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Copyright © 2012, B.F.S. All rights reserved. Newsletter - August, 2012 [Plain text version (+ images)]

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* Greetings

* MCS News & Notes

* The Month of August: Dedicated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary

* Refresher: The Founder of Protestantism Was Admittedly 'Inspired' by Satan

* "But one thing is necessary"

* Liturgical Feasts in August

* 'Catholic Trivia' [Themed: Inside Churches (Practices / Decorum / Proper Behavior)]

* Defending the Faith: "Apologetics Brief" - Do You Believe in Private Interpretation of the Bible? (Continued From 7/12)

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Dear Friend,

"May the eyes of your hearts be enlightened, that you may know what is the hope that belongs to his call, what are the riches of glory in his inheritance among the holy ones" (Eph. 1:18)

Greetings & blessings to you! We hope you are having a pleasant and holy summer.

We send our thanks to all subscribers who have signed up for Rosary Week and also for the wonderful comments we have received with signups. For those who haven't yet signed up, please accept our invitation to join fellow Catholics in praying the rosary for worthy intentions. It doesn't take very long to participate, it doesn't cost anything to sign up, and you can pray from anywhere. We hope you will join us if you can. For more information on Rosary Week, please visit . To sign up, please visit

We would also like to thank all subscribers for their support of our newsletter. Please know that we always welcome your feedback. We want our newsletters to be as interesting & useful as possible, so please let us know if there's something we can improve. You can use the subscriber feedback form at to send us a quick note.

We wish you God's blessings,

Your Friends at

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"Queen conceived without original sin, pray for us. Queen assumed into heaven, pray for us. Queen of the most holy Rosary, pray for us." (From the Litany of Loreto)

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MCS News & Notes

* New Button: We've added a new 'Catholic Apps' button to the left border for quick access to app information & download links. Please check it out!

* Rosary Week: Please sign up today for our Fourth Annual Rosary Week to be held from 10/22/12 - 10/28/12 at . Please also invite your friends!

* First Year Anniversary: The month of August marks the 1 year anniversary of our first app release. We are happy to report that in this first year we have released 7 apps total - 5 iOS/Apple apps & 2 Android apps - plus 5 updates, and have sold thousands of apps in some 40+ countries. This past year has been full of challenges, which we are happy to have met (with the exception of some delays in our Android app development). Although it has been very difficult for us to get reviews - unfortunately, people seem not to recognize the importance of leaving reviews - we have enjoyed mostly positive ratings on those we have received. (For more information, please see )  For the upcoming year, we are hoping to release more apps & updates and expand & increase sales. Unfortunately, we anticipate that we will have to reign in our sales prices on apps soon - we currently receive only about $.70-$1.40 per app sold and have only 'barely' covered our initial investment costs. So please buy yours today, before any price increases. Please know that we are relying on future app sales to keep the website up & running, especially since there have been almost no donations over the past several months (and the little we have received is no where near enough to even cover the cost of our server, which amounts to about $200 per month). For those who have already purchased our apps, please know we appreciate your support.

* Technical Issues: We experienced technical issues last month accessing the hard drive on our main computer which we use to connect to our server. Although the difficulties were on our end and did not directly affect the website, they did affect our ability to access the site. Thanks to our 'computer hero', however, we were back online within a few days and did not lose any data. Nevertheless, we wanted to take this opportunity to remind visitors to check our blog at for status updates during times when our server is inaccessible or if there are unexpected delays / technical problems / etc. with our site. Thankfully, we may still be able to update our blog even if our server is not accessible

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Sample Speedy Dial! Screen* We are working hard trying to keep the website up. To that end, please consider supporting our site by purchasing our newest app, Speedy Dial! for the iPhone. This app has recently been featured on at least two app review sites. Speedy Dial!One of the app review sites said Speedy Dial! is "one of the best speed dial applications we've seen yet on the iPhone", and the other app review site said that "if you are looking for a speed dial app, you should really take this one into is packed with features, and is also very easy on the eye." The editor of the latter review site also said Speedy Dial! "is very good looking" and said that "In terms of basic functionality, the app is very comprehensive, with just about every possible option you could need from an app like this, which is really very impressive." The former review site also called the app "very quick", "intuitive", "a great value", and stated that "it works efficiently, and it could not be simpler to use". For additional app review highlights, please visit . For a video review/demo, please visit . Note that Speedy Dial! features fast one touch dialing for up to 48 numbers, three 'easy-use' dialing screens with 16 colorful speed dials per screen, customizable buttons with changeable button colors, easy input of names & phone numbers (including an option to quickly retrieve name & phone numbers from Contacts), and a convenient prompt before dialing option that can help prevent accidental dialing. Speedy Dial! also allows you to: Dial by name, relation, category, description, type, etc. (e.g. Bob Smith, sister, cleaners, work) - whichever way(s) you choose; Conveniently assign color codes to different types of numbers (e.g. red for emergency); Fully control speed dial placement in convenient fixed locations; Keep related numbers together on one screen (great for grouping work numbers or family numbers together); And more... Speedy Dial! is 'hassle free'! It works on functioning/configured iPhones with active/available phone service. No special phone setup is required. It uses the system dialer so no other setup is required to dial (other than adding speed dial numbers, of course) and there is no need to maintain separate settings, folders, etc. (calls made via Speedy Dial! are logged as normal in your system along with all other calls). For a limited time, Speedy Dial! is on sale for just $0.99! Download it today at!/id527029746?ls=1&mt=8 . For more information, please visit . To be notified when an Android version of Speedy Dial! is available, please visit . Note that proceeds from sales of BFSApps' productivity apps may support Please tell your friends!

* On Sale: Catholic Bible References is presently on sale for just $1.99. This 'must-have' app is a handy apologetics tool that can be used to help Catholics discuss & defend the faith. It features hundreds of key bible references conveniently arranged by topic, 100+ tips for locating related passages (including those related to defending the Catholic faith among 'Jehovah's Witnesses' & Mormons), modern & traditional scripture translations, convenient index, handy grouping by titles, easy / quick / comprehensive search, selectable text, Old Testament / New Testament indicator, and a quick, easy-to-use interface. Get it today! Topics Include: Ashes, Blessed Virgin Mary, Celibacy, Devil, Divinity of Christ, Faith / Works (Sola Fide/Faith Alone), Hell, Hierarchy, Incense, Indulgences, Infallibility, Intercession, Lord's Day / Sunday, Mass, Morality (C ontraception, F ornication, Etc.), Oral Tradition (Sola Scriptura/Bible Alone), Original Sin, Papacy, Prayer (Repeating Prayer, Praying for the Dead, Praying to Saints), Priest / Priesthood, Purgatory, Relics, Sacraments (Anointing of the Sick, Baptism, Confession, Confirmation, Eucharist, Holy Orders, Marriage), Saints, Salvation, Scripture, Trinity, Unity, More... Download it today at . For more information, please visit

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

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The Month of August: Dedicated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary

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"Thou art all fair, O my love, and there is not a spot in thee" (Cant. 4:7 / Song. 4:7)

"Your honor and dignity surpass the whole of creation; your greatness places you above the angels." (St. Germanus)

"Thou, O Lord, and thy Mother are the only ones who are perfectly beautiful in every respect, for in thee, O Lord, there is no blemish, and in thy Mother there is no stain." (St. Ephraem the Syrian, Doctor of the Church)

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Related Resources...

