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Copyright © 2010, B.F.S. All rights reserved. Newsletter - July, 2010 [Plain text version]

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* Greetings

* MCS News & Notes

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

* Genuflecting in Church: A Refresher

* Liturgical Feasts in July

* Some Catholic Teachings Regarding Government

* 'Catholic Trivia'

* Defending the Faith: "Apologetics Brief" - Do You Believe in Reincarnation?

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Dear Friend,

"Grace be unto you and peace, from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ." (Phil. 1:2)

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

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

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

Your Friends at

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MCS News & Notes

* We are still working on the "Topic Pages" mentioned last issue and hope to have some ready by the end of July. When they are ready, we plan to announce them on our 'What's New' page at and also in a future newsletter

* We have updated the 'tag cloud' on our blog. To view, please go to (shortcut )

* We plan to close some polls within the next few weeks, so please get your votes in now. To view web polls, please visit our news page at . Please note that the polls rotate so you may see a different poll each time

* If you would like some summer activities for Catholic children, please try our Catholic Fun & Activities Section at for coloring pages, crosswords, mazes, word searches, travel activities, etc.

* Need a prayer? Please submit prayer requests at . Please also consider praying for others who have requested prayers (you can find a list at )

* The 'post of the month' page has been updated for 6/10. This month it was chosen from the Catholic Life Section and it is titled "Real freedom in following Christ". To view the 'post of the month' page, please go to: . To submit a post in your choice of hundreds of categories, visit

* Reminder: To help ensure delivery of your newsletter, please put our e-mail addresses (for both our regular newsletter AND our news updates) in your 'trusted senders' list - or use other applicable options your e-mail provider may offer to let them know that our e-mail is wanted. Thank you.

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

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

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

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

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Related Resources...

* Prayers to Jesus -

* Litany of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus -

* Scapular of the Most Precious Blood -

* The Holy Eucharist -

* Communion Under Both Species: Is it Required? -

* The Passion / Cross Reflections -

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

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

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Genuflecting in Church: A Refresher

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Please Note: The following is taken from a "rule book" by Fr. Klauder. The original publication bears an imprimatur dated May 1, 1899. We have made a few changes to the text below (e.g. combining paragraphs, spelling changes, capitalization changes, shortening, expanded scripture reference, etc.). Please also note that the following is principally aimed at those who are physically able to genuflect. Those with physical limitations may wish to speak with a good priest regarding what is most appropriate under their particular circumstances.

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"The presence of the Blessed Sacrament in church is known by the burning of the sanctuary-lamp before the altar on which the Blessed Sacrament is kept in the tabernacle. Sometimes the lamp may be on the altar itself, or at least close to it. The Blessed Sacrament is kept in the tabernacle under the form of bread, in the sacred host. Every Catholic passing in or out of a church, or before an altar, containing the Blessed Sacrament, must bend the knee, and at all times observe the profoundest respect and silence whilst the Blessed Eucharist is present.

When the Blessed Sacrament is enclosed in the tabernacle or is not in immediate sight, as at Holy Mass, the bending of the knee, or genuflecting, as it is commonly called, is done with one knee only, bending it down to the floor. This genuflection with one knee is called a simple or a single genuflection.

To make the simple or single genuflection properly, with grace and ease; stand perfectly erect; then bend the right knee all the way to the floor, so as to bring it more or less on a line with the heel of the left foot about two or three inches distant from it, keeping the body erect. Rise at once. Avoid the two extremes of remaining on the knee as well as of bounding up suddenly. Do not strike the floor hard with the knee, but merely touch it. Do not let your hands hang by your sides, but give them some devout attitude. If you are carrying something, such as book, beads or hat, clasp them to your breast.

When the Blessed Sacrament is exposed, however, to general view, as at Benediction, at the Exposition during the Forty Hours' Devotion, or on other occasions, or when a person is passing before a Priest who is distributing Holy Communion, the genuflection must be made with both knees with an inclination of the head at the same time. People, however, who are themselves receiving Holy Communion, need not make more than a simple genuflection with one knee on [traditionally] coming to the Communion-rail, or on leaving it. The genuflection made with both knees is called a profound or double genuflection.

To make the profound or double genuflection properly; stand perfectly erect, then bend the right knee to the floor, and, whilst keeping the body erect, bring the left knee likewise to the floor on a line with the right knee. Then bow the head profoundly, folding the hands or putting them into a devout attitude, holding whatever one may have in his hands, against the breast.

In making a genuflection, one should be careful to make it properly, that is, to bend the knee all the way to the floor, as was described above, and not content oneself with merely making a limp, as is the common practice in so many churches, frequently inviting ridicule upon the sacred ceremonial of the Church. In genuflecting one should not support oneself on a pew or other object. Awkwardness in this respect, as well in the others pointed out above, is excusable only in persons stiff with age or disease. In all others it is carelessness and irreverence.

