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Copyright © 2012, B.F.S. All rights reserved. Newsletter - January, 2012 [Plain text version]

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* New Year's Greetings

* MCS News & Notes

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

* A New Year's Poem

* Tolerance: The First Duty of a Man?

* Liturgical Feasts in January

* 'Catholic Trivia' [Themed: Loving God / Love of God]

* Defending the Faith: "Apologetics Brief" - Where Do You Claim Protestant 'Pastors' Received Authority From?

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Dear Friend,

"Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience, bearing with one another and forgiving one another, if one has a grievance against another; as the Lord has forgiven you, so must you also do. And over all these put on love, that is, the bond of perfection. And let the peace of Christ control your hearts, the peace into which you were also called in one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, as in all wisdom you teach and admonish one another, singing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or in deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him." (Col. 3:12-17)

Greetings to you and best wishes for a blessed 2012. May this new year be a holy & joyous new beginning filled with all good things.

At this time when many make resolutions for improved physical health and well-being, as a good Catholic, why not also consider making some resolutions for increased spiritual health? We know that bodies are mortal while our souls are eternal, so any improvements on the spiritual level will long outlast any mere physical betterments. Since Christ told us that the "greatest and first" commandment is to love God "with thy whole heart and with thy whole soul and with thy whole mind" (Mt. 22:37-38) - yet few spend much time thinking about this important responsibility/privilege - perhaps endeavoring to increase one's love for God would make a good resolution. Towards that end, we have made love of God the subject of all 'Catholic trivia' this month. We hope you will find this helpful.

Below are a few other thoughts from saints that seemed appropriate to consider as, perhaps, a springboard to some spiritual resolutions for this brand new year...

* "We ought to make some progress, however little, every day, and show some increase of fervor. We ought to act as if we were at war - as, indeed, we are - and never relax until we have won the victory." (St. Teresa of Avila, Doctor of the Church)

* "There is, in fact, such a necessary link between holiness and prayer that the one cannot exist without the other." (Pope St. Pius X, "Haerent Animo", 1908)

* "First, have habitual desire to imitate Christ in all your deeds by bringing your life into conformity with his. You must then study his life in order to know how to imitate him and behave in events as he would." (St. John of the Cross, Doctor of the Church)

* "The soul will not attain sanctity if it does not keep watch over its tongue." (St. Faustina Kowalska)

* "The reason why we cannot keep our good resolutions is that we count too much on ourselves." (St. John Vianney)

To enjoy more saints' quotes, please visit at . You'll find thousands of quotes from popes, saints, councils, scripture, etc. on a wide variety of subjects.

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

Your Friends at

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"I firmly believe, and in this I find joy, that God guides those who give themselves up to his leading and that he takes care of the least things that concern him." (St. Claude de la Colombiere)

"He who emptied Himself with such generosity so as to enrich men and comfort them in every need will not do less for one who loves and serves Him from the depths of his being." (St. Placid Riccardi)

"O God of love, you are and shall be forever the only delight of my heart and the sole object of my affections. Since Jesus said, 'Ask and you shall receive,' I do not hesitate to say, 'Give me your love and your grace.' Grant that I may love you and be loved by you. I want nothing else." (St. Alphonsus Liguori, Doctor of the Church)

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MCS News & Notes

* New Server: After numerous challenges, our new server finally went live on 12/17/11. Deo Gratias! The new server utilizes a different operating system, and - since it represents a bit of a hardware upgrade - it should be slightly faster than the old server. As with our old server, the new server has passed a PCI security scan. At present, we still have some tests to perform, but all seems to be gong well at this time. Should you encounter any problems with the site, please let us know. If you attempt to report a problem and find that a form doesn't work, please call us, or use our chat feature (online or offline), or e-mail us. We appreciate - and count on! - your feedback. There are thousands of pages on our site and it would be very difficult (practically impossible) for us to manually perform comprehensive checks on every page. Therefore, we count on visitors to let us know if there are problems. Lastly, we thank you very much for your support during the very challenging transition. There were times during the process that we honestly didn't know it whether it would be successful. Now that it has been completed, we hope the new server will be reliable, fast, and capable of holding us for at least a couple of years.

