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1  Forums / Saints' & Spiritual Life General Discussion / Re: Contemplation on: August 14, 2023, 01:55:30 AM
With delightful rapture let us turn now to pleasant contemplation of God's Mercies "for He woundeth and maketh whole." God's Mercies are "an ointment that is poured out" which gives forth the fragrance of eternal life in the love of Jesus Christ. What wonder it is that God should bestow pardon with such ease for the Prophet has said "The Lord is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in kindness. The Lord is good to all, showing compassion to every creature." This same wonderful mercy is echoed by the Sage who says "You are merciful to all, for you can do all things, and you overlook men’s sins so that they may repent. For you love everything that exists and abhor nothing that you have created, since you would not have fashioned anything that you hated. How could anything have continued to exist unless you had willed it, or be preserved if it had not been called forth by you? You spare all things, for they are yours, O Lord, you who love souls. Your imperishable Spirit permeates all things; that is why, bit by bit, you correct those who err, and you admonish them and call to mind the very things in which they go wrong, so that they may renounce their wickedness and believe in you, O Lord."
And who is God but Love and Mercy Itself? Yes! The Lord is Goodness and Love and Compassion and Kindness and Beauty and Mercy! The Prophet says "The eyes of the Lord are on those who fear Him, on those who trust in His kindness." Though we sin, "He knows our frame" and the Prophet reminds us that "He forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases. He redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with kindness and mercy." "The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in kindness. He will not always rebuke, nor will he remain angry forever. He does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our offenses. As high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his kindness toward those who fear him. As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us. As a father has compassion for his children, so the Lord has compassion for those who fear him. For he knows how we were formed; he remembers that we are only dust."
The Lord Himself proclaimed His Mercy to Moses upon the Mount when He revealed Himself when "The Lord came down in a cloud and stood with him there and proclaimed the name of the Lord. The Lord passed in front of him proclaiming, “The Lord, the Lord, a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and fidelity, who shows mercy to thousands of generations."
Behold, the Lord who "crowns you with mercy and kindness" that is to say "who in crowning you, He displays His mercy and in awarding you eternal life bestows upon you His unending kindness." For the Lord spoke to the Prophet and revealed that He "does not delight in the death of the wicked" But His delight is "rather in their decision to turn from their evil ways and live. Repent and turn from your evil ways." If you would like a clear estimation of God's mercy let us laud and praise the beauty of the state of grace which infinitely multiplies the value of ordinary actions when performed with a supernatural motive such that a single cup of cold water given to a Christian can merit eternal life or as Reverend Doctor Matthias Joseph Scheeben explains "With grace, however, we need not perform great things, or endure great suffering; we need only pronounce the blessed name of Jesus with devotion, give our neighbor a cup of water to drink, say a short prayer, or offer up to God a momentary, insignificant suffering, and we have already merited Heaven. What distance between a pious word and eternal happiness, a drink of cold water and the heavenly banquet, a short, humble prayer and the kingdom of God, a momentary suffering and eternal bliss! But in grace nothing is small and insignificant. Dipped into grace, the chaff becomes purest gold; filled with its rays, the drop of water becomes the brightest pearl, and thus every little good work by grace becomes of precious value, so that it may purchase for us the greatest treasure, Heaven and God Himself."
God is so Good and Merciful that He does not hold against us even the greatest of sins if we confess them and repent of them! Not only that but mercy is the purest form of imitation of God for the Lord Himself has said "Be merciful as your Heavenly Father is merciful" and "Go and learn what this text means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ I have come to call not the righteous but sinners.”
Consider Saul whom persecuted Christ who received mercy at the revelation of Jesus Christ! Consider Peter who denied Christ with oaths and curses and yet when Christ had risen he too received mercy! For there is no limit to the mercy of God whose "grace superabounds where sin abounds" for the Sage teaches us that "For equal to His majesty is the mercy that He exhibits." Therefore, let us conclude with the prayer of the Prophet David "David praised the Lord in front of the whole assembly, and David said:
“Blessed are you, O Lord, the God of Israel, our Father forever and ever.
Yours, O Lord, are greatness, power, glory, strength, and majesty, for everything in heaven and on earth is yours.
Yours, O Lord, is the kingdom; you are exalted as head over all. Wealth and honor are from you, you reign over all.
