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MyCatholicSource.com Newsletter - July, 2014 [Plain text version]

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MyCatholicSource.com Newsletter - July, 2014

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IN THIS ISSUE:

* Greetings

* MCS News & Notes

* The Month of July: Dedicated to the Precious Blood of Jesus

* Some Words of Encouragement From Popes & Saints

* Tolerance Vs. Charity

* Liturgical Feasts in July

* 'Catholic Trivia' [Themed: Altars]

* Defending the Faith: "Apologetics Brief" - Do You Believe That Good Works Are Not Necessary For Salvation?

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Dear Friend,

"May the God of peace, who brought up from the dead the great shepherd of the sheep by the blood of the eternal covenant, Jesus our Lord, furnish you with all that is good, that you may do his will. May he carry out in you what is pleasing to him through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen." (Heb. 13:20-21)

We hope your Summer has gotten off to a pleasant & peaceful start and that it will remain so over the upcoming months.

Even though it is still early, we invite those who have not yet signed up for Rosary Week to consider doing so now. Rosary Week can be a wonderful opportunity to pray with other Catholics for worthy intentions. It doesn't cost anything to sign up and you can pray from anywhere. It should take only about 15 minutes of your time to pray the rosary, and it can be said at any time of day or night. Even if you can say no more than a single rosary, your participation is most welcome. For more information on Rosary Week, please visit www.MyCatholicSource.com/RosaryWeekInfo . To sign up, please visit www.MyCatholicSource.com/RosaryWeek . Thank you for joining us. And, please invite your friends!

We thank you for being a valued subscriber to our mailing list & we wish you God's blessings,

Your Friends at MyCatholicSource.com

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"Now if you invoke as Father him who judges impartially according to each one's works, conduct yourselves with reverence during the time of your sojourning, realizing that you were ransomed from your futile conduct, handed on by your ancestors, not with perishable things like silver or gold but with the precious blood of Christ" (St. Peter, 1 Pt. 1:17-19)

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MCS News & Notes

* Rosary Week: Please sign up today for our Sixth Annual Rosary Week (to be held from 10/20-10/26/14). Sign up quickly at www.MyCatholicSource.com/RosaryWeek . An e-mail address is NOT required!

* You can help make Rosary Week a success! Visit http://www.mycatholicsource.com/mcs/cg/rosary_week.htm for fliers you can print, hand out, or post at your parish. The more Catholics we can inspire to pray the holy rosary, the better!

* URL Shortcut Changes: As we did not receive any negative feedback concerning the proposed changes to URL shortcuts that we mentioned last month, we will plan to move forward with these changes. If you have any comments about these changes, please let us know. Please submit your feedback at http://www.mycatholicsource.com/mcs/fdb/quick_feedback.htm

* For summer activities for Catholic children, please try our Catholic Fun & Activities Section at http://www.mycatholicsource.com/mcs/catholic_fun_and_activities.htm . Look here for coloring pages, crosswords, mazes, word searches, travel activities, etc.

* Reminder: Need a prayer? You can submit prayer requests any time at http://www.mycatholicsource.com/mcs/prayer_requests.htm . Please also consider praying for others who have asked for prayers. As Pope St. Gregory the Great, Doctor of the Church, has noted: "He causes his prayers to be of more avail to himself, who offers them also for others." Thanks in advance for any prayers.

* What could be better for America on July 4th than Masses & prayers for the USA? For prayers for the United States, please try here: http://www.mycatholicsource.com/mcs/tp/topic_page-prayers_for_the_United_States.htm

* With the recent speculation concerning the Holy Father's health, it seems a good time to remind Catholics of the need to pray for the Pope. For some prayers for the supreme pontiff, please visit http://www.mycatholicsource.com/mcs/pr/prayers_and_hymns_priests_bishops_pope_church.htm

* With the feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel approaching (on July 16), it seems an excellent time to recommend the scapular to all who do not already wear it. If you don't already wear the scapular, why not start now? "The other devotions to Our Lady last only for a certain time, but he who wears the Scapular honors Our Lady at all times and in all places. The Scapular is, as the Blessed Virgin herself has declared, 'a safeguard in danger'" (Muller) For more information on the scapular, please visit http://www.mycatholicsource.com/mcs/pc/the_Blessed_Virgin/scapulars.htm

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

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

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

* Please see our Notices page at http://www.mycatholicsource.com/mcs/cg/notices.htm for dates of anticipated service delays through August 2014

* Help keep us online! You can donate from $1 using PayPal 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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* Reminder: To help ensure delivery of your newsletter, please put our e-mail address in your 'trusted senders' list - or use other applicable options your e-mail provider may offer to let them know that our e-mail is wanted. Thank you.