* 'Thanksgiving Mass': It was our honor last month to request a traditional Latin ('Tridentine') Mass to be said by the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter as a thank you to all donors to our site (past, present & future). Please know that we are very grateful for your support. It really means a lot to us.

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

* Reminder: For your free 2012 liturgical calendar-flier, go to and click your choice of "fliers" links [Note: Fliers are based on the traditional calendar]

- - - - - App News...

* Update to Catholic Bible References App: The second update to our Catholic Bible References app was approved by Apple in mid-December. This update included a revised image, added passages on indulgences, added passages for talking with 'Jehovah's Witnesses' re: heaven/144,000 (these last additions were in response to a user's request), and also a new 'False Prophecies' passage and referring tips. Please note that we welcome suggestions for additional passages or topics. This app, which covers topics such as: Ashes, Blessed Virgin Mary, Celibacy, Devil, Divinity of Christ, Faith / Works (Sola Fide/Faith Alone), Hell, Hierarchy, Incense, Indulgences, Infallibility, Intercession, Lord's Day / Sunday, Mass, Morality, Oral Tradition (Sola Scriptura/Bible Alone), Original Sin, Papacy, Prayer (Repeating Prayer, Praying for the Dead, Praying to Saints), Priest / Priesthood, Purgatory, Relics, Sacraments (Anointing of the Sick, Baptism, Confession, Confirmation, Eucharist, Holy Orders, Marriage), Saints, Salvation, Scripture, Trinity, and Unity, is a handy tool for defending the faith. It is on sale for a limited time for just $1.99. Please download it today at .

* Prepare early for Lent! Our 'most beautiful' app, iStations, is still on sale for just $.99 - about the price of a holy card. Download it today at . This app is a convenient devotional aid for privately praying the Stations of the Cross (Way of the Cross). It features beautiful images, two traditional methods, audio option with optional auto-advance, selected prayers in English & Latin, easy navigation, and in-app help. It's great for Fridays, Lent, penitential times & family devotions.

* Have a new (or old) iPad®, iPhone®, or iPod touch®? Please consider purchasing Catholic apps in support of our site. For more information concerning currently available apps, please visit (shortcut: )

* Android Apps Update: An Android version of iStations is well in development, but it is not yet complete. It is particularly challenging developing apps for this platform considering the wide variety of devices & configurations that may be encountered. And, unfortunately, our app development has been slowed down due to issues with the server switch. Although we are quite backlogged, we hope to get moving on finishing, testing, finalizing and releasing this app soon. We do not yet have a time frame for its release. Once it is finished, we plan to follow up with Android versions of our other apps. If you would like to be notified when they are available, please go to

* Reminder: For more information on our apps, please visit (shortcut: )

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

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* Please see our Notices page at for dates of anticipated service delays through January 2012

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* Please visit our Notices page for timely news and other important information regarding -

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

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"And she shall bring forth a son: and thou shalt call his name Jesus. For he shall save his people from their sins." (Mt. 1:21)

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

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Related Resources...

* Jesus (Topic Page) -

* Prayers to Jesus -

* Jesus (Reflections) -

* Jesus (Papal Writings) -

* Jesus' Teachings (A-Z) -

* Jesus' Emphasized Statements -

* Jesus' Parables -

* Jesus' Miracles & Signs -

* Who Jesus is and Why You Should Believe -

* Fulfilled Biblical Prophecies Concerning Jesus -

* Who Jesus Is / The Divinity of Christ (Apologetics) -

* Jesus Christ, Our Lord (Crossword Puzzle) -

* Jesus Christ, Our Lord (Word Search) -

* Jesus (Coloring Pages) -

Looking For Something Else? Try Our Various Indexes For 15,000+ Entries -

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

Prayer: "O God, who didst design Thy only begotten Son for the Redeemer of mankind, and commanded the name of Jesus to be given Him, mercifully grant, that we may, one day, be made worthy to behold His face in heaven whose holy name we honor on earth. Through the same Jesus Christ..."

