Are you curious about something you've seen at mass? Do you wonder what it's like to live in a rectory
or to hear confessions? Have you ever wondered, "Why does the Church do that?"
Go ahead – ask a priest!
To the first question, God has not revealed to us the exact details concerning a departed soul's awareness of Earthly (temporal) events. So, while it 'might' be possible, it is rather unlikely because if the person is to enter heaven, they are either a) undergoing a purification of their soul in order to arrive at a perfect love of Almighty God or b) already in heaven where they are consumed in love & adoration of God. Their complete love of God would naturally extend to God's children still on their Earthly pilgrimage.
To the second question: In God's providential wisdom, he does permit some of the Saints in heaven extraordinary gifts of intercession concerning prayer requests from those still on Earth. Notable examples: the Blessed Mother, St. Joseph, & "fan favorite" St. Anthony (patron of lost things!).
That being said, it is highly encouraged for Christians to pray for their deceased loved ones and it never hurts to ask for their prayers in return. Our prayers will be answered in one way or another in accordance with the loving will of the Father.
I did not read the article, but I have heard much about it. I never like it when religious leaders wade into the fray and opine about a particular candidate for public office. I think it takes advantage of a particular moral authority that the religious leader has and exploits the faith of others and sows confusion amongst the Christian faithful. No matter who is in office we must respect them, the office they hold, and the will of the people who put them there even if we disagree with their policies and their morals. That goes for every person in office – not just Mr. Trump, but Mr. Clinton, Bush, Obama, etc…. To use the pulpit to wade into the political waters addressing particular candidates and not issues or policies is irresponsible and dangerous for religious leaders.
I know I did not tell you how to cast your ballot, but I hope this gives you some guidance.
I cannot speak for ALL priests. When I was ordained, I celebrated versus populum each and every day and really didn’t think anything of it. However, after some time celebrating mass ad orientem in the Novus Ordo and the Extraordinary Form of the Latin Rite, I prefer celebrating mass ad orientem. It is easier for me to pray the mass when celebrating ad orientem. But, no. It doesn’t feel weird facing the congregation because that is what I grew up with and what I was trained in.
When we are speaking to someone, we face them. It seems odd and foreign to our normal posture to speak to someone while facing others. The orientation of the priest versus populum or ad orientem has repercussions in how we view what we are doing.
The answer is YES! You are still considered a Catholic if you cannot go to church. It would be good to speak with your pastor about that so that someone can bring communion to you.
What is next on your journey? Contact a parish where you are from and speak with the priest or the Director of the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) program. They will lead you on your next step towards coming into full communion with the Catholic Church.
Should you need any further assistance, please do not hesitate to contact me.
Peace in Christ,
Fr. Daniel F. Firmin
The answer is NO. That is not an act of apostasy. It sounds like you are going through a questioning and struggle with faith. That is normal. One of the greatest prayers we can say is, "Lord, I do believe. Help my unbelief."
No. Telling someone you love them even if your views are not similar is not boastful. Our love for people goes beyond agreement on issues and opinions.
It is unfortunate that your daughter has chosen not to get married in the Church. I wonder what her reasoning is. Attending your daughter’s wedding outside the church out of respect and love for her is not a sin. We don’t have control over our children’s decisions, but we can be there to help guide them and do our best to shepherd them back to the faith. By attending, you are giving her an example of love and are avoiding giving her another reason to turn away from the Catholic Church. Not attending could do more harm than good and push her further away from the faith.
I am advising this way because she is your daughter. I do not know all the dynamics of your relationship with her, but I think this is the best avenue to take. If she were a friend or a niece or other relation, I would give different advice. Show her a father’s love. Be an instrument of God the Father and show her the face of the Father’s love.
Quick Answer: It would have been best to let the priest hearing your confession know that you did not feel subjectively guilty for the sin and that you felt it may have been justified. Most priests are happy to address such concerns so as to help you make the best confession possible.