Always face the object directly before which you are genuflecting. Do not genuflect sideways. Avoid this particularly when passing from one side of the church or altar to the other.

On entering a church where the Blessed Sacrament is kept, it is customary not to make the genuflection until one enters the pew or arrives at the place where one intends to remain.

On leaving the church the genuflection is made at the nearest point where one is leaving the presence of the Blessed Sacrament, as at the exit of the pew, or at the altar-rail, side chapel or other point of departure.

Do not make a genuflection immediately on entering or leaving the church inside of the door, which is superfluous and awkward, especially when there are crowds entering or leaving.

Do not genuflect on leaving the pew when you are going to the altar, but wait until you have come before the altar. In like manner do not genuflect before the pew when you have returned from the altar-rail, but make your genuflection at the latter place only.

In crossing from one side of the church to the other, whether in the front, middle or rear of the church, a genuflection must always be made toward the altar where the Blessed Sacrament is kept or exposed.

A genuflection must likewise be made to the altar of the Blessed Sacrament in passing it by the side, or in the rear of it, as in going from the body of the church into the vestry or sacristy.

When the Priest carries the Blessed Sacrament from one place to another, in procession, or to the sick, everyone should fall on his knees and remain in that position until the Priest has passed out of sight, or put the Blessed Sacrament back into its place of keeping.

On entering or leaving the church the greatest care must be taken not to make any noise, as by hard and rapid walking, slamming doors and the like. The church is the holiest place on earth, and not less holy than heaven itself, for God is really present in both places. 'The place whereon thou standest is holy.' (Josue 5:16 / Joshua 5:15)."

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Note: Sadly, in recent times, some have had to ask if they can be denied Holy Communion for kneeling. The answer is no. As stated in Redemptionis Sacramentum, "it is not licit to deny Holy Communion to any of Christ's faithful solely on the grounds, for example, that the person wishes to receive the Eucharist kneeling"

Also Note: For Reflections on kneeling, please see

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Liturgical Feasts in July

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

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

Reminder: Feasts may be superseded / transferred / etc.

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July 1 - The Most Precious Blood of Our Lord (T)

July 2 - Sts. Processus & Martinian (T)

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

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

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

July 3 - St. Thomas, apostle (N)

July 4 - St. Elizabeth of Portugal (N)

July 5 - St. Anthony Mary Zaccaria (T)

July 5 - St. Anthony Zaccaria (N)

July 6 - St. Maria Goretti (N)

July 7 - Sts. Cyril & Methodius (T)

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

July 9 - St. John Fisher (T)

July 9 - St. Thomas More (T)

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

July 10 - Seven Holy Brothers (T)

July 10 - Sts. Rufina & Secunda (T)

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

July 11 - St. Benedict (N)

July 12 - St. John Gualbert (T)

July 12 - Sts. Nabor & Felix (T)

July 13 - St. Anacletus, pope (T)

July 13 - St. Henry (N)

July 14 - St. Bonaventure (T)

July 15 - St. Henry II (T)

July 15 - St. Bonaventure (N)

July 16 - Our Lady of Mount Carmel (T)

July 16 - Our Lady of Mount Carmel (N)

July 17 - St. Alexius the Beggar (T)

July 18 - St. Camillus de Lellis (T)

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

July 18 - St. Camillus de Lellis (N)

July 19 - St. Vincent de Paul (T)

July 20 - St. Jerome Emilian (T)

July 20 - St. Margaret of Antioch (T)

July 20 - St. Apollinarus (N)

July 21 - St. Praxedes (T)

July 21 - St. Lawrence of Brindisi (N)

July 22 - St. Mary Magdalene (T)

July 22 - St. Mary Magdalene (N)

July 23 - St. Apollinaris of Ravenna (T)

July 23 - St. Liborius (T)

July 23 - St. Bridget of Sweden (N)

July 24 - St. Christina (T)

July 24 - St. Francis Solano (T)

July 25 - St. Christopher (T)

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

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

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

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

July 27 - St. Pantaleon (T)

July 28 - St. Nazarius & Celsus (T)

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

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

July 29 - St. Martha (T)

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

July 29 - St. Martha (N)

July 30 - Sts. Abdon & Sennen (T)

July 30 - St. Peter Chrysologus (N)

July 31 - St. Ignatius of Loyola (T)

July 31 - St. Ignatius of Loyola (N)

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

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Some Catholic Teachings Regarding Government

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Since Independence Day falls in July, it seems a fitting time to review a few civics / government matters. We hope you find the following quotes useful.


