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MyCatholicSource.com Newsletter - June, 2010 [Plain text version]

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MyCatholicSource.com Newsletter - June, 2010

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IN THIS ISSUE:

* Greetings

* MCS News & Notes

* The Month of June: Dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus

* Papal Infallibility: A Refresher

* Liturgical Feasts in June

* Traditional Practice of Daily Devotions

* 'Catholic Trivia'

* Defending the Faith: "Apologetics Brief" - Why is the Church Called Holy Despite Her Sinful Members?

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Dear Friend,

Greetings!

"For we now kept festival with joy, both Easter and Pentecost, and we rejoice in the benefits of the Lord. I write to you all. Greet all who fear the Lord. Those with me greet you. I pray that you may be well in the Lord, beloved and much-longed-for brethren." (St. Athanasius, Second Letter to Orsisius)

With the approach of summer, we send our best wishes for a safe, blessed & enjoyable vacation to all those who will be traveling. We'd also like to remind of the following 4th century prayer for those who will be journeying: "We beseech Thee for those who are traveling from home, grant them an angel of peace as their fellow-traveler, that they may receive no hurt from anyone, that they may finish their voyage and their travels in much cheerfulness." Also, it's a good Catholic custom to invoke a patron saint for travel, such as St. Christopher, St. Anthony of Padua, St. Joseph, St. Paul, or St. Raphael the Archangel.

A few more timely reminders...

* With summer, unfortunately, may come an increase in immodest dress. For a refresher on dressing modestly (including a free flier you can print), please visit http://www.mycatholicsource.com/mcs/pc/catholic_life/modesty_dress.htm

* Don't forget your priest this Father's Day, which falls this year on 6/20/10

* With June may come many weddings. If you would like a refresher on the sacrament of holy matrimony, please visit http://www.mycatholicsource.com/mcs/pc/sacraments/matrimony.htm

Lastly, although October is still a few months away, it's not to early to sign up for Rosary Week. We hope you will join us in praying the Rosary during the week of October 25-31 for some worthy intentions. It's easy and free to join your fellow Catholics in praying the Rosary. You can pray at any time of the day and in any location. You can participate for one day or for the entire week. We can even send you reminder e-mails if you would like. Please sign up today at www.MyCatholicSource.com/RosaryWeek

Thank you for being a valued subscriber to our mailing list. Best wishes to you for God's blessings,

Your Friends at MyCatholicSource.com

"The LORD keep you in safety" (Pope St. Leo the Great: Letter)

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MCS News & Notes

* We have updated the Rosary Week information & signup pages for our 2nd Annual Rosary Week to be held from 10/25-10/31/10. We hope you will join us in praying the Rosary for worthy intentions. Participation is easy and free, and you can pray from anywhere. For Rosary Week information, please go to www.MyCatholicSource.com/RosaryWeekInfo . To sign up for Rosary Week, please go to www.MyCatholicSource.com/RosaryWeek . For Rosary Week fliers that you can hand out or post, please go to www.MyCatholicSource.com/RosaryWeekInfo and click on the "fliers" link. Thank you for your participation!

* We are working on new "Topic Pages". These sponsored pages will contain a variety of links applicable to various topics, making it easier to find related information in one place. For example, a topic page for "Prayer" may include a wide variety of links on our site related to prayer all in one convenient page. Creating, adding to, and updating these Topic Pages will be an ongoing project on our end, so please check back often. We hope you will find these pages helpful. Also, if you have a suggestion for a Topic Page, please let us know. [Please Note: We will provide additional detail in a future newsletter when the first Topic Pages are ready]

* Vatican gift items (e.g. flags, key chains, decals, pins) are still available in our fundraiser and are a great way to show that you're Catholic. They are reasonably priced, starting under $5.00 (including shipping). Tax, if applicable, may be added. While supplies last. To get yours, please go to http://www.bfsnet.com/bfsnet_store/fundraising_solutions.htm

* The 'post of the month' page has been updated for 5/10. This month it was chosen from the Increase Holiness Section and it is titled "See Jesus' face in others". To view the 'post of the month' page, please go to: http://www.mycatholicsource.com/mcs/cg/post_of_the_month.htm . To submit a post in your choice of hundreds of categories, visit http://www.mycatholicsource.com/mcs/fa/share_your_thoughts.htm

* Reminder: To help ensure delivery of your newsletter, please put our e-mail addresses (for both our regular newsletter AND our news updates) 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 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 June: Dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus

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"We do not hesitate to declare that devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus is the most effective school of the love of God; the love of God, We say, which must be the foundation on which to build up the kingdom of God in the hearts of individuals, families, and nations" (Pope Pius XII, "Haurietis Aquas", 1956 A.D.)

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Related Resources...

* Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus (including 'Sacred Heart Promises') - http://www.mycatholicsource.com/mcs/pc/prayers_and_devotions/Sacred_Heart_of_Jesus.htm

* Sacred Heart of Jesus Prayers - http://www.mycatholicsource.com/mcs/pr/prayers_and_hymns_Jesus.htm

* Sacred Heart of Jesus Reflections - http://www.mycatholicsource.com/mcs/qt/prayers_and_devotions_reflections_Sacred_Heart_of_Jesus.htm

* Haurietis Aquas: On Devotion To The Sacred Heart, Pope Pius XII - http://www.mycatholicsource.com/mcs/pd/haurietis_aquas.htm

* Annum Sacrum: On Consecration To The Sacred Heart, Pope Leo XIII - http://www.mycatholicsource.com/mcs/pd/annum_sacrum.htm

* Miserentissimus Redemptor: On Reparation To The Sacred Heart, Pope Pius XI - http://www.mycatholicsource.com/mcs/pd/miserentissimus_redemptor.htm

* Caritate Christi Compulsi: On Reparation To The Sacred Heart, Pope Pius XI - http://www.mycatholicsource.com/mcs/pd/caritate_christi_compulsi.htm

* Sacred Heart of Jesus Coloring Page (shaded) - http://www.mycatholicsource.com/mcs/pca/coloring_book_Sacred_Heart.htm

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

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Papal Infallibility: A Refresher

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Given the recent media attention regarding scandal in the Church, it seems a fitting time to review the doctrine of papal infallibility. The following Q & A are based on material from the pages referenced below. We hope you will find this refresher helpful.

Refs. http://www.mycatholicsource.com/mcs/pc/vatican_view/papal_infallibility.htm and http://www.mycatholicsource.com/mcs/pc/vatican_view/vatican_view_q_and_a.htm

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Q. What is papal infallibility?

A. Papal infallibility refers to the pope's protection from error when speaking "ex cathedra". As proclaimed by the First Vatican Council:

"But since in this very age, in which the salutary efficacy of the apostolic duty is especially required, not a few are found who disparage its authority, We deem it most necessary to assert solemnly the prerogative which the Only-begotten Son of God deigned to enjoin with the highest pastoral office. And so We, adhering faithfully to the tradition received from the beginning of the Christian faith, to the glory of God, our Savior, the elevation of the Catholic religion and the salvation of Christian peoples, with the approbation of the sacred Council, teach and explain that the dogma has been divinely revealed: that the Roman Pontiff, when he speaks ex cathedra, that is, when carrying out the office of pastor and teacher of all Christians, by virtue of his supreme apostolic authority he defines a doctrine regarding faith or morals to be held by the universal Church, through the divine assistance promised him in blessed Peter, possesses that infallibility with which the divine Redeemer willed that His Church be endowed for defining doctrine regarding faith and morals; and so such definitions of the Roman Pontiff of themselves, and not from the consensus of the Church, are irreformable. But if anyone presumes to contradict this definition of Ours, which may God forbid: let him be anathema." (Vatican Council I, 1870 A.D.)

Q. Why is infallibility necessary?

A. If not for papal infallibility, there would be no certainty in matters of faith - all we would have is our fallible private judgment - and it is abundantly clear from the many clashing Protestant sects what a poor guide this is. If not for papal infallibility, we would have no means of knowing what is true and what is not. We could have no finality of doctrine and each person would be left to believe whatever he or she "felt" was right. As a result, there would be error, disunity, rejection of truths, adoption of errors, etc. We wouldn't even have a Bible since there would be no infallible authority to determine the canon of Scripture. We could never be sure that our beliefs corresponded with truth, and we could never be sure we were on the true path leading to salvation.

Q. Is infallibility scriptural?

A. Besides being solemnly proclaimed by the First Vatican Council and being consistently maintained by tradition, the dogma of papal infallibility has a biblical basis. For example, In Matthew 16:18, we are told that "the gates of hell shall not prevail" against the Church. Clearly, the One who is Truth itself must have secured a means to preserve truth in His Church against the gates of hell and against the prince of lies. We are also told in Matthew 28:20 that Christ will be "with you always, until the end of the age". How could this be if the Church was teaching error? And, how could the Church be "the pillar and foundation of truth" (1 Tm. 3:15) if she taught error? And furthermore, the protection of the Holy Spirit is clearly promised in Scripture: "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." (Jn. 14:16-17) It is clear from Scripture that Christ's Church will be protected from error; and history proves that papal infallibility - and Christ's promises - have never failed.

Q. Can the pope sin?

A. Yes, popes can and have sinned. Infallibility is not the same as impeccability.

Q. How can a pope sin and still be infallible?

A. Freedom from sin and freedom from formally teaching error are two separate things. A pope may, unfortunately, be a very bad sinner, but that doesn't mean his teaching is therefore corrupt. In fact, there were some very sinful popes in the Church's history, but none of them ever formally taught error.

