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

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* Lenten Greetings

* MCS News & Notes

* The Month of March: Dedicated to St. Joseph

* 30 Days Prayer For Lent

* Lenten Sermon From Pope St. Leo the Great

* Liturgical Feasts in March

* 'Catholic Trivia'

* Defending the Faith: "Apologetics Brief" - Do You Reject the Catholic Church's Teaching That the Mass is a Propitiatory Sacrifice? / Do You Believe the Action is a Mere 'Commemoration'?

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Dear Friend,

"May the Lord direct your hearts to the love of God and to the endurance of Christ." (2 Thes. 3:5)

We hope your Lent is off to a blessed start & we hope you will be given the grace to persevere in your worthy resolutions over the upcoming weeks. As we know, the Tempter may expend great effort to encourage us to abandon our good efforts, but remember that "Blessed is the man who perseveres in temptation, for when he has been proved he will receive the crown of life that he promised to those who love him." (Jms. 1:12)

Before closing, please allow us to put forth a few words of encouragement for those struggling to keep a holy Lent...

"[W]ithout the battle there is no victory" (St. John of Avila)

"The crown of victory is promised only to those who engage in the struggle." (St. Augustine, Doctor of the Church)

"A merchant does not consider the trouble he undergoes in his commerce, but the profit he gains by it." (St. John Vianney)

"You are children of eternity. Your immortal crown awaits you, to reward your duty and love. You may indeed sow here in tears, but you may be sure there to reap in joy." (St. Elizabeth Ann Seton)

"Let them not, however, lose heart; to face bitter (spiritual) 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)

"I tell you that you have less to suffer in following the Cross than in serving the world and its pleasures." (St. John Vianney)

"As in Heaven, nothing will be sweeter than to resemble Him in His glory, so here on earth, nothing is more to our advantage than to be like Him in His Passion." (St. Robert Bellarmine, Doctor of the Church)

"Indeed however many trials and persecutions we undergo, they all contribute to our greater gain, so long as we bear them without offending the Lord, but rejoice that we are suffering for His sake." (St. Teresa of Avila, Doctor of the Church)

"And as that blessed Savior, in His infinite wisdom, made spontaneous choice of sorrows, of sufferings, and of death on a cross, as the best means of our redemption, so has He always allotted to His best loved friends, the king of life which He had deliberately chosen for Himself, that is, the way of the cross." (Liturgical Year)

Lastly, please see links below for resources for Lent & Easter (which falls this year on 4/8/12).

We wish you a very holy & blessed Lent,

Your Friends at

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"And it came to pass, when Jesus had ended all these words, he said to his disciples: You know that after two days shall be the pasch: and the Son of man shall be delivered up to be crucified." (Mt. 26:1-2)

"Then Jesus said to his disciples, 'Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me.'" (Mt. 16:24)

"Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us rid ourselves of every burden and sin that clings to us and persevere in running the race that lies before us while keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus, the leader and perfecter of faith. For the sake of the joy that lay before him he endured the cross, despising its shame, and has taken his seat at the right of the throne of God." (Heb. 12:1-2)

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MCS News & Notes

* New: We've added a new search area for our newsletters. To use, please visit and select search area 'MCS Newsletters'. This option allows the user to search through applicable MCS newsletters (e.g. archived monthly newsletters in plain text format)

* For resources for Lent, please visit

* For resources for Easter, please visit

* Some St. Patrick's Day resources: Breastplate of St. Patrick - | Shamrock Coloring Page -

* Some Annunciation resources: Blessed Virgin Mary (Topic Page) - | Annunciation / Incarnation (Reflections) - | Annunciation Coloring Pages -

* Reminder: A plenary indulgence may be available for Fridays in Lent. For more information on indulgences, please see

* Note: Due to current events, many Catholics (and non-Catholics) are finally hearing of the Church's position against contraception, at least in brief. For more information regarding the Church's teachings in this matter, including quotations such as these...

"[A]ny use whatsoever of matrimony exercised in such a way that the act is deliberately frustrated in its natural power to generate life is an offense against the law of God and of nature, and those who indulge in such are branded with the guilt of a grave sin." (Pope Pius XI, "Casti Connubii", 1930 A.D.)

"[R]ejection of human life, in whatever form that rejection takes, is really a rejection of Christ. This is the fascinating but also demanding truth which Christ reveals to us and which his Church continues untiringly to proclaim: 'Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me' (Mt 18:5); 'Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me' (Mt 25:40)." (Pope John Paul II, 1995)

"But no reason, however grave, may be put forward by which anything intrinsically against nature may become conformable to nature and morally good. Since, therefore, the conjugal act is destined primarily by nature for the begetting of children, those who in exercising it deliberately frustrate its natural power and purpose sin against nature and commit a deed which is shameful and intrinsically vicious. Small wonder, therefore, if Holy Writ bears witness that the Divine Majesty regards with greatest detestation this horrible crime and at times has punished it with death. As St. Augustine notes, '[Marital relations] even with one's legitimate wife is unlawful and wicked where the conception of the offspring is prevented. Onan, the son of Juda, did this and the Lord killed him for it.'" (Pope Pius XI, "Casti Connubii", 1930 A.D.)