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"[T]here is no better citizen than the man who has believed and practiced the Christian faith from his childhood." (Pope Leo XIII, "Spectata Fides", 1885)


"The true liberty of human society does not consist in every man doing what he pleases for this would simply end in turmoil and confusion, and bring on the overthrow of the State: but rather in this, that through the injunctions of the civil law all may more easily conform to the prescriptions of the Eternal Law." (Pope Leo XIII, "Libertas")


"Unfortunately, too often in such crises Catholic organizations are conspicuous only by their absence. Consequently, there is a heavy responsibility on everyone, man or woman, who has the right to vote, especially when the interests of religion are at stake; abstention in this case is in itself, it should be thoroughly understood, a grave and a fatal sin of omission. On the contrary, to exercise, and exercise well, one's right to vote is to work effectively for the true good of the people, as loyal defenders of the cause of God and of the Church." (Pope Pius XII)


"Neither is it blameworthy in itself, in any manner, for the people to have a share greater or less, in the government: for at certain times, and under certain laws, such participation may not only be of benefit to the citizens, but may even be of obligation." (Pope Leo XIII, "Immortale Dei", 1885)

"[W]ithout an objective moral grounding not even democracy is capable of ensuring a stable peace... Even in participatory systems of government, the regulation of interests often occurs to the advantage of the most powerful, since they are the ones most capable of maneuvering not only the levers of power but also of shaping the formation of consensus. In such a situation, democracy easily becomes an empty word." (Pope John Paul II)

"The sovereignty of the people, however, and this without any reference to God, is held to reside in the multitude; which is doubtless a doctrine exceedingly well calculated to flatter and to inflame many passions, but which lacks all reasonable proof, and all power of insuring public safety and preserving order. Indeed, from the prevalence of this teaching, things have come to such a pass that may hold as an axiom of civil jurisprudence that seditions may be rightfully fostered. For the opinion prevails that princes are nothing more than delegates chosen to carry out the will of the people; whence it necessarily follows that all things are as changeable as the will of the people, so that risk of public disturbance is ever hanging over our heads." (Pope Leo XIII, "Immortale Dei", 1885)

"By separating fraternity from Christian charity thus understood, Democracy, far from being a progress, would mean a disastrous step backward for civilization. If, as We desire with all Our heart, the highest possible peak of well-being for society and its members is to be attained through fraternity or, as it is also called, universal solidarity, all minds must be united in the knowledge of Truth, all wills united in morality, and all hearts in the love of God and His Son Jesus Christ. But this union is attainable only by Catholic charity, and that is why Catholic charity alone can lead the people in the march of progress toward the ideal civilization." (Pope St. Pius X, "Notre Charge Apostolique", 1910)


"The natural right itself both of owning goods privately and of passing them on by inheritance ought always to remain intact and inviolate, since this indeed is a right that the State cannot take away: 'For man is older than the State'" (Pope Pius XI, "Quadragesimo Anno", 1931)

"Here, however, it is expedient to bring under special notice certain matters of moment. First of all, there is the duty of safeguarding private property by legal enactment and protection. Most of all it is essential, where the passion of greed is so strong, to keep the populace within the line of duty; for, if all may justly strive to better their condition, neither justice nor the common good allows any individual to seize upon that which belongs to another, or, under the futile and shallow pretext of equality, to lay violent hands on other people's possessions." (Pope Leo XIII, "Rerum Novarum", 1891)


"Pay to all their dues, taxes to whom taxes are due, toll to whom toll is due, respect to whom respect is due, honor to whom honor is due." (Rom.13:7)

"[I]t is grossly unjust for a State to exhaust private wealth through the weight of imposts and taxes." (Pope Pius XI, "Quadragesimo Anno", 1931)

"Public authority therefore would act unjustly and inhumanly if in the name of taxes it should appropriate from the property of private individuals more than is equitable." (Pope Leo XIII, "Rerum Novarum")


"[Communism is] the fatal plague which insinuates itself into the very marrow of human society only to bring about its ruin." (Pope Leo XIII)

"Communism is intrinsically wrong, and no one who would save Christian civilization may collaborate with it in any undertaking whatsoever." (Pope Pius XI, "Divini Redemptoris")

"[T]he unspeakable doctrine of Communism, as it is called, a doctrine most opposed to the very natural law. For if this doctrine were accepted, the complete destruction of everyone's laws, government, property, and even of human society itself would follow." (Pope Pius IX, "Qui Pluribus", 1846)