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

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The Month of July: Dedicated to the Precious Blood of Jesus

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"And [Jesus] said to them: This is my blood of the new testament, which shall be shed for many." (Mk.14:24)

"In him we have redemption by his blood, the forgiveness of transgressions, in accord with the riches of his grace that he lavished upon us. In all wisdom and insight, he has made known to us the mystery of his will in accord with his favor that he set forth in him as a plan for the fullness of times, to sum up all things in Christ, in heaven and on earth." (Eph. 1:7-10)

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Related Resources...

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

* Scapular of the Most Precious Blood - http://www.mycatholicsource.com/mcs/pc/the_Blessed_Virgin/scapulars.htm

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

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

* The Passion / Cross Reflections - http://www.mycatholicsource.com/mcs/qt/catholic_basics_reflections_The_Passion.htm

* Jesus' Last Words From the Cross - http://www.mycatholicsource.com/mcs/pcs/jesus_last_words.htm

* Stations of the Cross / Way of the Cross - http://www.mycatholicsource.com/mcs/pc/prayers_and_devotions/stations_of_the_cross.htm

* Trials & Sorrows of Jesus - http://www.mycatholicsource.com/mcs/pcs/sorrows_of_jesus.htm

* The Holy Eucharist - http://www.mycatholicsource.com/mcs/pc/sacraments/Holy_Eucharist.htm

* Communion Under Both Species: Is it Required? - http://www.mycatholicsource.com/mcs/pc/sacraments/communion_under_both_species__is_it_required.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 love a thing in proportion to what it has cost us. You may judge by that of our Lord's love for our soul, which has cost him his Blood." (St. John Vianney)

"Blood of Christ, poured out on the Cross, save us. Blood of Christ, Price of our salvation, save us. Blood of Christ, without which there is no forgiveness, save us." (From the Litany of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus)

"The bread and the wine are not merely figures of the Body and Blood of Christ (God forbid!) but the deified Body of the Lord itself, for the Lord has said: This is My body, not, this is a figure of my body; and My blood, not, a figure of my blood." (St. John of Damascus, Doctor of the Church, 8th century A.D.)

"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)

"What is a man able to find so valuable that he can give it for the ransom of his soul? Yet one thing was found that was worth as much as all men together. It was given as the ransom price for our souls, the holy and most precious blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, which He poured out for all of us; we were, therefore, 'bought dearly'." (St. Basil the Great, Doctor of the Church)

Prayer in Honor of the Precious Blood: "O almighty and everlasting God, who didst appoint Thine only-begotten Son the Redeemer of the world, and hast willed to be appeased by His Blood; grant unto us, we beseech Thee, so to venerate with solemn worship the price of our redemption, and by its power be so defended against the evils of this life, that we may enjoy the fruit thereof for evermore in heaven. Through the same our Lord." (Collect)

"We therefore confess that the Sacrifice of the Mass is and ought to be considered one and the same Sacrifice as that of the cross, for the victim is one and the same, namely, Christ our Lord, who offered Himself, once only, a bloody Sacrifice on the altar of the cross. The bloody and unbloody victim are not two, but one victim only, whose Sacrifice is daily renewed in the Eucharist, in obedience to the command of our Lord: Do this for a commemoration of me. The priest is also one and the same, Christ the Lord; for the ministers who offer [the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass], consecrate the holy mysteries, not in their own person, but in that of Christ, as the words of consecration itself show, for the priest does not say: This is the body of Christ, but, This is my body; and thus, acting in the Person of Christ the Lord, he changes the substance of the bread and wine into the true substance of His body and blood." (Catechism of the Council of Trent)

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Some Words of Encouragement From Popes & Saints

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"Why are we sad? Why do we blame God? Evils abound in the world so that the world will fail to seduce us into loving it." (St. Augustine, Doctor of the Church)

"What has a person to fear who lives in the arms and bosom of God?" (St. Paul of the Cross)

"Let nothing disturb you, nothing frighten you; all things are passing; God never changes." (St. Teresa of Avila, Doctor of the Church)

"[W]e know from experience that, in the dispensation of Divine Providence, when evils reach their limit, deliverance is not far distant." (Pope St. Pius X, "Ad Diem Illum Laetissimum", 1904 A.D.)

