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MyCatholicSource.com Newsletter - April, 2011 [Plain text version]

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MyCatholicSource.com Newsletter - April, 2011

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IN THIS ISSUE:

* Greetings

* MCS News & Notes

* The Month of April: Dedicated to the Holy Eucharist

* Prayers of St. Bridget in Honor of the Sacred Wounds of Our Blessed Savior

* Liturgical Feasts in April

* Easter Sermon Excerpts

* 'Catholic Trivia'

* Defending the Faith: "Apologetics Brief" - Do You Reject Crucifixes?

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Dear Friend,

Greetings to you as we enter this most holy time of year. This month will see the end of Lent as Holy Week gives way to the joy of Easter. Important dates in April include...

Palm Sunday - 4/17/11

Spy Wednesday - 4/20/11

Maundy Thursday (Holy Thursday) - 4/21/11

Good Friday - 4/22/11

Holy Saturday (Easter Vigil) - 4/23/11

Easter Sunday - 4/24/11

We wish you God's grace in faithfully living up your good resolutions for the remaining days of Lent. Remember that "Only he who has shared in the combat can comprehend the victory and have part in the triumph." (Dom Gueranger) The same author notes that "[I]f we begin with fervor, let us remember that the grand thing is to be faithful to the end, and bring to the Easter solemnity the crown of our perseverance."

But even if we have not faithfully lived up to our good resolutions, remember that there is still time to do better. Seek God's mercy, recalling Our Lord's words to His disciples: "Why sleep ye? Arise and pray, lest ye enter into temptation." (Lk. 22:46) Also bear in mind that "the only way to follow Jesus is to pick up our cross" and begin anew to follow our Savior's example: "What our Lord commanded in word, He confirms by His example. For He who bid us watch and pray before the coming of the Judge, and the uncertain end of each of us, as the time of His Passion drew near, is Himself instant in teaching, watching, and prayer." (St. Bede the Venerable, Doctor of the Church)

May God grant you a blessed remainder of Lent followed by a most joyous and blessed Easter.

Your Friends at MyCatholicSource.com

P.S. For resources for Lent, Good Friday & Easter, please see links below (see 'MCS News & Notes')

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"Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us rid ourselves of every burden and sin that clings to us and persevere in running the race that lies before us while keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus, the leader and perfecter of faith." (St. Paul, Heb. 12:1-2)

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MCS News & Notes

* Handy New Resource: 'Catholic Trivia' Q & A Search - Try here for a quick search of thousands of Q & A covering numerous topics - http://www.mycatholicsource.com/mcs/cd/catholic_activities-search_q_and_a.asp

* New: We've added a link to the MCS Newsletter Archive for additional detail (e.g. highlights / titles) for each newsletter in the archive. To view detail, please visit http://www.mycatholicsource.com/mcs/newsletters/mcs_newsletters_dt.htm

* Progress Update: We're still working on site beautification and incorporating links to Topic Pages throughout MyCatholicSource.com. As mentioned previously, we expect this project will take months to complete. However, we have made good progress so far, so please let us know if you experience any issues with pages which have been completed or if you have any comments or questions. We appreciate your feedback.

* Are you in R.C.I.A? Do you know someone in R.C.I.A? Try our handy new URL shortcut for quick access to helpful (& orthodox!) resources for those in R.C.I.A.: www.MyCatholicSource.com/RCIA - Why not share this link with friends in RCIA!

* For resources for Lent, please visit http://www.mycatholicsource.com/mcs/tp/topic_page-lent.htm . For Good Friday resources, please visit http://www.mycatholicsource.com/mcs/tp/topic_page-Good_Friday.htm

* For Easter resources, please visit http://www.mycatholicsource.com/mcs/tp/topic_page-easter.htm

* Will you be traveling for Easter? Need to locate a parish or Mass time? Don't forget our 'locate a Mass' links page at www.MyCatholicSource.com/Churches (or alternately at www.MyCatholicSource.com/Masses )

* We will soon be preparing for our Third Annual Rosary Week. Please plan to join us by saying the Rosary each day of the week (from 10/24/11 through 10/30/11) for the indicated intentions. A sign up sheet should be available shortly.

* Did you know? There is so much junk out there in 'cyberspace', including a lot of anti-Catholic materials, yet search engines are automated and therefore may have a difficult time distinguishing between sites containing junk and sites which contain quality content. When other sites & blogs contain links to MyCatholicSource.com, this helps search engines figure out that MyCatholicSource.com is not 'junk'. So, if you participate in forums or have a blog or website, would you please consider linking to us? Please link to as many pages on MyCatholicSource.com as possible, as often as possible. Thank you!

