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MyCatholicSource.com Newsletter - May, 2016 [Plain text version]

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MyCatholicSource.com Newsletter - May, 2016

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IN THIS ISSUE:

* Greetings

* MCS News & Notes

* The Month of May: Dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary

* Your Debt of Eternal Gratitude for the Holy Eucharist

* Resources For Ascension & Pentecost

* Liturgical Feasts in May

* 'Catholic Trivia'

* Defending the Faith: "Apologetics Brief" - Do You Reject the Catholic Church's Teaching that Jesus' Mother Mary Was Assumed, Body & Soul, Into Heaven?

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Dear Friend,

"We are keeping the feast of Pentecost and of the Coming of the Spirit, and the appointed time of the Promise, and the fulfillment of our hope. And how great, how august, is the Mystery." (St. Gregory Nazianzen, Doctor of the Church)

Greetings! We pray that you will have a blessed month of May, crowned by a blessed, holy Pentecost. Some important dates this month include the following...

5/1/16 - Fifth Sunday after Easter (T) | Sixth Sunday of Easter (N)

5/2/16 - Rogation Monday (T)

5/3/16 - Rogation Tuesday (T)

5/4/16 - Vigil of the Ascension | Rogation Day (T)

5/5/16 - Ascension of Our Lord [Note: May be transferred]

5/14/16 - Vigil of Pentecost

5/15/16 - Pentecost Sunday

5/18/16 - Ember Wednesday after Pentecost (T)

5/20/16 - Ember Friday after Pentecost (T)

5/21/16 - Ember Saturday after Pentecost (T)

5/22/16 - Trinity Sunday

5/26/16 - Corpus Christi

We hope you have a holy month filled with God's blessings.

Thank you for being a valued subscriber to our newsletter,

Your Friends at MyCatholicSource.com

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Prayer for the Blessed Virgin Mary's Patronage: "Grant unto us, Thy servants, O Lord Jesus Christ, to be protected at all times and in all places by the patronage of Blessed Mary, Thy Virgin Mother." (Raccolta)

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MCS News & Notes

* New Special Feature: The Special Feature article entitled 'Amoris Laetitia: License to Sin & Profane?' is now available at http://www.mycatholicsource.com/mcs/cmno/ft/Amoris_Laetitia-license_to_sin_and_profane.htm

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

* For fasting / abstinence information for Rogation Days, Ember Days & the Vigil of Pentecost, please visit http://www.mycatholicsource.com/mcs/pc/latin_mass_and_tradition/traditional_prayers_and_practices.htm

* For Fatima resources (incl. prayers, coloring page), please visit http://www.mycatholicsource.com/mcs/tp/topic_page-fatima.htm

* Reminder: Our Eighth Annual Rosary Week is scheduled for 10/24/16 - 10/30/16. Please plan to join fellow Catholics in praying the rosary each day that week for the indicated intentions. We hope to have a sign up sheet available shortly.

* 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.

* Have you completed first five Saturdays devotion? The first five Saturdays devotion, associated with Fatima, is accompanied by the Blessed Virgin Mary's promise to provide all graces necessary for salvation at the hour of one's death. If you haven't yet started this devotion, May is the perfect month to start. If you have completed this devotion, why not repeat it? For more information concerning this devotion, please visit http://www.mycatholicsource.com/mcs/pc/the_Blessed_Virgin/popular_marian_devotions.htm

* Do something good for the price of a cup of coffee! Help MyCatholicSource.com remain 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!

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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 May 2016

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* 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 May: Dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary

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"Mary is our sure way to Christ." (Pope St. Pius X)

"He who is devout to the Virgin Mother will certainly never be lost." (St. Ignatius of Antioch)

"Many and well known are the proofs of her solicitude, manifested from time to time even in a miraculous manner." (Pope Leo XIII)

"We have the Virgin as universal advocate in all things, for she is more powerful in whatever necessity than are the other Saints in particular needs." (Pope Pius XII)

"What she asks, she obtains. Her pleas can never be unheard." (Bl. Pope Pius IX)

"[Mary] is by nature so good and so merciful that inclined to aid spontaneously those who suffer, she is absolutely incapable of refusing her help to those who invoke her." (Pope Benedict XV)

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Related Resources...