"Nor is it to be doubted but that especial aid of the great God will be vouchsafed, so long as the struggle endures, to the flock alike and to the pastors." (Pope Leo XIII, "Sapientiae Christianae", 1890 A.D.)

"May the number, boldness, and strength of the enemy not frighten you, because God is stronger than they; if God is for you, who can be against you?" (Pope Leo XIII, "Custodi Di Quella Fede", 1892 A.D.)

"Let them not, however, lose heart; to face bitter combats is a mark of Christians, and to endure grave labors to the end is a mark of them who, as good soldiers of Christ, follow Him closely." (Pope Pius XI, "Quadragesimo Anno", 1931 A.D.)

"And, if by this power [the Church] has freed the world grown old in vice and lost in superstition, why should she not again recover it when gone astray?" (Pope Leo XIII, "Exeunte Iam Anno", 1888 A.D.)

"The Church of Christ, built upon an unshakable rock, has nothing to fear for herself, as she knows for a certainty that the gates of hell shall never prevail against her. Rather, she knows full well, through the experience of many centuries, that she is wont to come forth from the most violent storms stronger than ever and adorned with new triumphs." (Pope Pius XI, "Quadragesimo Anno", 1931 A.D.)

"For We know that if all the sorrows and calamities of these stormy times, by which countless multitudes are being sorely tried, are accepted from God's hands with calm submission, they naturally lift souls above the passing things of earth to those of heaven that abide forever, and arouse a certain secret thirst and intense desire for spiritual things." (Pope Pius XII, "Mystici Corporis Christi", 1943 A.D.)

"We may well admire in this the admirable wisdom of the Providence of God, who, ever bringing good out of evil, has from time to time suffered the faith and piety of men to grow weak, and allowed Catholic truth to be attacked by false doctrines, but always with the result that truth has afterwards shone out with greater splendor, and that men's faith, aroused from its lethargy, has shown itself more vigorous than before." (Pope Pius XI, "Quas Primas", 1925 A.D.)

"We know very well, Venerable Brethren, that all these efforts will come to naught, since without doubt, and in His own appointed time, 'God shall arise, and his enemies shall be scattered' (Ps. Ixvii. 2); We know that the gates of Hell shall never prevail (cf. Matt. xvi. 18); We know that Our Divine Redeemer, as was foretold of Him, 'shall strike the earth with the rod of his mouth' (cf. Isaias xi. 4); and there will be a dreadful hour for those wretched men, when they shall fall 'into the hands of the living God' (cf. Heb x. 31)." (Pope Pius XI, "Caritate Christi Compulsi", 1932 A.D.)

"Nor can we Christians endure or exist any longer - if it has come to that - if we become overly frightened by the snares or threats of the damned. Therefore, trusting not in ourselves but in the God who raises the dead to life, we despise human affairs and cry out to the Lord: You are my hope in the day of disaster. Let us never be exhausted in body or in spirit, for we are fellow workers with God. The Lord Jesus is with us always even to the end of time. Therefore let us not be weakened by scandal or persecution, lest we seem ungrateful for God's favor, since his assistance is as strong as His promises are true." (Pope Clement XIII, "A Quo Die", 1758 A.D.)

"Nevertheless, Venerable Brethren, though such great and numerous evils hang over us, and others still greater are to be feared for the future, we must not lose heart nor let the confident hope that rests solely on God become fainter. He who 'made the nations of the earth for health' (Cf. Wisdom i, 14) without doubt will not let those perish whom He has redeemed with His Precious Blood, nor will He abandon His Church. But rather, as We said in the beginning, shall We beseech God through the mediation of the Blessed Virgin, so acceptable to Him, since, to use the words of St. Bernard: 'Such is the will of God, who has wished that we should have all things through Mary.'" (Pope Pius XI, "Ingravescentibus Malis", 1937 A.D.)

