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Sunday, March 27, 2011

The 21 Ecumenical Councils of the Catholic Church

Check out this great summary by the Slaves of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

A Catholic Commentary on Sacred Scripture

There is a great series of Catholic bible commentaries coming out called A Catholic Commentary on Sacred Scripture. It has numerous endorsements from bishops and cardinals. It has a Kindle edition. Unfortunately, the translation it uses is the NAB; what I do is have my RSV open beside it. I have read the first bit of the Kindle sample for the Gospel of Mark, and it provides very interesting historical, patristic, and theological background. Also the text and notes are interspersed, unlike the Ignatius Study Bible[1] which puts the notes in footnotes, so it should make for easier reading (and listening) on the Kindle. Check thou it out.

[1] which I also like

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Gestures and Postures of the Congregation at Mass

Here is a good list of gestures and postures of the congregation at Mass.

Ones I need to start doing are:

  • Bow your head when you say “Lord, have mercy” during the Kyrie.
  • Make the sign of the Cross at the conclusion of the Creed at the words “I believe in the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come. Amen.”
  • Reverently fold your hands and bow your head as you pray the Lord’s Prayer.

Sunday, March 06, 2011

The Last Superstition: A Refutation of the New Atheism

Dr. Edward Feser's The Last Superstition: A Refutation of the New Atheism is an interesting counterargument to the books of the New Atheists, based on Aristotle (for the distinction between actuality and potentiality, form and matter, and final causality) and Aquinas (for the existence of God, the immateriality and immortality of the soul, and the natural law conception of morality – which follow from Aristotle). Not only is his approach effective in countering his opponents, but also it is a good introduction to key ideas of Aristotle and Aquinas. It was an Editor's Choice selection in the American Library Association's BookList in 2008.

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

The Spiritual Combat

The Spiritual Combat is the book that St. Francis de Sales carried in his pocket wherever he went. It is a series of 66 articles on everything from "What To Do When The Will Is Apparently Overpowered" to "The Defense Against The Artifices Of The Devil When He Suggests Indiscreet Devotions". There are a few translations out there – the TAN Classics one is, in the words of one reviewer, "theologically grounded in the Latin church and is the most literal translation". Here's a taste:


THE PRESUMPTUOUS MAN is convinced that he has acquired a distrust of himself and confidence in God, but his mistake is never more apparent than when some fault is committed. For, if he yields to anger and despairs of advancing in the way of virtue, it is evident that he has placed his confidence in himself and not in God. The greater the anxiety and despondence, the greater is the certainty of his guilt.

The man who has a deep distrust of himself and places great confidence in God is not at all surprised if he commits a fault. He does not abandon himself to confused despair; he correctly attributes what has happened to his own weakness and lack of confidence in God. Thus he learns to distrust himself more, and he places all his hopes in the assistance of the Almighty. He detests beyond all things the sin into which he has fallen; he condemns the passion or criminal habit that occasioned his fall; he conceives a deep sorrow for his offense against God. But his sorrow, accompanied by peace of mind, does not interrupt the method he has laid down, nor does it prevent the pursuit of his enemies to their final destruction.

I sincerely wish that what has been proposed here would be attentively considered by many who think they are very devout. yet from the moment they commit a fault they will not be pacified, but hurry away to their director, more to rid themselves of the distress arising from self-love than from any other motive. Their principal care should be to wash away the guilt of sin in the Sacrament of Penance and to fortify themselves with the Eucharist against a relapse.

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