Penance and Mortification

Penance and Mortification The modern world has made a mockery of penance and mortification. One of the direct results of the Protestant Reformation was the implicit rejection of an incarnational faith, with notions of “faith alone,” and the explicit rejection of indulgences. The skeptic, or the overly spiritualized Protestant, cannot fathom earthly actions, in the…

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The School of Calvary & the Necessity of the Cross

Stop. Be still. Calm the mind for a moment; allow the striking, jarring, chilling words of the God-man to sink deeply into your soul: “And he that taketh not up his cross, and followeth me, is not worthy of me” (Mt 10:38). “And calling the multitude together with his disciplines, he said to them: If…

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The Choirs of Angels & Guardian Angels

The Nine Choirs of Angels Tradition holds that there are three hierarchies of angels, each divided into three choirs. The beautiful division is worthy of a short description of each. Just as you teach your child how to use the right tool for a certain job, you should teach your child how to invoke the…

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Awareness of Angels

Can’t you see them? You, Dear Parent, can’t you see the angelic and demonic all around? And why not? You see germs on a public water fountain. You see danger lying ahead in an empty street. You see sickness coming on the face of your little one even before an army of doctors could. You…

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Reliance on Our Lady and the Saints

Giving your child a sense of belonging is of irreplaceable value. So many little ones grow up lost, even in a family. Perhaps they are neglected. Perhaps they are abused. Perhaps dad and mom are just tired. And so, in addition to the natural means of making a child feel wanted and loved, such as…

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Purgatory and the Church Suffering

Only in the Holy Catholic Faith can you fix your mind upon something so horrific yet marvelous, gruesome yet beautiful, that which you desperately want to avoid yet is that which you will one day willingly throw yourself into. That, Dear Parent, is the awesome reality of purgatory, the residence of the Church Suffering. This…

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Spiritual Contagions: the Dangers of Modernism

What if you were to learn that your little one had cancer—a parent’s worst nightmare—and it was due to long term exposure to a local power plant’s radiation? How enraged you would be at the authorities for allowing this travesty! How frustrated you may feel with yourself for living so close to a potential risk.…

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The Virtue of Humility: Part II

Towards God Your very first duty as a parent is to teach your child to render himself entirely obedient to God. Period. There is no next best thing. There is no consolation prize for the parent who neglected this one divinely given duty. If your child is elected president of the United States or appointed…

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The Virtue of Humility: Part I

“In Paradise there are many Saints who never gave alms on earth: their poverty justified them. There are many Saints who never mortified their bodies by fasting or wearing hair shirts: their bodily infirmities excused them. There are many Saints too who were not virgins: their vocation was otherwise. But in Paradise there is no…

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The Sacredness of the Priesthood and Religious Life

The sacredness of the priesthood should be a penetrating reality for your child. Such unworthy men, stepping into the In Persona Christi, consecrating the bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, the sacramentally conferred power to forgive sins on behalf of Christ; it is beyond what the mind can fathom. And…

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Holy Matrimony: Praying for a Future Spouse

You pray for your child. You help him pray his innocent little prayers at bedtime. You wish for him to grow into a healthy, happy adult—fulfilled, dignified, respected, accomplished. And all this is beautiful. But how often we forget the other half of your child. What could I possibly mean? I mean your son’s future…

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Restoring Prayer in the Home

When your child was young, you taught your little one how to go to sleep, brush his teeth, pray, and so on. But have you trained your child to arise from slumber? Have you taught your son or daughter a Morning Offering to be said directly upon waking? Is this any harder than teaching your…

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Teaching Your Children the Devotional Life

It is an understandable though grave mistake to merely think in terms of your child practicing devotion. No! Your child’s life must not merely consist of this and that devotion. Rather, your child must live the devout life. A devotion is a prayer, but St. Paul instructs you to “pray without ceasing” (1 Thes [P1] 5:17)…

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Piety is the Virtue of the Warrior

Visualization is a powerful tool. Whether an athlete envisions the shot he is about to take or the entrepreneur pictures his business in a future state, visualization of a desired outcome hones the mind in a way that no external stimulus can. Therefore, Loving Parent, visualize your child as a young man or woman before…

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The Weighty Subject of God’s Judgment

Bring the powers of your imagination to bear: your adorable, sweet baby matures into a young man who unpredictably commits a wicked crime despite all your efforts to raise him as an honorable citizen. You once clothed him in cute overalls, dressed him in a fine suit for his first Communion, helped him buy his…

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Preparing Your Child for Death

There is perhaps no more counterintuitive notion for a parent than this: you must prepare your child for death.[1] From the moment you learned of the child in the womb, you have directed all your God-given instincts, your energy, and passion into keeping that child alive. You would move mountains to keep your son healthy;…

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Look Upon Your Child as An Immortal Creature

Look at your little child. See the little smile, the little nose; see the little arms and legs; hear the sweet little voice that calls your name in joy and sorrow. If you could, you would imitate God and number the hairs upon your little one’s head (Mt 10:30), treasuring each one, “for where your…

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