* Blessed Virgin Mary (Topic Page) - http://www.mycatholicsource.com/mcs/tp/topic_page-Blessed_Virgin_Mary.htm

* Blessed Virgin Mary (Reflections) - http://www.mycatholicsource.com/mcs/qt/mary_our_mother_reflections.htm

* Misc. Marian Facts - http://www.mycatholicsource.com/mcs/pc/the_Blessed_Virgin/facts.htm 

* Marian Scriptural References - http://www.mycatholicsource.com/mcs/pc/the_Blessed_Virgin/marian_scriptural_references.htm

* Popular Marian Prayers & Hymns - http://www.mycatholicsource.com/mcs/pc/the_Blessed_Virgin/marian_prayers.htm

* Popular Marian Devotions - http://www.mycatholicsource.com/mcs/pc/the_Blessed_Virgin/popular_marian_devotions.htm

* Some Reasons to Honor the Blessed Virgin Mary - http://www.mycatholicsource.com/mcs/pc/the_Blessed_Virgin/reasons_to_honor_mary.htm

* Some Thoughts on the Blessed Virgin Mary - http://www.mycatholicsource.com/mcs/pc/the_Blessed_Virgin/thoughts_on_mary.htm

* Marian Feasts - http://www.mycatholicsource.com/mcs/pc/the_Blessed_Virgin/marian_feasts.htm

* Marian Apparitions - http://www.mycatholicsource.com/mcs/pc/the_Blessed_Virgin/apparitions.htm

* Do Catholics Worship Mary? - http://www.mycatholicsource.com/mcs/pc/the_Blessed_Virgin/do_catholics_worship_mary.htm

* Marian Encyclicals - http://www.mycatholicsource.com/mcs/pd/classic_encyclicals_by_category.htm

* Marian Apologetics - http://www.mycatholicsource.com/mcs/nc/non_catholics__Marian.htm

* Mary, Our Mother Section - http://www.mycatholicsource.com/mcs/mary_our_mother.htm

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

* Word Searches (Blessed Virgin Mary) - http://www.mycatholicsource.com/mcs/pc/catholic_activities/catholic_fun_word_searches.htm

* Blessed Virgin Mary (Crossword Puzzle) - http://www.mycatholicsource.com/mcs/pca/crossword_puzzle_Mary.html

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

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"After that, [Jesus] saith to the disciple: Behold thy mother. And from that hour, the disciple took her to his own." [Jn. 19:27 (DR Trans.)]

"Indeed full of grace, for to others it is given in portions, but on Mary its fullness is showered." (St. Jerome, Doctor of the Church, 4th century A.D.)

"Many souls are in heaven through the prayers of Mary who otherwise would not be there." (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

"I have never read of any saint who did not have a special devotion to the glorious Virgin" (St. Bonaventure, Doctor of the Church, 13th century A.D.)

"Let us rest assured that an earthly enemy is not so terrified at a great army as are the powers of hell at the names and protection of Jesus and Mary." (Muller)

"Whenever we speak of Mary or speak to her, let us not forget that she is really our Mother, for through her we received divine life. She gave us Jesus himself, the source of grace." (Pope Pius XII)

"Let us bless her often, and sing her praises: for behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed (Luke I, 48)." (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

"While Peter has the keys of heaven, Mary has the key to God's heart; while Peter binds and looses, Mary also binds with the chains of love and looses with the gift of pardon. While Peter is the guardian and the minister of indulgences, Mary is the generous and wise treasurer of God's favors. 'He who desires grace and does not have recourse to Mary, desires to fly without wings.' (Dante)" (Pope Pius XII)

"As for our Lord's mother, to whom especially I have entrusted and do entrust you, and shall never fail to entrust you until we see her as we long to do - what am I to say of her whom heaven and earth cease not to praise though they can never do so as she deserves? But this you must hold as certain: as she is higher, holier, more perfect than every other mother, so much the more is she kind and gentle towards her erring but repentant sons and daughters. So make a firm resolution never to commit another sin, prostrate yourself before her, and pour forth your tears from a contrite and humbled heart. You will find her, I can assure you beyond all doubt, more accessible, more tender in the love she bears, you, than any natural mother could be on earth." (Pope St. Gregory VII)