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

* Please see our Notices page at http://www.mycatholicsource.com/mcs/cg/notices.htm for dates of anticipated service delays through April 2011

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* Please visit the "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 April: Dedicated to the Holy Eucharist

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"There is nothing more to be added when we have said 'The Eucharist', since It is Jesus Christ." (St. Peter Julian Eymard)

"When they see the Blood of the Lord, demons flee while angels gather." (St. John Chrysostom, Doctor of the Church)

"[The Eucharist is] a medicine of immortality, an antidote to death" (St. Ignatius of Antioch, c. 110 A.D.)

"[T]he Eucharist is, in itself, the greatest of the sacraments" (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

"This Sacrament, whether as the theme of devout meditation, or as the object of public adoration, or best of all as a food to be received in the utmost purity of conscience, is to be regarded as the center towards which the spiritual life of a Christian in all its ambit gravitates; for all other forms of devotion, whatsoever they may be, lead up to it, and in it find their point of rest." (Pope Leo XIII, "Mirae Caritatis", 1902 A.D.)

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Related Resources...

* Holy Communion / Holy Eucharist (Topic Page) - http://www.mycatholicsource.com/mcs/tp/topic_page-Holy_Communion.htm

* Holy Sacrifice of the Mass (Topic Page) - http://www.mycatholicsource.com/mcs/tp/topic_page-catholic_mass.htm

* Holy Eucharist / Mass (General Info.) - http://www.mycatholicsource.com/mcs/pc/sacraments/Holy_Eucharist.htm

* Catechism of the Council of Trent on the Holy Eucharist - http://www.mycatholicsource.com/mcs/pc/sacraments/catechism_of_the_council_of_trent_Holy_Eucharist.htm

* Holy Communion (Reflections) - http://www.mycatholicsource.com/mcs/qt/sacraments_reflections_Holy_Eucharist_Mass__Holy_Communion.htm

* Holy Eucharist / Mass (Reflections) - http://www.mycatholicsource.com/mcs/qt/sacraments_reflections_Holy_Eucharist.htm

* Mass / Holy Eucharist (Prayers) - http://www.mycatholicsource.com/mcs/pr/prayers_and_hymns_Mass_Holy_Eucharist.htm

* Mirae Caritatis (On The Holy Eucharist, Pope Leo XIII) - http://www.mycatholicsource.com/mcs/pd/mirae_caritatis.htm

* Holy Eucharist / Mass (Apologetics) - http://www.mycatholicsource.com/mcs/nc/non_catholics__Eucharist_Mass.htm

* Holy Eucharist (Word Search) - http://www.mycatholicsource.com/mcs/pca/word_search_Holy_Eucharist.htm

* Holy Eucharist (Crossword Puzzle) - http://www.mycatholicsource.com/mcs/pca/crossword_puzzle_Holy_Eucharist.html

* Communion in the Hand: Why Not? - http://www.mycatholicsource.com/mcs/pc/sacraments/communion_in_the_hand__why_not.htm

* Communion Under Both Species: Is it Required? - http://www.mycatholicsource.com/mcs/pc/sacraments/communion_under_both_species__is_it_required.htm

* Lay 'Eucharistic Ministers': Why Not? - http://www.mycatholicsource.com/mcs/pc/sacraments/lay_ministers__why_not.htm

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

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"We are bound to receive Holy Communion, under pain of mortal sin, during Easter time and when in danger of death." (Baltimore Catechism) [Note: Of course, those receiving Holy Communion must be properly disposed and in the state of grace. Any who have committed a mortal sin must first make a sacramental Confession and receive absolution prior to receiving Holy Communion. Remember that "He who receives Communion in mortal sin receives the Body and Blood of Christ, but does not receive His grace, and he commits a great sacrilege." (Baltimore Catechism)]

"No one who has a mortal sin on his conscience shall dare receive the Holy Eucharist before making a sacramental confession, regardless of how contrite he may think he is. This holy council declares that this custom is to be kept forever" (Council of Trent)

"Can. 915 Those upon whom the penalty of excommunication or interdict has been imposed or declared, and others who obstinately persist in manifest grave sin, are not to be admitted to holy communion." (1983 Code of Canon Law)

"Can. 731 § 2 It is forbidden that the Sacraments of the Church be ministered to heretics and schismatics, even if they ask for them and are in good faith, unless beforehand, rejecting their errors, they are reconciled with the Church." (1917 Code of Canon Law)

"For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, that the Lord Jesus, the same night in which he was betrayed, took bread, And giving thanks, broke and said [to the Apostles]: Take ye and eat: This is my body, which shall be delivered for you. This do for the commemoration of me. In like manner also the chalice, after he had supped, saying: This chalice is the new testament in my blood. This do ye, as often as you shall drink, for the commemoration of me. For as often as you shall eat this bread and drink the chalice, you shall shew the death of the Lord, until he come. Therefore, whosoever shall eat this bread, or drink the chalice of the Lord unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and of the blood of the Lord. But let a man prove himself: and so let him eat of that bread and drink of the chalice. For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily eateth and drinketh judgment to himself, not discerning the body of the Lord. Therefore are there many infirm and weak among you: and many sleep [that is, die]." (St. Paul, 1 Cor. 11:23-30)