"Communism teaches and seeks two objectives: Unrelenting class warfare and absolute extermination of private ownership. Not secretly or by hidden methods does it do this, but publicly, openly, and by employing every and all means, even the most violent. To achieve these objectives there is nothing which it does not dare, nothing for which it has respect or reverence; and when it has come to power, it is incredible and portentlike in its cruelty and inhumanity. The horrible slaughter and destruction through which it has laid waste vast regions of eastern Europe and Asia are the evidence; how much an enemy and how openly hostile it is to Holy Church and to God Himself is, alas, too well proved by facts and fully known to all. Although We, therefore, deem it superfluous to warn upright and faithful children of the Church regarding the impious and iniquitous character of Communism, yet We cannot without deep sorrow contemplate the heedlessness of those who apparently make light of these impending dangers, and with sluggish inertia allow the widespread propagation of doctrine which seeks by violence and slaughter to destroy society altogether. All the more gravely to be condemned is the folly of those who neglect to remove or change the conditions that inflame the minds of peoples, and pave the way for the overthrow and destruction of society." (Pope Pius XI, "Quadragesimo Anno", 1931)


"Whether considered as a doctrine, or an historical fact, or a movement, Socialism, if it remains truly Socialism... cannot be reconciled with the teachings of the Catholic Church because its concept of society itself is utterly foreign to Christian truth... [N]o one can be at the same time a good Catholic and a true socialist." (Pope Pius XI, "Quadragesimo Anno", 1931)

"Inasmuch as the Socialists seek to transfer the goods of private persons to the community at large, they make the lot of all wage earners worse, because in abolishing the freedom to dispose of wages, they take away from them by this very act the hope and the opportunity of increasing their property and of securing advantages for themselves. But, what is of more vital concern, they propose a remedy openly in conflict with justice, inasmuch as nature confers on man the right to possess things privately as his own." (Pope Leo XIII, "Rerum Novarum")

"And in addition to injustice, it is only too evident what an upset and disturbance there would be in all classes, and to how intolerable and hateful a slavery citizens would be subjected. The door would be thrown open to envy, to mutual invective, and to discord; the sources of wealth themselves would run dry, for no one would have any interest in exerting his talents or his industry; and that ideal equality about which they entertain pleasant dreams would be in reality the leveling down of all to a like condition of misery and degradation. Hence, it is clear that the main tenet of socialism, community of goods, must be utterly rejected, since it only injures those whom it would seem meant to benefit, is directly contrary to the natural rights of mankind, and would introduce confusion and disorder into the commonweal. The first and most fundamental principle, therefore, if one would undertake to alleviate the condition of the masses, must be the inviolability of private property." (Pope Leo XIII, "Rerum Novarum", 1891)

"For, while the socialists would destroy the 'right' of property, alleging it to be a human invention altogether opposed to the inborn equality of man, and, claiming a community of goods, argue that poverty should not be peaceably endured, and that the property and privileges of the rich may be rightly invaded, the Church, with much greater wisdom and good sense, recognizes the inequality among men, who are born with different powers of body and mind, inequality in actual possession, also, and holds that the right of property and of ownership, which springs from nature itself, must not be touched and stands inviolate. For she knows that stealing and robbery were forbidden in so special a manner by God, the Author and Defender of right, that He would not allow man even to desire what belonged to another, and that thieves and despoilers, no less than adulterers and idolaters, are shut out from the Kingdom of Heaven. But not the less on this account does our holy Mother not neglect the care of the poor or omit to provide for their necessities; but, rather, drawing them to her with a mother's embrace, and knowing that they bear the person of Christ Himself, who regards the smallest gift to the poor as a benefit conferred on Himself, holds them in great honor. She does all she can to help them; she provides homes and hospitals where they may be received, nourished, and cared for all the world over and watches over these. She is constantly pressing on the rich that most grave precept to give what remains to the poor; and she holds over their heads the divine sentence that unless they succor the needy they will be repaid by eternal torments. In fine, she does all she can to relieve and comfort the poor" (Pope Leo XIII, "Quod Apostolici Muneris", 1878)


"[T]he safety of the commonwealth is not only the first law, but it is a government's whole reason of existence" (Pope Leo XIII, "Rerum Novarum", 1891)

"To exclude the Church, founded by God Himself, from public life, from making laws, from the education of youth, from domestic society, is a grave and pernicious error." (Pope Leo XIII)

"[A]ll those are pitiably deluded, whose theory of government makes no account of man's last and highest end, of the right use of the goods of this life." (Pope Pius XI, "Ad Salutem", 1930)

"Those who are in authority owe it to the commonwealth not only to provide for its external well-being and the conveniences of life, but still more to consult the welfare of men's souls in the wisdom of their legislation." (Pope Leo XIII, "Libertas Praestantissimum")

"To wish to draw an exact line of separation between religion and life, between the natural and the supernatural, between the Church and the world, as if they had nothing to do with each other, as if the rights of God were valueless in all the manifold realities of daily life, whether human or social, is entirely foreign to Catholic thought and is positively anti-Christian." (Pope Pius XII)

"And furthermore it is not of itself contrary to one's duty to prefer a form of government regulated by the popular class, provided Catholic doctrine as to the origin and administration of public power be maintained. Of the various kinds of government, the Church indeed rejects none, provided they are suited of themselves to care for the welfare of citizens; but she wishes, what nature clearly demands likewise, that each be constituted without injury to anyone, and especially with the preservation of the rights of the Church." (Pope Leo XIII, "Libertas praestantissimum", 1888 A.D.)