Hymn of Praise: "O Jesus, King most wonderful! Thou Conqueror renowned! Thou Sweetness most ineffable! In whom all joys are found! When once Thou visitest the heart, then truth begins to shine; then earthly vanities depart; then kindles love divine. O Jesu! Light of all below! Thou Fount of life and fire! Surpassing all the joys we know, and all we can desire. May every heart confess Thy name, and ever Thee adore; And seeking Thee, itself inflame to see Thee more and more. Thee may our tongues for ever bless; Thee may we love alone; And ever in our lives express the image of Thine own. Amen." (Raccolta)

"It is during the first shedding of thy Blood, by the Circumcision, that thou didst receive this Name of Jesus, dear Lord! And it was fitting that it should be so, for this Name signifies Savior, and we could not be saved but by thy Blood. Our immortal life is to be purchased at the price of thy Death! This truth is expressed to us by thy Name, O Jesus! Savior! Thou art the Vine, and thou invitest us to drink of thy delicious Wine; but the heavenly Fruit must be first unsparingly pressed in the winepress of thy Eternal Father's justice; we cannot drink of its juice, until it shall have been torn from the branch and bruised for our sakes. May thy sacred Name ever remind us of this sublime Mystery, and may the remembrance keep us from sin, and make us always faithful." (Dom Gueranger)

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A New Year's Poem

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The following poem is taken from a late 19th century publication entitled 'The Catholic World'. The author's name was not located.

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Solemnly comes thy last hour, Old Year,

Mercy and love were thy dower, Old Year;

Though with thy gifts came the sigh or tear,

Parting, we'll bless thee, Old Year, Old Year.

With thy best gifts in thy hand, Old Year!

Dying while blessing the land, Old Year!

Welcoming Christians again, again,

Joyous Old Year, how we loved thee, then!

Softly thou com'st in the night, New Year!

Robed all in pure virgin white, New Year!

Deeds all unknown of shall fill thy days,

Songs now unheard of will sound thy praise.

Meeting, we fear thee almost, New Year,

Welcome might sound like a boast, New Year

When thou art old, like the year just past,

Then let us bless thee, New Year, at last.

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

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Tolerance: The First Duty of a Man?

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The following is taken from a 20th century translation of an Catholic apologetics manual which bears an imprimatur. The author's name was not indicated. [Note: We have made some changes to the original text (e.g. punctuation changes, wording changes)]

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Question: Is tolerance is the first duty of the citizen as regards religious matters?

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 alleged 'church' - no matter what 'elements of truth' it may retain, or what good it may purport to do for men - any alleged 'church' 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 and only faithful custodian of the doctrine revealed by Christ.

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Also Try...

* When to Correct / Rebuke -

* Love/Charity (Topic Page) -

* Reflections -

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Liturgical Feasts in January

The following is a listing of all liturgical feast dates for January as they appear at

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

Reminder: Feasts may be superseded / transferred / etc.

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

January 1 - Octave Day of Christmas (T)

January 1 - Octave of Christmas (N)

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

January 2 - St. Basil the Great (N)

January 2 - St. Gregory Nazianzen (N)

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

January 4 - St. Elizabeth Ann Seton (N)

January 5 - St. Telesphorus, pope (T)

January 5 - Vigil of the Epiphany (T)

January 5 - St. John Neumann (N)

January 6 - Epiphany of Our Lord (T)

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

January 7 - St. Raymond of Penyafort (N)

January 11 - St. Hyginus, pope (T)

January 13 - St. Hilary of Poitiers (N)

January 14 - St. Felix of Nola (T)

January 14 - St. Hilary of Poitiers (T)

January 15 - St. Maurus (T)

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

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

January 17 - St. Anthony the Abbot (T)

January 17 - St. Anthony the Abbot (N)

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

January 18 - St. Paul (T)

January 18 - St. Prisca (T)

January 19 - St. Canute (T)

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

January 20 - St. Fabian, pope (T)

January 20 - St. Sebastian (T)

January 20 - St. Fabian, pope (N)

January 20 - St. Sebastian (N)

