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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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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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 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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Introducing Children to the Liturgical Seasons

The worldly parent focuses only on the natural seasons: fall, winter, spring, and summer. However, you, Dear Parent, child of Holy Mother Church, must not dwell solely in the natural but, more importantly, in the supernatural—that is, the Church’s liturgical life. Through the liturgical seasons of Advent, Christmas, Lent, Easter, Ordinary time, and her many…

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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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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 Dogma of Hell is the Most Terrible Truth

The TAN book entitled The Dogma of Hell: Illustrated by Facts Taken From Profane and Sacred History, by Fr. F. X. Schouppe, SJ, begins crisply as any author could make it: “THE DOGMA OF HELL is the most terrible truth of our faith. There is a Hell. We are as sure of it as of…

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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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The Annunciation (Part III)

You did it, O Lord. You actually did it! Your idea of the Incarnation was incarnated. Your Father’s Word was spoken. It was a Word brighter than His word, “Let there be light,” for the abounding darkness of our sinful world was darker than the abyss of nothingness. In the beginning of our universe, You…

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Before Time (Part I)

Your humility had no beginning, O Lord, for You had no beginning.  You were eternally begotten from Your Father.  Your very essence is that of Son to the Father.  Your humility, therefore, is wrapped up in Your very being, for You have always subjected Yourself as Son to the Father in humble obedience, in loving…

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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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