"[S]ince men united by the bonds of a common society depend on God no less than individuals, associations whether political or private cannot, without crime, behave as if God did not exist, nor put away religion as something foreign to them, nor dispense themselves from obtaining, in that religion, the rules according to which God has declared that He wills to be honored. Consequently, the heads of the State are bound, as such, to keep holy the name of God, make it one of their principal duties to protect religion by the authority of the laws, and not command or ordain anything contrary to its integrity." (Pope Leo XIII)

"We have but too much evidence of the value and result of a morality divorced from divine faith. How is it that, in spite of all the zeal for the welfare of the masses, nations are in such straits and even distress, and that the evil is daily on the increase? We are told that society is quite able to help itself; that it can flourish without the assistance of Christianity, and attain its end by its own unaided efforts. Public administrators prefer a purely secular system of government. All traces of the religion of our forefathers are daily disappearing from political life and administration. What blindness! Once the idea of the authority of God as the Judge of right and wrong is forgotten, law must necessarily lose its primary authority and justice must perish: and these are the two most powerful and most necessary bonds of society." (Pope Leo XIII, "Tametsi Futura Prospicientibus", 1900)

"Religion, of its essence, is wonderfully helpful to the State. For, since it derives the prime origin of all power directly from God Himself, with grave authority it charges rulers to be mindful of their duty, to govern without injustice or severity, to rule their people kindly and with almost paternal charity; it admonishes subjects to be obedient to lawful authority, as to the ministers of God; and it binds them to their rulers, not merely by obedience, but by reverence and affection, forbidding all seditious and venturesome enterprises calculated to disturb public order and tranquility, and cause greater restrictions to be put upon the liberty of the people. We need not mention how greatly religion conduces to pure morals, and pure morals to liberty. Reason shows, and history confirms the fact, that the higher the morality of States; the greater are the liberty and wealth and power which they enjoy." (Pope Leo XIII, "Libertas Praestantissimum", 1888)

"The more closely the temporal power of a nation aligns itself with the spiritual, and the more it fosters and promotes the latter, by so much the more it contributes to the conservation of the commonwealth. For it is the aim of the ecclesiastical authority by the use of spiritual means, to form good Christians in accordance with its own particular end and object; and in doing this it helps at the same time to form good citizens, and prepares them to meet their obligations as members of a civil society. This follows of necessity because in the City of God, the Holy Roman Catholic Church, a good citizen and an upright man are absolutely one and the same thing. How grave therefore is the error of those who separate things so closely united, and who think that they can produce good citizens by ways and methods other than those which make for the formation of good Christians. For, let human prudence say what it likes and reason as it pleases, it is impossible to produce true temporal peace and tranquility by things repugnant or opposed to the peace and happiness of eternity." (Pope Pius XI, ref. Cardinal Silvio Antoniano, "Divini Illius Magistri")

"As there are on earth two great societies: the one civil, whose immediate end is to procure the temporal and earthly well-being of the human race; the other religious, whose aim is to lead men to the eternal happiness for which they were created: so also God has divided the government of the world between two powers. Each of these is supreme in its kind; each is bounded by definite limits drawn in conformity with its nature and its peculiar end. Jesus Christ, the founder of the Church, willed that they should be distinct from one another, and that both should be free from trammels in the accomplishment of their respective missions; yet with this provision, that in those matters which appertain to the jurisdiction and judgment of both, though on different grounds, the power of which is concerned with temporal interests, must depend, as is fitting, on that power which watches over eternal interests. Finally, both being subject to the eternal and to the natural Law, they must in such a manner mutually agree in what concerns the order and government of each, as to form a relationship, comparable to the union of soul and body in man." (Pope Leo XIII)

"Justice therefore forbids, and reason itself forbids, the State to be godless; or to adopt a line of action which would end in godlessness - namely, to treat the various religions (as they call them) alike, and to bestow upon them promiscuously equal rights and privileges. Since, then, the profession of one religion is necessary in the State, that religion must be professed which alone is true, and which can be recognized without difficulty, especially in Catholic States, because the marks of truth are, as it were, engraven upon it. This religion, therefore, the rulers of the State must preserve and protect, if they would provide - as they should do - with prudence and usefulness for the good of the community. For public authority exists for the welfare of those whom it governs; and, although its proximate end is to lead men to the prosperity found in this life, yet, in so doing, it ought not to diminish, but rather to increase, man's capability of attaining to the supreme good in which his everlasting happiness consists: which never can be attained if religion be disregarded." (Pope Leo XIII, "Libertas Praestantissimum", 1888)

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For more government related reflections, try

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'Catholic Trivia'

1. Which Pope ordered forty days penance for priests who allowed any drops of the Precious Blood to fall to the ground during Mass?