"Let us not be surprised, therefore, at the enthusiasm and profound respect wherewith the Church extols the Blessed Virgin and her prerogatives. Let us on the contrary be convinced that all the praise the Church can give her, and all the devotion she can ever bear towards her, are far below what is due to her as Mother of the Incarnate God. No mortal will ever be able to describe, or even comprehend, how great a glory accrues to her from this sublime dignity. For, as the glory of Mary comes from her being the Mother of God, one would have first to comprehend God himself in order to measure the greatness of her dignity. It is to God that Mary gave our human nature; it is God whom she had as her Child; it is God who gloried in rendering himself, inasmuch as he is Man, subject to her: hence, the true value of such a dignity possessed by a mere creature, can only be appreciated in proportion to our knowledge of the sovereign perfections of the great God, who thus deigns to make himself dependent upon that favored creature. Let us therefore bow down in deepest adoration before the Majesty of our God; let us therefore acknowledge that we cannot respect as it deserves the extraordinary dignity of her whom He chose for His Mother." (Dom Gueranger)

Marian Prayer for the Home: "O Mary, bless this house where thy Name is always blessed. Praise forever be to Mary Immaculate, the ever-Virgin Mother, blessed amongst women, the Mother of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Queen of Paradise." (Raccolta)

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Your Debt of Eternal Gratitude for the Holy Eucharist

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The following is from a twentieth century publication entitled "The Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament". The original publication, authored by a priest of the Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament, contains an imprimatur. [Please Note: We have made some changes to the text below (e.g. spelling & capitalization changes)]

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In order that you may have in its fullness the spirit of gratitude which your Benefactor, exposed on His throne of love, expects from you, maintain a spirit of recollection; call to mind and reckon up all that you have received from the Eucharist, all that you owe to It.

If you had only been able to receive It one single time, on the blessed day of your First Communion, you would have thereby incurred a debt of eternal gratitude towards Him. For this gift was the price of a life of labor, of prayer, of heroic sanctity; it was the price of unheard-of sufferings, crowned by the most terrible of deaths, accepted from love for you, and borne with a patience which infinite love alone could maintain; it was the most precious of all things contained in heaven and on earth: it was the flesh and blood, the soul and divinity of Jesus Christ; it was God Himself, giving Himself to you, a little child, devoid of merits and almost without virtues!

But how many times since then has not Our Lord lavished upon you, with a liberality enough to confound you when you think of it, this absolutely inappreciable gift? Every month, every week, every day, perhaps! This sumptuousness, this magnificence have become familiar to you. Christian soul, how royally are you not treated by your God?

But of how many other excellent, supernatural and divine gifts, has not this gift of the Eucharist been the source for you!

It is with a view to the Communion or by its virtue, that your faith has been maintained and developed, that in spite of the difficulties of life you have not ceased to hope in God with increasing confidence, that you have loved God with supreme love, which has dominated and controlled all the other affections of your heart; that you have been devoted, generous, humble and patient. It is by the Communion that you have been kept pure, or that you have issued more quickly from the depths of sin; it is through it that you have found strength to endure trial, and the secret of enjoying consolation in the midst of suffering and tribulation. Is it not through the virtue of the heavenly Host that you firmly hope to enter heaven at the last?

And at the thought your soul thrills with joy, which will be renewed throughout eternity at the remembrance of the Eucharist, "whence has come to you all good things."

Remember all this, and begin at the foot of His earthly throne the canticle of your undying gratitude!

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"When we receive Holy Communion, we receive our joy and our happiness." (St. John Vianney)

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

"Jesus! My Lord, my God, my All! How can I love Thee as I ought? And how revere this wondrous gift, so far surpassing hope or thought?" (Faber)

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For more on the Holy Eucharist, please visit http://www.mycatholicsource.com/mcs/tp/topic_page-Holy_Communion.htm

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Resources For Ascension & Pentecost

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* Ascension (Definition) - http://www.mycatholicsource.com/mcs/pc/catholic_basics/catholic_basics_definitions.htm 

* Ascension (Prophecies) - http://www.mycatholicsource.com/mcs/pcs/biblical_prophecies_ascension_pentecost.htm

* On Our Lord's Passion, Death, Resurrection, and Ascension (Selections From the Baltimore Catechism, Lesson: 08) - http://www.mycatholicsource.com/mcs/cd/catechism_selections_search_lsn.asp