There have been many different Catechisms in the Church throughout the centuries. There was a Jerusalem Catechism, the Catechism of Trent, the Baltimore Catechism, a little Catechism of St. Francis, etc…. Many of these were designed and written for different audiences varying according to age, geography, devotions, and other things. For instance, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops issued an Adult Catechism and a Youth Catechism. Both of these target specific demographics.
The Fathers of the Second Vatican Council asked that a new Universal Catechism of the Catholic Church be produced as one of the fruits of the Council. When the Catechism was promulgated and published under the Pontificate of St. Pope John Paul II, this goal of the Second Vatican Council was achieved. This is why the Church produced this new Catechism. All the other Catechisms can be used for teaching and for growing in our faith. One Catechism does not necessarily replace another one.
Any priest can do a house blessing! There is not a stipend attached to it at all. However, if you would like to give the priest a little gift for doing it, that would be fine. Reach out to your local priest and ask him.
The following definition is given in the New Catholic Encyclopedia, “Lukewarmness or tepidity, in spiritual theology, signifies the state of soul to which the warmth and fervor of charity is wanting, but has not yet completely deteriorated into the coldness of indifference and hatred.” In this understanding, lukewarmness would not be a mortal sin as such, but can eventually (and quickly) lead to mortal sin.
The lukewarm soul tends to neglect the duties of its state in life. To always strive for the bare minimum fulfillment of temporal and spiritual commitments is to be lukewarm. In the book of Revelation Our Lord says to the Laodicean church, “I know your works; I know that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either cold or hot. So, because you are lukewarm, neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth”( 3:15-16). Here Christ reminds us that if we are not going forward in the spiritual life, we are going backwards.
The Diary of Saint Faustina has this to say about the lukewarm:
“There are souls who thwart My efforts (1682). Souls without love or devotion, souls full of egoism and selfishness, proud and arrogant souls full of deceit and hypocrisy, lukewarm souls who have just enough warmth to keep themselves alive: My Heart cannot bear this. All the graces I pour out upon them flow off them as off the face of a rock. I cannot stand them because they are neither good nor bad (1702)...My soul suffered the most dreadful loathing in the Garden of Olives because of lukewarm souls. They were the reason I cried out: "Father, take this cup away from Me, if it be Your will." For them, the last hope of salvation is to flee to My mercy.”
Does the Catholic Church permit the faithful to pray the prayers appropriate to the chotki?
Are the chotki prayers of Eastern Orthodox origin?
Doubtfully. To my knowledge, the chotki prayers were said by the eastern monks in ancient times before the Great Schism. They are still said by non-Roman Rite Catholics in full union with Rome.
Does the Church have anything to say about the chotki prayers?
In The Raccolta (1946 version), an official collection of prayers of the Roman Rite of the Catholic Church,
“Jesus Son of David have mercy on me.” is indulgenced with 500 days and a plenary indulgence (given the usual conditions) if it is said every day for a month.
Therefore, the Catholic Church highly recommends this short prayer to the Son of God (and by logical extension other variants of the Jesus Prayer).
Is it ok to pray the chotki instead of the holy rosary due to the difficulty I find meditating on the mysteries and saying the prayers?
The repetition of the Jesus prayer is a spiritually fruitful way to pray. However, there is a particular greatness to the rosary and it should not be given up too easily. Numerous saints have affirmed the excellence and privileged efficacy of the rosary. The Blessed Virgin Mary at both Fatima and Lourdes explicitly requested the rosary to be prayed. Moreover, at least twelve encyclicals and several other papal documents exist on the subject the holy rosary, exhorting the faithful directly and indirectly to pray it regularly, with Leo XIII affirming its miraculous origin.
Perhaps focusing on a word or very small part of a mystery while reciting the Hail Marys would help. Alternatively, you could simply announce the mystery at the beginning of the decade and focus on the words of the Hail Marys until meditating upon the mysteries becomes more natural.
There is no punishment for reading the quran. We are called to seek the truth wherever it may be found and we believe there to be some truth in the quran.
Thank you for asking that question! I appreciate the opportunity to answer it!
St. James the Less Catholic Church
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Savannah, Georgia 31406
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