2. Who said...? "God has promised pardon to the one who repents, but he has not promised repentance to the one who sins."

3. What version of the Bible did the Council of Trent declare as authentic?

4. What is the "strange history" of the Feast of the Most Precious Blood?

5. Who does St. Athanasius say is not a Christian and should no longer be called a Christian?

6. What is a friar? Is 'friar' synonymous with 'monk'?

7. Who said...? "What could be more out of keeping with our holy religion than impure language? It outrages God. It scandalizes our neighbor. Can a Christian really afford to occupy his mind with such horrible images? A Christian who has been sanctified by contact with the most Adorable Body and Precious Blood of Jesus Christ."

8. Compete the sentence: "[T]hough faith is the first essential of a Christian, yet without _____"

9. Complete the following (from the Litany of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus): "Blood of Christ, without which _____"

10. What does Sanguis Christi refer to?



1. Pope St. Pius I (reigned c. 140 - c. 155)

2. St. Anselm, Doctor of the Church

3. In approximately 400 A.D., St. Jerome completed a Latin translation of the Bible called the Latin Vulgate which was used continuously by the Church for nearly 16 centuries. St. Jerome was an accomplished translator who had access to ancient manuscripts which have since perished. In 1546, the Council of Trent declared the Latin Vulgate Bible authentic and stated that no one should "presume or dare to reject it under any pretext whatsoever."

4. "Strange history of the Feast of the Most Precious Blood" (July 1): "This feast was instituted by Pope Pius IX in the mid 19th century and was elevated to the highest rank (first class) in 1934 by Pope Pius XI. The Pope who called the Second Vatican Council, Pope John XXIII, called devotion to the Precious Blood of Jesus the 'devotion of our times'. After Vatican II, the feast was dropped from the universal calendar, along with many other feasts."

5. "The very tradition, teaching, and faith of the Catholic Church from the beginning, which the Lord gave, was preached by the apostles and was preserved by the Fathers. On this was the Church founded, and if anyone departs from this, he neither is, nor any longer ought to be called, a Christian." (St. Athanasius, Doctor of the Church)

6. A friar is "A member of one of the so-called mendicant orders [e.g. Dominicans, Franciscans, Carmelites, Augustinians]. 'Friar' is not synonymous with 'monk'... the life of a monk is normally passed within the walls of his monastery; a friar has his headquarters in a friary but his work is of the active ministry and may take him to all parts of the earth; a friar is a member of a highly organized, widespread body with a central authority to which he is professed; a monk's allegiance is to the abbot of an autonomous individual monastery." (Catholic Dictionary)

7. St. John Vianney

8. "[T]hough faith is the first essential of a Christian, yet without works it is a dead faith, and will not save us (Jms. 2:26)." (Dom Gueranger)

9. Blood of Christ, without which there is no forgiveness, save us.

10. Latin for Blood of Christ


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 Believe in Reincarnation?

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 Believe in Reincarnation?


* If reincarnation were true (which is isn't!), why aren't people getting better?

* Why is it that so few people claim to "remember a past life"? "How do you imagine that man can benefit from that which he cannot remember?"

* Why do you argue that people cannot "advance to perfection" until after death? "If this was a possibility, why do you not believe it can happen during life?"

* "What is the first cause? Humans didn't create themselves!"

* God has revealed Himself to humankind and His revelation shows that "reincarnation" is a false belief.

* There is NO biblical support for reincarnation. The idea that John the Baptist was a reincarnation of Elijah is obviously mistaken because Elijah was taken up without experiencing death - and therefore couldn't have been "reincarnated". Further, we know Elijah appeared at the transfiguration (see Mt. 17:3). Obviously, scriptural references regarding St. John the Baptist & Elijah are figurative since Elijah still existed as Elijah - and NOT as John the Baptist.

* Do you not see that the idea of reincarnation denies an inherent unity between a person's body and their soul?

* Supposed "proof" from the relatively few people that supposedly "remember past lives" can easily be explained by machinations of demonic forces, hallucinations, etc.

* Each being's life is a gift from God, not a punishment.