"Never will there be grief enough over the corruption of morals so extensively increasing and promoted by irreligious and ob-scene writings, theatrical spectacles and meretricious houses established almost everywhere; by other depraved arts and monstrous portents of every error disseminated in all directions; by the abominable impurities of all vices and crimes growing constantly and the deadly virus of unbelief and indifferentism spread far and wide; by contempt for ecclesiastical authority, sacred things, and laws and by the outrageous plundering of Church possessions; by the bitter and constant abuse of consecrated Church officials, of the students of religious communities, of virgins dedicated to God; by the diabolical hatred of Christ, his Church, teaching, and of this Apostolic See. These and almost innumerable other evils perpetrated by the embittered enemies of the Catholic Church and faith, we are daily compelled to lament. All these agonies seem to prolong and delay that most yearned for time when we shall see the full triumph of our most holy religion, of justice, and of truth. This triumph cannot fail us, however, even if it is not given us to know the time destined for it by almighty God. Even though our heavenly Father permits His holy Church to be afflicted and plagued by various tribulations and distresses while serving during this most miserable and earthly pilgrimage, nevertheless, because it has been founded by Christ, the Lord, upon an immovable and most firm rock, it cannot be shaken or overthrown by any force or violence." (Pope Pius IX, "Quanto Conficiamur Moerore", 1863 A.D.)

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Ref. http://www.mycatholicsource.com/mcs/qt/catholic_news_reflections.htm

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"It is always the will of God for us to struggle against what is evil and false. Whether we will prevail in our struggle, that we do not know, and here again we should say, 'Thy will be done'. As Pascal says so beautifully, we must fight with Christ, but we do not know whether we will conquer with Him. But that Christ will conquer in the end - that we know.'" (Von Hildebrand) 

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Tolerance Vs. Charity

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The following is from a 20th century publication containing Catholic answers to various criticisms. The work appears to have ecclesiastical approval. [Note: We have made a few changes to the text below (e.g. punctuation & formatting changes, rewording/shortening)]

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Accusation: "Tolerance is the first duty of the citizen as regards religious matters; but the Roman Catholic Church, if it would be consistent, must be intolerant."

Answer: According to Christ's teaching, the first duty of a man living in a community is not tolerance, but love of his neighbor. A pharisaical doctor of the law once asked Him, tempting Him: "Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said to him: Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with thy whole heart, and with thy whole soul, and with thy whole mind. This is the greatest and the first commandment. And the second is like to this: Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments dependeth the whole law and the prophets" (Matt. xxii. 35-40).

Justice and love are the two first duties of a man to his fellow men. Tolerance is nowhere mentioned in the law. Mere tolerance does not go far enough. The Catholic Church does not merely tolerate her erring brethren She loves them with a divine charity - and that is more than tolerance. "Tolerance" is the catchword of genuine liberalism, which manages to put up with an obnoxious fellow-citizen, but knows nothing of charity.

But a distinction must be made in the matter of tolerance. Catholics are not intolerant of the erring, but toward their error there can be no such thing as tolerance. We can not compromise with error. What is false we can not call true, any more than we can call black white. When, therefore, the Catholic Church combats error and champions truth, she only follows the example of Christ and does what every right-thinking man will acknowledge to be just.

Dogmatic tolerance is self-contradiction. How can a Church that professes to be a teacher of truth say to the thinking world: "If you believe in the Trinity, in the divinity of Christ, and in the sacrament of Penance, well and good. If you don't believe in them - again well and good - for I can't be intolerant"? A Church which is the custodian of revealed truth can not compound with error; and any [other so-called 'church',] no matter what elements of truth it may retain, or what good it may [purport to] do to men...which is seen to throw the mantle of a false charity over all vagaries of opinion within its pale is proved thereby not to have the hallmark of Christian orthodoxy. In this connection the Catholic Church stands quite alone - and is thereby proved to be the one faithful custodian of the doctrine revealed by Christ.

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"[Y]ou may, by every fitting means, oppose error by truth" (Pope Pius XI, "Casti Connubii", 1930 A.D.)

"Since it is in the very nature of man to follow the guide of reason to his actions, if his intellect sins at all, his will soon follows; and thus it happens that false opinions, whose seat is in the understanding, influence human actions and pervert them." (Pope Leo XIII)

"It is a sin leading to death when sinners remain uncorrected" (Second Council of Nicaea)

"Be on your guard! If your brother sins, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him." (Our Lord Jesus Christ, Lk. 17:3)

"Beseech, accuse, correct, rebuke and fear not: for ill-judged silence leaves in their error those who could be taught, and this is most harmful both to them and to you who should have dispelled the error." (Pope Pius VI, "Inscrutabile", 1775 A.D.)