Q. Was St. Peter infallible? Wasn't he rebuked by St. Paul?

A. Scripture clearly shows that Peter "had all the right answers" (e.g. Mt. 16:16, Mt. 17:26, Lk. 7:43, Acts 1:15-22, 2:14-36, 2:38-9, 15:7-11). That didn't stop him, however, from also having weaknesses. When he denied Our Lord, he wasn't formally teaching against our Lord, he was instead fearful and weak. When he was rebuked by St. Paul, he was erring in "pastoral practice", not matters of faith or morals. He had taught correctly, but was not living up to his teachings.

Q. Have the popes always enjoyed infallibility?

A. Yes, the popes have always enjoyed infallibility, as this is necessary to the Church's mission. Although the doctrine of infallibility was not formally defined until 1870, it was always a part of the deposit of faith. For example, when Pope St. Agatho said "The Roman See has never erred, and never will err, because of Christ's promise" in 680 A.D. he recognized the doctrine of infallibility, even though the formal definition would not be issued for more than a millennium.

Q. Haven't popes erred?

A. Yes. Popes have erred, but not in matters touching on infallibility.

Q. Are bishops also infallible?

A. Bishops do not individually partake of infallibility. Collectively, bishops may enjoy infallibility of teaching only in certain matters, and only when exercised in union with the pope.

Q. Is everything the Pope says or does infallible? What are some limits of infallibility?

A. Papal infallibility is a "negative assurance" that protects against formally teaching false doctrine. It does not mean that all utterances of the pope are infallible or that everything a pope says or does is free from error and good for the Church. It also does not mean that a pope is free from sin. Infallibility does not extend to the pope as an individual, but resides in his office as Supreme Pastor.

Papal infallibility is limited in scope and does NOT...

* extend to anything prior to one's being elected pope

* prevent a pope from sinning

* extend to every doctrinal matter (it is limited to instances "when carrying out the office of pastor and teacher of all Christians, by virtue of his supreme apostolic authority [the Pope] defines a doctrine regarding faith or morals to be held by the universal Church")

* mean a pope is impeccable (or sinless / faultless)

* extend to every decree issued by a pope

* extend to everything a pope says

* extend to every regulation issued by the Church

* extend to merely pastoral matters

* extend to a pope's actions

* mean all popes are good

* extend to all disciplinary measures, judgments, legal rulings, etc.

* mean a pope is doctrinally perfect

* mean that a pope can create new dogma

* apply to a pope's private decisions or teachings

* mean all pastoral decisions are good or prudent

* extend to others who act in the pope's name

* extend absolutely to a bishop or a council (as indicated above, "bishops may enjoy infallibility of teaching only in certain matters, and only when exercised in union with the pope")

* apply when the pope is not intending to bind the entire Church

* mean that popes will never contradict each other (they may never contradict only in infallible matters when each is speaking ex cathedra)

* apply in areas that are not protected by infallibility (e.g. pastoral matters)

* assure that a pope is holy

* insure that a pope cannot err

* transfer to others (although each succeeding pope will be invested with papal infallibility)

* mean that a pope is infallible in all matters (disciplinary, etc.)

* mean that a pope does not personally hold erroneous views (even in matters of faith or morals)

* etc.

It should also be noted that the pope very rarely speaks infallibly and that infallibility is limited to certain doctrinal matters. Merely pastoral matters are changeable [in contrast with doctrinal matters (which are unchangeable)] and are not subject to infallibility. Pastoral decisions of a pope may be erroneous, and may not be good for the Church. Infallibility may be exercised only under certain conditions and in connection with certain matters (i.e. "when carrying out the office of pastor and teacher of all Christians, by virtue of his supreme apostolic authority he defines a doctrine regarding faith or morals to be held by the universal Church, through the divine assistance promised him in blessed Peter").

Q. Has infallibility ever failed?

A. No ex-cathedra definition of a pope has ever been found to be erroneous. Although it is said that more than 40 popes have preached doctrinal error, none were speaking "ex cathedra". In other words, some popes have personally taught error, but these errors were not taught in an infallible manner, binding the entire Church. These errors of popes were carefully examined by the First Vatican Council which defined the dogma of papal infallibility, and none of them were found to violate the dogma of infallibility.

As indicated above, not everything said or believed or taught by a pope (or bishops/councils) is infallible. Some popes have held erroneous views, some have taught error (though not "ex cathedra"), and some have behaved scandalously.

In fact, the history of the Church shows possible papal participation (or culpability) in:

* wrongful excommunications

* violations of treaties

* imprudent decisions

* poor administration

* failure to condemn heresy

* bad / scandalous decisions

* siding with / defending heretics

* scandals

* etc.

Additionally, popes may have:

* approved of ambiguous creeds

* buckled under persecution

* engaged in secret arrangements

* ordered homicides / torture

* been guilty of simony & nepotism

* reversed / contradicted actions of predecessors (or their own)

* held erroneous views

* etc.