"For since the bringing of children into the world is the principal end of marriage, to do anything in order to prevent the accomplishment of this end is always a mortal sin." (St. Francis de Sales, Doctor of the Church)

"Likewise, if they consider the matter, they must admit that an act of mutual love, which is detrimental to the faculty of propagating life, which God the Creator of all, has implanted in it according to special laws, is in contradiction to both the divine plan, according to whose norm matrimony has been instituted, and the will of the Author of human life. To use this divine gift destroying, even if only partially, its meaning and its purpose is to contradict the nature both of man and of woman and of their most intimate relationship, and therefore it is to contradict also the plan of God and His will." (Pope Paul VI)

...and topic such as: What Does Scripture Say About Procreation / Contraception?, Is Contraception Sinful? / Why Does the Church Forbid Contraception?, Will the Church Ever Change Her Position on Contraception?, and What Are Some Benefits Enjoyed by Those Who Do Not Use Contraception?, please visit

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- - - - - App News...

* Our increasingly popular Stations of the Cross app, iStations, is still on sale for as low as $0.99. This is a great app for Lent for those times when you can't make it to church. For more information & screen shots, please visit (Android users, please visit )

* New App: The first productivity app from BFSApps, Just Checkin' In, has been released. This app is a quick e-mail generator that can help you stay in touch quickly & easily with friends, family, co-workers and more - even during those busy moments. It features 12 standard e-mails that can be customized and sent almost instantly [one button to generate e-mail, one button to send (after choosing recipient)]. It works on the following devices if they have e-mail configured & have an Internet connection: iPad®, iPhone®, and iPod touch®. It is great for travelers, parents, students, spouses, employees, and those on the go. It's perfect for busy moments, coffee breaks, flight arrivals, meetings, waiting in line, and other hurried times. It can be used for travel updates, ride pick ups, meeting updates, thinking of you messages, ETA notifications, leaving soon messages, call requests, status updates, quick reminders, and so much more! For more information, please visit . To be notified when an Android version of Just Checkin In' is available, please visit . Please note that proceeds from sales of BFSApps' productivity apps may support

* Updated link & description: In last month's newsletter, we included a long URL for iStations for Android™ in the Amazon Appstore. A shorter URL for this app is . Also, we have worked with regarding the description of this app in the Amazon Appstore and they have updated (improved) the descriptive text for this app

* App reviews: Although we have not yet received many reviews for our apps, we are happy to report that as of this writing, all written reviews (except one) have been positive and the majority of ratings (8 of 10) for all apps have been 5 stars. Some excerpts from the written reviews: "Great app" (CBR), "Great app...Good app I recommend this to everybody" (CBR), "excellent app!...wonderful!!! ... perfect for those who cant make it to church, home or hospital bound! pictures and audio are great!" (IST), "This is awesome... I love the audio, and the quality of this prayer app. Well done." (IST), "Great Job" (IST), "Beautifully sublime...This is simply beautiful...There are a few other versions of the stations in the app store...but this is the best in my opinion...Simply wonderful." (IST) We are very grateful for all reviewers' kind words.

* We have added a button to the bottom border for easier access to app information

* We are presently working on several new apps as well as working on Android versions of existing apps. To be placed on our waiting list to be notified when the Android versions of existing apps are available, please go to

* For more information concerning currently available 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 May 2012

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The Month of March: Dedicated to St. Joseph

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"Would that I could persuade all men to be devoted to this glorious Saint [St. Joseph], for I know by long experience what blessings he can obtain for us from God." (St. Therese of Avila, Doctor of the Church)

"Some saints are privileged to extend to us their patronage with particular efficacy in certain needs, but not in others; but our holy patron St. Joseph has the power to assist us in all causes, in every necessity, in every undertaking." (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

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Related Resources...

* St. Joseph (Topic Page) -

* St. Joseph (Reflections) -

* Prayers to St. Joseph -

* 'Quamquam Pluries' (Pope Leo XIII, On Devotion to St. Joseph) -

* The Holy Family (Topic Page) -

* St. Joseph (Coloring Page) -

=> Note: The Novena to St. Joseph, said daily from 3/11 through 3/19, may be found here -

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

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"There is no doubt then that this Joseph to whom the mother of the Savior was espoused, was a man good and preeminently faithful. A prudent and faithful servant he was, I say, whom the Lord placed beside Mary to be her protector, the nourisher of His human body, and the single and most trusty assistant on the earth in His great design." (St. Bernard, Doctor of the Church)

"To other saints our Lord seems to have given power to succor us in some special necessity - but to this glorious saint, I know by experience, He has given the power to help us in all. Our Lord would have us understand that as He was subject to St. Joseph on earth - for St. Joseph, bearing the title of father and being His guardian, could command Him - so now in Heaven Our Lord grants all his petitions. I have asked others to recommend themselves to St. Joseph, and they, too, know the same thing by experience" (St. Theresa of Avila, Doctor of the Church)

"Jesus deigned to be subject to Joseph here below; now that he is in heaven, he would glorify the creature to whom he consigned the guardianship of his own childhood and the honor of his Mother. He has given him a power which is above our calculations... [The Church invites us] to have recourse, with unreserved confidence, to this all-powerful protector. The world we live in is filled with miseries which would make stronger hearts than ours quake with fear; but let us invoke St. Joseph with faith, and we shall be protected. In all our necessities, whether of soul or body - in all the trials and anxieties we may have to go through - let us have recourse to St. Joseph, and we shall not be disappointed. The king of Egypt said to his people when they were suffering from famine: Go to Joseph! (Gen. xli 55) The King of Heaven says the same to us: the faithful guardian of Mary has greater influence with God than Jacob's son had with Pharaoh." (Dom Gueranger)