* Popular Marian Devotions (Incl. Devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, First Five Saturdays Devotion & Prayers of Consecration) -

* Blessed Virgin Mary (Reflections) -

* Popular Marian Prayers -

* More Marian Prayers -

* Blessed Virgin Mary (Papal Writings) -

* Marian Facts -

* Blessed Virgin Mary (Topic Page) -

* Marian Scripture References -

* Reasons to Honor the Blessed Virgin Mary -

* Thoughts on the Blessed Virgin Mary -

* Mary Our Mother Section -

* Do Catholics Worship Mary? -

* Marian Apologetics -

* The Holy Rosary (Topic Page) -

* Scapulars (Topic Page) -

* Marian Apparitions at Fatima (Topic Page) -

* Blessed Virgin Mary (Coloring Pages) -

* Marian Word Searches -

* Blessed Virgin Mary (Crossword Puzzle) -

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

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"Tell everybody that God gives graces through the Immaculate Heart of Mary." (Bl. Jacinta of Fatima)

"[Mary] is gentle, exquisite in tenderness, and of a limitless love and kindness. As such God gave her to us. Mother of his only begotten Son, he taught her all a mother's feelings that breathe pardon and love." (Pope Leo XIII)

"Great indeed is Our trust in Mary. The resplendent glory of her merits, far exceeding all the choirs of angels, elevates her to the very steps of the throne of God. Her foot has crushed the head of Satan." (Bl. Pope Pius IX, "Ubi Primum", 1849 A.D.) 

"Thus the Faithful of every age, both in public misfortune and in private need, turn in supplication to that she may come to their aid and grant help and remedy against sorrows of body and soul. And never was her most powerful aid hoped for in vain by those who besought it with pious and trustful prayer." (Pope Pius XI, "Ingravescentibus Malis", 1937 A.D.)

"O Tower of the true David; citadel withstanding the first shock of Satan's attack, and breaking all his power; true Sion, founded on the holy mountains, the highest summits of virtue; temple and palace, feebly foreshadowed by those of Solomon; house built by eternal Wisdom for herself: the faultless lines of thy fair architecture were planned from all eternity." (Liturgical Year)

"Who can ever comprehend the solicitude with which Mary constantly stands before God on our behalf? 'She is never weary of defending us,' says St. Germanus; and the remark is beautiful meaning that so great is the compassion excited in Mary by our misery, and such is the love that she bears us, that she prays constantly, and relaxes not her efforts in our behalf: that by her prayers she may effectually defend us from evil, and obtain for us sufficient graces." (St. Alphonsus Liguori, Doctor of the Church)

Consecration to the Blessed Virgin Mary: "O Virgin Immaculate, Mother of God and my Mother, from thy sublime height turn upon me thine eyes of pity. Filled with confidence in thy goodness and knowing full well thy power, I beseech thee to extend to me thine assistance in the journey of life, which is so full of dangers for my soul. And in order that I may never be the slave of the devil through sin, but may ever live with my heart humble and pure, I entrust myself wholly to thee. I consecrate my heart to thee for ever, my only desire being to love thy divine Son Jesus. Mary, none of thy devout servants has ever perished; may I too be saved. Amen." (Raccolta)

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Refresher: The Founder of Protestantism Was Admittedly 'Inspired' by Satan

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The following is from Rev. F. C. Husenbeth's response to Mr. White's (19th century Protestant) treatise against Catholicism. [Note: We have made some changes to the text below (e.g. capitalization, punctuation & spelling changes)]

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Mr. White professes, in the beginning of his second Dialogue, to give the origin and true principles of Protestantism. The origin would be easy enough to give; but the second part of the undertaking is no easy task. Who can give the true principles of Protestantism, which has no fixed principle, except enmity to the Catholic Church, in which all the many sects of Protestants devoutly agree? They allow every one the boasted liberty of forming his own principles as he pleases, of speaking what he believes, and believing what he pleases. A man may make out whatever he chooses from his bible, provided he does not find the doctrines of the Catholic Church there, and be a very good Protestant. It is absurd then to talk of pointing out the true principles of those, who boast of having liberty to adopt any that they imagine to be taught by the bible. But let us examine how Mr. White proceeds to his task.

"The Roman Catholics," he says, " would fain persuade the world that Luther is the author of our religion. But such as are learned amongst them, cannot but know that Protestants acknowledge no master, on religious points, but Christ." Mr. White is very sore that it should be thought that Protestants should follow Luther; and yet, a short time before, he was loud in accusing Catholics of laying another foundation than Christ, and making the Pope, if not the author, at least the finisher of our faith. However the truth comes out a little farther on, at page 48, where he says, "Luther and the Reformers, who established our [so-called] Church." No Catholic ever charged Protestants with exalting Luther above Christ; but [Protestants] regard him as the instrument of God in reforming religion, and they are obliged to own that he established their [so-called] Church. This is enough for us; Luther's own writings testify his character, and it is easy to show that the Almighty would never have chosen such an instrument to reform His Church; if we could for a moment suppose that His Church could need any reform in faith, after He had expressly promised that His Holy Spirit should guide it into all truth.

Mr. White professes to have carefully examined the works of Luther, and assures his reader that the well-known conference of Luther with the Devil is a calumny. It may be that he examined them in a library where the memorable seventh volume is kept out of sight; as is known to be the case in certain libraries in England. But if he did examine the seventh volume, with what face can he pretend to deny that Luther acknowledges having had this conference with the Devil? Let Mr. White look again; and in the seventh volume, and in the treatise De Unct. et Missa Privata, fol. 228, 229, 230, of the Wittenburg edition, in 1558, he will find the whole account, of the first part of which the following is a faithful translation. "It happened to me," says Luther, "once at midnight, to awake on a sudden. Then Satan began this sort of disputation with me. 'Hear, Luther, he said, 'most learned doctor, dost thou know that even for fifteen years, thou hast celebrated private masses almost every day? What if such private masses should prove to be horrible idolatry?' To whom I replied,' I am an anointed priest...I have done all these things by the command of my superiors, and in obedience to them: this thou knowest.' 'That,' he said, is all true; but the Turks and Gentiles also do all things in their temples out of obedience.' In these straits, in this combat against the Devil, I wished to overthrow the enemy with the arms to which I was accustomed under the papacy, &c. But Satan, on the other hand, urging me more strongly and vehemently, said,' come, then, show me where it is written, that a wicked man can consecrate, &c.' And Satan pressed me further.' Therefore thou hast not consecrated, &c. What is this unheard-of abomination in heaven and in earth?'" Besides this, Luther has published to the world, that he held frequent communications with the Devil; and the writers of his life speak of many other apparitions of the Devil to him. Now, for Mr. White, after these well-known passages, to attempt to persuade his readers, that Luther's conference with the Devil had no other foundation than "the spite of the Roman Catholic clergy," is monstrous and disgraceful. It only shows how much Mr. White dreaded the clear inference to be drawn from Luther's own acknowledgment; namely that he, who by Mr. White's own admission, established the Protestant 'Church', learned the most material part of his 'Reformation', the abolition of the Mass, from the Devil!


"[T]he chief aim of the evil one is to deprive us of our heavenly inheritance." (Catechism of the Council of Trent)

"Be sober and vigilant. Your opponent the devil is prowling around like a roaring lion looking for (someone) to devour." (St. Peter, 1 Pt. 5:8)

"[The devil] was a murderer from the beginning and does not stand in truth, because there is no truth in him. When he tells a lie, he speaks in character, because he is a liar and the father of lies." (Jn. 8:44)

Prayer for all wanderers from the truth: "O God, who hast given thy only-begotten Son as a sacrifice of propitiation for the salvation of the world, that, being lifted up from the earth, he might draw the hearts of all men to himself; and who willest not that any should perish, but earnestly desirest that all should be saved; we humbly beseech thee, that, through the wounds and most precious blood of that same thy beloved Son, thou wouldst graciously look upon all men, in all parts of the world, whom the subtlety of error hath deceived, or the darkness of ignorance hath blinded, and lead them back into the way of truth and salvation. Remember, O Lord, that they are thy creatures: despise not, therefore, the work of thy hands. Regard the tears of thy Church, the spouse of thy Son; hear the groans of thy servants; and grant that all heresies and schisms being done away, we may enjoy perpetual peace and concord. Grant that all nations, joined to thee in unity of faith and perfect charity, under the government of Peter, may be brought to the pastures of eternal life; and let there be through the whole world one fold and one shepherd. So be it, so be it. Through the same Christ our Lord. Amen."