In your hand are power and might; it to is in your hand make great and to give strength to all."
May God bless you. Amen
2  Forums / Catholic General Discussion / Re: To be ordained on: August 04, 2023, 03:29:48 AM
Does the man have to go to the seminary first before he gets to be ordained?
It is not technically necessary for the validity of the Sacrament for a man to go to seminary but it is part of formation which is part of the Church's endeavor to better form clergy in knowledge and understanding and demeanor before being empowered with the Sacrament of Holy Orders.
3  Forums / Everything Else / Re: Learn how to pray on: July 29, 2023, 05:58:34 PM
Your comments on levels or stages of prayer here and in other threads bring to my mind images of a ladder to Heaven. and an ascent of Mt Carmel, and lead me to wishing I could reach a more clear image of Heaven and of course the Face of God which was referred to so often in the Lenten Scriptures and Office.  Growth in Spirituality seems an essential objective of prayer, and your emphasis on the action of prayer to please God and to request intercession for Salvation for ourselves and others seems possibly even more important.  The Church consistently calls us to growth, ascent, improvement in all aspects.  Do you believe prayer for visions of Divine Essence is pleasing to God?
Let us refer to a vision I was given
"The golden ladder
By reading the Gospels and the Scripture; it was as though I had begun to climb a ladder made of pure gold upwards towards a city in the clouds.
After I had ascended the ladder by good deeds and faith I came to the Gate of Heaven.
Past the Gate of Heaven I could see Jesus teaching the disciples and the angels taking notes of what the Lord said.
I found the Virgin Mother adoring the Father and speaking kind words on behalf of sinners.
Each of the Apostles taught how to live and die for the faith of the Lord Jesus Christ.
An angel flew throughout Heaven singing the Eternal Gospel of Heaven."
And as I said elsewhere "Thanks be to God for giving me such a vision
The University of Heaven is always accepting applicants
The studies are enthralling and the professors are the greatest
The Principle of the University is the greatest Teacher."
Your desire for a clearer vision of heaven and the Face of God is itself a prayer. Longing for the truth is an affective act of the will in a state of humble acknowledgement of one's own insufficient knowledge.
Only by a special grace can the Divine Essence be seen upon earth. Ordinary visions of God do not unveil His essence but imprint knowledge of the activity of God upon the soul. The distinction is between knowing who God is by an understanding of His actions and who God is by the very nature of His being.
Rather, it is better to pray that God would give you the grace of clarity of mind and purity of perception of spiritual things.
Spirituality is understood both as interior life and exterior devotion. By our way of treating and relating to others we pray to God and in the hidden tabernacle of our soul we pray to God.
"That a man have trust in the petition of his prayer through trust in God, is the chief part of the gift of faith." We know that God with certainty that God withholds nothing good for our salvation if we ask for it with humble, hopeful and devout faith. The Scriptures concur that we should ask so that we may receive.
It is also important to know that prayer is part of the relationship we maintain with God. A state of grace is truly a matter of friendship with God. If God is your friend, speak often and lovingly to Him and bring your concerns, your longing and your requests and gratitude to the Greatest of Friends. God is swift to meet you with everything that you need and more out of the gracious bounty of His Love. For He has given us the Holy Spirit to lead us into all truth.
4  Forums / Everything Else / Re: Learn how to pray on: July 29, 2023, 01:59:22 AM
Having spoken briefly on the necessity of prayer let us now consider the topic of prayer itself.
Q What is prayer?