"You well understand, Venerable Brethren, that these considerations are confirmed by the opinion held by a large number of the Fathers, to which the sacred liturgy gives its sanction, that the Joseph of ancient times, son of the patriarch Jacob, was the type of St. Joseph, and the former by his glory prefigured the greatness of the future guardian of the Holy Family. And in truth, beyond the fact that the same name - a point the significance of which has never been denied - was given to each, you well know the points of likeness that exist between them; namely, that the first Joseph won the favor and especial goodwill of his master, and that through Joseph's administration his household came to prosperity and wealth; that (still more important) he presided over the kingdom with great power, and, in a time when the harvests failed, he provided for all the needs of the Egyptians with so much wisdom that the King decreed to him the title 'Savior of the world.' Thus it is that We may prefigure the new in the old patriarch. And as the first caused the prosperity of his master's domestic interests and at the same time rendered great services to the whole kingdom, so the second, destined to be the guardian of the Christian religion, should be regarded as the protector and defender of the Church, which is truly the house of the Lord and the kingdom of God on earth. These are the reasons why men of every rank and country should fly to the trust and guard of the blessed Joseph." (Pope Leo XIII, "Quamquam Pluries", 1889 A.D.)

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30 Days Prayer For Lent

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The following is taken from a 19th century publication entitled 'The Catholic Prayer Book and Manual of Meditations'. The publication bears an imprimatur and it states the prayer below is "particularly recommended" for Lent, noting that "By the devout recital of this prayer for the above space of time (30 days), we may hope to obtain our lawful request." [Note: We have made some changes to the original text (e.g. spelling, punctuation & capitalization changes, separation of paragraphs)]

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30 Days Prayer to the Blessed Virgin Mary in Honor of the Sacred Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ

Ever glorious and blessed Mary, Queen of virgins, Mother of mercy, hope and comfort of all dejected and desolate souls; through that sword of sorrow which pierced thy tender heart, whilst thine only Son, Christ Jesus, our Lord, suffered death and ignominy on the cross; through that filial tenderness and pure love he had for thee, grieving in thy grief, whilst from his cross he recommended thee to the care and protection of his beloved disciple, St. John - take pity, I beseech thee, on my poverty and necessities; have compassion on my anxieties and cares; assist and comfort me in all my infirmities and miseries.

Thou art the mother of mercies, the sweet consolatrix and refuge of the needy and the orphan, of the desolate and the afflicted. Look, therefore, with pity on a miserable, forlorn child of Eve, and hear my prayer; for since, in just punishment of my sins, I am encompassed with evils, and oppressed with anguish of spirit, whither can I fly for more secure shelter, O amiable mother of my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, than to thy maternal protection? Attend, therefore, I beseech thee, with pity and compassion, to my humble and earnest request. I ask it through the infinite merits of thy dear Son; through that love and condescension wherewith he assumed our nature, when, in compliance with the divine will, thou gavest thy consent; and whom, after the expiration of nine months, thou didst bring forth from the chaste enclosure of thy womb, to redeem the world and to bless it with his presence.

I ask it through that anguish of mind wherewith thy beloved Son, my dear Savior, was overwhelmed on Mount Olivet, when he besought his eternal Father to remove from him, if possible, the bitter chalice of his future passion. I ask it through the threefold repetition of his prayer in the garden, from whence afterwards, with dolorous steps and mournful tears, thou didst accompany him to the doleful theatre of his sufferings. I ask it through the stripes and wounds of his virginal flesh, occasioned by the cords and whips wherewith he was bound and scourged, when stripped of his seamless garment, for which his executioners afterwards cast lots. I ask it through the scoffs and ignominies by which he was insulted; the false accusation and unjust sentence by which he was condemned to death, and which he bore with heavenly patience. I ask it through his bitter tears and bloody sweat: his silence and resignation; his sadness and grief of heart. I ask it through the blood which trickled from his royal and sacred head, when struck with the sceptre of a reed, and pierced with the crown of thorns. I ask it through the excruciating torments he suffered when his hands and feet were fastened with large nails to the tree of the cross. I ask it through his vehement thirst and bitter drink of vinegar and gall. I ask it through his dereliction on the cross, when he exclaimed "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" I ask it through the mercy extended to the good thief, and through his recommending his precious soul and spirit into the hands of his eternal Father before he expired, saying, "All is finished." I ask it through the blood mixed with water, which issued from his sacred side, when pierced with a lance, and whence a flood of grace and mercy hath flowed to us. I ask it through his immaculate life, bitter passion, and ignominious death on the cross, at which nature itself was thrown into convulsions by the bursting of rocks, the rending of the veil of the Temple, the earthquake, and darkness of the sun and moon. I ask it through his descent into hell, where he comforted the saints of the Old Law with his presence, and led captivity captive.

