virginity the Apostle reveals his mind, and especially in these words: 'for I would that all men were even as myself... But I say to the unmarried and to widows: it is good for them if they so continue, even as I.' Virginity is preferable to marriage then, as We have said, above all else because it has a higher aim: that is to say, it is a very efficacious means for devoting oneself wholly to the service of God, while the heart of married persons will remain more or less 'divided.'" (Pope Pius XII, "Sacra Virginitas", 1954 A.D.)

"The law of ecclesiastical celibacy, whose first written traces pre-suppose a still earlier unwritten practice, dates back to a canon of the Council of Elvira, at the beginning of the fourth century, when persecution still raged. This law only makes obligatory what might in any case almost be termed a moral exigency that springs from the Gospel and the Apostolic preaching. For the Divine Master showed such high esteem for chastity, and exalted it as something beyond the common power; He Himself was the Son of a Virgin Mother, Florem Matris Virginis, and was brought up in the virgin family of Joseph and Mary; He showed special love for pure souls such as the two Johns - the Baptist and the Evangelist. The great Apostle Paul, faithful interpreter of the New Law and of the mind of Christ, preached the inestimable value of virginity, in view of a more fervent service of God, and gave the reason when he said: 'He that is without a wife is solicitous for the things that belong to the Lord, how he may please God.' All this had almost inevitable consequences: the priests of the New Law felt the heavenly attraction of this chosen virtue; they sought to be of the number of those 'to whom it is given to take this word,' and they spontaneously bound themselves to its observance. Soon it came about that the practice, in the Latin Church, received the sanction of ecclesiastical law. The Second Council of Carthage at the end of the fourth century declared: 'What the Apostles taught, and the early Church preserved, let us too, observe.'" (Pope Pius XI, "Ad Catholici Sacerdotii", 1935 A.D.)

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For more apologetics resources, please visit http://www.mycatholicsource.com/mcs/non-catholics.htm

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In Closing...

"And the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us (and we saw his glory, the glory as it were of the only begotten of the Father), full of grace and truth." (Jn. 1:14)

"Jesus, Son of the living God, Have mercy on us. Jesus, splendor of the Father, Have mercy on us. Jesus, brightness of eternal light, Have mercy on us. Jesus, King of glory, Have mercy on us." (From the Litany of the Most Holy Name of Jesus)

"[The New Year is] a gift fresh from the hand of God, like a parchment rolled, unsullied, unmarked by good or bad." (Manual of the Catholic Church, 1906 A.D.)

"Think upon the Name of Jesus, and it will break up thine enemies plans, conquer them, and put them to flight. This is the Name deserving of all honor, at which the wicked spirits ever tremble. This is the Name of salvation, and the wonderful consolation which comforts the sorrowful." (Bernardine de Bustis, as quoted by Dom Gueranger)

"Blessed be the Name of Jesus. (Benedictum Nomen Iesu.)" (From the Divine Praises) [English / Latin]

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