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Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Examination of conscience with concrete examples

I'm a fan of this examination of conscience by Father Robert Altier. If you're like me and need a list of concrete sins rather than vague descriptions, this list is for you. Unlike most examens, this one gives concrete examples (lots of them).

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Capsule Summaries of the 33 Doctors of the Church

If you've ever wondered about the differences between the 33 Doctors of the Church, and don't have the patience to read many pages of explanation, the following capsule summaries can help. Descriptions are taken from the Catholic Encyclopedia.

  • St. Athanasius, Egyptian, born 298. "Athanasius was the greatest champion of Catholic belief on the subject of the Incarnation that the Church has ever known and in his lifetime earned the characteristic title of 'Father of Orthodoxy'."
  • St. Hilary of Poitiers, French, born 300. "This learned and energetic bishop had fought against error with the pen as well as in words."
  • St. Ephrem, Syrian, born 306. "Theodoret of Cyrus praised his poetic genius and theological knowledge."
  • St. Cyril of Jerusalem, Jerusalem, born 315. "St. Cyril's teaching about the Blessed Sacrament is of the first importance, for he was speaking freely, untrammelled by the 'discipline of the secret'."
  • St. Gregory Nazianzus, Cappadocian, born 329. "On Gregory's voluminous writings, and on his reputation as an orator and a theologian, rests his fame as one of the greatest lights of the Eastern Church."
  • St. Basil, Cappadocian, born 330. "He ranks after Athanasius as a defender of the Oriental Church against the heresies of the fourth century."
  • St. Ambrose, Italian, born 340. "He is an official witness to the teaching of the Catholic Church in his own time and in the preceding centuries."
  • St. Jerome, Dalmatian, born 347. "The Biblical knowledge of St. Jerome makes him rank first among ancient exegetes."
  • St. John Chrysostom, Syrian, born 347. "Generally considered the most prominent doctor of the Greek Church and the greatest preacher ever heard in a Christian pulpit."
  • St. Augustine, Doctor Gratiae, Berber from Numidia, born 354. "The great St. Augustine's life is unfolded to us in documents of unrivaled richness, and of no great character of ancient times have we information comparable to that contained in the "Confessions", which relate the touching story of his soul, the "Retractations," which give the history of his mind, and the "Life of Augustine," written by his friend Possidius, telling of the saint's apostolate."
  • St. Cyril of Alexandria, Doctor Incarnationis, Egyptian, born 376. "The principal fame of St. Cyril rests upon his defence of Catholic doctrine against Nestorius."
  • St. Leo the Great, Italian, born 400. "Leo's pontificate, next to that of St. Gregory I, is the most significant and important in Christian antiquity. At a time when the Church was experiencing the greatest obstacles to her progress in consequence of the hastening disintegration of the Western Empire, this great pope guided the destiny of the Roman and Universal Church."
  • St. Peter Chrysologus, Italian, born 406. "His piety and zeal won for him universal admiration, and his oratory merited for him the name Chrysologus."
  • St. Gregory the Great, Italian, born 540. "His great claim to remembrance lies in the fact that he is the real father of the medieval papacy (Milman)."
  • St. Isidore, Spanish, born 560. "Isidore was the last of the ancient Christian Philosophers, as he was the last of the great Latin Fathers. He was undoubtedly the most learned man of his age and exercised a far-reaching and immeasurable influence on the educational life of the Middle Ages."
  • St. Bede the Venerable, Northumbrian, born 672. "In numberless ways, but especially in his moderation, gentleness, and breadth of view, Bede stands out from his contemporaries. In point of scholarship he was undoubtedly the most learned man of his time."
  • St. John Damascene, Syrian, born 676. "John of Damascus was the last of the Greek Fathers. His genius was not for original theological development, but for compilation of an encyclopedic character."
  • St. Peter Damian, Italian, born 1007. "Although living in the seclusion of the cloister, Peter Damian watched closely the fortunes of the Church, and like his friend Hildebrand, the future Gregory VII, he strove for her purification in those deplorable times."