I ask it through his glorious victory over death, when he arose again into life on the third day; and through the joy which his appearance, for forty days after, gave thee, his blessed mother, his apostles, and the rest of his disciples; and when, in thy presence and in theirs, he miraculously ascended into heaven. I ask it through the grace of the Holy Ghost, infused into the hearts of his disciples when he descended upon them in the form of fiery tongues, and by which they were inspired with zeal in the conversion of the world when they went to preach the Gospel. I ask it through the awful appearance of thy Son at the last dreadful day, when he shall come to judge the living and the dead, and the world by fire. I ask it through the compassion he bore thee in this life, and the ineffable joy thou didst feel at thy assumption into heaven, where thou art eternally absorbed in the sweet contemplation of his divine perfections. O glorious and ever blessed Virgin, comfort the heart of thy supplicant, by obtaining for me: [Here mention or reflect on your lawful request, under the reservation of its being agreeable to the will of God, who sees whether it will contribute towards your spiritual good.]

And as I am persuaded my divine Savior honors thee as his beloved Mother, to whom he can refuse nothing, let me speedily experience the efficacy of thy powerful intercession, according to the tenderness of thy maternal affection, and his filial, loving heart, who mercifully grantest the requests and compliest with the desires of those who love and fear him. O most blessed Virgin, besides the object of my present petition, and whatever else I may stand in need of, obtain for me of thy divine Son, our Lord and our God, lively faith, firm hope, perfect charity, true contrition, a horror of sin, love of God and my neighbor, contempt of the world, and patience and resignation under the trials and afflictions of this life. Obtain likewise for me, O sacred Mother of God, the great gift of final perseverance, and grace to receive the last Sacraments worthily at the hour of my death, lastly, obtain, I beseech thee, for the souls of my parents, brethren, relations, and benefactors, both living and dead, life everlasting. Amen.

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For more prayers, please visit

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Lenten Sermon From Pope St. Leo the Great

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The following is a 5th century Lenten sermon of Pope St. Leo the Great (sermon XXXIX: On Lent, I) [Note: Titles below appear in source material. We have made some minor changes to the text below (e.g. spelling & capitalization changes). Please also note that warfare references below refer to spiritual combats & spiritual enemies (i.e. evil spirits).]

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I. The benefits of abstinence shown by the example of the Hebrews.

In former days, when the people of the Hebrews and all the tribes of Israel were oppressed for their scandalous sins by the grievous tyranny of the Philistines, in order that they might be able to overcome their enemies, as the sacred story declares, they restored their powers of mind and body by the injunction of a fast. For they understood that they had deserved that hard and wretched subjection for their neglect of God's commands, and evil ways, and that it was in vain for them to strive with arms unless they had first withstood their sin. Therefore abstaining from food and drink, they applied the discipline of strict correction to themselves, and in order to conquer their foes, first conquered the allurements of the palate in themselves. And thus it came about that their fierce enemies and cruel taskmasters yielded to them when fasting, whom they had held in subjection when full. And so we too, dearly beloved, who are set in the midst of many oppositions and conflicts, may be cured by a little carefulness, if only we will use the same means. For our case is almost the same as theirs, seeing that, as they were attacked by foes in the flesh so are we chiefly by spiritual enemies. And if we can conquer them by God's grace enabling us to correct our ways, the strength of our bodily enemies also will give way before us, and by our self-amendment we shall weaken those who were rendered formidable to us, not by their own merits but by our shortcomings.

II. Use Lent to vanquish the enemy, and be thus preparing for Eastertide.

Accordingly, dearly-beloved, that we may be able to overcome all our enemies, let us seek Divine aid by the observance of the heavenly bidding, knowing that we cannot otherwise prevail against our adversaries, unless we prevail against our own selves. For we have many encounters with our own selves: the flesh desires one thing against the spirit, and the spirit another thing against the flesh. And in this disagreement, if the desires of the body be stronger, the mind will disgracefully lose its proper dignity, and it will be most disastrous for that to serve which ought to have ruled. But if the mind, being subject to its Ruler, and delighting in gifts from above, shall have trampled under foot the allurements of earthly pleasure, and shall not have allowed sin to reign in its mortal body, reason will maintain a well-ordered supremacy, and its strongholds no strategy of spiritual wickednesses will cast down: because man has then only true peace and true freedom when the flesh is ruled by the judgment of the mind, and the mind is directed by the will of God. And although this state of preparedness, dearly-beloved, should always be maintained that our ever-watchful foes may be overcome by unceasing diligence, yet now it must be the more anxiously sought for and the more zealously cultivated when the designs of our subtle foes themselves are conducted with keener craft than ever. For knowing that the most hollowed days of Lent are now at hand, in the keeping of which all past slothfulnesses are chastised, all negligences alerted for, they direct all the force of their spite on this one thing, that they who intend to celebrate the Lord's holy Passover may be found unclean in some matter, and that cause of offence may arise where propitiation ought to have been obtained.

III. (Spiritual) Fights are necessary to prove our faith.

As we approach then, dearly-beloved, the beginning of Lent, which is a time for the more careful serving of the Lord, because we are, as it were, entering on a kind of contest in good works, let us prepare our souls for fighting with temptations, and understand that the more zealous we are for our salvation, the more determined must be the assaults of our opponents. But "stronger is He that is in us than He that is against us," and through Him are we powerful in whose strength we rely: because it was for this that the Lord allowed Himself to be tempted by the tempter, that we might be taught by His example as well as fortified by His aid. For He conquered the adversary, as ye have heard, by quotations from the law, not by actual strength, that by this very thing He might do greater honor to man, and inflict a greater punishment on the adversary by conquering the enemy of the human race not now as God but as Man. He fought then, therefore, that we too might fight thereafter: He conquered that we too might likewise conquer. For there are no works of power, dearly-beloved, without the trials of temptations, there is no faith without proof, no contest without a foe, no victory without conflict. This life of ours is in the midst of snares, in the midst of battles; if we do not wish to be deceived, we must watch: if we want to overcome, we must fight (spiritual battles). And therefore the most wise Solomon says, "My son in approaching the service of God prepare thy soul for temptation." For He being a man full of the wisdom of God, and knowing that the pursuit of religion involves laborious struggles, foreseeing too the danger of the fight, forewarned the intending combatant; lest haply, if the tempter came upon him in his ignorance, he might find him unready and wound him unawares.