* Prayer for the Ascension - http://www.mycatholicsource.com/mcs/pr/prayers_and_hymns_for_certain_occasions_times.htm

* Ascension Thursday / Holy Days of Obligation - http://www.mycatholicsource.com/mcs/pc/catholic_basics/catholic_basics_holy_days_of_obligation.htm

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

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

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

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"When he had said this, as they were looking on, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him from their sight. While they were looking intently at the sky as he was going, suddenly two men dressed in white garments stood beside them. They said, 'Men of Galilee, why are you standing there looking at the sky? This Jesus who has been taken up from you into heaven will return in the same way as you have seen him going into heaven.'" (Acts 1:9-11)

"So then the Lord Jesus, after he spoke to them, was taken up into heaven and took his seat at the right hand of God." (Mk. 16:19)

Prayer for the Ascension: "Grant, we beseech Thee, almighty God, that we who believe Thine only-begotten Son, our Redeemer, to have this day ascended into heaven, may ourselves dwell in spirit amid heavenly things. Through the same Lord." (Collect)

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* Pentecost (Definition) - http://www.mycatholicsource.com/mcs/pc/catholic_basics/catholic_basics_definitions.htm 

* Pentecost (Prophecies) - http://www.mycatholicsource.com/mcs/pcs/biblical_prophecies_ascension_pentecost.htm

* On the Holy Ghost and His Descent Upon the Apostles (Selections From the Baltimore Catechism, Lesson: 09) - http://www.mycatholicsource.com/mcs/cd/catechism_selections_search_lsn.asp

* Prayers for Pentecost (Incl. Links for Veni Creator Spiritus & Veni Sancte Spiritus) - http://www.mycatholicsource.com/mcs/pr/prayers_and_hymns_for_certain_occasions_times.htm

* Novena to the Holy Spirit (Friday After Ascension to Vigil of Pentecost) - http://www.mycatholicsource.com/mcs/pr/prayers_and_hymns_novenas.htm

* Fasting / Vigil of Pentecost - http://www.mycatholicsource.com/mcs/pc/latin_mass_and_tradition/traditional_prayers_and_practices.htm

* Gifts & Fruits of the Holy Spirit - http://www.mycatholicsource.com/mcs/pc/catholic_basics/catholic_basics_gifts_fruits_of_the_Holy_Spirit.htm

* Divinum Illud Munus: On The Holy Spirit, Pope Leo XIII - http://www.mycatholicsource.com/mcs/pd/divinum_illud_munus.htm

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

* Gifts & Fruits of the Holy Spirit (Crossword Puzzle) - http://www.mycatholicsource.com/mcs/pca/crossword_puzzle_gifts_fruits_Holy_Spirit.html

* Holy Spirit (Word Searches) - http://www.mycatholicsource.com/mcs/pc/catholic_activities/catholic_fun_word_searches.htm

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

Reminder: For plenary indulgence info. for the Solemnity of Pentecost, visit http://www.mycatholicsource.com/mcs/cg/indulgences.htm

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

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"And suddenly there came from the sky a noise like a strong driving wind, and it filled the entire house in which they were. Then there appeared to them tongues as of fire, which parted and came to rest on each one of them." (Acts 2:2-3)

Prayer for Pentecost: "Grant, we beseech Thee, O Lord, that the power of the Holy Ghost may abide in us; may it mercifully cleanse our hearts, and defend us from all danger. Through our Lord...in the unity of the same." (Collect)

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Liturgical Feasts in May

The following is a listing of all liturgical feast dates for May 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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May 1 - St. Joseph the Workman (T)

May 1 - Sts. Philip & James, apostles (T)

May 1 - St. Joseph the Worker (N)

May 2 - St. Athanasius (T)

May 2 - St. Athanasius (N)

May 3 - Finding of the Holy Cross (T)

May 3 - St. Juvenal (T)

May 3 - Sts. Alexander I (pope), Eventius, Theodulus (T)

May 3 - Sts. Philip & James, apostles (N)

May 4 - St. Monica (T)

May 5 - St. Pius V, pope (T)

May 6 - St. John before the Latin Gate (T)

May 7 - St. Stanislaus of Cracow (T)

May 8 - Apparition of St. Michael the Archangel (T)

May 9 - St. Gregory Nazianzen (T)

May 10 - St. Antoninus (T)