January 21 - St. Agnes (T)

January 21 - St. Agnes (N)

January 22 - St. Anastasius (T)

January 22 - St. Vincent (T)

January 22 - St. Vincent (N)

January 23 - St. Emerentiana (T)

January 23 - St. Raymund of Pennafort (T)

January 24 - St. Timothy (T)

January 24 - St. Francis de Sales (N)

January 25 - Conversion of St. Paul (T)

January 25 - St. Peter (T)

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

January 26 - St. Polycarp (T)

January 26 - Sts. Timothy & Titus (N)

January 27 - St. John Chrysostom (T)

January 27 - St. Angela Merici (N)

January 28 - St. Agnes (T)

January 28 - St. Peter Nolasco (T)

January 28 - St. Thomas Aquinas (N)

January 29 - St. Francis de Sales (T)

January 30 - St. Martina (T)

January 31 - St. John Bosco (T)

January 31 - St. John Bosco (N)

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

Please Note: Above may exclude moveable feasts. For moveable feasts, see below & try here: . For other feasts, try the MCS Daily Digest each day at


1/2/12 - Holy Name of Jesus (T)

1/8/12 - Feast of the Holy Family (T) / Epiphany (N)

1/9/12 - Baptism of the Lord (N)

Note: Last day of Christmastide: 1/13/12 (T)

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'Catholic Trivia'

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Note: This month there are 25 trivia questions & all items are themed [Theme: Loving God / Love of God]

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1. The Love of God is fostered by what?

2. To love God as He ought to be loved, we must be what?

3. If you love Jesus, ___ (From the Gospel According to St. John)

4. St. Bernard of Clairvaux says God wants to be loved how?

5. What does Pope Pius XII say is the 'most effective school of the love of God'?

6. Complete the sentence: "Too little doth he love Thee, who loves anything with Thee, ___."

7. He does not love God who does not love what?

8. Someone who loves their father or mother or child more than Jesus is what?

9. Who said....? "In the long run there will be but two kinds of men: those who love God and those who love something else."

10. The more we love God the better what?

11. If we wish for the gift of divine love, we must what?

12. If one loves Jesus, he ought to what?

13. Who said...? "The sign that you love God is this: that you love your fellow. And if you hate your fellow, your hatred is towards God."

14. God cannot be loved from the heart and above all things else, unless what?

15. Who said...? "['You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind' (Lk. 10:27)] We must hereby understand that it becomes us to submit every power of the soul to the divine love, and that resolutely, not slackly. Hence it is added, 'And with all your strength'."

16. What is perfect love?

17. Truly to love God is what?

18. Who said...? "What is man that Thou wouldst be loved by him? And if he loves Thee not, Thou threatenest him with heavy punishment. Is it not punishment enough that I love Thee not?"

19. What is 'the principal effect of love'?

20. Who said...? "You are commanded to love God with all your heart, that your whole thoughts - with all your soul, that your whole life - with all your mind, that your whole understanding - may be given to Him from whom you have that you give. Thus He has left no part of our life which may justly be unfilled of Him, or give place to the desire after any other final good; but if aught else present itself for the soul's love, it should be absorbed into that channel in which the whole current of love runs. For man is then the most perfect when his whole life tends towards the life unchangeable, and clings to it with the whole purpose of his soul."

21. What does St. Francis de Sales say is the test of our fidelity in loving God?

22. Who said...? "But see, if any of you is asked whether he loves God, he replies in total confidence and certainty of mind: 'I do love Him.' But at the very beginning of the reading you heard what Truth says: 'If anyone loves Me, he will keep my word.' The proof of love, therefore, is the demonstrability of works. Hence the same John can say in his Epistle: 'Anyone who says, I love God, and does not keep His commands is a liar.' We truly love God if we subordinate our desires to His commands. For anyone who has been abandoning himself to his own illicit desires certainly does not love God, because he gainsays God in his own will."