IV. The Christian's (spiritual) armor is both for defense and for attack (against evil spirits).

So, dearly-beloved, let us who instructed in Divine learning come wittingly to the present contest and strife, hear the Apostle when he says, "for our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against principalities and powers, against the rulers of this dark world, against spiritual wickedness in heavenly things," and let us not forget that these our enemies feel it is against them all is done that we strive to do for our salvation, and that by the very fact of our seeking after some good thing we are challenging our foes. For this is an old-standing quarrel between us and them fostered by the devil's ill-will, so that they are tortured by our being justified, because they have fallen from those good things to which we, God helping us, are advancing. If, therefore, we are raised, they are prostrated: if we are strengthened, they are weakened. Our cures are their blows, because they are wounded by our wounds' cure. "Stand, therefore," dearly-beloved, as the Apostle says, "having the loins of your mind girt in truth, and your feet shod in the preparation of the gospel of peace, in all things taking the shield of faith in which ye may be able to extinguish all the fiery darts of the evil one, and put on the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God." See, dearly-beloved, with what mighty weapons, with what impregnable defenses we are armed by our Leader, who is famous for His many triumphs, the unconquered Master of the Christian warfare. He has girt our loins with the belt of chastity, He has shod our feet with the bonds of peace: because the unbelted soldier is quickly vanquished by the suggester of immodesty, and he that is unshod is easily bitten by the serpent. He has given the shield of faith for the protection of our whole body; on our head has He set the helmet of salvation; our right hand has He furnished with a sword, that is with the word of Truth: that the spiritual warrior may not only be safe from wounds, but also may have strength to wound his (spiritual) assailant.

V. Abstinence not only from food but from other evil desires, especially from wrath, is required in Lent.

Relying, therefore, dearly-beloved, on these arms, let us enter actively and fearlessly on the contest set before us: so that in this fasting struggle we may not rest satisfied with only this end, that we should think abstinence from food alone desirable. For it is not enough that the substance of our flesh should be reduced, if the strength of the soul be not also developed. When the outer man is somewhat subdued, let the inner man be somewhat refreshed; and when bodily excess is denied to our flesh, let our mind be invigorated by spiritual delights. Let every Christian scrutinize himself, and search severely into his inmost heart: let him see that no discord cling there, no wrong desire be harbored. Let chasteness drive incontinence far away; let the light of truth dispel the shades of deception; let the swellings of pride subside; let wrath yield to reason; let the darts of ill-treatment be shattered, and the chidings of the tongue be bridled; let thoughts of revenge fall through, and injuries be given over to oblivion. In fine, let "every plant which the heavenly Father hath not planted be removed by the roots." For then only are the seeds of virtue well nourished in us, when every foreign germ is uprooted from the field of wheat. If any one, therefore, has been fired by the desire for vengeance against another, so that he has given him up to prison or bound him with chains, let him make haste to forgive not only the innocent, but also one who seems worthy of punishment, that he may with confidence make use of the clause in the Lord's prayer and say, "Forgive us our debts, as we also forgive our debtors." Which petition the Lord marks with peculiar emphasis, as if the efficacy of the whole rested on this condition, by saying, "For if ye forgive men their sins, your Father which is in heaven also will forgive you: but if ye forgive not men, neither will your Father forgive you your sins."

VI. The right use of Lent will lead to a happy participation in Easter.

Accordingly, dearly-beloved, being mindful of our weakness, because we easily fall into all kinds of faults, let us by no means neglect this special remedy and most effectual healing of our wounds. Let us remit, that we may have remission: let us grant the pardon which we crave: let us not be eager to be revenged when we pray to be forgiven. Let us not pass over the groans of the poor with deaf ear, but with prompt kindness bestow our mercy on the needy, that we may deserve to find mercy in the judgment. And he that, aided by God's grace, shall strain every nerve after this perfection, will keep this holy fast faithfully; free from the leaven of the old wickedness, in the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth, he will reach the blessed Passover, and by newness of life will worthily rejoice in the mystery of man's reformation through Christ our Lord Who with the Father and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns for ever and ever. Amen.

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For more reflections, please visit

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Liturgical Feasts in March

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

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

Reminder: Feasts may be superseded / transferred / etc.