[Jesus said,] "If your brother sins (against you), go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have won over your brother. If he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, so that 'every fact may be established on the testimony of two or three witnesses.' If he refuses to listen to them, tell the church. If he refuses to listen even to the church, then treat him as you would a Gentile or a tax collector." (Mt. 18:15-17)

"We should tolerate association with sinners only for the purpose of recalling them to repentance, by every means short of committing sin ourselves. But when every form of solicitude has been applied in their regard, we should avoid those who persist in their evil ways." (St. Basil the Great, Doctor of the Church)

"Those who take notice of what is evil in their neighbors, and yet refrain their tongue in silence, withdraw, as it were, the aid of medicine from observed sores, and became the causers of death, in that they would not cure the venom which they could have cured. The tongue, therefore, should be discreetly curbed, not tied up fast." (Pope St. Gregory the Great, Doctor of the Church)

"Is it possible that we can see a soul in danger of being lost, and remain indifferent? Have we forgotten the divine promise, told us by the apostle: 'He that causeth a sinner to be converted from the error of his way, shall save his soul from death, and shall cover a multitude of his own sins'?" (Gueranger)

"Catholic doctrine tells us that the primary duty of charity does not lie in the toleration of false ideas, however sincere they may be; nor in theoretical or practical indifference toward the errors and vices in which we see our brethren plunged, but in the zeal for their intellectual and moral improvement as well as for their material well-being. Catholic doctrine further tells us that love for our neighbor flows from our love for God, Who is Father to all, and the goal of the human family; and in Jesus Christ whose members we are, to the point that in doing good to others we are doing good to Jesus Christ Himself. Any other kind of love is sheer illusion, sterile and fleeting." (Pope St. Pius X, "Notre Charge Apostolique", 1910 A.D.)

"No sooner has one forgotten that the eternal salvation of our neighbor has to be our main concern for him, than the real love of neighbor becomes impossible. No sooner does one cease to understand that love of neighbor does not seek fulfillment of all his wishes, than this love becomes a weakness and a way of giving in. No sooner does one forget the words of St. Augustine, 'Interficere errorem, diligere errantem' ('kill the error, love him who errs'), than one loses all understanding for real love of neighbor. Love of neighbor can only be rightly understood when we realize that we live in a situation in which we are bound to reject all moral mistakes and even many non-moral disvalues, in which we have to struggle against error and evil - struggle against them with all our might - but in which love of neighbor extends even to him who errs, who is evil, even to him who is the enemy of God." (Von Hildebrand)

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Also Try...

Reflections - http://www.mycatholicsource.com/mcs/qt/reflections_categorized.htm

Should One Correct / Rebuke a Fallen Away Catholic? - http://www.mycatholicsource.com/mcs/pc/coming_home/coming_home_should_one_correct_rebuke.htm

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Liturgical Feasts in July

The following is a listing of all liturgical feast dates for July 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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July 1 - The Most Precious Blood of Our Lord (T)

July 2 - Sts. Processus & Martinian (T)

July 2 - Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary (T)

July 3 - St. Leo II, pope (T)

July 3 - The Commemoration of all Holy Pontiffs (T)

July 3 - St. Thomas, apostle (N)

July 4 - St. Elizabeth of Portugal (N)

July 5 - St. Anthony Mary Zaccaria (T)

July 5 - St. Anthony Zaccaria (N)

July 6 - St. Maria Goretti (N)

July 7 - Sts. Cyril & Methodius (T)

July 8 - St. Elizabeth, Queen of Portugal (T)

July 9 - St. John Fisher (T)

July 9 - St. Thomas More (T)

July 9 - St. Augustine Zhao Rong & companions (N)

July 10 - Seven Holy Brothers (T)

July 10 - Sts. Rufina & Secunda (T)

July 11 - St. Pius I, pope (T)

July 11 - St. Benedict (N)

July 12 - St. John Gualbert (T)

July 12 - Sts. Nabor & Felix (T)

July 13 - St. Anacletus, pope (T)

July 13 - St. Henry (N)

July 14 - St. Bonaventure (T)

July 15 - St. Henry II (T)

July 15 - St. Bonaventure (N)

July 16 - Our Lady of Mount Carmel (T)

July 16 - Our Lady of Mount Carmel (N)

July 17 - St. Alexius the Beggar (T)

July 18 - St. Camillus de Lellis (T)

July 18 - St. Symphorosa & 7 Sons (T)

July 18 - St. Camillus de Lellis (N)

July 19 - St. Vincent de Paul (T)

July 20 - St. Jerome Emilian (T)

July 20 - St. Margaret of Antioch (T)

July 20 - St. Apollinarus (N)

July 21 - St. Praxedes (T)

July 21 - St. Lawrence of Brindisi (N)