"The august sacrifice of the altar, then is no mere empty commemoration of the passion and death of Jesus Christ, but a true and proper act of sacrifice, whereby the High Priest by an unbloody immolation offers Himself a most acceptable victim to the Eternal Father, as He did upon the cross. 'It is one and the same victim; the same person now offers it by the ministry of His priests, who then offered Himself on the cross, the manner of offering alone being different. The priest is the same, Jesus Christ, whose sacred Person His minister represents." (Pope Pius XII, "Mediator Dei")

"If any one saith that in the sacred and holy sacrament of the Eucharist the substance of the bread and wine remains conjointly with the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, and denieth that wonderful and singular conversion of the whole substance of the bread into the Body, and of the whole substance of the wine into the Blood - the species only of the bread and wine remaining - which conversion indeed the Catholic Church most aptly calls transubstantiation; let him be anathema." (Council of Trent)

"If any one denieth that in the sacrament of the most holy Eucharist are contained truly, really, and substantially, the Body and Blood together with the soul and divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ, and consequently the whole Christ; but saith that He is only therein as a sign, or in a figure, or virtue; the him be anathema." (Council of Trent)

"[To preachers of his order:] 'And in every sermon which you give, admonish the people concerning [the necessity of] penance, and [instruct them] that no one can be saved unless he receive the Body and Blood of the Lord (cf. Jn. 6:54). And when It is sacrificed upon the altar by the priest and carried to any place, let all the people, on bended knee, praise, glorify, and honor the Lord God living and true. And you must announce and preach His praise to all peoples in such a manner that at every hour and whenever the bells are rung, praise, glory, and honor are given to the all-powerful God through all the earth." (St. Francis of Assisi)

"Certainly, then, the more a Christian is aware of the holiness and the divinity of this heavenly Sacrament [of the Eucharist], the more careful he should be not to receive it without great reverence and sanctity, especially since we read in the Apostle the fearful words: 'He who eats and drinks unworthily, without distinguishing the body of the Lord, eats and drinks judgment to himself' (1 Cor. 11:29)" (Council of Trent)

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Prayers of St. Bridget in Honor of the Sacred Wounds of Our Blessed Savior

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Note: The following prayers are taken from an 1883 publication entitled "The Catholic Prayer Book and Manual of Meditations". The publication bears an imprimatur. We have made some changes to the text below (e.g. spelling changes, capitalization changes, etc.)

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O most sweet Lord Jesus Christ, the eternal sweetness of those who love thee; the joy, desire, and firm hope of the hopeless; solace of the sorrowful, and most merciful lover of all penitent sinners; who hast said thy delight is to be with the sons of men. for the love of whom thou didst assume human nature in the fullness of time; remember, O most sweet Lord Jesus, all those sharp sorrows which did pierce thy sacred soul, from the first instant of thy incarnation, until the time of thy sorrowful passion, pre-ordained from all eternity: remember, O most amiable Savior, all that bitter anguish thou didst suffer, when at thy last supper thou didst wash the feet of thy disciples, didst feed them with the sacred banquet of thy precious body and blood, and most sweetly comforting them, didst foretell them thy ensuing passion; after which, going to Mount Olivet, thou saidst, My soul is sorrowful unto death. Remember, I beseech thee, O most sweet Savior, that bitter grief and anguish which thy sacred soul did suffer when, praying three several times to thy heavenly Father, thou didst sweat water and blood; thou wast betrayed by thy own disciple, apprehended by thy chosen people, accused by false witnesses, unjustly arraigned before three judges, and in thy chosen city, in the Paschal solemnity, in the flourishing age of thy youth, wrongfully condemned, bound, beaten, spurned, spit upon, despoiled of thy garments, and clothed with others in scorn; wast blindfolded, buffeted, spit upon again, bound naked to a pillar, most cruelly scourged, crowned with thorns, struck with a reed, and afflicted with innumerable other torments, pains, and injuries. O my Lord Jesus, by the memory and merit of all that bitter pain and anguish, before thou breathedst thy last upon the cross, vouchsafe to grant me, before my death, true contrition, entire confession, a flowing fountain of tears, full satisfaction, and plenary remission of all my sins. Amen.

O most gracious Lord Jesus, be propitious to me a sinner.

Our Father... Hail Mary...

