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Pentecost and the Jews

The Day of Pentecost is celebrated as the birthday of the Church, that day when God, in fulfillment of the promises of Christ, poured out the Holy Spirit upon the believers gathered in the Upper Room. This Holy Spirit endowed the fledgling Church with supernatural zeal, courage and miraculous charisms and sent the Apostles out from the Upper Room to begin the conversion of the world. Pius XII, in his memorable encyclical Mystici Corporis, stated that the Holy Spirit's indwelling in the Church made it the very soul of the Catholic Church. And this began on the Day of Pentecost. Rightly, then, is this feast celebrated with such enthusiasm by the Catholic people. Today, however, rather than focus on the giving of the Holy Spirit,...


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Despair and Presumption

"O Israel, hope in the Lord, now and forever more" (Ps 131:3). The Catechism of the Catholic Church defines hope as  "the confident expectation of divine blessing and the beatific vision of God; it is also the fear of offending God's love and of incurring punishment" (CCC 2090). Most of us are familiar with despair and presumption as two sins against hope; presumption claims to have already laid hold of something that we do not yet fully possess, while despair leads us to believe it is impossible to ever possess it. The object of hope is a good which is difficult but possible to obtain - in our case, eternal life. Despair sins against hope by making impossible something possible, while presumption sins against hope by making...


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Authority of Rerum Novarum and Quadrigesimo Anno

In my home state, there has been vigorous debate about proposals to raise the state's minimum wage. This sort of proposal of course prompted fierce online debates between various factions, some arguing for, some against the proposal. It also brought out spirited debate among faithful Catholics on the concept of a just wage, and classical issues surrounding Catholic social teaching. The particulars of the minimum wage proposal are neither here nor there; I personally see very little correlation between contemporary economic discussions and the lofty ideals of Leo XIII and Pius XI. But what was very interesting in the discussions was the different approaches Catholics took to their Catholic social teaching. Some were willing to grant it a great authority, on par to the Church's...


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Geisler and Mackenzie: Refutation of Sola Scriptura (part 2)

In Part 1 of this series (http://www.unamsanctamcatholicam.com/apologetics/86-contra-protestantism/529-refuting-geisler-mackenzie-sola-scripture.html), we covered mainly Geisler and Mackenzie’s arguments from scripture. While in this rebuttal you will find they appeal to scripture very often, they appeal to it for the purpose of arguing that every oral tradition taught by either Christ or the apostles, was eventually "inscripturated", that is, recorded in the New Testament. We admire Geisler and Mackenzie for their zeal in supporting what they believe, yet, still, even so, we are reminded of the words of St. Paul: “For I can testify about them that they are zealous for God, but their zeal is not based on knowledge” (Rm 10:2). With that said, pull up a chair and get comfortable, as we embark on a journey to find...


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Orderic Vitalis and Curly-Toe Shoes

So long as you have not been living in a cave for the past thirty-years, you have most likely noticed some of the bizarre fads in hair and clothing that have come and gone. How about loose pants sagging down below the buttocks? Or the Goth look of wearing pounds of metal chains dangling off of everything? Or what about the unfortunate "skinny-jeans" fad of recent years? As long as we are in the world, we will always deal with goofy fads in clothing and hairstyles. When I was young it was mullets and tons of hairspray with bright neon colored clothing; later it was mohawks. In my father's day it was all the nonsense associated with the Hippie movement and the fashion-blight that was...


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Wedding Cake Q and A

We are in an interesting time in American legal and cultural history. On the one hand, the advance of modernity is throwing down traditional legal barriers to same-sex so-called marriage and opening up new doors to homosexuals to not only practice homosexuality but have their unions recognized by the State. On the other hand, there is a growing movement of concerned Americans protesting infringements against religious liberty by the new regime which in many cases compels Christians to support things contrary to their faith, either implicitly or explicitly. These two contrary movements have come crashing together in the controversies over whether Christian bakers, florists, restaurants, etc. are legally obligated to provide services for homosexual weddings, the so-called "wedding cake" dilemma.