Prayer, very broadly, is to do what is necessary to please God. Prayer us thus an action in which one intentionally performs an act with the purpose of pleasing God and/or to obtain help from God. In a more narrow sense, prayer is an act of religion whereby one's duties of justice are performed through the operations of the soul in cooperation with grace. In the common sense in which the faithful are instructed, prayer refers to communication between man and God either by means of words or of thoughts. However, corporal prayer, that is prayer of the body, is simply to perform a physical act for a religious purpose namely to worship God or serve others for the sake of God. In this sense, one should consider that both the corporal and spiritual works of mercy are capable of becoming prayers when the intention behind them is the love of God and the love of neighbor because of God. In another sense, intellectual prayer is an action which belongs to rational creatures, namely Angels and humans. Accordingly, intellectual prayer is a raising of the mind to God in pursuit of union with God. Nature, by its function as a part of Divine Providence may said to solely operate in a state of worshiping God yet this is not a free and rational worship but a self-revelation of God by means of created agents which dimly reflect the harmony found within the Undivided Trinity which exists as mystery of personal loving communion which may be described as prayer between the Divine Persons to one another as they communicate their love for one another in a mystery of Divine Joy. Returning to the aspect of prayer as action intended to please God, we should understand that God in Himself is perfectly content with His own Most Holy Mystery of Love by which He both is Joy and communicates Himself from Father to Son and Son to Father and from Father through Son to the Holy Spirit and from Holy Spirit to Son and Father and from Father and Son to Holy Spirit. It is this Divine Ecstasy which God represents to us as His Eternal Being and Life. Now the word ecstasy literally means to be raised up and it is used to describe a type of prayer by which the action on the part of the soul ceases to be active and the action on the part of God within the soul becomes active. Ecstasy, whether momentary or prolonged, is a ravishing of the heart by the Love of the Holy Trinity which raises up the soul to encounter, directly, but dimly the prayer of God in God. It is in an ecstasy where the rational faculties of the soul cease to operate and where the operation of the Holy Spirit takes place at an unimaginably higher degree than is possible for the nature of the unglorified soul who has yet to enter into the beatific vision and participate directly and without mediation in the essential reality of God's living life of prayer. Now returning back to intellectual prayer, the highest form of intellectual prayer may be understood as meditation or focused concentration and consideration of God and the truths which He has revealed so that one may come to grasp them completely and by the grace of God come to comprehend them in so far as it is possible. Beyond meditation is the prayer of contemplation whereby one engages in delight in God and enjoyment of comprehension of divine truths and the will raises itself up by means of the abiding charity which is found in every soul in a state of grace. The prayer of contemplation is intended to bring the will by means of the memory to perform acts of love for the contents of faith but in particular in delight in God Himself and every other truth which He has revealed for our salvation in relation to God in Himself who excites our will to marvel at so many acts of love which He has shown to us, which we return in like manner by our own acts of love and adoration and worship.

Thus the consideration of prayer may be chiefly summarized as thus:
Prayer consists in pleasing God using the soul and body by word, deed or thought. It pleases God for us to ask for His help and thus prayer is a means of receiving God's assistance and a direct means of fulfilling our obligation as rational creatures to God through worship according to Spirit and Truth. Prayer also is religious service performed according to the will of God. Prayer may become intellectual through the consideration and remembrance of God and His revealed truths. Prayer becomes affective when aspirations of love are directed to God. Prayer becomes contemplative when the object of prayer is grasped by the intellect without ambiguity or confusion. Contemplative prayer is directed by the will through the memory by the virtue of infused supernatural virtue of charity which exists in every person in a state of grace. The practice of contemplation is conducive to the increase of love for God and the appreciation of, enjoyment of and delight in the contents of faith.
5  Forums / Catholic General Discussion / Re: Matthew 1:25 on: July 12, 2023, 12:52:28 AM
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If the firstborn child is a daughter, is she still sanctified unto God?
Correct. The first born child is brought to the temple and ransomed by paying the Redemption price of five shekels of silver after one month for every firstborn. Otherwise they would belong to the Lord and serve in the temple.
6  Forums / Saints' & Spiritual Life General Discussion / Re: Doctor of the Church on: July 08, 2023, 01:32:47 AM
               September 30th is the feast day of St. Jerome. He is listed as Priest and Doctor of the Church.   
               Who decides how someone is Doctor of the Church?
The Pope declares a Saint to be a Doctor of the Church for their theological contributions as a teacher of the faith and gives recognition to the sanctity of their doctrines as being sufficient for Sainthood.
7  Forums / Prayer Requests / Re: For my dying father on: July 08, 2023, 01:31:14 AM
My father has stopped eating and drinking and I expect that he has at most a week or two of life left. Please pray that he will die in a state of grace and be admitted to our Father's kingdom.

He received Extreme Unction on Sunday and appears to be at peace, thanks be to God.
May the Most Precious Blood of Jesus cover him.
May the Virgin Mary pray for him.
May the Holy Apostles pray for him.
May the Holy Angels protect him in the hour of his death.
May his patron Saint be with him to accompany him to heaven.
