Proper Dispositions of the Reception of Holy Communion

As is the case with each of the Sacraments, the fruitful reception of Holy Communion brings about in the recipient an increase of Sanctifying Grace, the Infused Virtues, and the Gifts of the Holy Spirit.  But the degree of growth in each of the recipients will be proportional to one’s disposition. The minimum required disposition…

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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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True Peace Found in God Alone

“Peace, because we have hoped in Thee.” -Isaias 26:3 He that seeks peace in creatures will never find it, because no creatures are fitted for giving satisfaction to the heart. God has created man for Himself, who is the Infinite Good; wherefore, God alone can content him. Hence it comes that many persons, though loaded…

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Making Good Use of God’s Graces

The true reason for which God bestows so many graces upon the humble is this, that the humble are faithful to these graces and make good use of them. They receive them from God and use them in a manner pleasing to God, giving all the glory to Him, without reserving any for themselves. This…

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Pregnancy and Fulfilling the Homeschool Mission

Homeschooling while bringing eight infants into this world, suffering through a few miscarriages and recovering from the death of two babies, I think I finally am getting in the swing of things… at least maybe… a little. Inspiring words of comfort from Pope John Paul II highlight the unique experience of motherhood, with its joys…

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May 13th and the Consecration of Russia

THE STORY OF FATIMA On a cool spring day in 1916, Lucy dos Santos, age 9, and her cousins, Francisco and Jacinta Marto, ages 8 and 6 respectively, took their parents’ sheep to pasture in a place not far from their homes in the mountain village of Fatima, Portugal, about 90 miles north of Lisbon.…

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The Children of Fatima and Devotion to the Papacy

The Portuguese have always shown special loyalty to the Holy Father. It was the Pope who emancipated them from vassalage to Castile – and it was to him that the new, little country of Portugal was entrusted at its birth. Though in the course of the centuries this traditional devotion was occasionally weakened, the fault…

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On the Providence of God by Alice von Hildebrand

In the wee hours of Tuesday, June 11, 1940, I was awakened by the ringing of the ship’s bells. I tiptoed to open the door of our cabin and to my amazement saw people in pajamas and nightgowns with life-preservers around their waists, rushing toward the deck. I immediately woke my sister, Louloute (pronounced “Loo-lute”).…

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Interior Peace & Sadness

“Always active, always at rest.” -St. Augustine Be on your guard lest your zeal degenerate into anxiety and eagerness. Saint Francis de Sales was a most pronounced enemy of these two defects. They cause us to lose sight of God in our actions and make us very prone to impatience if the slightest obstacle should…

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Metanoia and the Spiritual Experience of Pilgrimage: Part I

Climbing Croagh Patrick in Ireland before dawn.  Attending Midnight Mass in Bethlehem under the stars.  Standing in the arena under the Mediterranean sun where the martyrs perished in Carthage.  Fortunate is the Catholic who can experience pilgrimage, embarking on an extraordinary journey of faith and the personal transformation that comes from penitence and conversion, a…

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Spiritual Realities of the Papacy & the Priesthood

When two of her sons told her they were being called by God to the priesthood my Grandma Schmidt went back to work at nights as a licensed nurse to help pay for their seminary formation.  My Uncles Carl and Anthony were ordained priests on the same day in 1950.  When asked who, out of…

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Saint Monica: Christian Woman Married to a Pagan

Although there were many Christians in Roman Africa, pagan manners and customs still survived in many of her cities. The people clung to their games in the circus, the cruel and bloody combats of the arena, which, though forbidden by Constantine, were still winked at by provincial governors. They scarcely pretended to believe in their…

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Freedom as a Divine Gift and Duty

Freedom is indisputably one of the paradigmatic and quintessential values of our Western culture, so much so that we may be led to conclude that it is a value which springs out of our human nature itself. To a certain extent, this is true. But if we examine the history of humanity in its broadest…

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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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Zeal for Souls

To love Jesus Christ is to love the souls redeemed by the Blood of Jesus Christ. We can, then, judge of Gerard’s zeal for the salvation of souls by the seraphic ardor that consumed him for our Divine Saviour. In his resolutions, we read the following beautiful words: “O my God, may I convert as…

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Hope and the Interior Life

“Casting all your solicitude upon Him for He hath care of you.” -St. Petr., Ep. I., c. V., v. 7 “Blessed is the man who hopes in the Lord,” says the Holy Spirit. The weakness of our souls is often attributable to lukewarmness in regard to the Christian virtue of hope. Hold fast to this…

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We Are At War with Agents of the Devil

In 1949 the Englishman George Orwell wrote a book titled 1984.  It was about life in a totalitarian state; life under a government that held total control over peoples’ lives. Orwell invented terms used in the book that resonate today:  Big Brother, doublethink, thought-crime, Newspeak.  The main character in the book worked for the Ministry…

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