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March 4 - St. Casimir of Lithuania (T)

March 4 - St. Lucius I, pope (T)

March 4 - St. Casimir (N)

March 6 - Sts. Perpetua & Felicitas (T)

March 7 - St. Thomas Aquinas (T)

March 7 - Sts. Perpetua & Felicity (N)

March 8 - St. John of God (T)

March 8 - St. John of God (N)

March 9 - St. Frances of Rome (T)

March 9 - St. Frances of Rome (N)

March 10 - Forty Martyrs of Sebaste (T)

March 12 - St. Gregory the Great, pope (T)

March 17 - St. Patrick of Ireland (T)

March 17 - St. Patrick of Ireland (N)

March 18 - St. Cyril of Jerusalem (T)

March 18 - St. Cyril of Jerusalem (N)

March 19 - St. Joseph, spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary (T)

March 19 - St. Joseph, husband of the Blessed Virgin Mary (N)

March 21 - St. Benedict (T)

March 22 - St. Catharine Flisca Adorna (T)

March 22 - St. Isidore the Farmer (T)

March 23 - St. Turibius de Mongrovejo (N)

March 24 - St. Gabriel the Archangel (T)

March 25 - Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary (T)

March 25 - Annunciation of the Lord (N)

March 27 - St. John Damascene (T)

March 28 - St. John Capistran (T)

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


3/2/12 - Ember Friday in Lent (T)

3/3/12 - Ember Saturday in Lent (T)

3/18/12 - Fourth Sunday of Lent | Laetare Sunday (T)

3/25/12 - Fifth Sunday of Lent | Passion Sunday (T)

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'Catholic Trivia'

1. What was the most common papal name as of the end of the 20th century?

2. What is an officious lie? What is a malicious lie?

3. What does the Catechism of the Council of Trent say about those who defraud their creditors?

4. Who said...? "Our faults are like a grain of sand beside the great mountain of the mercies of the good God."

5. What is the difference between making and creating?

6. Who said...? "It is right, too, to seek example and inspiration from the great saints of the Church. Pure as they were, they inflicted such mortifications upon themselves as to leave us almost aghast with admiration. And as we contemplate their saintly heroism, shall not we be moved by God's grace to impose on ourselves some voluntary sufferings and deprivations, we whose consciences are perhaps weighed down by so heavy a burden of guilt? And who does not know that this sort of penance is the more acceptable to God in that it springs not from the natural infirmities of soul or body, but from a free and generous resolve of the will, and as such is a most welcome sacrifice in God's sight?"

7. Name at least three patron saints for homeless persons

8. What does Pope Leo XIII call "the greatest perversion of liberty and the worst kind of liberalism"?

9. What did Pope St. Pius X say should be done with the writings of Modernists?

10. What industry does Pope Pius XI say became "more pernicious and deadly" as it progressed and what occurred in the United States in 1930 that was supposed to curb such degradation?



1. At the end of the 20th century, John was the most common papal name.

2. An officious lie is a false statement to benefit oneself or another without injuring anyone else. A malicious lie is a false statement made to the injury of another.

3. According to the Catechism of the Council of Trent, "Those who defraud their creditors, who deny their just debts, and also those who purchase goods on their own, or on another's credit, with a promise to pay for them at a certain time, and do not keep their word, are guilty of the same crime of robbery. And it is an aggravation of their guilt that, in consequence of their want of punctuality and their fraud, prices are raised to the great injury of the public. To such persons seem to apply the words of David: The sinner shall borrow, and not pay again (Ps. xxxvi. 21.)"

4. St. John Vianney

5. "Making means bringing forth or forming out of some material already existing, as workmen do. Creating means bringing forth out of nothing, as God alone can do." (Baltimore Catechism)

6. Pope John XXIII

7. Patron saints for the homeless include: St. Benedict Joseph Labre, St. Edwin, St. Elizabeth of Hungary, St. John de Rossi, and St. Margaret of Cortona

8. In his encyclical letter, Libertas Praestantissimum, Pope Leo XIII says: "For, to reject the supreme authority to God, and to cast off all obedience to Him in public matters, or even in private and domestic affairs, is the greatest perversion of liberty and the worst kind of liberalism"

9. In the encyclical Pascendi Dominici Gregis, Pope St. Pius X states: "It is also the duty of Bishops to prevent writings of Modernists, or whatever savors of Modernism or promotes it, from being read when they have been published, and to hinder their publication when they have not. No books or papers of periodicals whatever of this kind are to be permitted to seminarists or university students. The injury to them would be not less than that which is caused by immoral reading - nay, it would be greater, for such writings poison Christian life at its very fount."

10. "Now then, it is a certainty which can readily be verified that the more marvelous the progress of the motion picture art and industry, the more pernicious and deadly has it shown itself to morality and to religion and even to the very decencies of human society. The directors of the industry in the United States recognized this fact themselves when they confessed that the responsibility before the people and the world was their very own. In an agreement entered into by common accord in March, 1930, and solemnly sealed, signed, and published in the Press, they formally pledged themselves to safeguard for the future the moral welfare of the patrons of the cinema. It is promised in this agreement that no film which lowers the moral standard of the spectators, which casts discredit upon natural or human law or arouses sympathy for their violation, will be produced." (Pope Pius XI, "Vigilanti Cura", 1936 A.D.)


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" - Do You Reject the Catholic Church's Teaching That the Mass is a Propitiatory Sacrifice? / Do You Believe the Action is a Mere 'Commemoration'?

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: Do You Reject the Catholic Church's Teaching That the Mass is a Propitiatory Sacrifice? / Do You Believe the Action is a Mere 'Commemoration'? (Note: Topic is directed at Protestants)


* If Christ's Church wasn't to have a perpetual sacrifice, why does the Old Testament prophet Malachi refer to a perpetual, pure sacrifice? As stated in Mal. 1:11: "For from the rising of the sun even to the going down, my name is great among the Gentiles, and in every place there is sacrifice, and there is offered to my name a clean oblation: for my name is great among the Gentiles, saith the Lord of hosts." If your non-Catholic 'Christian church' is true, why do you not have a sacrifice as Malachi predicted?

