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By Susan Brinkmann, OCDS Staff Journalist The founder of the recently suppressed Intercessors of the Lamb has issued a statement to members and supporters of her apostolate, promising that their mission will continue and their charism remains unchanged.
By Susan Brinkmann, OCDS Staff Journalist While addressing the bishops of Brazil this week, Pope Benedict XVI sent a clear message to all bishops that they must guide their faithful to use their vote to oppose the culture of death.
By Susan Brinkmann, OCDS Staff Journalist According to a local bishop, the area most seriously affected by the tsunami that hit the islands of Mentawai on Monday are Catholic villages where more than 8,000 faithful kept their homes.
By Susan Brinkmann, OCDS Staff Journalist During an interview with a group of bloggers on Wednesday, President Barack Obama intimated that his opposition to same-sex marriage may change in the future.
The recent loss of a dear friend of mine was a timely reminder that we are nearing the beginning of All Souls Month. The Catholic Church in its wisdom and love has set aside the entire month of November for us to pray in a special way for our loved ones who have gone before us. This ancient pious practice has been lauded throughout the ages and is rooted in the teachings ofSacred Scripture and Church tradition. The Catechism of the Catholic Church says:
1030 All who die in God's grace and friendship, but still imperfectly purified, are indeed assured of their eternal salvation; but after death they undergo purification, so as to achieve the holiness necessary to enter the joy of heaven. 1031 The Church gives the name Purgatory to this final purification of the elect, which is entirely different from the punishment of the damned.606 The Church formulated her doctrine of faith on Purgatory especially at the Councils of Florence and Trent. The tradition of the Church, by reference to certain texts of Scripture, speaks of a cleansing fire:607 As for certain lesser faults, we must believe that, before the Final Judgment, there is a purifying fire. He who is truth says that whoever utters blasphemy against the Holy Spirit will be pardoned neither in this age nor in the age to come. From this sentence we understand that certain offenses can be forgiven in this age, but certain others in the age to come.608 1032 This teaching is also based on the practice of prayer for the dead, already mentioned in Sacred Scripture: "Therefore [Judas Maccabeus] made atonement for the dead, that they might be delivered from their sin."609 From the beginning the Church has honored the memory of the dead and offered prayers in suffrage for them, above all the Eucharistic sacrifice, so that, thus purified, they may attain the beatific vision of God.610The Church also commends almsgiving, indulgences, and works of penance undertaken on behalf of the dead: Let us help and commemorate them. If Job's sons were purified by their father's sacrifice, why would we doubt that our offerings for the dead bring them some consolation? Let us not hesitate to help those who have died and to offer our prayers for them.611
The practice of praying for the dead has also been widely promoted by the Church Fathers, the doctors of the Church and the saints. The beautiful testatment of St. Ephraem entreats us to act with charity towards our departed loved ones by remembering them in our prayers and sacrifices. Lay me not with sweet spices, For this honor avails me not. Nor yet use incense and perfumes, For the honor benefits me not; Burn yet the incense in the holy place; As for me, escort me only with your prayers. Give ye your incense to God, And over me send up hymns. Be mindful of me in your intercessions. What can goodly odor profit To the dead who cannot perceive it? Bring incense to burn in the holy place, That they who enter may smell the savor. Wrap thou not the fetid carrion In silk that profits it nothing; Cast it out upon the dunghill, For it finds no comfort in tributes of respect. Come, my brothers, and lay out my remains; the decree has gone fort that I can tarry no longer. Give me, as provision for my journey, Your prayers, your psalms, and your sacrifices.When the number of thirty days is complete, Then, O my brothers, make remembrance of me.For the dead truly derive succor, From the sacrifices offered up by the living. Say you that the dead benefit not?Hearken to the words of the Apostle. “If the dead do not rise again, Why should we be baptized for the dead?” What of the men of the family of MattathiasWho discharged their pious office of mercy?As you have read, in that time of war?They atoned by their sacrifices for the sins Of those who fell in the battle,And who had followed the way of the heathen.Much for the Priests of the Son of GodShall avail to purify the dead, By the sacrifices which they offerAnd by the prayers of their mouth.We invite you to pray with us for our beloved dead by adding your loved one to our Novena for the Holy Souls in Purgatory. A donation is requested but not required. You can also find several beautiful resources written by Susan Tassone, a valiant supporter of the cause of the Holy Souls in Purgatory on our website.
By Susan Brinkmann, OCDS Staff Journalist With the midterm elections less than a week away, conservative lawmakers are putting out the word that they have no intention of compromising when it comes to repealing President Obama's vastly unpopular health care reform law.
By Susan Brinkmann, OCDS Staff Journalist A new report by fertility experts has found that less than eight percent of all embryos produced in IVF labs result in a live birth.
By Susan Brinkmann, OCDS Staff Journalist In a recent radio interview, Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards said the government should make the public funding of birth control a priority because fewer children saves money in the long run.
By Susan Brinkmann, OCDS Staff Journalist A critical shortage of priests in Baltimore, the first Catholic diocese to be established in America, is forcing parishes to reduce daily and Sunday Mass schedules.
I can't resist posting this follow up to a news story I posted on Breaking News the other day about the man who tried to kill the Catholic Bishop of Kamloops, British Columbia because it involves both the release of "energy" and wanting to drink blood - two New Age occult practices that are all the rage these days.
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