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O most sweet Lord Jesus, ever flowing fountain of heavenly delights, remember, I beseech thee, that grief and sorrow which thou didst suffer when thy cruel enemies, like fierce lions, with furious and dreadful looks, compassing thee round about, did tear off thy hair, spit upon thy sacred face, smite, buffet thee, and with all manner of unheard-of injuries, outrages, and torments, did most cruelly and basely blaspheme, scorn, and affront thee. O most sweet Lord Jesus, by all those most barbarous and inhuman outrages which thou didst suffer, vouchsafe to deliver me from all my enemies, visible and invisible, that, protected under the shadow of thy wings, I may safely arrive at the port of eternal glory. Amen.

O most gracious Lord Jesus, be propitious to me a sinner.

Our Father... Hail Mary...

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O most sweet Lord Jesus, omnipotent creator and preserver of the world, and redeemer of mankind, who containest both heaven and earth in thy hand, and whose immensity no bounds can limit: remember, I beseech thee, that bitter pain and anguish which thou didst endure, when the perfidious Jews [meaning: owing to the Jews' insistence, but performed by the Romans] pierced thy delicate and tender hands and feet with most rough and blunt nails, stretching them forth violently with cords to the holes they had made in the cross. Thus they heaped dolors upon dolors, most cruelly disjointing all thy bones, breaking all thy veins, and renewing all thy sacred wounds. O most sweet Jesus, by the memory of all these pains and torments on the Cross, vouchsafe to give me thy fear and love, with perfect charity towards my neighbor. Amen.

O most pious Lord Jesus, be propitious to me a sinner.

Our Father... Hail Mary...

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O most sweet Lord Jesus, heavenly physician of human nature, and eternal king; remember, I beseech thee, all those bitter pains which thou didst endure in thy sacred members, being raised up upon the cross, with all thy precious body rent and torn, all thy bones being so disjointed, that not one remained in its right place; not having, from the crown of thy head to the soles of thy feet, any part left whole, so that no dolor could be compared to thine; at which time being unmindful of thine own torments, thou didst mercifully pray to thy heavenly Father for thy cruel enemies, saying: Father forgive them, for they know not what they do. O most meek and merciful Lord Jesus, by this thy admirable benignity, goodness, love, and mercy, and by all thy bitter pains and torments, grant that the memory of thy dolorous passion may be to me a most powerful protection of my soul and body, against all the deceits, temptations, and molestations of the devil, my cruel enemy. Amen.

O most merciful Lord Jesus, be propitious to me a sinner.

Our Father... Hail Mary...

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O most sweet Lord Jesus Christ, mirror of eternal brightness, and wisdom of the omnipotent Father, remember the bitter grief and sorrow thy sacred soul did feel, when beholding in the clear mirror of thy divine presence the predestination of the elect, who through the merits of thy most wholesome passion were to be saved, and the reprobation of the wicked, who for their ingratitude were to be damned, and the abyss of thy immense mercy, by which thou didst commiserate and shed tears for us, miserable, lost, forlorn sinners; and chiefly by that mercy thou didst show to the thief upon the cross, saying to him, This day thou shalt be with me in Paradise, I beseech thee, O most sweet Lord Jesus, my Lord and my God, to show the like mercy to me, now and at the hour of my death. Amen.

O most sweet Lord Jesus, be propitious to me a sinner.

Our Father... Hail Mary...

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O most sweet Lord Jesus, omnipotent king and most amiable friend, remember the bitter grief and sorrow thy sacred soul did suffer, when, being forsaken by all thy friends and disciples, thou didst hang naked, rent, and torn, upon the cross, not having any to comfort or compassionate thee, but the Blessed Virgin Mary, thy mother, who, standing under the cross, in the bitterness of her soul, accompanied thee in all thy torments, unto whom thou didst commend thy beloved disciple St. John in thy place, saying unto her, Woman, behold thy Son! and after to that disciple, Behold thy Mother! O most sweet Lord Jesus, by that sword which did then transpierce her sacred soul, and by the tender love and compassion wherewith thou didst behold the sad distress of thy sorrowful mother, have pity and compassion on me, I beseech thee, my dearest Lord, and mercifully help, comfort, succor, and assist me in all my tribulations, adversities, necessities, sorrows, and sufferings, both spiritual and corporal. Amen.

O most blessed Lord Jesus, be propitious to me a sinner.

Our Father... Hail Mary...

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I beseech thee, O Lord Jesus Christ, that thy passion may be my strength, by which I may be fortified, protected, and defended; thy wounds be to me food and drink, by which I may be fed, inebriated and delighted; the sprinkling of thy blood be the washing away of all my sins; thy death be to me everlasting glory. In these be to me refreshment, exultation, health, study, joy, desire of soul and body, now and for ever. Amen.

O Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the living God, put thy passion, thy cross and thy death, between thy judgment and my soul, now and in the hour of my death. Mayst thou vouchsafe to extend to me grace and mercy, pardon to the living, rest to the dead, peace to thy Church, and life and eternal glory to all sinners, who livest and reignest with God the Father, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, for ever and ever. Amen.

O Holy Mary, most sorrowful Mother, by the sword of grief which pierced thy soul, obtain for us the fruit of the blood of thy Son Jesus Christ, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

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

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Liturgical Feasts in April

The following is a listing of all liturgical feast dates for April 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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April 2 - St. Francis of Paula (Paola) (T)

April 2 - St. Francis of Paola (N)

April 4 - St. Isidore of Seville (T)

April 4 - St. Isidore of Seville (N)

April 5 - St. Vincent Ferrer (T)

April 5 - St. Vincent Ferrer (N)

April 6 - St. Juliana of Cornillon (T)

April 7 - St. John Baptist de la Salle (N)

April 8 - St. Julia Billiart (T)

April 11 - St. Leo the Great, pope (T)

April 11 - St. Stanislaus (N)

April 13 - St. Hermenegild (T)

April 13 - St. Martin I, pope (N)

April 14 - St. Justin (T)

April 14 - Sts. Tiburtius, Valerian & Maximus (T)

April 17 - St. Anicetus, pope (T)

April 21 - St. Anselm of Canterbury (T)

April 21 - St. Anselm (N)

April 22 - Sts. Soter & Caius, popes (T)

April 23 - St. George (T)

April 23 - St. Adalbert (N)

April 23 - St. George (N)

April 24 - St. Fidelis of Sigmaringen (T)

April 24 - St. Fidelis of Sigmaringen (N)

April 25 - St. Mark the Evangelist (T)

April 25 - St. Mark the Evangelist (N)

April 26 - Our Lady of Good Counsel (T)

April 26 - Sts. Cletus & Marcellinus, popes (T)

April 27 - St. Peter Canisius (T)

April 27 - St. Thuribius of Mogrobejo (T)

April 28 - St. Paul of the Cross (T)

April 28 - St. Vitalis (T)

April 28 - St. Louis Marie de Montfort (N)

April 28 - St. Peter Chanel (N)

April 29 - St. Peter of Verona (T)

April 29 - St. Catherine of Siena (N)

April 30 - St. Catherine of Siena (T)

April 30 - St. Pius V, pope (N)

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

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Also...

4/3/11 - Fourth Sunday of Lent (Laetare Sunday)

4/10/11 - Fifth Sunday of Lent [Passion Sunday (T)]

4/17/11 - Palm Sunday

4/20/11 - Spy Wednesday

4/21/11 - Maundy Thursday (Holy Thursday)

4/22/11 - Good Friday

4/23/11 - Holy Saturday (Easter Vigil)

4/24/11 - Easter Sunday

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Easter Sermon Excerpts 

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The following is taken from the fifth edition of "New and Old (Sermons): A Monthly Repertory of Catholic Pulpit Eloquence" (copyright date 1891), which was compiled by Fr. Wirth. The excerpts below are attributed to Bishop Ehrler. Please note: We have made various changes to the original text (e.g. spelling / punctuation / capitalization changes, shortening, combining of paragraphs, etc.).

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Excerpts from Easter Sunday Sermon: The Glory of the Risen Savior

"He is risen, he is not here." (Mark 16:6)

The Resurrection of Christ is the best proof of his divinity, the strongest seal of his doctrines, the pledge of our redemption, the figure of our spiritual, and the guarantee of our corporal resurrection. Therefore all the circumstances of his Resurrection are of the greatest importance. We confine ourselves, however, to the explanation of a few words addressed by the angel to the women who had come to the sepulchre: "You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified; he is risen, he is not here." As by dying on the Cross Jesus showed himself a real man, so by rising again from the dead he showed himself to be