For more reflections, please visit

For more prayers, please visit

For more on Protestantism, please visit

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"But one thing is necessary"

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The following is taken from a 20th century guide edited by Fr. Francis X. Lasance. The original publication bears an imprimatur. [Note: We have made some changes to the text below (e.g. capitalization & spelling changes, combining paragraphs, etc.)]

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St. Philip Neri was, as every one knows, very fond of young persons. There came to him on a certain occasion a youth whose face was wreathed with smiles. "Your Reverence," he began, "knew me when I was a poor orphan lad, keeping sheep in our village. I have made such progress in my studies that I am quite ready to go to the University of Bologna." "Very good, my young friend," replied the saint with a genial smile, "and then?" "I shall prosecute my studies with the utmost diligence, until I am able to take a Doctor's degree." "And then?" "My learning, eloquence and integrity will make my name famous far and near." "And then?" "I shall make my fortune, marry a rich wife, and be held in great consideration by my fellow citizens." "And then?" "Then I shall look forward to a very happy old age." "And then?" inquired the saint in a graver tone. "Then? Then?" repeated the young man, "then I shall have nothing more to do, then -- then -- I shall die." St. Philip Neri fixed his serious eyes upon him, and said once again, "And then?" The young man remained mute, as if struck by lightning; the solemn words "And then?" sounded continually in his ears. In your ears also, my dear child, let these words resound. They will serve to strengthen you in the fear of God, they will make you strive more earnestly after true piety, and will constantly remind you of the one thing necessary. And what is this?

"But one thing is necessary. Mary hath chosen the best part, which shall not be taken away from her." Thus spoke Our Lord to Martha. And how had Mary, the sister of Martha, chosen the best part? She sat at Jesus' feet, and heard His words; that is, she cared more for her soul than for anything else. This therefore is the one thing necessary of which the Savior speaks.

Do you take care of your soul, and see that it suffers no injury, i.e., that it may not be defiled by sin. For, as Our Lord says: "What shall it profit a man, if he gain the whole world, and suffer the loss of his soul?" Care for your soul earnestly and constantly, with holy fear and humble trust. Care for your soul with zeal and prudence. On account of its likeness to God it is the most precious, the only really precious thing which you possess. Therefore you must take at least the same care of it which men generally take of rare and costly things. If you had a good likeness of your beloved father, or of your tender mother, and if, moreover, there were only one copy of this portrait in existence, with what care would you not preserve this treasure, how you would value and prize it! How great then ought to be the care you take of your precious, your immortal soul, a masterpiece from the Creator's hand, the image of our heavenly Father Himself! Above all avoid sin, grievous sin, which will deface and destroy the image of God in your soul.

But you must not only strive to preserve the image of God within you with the utmost care; you must also do this without any intermission. To save one's soul is the work of a whole lifetime, not of a few days or hours. You began this work in your childhood days, when for the first time you cleansed your soul of its faults and failings by means of confession. You carried on this work in a very special manner on that happy day, the happiest day of your life -- I mean the day of your first Communion. And you must prosecute this work with unwearied and unceasing diligence until your last breath. Alas! there are too many unhappy young persons, who instead of making it their constant endeavor to preserve their soul from every spot and stain, deprive it of its most beautiful ornament. I mean chastity. With incredible recklessness they plunge their soul into the quagmire of vice, at the same time indulging the presumptuous hope that they will be able to cleanse it from its defilement at some later period, and thus render it fit for heaven. Poor, blind creatures! They will probably discover, when it is too late, that he who does not constantly aim at the salvation of his soul too often ends by plunging it into eternal ruin. Guard your soul constantly! Save your soul!

St. Paul says: "With fear and trembling work out your salvation." And, indeed, who should not fear and tremble where a matter of such infinite importance is concerned, in regard to an undertaking so momentous and so difficult? The fall of the rebel angels, of our first parents, of David, of St. Peter, ought to teach you how easily you may fall, perhaps fall forever. If lofty cedars have been overthrown, what is to become of a feeble reed! St. Peter says: "If the just man shall scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?" And if you think of so many young persons, who in childhood were pious and good, but now have given themselves up to sin, and may lose their souls forever, you must surely be filled with fear and trembling! It is right that you should feel thus; but at the same time you must have a childlike confidence in God, remembering His fatherly love, His infinite goodness. For has He not said that He wills not the death of the sinner, but rather that he should be converted from his ways, and live?

Finally, behold how God Himself has proved, in the person of the Holiest of the holy, how great is His solicitude for your soul, for the souls of all men. Gaze upon Mount Olivet, and you will perceive a Man lying prone upon the ground while a sweat of blood exudes from His pores; follow Him to the court of Pilate; see how He is scourged, spit upon, insulted, and crowned with cruel thorns; accompany Him through the streets of Jerusalem, which He dyes with His blood, until He reaches the summit of Calvary, where He is fastened with nails to the cross; listen to His heartrending cry: "My God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?" -- see Him bow His head, and give up the ghost. For what end did Our Lord suffer all this? It was in order that our souls might be saved, in order that we might gain heaven. Your God did all this in order that you might save your soul! Ought you not therefore to strive more earnestly to work out your salvation? Adopt as your own the words of St. Augustine: "Ever since I became aware that my soul was purchased at no less a price than the blood of the Savior, I resolved to keep it with all care, and never to sell it to the devil by means of one single sin."

To save my soul, be this the end, to which my hopes, my efforts tend; My time on earth may I employ, so as to gain eternal joy.

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"So then, my beloved, obedient as you have always been, not only when I am present but all the more now when I am absent, work out your salvation with fear and trembling." (St. Paul, Phil. 2:12)

"Indeed, my children, the good God did not place us on the earth to suffer and endure, but to work out our salvation." (Catechism of the Cure de Ars)

"Above all, the state of grace is absolutely necessary at the moment of death without it salvation and supernatural happiness - the beatific vision of God - are impossible." (Pope Pius XII, 1951 A.D.)

"All would wish to be saved and to enjoy the glory of Paradise; but to gain Heaven it is necessary to walk in the straight road that leads to eternal bliss. This road is the observance of the divine commands." (St. Alphonsus Liguori, Doctor of the Church)

For more reflections, please visit

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Liturgical Feasts in August

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

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

Reminder: Feasts may be superseded / transferred / etc.

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August 1 - St. Paul (T)

August 1 - St. Peter's Chains (T)

August 1 - The Holy Machabees (T)

August 1 - St. Alphonsus Liguori (N)

August 2 - St. Alphonsus Liguori (T)

August 2 - St. Stephen I, pope (T)

August 2 - St. Eusebius of Vercelli (N)

August 2 - St. Peter Julian Eymard (N)

August 3 - Finding of St. Stephen (T)

August 4 - St. Dominic (T)

August 4 - St. John Vianney (Cure of Ars) (N)

August 5 - Dedication of Our Lady of the Snow (T)

August 5 - Dedication of the Basilica of St. Mary Major in Rome (N)

August 6 - Sts. Sixtus II (Xystus) (pope), Felicissimus & Agapitus (T)

August 6 - Transfiguration of Our Lord (T)

August 6 - Transfiguration of the Lord (N)

August 7 - St. Cajetan (T)

August 7 - St. Donatus (T)

August 7 - St. Cajetan (N)

August 7 - St. Sixtus II (pope) & companions (N)

August 8 - Sts. Cyriacus, Largus & Smaragdus (T)

August 8 - The 14 Holy Helpers (T)

August 8 - St. Dominic (N)

August 9 - St. Emidius (T)

August 9 - St. John Vianney (Cure of Ars) (T)

August 9 - St. Romanus (T)

August 9 - St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (Edith Stein) (N)

August 10 - St. Laurence (Lawrence) (T)

August 10 - St. Lawrence (N)

August 11 - St. Philomena (T)

August 11 - Sts. Tiburtius & Susanna (T)

August 11 - St. Clare of Assisi (N)