May God pardon his sins.
May God reward his good deeds with eternal life.
May God bless him and grant him final perseverance. Amen
8  Forums / Book Study / Re: Extracts from the Catechism of the Summa Theologica by R.P. Thomas Pegues, O.P. on: July 08, 2023, 01:29:05 AM
Many thanks for this reply.  I can only wonder that my reply has been delayed both by our reopening at camp and the difficulty of trying to think through the brilliance and the humility of St Thomas Aquinas.  Could he have struggled to discern the value of his own writing and asked for it to be destroyed?  Where could we find a good teaching on discernment?
No, God freed Saint Thomas from the limits that his writings had placed upon the knowledge of God and compared to what God had revealed to Saint Thomas Aquinas, his works were considered by him to be of the lowest quality possible.  Saint Thomas Aquinas was referring to 1 Corinthians chapter 3
"According to the grace of God given to me, like a wise master builder I laid a foundation, and another is building upon it. But each one must be careful how he builds upon it, 11for no one can lay a foundation other than the one that is there, namely, Jesus Christ. 12If anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, or straw,[/u] 13the work of each will come to light, for the Day will disclose it. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire [itself] will test the quality of each one’s work. 14If the work stands that someone built upon the foundation, that person will receive a wage. 15But if someone’s work is burned up, that one will suffer loss; the person will be saved, but only as through fire"
More importantly, the Summa is not actually an authoritative document as Saint Thomas refused to be made a Bishop so the work remains simply the opinion of the Angelic Doctor. Whatever the Church affirms of it is correct and whatever the Church leaves uncontradicted may generally be accepted as an acceptable theological position and whatever the Church rejects from it is incorrect, this is the case with all of the Angelic Doctor's work. Now, thankfully, the Angelic Doctor was rather faithful in his transmission of the faith and so he Church has commended his work for its excellence in both method and content. But it is important to remember Saint Thomas as a priest is not a magisterial teacher of the faith as only the Pope and Bishops in Communion with the Pope have that office. Saint Thomas is rather an expositor of the faith as received from the Fathers and the Magisterium. He chose to summarize and reconcile different positions and to refute challenges and that was his great success, making the faith more succinct and approachable for theologians and clergy. His contribution to the Catholic intellectual tradition via the proofs of God also are noteworthy even if several of them are based upon dated scientific ideas, the principles remain the same.
9  Forums / Saints' & Spiritual Life General Discussion / Re: The Book of Lamentations on: June 14, 2023, 05:35:03 PM
Jeremiah wrote the book of Lamentations. The book is also called the Lamentations of Jeremiah.
10  Forums / Saints' & Spiritual Life General Discussion / Re: The 15 marks of the Church on: November 06, 2022, 10:18:42 PM
The Avignon Papacy was the period from 1309 to 1376 during which seven successive popes resided in Avignon.   
 
Would not the Avignon Papacy be considered a change in the Constant Duration of the Church, which expresses In lasting substantially unchanged for so many centuries?
No. The physical location of the Pope's residence is an accidental/nonessential quality of the Church. Furthermore, the change was not lasting as it ended with Pope Gregory XI who returned the See back to Rome. It was a brief disruption caused by political pressure.
11  Forums / Saints' & Spiritual Life General Discussion / Re: Saint Luke on: October 28, 2022, 04:49:49 AM
Despite having relied heavily on Mark's gospel, Luke has even more new material than does   
Matthew: stories about Jesus' childhood and influential parables.
Luke did not rely on Mark's Gospel.
Mark and Luke were the names of the scribes who wrote down the Gospel.
Saint Irenaeus Against Heresy Book 3 chapter 1
"Matthew also issued a written Gospel among the Hebrews in their own dialect, while Peter and Paul were preaching at Rome, and laying the foundations of the Church. After their departure, Mark, the disciple and interpreter of Peter, did also hand down to us in writing what had been preached by Peter. Luke also, the companion of Paul, recorded in a book the Gospel preached by him. Afterwards, John, the disciple of the Lord, who also had leaned upon His breast, did himself publish a Gospel during his residence at Ephesus in Asia."

Saint Peter is thus the source of the Gospel according to Mark and Saint Paul is the source of the Gospel according to Luke.