May 10 - Sts. Gordian & Epimachus (T)

May 12 - St. Pancras (T)

May 12 - Sts. Nereus, Achilleus & Domitilla (T)

May 12 - St. Pancras (N)

May 12 - Sts. Nereus & Achilleus (N)

May 13 - St. Robert Bellarmine (T)

May 13 - Our Lady of Fatima (N)

May 14 - St. Boniface (T)

May 14 - St. Matthias, apostle (N)

May 15 - St. John Baptist de la Salle (T)

May 15 - St. Isidore (N)

May 16 - St. Brendan (T)

May 16 - St. John Nepomucene (T)

May 16 - St. Ubaldus of Gubbio (T)

May 17 - St. Pascal Baylon (T)

May 18 - St. Venantius of Camerino (T)

May 18 - St. John I, pope (N)

May 19 - St. Peter Celestine, pope (T)

May 19 - St. Pudentiana (T)

May 20 - St. Bernardine of Siena (T)

May 20 - St. Bernardine of Siena (N)

May 21 - St. Christopher Magallanes & companions (N)

May 22 - St. Rita of Cascia (T)

May 22 - St. Rita of Cascia (N)

May 23 - St. John Baptist de Rossi (T)

May 25 - St. Gregory VII, pope (T)

May 25 - St. Madeleine Sophie Barat (T)

May 25 - St. Urban I, pope (T)

May 25 - St. Bede the Venerable (N)

May 25 - St. Gregory VII, pope (N)

May 25 - St. Mary Magdalene de Pazzi (N)

May 26 - St. Eleutherius, pope (T)

May 26 - St. Philip Neri (T)

May 26 - St. Philip Neri (N)

May 27 - St. Bede the Venerable (T)

May 27 - St. John I, pope (T)

May 27 - St. Augustine of Canterbury (N)

May 28 - St. Augustine of Canterbury (T)

May 29 - St. Mary Magdalen de Pazzi (T)

May 30 - St. Felix I, pope (T)

May 30 - St. Ferdinand III (T)

May 30 - St. Joan of Arc (T)

May 31 - St. Angela Merici (T)

May 31 - St. Petronilla (T)

May 31 - The Blessed Virgin Mary, Mediatrix of All Graces (T)

May 31 - The Queenship of the Blessed Virgin Mary (T)

May 31 - Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary (N)

Please Note: Above may exclude moveable feasts. For moveable feasts, see below and 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...

5/1/16 - Fifth Sunday after Easter (T) | Sixth Sunday of Easter (N)

5/2/16 - Rogation Monday (T)

5/3/16 - Rogation Tuesday (T)

5/4/16 - Vigil of the Ascension | Rogation Day (T)

5/5/16 - Ascension of Our Lord [Note: Traditionally, this is a holy day of obligation, but on the Novus Ordo calendar it is often transferred to Sunday in the U.S. For information for your area, contact your parish or diocese.]

5/14/16 - Vigil of Pentecost

5/15/16 - Pentecost Sunday

5/18/16 - Ember Wednesday after Pentecost (T)

5/20/16 - Ember Friday after Pentecost (T)

5/21/16 - Ember Saturday after Pentecost (T)

5/22/16 - Trinity Sunday

5/26/16 - Corpus Christi

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'Catholic Trivia'

1. What does the term 'Compline' refer to?

2. What term means to "wish to get wrongfully what another possesses or to begrudge his own to him"?

3. What is a Roman Tribunal? What are three Roman Tribunals?

4. Complete the passage...: "The Most High himself hates ___, and upon ___ he takes vengeance." (Sirach 12:7)

5. What does 'Doxology' refer to? What is the 'greater doxology' and the 'lesser doxology'?

6. Complete the sentence...: "Disorder in society is the result of ___." (St. Angela Merici)

7. What are 'dead members' of the Church?

8. Complete the passage..."The LORD loves those ___, protects the lives of the faithful, rescues them from ___." (Ps. 97:10)

9. What is sloth?

10. What is a temptation?

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Answers:

1. The term 'Compline' refers to one of the traditional divisions of the Divine Office. Compline is the last (eighth) hour of the Divine Office, which is said at night.

