Every day we present a short point that helps bring into focus the treasures of the Roman Catholic Church that comprise the great Deposit of Faith.
It is no secret that over the past thirty years fewer and fewer know their Faith and it shows with the declining number of vocations, parish participation and attendance at Holy Mass. We have the new Catechism of the Catholic Church but for the common man, the one brought up on sound bites and instant gratification, it is more of a text book and that in itself prompts them to shy away from such a tome. So what's a loyal Catholic to do in evangelizing to fellow Catholics and understand their Faith? Our answer: go back to basics - to the great Deposit of Faith. We have the Baltimore Catechism which, for unknown and ridiculous reasons, was shelved after Vatican II. We have the Holy Bible but there are so many newer versions that the Douay-Rheims and Confraternity Latin Vulgate in English versions, the ones used for so long as the official Scriptural text authorized by the Church, seem lost in a maze of new interpretations that water down the Word. This is further complicated by the fact there are so few Douay-Rheims editions in circulation though it is available on the net at
DOUAY-RHEIMS BIBLE. We have so many Vatican documents available at the Vatican web site and other excellent Catholic resource sites that detail Doctrine, Dogma and Canon Law. We have the traditions, and the means of grace but how do we consolidate all these sources into one where it is succinct and easy to understand? We have the perfect vehicle. It is called "My Catholic Faith", now out of print, that was compiled by Bishop Louis Laravoire Morrow and published by My Mission House. This work ties in Scriptural references, the Sacraments, Dogmas, Doctrines, Traditions, Church documents, Encyclical and Papal decrees to clearly illustrate the Faith in simple, solid and concise terms that all can understand and put into practice. We will quote from this work while adding in more recent events and persons when applicable since the book was written in the late forties during the pontificate of Pope Pius XII. We also quote from the Catholic Almanac published by Our Sunday Visitor for the Roman Curial offices.
Nothing in Holy Mother Church's teaching has changed and therefore we feel confident that these daily "points of enlightenment" will help more Catholics better understand their faith, especially those who were not blessed with early formation of the faith in the home and their parish school. Regardless of where any Catholic is in his or her journey toward salvation, he or she has to recognize that the Faith they were initiated into at the Sacrament of Baptism is the most precious gift they have been given in life.
THE SOULS IN PURGATORY
In our last installment on , we alluded to "Heroic Acts of Charity." Today and throughout this week we would like to go more into detail on what this means for we can all be heroes for Jesus through our own Heroic Acts of Charity. As we know November is truly a
month to express thankfulness. Most of us think of November and our national holiday of
Thanksgiving. Actually, the month began with two feasts of All Saints Day and All Souls Day. We have been covering in this series
Purgatory in depth and its definite existence because it is an undeniable teaching of the Roman
Catholic Church. Yet, it has been so watered down today that few, sadly, give it any
credence. It is completely lost on some, whose thinking has become so modern as to
exclude the possibility that such a place of atonement could exist by a God Who is
All-Loving. It is vital to remember that this quality of God as All-Loving, consists both in His
Mercy and in His Justice. No one can come into the presence of Almighty God who has
not been made pure through a life of suffering, good works and total giving of one's self
in obedience to God.
We do not understand properly the reality of sin and its ramifications upon our souls,
and upon our own mortal bodies. We are so weighed down with the prospects of getting
through life the easy way and pain free as possible that we do not want to consider any
other aspect. We must, as Pat Ludwa so clearly writes today in his column, be very careful not to get caught up in the interpretations of
Sacred Scripture, but rather to discern with the grace of the Holy Spirit. In this regard,
consider the many who are eagerly awaiting the Rapture, believing they will not have to
go through the chastisement but will be lifted up by God and preserved from this
purification. Nowhere in Sacred Scripture does God indicate such an event. Sacred
Scripture tells us very specifically that there is no other way except suffering, as Christ
said in Matthew 16: 24-27, "If anyone wishes to come after Me, let him deny
himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For he who would save his life
will lose it; but he who loses his life for My sake will find it. For what does it
profit a man, if he gain the whole world, but suffer the loss of his own soul? Or
what will a man give in exchange for his soul? For the Son of Man is to come
with His angels in the glory of His Father, and then He will render to everyone
according to his conduct."
Our society has become so taken up with the material things of life that we easily
neglect our souls whil will live forever. Thus, in this month of November, it is prudent to
reflect upon the Heroic Act of Charity, which we can make for the Holy Souls in
Purgatory, and this one Heroic Act consists in all of the good works which we have, or
will ever make, in our earthly lives. In this Heroic Act of Charity we are asked to become
so abandoned to God that we surrender to Him absolutely everything, the satisfactory
value of our works of our life and of all the suffrages which shall be given to us after our
death, without receiving anything. In this Heroic Act of Charity we give all into the hands
of the Blessed Virgin Mary to distribute them, according to her intentions, to the Holy
Souls in Purgatory.
Tomorrow: The Souls of Purgatory part six