August 12 - St. Clare of Assisi (T)

August 13 - Sts. Hippolytus & Cassian (T)

August 13 - Sts. Pontian (pope) & Hippolytus (N)

August 14 - St. Eusebius (T)

August 14 - Vigil of the Assumption (T)

August 14 - St. Maximilian Kolbe (N)

August 15 - Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary (T) *

August 15 - The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary (N) *

August 16 - St. Joachim, Father of the Blessed Virgin Mary (T)

August 16 - St. Stephen of Hungary (N)

August 17 - St. Hyacinth (T)

August 18 - St. Agapitus (T)

August 18 - St. Helena (T)

August 18 - St. Jane Frances de Chantal (N)

August 19 - St. John Eudes (T)

August 19 - St. John Eudes (N)

August 20 - St. Bernard of Clairvaux (T)

August 20 - St. Bernard of Clairvaux (N)

August 21 - St. Jane Frances de Chantal (T)

August 21 - St. Pius X, pope (N)

August 22 - Sts. Timothy, Hippolytus & Symphorianus (T)

August 22 - The Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary (T)

August 22 - The Queenship of the Blessed Virgin Mary (N)

August 23 - St. Philip Benizi (T)

August 23 - St. Rose of Lima (N)

August 24 - St. Bartholomew, apostle (T)

August 24 - St. Bartholomew, apostle (N)

August 25 - St. Louis IX, king of France (T)

August 25 - St. Joseph Calasanz (N)

August 25 - St. Louis IX of France (N)

August 26 - St. Zephyrinus, pope (T)

August 27 - St. Joseph Calasanctius (T)

August 27 - St. Monica (N)

August 28 - St. Augustine of Hippo (T)

August 28 - St. Hermes (T)

August 28 - St. Augustine of Hippo (N)

August 29 - Martyrdom of St. John the Baptist (T)

August 29 - St. Sabina (T)

August 29 - Martyrdom of St. John the Baptist (N)

August 30 - St. Rose of Lima (T)

August 30 - Sts. Felix & Adauctus (T)

August 31 - St. Raymund Nonnatus (T)

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


* Holy Day of Obligation

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'Catholic Trivia'

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Note: This month there are 40 trivia questions & all items are themed. [Theme: Inside Churches (Practices / Decorum / Proper Behavior)]

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1. Should sacred music in church be for the purpose of provoking pleasure?

2. Is it appropriate to be silent in church?

3. What are some reasons it is fitting to face the east during Mass?

4. Who said the following...?

"A church without the Eucharistic Presence is somehow dead."

"A faith or a liturgy no longer familiar with kneeling would be sick at the core."

"Wherever applause breaks out in the liturgy because of some human achievement, it is a sure sign that the essence of liturgy has totally disappeared and been replaced by a kind of religious entertainment."

"...a common turning to the east [the traditional position, wherein the priest and the people face eastward, and not each other]...remains essential. This is not a case of something accidental, but of what is essential. Looking at the priest has no importance. What matters is looking together at the Lord."

5. What type of music is held second only to Gregorian Chant?

6. What council are the following quotes attributed to...?

"The Church recognizes Gregorian chant as being specially suited to the Roman liturgy. Therefore, other things being equal, it should be given pride of place in liturgical services."

"The house of prayer in which the Most Holy Eucharist is celebrated and reserved, where the faithful gather and where the presence of the Son of God, Our Savior, offered for us on the altar of sacrifice bestows strength and blessings on the faithful, must be spotless and suitable for prayer and sacred functions."

"Bishops should be careful to ensure that works of art which are repugnant to faith, morals, and Christian piety, and which offend true religious sense either by depraved forms or through lack of artistic merit or because of mediocrity or pretense, be removed from the house of God and from other sacred places."

"Ordinaries must be very careful to see that sacred furnishings and works of value are not disposed of or dispersed; for they are the ornaments of the house of God."

7. Who did Pope St. Pius X say should be admitted to the choir?

8. According to Canon 915, which persons are not to be admitted to Holy Communion?

9. Where was the idea that there should be only one altar in a church condemned?

10. Who said...? "To separate the Tabernacle from the Altar is tantamount to separating two things which, of their very nature, must remain together"

11. Is entry to a church for sacred functions to be open and free of charge?

12. Who said...? "Wherever I go in the whole world, the thing that makes me the saddest is watching people receive Communion in the hand."

13. How are sacred objects to be treated?

14. Sacred places are desecrated by what?

15. What does Holy Scripture say about those who receive the Holy Eucharist unworthily or who fail to discern the Real Presence?

16. Complete the sentence... "In the sacramental reception it has always been the custom in the Church of God that the laity receive Communion from the priests and that priests who are celebrating Mass give Communion to themselves. This custom should rightly and deservedly ___." (Council of Trent)

17. Where is the sanctuary lamp prescribed?

18. Where does Holy Scripture tell us to worship in "holy attire"?

19. Complete the sentence: "Therefore, we who are receiving the unshakable kingdom should have gratitude, with which we should offer worship pleasing to God in ___. For our God is a consuming fire." (Heb. 12:28-29)

20. Is the Sacrifice of the Mass truly a propitiatory sacrifice?

21. Does the second Council of Nicaea anathematize those who do not admit that images should be venerated?

22. Who said...? "We cannot help deploring and condemning those works of art, recently introduced by some, which seem to be a distortion and perversion of true art and which at times openly shock Christian taste, modesty, and devotion, and shamefully offend the true religious sense. These must be entirely excluded and banished from our churches, like 'anything else that is not in keeping with the sanctity of the place.'''

23. Did Pope St. Pius X tolerate use of the piano or drums in Church?

24. Who said...? "When you hear Mass, do you come in the same frame of mind as the Blessed Virgin at Calvary? Because it is the same God, and the same Sacrifice."

25. According to Holy Scripture, who should / should not have their head covered during prayer?

26. According to the Catechism of the Council of Trent, why are images of saints placed in churches?

27. Should artists who do not profess the true faith or who 'stray far from God in attitude or conduct' make art for Catholic churches?

28. Complete the sentence..."They shall also banish from churches all those kinds of music, in which, whether by the organ, or in the singing, there is mixed up any thing lascivious or impure; as also all ___, that so the house of God may be seen to be, and may be called, truly a house of prayer." (Council of Trent, Twenty-second Session)

29. Is it allowed to pray the rosary during Mass?

30. Should communicants stay after Mass for thanksgiving?

31. Who said...? "How much vice among the youth! What sloth in the old! No one takes due care of the education of his children. If we see a man truly devout in his old age, he is imitated by nobody. I see persons behave disrespectfully and without due attention in the church, and even when the priest is giving his blessing. Can any insolence be found equal to this? Amidst such scandals, what hopes can we entertain of the salvation of many? At a ball everyone dances in his rank, everything is regulated and done without confusion. And here in the company of angels, and singing the praises of God with the blessed spirits, you talk and laugh. Should we be surprised if thunder fell from heaven to punish such impiety?"

32. Can one who is contrite receive the Holy Eucharist after committing a mortal sin without first receiving absolution in a sacramental confession?

33. Complete the sentence..."If anyone says that the holy Catholic Church has not been influenced by just causes and reasons to give communion under the form of bread only to layman and even to clerics when not consecrating, or that she has erred in this: ___" (Council of Trent)

34. Why has the administration of the Holy Eucharist been entrusted exclusively to priests throughout the Church's history?

35. According to the ancient custom of the Church, are women to be admitted to form part of the choir?

36. Does Holy Scripture encourage women to talk in church?

37. Where did the 1917 Code of Canon Law encourage men and women to be in relation to each other inside of the church?

38. One who wants the altar restored to its primitive table form is what, according to Pope Pius XII?

39. The chief element of divine worship must be what?

40. Who said...? "All those are damned who see the Sacrament of the Body of Christ on the altar in the form of bread and wine by the words of our Lord in the hands of the priest, yet do not see or believe in spirit and in God that this is really the most holy Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ."