July 22 - St. Mary Magdalene (T)

July 22 - St. Mary Magdalene (N)

July 23 - St. Apollinaris of Ravenna (T)

July 23 - St. Liborius (T)

July 23 - St. Bridget of Sweden (N)

July 24 - St. Christina (T)

July 24 - St. Francis Solano (T)

July 25 - St. Christopher (T)

July 25 - St. James the Greater, apostle (T)

July 25 - St. James the Greater, apostle (N)

July 26 - St. Anne, Mother of the Blessed Virgin Mary (T)

July 26 - Sts. Joachim & Ann (Anne), Parents of the Blessed Virgin Mary (N)

July 27 - St. Pantaleon (T)

July 28 - St. Nazarius & Celsus (T)

July 28 - Sts. Victor & Innocent (Innocentius) I, popes (T)

July 29 - St. Felix II, pope (T)

July 29 - St. Martha (T)

July 29 - Sts. Simplicius, Faustinus & Beatrice (T)

July 29 - St. Martha (N)

July 30 - Sts. Abdon & Sennen (T)

July 30 - St. Peter Chrysologus (N)

July 31 - St. Ignatius of Loyola (T)

July 31 - St. Ignatius of Loyola (N)

Please Note: Above may exclude moveable feasts. For moveable feasts, 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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'Catholic Trivia'

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Note: This month all trivia questions are themed. [Theme: Altars]

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1. What is the cavity in the altar stone which houses the relics of martyrs called?

2. According to Pope Pius XII, which items "of their very nature" must remain together?

3. Did Pope Pius VI affirm the Synod of Pistoia's assertion that there should only be one altar in the church?

4. What is the principal altar in a church called?

5. What material has been traditionally used for altars in the Catholic Church?

6. Is the altar the same as a "table"?

7. What is a "privileged altar"?

8. What do the terms "epistle side of the altar" and "Gospel side of the altar" refer to?

9. What has been called the "principal ornament of the altar" and reminds the priest and the laity that the Victim is the same as offered at Calvary?

10. In what direction does the high altar traditionally face?

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Answers:

1. The cavity in the altar stone which houses the relics of martyrs is called the sepulchre.

2. "To separate the Tabernacle from the Altar is tantamount to separating two things which, of their very nature, must remain together." (Pope Pius XII)

3. No. According to the Constitution "Auctorem fidei" by which the errors of the Synod of Pistoia were condemned (Aug. 28, 1794 A.D.), "The proposition of the synod enunciating that it is fitting, in accordance with the order of divine services and ancient custom that there be only one altar in each temple, and therefore, that it is pleased to restore that custom, [is condemned as] rash, injurious to the very ancient pious custom flourishing and approved for these many centuries in the Church, especially in the Latin Church."

4. The principal altar in a church is called the high altar.

5. Traditionally, altars are made of stone (representing Christ, the rock and cornerstone of His Church).

6. No. The concept of a "table" rather than an altar may be confusing to Catholics who attend the Holy Sacrifice of Mass. As stated by a Protestant 'Reformer' who wished to vanquish all sacrificial imagery of the Catholic Church, "The use of an altar is to make sacrifice upon it; the use of a table is to serve men to eat upon".

7. A privileged altar is "One at which a plenary indulgence may be gained for a soul in Purgatory by the celebration and application of a [particular] Mass. The privilege is either local (belonging to any priest at a particular altar) or personal (to a particular priest and any altar) or mixed (to certain priests at certain altars)." (Catholic Dictionary) Note that the indulgence is to be applied to the soul for whom the Mass was offered.

8. Traditionally, the Epistle side of the altar is the side at which the epistle is said at Mass (the south or right-hand side facing the altar) and the Gospel side of the altar is the side at which the Gospel is said at Mass (the north or left-hand side facing the altar).

9. The crucifix has been called the "principal ornament of the altar" and reminds the priest and the laity that the Victim is the same as offered at Calvary. The placement of the crucifix on the altar has traditionally been a requirement for Mass.

10. Traditionally, the high alter faces eastward.

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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 Believe That Good Works Are Not Necessary For Salvation?

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__works_deeds.htm

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

Topic: Do You Believe That Good Works Are Not Necessary For Salvation? (Note: Topic is directed at Protestants)

Consider:

* Do you believe that persons are saved by faith alone? Visit http://www.mycatholicsource.com/mcs/nc/non_catholics__faith_alone.htm

* Do you believe that you are saved and that you cannot lose your salvation? Visit http://www.mycatholicsource.com/mcs/nc/non_catholics__salvation.htm

* If good works are not necessary to salvation, why does Christ teach that judgment will be based on good works (Mt. 25:31-46)? Why does Jesus specifically indicate that those who have done good works will be saved and those who have not will be condemned?