Popes have shown weakness, made inappropriate concessions, made decisions under pressure, etc. One pope was condemned as a heretic. Another exhumed a dead pope and put his body on trial. One approved a five year old as bishop. Some periods saw the papacy controlled by powerful families. Other periods suffered from multiple claimants to the throne.

Despite all of this, however, papal infallibility - and Christ's promise - have never failed the Church. Even certain events in the history of the Church that are considered "close calls" for infallibility have still stopped short of breaching this doctrine. For example, the pope who was declared heretical never taught error "ex cathedra", the ambiguous creed signed by a pope could be taken in an orthodox manner, one pope died before approving a faulty translation of the Bible, and other popes who held doctrinal errors never taught them infallibility. In fact, it is a testament to Christ's promise and proof of the dogma of infallibility that despite faulty and sinful popes, the Church's doctrine has been preserved unsullied for about two thousand years.

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For Infallibility Reflections (e.g. quotes from popes, canon law, etc.), please go to http://www.mycatholicsource.com/mcs/qt/vatican_view_reflections_infallibility.htm

For apologetics related to papal infallibility, please visit the Non-Catholics Section at http://www.mycatholicsource.com/mcs/non-catholics.htm

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Liturgical Feasts in June

The following is a listing of all liturgical feast dates for June 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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June 1 - St. Justin Martyr (N)

June 2 - St. Erasmus (T)

June 2 - Sts. Marcellinus & Peter (T)

June 2 - Sts. Marcellinus & Peter (N)

June 3 - St. Charles Lwanga & companions (N)

June 4 - St. Francis Caracciolo (T)

June 5 - St. Boniface (T)

June 5 - St. Boniface (N)

June 6 - St. Norbert (T)

June 6 - St. Norbert (N)

June 9 - St. Columba (T)

June 9 - Sts. Primus & Felician (T)

June 9 - St. Ephrem of Syria (N)

June 10 - St. Margaret of Scotland (T)

June 11 - St. Barnabas, apostle (T)

June 11 - St. Barnabas, apostle (N)

June 12 - St. John of San Facondo (T)

June 12 - Sts. Basilides, Cyrinus, Nabor & Nazarius (T)

June 13 - St. Anthony of Padua (T)

June 13 - St. Anthony of Padua (N)

June 14 - St. Basil the Great (T)

June 15 - St. Vitus, Modestus & Crescentia (T)

June 16 - St. John Francis Regis (T)

June 18 - St. Ephrem the Syrian (T)

June 18 - Sts. Mark & Marcellianus (T)

June 19 - St. Juliana Falconieri (T)

June 19 - Sts. Gervase & Protase (T)

June 19 - St. Romuald (N)

June 20 - St. Silverius, pope (T)

June 21 - St. Aloysius Gonzaga (T)

June 21 - St. Aloysius Gonzaga (N)

June 22 - St. Paulinus of Nola (T)

June 22 - St. John Fisher (N)

June 22 - St. Paulinus of Nola (N)

June 22 - St. Thomas More (N)

June 23 - Vigil of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist (T)

June 24 - Nativity of St. John the Baptist (T)

June 24 - Nativity of St. John the Baptist (N)

June 25 - St. William (T)

June 26 - Sts. John & Paul (T)

June 27 - Our Lady of Perpetual Succor (Perpetual Help) (T)

June 27 - St. Cyril of Alexandria (N)

June 28 - St. Irenaeus of Lyons (T)

June 28 - St. Irenaeus of Lyons (N)

June 29 - Sts. Peter & Paul, apostles (T)

June 29 - Sts. Peter & Paul, apostles (N)

June 30 - St. Paul, apostle (T)

June 30 - St. Peter (T)

June 30 - First Martyrs of the Church of Rome (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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Other Dates In June...

6/3/10 - Corpus Christi (T) (N-may be observed on Sunday 6/6/10) [Note: plenary indulgence may be available, see http://www.mycatholicsource.com/mcs/cg/indulgences.htm ]

6/11/10 - Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus [Note: plenary indulgence may be available, see http://www.mycatholicsource.com/mcs/cg/indulgences.htm ]

6/12/10 - Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (N)

6/29/10 - Reminder: Plenary indulgence may be available, see http://www.mycatholicsource.com/mcs/cg/indulgences.htm

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Traditional Practice of Daily Devotions

It is a traditional Catholic custom to sanctify each day of the week with special devotional practices. The list below indicates some dedication(s) / devotion(s) commonly practiced for each day of the week. (Note: Devotions for various days may vary and may have changed over time.)