1. No. As St. Thomas Aquinas states, "[St.] Jerome does not absolutely condemn singing, but reproves those who sing theatrically in church not in order to arouse devotion, but in order to show off, or to provoke pleasure. Hence Augustine says (Confessiones x,33): 'When it befalls me to be more moved by the voice than by the words sung, I confess to have sinned penally, and then had rather not hear the singer.'" (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

2. Yes, it is quite appropriate to be silent in church. As the maxim goes: "Silence is Golden in the House of the Lord". Note that this includes the time before and after Mass as well as all other times outside of Mass (most especially during Eucharistic Adoration and Confession). Also keep in mind the following: "Silence in the presence of the Lord GOD!" (Zeph. 1:7) "But the LORD is in his holy temple; silence before him, all the earth!" (Hab. 2:20) "Let all mortal flesh be silent, standing fear and trembling; for the King of kings, the Lord of lords, Christ our God is about to be sacrificed and to be given as food to the faithful." (St. James) "Nothing so becomes a church as silence and good order. Noise belongs to theatres, and baths, and public processions, and market-places: but where doctrines, and such doctrines, are the subject of teaching, there should be stillness, and quiet, and calm reflection, and a haven of much repose." (St. John Chrysostom, Doctor of the Church) "When you are before the altar where Christ reposes, you ought no longer to think that you are amongst men; but believe that there are troops of angels and archangels standing by you, and trembling with respect before the sovereign Master of Heaven and earth. Therefore, when you are in church, be there in silence, fear, and veneration." (St. John Chrysostom, Doctor of the Church)

3. "There is a certain fittingness in adoring towards the east. First, because the Divine majesty is indicated in the movement of the heavens which is from the east. Secondly, because Paradise was situated in the east according to the Septuagint version of Genesis 2:8, and so we signify our desire to return to Paradise. Thirdly, on account of Christ Who is 'the light of the world' (John 8:12;9:5), and is called 'the Orient' (Zechariah 6:12). Who mounteth above the heaven of heavens to the east (Psalm 68:33), and is expected to come from the east, according to Matthew 24:27, 'As lightning cometh out of the east, and appeareth even into the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of Man be.'" (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

4. Cardinal Ratzinger, the future Pope Benedict XVI

5. "Sacred polyphony, We may here remark, is rightly held second only to Gregorian Chant." (Pope Pius XI, "Divini Cultus", 1928 A.D.)

6. Second Vatican Council

7. "Finally, only men of known piety and probity of life are to be admitted to form part of the choir of a church, and these men should by their modest and devout bearing during the liturgical functions show that they are worthy of the holy office they exercise. It will also be fitting that singers while singing in church wear the ecclesiastical habit and surplice, and that they be hidden behind gratings when the choir is excessively open to the public gaze." (Pope St. Pius X, "Inter Sollicitudines", 1916 A.D.) 

8. "Can. 915 Those who have been excommunicated or interdicted after the imposition or declaration of the penalty and others obstinately persevering in manifest grave sin are not to be admitted to holy communion." (1983 Code of Canon Law)

9. "The proposition of the synod enunciating that it is fitting, in accordance with the order of divine services and ancient custom that there be only one altar in each temple, and therefore, that it is pleased to restore that custom, [is condemned as] rash, injurious to the very ancient pious custom flourishing and approved for these many centuries in the Church, especially in the Latin Church." ('Auctorem fidei', Condemning the Errors of the Synod of Pistoia, Aug. 28, 1794 A.D.)

10. Pope Pius XII

11. "Can. 1221 Entry to a church at the hours of sacred functions is to be open and free of charge." (1983 Code of Canon Law)

12. Mother Teresa

13. "Can. 1171 Sacred objects, which are designated for divine worship by dedication or blessing, are to be treated reverently and are not to be employed for profane [that is, secular] or inappropriate use even if they are owned by private persons." (1983 Code of Canon Law)

14. "Can. 1211 Sacred places are desecrated by acts done in them which are gravely injurious and give scandal to the faithful when, in the judgement of the local Ordinary, these acts are so serious and so contrary to the sacred character of the place that worship may not be held there until the harm is repaired by means of the penitential rite which is prescribed in the liturgical books." (1983 Code of Canon Law)

15. "Therefore whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord unworthily will have to answer for the body and blood of the Lord. A person should examine himself, and so eat the bread and drink the cup. For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body, eats and drinks judgment on himself." (1 Cor. 11:27-29)

16. "In the sacramental reception it has always been the custom in the Church of God that the laity receive Communion from the priests and that priests who are celebrating Mass give Communion to themselves. This custom should rightly and deservedly be kept as coming down from apostolic tradition." (Council of Trent)

17. "Can. 940 A special lamp which indicates and honors the presence of Christ is to shine continuously before a tabernacle in which the Most Holy Eucharist is reserved." (1983 Code of Canon Law)

18. "Give to the LORD the glory due his name! Bring gifts, and enter his presence; worship the LORD in holy attire." (1 Chron. 16:29)

19. "Therefore, we who are receiving the unshakable kingdom should have gratitude, with which we should offer worship pleasing to God in reverence and awe. For our God is a consuming fire." (Heb. 12:28-29)

20. Yes. "The holy council [of Trent] teaches that this Sacrifice [of the Mass] is truly propitiatory, so that if we draw near to God with an upright heart and true faith, with fear and reverence, with sorrow and repentance, through the Mass we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need (see Heb. 4:16). For by this oblation the Lord is appeased" (Council of Trent). The Council of Trent also anathematized those who say Mass is only a sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving: "If any one saith that the sacrifice of the mass is only a sacrifice of praise and of thanksgiving; or that it is a bare commemoration of the sacrifice consummated on the Cross, but not a propitiatory sacrifice; or that it profits him only who receives; and that it ought not to be offered for the living and for the dead for sins, pains, satisfactions, and other necessities; let him be anathema." (Council of Trent)

21. Yes. "We admit that images should be venerated. Those of us who are not so minded we subject to anathema." (Second Council of Nicaea, 787 A.D.)

22. Pope Pius XII, "Mediator Dei", 1947 A.D.

23. No. He said, "The employment of the piano is forbidden in church, as is also that of noisy or frivolous instruments such as drums, cymbals, bells and the like." (Pope St. Pius X, "Inter Sollicitudines", 1920 A.D.)

24. St. John Vianney

25. "Any man who prays or prophesies with his head covered brings shame upon his head. But any woman who prays or prophesies with her head unveiled brings shame upon her head, for it is one and the same thing as if she had had her head shaved. For if a woman does not have her head veiled, she may as well have her hair cut off. But if it is shameful for a woman to have her hair cut off or her head shaved, then she should wear a veil. A man, on the other hand, should not cover his head, because he is the image and glory of God, but woman is the glory of man. For man did not come from woman, but woman from man; nor was man created for woman, but woman for man; for this reason a woman should have a sign of authority on her head, because of the angels." (St. Paul under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit in 1 Cor. 11:4-10)

26. "[T]he images of the Saints are placed in churches, not only to be honored, but also that they may admonish us by their examples to imitate their lives and virtues." (Catechism of the Council of Trent)

27. "Since the freedom of the artist is not a blind instinct to act in accordance with his own whim or some desire for novelty, it is in no way restricted or destroyed, but actually ennobled and perfected, when it is made subject to the divine law. Since this is true of works of art in general, it obviously applies also to religious and sacred art. Actually religious art is even more closely bound to God and the promotion of His praise and glory, because its only purpose is to give the faithful the greatest aid in turning their minds piously to God through the works it directs to their senses of sight and hearing. Consequently the artist who does not profess the truths of the faith or who strays far from God in his attitude or conduct should never turn his hand to religious art. He lacks, as it were, that inward eye with which he might see what God's majesty and His worship demand. Nor can he hope that his works, devoid of religion as they are, will ever really breathe the piety and faith that befit God's temple and His holiness, even though they may show him to be an expert artist who is endowed with visible talent. Thus he cannot hope that his works will be worthy of admission into the sacred buildings of the Church, the guardian and arbiter of religious life. But the artist who is firm in his faith and leads a life worthy of a Christian, who is motivated by the love of God and reverently uses the powers the Creator has given him, expresses and manifests the truths he holds and the piety he possesses so skillfully, beautifully and pleasingly in colors and lines or sounds and harmonies that this sacred labor of art is an act of worship and religion for him. It also effectively arouses and inspires people to profess the faith and cultivate piety. The Church has always honored and always will honor this kind of artist. It opens wide the doors of its temples to them because what these people contribute through their art and industry is a welcome and important help to the Church in carrying out its apostolic ministry more effectively." (Pope Pius XII, "Musicae Sacrae", 1955 A.D.)