* If good works are not necessary to salvation, why does Scripture say that "the hour is coming in which all who are in the tombs will hear his voice and will come out, those who have done good deeds to the resurrection of life, but those who have done wicked deeds to the resurrection of condemnation" (Jn. 5:28-29)?

* If good works are not necessary to salvation, why does Scripture say that "God...will repay everyone according to his works: eternal life to those who seek glory, honor, and immortality through perseverance in good works, but wrath and fury to those who selfishly disobey the truth and obey wickedness" (Rom. 2:5-8).

* If good works are not necessary to salvation, why does Scripture say that "we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive recompense, according to what he did in the body, whether good or evil" (2 Cor. 5:10)?

* If good works are unimportant, why does Scripture say: "Make no mistake: God is not mocked, for a person will reap only what he sows, because the one who sows for his flesh will reap corruption from the flesh, but the one who sows for the spirit will reap eternal life from the spirit. Let us not grow tired of doing good, for in due time we shall reap our harvest, if we do not give up. So then, while we have the opportunity, let us do good to all, but especially to those who belong to the family of the faith" (Gal. 6:7-10)?

* If good works are unimportant, why does Scripture say that "Religion that is pure and undefiled before God and the Father is this: to care for orphans and widows in their affliction and to keep oneself unstained by the world" (Jms. 1:27)?

* If good works are not necessary to salvation, why does Scripture say quite the opposite? "What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister has nothing to wear and has no food for the day, and one of you says to them, 'Go in peace, keep warm, and eat well,' but you do not give them the necessities of the body, what good is it? So also faith of itself, if it does not have works, is dead. Indeed someone might say, 'You have faith and I have works.' Demonstrate your faith to me without works, and I will demonstrate my faith to you from my works. You believe that God is one. You do well. Even the demons believe that and tremble. Do you want proof, you ignoramus, that faith without works is useless? Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered his son Isaac upon the altar? You see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was completed by the works. Thus the scripture was fulfilled that says, 'Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness,' and he was called 'the friend of God.' See how a person is justified by works and not by faith alone. And in the same way, was not Rahab the harlot also justified by works when she welcomed the messengers and sent them out by a different route? For just as a body without a spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead." (Jms. 2:14-26) 

* If good works are unimportant, why does Scripture say that God will judge impartially according to each one's works (1 Pt. 1:17)?

* If good deeds are not important, why does Scripture say that the dead will be judged according to their deeds? "I saw the dead, the great and the lowly, standing before the throne, and scrolls were opened. Then another scroll was opened, the book of life. The dead were judged according to their deeds, by what was written in the scrolls. The sea gave up its dead; then Death and Hades gave up their dead. All the dead were judged according to their deeds." (Rv. 20:12-13)

* If good works are not necessary to salvation, why does Scripture speak of them as being useful to "winning true life": "Tell them to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous, ready to share, thus accumulating as treasure a good foundation for the future, so as to win the life that is true life." (1 Tm. 6:18-19)

* If works are unimportant, why does Scripture say that St. Paul "preached the need to repent and turn to God, and to do works giving evidence of repentance" (Acts 26:20)?

* If works are of no avail, why does Scripture say that those in heaven will find "rest from their labors, for their works accompany them" (Rv. 14:13)?

* If works are unnecessary, how can Scripture say that by bearing one another's burdens one fulfills the law of Christ (see Gal. 6:2)?

* If works are unimportant, why does the Bible speak of Scripture being useful for equipping persons for good works (see 2 Tm. 3:16-17)?

* Although Scripture says that "Great as his mercy is his punishment; he judges men, each according to his deeds" (Sirach 16:12), do you expect one to now believe that the unchanging God will now simply ignore one's deeds and instead look solely at one's faith?

* If works are of no avail, how can Christ say that "everyone who has given up houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands for the sake of my name will receive a hundred times more, and will inherit eternal life" (Mt. 19:29)?

* If works are unnecessary, "why is it that Christ tells us that the way to gain eternal life is by keeping the commandments" [see Mt. 19:17] (remember that the Commandments "deal in works, not faith")?