Sunday -- The Holy Trinity / The Resurrection

Monday -- The Holy Spirit / The Holy Souls in Purgatory / The Holy Angels*

Tuesday -- The Holy Angels* / The Apostles

Wednesday -- St. Joseph

Thursday -- The Holy Eucharist

Friday -- The Passion of the Lord / The Sacred Heart of Jesus

Saturday -- The Blessed Virgin Mary

[* Monday or Tuesday]

Ref. http://www.mycatholicsource.com/mcs/pc/prayers_and_devotions/daily_dedications.htm

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Did you know? The main image displayed each day on the MCS Daily Digest corresponds with the list above (e.g. Wednesday-St. Joseph, Thursday-The Holy Eucharist), with the exception of a few feasts. Visit the Daily Digest each day at www.MyCatholicSource.com/DD

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'Catholic Trivia'

Note: All trivia this month is related to the Sacred Heart of Jesus

1. Which female saint is frequently associated with propagation of devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus?

2. What small oval sacramental is associated with the Sacred Heart devotion?

3. What might be considered the "most explicit" reference to the Sacred Heart of Jesus in the New Testament?

4. Translate the following from Latin (the Church's official language) to English [Note: Even if you are not familiar with Latin, try to make out the words...you might be surprised]: "Cor Iesu, flagrans amore nostri, inflamma cor nostrum amore tui."

5. How does Pope Pius XII say favors in greater abundance may flow from devotion to the Sacred Heart?

Complete the following passages from the Litany of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus...

1. Heart of Jesus, burning _______________

2. Heart of Jesus, Vessel _______________

3. Heart of Jesus, Abyss _______________

4. Heart of Jesus, patient _______________

5. Heart of Jesus, rich _______________

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Answers:

1. St. Margaret Mary Alacoque

2. Sacred Heart Badge

3. Jn. 19:33-37: "But when they came to Jesus and saw that he was already dead, they did not break his legs, but one soldier thrust his lance into his side, and immediately blood and water flowed out. An eyewitness has testified, and his testimony is true; he knows that he is speaking the truth, so that you also may (come to) believe. For this happened so that the scripture passage might be fulfilled: 'Not a bone of it will be broken.' And again another passage says: 'They will look upon him whom they have pierced.'"

4. Heart of Jesus, burning with love for us, set our hearts on fire with love of Thee. (Roman Breviary)

5. "In order that favors in greater abundance may flow on all Christians, nay, on the whole human race, from the devotion to the most Sacred Heart of Jesus, let the faithful see to it that to this devotion the Immaculate Heart of the Mother of God is closely joined. For, by God's Will, in carrying out the work of human Redemption the Blessed Virgin Mary was inseparably linked with Christ in such a manner that our salvation sprang from the love and the sufferings of Jesus Christ to which the love and sorrows of His Mother were intimately united. It is, then, entirely fitting that the Christian people - who received the divine life from Christ through Mary - after they have paid their debt of honor to the Sacred Heart of Jesus should also offer to the most loving Heart of their heavenly Mother the corresponding acts of piety, affection, gratitude and expiation. Entirely in keeping with this most sweet and wise disposition of divine Providence is the memorable act of consecration by which We Ourselves solemnly dedicated Holy Church and the whole world to the spotless Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary." (Pope Pius XII, "Haurietis Aquas", 1956)

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1. Heart of Jesus, burning Furnace of charity, Have mercy on us.

2. Heart of Jesus, Vessel of justice and love, Have mercy on us.

3. Heart of Jesus, Abyss of all virtues, Have mercy on us.

4. Heart of Jesus, patient and abounding in mercy, Have mercy on us.

5. Heart of Jesus, rich unto all who call upon Thee, Have mercy on us.

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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" - Why is the Church Called Holy Despite Her Sinful Members?

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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Topic: Why is the Church Called Holy Despite Her Sinful Members?

This question has been answered in the Catechism of the Council of Trent as follows: "It should not be deemed a matter of surprise that the Church, although numbering among her children many sinners, is called holy. For as those who profess any art, even though they depart from its rules, are still called artists, so in like manner the faithful, although offending in many things and violating the engagements to which they had pledged themselves, are still called holy, because they have been made the people of God and have consecrated themselves to Christ by faith and Baptism. Hence, St. Paul calls the Corinthians sanctified and holy, although it is certain that among them there were some whom he severely rebuked as carnal, and also charged with grosser crimes. The Church is also to be called holy because she is united to her holy Head, as His body; that is, to Christ the Lord, the fountain of all holiness, from whom flow the graces of the Holy Spirit and the riches of the divine bounty... Moreover, the Church alone has the legitimate worship of sacrifice [the Mass], and the salutary use of the Sacraments, which are the efficacious instruments of divine grace, used by God to produce true holiness. Hence, to possess true holiness, we must belong to this Church. The Church, therefore, it is clear, is holy, and holy because she is the body of Christ, by whom she is sanctified, and in whose blood she is washed."

Ref. http://www.mycatholicsource.com/mcs/nc/non_catholics__The_Catholic_Church.htm 

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Also consider...