28. "They shall also banish from churches all those kinds of music, in which, whether by the organ, or in the singing, there is mixed up any thing lascivious or impure; as also all secular actions; vain and therefore profane conversations, all walking about, noise, and clamour, that so the house of God may be seen to be, and may be called, truly a house of prayer." (Council of Trent, Twenty-second Session)

29. Yes. As stated by Pope Pius XII, "So varied and diverse are men's talents and characters that it is impossible for all to be moved and attracted to the same extent by community prayers, hymns and liturgical services. Moreover, the needs and inclinations of all are not the same, nor are they always constant in the same individual. Who, then, would say, on account of such a prejudice, that all these Christians cannot participate in the Mass nor share its fruits? On the contrary, they can adopt some other method which proves easier for certain people; for instance, they can lovingly meditate on the mysteries of Jesus Christ or perform other exercises of piety or recite prayers which, though they differ from the sacred rites, are still essentially in harmony with them." (Pope Pius XII, Mediator Dei, On the Sacred Liturgy, 1947 A.D.) [Note: Those who pray the rosary during Mass, should be careful not to make noise with the beads as this may be distracting to others]

30. Yes. "When the Mass, which is subject to special rules of the liturgy, is over, the person who has received Holy Communion is not thereby freed from his duty of thanksgiving; rather, it is most becoming that, when the Mass is finished, the person who has received the Eucharist should recollect himself, and in intimate union with the divine Master hold loving and fruitful converse with Him. Hence they have departed from the straight way of truth, who, adhering to the letter rather than the sense, assert and teach that, when Mass has ended, no such thanksgiving should be added, not only because the Mass itself is a thanksgiving, but also because this pertains to a private and personal act of piety and not to the good of the community. But, on the contrary, the very nature of the sacrament demands that its reception should produce rich fruits of Christian sanctity." (Pope Pius XII) Note that it is estimated that the Blessed Eucharist remains for approximately fifteen minutes after Holy Communion.

31. St. John Chrysostom, Doctor of the Church

32. No. "No one who has a mortal sin on his conscience shall dare receive the Holy Eucharist before making a sacramental confession, regardless of how contrite he may think he is. This holy council declares that this custom is to be kept forever by all Christians [that is, Catholics]." (Council of Trent)

33. "If anyone says that the holy Catholic Church has not been influenced by just causes and reasons to give communion under the form of bread only to layman and even to clerics when not consecrating, or that she has erred in this: let him be anathema." (Council of Trent)

34. "To safeguard in every possible way the dignity of so august a Sacrament, not only is the power of its administration entrusted exclusively to priests, but the Church has also prohibited by law any but consecrated persons, unless some case of great necessity intervene, to dare handle or touch the sacred vessels, the linen, or other instruments necessary to its completion. Priests themselves and the rest of the faithful may hence understand how great should be the piety and holiness of those who approach to consecrate, administer or receive the Eucharist." (Catechism of the Council of Trent) As St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church" states, "The dispensing of Christ's body belongs to the priest for three reasons. First, because...he consecrates as in the person of Christ. But as Christ consecrated His body at the supper, so also He gave it to others to be partaken of by them. Accordingly, as the consecration of Christ's body belongs to the priest, so likewise does the dispensing belong to him. Secondly, because the priest is the appointed intermediary between God and the people; hence as it belongs to him to offer the people's gifts to God, so it belongs to him to deliver consecrated gifts to the people. Thirdly, because out of reverence towards this sacrament, nothing touches it, but what is consecrated; hence the corporal and the chalice are consecrated, and likewise the priest's hands, for touching this sacrament. Hence it is not lawful for anyone else to touch it except from necessity, for instance, if it were to fall upon the ground, or else in some other case of urgency." [Note: In the wake of the Second Vatican Council of the 1960's, the Church has, unfortunately, tolerated the use of so-called 'Extraordinary ministers' (lay people distributing Holy Communion) under special circumstances. This practice - which began in the 20th century as a result of disobedience to the Pope - is an entire break with Catholic tradition, and it coincides with Protestant sensibilities. Furthermore, lay 'ministers' were only to be tolerated only under extraordinary circumstances - they were not to be a permanent fixture. Unfortunately, this practice has contributed to irreverence, loss of faith, a blurring of the distinction between lay people and priests, desecration, and sacrilege. For more on this topic, please visit ]

35. No. As Pope St. Pius X stated, "On the same principle it follows that singers in church have a real liturgical office, and that therefore women, being incapable of exercising such office, cannot be admitted to form part of the choir. Whenever, then, it is desired to employ the acute voices of sopranos and contraltos, these parts must be taken by boys, according to the most ancient usage of the Church." (Pope St. Pius X, "Inter Sollicitudines", 1914 A.D.) As Pope Pius XI stated, "Choir-schools for boys should be established not only for the greater churches and cathedrals, but also for smaller parish churches. The boys should be taught by the choirmaster to sing properly, so that, in accordance with the ancient custom of the Church, they may sing in the choir with the men, especially as in polyphonic music the highest part, the cantus, ought to be sung by boys. Choir-boys, especially in the sixteenth century, have given us masters of polyphony: first and foremost among them, the great Palestrina." (Pope Pius XI, "Divini Cultus", 1928 A.D.) Note that the liturgical practice of all male singers may date all the way back to the Old Testament (see 1 Chron. 6:16-32).

36. No. As stated by St. Paul in Holy Scripture, "As in all the churches of the holy ones, women should keep silent in the churches, for they are not allowed to speak, but should be subordinate, as even the law says. But if they want to learn anything, they should ask their husbands at home. For it is improper for a woman to speak in the church." (St. Paul under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit in 1 Cor. 14:33-35) Also, "A woman must receive instruction silently and under complete control. I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man. She must be quiet. For Adam was formed first, then Eve. Further, Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and transgressed. But she will be saved through motherhood, provided women persevere in faith and love and holiness, with self-control." (St. Paul under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit in 1 Tim. 2:11-15)

37. "Can. 1262 § 1 It is desirable that, consistent with ancient discipline, women be separated from men in church." (1917 Code of Canon Law)

38. " would be straying from the straight path were he to wish the altar restored to its primitive table form." (Pope Pius XII, "Mediator Dei", 1947 A.D.)

39. "The worship rendered by the Church to God must be, in its entirety, interior as well as exterior... But the chief element of divine worship must be interior." (Pope Pius XII, "Mediator Dei", 1947 A.D.)

40. St. Francis of Assisi


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Defending the Faith: "Apologetics Brief" - Do You Believe in Private Interpretation of the Bible? (Continued From 7/12)

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 Private Interpretation of the Bible? (Part 2) [Note: Topic is directed at Protestants]


* Considering that the Bible is complex, how could Christ not leave an official, visible authority to interpret it? How long could a country stand on a constitution alone without courts to interpret it? How long could a business operate without a living authority? Surely God knew better than to leave the written 'manual' of Christianity without an authority to interpret it. Do not forget that another person's interpretation of Scripture can have a direct impact on you. Not only does Scripture need to be protected for its own sake, but you need protection since another's interpretation of Scripture may lead to actions and behaviors which can prove harmful to you.