* Considering that altars are for sacrifice, why does New Testament scripture speak of altars if there is no longer any sacrifice (e.g. see Mt. 5:23, Heb. 13:10)?

* If the Mass isn't a sacrifice, why is it that all (non-heretical) Christians before Luther believed that the Mass was a sacrifice? Why was it that "it was Satan - not God - who told Luther that the Mass was not a sacrifice"?

* If the Mass isn't a sacrifice, why does the ancient Didache ("Teaching of the Apostles") - which may date from the first to early second century - refer to it as a sacrifice? 

* If the Mass isn't a sacrifice, why did the First Council of Nicaea - a council accepted even by many Protestants - refer to the Mass as a sacrifice?

"It has come to the attention of the holy and great council that in some localities and cities deacons give the Eucharist to presbyters, although neither the canon nor the custom permits those who do not offer sacrifice to give the Body of Christ to those who do not offer the sacrifice." (First Council of Nicaea, 325 A.D.) 

* If the Christian "breaking of the bread" was to be a mere commemoration and not the actual transforming of the bread and wine into Christ's flesh and blood, why does Christ say to "do this" (Lk. 22:19)? Do you really imagine this to mean that Christians are to "pretend" that bread and wine are Christ's body and blood when Christ specifically says that this "is" His body and blood? What, then do you suggest that Christ means when he says "do this" in Lk. 22:19? How can "this" mean anything else but what occurred at that moment?

* Are you troubled by senses/appearances? While the Catholic Church teaches that Mass is a true sacrifice, she also teaches that the Eucharist has the outward appearance of bread and wine.

* Are you troubled because you think the Catholic Church claims to be "re-sacrificing Christ"? You should know that the Church never teaches such a thing. Instead, she teaches that the Sacrifice of the Mass is the re-presentation of the Sacrifice of Calvary - and not an entirely new sacrifice. Just as Jesus gave his apostles his flesh and blood at the Last Supper without his being sacrificed twice, the Catholic Church re-presents this very same sacrifice on her altars without Christ being sacrificed twice.

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"Reverence, therefore, reverence this table, of which we all are communicants! Christ, slain for us, the Sacrificial Victim who is placed thereon!" (St. John Chrysostom, Doctor of the Church, c. 392 A.D.) 

"From this it is apparent that the Blood of Christ is not offered if there is no wine in the cup; nor is the Sacrifice of the Lord celebrated with a legitimate consecration unless our offering and sacrifice corresponds to the passion" (St. Cyprian of Carthage, 3rd century A.D.) 

"Will not your fast be more solemn if, in addition, you have stood at God's altar. The Body of the Lord having been received and reserved, each point is secured: both the participation in the sacrifice and the discharge of duty." [Tertullian ("an excellent early Christian writer" - although he would ultimately fall into heresy), c. 200-206 A.D.]

"That priest truly discharges the office of Christ, who imitates what Christ did; he offers a true and full sacrifice in the Church to God the Father, when he proceeds to offer it according to the way in which he sees Christ Himself to have offered it." (St. Cyprian, 3rd century A.D.)

"He states demonstratively, 'This is My Body,' and 'This is My Blood.' Lest you might suppose the things that are seen are a figure. Rather, by some secret of the all-powerful God the things seen are transformed into the Body and Blood of Christ, truly offered in a sacrifice in which we, as participants, receive the life-giving and sanctifying power of Christ." (St. Cyril of Alexandria, Doctor of the Church, c. 429 A.D.) 

"Lawrence and Ignatius, though they fought betimes in worldly camps, were true and spiritual soldiers of God; and while they laid the devil on his back with their confession of Christ, they merited the palms and crowns of the Lord by their illustrious passion. We always offer sacrifices [that is, the holy Sacrifice of the Mass] for them, as you will recall, as often as we celebrate the passions of the martyrs by commemorating their anniversary day [of their martyrdom]." (St. Cyprian of Carthage, 250 A.D.) 

"And thenceforth, the Apostles, and their successors in the priesthood, began to lift to heaven that 'clean oblation' foretold by Malachy, through which the name of God is great among the gentiles. And now, that same oblation in every part of the world and at every hour of the day and night, is offered and will continue to be offered without interruption till the end of time: a true sacrificial act, not merely symbolical, which has a real efficacy unto the reconciliation of sinners with the Divine Majesty." (Pope Pius XI, "Ad Catholici Sacerdotii", 1935 A.D.) 

"Therefore you hear that as often as sacrifice is offered, the Lord's death, the Lord's resurrection, the Lord's ascension and the remission of sins is signified, and will you not take the Bread of life daily? He who has a wound needs medicine. The wound is that we are under sin; the medicine is the heavenly and venerable Sacrament." (St. Ambrose, Doctor of the Church, 4th century A.D.)

"[S]ince the Sacrifice is offered everywhere, are there, then, a multiplicity of Christs? By no means! Christ is one everywhere. He is complete here, complete there, one Body. And just as he is one Body and not many though offered everywhere, so too there is one Sacrifice." (St. John Chrysostom, Doctor of the Church, c. 403 A.D.)