I. The true God;

II. The strong God; and

III. The merciful God.

Although Jesus was born, lived and died in the humble form of man, the rays of his divinity shone forth so brilliantly from the very depths of his poverty and lowliness, that the world could not but acknowledge him as the King of glory, the Son of God to whom the Father said before the creation of the world: "Thou art my son, this day I have begotten thee." (Ps. 2:7) In his fulfillment of the predictions of the Prophets, in the signs and wonders which he wrought in the order of nature and grace, he proved himself as God. But the most convincing and incontestable proof of his divinity is his glorious Resurrection from the dead. This was attested by our Savior himself: "Master, we would see a sign from thee," said the Scribes and Pharisees to him on a certain occasion. But he answering said to them: "An evil and adulterous generation seeketh for a sign, but a sign shall not be given to it, but the sign of Jonas the prophet. For, as Jonas was in the whale's belly three days and three nights, so shall the Son of Man be in the heart of the earth three days and three nights." (Matt. 12:39, 40) He calls his resurrection his last and greatest miracle. Israel could have been saved yet by a belief in this sign; but when the nation refused to believe in this last and greatest miracle, all hope of salvation was lost. It was not possible for the Lord to work a greater miracle, and to give to the world a stronger proof of his divinity. Therefore he added: The men of Ninive shall rise in judgment against this generation, and shall condemn it, because they did penance at the preaching of Jonas; and behold a greater than Jonas is here. Again when he drove the buyers and sellers out of the temple, and they questioned his authority, saying: "What sign dost thou show us, seeing thou doest these things? Jesus answered, and said to them: "Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up." (John 2:18, 19) His body is the visible temple of God, its rebuilding (resurrection) according to our Lord's words, is as great and convincing a miracle, as if, granting that the Jews had destroyed the temple of Jerusalem, he had rebuilt in three days what it had taken forty-six years to erect.

The Prophets had wrought miracles heretofore, but only by the order and power of God. They had even raised the dead to life. But to free one's self from the shackles of death, to restore life to one's own defunct body, that belongs only to him who can say and has said: "I am the resurrection and the life." (John 11:25) "I am the first and the last, and alive; and behold I am living forever, and have the keys of death and of hell." (Apoc. 1:18) "Because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell (in the grave), nor wilt thou give thy holy one to see corruption," (Ps. 15:10) exclaims the Psalmist, when he beheld in joyful ecstasy the Resurrection of the Lord and in it the shining seal of his divinity. No miracle was ever so firmly established and confirmed. All the Apostles unanimously proclaimed it. Our Savior appeared upon ten different occasions to them, and to the five hundred brethren assembled together. They not only saw him plainly with their eyes, but he also allowed them to touch him with their hands; he ate before them, in order to convince them that he was really arisen in the flesh. Even his enemies were compelled against their will to testify to the truth of his Resurrection. They had rolled a heavy stone against the entrance of the sepulchre, put the seal of public authority upon it, and placed a guard around it. But the broken seal, the rolled-away stone, the empty tomb, the affrighted guard are proofs of the Resurrection of the Lord. In vain did these miserable men have recourse to lies in order to weaken or destroy these proofs. The Lord in his wisdom, has surrounded this miracle of Resurrection with so many testimonies, that doubt and unbelief dare not assail or subvert this corner-stone of our faith.

...

The forgiveness of our sins rests assuredly upon the atoning death of Christ. Our supreme consolation lies in his holy Passion, and in the fullness of all graces in life and death... In the victory of Christ, we celebrate our own; and we feel confident that, once risen from the grave, he has left behind him, in the darkness and silence of the tomb, the handwriting that stood against us, the terrible record of our guilt. If the words of the Church: "I absolve thee from thy sins," derive their efficacy from the death of our Savior on the cross, his resurrection is the seal of their power and mercy.

Another equally consoling truth of our holy faith, our own resurrection, rests upon the sublime mystery which we celebrate today. The hope of immortality and of eternal life, has been the solace of all times and nations... Jesus spoke of this hope and taught this truth in the clearest manner: "I am the resurrection and the life. He that believeth in me, although he be dead, shall live. And every one that liveth and believeth in me, shall not die forever." (John 11:25, 26) He calls himself the dispenser of life, who carries life within him, and who has the power to communicate it to all who believe in him. He calls himself the author of the resurrection. "As the Father raiseth up the dead and giveth life; so the Son also giveth life to whom he will." (John 5:21) He has the same power and omnipotence as his Father. He can reanimate the dead. "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No man cometh to the Father but by me." (John 14:6) He bears within him the life which truly leads to the Father. Our Savior has strongly confirmed this hope of our resurrection by all the graces he has deposited in his Church. All the holy Sacraments which he has instituted for our salvation, assure us of this; for they sanctify and consecrate our souls and bodies; especially, the most adorable Sacrament of the Altar, which pours into our being a divine life, and implants in us the germ of immortality.

...

But, my brethren, we must celebrate here upon earth, a thorough resurrection from our sins, if we expect to imitate our Lord in a final resurrection from the dead. Can he who is the slave of sin ever expect that glorious resurrection? The grace and love of Jesus can not but depart from a soul in which the devil dwells. The resurrection of our Lord is, therefore, the most powerful warning and beautiful symbol of our own moral resurrection. As our Savior raised himself from the tomb free from the fetters of death, so let us, also, arise from the grave of sin, and walk in the newness of life. Let us live, like him, in a glorified manner; with renovated souls and holy dispositions. The marvelously beautiful image of the Risen Christ should ever be the Christian's model. And, as our Lord, after he had overcome death, died no more nor returned into his tomb, so let us never again lose the life of grace which, in his mercy, he has infused into our souls, but "mind the things that are above;" until we arise, like our King and Lord, clothed with the beauty of immortality, and girded with heavenly glory, to the mansions of eternal bliss!