23. Complete the sentence: "That God is to be loved above all things, so that we should be prepared ___, these words of the Lord clearly declare: He that loveth father or mother more than me, is not worthy of me; He that will save his life shall lose it." (Catechism of the Council of Trent)

24. What book is Pope Pius XI referring to in the following quote? "[This book] however, is a much more important and significant book than any of the others [St. Francis de Sales] published. In this work the saintly Doctor gives a veritable history of the love of God, explaining its origin and development among men, at the same time showing how divine love begins to cool and then to languish. He also outlines the methods of developing and of growing in the love of God. When necessary he even goes deeply into explanations of the most difficult problems as, for example, that of efficacious grace, predestination, and the gift of faith. This he does not do dryly but, by reason of the agile and well-stored mind which he possessed, in such a way that his discussions abound in most beautiful language and are filled with an equally desirable function. He was also accustomed to illustrate his thoughts by an almost infinite variety of metaphors, examples, and quotations taken from the most part from the Holy Scriptures, all of which gave the impression that what he wrote flowed no less from this heart and the depths of his being than from his intellect." (Pope Pius XI, " Rerum Omnium Perturbationem", 1923)

25. Who said each of the following...?

"If you really love God, you will greatly desire to see him loved by all the world."

"It is by battles against hell and by resistance to temptations that we give God proofs of our love."

"Love is the distinctive mark of those who belong to God, as the mark of those who reject him is hatred."

"To love God with our whole mind is to think of him often, and to make it our principal study to know him well."

"If I were to ask you if you loved God, you would tell me that you did; but that is not enough. You must prove it."

"The more we know of men, the less we love them. It is the contrary with God; the more we know of him, the more we love him."

"There is hardly a day when we shall not be obliged to make some sacrifice for God, if we do not want to displease him and if we want to love him."

"If you really love God, you will not be content with avoiding big sins. You will regard as hateful anything which could be even a little displeasing to him."

"To love God with our whole strength is to employ our possessions, our health, and our talents in serving him and glorifying him. It is to refer all our actions to him as our last end."

"We must be like the shepherds in the fields during the winter. They have a fire, but from time to time they search about for sticks to keep it alive. If we knew how to keep up the fire of the love of God in our heart by prayers and good works, it would not go out."



1. "The love of God is fostered by good works." (Pope St. Leo the Great, Doctor of the Church)

2. "To love God as He ought to be loved, we must be detached from all temporal love. We must love nothing but Him, or if we love anything else, we must love it only for His sake." (St. Peter Claver)

3. "If you love me, keep my commandments." (Our Lord Jesus Christ, Jn. 14:15)

4. "God is Wisdom, and wants to be loved not only affectionately, but also wisely...Otherwise, if you neglect knowledge, the spirit of error will most easily lay snares for your zeal; nor has the wily enemy a more efficacious means of driving love from the heart, than if he can make a man walk carelessly and imprudently in the path of love." (St. Bernard of Clairvaux, Doctor of the Church)

5. "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.)

6. "Too little doth he love Thee, who loves anything with Thee, which he loveth not for Thee." (St. Augustine, Doctor of the Church)

7. "[H]e does not love God who does not love his neighbor" (Liturgical Year)

8. "He that loveth father or mother more than me, is not worthy of me; and he that loveth son or daughter more than me, is not worthy of me." (Our Lord Jesus Christ, Mt. 10:37)

9. St. Augustine, Doctor of the Church

10. "[T]he mode in the love of God, must not be taken as in a thing measured where we find too much or too little, but as in the measure itself, where there cannot be excess, and where the more the rule is attained the better it is, so that the more we love God the better our love is." (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

11. "If then, we wish for the gift of divine love, we must constantly beseech the Holy Ghost to make us know and do the will of God. Let us continually implore his light to know, and his strength to fulfill the divine will. Many wish to love God, but they, at the same time, wish to follow their own, and not his will." (St. Alphonsus Liguori, Doctor of the Church)

12. "If I love Jesus, I ought to resemble Him. If I love Jesus, I ought to love what he loves, what he prefers to all else: humility." (St. Peter Julian Eymard)

13. St. Ephraem the Syrian, Doctor of the Church

14. "God cannot be loved from the heart and above all things else, unless we prefer His honor and glory to all things created." (Catechism of the Council of Trent)