* Catholics do not believe we earn our justification by "works of the law", which is clearly contrary to Scripture (see Rom. 3:28, Rom. 11:6, Gal. 2:15-16, Gal. 3:1-14). Catholics know that we can't "earn our redemption" - redemption is a gift of Christ. However, we must cooperate with God's grace. The fact that good works are necessary - along with justification - does not in any way deny our redemption by Christ or mean we are relying on the "works of the law" for justification. As Scripture makes clear, both good works (not Jewish "works of the law") and justification are both necessary (cf. Jms. 2:14-26). Further, it should be remembered that where Scripture speaks of such works, this refers to Jewish works of the law, which are of no value since Christ established His Church, and not to good deeds. Furthermore, do you not realize that even though good works are necessary, they are preceded by grace? As St. Augustine has said, "In many passages [St. Paul] often bears witness to this, putting the grace of faith before works, not as if he wanted to put an end to works, but so as to show that works are the consequences rather than the precedents of grace. Thus, no man is to suppose that he has received grace because he has done good works but rather that he would not have been able to do these good works if he had not, through faith received grace." (St. Augustine, Doctor of the Church, c. 396 A.D.)

* Although the Catholic Church teaches the necessity of good works, she does not omit to mention that faith and grace are also necessary (and are, in fact, inseparable). As Pope St. Gregory has said, "Neither faith without works nor works without faith is of any avail, except, perhaps, that works may go toward the reception of faith [e.g. through God's grace]" (Pope St. Gregory I the Great, Doctor of the Church, 6th century A.D.)

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"The good we do is both of God and of ourselves. It is God's through prevenient grace, ours through obedient free will. For if it is not God's, why do we give thanks to Him in eternity? And again, if it is not ours, why do we hope that a reward will be given us? It is not improper that we give thanks; for we know that we were anticipated by God's gift. And again, it is not improper that we seek a reward, because we know that by obedient free will we chose to do what is good." (Pope St. Gregory I the Great, Doctor of the Church, 6th century 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...

"For it is the will of God that by doing good you may silence the ignorance of foolish people." (St. Peter, 1 Pt. 2:15)

"The sinner, reconciled to his offended God, must receive the Body of Jesus with sentiments of hearty contrition, and approach himself in all the bitterness of his soul, for having shed that precious Blood by his multiplied sins." (Dom Gueranger)

"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." (1 Cor. 11:27)

"Blood of Christ, falling upon the earth in the Agony, save us. Blood of Christ, shed profusely in the Scourging, save us. Blood of Christ, flowing forth in the Crowning with Thorns, save us." (From the Litany of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus)

"Our Lady wants all to wear the Scapular. The Scapular and the Rosary are inseparable." (Sr. Lucy of Fatima)

Prayer to the Blessed Virgin Mary (Precious Blood): "Most glorious Virgin, chosen by the eternal Counsel to be the Mother of the eternal Word made flesh, thou who art the treasurer of divine graces and the advocate of sinners, I who am thy most unworthy servant have recourse to thee: be thou pleased to be my guide and counselor in this vale of tears. Obtain for me through the Most Precious Blood of thy divine Son, the forgiveness of my sins, the salvation of my soul and the means necessary to obtain it. In like manner obtain for the Holy Church victory over her enemies and the spread of the kingdom of Jesus Christ upon the whole earth. Amen." (Raccolta)

"The Savior Himself declares, 'Whoever eats My Flesh and drinks My Blood abides in Me and I in him.' By this statement it is to be seen that Christ does not say He will be in us only after the fashion of some relation that is solely intellectual, but also through a participation truly according to nature. Just as if someone were to entwine two pieces of wax together and melt them with a fire, so that both are made one, so too through participation in the Body of Christ and in His Precious Blood, He is united in us and we too in Him. In no other way can that corruptible nature be [quickened] except by being united bodily to the Body of Him who is, by His very nature, life: that is, the Only-begotten." (St. Cyril of Alexandria, Doctor of the Church, c. 431 A.D.)

"Then war broke out in heaven; Michael and his angels battled against the dragon. The dragon and its angels fought back, but they did not prevail and there was no longer any place for them in heaven. The huge dragon, the ancient serpent, who is called the Devil and Satan, who deceived the whole world, was thrown down to earth, and its angels were thrown down with it. Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say: "Now have salvation and power come, and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Anointed. For the accuser of our brothers is cast out, who accuses them before our God day and night. They conquered him by the blood of the Lamb [that is, Jesus] and by the word of their testimony..." (Rv. 12:7-11)

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