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

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'Catholic Trivia'

Note: All trivia this month concerns sin.

1. What are the chief sources of actual sin?

2. How is actual sin sub-divided?

3. Is a single unrepented mortal sin enough to condemn a soul to hell for all eternity?

4. What should one do upon committing a mortal sin?

5. Does any sin go unpunished?

6. Can sins be forgiven without contrition?

7. When are bad thoughts sins?

8. Since God is merciful, why is all sin punished?

9. What are the six sins against the Holy Spirit?

10. In what ways can one be an accessory to another's sin?

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Answers:

1. "The chief sources of actual sin are: pride, covetousness, lust, anger, gluttony, envy, and sloth, and these are commonly called capital sins." (Baltimore Catechism)

2. "Actual sin is sub-divided into greater sins, called mortal, and lesser sins, called venial." (Baltimore Catechism)

3. Yes. "It is of faith that Heaven exists for the good and Hell for the wicked. Faith teaches that the pains of Hell are eternal, and it also warns us that one single mortal sin suffices to condemn a soul forever because of the infinite malice by which it offends an infinite God." (St. Anthony Mary Claret) [Note: This refers to an unrepented mortal sin. Every mortal sin - no matter how evil - can be forgiven (assuming the sinner is truly contrite). See site for more information.]

4. "If we have the misfortune to commit a mortal sin, we should ask God's pardon and grace at once, make an act of perfect contrition, and go to confession as soon as we can [according to the Catechism of the Council of Trent, we should have 'immediate recourse' to confession]." (Baltimore Catechism)

5. No (see Sirach 7:8, Nahum 1:3, etc). As stated by Pope St. Gregory the Great: "Therefore God never spares him that offends, in that he never leaves his sin without taking vengeance on it. For either man himself in doing penance punishes it in himself, or God in dealing with man in vengeance for it, visits it with His rod, and thus there is never any sparing of sin, in that it is never remitted without vengeance."

6. No. "God will not forgive us any sin, whether mortal or venial, unless we have true contrition for it." (Baltimore Catechism)

7. "Bad thoughts, even though resulting in no bad deed, are sins when we culpably entertain them, or consent to them, or expose ourselves to the proximate danger of consenting to them." (Catechism of Pope St. Pius X)

8. God is a just judge and "A judge justly punishes one who is guilty of wrongdoing; and if he does not punish him he is himself a wrongdoer. In punishing him the judge is not the cause either of the wrongdoing or of the vengeance taken against the wrongdoer, the cause being the wrongdoer's freely chosen actions." (St. John Damascene, Doctor of the Church)

9. The six sins against the Holy Spirit (Holy Ghost) are: Presumption, Despair, Resisting the Known Truth, Envy of Another's Spiritual Good, Obstinacy in Sin, and Final Impenitence [Ref.: A Catechism of Christian Doctrine ("Penny Catechism")]

10. There are a variety of ways of being an accessory to another's sin, including: 1-By counsel, 2-By command, 3-By consent, 4-By provocation, 5-By praise or flattery, 6-By concealment, 7-By being a partner in the sin, 8-By defending the ill done, 9-By providing the sinner refuge from justice, 10-By silence [Ref.: Catholic Dictionary, A Catechism of Christian Doctrine ("Penny Catechism")]

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For more information concerning the above topic, try...

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

* Sin & Vice (Q & A) - http://www.mycatholicsource.com/mcs/pc/catholic_basics/catholic_basics_sin_and_vice.htm

* General A-Z Index - 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 Crucifixes?

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__misc.htm

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

Topic: Do You Reject Crucifixes? (Note: Topic is directed at Protestants)

Consider:

* How can you reject the image of the crucifix when St. Paul says, "For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ, and him crucified" (St. Paul, 1 Cor. 2:2)?

* Do you imagine that the Catholic Church does not know that Christ rose from the dead? Of course she knows this! However, a crucifix portrays an historical reality - the most important reality in the history of the human race. An empty cross is not what saved us!

* Are you unaware of the many benefits of crucifixes as opposed to plain crosses? For example, consider that...

- The crucifix helps one to reflect on the actual sufferings of Jesus. It makes one more aware of the consequences of sin, and more grateful.

- The crucifix clearly reminds us of the truth of Christ's words in the Gospel of John: "No one has greater love than this, to lay down one's life for one's friends." (Jn. 15:13)

- The crucifix helps produce contrition for sins.

- The crucifix reminds us of the seriousness of - and consequences of - sin.

- The crucifix inspires the faithful to bear suffering patiently.

- The crucifix shows the faithful the price Jesus paid.