"[Y]et because death was not to put an end to his priesthood, at the Last Supper, the same night in which He was betrayed in order to leave to His beloved spouse the Church, a sacrifice which should be visible (as the nature of man requires), which should represent that bloody sacrifice, once and for all to be completed on the cross, which should perpetuate His memory to the end of time, and which should apply its saving power unto the remission of sins we daily commit, showing Himself made a priest forever according to the order of Melchisedech, offered to God the Father, under the appearance of bread and wine, His Body and Blood, giving them to the apostles (whom He was then making priests of the New Covenant) to be consumed under the signs of these same things, and commanded the Apostles and their successors in the priesthood to offer them, by the words 'Do this in commemoration of Me.'" (Council of Trent)

"Then, upon the completion of the spiritual Sacrifice, the bloodless worship, over that propitiatory victim [Christ] we call upon God for the common peace of the Churches [that is, the Catholic Church in various parts of the world], for the welfare of the world, for kings, for soldiers and allies, for the sick, for the afflicted; and in summary, we pray and offer this Sacrifice for all who are in need. Then we make mention also of those who have already fallen asleep...for we believe that it will be of very great benefit to the souls of those for whom the petition is carried up, while this holy and most solemn Sacrifice is laid out. And I wish to persuade you by an illustration. For I know that there are many who are saying this: 'If a soul departs from this world with sins, what does it profit it to be remembered in the prayer?' Well, if a king were to punish certain persons who had offended him, and those intervening for them were to plait a crown and offer it to him on behalf of the ones who were being punished, would he not grant a remission of their penalties? In the same way we too offer prayers to Him for those who have fallen asleep, though they be sinners. We do not plait a crown, but offer up Christ who has been sacrificed for our sins; and we thereby propitiate the benevolent God for them as well as for ourselves." (St. Cyril of Jerusalem, Doctor of the Church, c. 350 A.D.) 

"He taught the new sacrifice of the new covenant, of which Malachias, one of the twelve prophets, had signified beforehand: You do not do My will, says the Lord Almighty, and I will not accept a sacrifice at your hands. For form the raising of the sun to its setting My name is glorified among the gentiles, and in every place incense is offered to My name, and a pure sacrifice; for great is My name among the gentiles, says the Lord Almighty.' By these words He makes it plain that the former people will cease to make offerings to God; but that in every place sacrifice will be offered to Him, and indeed, a pure one; for His name is glorified among gentiles. Sacrifice as such has not been reprobated. There were sacrifices among the people; and there are sacrifices now, sacrifices in the Church... For we offer to Him those things which are His, declaring in a fit manner the gift and the acceptance of flesh and spirit. For as the bread from the earth, receiving the invocation of God, is no longer common bread but the Eucharist, consisting of two elements, earthly [e.g. the appearance] and heavenly [the Real Presence], so also our bodies, when they receive the Eucharist, are no longer corruptible but have the hope of resurrection into eternity." (St. Irenaeus, c. 190 A.D.)

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For more apologetics resources, please visit

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In Closing...

"When hunger came to be felt throughout the land of Egypt and the people cried to Pharaoh for bread, Pharaoh directed all the Egyptians to go to Joseph and do whatever he told them." (Gen. 41:55)

"The Mass is the same sacrifice as that of the Cross." (Baltimore Catechism)

"The august [Eucharistic] Sacrifice of the Altar is, as it were, the supreme instrument whereby the merits won by the divine Redeemer upon the cross are distributed to the faithful: 'as often as this commemorative [Eucharistic] Sacrifice is offered, there is wrought the work of our Redemption.' This, however, so far from lessening the dignity of the actual sacrifice on Calvary, rather proclaims and renders more manifest its greatness and its necessity, as the Council of Trent declares. Its daily immolation reminds us that there is no salvation except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ and that God Himself wishes that there should be a continuation of this sacrifice 'from the rising of the sun till the going down thereof' (Mal. 1:11), so that there may be no cessation of the hymn of praise and thanksgiving which man owes to God, seeing that he required His help continually and has need of the blood of the Redeemer to remit sin which challenges God's justice." (Pope Pius XII, "Mediator Dei", 1947 A.D.)

"The reasons why St. Joseph must be considered the special patron of the Church, and the Church in turn draws exceeding hope from his care and patronage, chiefly arise from his having been the husband of Mary and the presumed father of Jesus... Joseph was in his day the lawful and natural guardian, head and defender of the Holy Family... It is thus fitting and most worthy of Joseph's dignity that, in the same way that he once kept unceasing holy watch over the family of Nazareth, so now does he protect and defend with his heavenly patronage the Church of Christ." (Pope Leo XIII)

"And there were also two other malefactors led with him to be put to death. And when they were come to the place which is called Calvary, they crucified him there: and the robbers, one on the right hand, and the other on the left. And Jesus said: Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do. But they, dividing his garments, cast lots. And the people stood beholding. And the rulers with them derided him, saying: He saved others: let him save himself, if he be Christ, the elect of God. And the soldiers also mocked him, coming to him and offering him vinegar, And saying: If thou be the king of the Jews, save thyself." (Lk. 23:32-37)

"He that seeks not the cross of Christ seeks not the glory of Christ." (St. John of the Cross, Doctor of the Church)

"Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple." (Our Lord Jesus Christ, Lk. 14:27)

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