* If you have no authority above yourself, how do you prevent against the eminent Biblical scholar St. Jerome's concern that "through some faulty interpretation we make Christ's Gospel into man's Gospel"?

* If you have no authority above yourself in interpreting Scripture, how do you guard against pride? How can you not interpret Scripture in accordance with your own inclinations if you don't have a supreme authority? Do you claim that you are not easily misled? Are you really not affected by your wants and desires? How can you separate truth from what you simply might want to believe? How can you be SURE that you have the truth? Or is it possible that truth really doesn't matter that much to you?

* Since when is public revelation subject to private judgment? "A man can no more possess a private religion than he can possess a private sun and moon." (Chesterton)

* If you claim that the Bible is easy to understand, why is it that Protestants still can't all agree on what it means, even in important matters?

* Does it not bother you that to really be an expert on the Bible, you would have to be an expert on ancient languages, ancient practices, history, archeology, etc.? You would have to look at who writings were directed at, what the circumstances were, what local customs were, and at all the subtleties involved. Are you also unaware that words used in Scripture may mean different things - and that they may have meant altogether different things in their original languages? That Scripture may be obscure, subtle, hard to grasp? Our would you pretend that Scripture is easy to understand, that you have a complete grasp of it, and that you have no bias whatsoever? And, finally, even if you did have such knowledge and learning, say that another person - with similar knowledge and learning - disagreed with you. If you both claim to be guided by the Holy Spirit, how could you know who was right or wrong?

* Do you really, honestly believe you have a full and complete grasp of Biblical truths? That there is no question about the Bible you cannot answer correctly? That you understand everything which it contains - even those things which appear contradictory? If the Holy Spirit truly guided you as you claim, why can you not easily answer these three questions in the affirmative? Do you place limits on the inspiration of the Holy Spirit? Do you imagine that the Holy Spirit, who is God, cannot guide you fully in the book written under His inspiration?

* Does it not trouble you that no original manuscript of the Bible is available - that you are already relying one someone else's interpretation / translation of Scripture? How do you know that it is not already mistranslated before you even begin your 'personal interpretation'? How can you be sure of the translation when there is no way to verify it? Furthermore, are you unaware of the great difficulties in correctly translating Holy Scripture? As St. Jerome notes, "It is difficult in following lines laid down by others not sometimes to diverge from them, and it is hard to preserve in a translation the charm of expressions which in another language are most felicitous. Each particular word conveys a meaning of its own, and possibly I have no equivalent by which to render it, and if I make a circuit to reach my goal, I have to go many miles to cover a short distance. To these difficulties must be added the windings of hyperbata, differences in the use of cases, divergences of metaphor; and last of all the peculiar and if I may so call it, inbred character of the language. If I render word for word, the result will sound uncouth, and if compelled by necessity I alter anything in the order or wording, I shall seem to have departed from the function of a translator." (St. Jerome, the Church's eminent bible translator, 4th century A.D.)

* If you believe Holy Spirit directs you in interpreting Scripture passages, ask yourself if this inspiration you believe you are receiving focuses only on what is in front of you or if it also directs you to passages you've never considered before. Surely you must know that to properly understand Scripture, you cannot isolate certain passages from the whole. "Hence those who take this or that text out of the Bible to prove something are isolating it from the historical atmosphere in which it arose and from the word of mouth that passed Christ's truth. If there are three persons in a room, there are also six legs and six arms - but they never create a problem because they are related to the physical organism. But if we found one arm outside the door, it would be a tremendous problem, because it is isolated from the organic whole. So it is with certain Christian truths that are isolated from the whole - for example, the doctrine of penance if it is isolated from Original Sin. It is only in the light of the circle of truth that the segments of the circle have a meaning." (Archbishop Fulton Sheen)

* If your enthusiastic car mechanic truly believes he is receiving inspiration from the Holy Spirit regarding whether or not your car needs some work, would you trust his judgment because he is so personally convinced the Holy Spirit is guiding him? Why is it you wouldn't trust this mechanic with your car, but you entrust your entire salvation on your own personal claim to receive personal inspiration from the Holy Spirit regarding Holy Scripture?

* If you were to attempt to accurately interpret the U.S. Constitution according to the original founder's intentions, would you fail to examine other writings of theirs? Would you fail to examine other writings from that time period? If not, why would you attempt to interpret the Bible without considering what those learned persons of Apostolic times said about Holy Scripture? Do you presume to be a better judge of Scripture than those who knew the Apostles or were very close in time to the Apostolic age?

* If thousands of Protestants who were given a mathematical problem to solve came up with thousands of different answers after praying for the Holy Spirit's guidance, would you consider them to be equally valid answers? Why is it you can see that a mathematical problem must be answered a certain way, yet allow a plurality of interpretations of a Scripture passage to all be equally acceptable, even if they are contrary to one another, simply by claiming that each was guided by the Holy Spirit? How can there be only one right answer to a mathematical question, but allow that a multiplicity of contradictory 'answers' concerning Holy Scripture (authored by the very Spirit of Truth!)?

* If you entered into a business arrangement under a written contract, would it be acceptable for each party to interpret the contract as they saw fit or would you rather expect that it should be interpreted in a certain manner? If there was a dispute, could you imagine a judge allowing each party to interpret it as they saw fit? Would you not expect there to be, ultimately, a supreme arbiter with the final say? Do you seriously expect that God left the Bible to the personal interpretation of each person without leaving a supreme arbiter? 

* When is it that Protestants supposedly have this guarantee of the Holy Spirit? Is it automatic?

* If the Holy Spirit personally guides Protestants to a proper interpretation of the Scripture, why is it that so many Protestants reject certain points of Scripture (visit here for some examples - )

* If you deny that the truths of faith were deposited with the Catholic Church to be communicated to all men, but instead claim that the Holy Spirit guides each person personally and individually to truth, "from the ground up", do you realize you are implying that truth was not handed down for all generations by Christ, but must be discovered as if it did not exist by each person in each generation? Do you realize that you claim that Christ - rather than leaving a defined body of doctrine - has essentially left each person to start "from scratch" to be invisibly led by the Holy Spirit (rather than taught by men - contrary to what Scripture says - see Mt. 28:19-20) to His truths on their own? As Pope Leo XIII has said, "St. Augustine...justly complains: 'If there is no branch of teaching, however humble and easy to learn, which does not require a master, what can be a greater sign of rashness and pride than to refuse to study the Books of the divine mysteries by the help of those who have interpreted them?' The other Fathers have said the same, and have confirmed it by their example, for they 'endeavored to acquire the understanding of the Holy Scriptures not by their own lights and ideas, but from the writings and authority of the ancients, who in their turn, as we know, received the rule of interpretation in direct line from the Apostles.'" (Pope Leo XIII, "Providentissimus Deus", 1893 A.D.) And further, can one not see how much time this would take for each person to learn "from scratch"? "In this matter, those also turn aside from the right path, who think that the deposit of truth such laborious trouble, and with such lengthy study and discussion, that a man's life would hardly suffice to find and take possession of it; as if the most merciful God had spoken through the prophets and His Only-begotten Son merely in order that a few, and those stricken in years, should learn what He had revealed through them, and not that He might inculcate a doctrine of faith and morals, by which man should be guided through the whole course of his moral life." (Pope Pius XI, "Mortalium Animos", 1928 A.D.)

* If the Holy Spirit guided all persons in the proper interpretation of Scripture, why do even Protestant exegetes attempt to learn ancient languages? Surely the Holy Spirit could guide them no matter what language was used. Or do you mean to imply that the Holy Spirit only guides those who know how to read Scripture in the ancient languages?

* Considering that the most brilliant persons of previous generations have been unable to understand the whole of Scripture - even after spending entire lifetimes on it - does it not seem arrogant to think you can do so? As Pope Leo XIII has said, "Wherefore, as no one should be so presumptuous as to think that he understands the whole of the Scripture, in which St. Augustine himself confessed that there was more that he did not know, than that he knew, so, if he should come upon anything that seems incapable of solution, he must take to heart the cautious rule of the same holy Doctor: 'It is better even to be oppressed by unknown but useful signs, than to interpret them uselessly and thus to throw off the yoke only to be caught in the trap of error.'" (Pope Leo XIII, "Providentissimus Deus", 1893 A.D.)