* How could it be a "punishment" to be a lower life form? Do lower life forms seem unhappy to be such? Does a bug actually know that he "suffers" by being a bug?

* How could a human being's soul possibly be adapted to body of a lower life form - e.g. an insect? Wouldn't such a change require the person to lose all their human intelligence? Or, do you seriously maintain that a person 'reincarnated' as an insect would retain their human intelligence while living the life of a bug?

* How can it be said that a supposedly 'reincarnated' individual was the same person as before? Each would have different characteristics, dispositions, thoughts, tastes, etc. How could they be the same person?

* If an insect was a 'reincarnated human', what can this 'human' possibly get out of being an insect, especially for insects with a very short life span? Or what "virtue" could have been achieved in such a short time?

* If you believe you were "reincarnated", what did you learn? What are you doing differently? Nothing because you have no consciousness of your supposed "past life", correct? Remember that the entire idea of reincarnation makes no sense since there would be no point if one cannot remember or learn from a "past life". Even if you claim to remember a "past life", how could you be sure this was not a deception of the devil, your mortal enemy?

* How can you explain the vast number of insects, reptiles, and other animals in comparison with humans if such creatures are really 'reincarnated' humans?

* As a human being, can you seriously pick up a gnat or another insect and see it as a possible ancestor? Do you actually respect it as such? Doesn't such a theory tend to diminish your own self-respect & your respect for other humans? For that matter, doesn't it even diminish your respect for lower life forms if you see their existence as a punishment?

* If your ancestors could be 'reincarnated' as trees, how is it you could ever build a house, use paper, eat fruit, etc?

* What merit can there possibly be for a human being to be 'reincarnated' as, say, a bush? How could being a bush help a man to advance? A bush cannot even think for itself!

* If you accept Holy Scripture, how do you explain the numerous warnings it contains? If a person gets chance after chance to get things right, why such concern? And how do you explain an eternal hell if people get to try over and over again? And if reincarnation were true, why didn't Adam & Eve simply come back as something else? Why the need for a Savior to come?

* For those who consider themselves 'Christian', can you not see that the idea of reincarnation is incompatible with the resurrection which Christ told us will take place at the end of the world? Which body do you suppose a "reincarnated" person would be reunited with?

* For those who consider themselves 'Christian', how can being reincarnated as a bug or tree or bird be compatible with man's being made in the image and likeness of God (see Gen. 1:26)?

* Why would the supposed "guiding force" behind "reincarnation" not choose simply to reward or punish a person in the same body for which they earned their reward or punishment? Why make them enter different bodies for reward or punishment? And especially why make them enter different bodies for punishment if they never remember the prior body or the reason they are being punished?

* Is it not true that the theory of "reincarnation" is simply a way to avoid the fact that persons may be condemned eternally (to hell) upon their death with no second chance?

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" is appointed that human beings die once, and after this the judgment" (Heb. 9:27)

"Christian revelation excludes reincarnation, and speaks of a fulfillment which man is called to achieve in the course of a single earthly existence." (Pope John Paul II)

"Our bodies will share in the reward or punishment of our souls, because through the resurrection they will again be united to them." (Baltimore Catechism)

"The general resurrection or rising of all the dead will take place at the general judgment, when the same bodies in which we lived on earth will come forth from the grave and be united to our souls and remain united with them forever either in heaven or in hell." (Baltimore Catechism)

"[F]or we do not suppose it possible that the soul is adapted to a strange building, just as it is not possible that the seal impressed on wax should be fitted to an engraving that does not agree with it." (St. Gregory of Nyssa)

"We profess that there is a true bodily resurrection for all the dead. And we do not believe that we shall rise in a body of air or in any different kind of body (as some have foolishly thought); but we shall rise in this very body in which we now live and are and move." (Eleventh Council of Toledo, 675 A.D.)

"Death is the end of man's earthly pilgrimage, of the time of grace and mercy which God offers him so as to work out his earthly life in keeping with the divine plan, and to decide his ultimate destiny. When 'the single course of our earthly life' is completed, we shall not return to other earthly lives: 'It is appointed for men to die once.' There is no 'reincarnation' after death." (Catechism of the Catholic Church)

"I must here also remark, that if souls undergo a transformation, they will actually not be able to accomplish and experience the destinies which they shall deserve; and the aim and purpose of judicial recompense will be brought to nought, as there will be wanting the sense and consciousness of merit and retribution. And there must be this want of consciousness, if souls lose their condition; and there must ensue this loss, if they do not continue in one stay." [Tertullian ("an excellent early Christian writer" - although he would ultimately fall into heresy), c. 3rd century A.D.]