2. "Covet means to wish to get wrongfully what another possesses or to begrudge his own to him." (Baltimore Catechism)

3. Roman Tribunals definition: "A court of law of the Roman Curia" (Catholic Dictionary). The three tribunals are: Apostolic Penitentiary (deals with questions of conscience, absolution, dispensations, indulgences, etc.); Apostolic Signatura (supreme court of the Church); and Roman Rota (court of appeal)

4. "The Most High himself hates sinners, and upon the wicked he takes vengeance." (Sirach 12:7)

5. Doxology is "A formula of praise. The greater doxology is the Gloria in excelsis, the lesser, or simply the doxology, is Gloria Patri." (Catholic Dictionary)

6. "Disorder in society is the result of disorder in the family." (St. Angela Merici)

7. "The dead members of the Church are the faithful in mortal sin." (Catechism of Pope St. Pius X)

8. "The LORD loves those who hate evil, protects the lives of the faithful, rescues them from the hand of the wicked." (Ps. 97:10)

9. "Sloth is a laziness of the mind and body, through which we neglect our duties on account of the labor they require." (Baltimore Catechism) Sloth is one of the seven deadly sins.

10. "A temptation is anything that incites, provokes, or urges us to offend God." (Baltimore Catechism)

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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 Catholic Church's Teaching that Jesus' Mother Mary Was Assumed, Body & Soul, Into Heaven?

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__Marian.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 Catholic Church's Teaching that Jesus' Mother Mary Was Assumed, Body & Soul, Into Heaven? (Note: Topic is directed at Protestants)

Consider:

* Do you reject the doctrine of the Assumption since you think it is not biblical? Are you then unfamiliar with the biblical precedent of Enoch being taken to heaven without dying (see Gen. 5:24) or of Elijah being assumed to heaven on a chariot (2 Kg. 2:11, Heb. 11:5)?

* If Jesus' mother Mary is simply deceased, and not in heaven, and not crowned as queen of Heaven and earth, how do you explain the woman in the who Book of Revelation is "clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars" (Rv. 12:1) who "gave birth to a son, a male child, destined to rule all the nations with an iron rod" (Rv. 12:5)? How is it she is shown in continual battle against the serpent (cf. Rv. 12:13) if she is simply "deceased"?

* If Jesus' mother Mary had died and not been assumed to heaven, why is it that no one has ever claimed her relics? Why is it that they weren't even looked for? Are you unaware that the early Church greatly revered the relics of the saints? Can you not imagine how much more so would have Jesus' mother's relics have been treasured?

* Do you not see that the from the Immaculate Conception of Mary (see http://www.mycatholicsource.com/mcs/nc/non_catholics__Marian.htm ), that it would naturally follow that she would be assumed into heaven? Remember that death entered the world because of the devil, as punishment for sin, and that Mary has always been sinless and at enmity with Satan (see Gen. 3:15). "For God formed man to be imperishable; the image of his own nature he made him. But by the envy of the devil, death entered the world, and they who are in his possession experience it." (Wisdom 2:23-24)

* Do you reject the doctrine of the assumption because you think the Catholic Church teaches that Mary went to heaven on her own power? If so, you should know that the Catholic Church does not teach this, but rather teaches that Christ ascended to heaven on his own power and that Mary was assumed to heaven by the power of God.

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"Arise, O Lord, into thy resting place: thou and the ark, which thou hast sanctified." [Ps. 131:8 (132:8)] 

"Jesus did not wish to have the body of Mary corrupted after death, since it would have redounded to his own dishonor to have her virginal flesh, from which he himself had assumed flesh, reduced to dust." (St. Alphonsus Liguori, Doctor of the Church)

"We had closed Paradise; you opened again the entryway to the tree of life. We turn joys into sorrow; you turned sorrow back into the greatest of joys for us. And how would you, the Immaculate, taste of death? You are the bridge to life, you are the staircase to heaven" (St. John Damascene, Doctor of the Church, c. 8th century A.D.) 

"God, the King of the universe, has granted you favors that surpass nature. As he kept you a virgin in childbirth, thus he has kept your body incorrupt in the tomb and has glorified it by his divine act of transferring it from the tomb." (Menaei Totius Anni, as quoted in Pope Pius XII's "Munificentissimus Deus")

"Let death pass you by, O Mother of God, because you have brought life to men. Let the tomb pass you by, because you have been made the foundation stone of inexplicable sublimity. Let dust pass you by; for you are a new kind of formation, so that you may be mistress over those who have been corrupted in the very stuff of their potter's clay" (St. Germain I of Constantinople, a. 733 A.D.)