  • St. Anselm, Doctor Magnificus, Italian, born 1033 or 1034. "Besides being one of the fathers of scholastic theology, Anselm fills an important place in the history of philosophic speculation."
  • St. Bernard, Doctor Mellifluus, French, born 1090. "The history of the calamities and the refutation of [Abelard's] doctrine by St. Bernard", says Ratisbonne, "form the greatest episode of the twelfth century."
  • St. Albertus Magnus, Doctor Universalis, German, born 1193. "He is called 'the Great', and 'Doctor Universalis' (Universal Doctor), in recognition of his extraordinary genius and extensive knowledge, for he was proficient in every branch of learning cultivated in his day, and surpassed all his contemporaries, except perhaps Roger Bacon, in the knowledge of nature."
  • St. Anthony of Padua and Lisbon, Doctor Evangelicus, Portuguese, born 1195. "The zeal with which St. Anthony fought against heresy, and the great and numerous conversions he made rendered him worthy of the glorious title of Malleus hereticorum (Hammer of the Heretics)."
  • St. Bonaventure, Doctor Seraphicus, Italian, born 1221. "Bonaventure, as Hefele remarks, united in himself the two elements whence proceed whatever was noble and sublime, great and beautiful, in the Middle Ages, viz., tender piety and profound learning."
  • St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor Angelicus, Doctor Communis, Italian, born 1225. "Since the days of Aristotle, probably no one man has exercised such a powerful influence on the thinking world as did St. Thomas."
  • St. Catherine of Siena, Italian, born 1347. "The "Dialogue" especially, which treats of the whole spiritual life of man in the form of a series of colloquies between the Eternal Father and the human soul (represented by Catherine herself), is the mystical counterpart in prose of Dante's 'Divina Commedia'."
  • St. Teresa of Ávila, Spanish, born 1515. "St. Teresa's position among writers on mystical theology is unique. In all her writings on this subject she deals with her personal experiences, which a deep insight and analytical gifts enabled her to explain clearly."
  • St. Peter Canisius, Dutch, born 1521. "The principal trait of his character was love for Christ and for his work; he devoted his life to defend, propagate, and strengthen the Church. Hence his devotion to the pope."
  • St. Robert Bellarmine, Italian, born 1542. "the lectures thus delivered [as the chair of Controversies] grew into the work 'De Controversiis' which, amidst so much else of excellence, forms the chief title to his greatness."
  • St. John of the Cross, Doctor Mysticus, Spanish, born 1542. "He represents the ideal of one who has passed, as he had done, through the career of the spiritual life, through its struggles and its victories (Wiseman)".
  • St. Lawrence of Brindisi, Doctor Apostolicus, Italian, born 1559. "Thanks to his numerous journeys, he was enabled to evangelize at different periods most of the countries of Europe. The sermons he left fill no less than eight folio volumes."
  • St. Francis de Sales, French, born 1567. "Of the elements of penance and love in the spiritual life, St. Francis de Sales looks chiefly to love. Not that he neglects penance, which is absolutely necessary, but he wishes it to be practised from a motive of love."
  • St. Alphonsus Liguori, Doctor Zelantissimus, Italian, born 1696. "St. Alphonsus as a moral theologian occupies the golden mean between the schools tending either to laxity or to rigour which divided the theological world of his time."
  • St. Thérèse de Lisieux, Doctor Amoris, French, born 1873. "The success of her autobiography was immediate and it has passed into many editions, spreading far and wide the devotion to this 'little' saint of simplicity, and abandonment in God's service, of the perfect accomplishment of small duties."

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Quick 'n easy morning and evening prayers

I've been praying the morning and evening prayers from St. Francis de Sales's Introduction to the Devout Life for the past year. The morning prayer only takes two minutes, and the evening prayer takes five minutes.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Online slideshow with good works of art for rosary meditation

Here is a great online slideshow for praying the rosary. It contains masterpieces of fine art for the joyful, luminous, sorrowful, and glorious mysteries – from Rembrandt to Raphael.

Tip: Click the pause button in the lower-left corner, then the full-screen button in the lower-right corner.

Madonna del Magnificat

My Photo
Location: Surrey, British Columbia, Canada
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.