15. St. Theophylact

16. "Perfect love is that by which we are ordered to love the Lord with our whole heart, our whole soul and our whole strength, and our neighbor as ourselves. Neither of these [kinds of] love is capable of being perfect without the other, because God cannot be loved apart from our neighbor, nor our neighbor apart from God." (St. Bede the Venerable, Doctor of the Church)

17. "Truly to love God is a gift of God. He Himself has granted that He be loved, who though not loved loves. Although we were displeasing we were loved, so that there might be produced in us [something] by which we might please. For the Spirit whom we love together with the Father and the Son pours forth the charity [of the Father and the Son] in our hearts [Rom. 5:5]." (St. Prosper/Council of Orange II, 529 A.D.)

18. St. Augustine, Doctor of the Church

19. "According to the Areopagite, the principal effect of love is to unite the wills of lovers, so that they may have but one heart and one will. Hence all our works, communions, prayers, penances, and alms please God in proportion to their conformity to the divine will, and if they be contrary to the will of God, they are no longer acts of virtue, but defects deserving of chastisement." (St. Alphonsus Liguori, Doctor of the Church)

20. St. Augustine, Doctor of the Church

21. "To love God in sugar - little children would do as much; but to love Him in wormwood, that is the test of our fidelity." (St. Francis de Sales, Doctor of the Church)

22. Pope St. Gregory the Great, Doctor of the Church

23. "That God is to be loved above all things, so that we should be prepared to sacrifice our lives rather than offend Him, these words of the Lord clearly declare: He that loveth father or mother more than me, is not worthy of me; He that will save his life shall lose it." (Catechism of the Council of Trent)

24. The Treatise on the Love of God by St. Francis de Sales

25. St. John Vianney


Also Try...

* Our Father's Love Reflections -

* Love/Charity (Topic Page) -

For more information concerning the topics above, try our General A-Z Index at

Like trivia? You might enjoy our crossword puzzles located at

You might also be interested in the Q & A and historical information which may be found each day on the MCS Daily Digest at

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Defending the Faith: "Apologetics Brief" - Where Do You Claim Protestant 'Pastors' Received Authority From?

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 

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

Topic: Where Do You Claim Protestant 'Pastors' Received Authority From? (Note: Topic is directed at Protestants)


* Do you reject the concept of authority in the Church? Visit

* Do you deny that Jesus established a visible, hierarchical Church? Visit

* How is it you reject the authority of the Catholic Church, but accept authority of a 'pastor' who felt 'inspired to start a church'?

* How is it you accept any 'authority' of (or even listen to) a self-appointed 'pastor' when scripture says...?

- God chooses priests (Num. 18:1-7)

- Lay persons who usurp priestly roles are punished (cf. Num. 18:7)

- Those who acted in an unauthorized manner suffered death (e.g. Aaron's sons, Uzzah)

- "To approach God unsummoned brings death" (cf. Lev 16:1-2, Jer. 30:21)

- Persons are not to take religious offices upon themselves (cf. Heb. 5:4)

- Persons who went without mandate disturbed the peace (see Acts 15:24)

- Some "false apostles" want to be regarded as having an apostolic mission (see 2 Cor. 11:12-15)

- Those who are appointed are chosen by Christ, not by themselves (Jn. 15:16)

- Those who preach must be sent (Rom. 10:15)

- Only certain persons were sent by Christ (cf. Jn. 20:21)

- Those who recommend themselves are not approved, but rather those whom the Lord recommends (see 2 Cor. 10:18)

- When the blind lead the blind, both fall into a pit (Mt. 15:1, Lk. 6:39)

- Whoever speaks on his own seeks his own glory (Jn. 7:18)

- The Apostles and their representatives - not congregations and not the individuals themselves - appointed successors (cf. Acts 13:1-3, Ti. 1:5).