"And who, I ask, could believe that the ark of holiness, the dwelling place of the Word of God, the temple of the Holy Ghost, could be reduced to ruin? My soul is filled with horror at the thought that this virginal flesh which had begotten God, had brought Him into the world, had nourished and carried Him, could have been turned into ashes or given over to be the food of worms." (St. Robert Bellarmine, Doctor of the Church)

"Following the footsteps of his distinguished teacher, the Angelic Doctor, despite the fact that he never dealt directly with this question, nevertheless, whenever he touched upon it, always held together with the Catholic Church, that Mary's body had been assumed into heaven along with her soul. Along with many others, the Seraphic Doctor held the same views. He considered it as entirely certain that, as God had preserved the most holy Virgin Mary from the violation of her virginal purity and integrity in conceiving and in childbirth, he would never have permitted her body to have been resolved into dust and ashes." (Pope Pius XII, "Munificentissimus Deus", 1950 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...

"Let us live as the Blessed Virgin lived: loving God only, desiring God only, trying to please God only in all that we do." (St. John Vianney)

"Let all, therefore, try to approach with greater trust the throne of grace and mercy of our Queen and Mother, and beg for strength in adversity, light in darkness, consolation in sorrow; above all let them strive to free themselves from the slavery of sin and offer an unceasing homage, filled with filial loyalty, to their Queenly Mother." (Pope Pius XII, "Ad Caeli Reginam", 1954 A.D.)

"Breathe into me, Holy Spirit, that my thoughts may all be holy. Move in me, Holy Spirit, that my work, too may be holy. Attract my heart, Holy Spirit, that I may love only what is holy. Strengthen me, Holy Spirit, that I may defend all that is holy. Protect me, Holy Spirit, that I always may be holy. Amen." (St. Augustine, Doctor of the Church)

"The Lord, the apostles, and the prophets have taught us that we must venerate in the first place the Holy Mother of God, who is above all the heavenly powers. If anyone does not confess that the holy, ever virgin Mary, really and truly the Mother of God, is higher than all creatures visible and invisible, and does not implore with a sincere faith her intercession, given her powerful access to our God born of her, let him be anathema." (Second Council of Nicaea)

"And may the very God of all, who spoke by the Holy Ghost through the prophets, who sent Him forth upon the Apostles on the day of Pentecost in this place, Himself send Him forth at this time also upon you; and by Him keep us also, imparting His benefit in common to us all, that we may ever render up the fruits of the Holy Ghost...in Christ Jesus our Lord: By whom and with whom, together with the Holy Ghost, be glory to the Father, both now, and ever, and for ever and ever. Amen." (St. Cyril of Jerusalem, Doctor of the Church)

"'If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate to be with you always, the Spirit of truth, which the world cannot accept, because it neither sees nor knows it. But you know it, because it remains with you, and will be in you. I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you. In a little while the world will no longer see me, but you will see me, because I live and you will live. On that day you will realize that I am in my Father and you are in me and I in you. Whoever has my commandments and observes them is the one who loves me. And whoever loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and reveal myself to him.' Judas, not the Iscariot, said to him, 'Master, (then) what happened that you will reveal yourself to us and not to the world?' Jesus answered and said to him, 'Whoever loves me will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our dwelling with him. Whoever does not love me does not keep my words; yet the word you hear is not mine but that of the Father who sent me. 'I have told you this while I am with you. The Advocate, the Holy Spirit that the Father will send in my name - he will teach you everything and remind you of all that (I) told you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give it to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid.'" (Jn. 14:15-27)

Prayer for the Intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary: "To Thy faithful people, rejoicing in the name and protection of the most holy Virgin Mary, vouchsafe, O almighty God, we beseech Thee, through her loving intercession, to be delivered from all evils here on earth, and to be accounted worthy to enter into everlasting joys in heaven. Through our Lord." (Collect)

Invocation of the Holy Spirit: "Come, O Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of thy faithful, and enkindle within them the fire of thy love." (Latin: "Veni, Sancte Spiritus, reple tuorum corda fidelium, et tui amoris in eis ignem accende.")

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