* Lastly, it may be fair to ask, "do you prefer a religion you can design for yourself to truth?" 

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"Woe to those who are wise in their own sight, and prudent in their own esteem!" (Isa. 5:21)

"Sometimes a way seems right to a man, but the end of it leads to death!" (Prov. 14:12)

"Tell us straight out that you do not believe in the Gospel of Christ; for you believe what you want in the Gospel and disbelieve what you want. You believe in yourself rather than in the Gospel." (St. Augustine, Doctor of the Church, c. 400 A.D.)

"The individual Protestant makes his own reason the ultimate arbiter of what the Christian faith does and does not entail. The individual Protestant decides for himself what God's will is. The next step is to make himself God." (Davies)

"But everyone can see to how many fallacies an avenue would be opened up and how many errors would become mixed with the truth, if it were left solely to the light of reason of each to find it out, or if it were to be discovered by the private interpretation of the truth which is revealed." (Pope Pius XI, "Casti Connubii", 1930 A.D.)

"And such clients, or rather devotees, of human reason, who set it up as their unerring teacher and promise themselves every success under its guidance, have surely forgotten what a deep and severe wound was inflicted on human nature through the sin of our first parent; for darkness has clouded the mind and the will has been made prone to evil." (Pope Pius IX, "Singulari Quadam", 1854 A.D.)

"For, once ascribe to human reason the only authority to decide what is true and what is good, and the real distinction between good and evil is destroyed; honor and dishonor differ not in their nature, but in the opinion and judgment of each one; pleasure is the measure of what is lawful; and, given a code of morality which can have little or no power to restrain or quiet the unruly propensities of man, a way is naturally opened to universal corruption." (Pope Leo XIII, "Libertas Praestantissimum") 

"In the case of those who profess to take reason as their sole guide, there would hardly be found, if, indeed, there ever could be found, unity of doctrine. Indeed, the art of knowing things as they really are is exceedingly difficult; moreover, the mind of man is by nature feeble and drawn this way and that by a variety of opinions, and not seldom led astray by impressions coming from without; and, furthermore, the influence of the passions oftentimes takes away, or certainly at least diminishes, the capacity for grasping the truth." (Pope Leo XIII, "Sapientiae Christianae", 1890 A.D.)

"If we read even in the divine Scriptures about hidden thing and things most removed from our eyes, it will be possible, saving always the faith which fills us, to formulate various opinions about these matters. Let us, then, not be too hasty in accepting any such opinions which, were the truth to be sought more carefully, might afterwards be found unsound, and lest we might be found in error by our attempting to establish what is but our own view and not that of the divine Scriptures, as if we would wish our view to be that of the Scriptures, whereas we ought to wish that the view taken by the Scriptures should become our own." (St. Augustine, Doctor of the Church, c. 407 A.D.)

"I prefer to say nothing of men who, like myself, have passed from profane [that is, secular] literature to Biblical study, but who, if they happen once to have caught men's ears by their ornate sermons, straightway begin to fancy that whatsoever they say is God's law. Apparently they do not think it worthwhile to discover what the Prophets and Apostles really meant; they are content to string together texts made to fit the meaning they want. One would almost fancy that instead of being a degraded species of oratory, it must be a fine thing to pervert the meaning of the text and compel the reluctant Scripture to yield the meaning one wants!" (St. Jerome, Doctor of the Church) 

"Wherefore, let the faithful also be on their guard against the overrated independence of private judgment and that false autonomy of human reason. For it is quite foreign to everyone bearing the name of a Christian to trust his own mental powers with such pride as to agree only with those things which he can examine from their inner nature, and to imagine that the Church, sent by God to teach and guide all nations, is not conversant with present affairs and circumstances... Quite to the contrary, a characteristic of all true followers of Christ, lettered or unlettered, is to suffer themselves to be guided and led in all things that touch upon faith or morals by the Holy Church of God through its Supreme Pastor the Roman Pontiff, who is himself guided by Jesus Christ Our Lord." (Pope Pius XI, "Casti Connubii", 1930 A.D.)

"[W]e may address the following words of St. Augustine to all who have not deliberately closed their minds to the truth: 'When we see the great help of God, such manifest progress and such abundant fruit, shall we hesitate to take refuge in the bosom of that Church, which, as is evident to all, possesses the supreme authority of the Apostolic See through the Episcopal succession? In vain do heretics rage round it; they are condemned partly by the judgment of the people themselves, partly by the weight of councils, partly by the splendid evidence of miracles. To refuse to the Church the primacy is most impious and above measure arrogant. And if all learning, no matter how easy and common it may be, in order to be fully understood requires a teacher and master, what can be greater evidence of pride and rashness than to be unwilling to learn about the books of the divine mysteries from the proper interpreter, and to wish to condemn them unknown?' (De Unitate Credendi, cap. xvii., n. 35)." (Pope Leo XIII, "Satis Cognitum", 1896 A.D.)

"Therefore, in that famous letter of his to the faithful of the Church at Meta, Our predecessor, Innocent III, quite wisely prescribes as follows: 'In truth the secret mysteries of faith are not to be exposed to all everywhere, since they cannot be understood by all everywhere, but only by those who can grasp them with the intellect of faith. Therefore, to the more simple the Apostle says: 'I gave you milk to drink as unto little ones in Christ... [1 Cor. 3:2].' For solid food is for the elders, as he said: 'We speak wisdom ...among the perfect' [1 Cor 2:6]; 'for I judged not myself to know anything among you, but Jesus Christ and Him Crucified' [1 Cor. 2:2]. For so great is the depth of Divine Scripture that not only the simple and the unlettered, but even the learned and prudent are not fully able to explore the understanding of it. Therefore, Scripture says that many 'searching have failed in their search'." (Pope Pius VII, 1816 A.D.)

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In Closing...

"Because he hath regarded the humility of his handmaid: for behold from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed." (The Blessed Virgin Mary, Lk. 1:48)

"How can I love thy Son, Sweet Mother! If I love not thee." (Faber)

"The Ark contained the Tablets of the Law; Mary contained in her womb the heir of the Testament. The Ark bore the Law; Mary bore the Gospel. The Ark make the voice of God heard; Mary gave us the very Word of God. The Ark shone forth with the purest of gold; Mary shone forth both inwardly and outwardly with the splendor of virginity. The gold which adorned the Ark came from the interior of the earth; the gold with which Mary shown forth came from the mines of heaven." (St. Ambrose, Doctor of the Church)

"It was due to His own infinite sanctity that God should suspend, in this instance, the law which His divine justice had passed upon all the children of Adam. The relations which Mary was to bear to the Divinity, could not be reconciled with her undergoing the humiliation of this punishment. She was not only daughter of the eternal Father; she was destined also to become the very Mother of the Son, and the veritable bride of the Holy Ghost. Nothing defiled could be permitted to enter, even for an instant of time, into the creature that was thus predestined to contract such close relations with the adorable Trinity: not a speck could be permitted to tarnish in Mary that perfect purity which the infinitely holy God requires even in those who are one day to be admitted to enjoy the sight of His divine majesty in heaven" (Dom Gueranger)

"[B]y the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ, of the Blessed Apostles Peter and Paul, and by our own authority, we pronounce, declare, and define it to be a divinely revealed dogma: that the Immaculate Mother of God, the ever-Virgin Mary, having completed the course of her earthly life, was assumed body and soul into heavenly glory. Hence if anyone, which God forbid, should dare willfully to deny or to call into doubt that which we have defined, let him know that he has fallen away completely from the divine and Catholic Faith." (Pope Pius XII, "Munificentissimus Deus", November 1, 1950 A.D.)

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