"Husbands, love your wives, as Christ also loved the church and delivered himself up for it: That he might sanctify it, cleansing it by the laver of water in the word of life: That he might present it to himself, a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish." (St. Paul, Eph. 5:25-27)

"The Church has to be holy - both Jesus & the Holy Spirit dwell within her (Mt. 28:20, Jn. 14:16-17)"

"The holiness of the Christian has its source in the holiness of the Church" (Pope John Paul II)

"[T]he Church is holy because of her origin, because of the sacraments she administers and because of her legion of holy people." (Cardinal Herranz)

"[T]he Church is of God, for He Himself built it with His blood." (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

"We know that she also has quarrelsome and even rebellious sons and daughters, but it is in the saints that the Church recognizes her most characteristic features" (Pope Benedict XVI)

"She is the mother and the nurse of holiness, ever renewed and enlivened by the breath of the Spirit Who dwells in us [Rom. 8: 11]." (Pope St. Pius X, "Editae Saepe", 1910 A.D.)

"This work of sanctification is of the very genius of the Church, since she was made by Christ, her Founder, not only holy herself but the source of holiness in others." (Pope Pius XI, "Rerum Omnium Perturbationem", 1923 A.D.)

"[T]he Church is the safe and sure guide to conscience, for to her safe-keeping alone there has been confided the doctrines and the promise of the assistance of Christ" (Pope Pius XI, "Ubi Arcano Dei Consilio", 1922)

"[T]he faith of the universal Church...cannot err, since Our Lord said (Luke 22:32): 'I have prayed for thee,' Peter, 'that thy faith fail not.'" (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

"Amidst all the aberrations of human thought, infatuated by a false emancipation from every law and curb; and amidst the awful corruptions of human malice, the Church rises up like a bright lighthouse warning by the clearness of its beam every deviation to right or left from the way of truth, and pointing out to one and all the right course that they should follow." (Pope Pius XI, "Ad Catholici Sacerdotii", 1935)

"The Church knows very well that 'the imagination and thought of man's heart are prone to evil.' [Gen. 8:21] Therefore she wages continual battle against vice and error 'in order that the body of sin may be destroyed, that we may no longer be slaves to sin.' [Rom. 6:6]" (Pope St. Pius X, "Editae Saepe", 1910 A.D.)

"It is written in praise of the Church (Psalm 45:10) that she is 'surrounded with variety': and a gloss on these words says that 'the Queen,' namely the Church, 'is bedecked with the teaching of the apostles, the confession of martyrs, the purity of virgins, the sorrowings of penitents.'" (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church") 

"O Church of our God! Thou art sanctified in truth! By thee we are taught the whole doctrine of our Jesus! By thee we are put in the path of that holiness, which is thy very life. What would we have more, having truth and holiness? They that seek them out of thee, seek in vain. Happy, we who have nothing to seek, because we have thee for our mother, who art ever lavishing upon us all they grand gifts and lights!" (Gueranger)

"The Church of Christ is the true and sole teacher of virtue and guardian of morals. She it is who preserves in their purity the principles from which duties flow, and, by setting forth most urgent reasons for virtuous life, bids us not only to turn away from wicked deeds, but even to curb all movements of the mind that are opposed to reason, even though they be not carried out in action." (Pope Leo XIII, "Immortale Dei", 1885)

"You have the church which is a refuge, and, if I may dare to say so, is a heaven in miniature. You have a sacrifice offered up and consummated; you have the house wherein the Holy Ghost showers down abundant graces; you have the tombs and relics of the martyrs and saints, and many other things which should induce you to return from a state of sin and indifference to that of grace and justice." (St. John Chrysostom, Doctor of the Church)

"We saw men and nations cut off from God, stirring up strife and discord and hurrying along the road to ruin and death, while the Church of God carries on her work of providing food for the spiritual life of men, nurturing and fostering generation after generation of men and women dedicated to Christ, faithful and subject to him in his earthly kingdom, called by him to eternal bliss in the kingdom of heaven." (Pope Pius XI, "Quas Primas", 1925)

"For in the Books of both Testaments [St.] Jerome saw the Church of God foretold. Did not practically every one of the illustrious and sainted women who hold a place of honor in the Old Testament prefigure the Church, God's Spouse? Did not the priesthood, the sacrifices, the solemnities, nay, nearly everything described in the Old Testament shadow forth that same Church? How many Psalms and Prophecies saw he fulfilled in that Church? To him it was clear that the Church's greatest privileges were set forth by Christ and His Apostles. Small wonder, then, that growing familiarity with the Bible meant for Jerome growing love of the Spouse of Christ." (Pope Benedict XV, "Spiritus Paraclitus", 1920)