- The crucifix shows the faithful how much God loves His children.

- The crucifix helps increase gratitude towards Christ.

- The crucifix is the model of true love. It doesn't hide the reality that love is sometimes painful.

- A crucifix is a "gospel in miniature" even for the illiterate and uneducated.

- We are all expected to take up our cross - a crucifix is a reminder of what this entails.

- The crucifix serves as a reminder: "We humans are forgetful and need to be reminded. We need to remember what our sins cost God and what we owe Him. We need to be reminded about how grateful we should be. As in court when one hears the arguings of the defendant, it is also necessary to balance this by seeing his victim."

- "The crucifix is a reminder that it alone is the way of life that brings us ultimate happiness. It reminds us that we must practice self denial and sacrifice in our own lives."

[Note: Also see 'The Cross Vs. The Crucifix', at http://www.mycatholicsource.com/mcs/pc/prayers_and_devotions/cross_vs_crucifix.htm ]

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"For Jews demand signs and Greeks look for wisdom, but we proclaim Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those who are called, Jews and Greeks alike, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength." (1 Cor. 1:22-25)

"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." (St. Paul of the Cross)

"Before the crucifix we feel true sorrow for sin and fixing our gaze on it we also feel the greatest comfort." (St. Mary Joseph Rossello)

"Let us go often to the foot of the Cross...We shall learn there what God has done for us, and what we ought to do for him." (St. John Vianney)

"Look at His adorable Face. Look at His glazed and sunken eyes. Look at His wounds. Look Jesus in the Face. There, you will see how He loves us." (St. Therese of Lisieux, Doctor of the Church)

"O what inspiration there is in the Crucifix! Who could find it hard to persevere at the sight of a God who never commands us to do anything which he has not first practiced himself?" (St. John Vianney)

"In that one and the same event, there is the sign of sin's utter depravity and the seal of divine forgiveness. From that point on, no man can look upon a crucifix and say that sin is not serious, nor can he ever say that it cannot be forgiven. By the way He suffered, He revealed the reality of sin; by the way He bore it, He shows His mercy toward the sinner." (Archbishop Fulton Sheen)

"If every devout Israelite in contemplating Jerusalem saw only the Temple, then we must believe that Jesus, zealous as He was for His Father's honor and ever prostrate in adoration before Him, gazed from His Cross at the house of His Father in a spirit of ardent worship, mingled with unspeakable sorrow. His Cross was situated to the west and His face was turned almost in exactly the same direction as the Temple, of which He thus saw only the back. Given the season of the year and the time of day, the shadow of the Cross would, if extended, have covered the sacred edifice and the altar beyond. These striking calculations may easily be verified on the spot; they are no fruit of the imagination. Fantasy on this subject would be out of place." (Sertillanges) [Note: In other words, the very shadow that was projected onto the temple during the Passion was the Crucifix - not an empty cross.]

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

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In Closing...

"Then he took the Twelve aside and said to them, 'Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem and everything written by the prophets about the Son of Man will be fulfilled. He will be handed over to the Gentiles and he will be mocked and insulted and spat upon; and after they have scourged him they will kill him, but on the third day he will rise.'" (Lk. 18:31-33)

"Christ instituted the Holy Eucharist - 1) To unite us to Himself and to nourish our soul with His Body and Blood, 2) To increase sanctifying grace and all virtues in our soul, 3) To lessen our evil inclinations, 4) To be a pledge of everlasting life, 5) To fit our bodies for a glorious resurrection, and 6) To continue the sacrifice of the Cross in His Church." (Baltimore Catechism)

"History bears witness that the virtues of the Christian life have flourished best wherever and whenever the frequent reception of the Eucharist has most prevailed. And on the other hand it is no less certain that in days when men have ceased to care for this heavenly bread, and have lost their appetite for it, the practice of Christian religion has gradually lost its force and vigor." (Pope Leo XIII, "Mirae Caritatis", 1902 A.D.)

"The Resurrection is the greatest of Christ's miracles because all He taught and did is confirmed by it and depends upon it. He promised to rise from the dead and without this fulfillment of that promise we could not believe in Him." (Baltimore Catechism)

"Eternal Wisdom, on the one hand, wished to prove his love for man by dying in his place in order to save him, but on the other hand, he could not bear the thought of leaving him. So he devised a marvelous way of dying and living at the same time, and of abiding with man until the end of time. So, in order to fully satisfy his love, he instituted the sacrament of Holy Eucharist and went to the extent of changing and overturning nature itself." (St. Louis de Montfort)

Easter Prayer: O God, who on this day through Thine only-begotten Son hast overcome death and opened unto us the gate of everlasting life; do Thou follow with Thine aid the desires which Thou dost put into our minds and by Thy continual help bring the same to good effect. Through the same Lord. (Collect)

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