12  Forums / Catholic General Discussion / Re: Popes & Saints & Statistics on: October 28, 2022, 04:43:46 AM
Was there a Pope who did not have his papal coronation in Rome?
Saint Peter did not have a Papal coronation in Rome. But that's probably not what you meant.
13  Forums / Saints' & Spiritual Life General Discussion / Re: The Samaritan Woman on: October 11, 2022, 05:38:00 AM
In the time period Jesus lived, was it not unthinkable for a Jew to speak to a Samaritan?
The Jews considered the Samaritans unclean just as they considered the pagans unclean. Jesus establishes that nobody is beyond the cleansing power of God's Word.
14  Forums / Catholic General Discussion / Re: Judas Iscariot: Was he necessary? on: September 14, 2022, 12:19:24 AM
Judas did not have to betray Jesus, he did so because he loved money more than God.
15  Forums / Book Study / Re: The Pearl : Seven Hymns on the Faith by Saint Ephraim the Syrian on: September 12, 2022, 01:11:22 AM
Hymn III.
1.  Thou dost not hide thyself in thy bareness, O pearl!  With the love of thee is the merchant ravished also, for he strips off his garments; not to cover thee, [seeing] thy clothing is thy light, thy garment is thy brightness, O thou that art bared! Thou art like Eve who was clothed with nakedness.  Cursed be he that deceived her and stripped her and left her.  The serpent cannot strip off thy glory.  In the mysteries whose type thou art, women are clothed with Light in Eden.
2.  Very glistening are the pearls of Ethiopia, as it is written, Who gave thee to Ethiopia [the land] of black men. He that gave light to the Gentiles, both to the Ethiopians and unto the Indians did His bright beams reach. The eunuch of Ethiopia upon his chariot saw Philip:  the Lamb of Light met the dark man from out of the water.  While he was reading, the Ethiopian was baptised and shone with joy, and journeyed on! He made disciples and taught, and out of black men he made men white. And the dark Ethiopic women became pearls for the Son; He offered them up to the Father, as a glistening crown from the Ethiopians.
3.  The Queen of Sheba was a sheep that had come into the place of wolves; the lamp of truth did Solomon give her, who also married her when he fell away.  She was enlightened and went away, but they were dark as their manner was. The bright spark which went down home with that blessed [Queen], held on its shining amid the darkness, till the new Day-spring came.  The bright spark met with this shining, and illumined the place.
4.  There are in the sea divers fishes of many cubits, and with all their greatness they are very small; but by thy littleness the crown is made great, like as the Son, by whose littleness Adam was made great. For the head is thy crown intended:  for the eye thy beauty, for the ear thy goodliness.  Come up from the sea, thou neighbour to the dry land, and come and sojourn by the [seat of] hearing.  Let the ear love the word of life as it loveth thee! In the ear is the word, and without it is the pearl.  Let it as being warned by thee, by thee get wisdom, and be warned by the word of truth.  Be thou its mirror:  the beauty of the Word in thine own beauty shall it see:  in thee it shall learn how precious is the Word on High!  The ear is the leaf:  the flesh is the tree, and thou in the midst of it are a fruit of light, and to the womb that brings forth Light, thou art a type that points. Thee He used as a parable of that kingdom, O pearl! as He did the virgins that entered into it, five in number, clothed with the light of their lamps!  To thee are those bright ones like, thou that art clad in light!
5.  Who would give a pearl to the daughter of the poor?  For when it hangs on her, it becomes her not.  Gain without price that faith, all of which becomes all the limbs of men.  But for no gold would a lady exchange her pearl. It were a great disgrace if thou shouldst throw thy pearl away into the mire for nought! In the pearl of time let us behold that of eternity; for it is in the purse, or in the seal, or in the treasury.  Within the gate there are other gates with their locks and keys.  Thy pearl hath the High One sealed up as taking account of all.
16  Forums / Technical Support / Re: Warning, popup message for Sticky Keys??!! on: September 05, 2022, 11:45:17 PM
Sticky keys is an obnoxious and generally useless feature of windows that should almost always be left off. You can access the control panel menu by pressing the windows button or going to the taskbar and clicking the start button. After you do this click on the  The ease of access center in windows has a section for keyboards called "Change how your keyboard works." Under the subsection "make it easier to type' there should be a box that says "turn on sticky keys" make sure it is unchecked.

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