- Jesus invested only certain persons (his Apostles) with power (see Jn. 20:21-23, Mt. 18:18)

* Why is it you accept self-appointed or elected 'pastors', but reject the Catholic Church's clergy - clergy which can be linked directly back to the apostles? Remember that "...the Church [is governed]... by no other ministers than those of Apostolic succession." (Catechism of the Council of Trent)

* Even St. Paul - who was called directly by Christ - went to St. Peter (see Gal. 1:18)

* Even those whom the Holy Spirit wanted set apart had to be sent by the Apostles (see Acts 13:1-3)

* Since Scripture instructs the leaders not to lay hands too readily (cf. 1 Tm. 5:22), it is clear that persons cannot simply assume clerical positions on their own or by election of the laity.

* By what right does a Protestant 'pastor' speak?

* Why do you acknowledge a preacher who is without authority? Why do you listen to a 'pastor' who has no power? Why do you regard one as 'pastor' who has usurped a role not given to him through apostolic succession? Why do you reject the Catholic Church's clergy who have both authority and power? Clergy who may be traced back directly to the apostles? Clergy "who can do what the angels cannot - forgive sins, and turn bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ"?!

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"You wrote also, that I should forward to Cornelius, our colleague, a copy of your letter, so that he might put aside any anxiety and know immediately that you are in communion with him, that is with the Catholic Church... For he cannot have ecclesiastical rank who does not hold to the unity of the Church." (St. Cyprian of Carthage, c. 251 A.D.)

"But it has not infrequently happened that false shepherds have got into the fold; our Savior calls them thieves and robbers. He tells us that He Himself is the door, through which they must pass who can claim the right to feed His sheep. Every shepherd, if he would avoid the imputation of being a robber, must have received his mission from Jesus; and this mission cannot be given save by him whom Jesus has appointed to be His vicar and representative until He Himself return [that is, the Pope]." (Dom Gueranger)

"Because some indeed 'under the pretext of piety, denying his power' (according to what the Apostle says) [2 Tim. 3:5], assume to themselves the authority of preaching, when the same Apostle says: 'How...shall they preach, unless they are sent?' [Rom. 10:15], let all who, being prohibited or not sent, without having received authority from the Apostolic See, or from the Catholic bishop of the place, shall presume publicly or privately to usurp the duty of preaching be marked by the bond of excommunication; and unless they recover their senses, the sooner the better, let them be punished with another fitting penalty." (Lateran Council IV, 1215 A.D.)

"This distinction of the priesthood can be seen even in the Old Law. That David spoke of the internal priesthood, we have just shown. On the other hand, everyone knows that many and various precepts given by the Lord to Moses and Aaron regarding the external priesthood. Along with this He appointed the whole tribe of Levi to the ministry of the Temple, and He forbade by law that anyone belong to another tribe should dare to intrude himself into that function. Hence it was that King Ozias was afflicted with leprosy by the Lord for having usurped the sacerdotal ministry, and had to suffer grave chastisements for his arrogance and sacrilege." (Catechism of the Council of Trent)

"Furthermore, the sacred and holy Synod teaches, that, in the ordination of bishops, priests, and of the other orders, neither the consent, nor vocation, nor authority, whether of the people, or of any civil power or magistrate whatsoever, is required in such wise as that, without this, the ordination is invalid: yea rather doth It decree, that all those who, being only called and instituted by the people, or by the civil power and magistrate, ascend to the exercise of these ministrations, and those who of their own rashness assume them to themselves, are not ministers of the church, but are to be looked upon as thieves and robbers, who have not entered by the door (cf. Jn. 10:1)." (Council of Trent)

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For more apologetics resources, please visit

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In Closing...

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

"O my God, Thy people know Thee not! Oh, if they only knew Thee, Thou wouldst be loved still more. If they knew Thy Wisdom, Thy omnipotence, Thy goodness, Thy beauty, and all Thy divine attributes, all Thy people would be as the seraphim, afire with divine love." (St. Anthony Mary Claret)

"After this it should be added that this is the first and principal Commandment, not only in order, but also in its nature, dignity and excellence. God is entitled to infinitely greater love and obedience from us than any lord or king. He created us, He nurtured us even in the womb, brought us into the world, and still supplies us with all the necessaries of life and maintenance." (Catechism of the Council of Trent)

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

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