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  • Commentary : What You Need To Know | Catholic Culture
    1 000 769 to go Heaven What You Need to Know Heaven is hard to pin down It is impossible for us to imagine what it is like to see God face to face and hard to know what form the new heaven and new earth will take at the end of time The key to all these joys however is union with God The Catechism of the Catholic Church treats briefly of both heaven and our hope in the new heaven and new earth in connection with the twelfth article of the creed I believe in life everlasting particularly paragraphs 1023 1029 and 1042 1050 The topic of heaven was mentioned frequently by Pope John Paul II throughout his long pontificate as a means of encouraging Christians to keep their focus He made it the subject of his weekly audiences at least a dozen times An excellent and more extensive treatment of heaven along with the joys and dispositions of the blessed was provided a century ago in a famous sermon by the great Catholic convert Henry Edward Cardinal Manning of Westminster England Essential Perspective Heaven in the Catechism Heaven is Fullness of Communion with God John Paul II

    Original URL path: http://www.catholicculture.org/culture/what_you_need_to_know/index.cfm?id=72 (2016-02-11)
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  • Commentary : What You Need To Know | Catholic Culture
    Collection Free eBooks Hell What You Need to Know The topic of hell is largely ignored in modern culture which seldom examines the end of man or the four last things death judgement heaven and hell First and foremost then hell should be considered in light of man s final destiny and divine judgement which are well summarized in the Catechism of the Catholic Church Even in the context of the last things many contemporary Christians misunderstand the nature of hell believing that it points to a vindictive God These argue that a loving God could never damn anyone which minimizes the seriousness of sin An excellent clarification of the nature of hell was provided by Pope John Paul II in one of his catechetical audiences in 1999 Given the existence of hell a common question is whether anyone necessarily goes there In a lecture at Fordham University in 2002 Avery Cardinal Dulles surveyed the Catholic tradition and magisterial teaching on this topic and compared the results with various contemporary explorations of the same theme Essential Perspective Hell in Context The Catechism on Life Everlasting Hell is the State of Those Who Reject God John Paul II The Population of

    Original URL path: http://www.catholicculture.org/culture/what_you_need_to_know/index.cfm?id=71 (2016-02-11)
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  • Commentary : What You Need To Know | Catholic Culture
    hardly a more volatile personal or social issue now than homosexuality Moreover the mainstream media continually attacks and undermines a proper Christian understanding of this issue Homosexuals who might otherwise wish to change are confirmed in a false lifestyle while those who do wish to find help scarcely know where to turn A brief moral treatment of homosexuality is an essential starting point Without a moral grasp of the problem there is no reason to look more deeply Once one does look more deeply one is faced with critical questions about whether homosexuals can not only resist temptation but actually change their inclinations Fortunately the Catholic Medical Association has addressed this and related concerns Finally any Catholic suffering from homosexuality will want to know about Courage the premier Catholic organization working to assist homosexuals who want to live a full life in Christ Essential Perspective Christian Moral Understanding of Homosexuality CMA on Homosexuality and Hope Courage Help for Homosexual Persons Extra Reading For an introduction to how the media is used to manipulate the public on the issue of homosexuality see Fr Val J Peter s Political Correctness How They Market Homosexuality For a recent survey of the horrendous cost

    Original URL path: http://www.catholicculture.org/culture/what_you_need_to_know/index.cfm?id=50 (2016-02-11)
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  • Commentary : What You Need To Know | Catholic Culture
    for the number of gifts this month Goal 1 000 769 to go Immigration What You Need to Know The problems of immigration have been faced by every prosperous society from the dawn of time It is not surprising that in an age of easy transportation and vast economic disparity among nations widespread migration is once again a critical issue The desire to assist immigrants naturally exists in tension with both the instinctive fears of existing citizens and the principled concern of those responsible for maximizing the benefits and minimizing the costs of major population shifts The handling of immigration falls largely under the headings of charity and prudence What the Church formally teaches on the subject is summarized in a single paragraph in the current Catechism Because of the complexity of the problem solutions depend in large part on gathering reliable information and applying human ingenuity in balancing a wide array of goods Some of these goods have been outlined in various addresses of Pope John Paul II including his 2003 address on World Migration Day Also helpful is a scholarly Catholic inquiry into the principles which ought to govern decisions about immigration But there is no one definitive

    Original URL path: http://www.catholicculture.org/culture/what_you_need_to_know/index.cfm?id=62 (2016-02-11)
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  • Commentary : What You Need To Know | Catholic Culture
    adequately consider just war theory it is necessary first to remove the discussion from the passions surrounding any particular war For this reason we begin with Bishop Fulton Sheen s popular consideration of the principles of just war from what now seems like another era the 1940 s This fairly represents the state of the question prior to any recent conflicts Next we turn to a more academic presentation of the history of just war theory including the impact of the threat of nuclear war which has caused the tradition to be neglected or distorted in various respects Finally we look at the effort to revive just war theory in our own day including those developments which attempt to take into account new methods of contemporary warfare including terrorism In all this it is important to remember that just war theory provides a moral framework within which to make prudential decisions about circumstances which may be widely disputed Therefore while the moral framework is indispensable to the Christian men of good will can still reach differing conclusions on how it pertains to real and often murky practical situations Essential Perspective Conditions of a Just War Just War as It Was