"Hence the Church, which from the fountains of the Sacraments turns the stream of grace into our souls, is rightly entitled holy. For by her tireless, ceaseless influence she unites countless souls with God in the close bond of a friendship, in which they abide. What is more, many of these souls she guides and leads to an invincible fortitude, to perfect sanctity of life, to deeds of heroism. Why, is there not a growth year by year in the number of her martyrs, virgins, confessors, whom she holds up to her children for their admiration and imitation? Are not they so many fair flowers of staunch virtues of chastity and charity, transplanted by Divine grace from earth to heaven?" (Pope Pius XI, "Ad Salutem", 1930)

"Certainly the loving Mother [the Church] is spotless in the Sacraments by which she gives birth to and nourishes her children; in the faith which she has always preserved inviolate; in her sacred laws imposed on all; in the evangelical counsels which she recommends; in those heavenly gifts and extraordinary graces through which with inexhaustible fecundity, she generates hosts of martyrs, virgins and confessors. But it cannot be laid to her charge if some members fall, weak or wounded. In their name she prays to God daily: 'Forgive us our trespasses;' and with the brave heart of a mother she applies herself at once to the work of nursing them back to spiritual health." (Pope Pius XII, "Mystici Corporis Christi", 1943)

"This is the Spirit Who will 'dwell with you forever, the Spirit of truth whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him...he will dwell with you and be in you.' The life and strength of the Church flows forth from this font. As the [First] ecumenical Vatican Council teaches, this divine power sets the Church above every other society by those obvious notes which mark her 'as a banner raised up among the nations.' In fact, only a miracle of that divine power could preserve the Church, the Mystical Body of Christ, from blemish in the holiness of Her doctrine, law, and end in the midst of the flood of corruption and lapses of her members. Her doctrine, law and end have produced an abundant harvest. The faith and holiness of her children have brought forth the most salutary fruits." (Pope St. Pius X, "Editae Saepe", 1910 A.D.)

"Nothing contributes more to the spiritual joy and advantage of pious persons than the contemplation of the exalted dignity of this most august Sacrament [of the Holy Eucharist]. In the first place they learn how great is the perfection of the Gospel Dispensation, under which we enjoy the reality of that which under the Mosaic Law was only shadowed forth by types and figures. Hence St. Denis divinely says that our Church is midway between the Synagogue and the heavenly Jerusalem, and consequently participates of the nature of both. Certainly, then, the faithful can never sufficiently admire the perfection of the holy Church and her exalted glory which seems to be removed only by one degree from the bliss of heaven. In common with the inhabitants of heaven, we too possess Christ, God and man, present with us. They are raised a degree of us, inasmuch as they are present with Christ and enjoy the Beatific Vision; while we, with a firm and unwavering faith, adore the Divine Majesty present with us, not it is true, in a manner visible to mortal eye, but hidden in a miracle of power under the veil of the sacred mysteries. Furthermore the faithful experience in this Sacrament the most perfect love of Christ our Savior. It became the goodness of the Savior not to withdraw from us that nature which He assumed from us, but to desire, as far as possible, to remain among us so that at all times He might be seen to verify the words: My delight is to be with the children of men. (Prov. viii. 31)." (Catechism of the Council of Trent)

"The Christian, at almost every important stage of his mortal career, finds at his side the priest with power received from God, in the act of communicating or increasing that grace which is the supernatural life of his soul. Scarcely is he born before the priest baptizing him, brings him by a new birth to a more noble and precious life, a supernatural life, and makes him a son of God and of the Church of Jesus Christ. To strengthen him to fight bravely in spiritual combats, a priest invested with special dignity makes him a soldier of Christ by holy chrism. Then, as soon as he is able to recognize and value the Bread of Angels, the priest gives It to him, the living and life-giving Food come down from Heaven. If he fall, the priest raises him up again in the name of God, and reconciles him to God with the Sacrament of Penance. Again, if he is called by God to found a family and to collaborate with Him in the transmission of human life throughout the world, thus increasing the number of the faithful on earth and, thereafter, the ranks of the elect in Heaven, the priest is there to bless his espousals and unblemished love; and when, finally, arrived at the portals of eternity, the Christian feels the need of strength and courage before presenting himself at the tribunal of the Divine Judge, the priest with the holy oils anoints the failing members of the sick or dying Christian, and reconsecrates and comforts him. Thus the priest accompanies the Christian throughout the pilgrimage of this life to the gates of Heaven. He accompanies the body to its resting place in the grave with rites and prayers of immortal hope. And even beyond the threshold of eternity he follows the soul to aid it with Christian suffrages, if need there be of further purification and alleviation. Thus, from the cradle to the grave the priest is ever beside the faithful, a guide, a solace, a minister of salvation and dispenser of grace and blessing." (Pope Pius XI, "Ad Catholici Sacerdotii", 1935)