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Geisler and Mackenzie: Refutation of Sola Scriptura (part 1)

By Wesley Hunt. Protestant apologists Ralph Mackenzie and Norman Geisler have put out an apologetic dissertation in defense of one of the hallmark doctrines of the Reformation, namely, sola scriptura. The article is titled, “A Defense of Sola Scriptura (http://www.donotlink.com/ehzn),” and seeks, among other things, to provide a thorough yet succinct justification for sola scriptura. Throughout the article, the apologists approach the issue from a number of angles, and it is the goal of this essay to address simply those claims Geisler and Mackenzie make from scripture. The other two posts, which will hopefully be soon to follow, will cover their arguments from both tradition, as well as other miscellaneous arguments presented in their paper. With that in mind, pull up a chair and enjoy...


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Is Easter Pagan? The Eostre-Easter Connection

Every Easter this debate comes up regarding whether Easter is actually a pagan holiday derived from the worship of the Teutonic Eostre or even the Babylonian Ishtar. An essay on the much controversial alleged Easter-Eostre-Ishtar is long overdue on this website. We have already dealt with the question of Halloween's allegedly pagan origins ("Is Halloween Pagan? (apologetics/86-contra-protestantism/389-is-halloween-pagan.html)") and have also addressed a similar question with regards to the origin of Christmas being celebrated on December 25th ("Pagan Origins of Christmas? (component/content/article/79-history/406-pagan-origins-of-christmas.html)"). In both preceding articles, we have demonstrated that the alleged "pagan connections" much trumpeted by secularists and fundamentalist Protestants do not stand up to historical scrutiny in the least. As we shall see, the same is true with the accusation that Easter, the highest...


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Mandatum: Liturgical History

The Holy Thursday Mass of the Lord's Supper is distinctive for two unique features: the foot washing ceremony known as the Mandatum, and the Eucharistic procession to the Repository, which sets the stage for the services of Good Friday. Both features are well attested in the history of the East and the West and serve to highlight the Mass of the Lord's Supper as the opening of the Triduum, the "Still Days" preceding the celebration of our Blessed Lord's Resurrection on Easter. The washing of the feet has its origin in the actions of our Lord after the Last Supper, as narrated in the Gospel of St. John; it later became a sign of service in the early Christian community and eventually found its way...


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St. Patrick's Lent on Cruachan-Aighle

According to various lives of St. Patrick, the great Apostle of Ireland retreated to the summit of a desolate peak called Cruachan-Aighle near Loch Derg on the Saturday before Ash Wednesday in the year 441. Patrick spent his entire Lent upon the peak, weeping for the sins of men and begging God to grant to him a certain number of souls for the heavenly kingdom. After suffering demonic attacks in the form of black birds, Patrick was visited by an angel who was sent to negotiate Patrick's demands on God's behalf. What followed was reminiscent of Abraham's negotiations with the Angel of the Lord for the lives of the men of Sodom and Gomorrah, as related in the Book of Genesis. Due to the perseverance...


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History of the Catholic Church

  • Orderic Vitalis and Curly-Toe Shoes

    So long as you have not been living in a cave for the past thirty-years, you have most likely noticed some of the bizarre fads in hair and clothing that have come and gone. How about loose pants sagging down below the buttocks? Or the Goth look of wearing pounds of metal chains dangling off of every…

    Read more: Orderic...

Theology & Liturgy

  • Pentecost and the Jews

    The Day of Pentecost is celebrated as the birthday of the Church, that day when God, in fulfillment of the promises of Christ, poured out the Holy Spirit upon the believers gathered in the Upper Room. This Holy Spirit endowed the fledgling Church with supernatural zeal, courage and miraculous charis…

    Read more: Pentecost...

Catholic Spirituality

  • Despair and Presumption

    "O Israel, hope in the Lord, now and forever more" (Ps 131:3). The Catechism of the Catholic Church defines hope as  "the confident expectation of divine blessing and the beatific vision of God; it is also the fear of offending God's love and of incurring punishment" (CCC 2090). Most of us are famil…

    Read more: Despair and...

Saints, Reviews & More!

  • Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)

    It’s been three years since the original Avengers movie, and a lot has gone down in the Marvel cinematic universe since then. We’ve seen spectacular efforts like dians of the Galaxy er Soldier’ve also been afflicted by dreck like Th em>Iran 3.Ag Ultron 3) brings th…

    Read more: Avengers:...

Economy & Society