    Original URL path: http://www.catholicculture.org/culture/what_you_need_to_know/index.cfm?id=70 (2016-02-11)
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  • Commentary : What You Need To Know | Catholic Culture
    Free eBooks Lent What You Need to Know In Lent more than any other season we turn our attention to spiritual health Typically there are three components to this process of reconversion First as a matter of humility and obedience it is essential to observe at least the minimum requirements of the Church In most places these are 1 Persons aged 18 through 59 must fast on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday Fasting means no more than one full meal with up to two other small meals which together do not equal another full meal and nothing between meals except water 2 Persons aged 14 and over must abstain from meat on Ash Wednesday and all Fridays in Lent Second one ought to seek to follow the mind of the Church in developing one s spiritual life The Church always recommends prayer sacrifice and almsgiving during Lent But the Pope s annual brief Lenten address provides a particular focus each year Third especially for famlies it is important to find ways to integrate the Lenten season into the life of the domestic church For this purpose CatholicCulture org s liturgical year materials are unequaled Essential Perspective Benedict XVI s 2007

    Original URL path: http://www.catholicculture.org/culture/what_you_need_to_know/index.cfm?id=49 (2016-02-11)
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  • Commentary : What You Need To Know | Catholic Culture
    SOLIDARITY MONTH 10 is as good as 1 000 Help set a new record for the number of gifts this month Goal 1 000 769 to go Marriage What You Need to Know Marriage is at the center of the culture wars today and is here covered as both a natural and supernatural institution A good starting point for this thorny topic is the definition of marriage in Fr Hardon s Modern Catholic Dictionary which covers the essential elements of what marriage is At the root of contemporary confusion concerning marriage is a lack of understanding of how we are made and why Pope John Paul II s theology of the body gives us an inspiring perspective setting love courtship marriage and moral responsibility on the right track Finally it is vital to consider not only the definition of marriage but its animating principles and spiritual context In 1969 the hierarchy of Ireland fulfilled this purpose admirably in a document which places mairtal love in the context of Divine love Christ the Church sacramental life the good of the spouses and the family as a whole For a more focused consideration of the the sacramental aspects of marriage see Matrimony Essential Perspective The Definition of Marriage A Brief Guide to John Paul II s Theology of the Body The Irish Bishops on Christian Marriage Extra Reading The 2004 Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church devotes chapter 5 to the family which originates in marriage and is essential for human flourishing The Family the Vital Cell of Society In 1998 the same man who authored the definition of marriage with which we began Fr John Hardon SJ gave a conference on marriage which covers most aspects of both the natural institution of marriage and the sacrament of matrimony in

    Original URL path: http://www.catholicculture.org/culture/what_you_need_to_know/index.cfm?id=45 (2016-02-11)
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  • Commentary : What You Need To Know | Catholic Culture
    Spirit But as is so often the case it is best to turn to the Catechism of the Catholic Church in order to find a succinct treatment of the basics Beyond the Catechism there are innumerable possibilities For example the famous 20th century American bishop Fulton Sheen wrote a fine and very engaging book entitled The World s First Love Mary Mother of God which provides an outstanding chapter on how Mary s maternity draws us to her Son Perhaps the most complete magisterial exposition of the role of Mary in salvation history was provided by John Paul II in his 1987 encyclical Mother of the Redeemer But even this lengthy treatment is only the beginning of meditation about Mary Essential Perspective The Catechism Born of the Virgin Mary Bishop Sheen All Mothers Are Alike Save One John Paul II Mother of the Redeemer Redemptoris Mater Extra Reading There are so many fruitful lines of inquiry about Mary that we can only hope to offer some examples here The Fathers of Vatican II thought Mary so important to their deliberations on the nature of the Church that they included a chapter on Mary in Lumen Gentium The Dogmatic Constitution on the Church The Blessed Virgin Mary Mother of God in the Mystery of Christ and the Church Innumerable fathers doctors saints and scholars have undertaken serious studies of Mary over the centuries One example is Fr Lawrence P Everett s scholarly exposition of the grounds for the dogma of the Assumption proclaimed by Pius XII in 1950 Mary s Death and Bodily Assumption There have been many considerations of Mary s importance to other religions including Protestantism Martin Luther s Devotion to Mary and Islam Mary Ever Virgin In Islam Others may also be found in our library Countless apologists

    Original URL path: http://www.catholicculture.org/culture/what_you_need_to_know/index.cfm?id=73 (2016-02-11)
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