"O ye philosophers do you teach us, and how usefully do you advise us, that after death rewards and punishments fall with lighter weight! whereas, if any judgment awaits souls at all, it ought rather to be supposed that it will be heavier at the conclusion of life than in the conduct thereof, since nothing is more complete than that which comes at the very last - nothing, moreover, is more complete than that which is especially divine. Accordingly, God's judgment will be more full and complete, because it will be pronounced at the very last, in an eternal irrevocable sentence, both of punishment and of consolation, (on men whose) souls are not to transmigrate into beasts, but are to return into their own proper bodies. And all this once for all, and on 'that day, too, of which the Father only knoweth;' in order that by her trembling expectation faith may make full trial of her anxious sincerity, keeping her gaze ever fixed on that day, in her perpetual ignorance of it, daily fearing that for which she yet daily hopes." [Tertullian ("an excellent early Christian writer" - although he would ultimately fall into heresy), c. 3rd century A.D.]

"We must not follow, either, as though they had bit the truth those who suppose that souls pass from women's bodies to live in men, or, reversely, that souls that have parted with men's bodies exist in women: or even if they only say that they pass from men into men, or from women into women. As for the former theory, not only has it been rejected for being shifting and illusory, and for landing us in opinions diametrically opposed to each other; but it must be rejected also because it is a godless theory, maintaining as it does that nothing amongst the things in nature is brought into existence without deriving its peculiar constitution from evil as its source. If, that is, neither men nor plants nor cattle can be born unless some soul from above has fallen into them, and if this fall is owing to some tendency to evil, then they evidently think that evil controls the creation of all beings... If the beginning is like that, a sequel will most certainly be set in motion in accordance with that beginning. None would dare to maintain that what is fair can come out of what is foul, any more than from good can come its opposite. We expect fruit in accordance with the nature of the seed." (St. Gregory of Nyssa)

"...the dogma of foreign to the church of God, and [was] not handed down by the Apostles, nor [is it] anywhere set forth in the Scriptures; for it is also in opposition to the saying that 'things seed are temporal,' and that 'this age shall have a consummation,' and also to the fulfilment of the saying, 'Heaven and earth shall pass away,' and 'the fashion of this world passeth away,' and 'the heavens shall perish,' and what follows. For if, by hypothesis, in the constitution of things which has existed from the beginning unto the end of the world, the same soul can be twice in the body, for what cause should it be in it? For if because of sin it should be twice in the body, why should it not be thrice, and repeatedly in it, since punishments, in respect of this life, and of the sins committed in it, shall be rendered to it only by the method of transmigration? But if this be granted as a consequence, perhaps there will never be a time when a soul shall not undergo transmigration: for always because of its former sins will it dwell in the body; and so there will be no place for the corruption of the world, at which 'the heaven and the earth shall pass away.' And if it be granted, on this hypothesis, that one who is absolutely sinless shall not come into the body by birth, after what length of time do you suppose that a soul shall be found absolutely pure and needing no transmigration? But nevertheless, also, if any one soul is always thus being removed from the definite number of souls and returns no longer to the body, sometime after infinite ages, as it were, birth shall cease; the world being reduced to some one or two or a few more, after the perfecting of whom the world shall perish, the supply of souls coming into the body having failed. But this is not agreeable to the Scripture; for it knows of a multitude of sinners at the time of the destruction of the world. This is manifest from consideration of the saying, 'Howbeit when the Son of man cometh shall He find faith on the earth?' So we find it thus said in Matthew, 'As were the days of Noah so shall also be the coming of the Son of man; for as they were in the days of the flood,' etc." [Origen ("the greatest scholar of Christian antiquity" - although he would ultimately be excommunicated and be regarded as a heretic), c. 3rd century A.D.]

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For more apologetics resources, please visit

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In Closing...

"We love a thing in proportion to what it has cost us. You may judge by that of our Lord's love for our soul, which has cost him his Blood." (St. John Vianney)

Prayer of Adoration: O Precious Blood of Jesus, infinite price of sinful man's redemption, both drink and laver of our souls, Thou who dost plead continually the cause of man before the throne of infinite mercy; from the depths of my heart, I adore Thee, and so far as I am able, I would requite Thee for the insults and outrages which Thou dost continually receive from human beings, and especially from those who rashly dare to blaspheme Thee. Who would not bless this Blood of infinite value? Who doth not feel within himself the fire of the love of Jesus who shed it all for us? What would be my fate, had I not been redeemed by this divine Blood? Who hath drawn it from the veins of my Savior, even to the last drop? Ah, this surely was the work of love. O infinite love, which has given us this saving balm! O balm beyond all price, welling up from the fountain of infinite love, grant that every heart and every tongue may be enabled to praise Thee, magnify Thee and give Thee thanks both now and for evermore. Amen. (Raccolta)

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