"But, how many, how wonderful, how splendid are the proofs at hand by which human reason ought to be entirely and most clearly convinced that the religion of Christ is divine, and that 'every principle of our dogmas has received its root from above, from the Lord of the heavens,' and that, therefore, nothing is more certain than our faith, nothing more secure, that there is nothing more holy and nothing which is supported on firmer principles. For, in truth, this faith is the teacher of life, the index of salvation, the expeller of all faults, and the fecund parent and nurse of virtues, confirmed by the birth, life, death, resurrection, wisdom, miracles, prophecies of its author and consummator, Christ Jesus; everywhere resplendent with the light of a supernatural teaching and enriched with the treasures of heavenly riches, especially clear and significant by the predictions of so many prophets, by the splendor of so many miracles, by the constancy of so many martyrs, by the glory of so many saints, revealing the salutary laws of Christ and acquiring greater strength every day from these most cruel persecutions, (this faith) has pervaded the whole earth by land and sea, from the rising to the setting of the sun, under the one standard of the Cross, and also, having overcome the deceits of idolaters and torn away the mist of errors and triumphed over enemies of every kind, it has illuminated with the light of divine knowledge all peoples, races, nations, howsoever barbarous in culture and different in disposition, customs, laws, and institutions; and has subjected them to the most sweet yoke of Christ Himself, 'announcing peace' to all, 'announcing good' [Isa. 52:7]. All of this certainly shines everywhere with so great a glory of divine wisdom and power that the mind and intelligence of each one clearly understands that the Christian [that is, Catholic] Faith is the work of God. And so, human reason, knowing clearly and openly from these most splendid and equally strong proofs that God is the author of the same faith, can proceed no further; but, having completely cast aside and removed every difficulty and doubt, it should render all obedience to this faith" (Pope Pius IX, 1846 A.D.)

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"We can, certainly, and should love ourselves, bear ourselves kindly toward our fellow men, nourish affection for the State and the governing powers; but at the same time we can and must cherish toward the Church a feeling of filial piety, and love God with the deepest love of which we are capable." (Pope Leo XIII, "Sapientiae Christianae", 1890)

"[N]o gift of God either to individuals or to nations is greater than to receive by His grace the Catholic faith, and having received it, to keep it with perseverance. This gift contains an abundance of other gifts by means of which individual persons receive both eternal happiness in heaven and greatness and prosperity for their state on earth." (Pope Leo XIII, "Quod Multum", 1886)

"Mankind, then, owes its safety to the Ark. O saving Ark, that wast planned by God Himself, and didst sail unhurt amidst the universal wreck! But if we can thus bless this contemptible wood, how fervently should we love that other Ark, of which Noah's was but the figure, and which, for [then] eighteen hundred years, has been saving and bringing men to their God! How fervently should we bless that Church, the bride of our Jesus, out of which there is no salvation, and in which we find that truth which delivers us from error and doubt, that grace which purifies the heart, and that food which nourishes the soul and fits her for immortality! O sacred Ark! Thou art inhabited, not by one family alone, but by people of every nation under the sun. Ever since that glorious day, when our Lord launched thee in the sea of this world, thou hast been tossed by tempests, yet never wrecked. Thou wilt reach the eternal shore, witnessing, by thy unworn vigor and beauty to the divine guidance of the Pilot, who loves thee, both for thine own sake, and for the work thou art doing for His glory. It is by thee that He peoples the world with His elect, and it is for them that He created the world. When He is angry, He remembers mercy, because of thee, for it is through thee that He has made His covenant with mankind. O veritable Ark! Be though our refuge in the deluge!" (Gueranger)

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Closing Quotations...

"In truth if the arguments brought forward which form the foundation for the devotion to the pierced Heart of Jesus are duly pondered, it is surely clear that there is no question here of some ordinary form of piety which anyone at his own whim may treat as of little consequence or set aside as inferior to others, but of a religious practice which helps very much towards the attaining of Christian perfection." (Pope Pius XII, "Haurietis Aquas", 1956 A.D.)

"Is not a summary of all our religion and moreover, a guide to a more perfect life contained in this one devotion [to the Sacred Heart of Jesus]? Indeed, it more easily leads our minds to know Christ the Lord intimately and more effectively turns our heads to love Him more ardently and to imitate Him more perfectly." (Pope Pius XI)

"He showed His Heart to us bearing about it the symbols of the passion and displaying the flames of love, that from the one we might know the infinite malice of sin, and in the other we might admire the infinite charity of Our Redeemer, and so might have a more vehement hatred of sin, and make a more ardent return of love for His love." (Pope Pius XI, "Miserentissimus Redemptor", 1928)

Prayer to the Sacred Heart of Jesus: I hail Thee, O Sacred Heart of Jesus, living and life-giving fountain of eternal life, infinite treasure of divinity, glowing furnace of divine love; Thou art my place of rest and my most sure refuge. My dear Savior, enkindle my heart with that burning love wherewith Thine own is on fire; pour into my heart the manifold graces, of which thy Heart is the source; let Thy will be mine, and let mine be for ever obedient to Thine. Amen. (Raccolta)

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