The idea of the Church can scarcely be thought of without baptism coming immediately to mind. Baptism is a reality we ought to think about often. We were baptized, for the majority of us, as infants, newborns just a couple of days or a week or two old. We were not aware of what was happening; obviously, we did not realize what was going on. This is a serious matter. It was Godâ€™s will, thatâ€™s just the way things are, yet in all of that there is something we shouldn’t overlook: the forgetfulness of our baptism simply because we did not consciously participate in it.
Then we were prepared by our good parents, those who brought us up, and especially by the catechism, for our First Communion, for union with Our Lord. It was the greatest celebration of our childhood, the great event. Then came confirmation, and our solemn communion and profession of faith [customary in some Catholic countries]. And thus our soul grew in its attachment to our Lord, to the Church, and to the sacraments. Continue reading
In founding His Church, Christ took into account the distinguishing social aspect of man. That is why He instituted two sacraments of a social character: matrimony and the priesthood. We do not receive these sacraments firstly for ourselves, but for the good of society.
The sacrament of marriage is ordained to the propagation of the Mystical Body of Christ, to the increasing of the number of the adorers of the Blessed Trinity. The family is the basic unit of Christian society, which has for its mission co-operation in the formation of the Catholic city of heaven. The priest himself has the mission to conduct all men to their eternal destiny. The Mass is at the heart of this mission: by it, he renders to God, with the participation of the faithful, a cult worthy of Him, and the graces of salvation and sanctification which they need. By his preaching and his spiritual counsels, he enlightens souls with the light of God. By the sacraments, he gives divine life to the faithful in abundance. By his authority, he unites the faithful around the unique Savior of the world. Continue reading
Everything that touches the sacrifice of the Mass touches each and every one of us profoundly and personally because Our Lordâ€™s sacrifice is at the heart of the Church, our salvation, and our souls.
We must participate in this sacrifice for the salvation of our souls. To save our souls, we must receive the Blood of Jesus by Baptism and all the Sacraments, especially the Sacrament of the Eucharist. Nothing prepares us to receive the Sacrament of the Eucharist so well as meditating upon the holy sacrifice of the Mass, because the sacrifice of the Mass is a source of suggestions, encouragements, and thoughts that create in us dispositions of charity towards God and our neighbor. Our Lordâ€™s sacrifice was indeed the greatest act of charity ever performed in the history of the human race. â€śGreater love than this no man hath, that a man lay down his life for his friendsâ€ť (Jn. 15:13). Continue reading
Having examined the structural components of the altar, we now turn our attention to its appointments and vesture that adorn the stone of sacrifice for the celebration of the sacred liturgy.
Of the various appointments that grace the altar, the first that we must call attention to is the crucifix. While this sacred representation of Our Lordâ€™s Passion is â€śthe principal ornament of the altarâ€ťâ€”as well as in the churchâ€”and â€śis essential for the celebration of Massâ€ť, it might surprise some to learn that it was not prescribed for the Latin Rite until the Council of Trent. Equally so, the first altar crosses did not even have a suffering corpus of Our Lord on it. Continue reading
Why study the Acts of the Churchâ€™s Magisterium? Quite simply, in order to grasp the situation of the Church today. One notices, in fact, that for nearly three centuries the popes have always condemned the same errors, those which they themselves called â€śthe modern errors.â€ť
Liberalism is at the root of all these errors (Protestantism, Sillonism, Progressivism, and even Socialism and Communism) which poison souls and minds, and have led us to where we are today. Well, the popes have long since taken care to pinpoint and denounce error. Continue reading