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  • Commentary : What You Need To Know | Catholic Culture
    The Mass is an inexhaustible source of meaning and grace Through the sacred liturgy of the Church the action of the Mass carries on Christ s sacrifice for our salvation incorporates us into Christ through communion and instructs us through God s Word The critical elements of the holy sacrifice of the Mass are highlighted briefly in Fr Hardon s Catholic Dictionary The Mass can be celebrated in various ways according to different rites Here we are concerned with the Roman Rite which is used not only by a substantial majority of Catholics but by the overwhelming majority of our audience For a survey of the nature and purpose of the Mass its various components or parts and the roles of its ministers and participants the 2000 instruction by Archbishop Thomas Collins of Edmonton Alberta is a very handy well organized reference Finally the bodily signs and postures used at Mass are important to our reverent involvement in this great mystery and are external indicators of the active participation to which all Catholics are called Essential Perspective A Basic Definition of the Mass Archbishop Collins Guide to the Mass Sacred Signs and Active Participation at Mass Extra Reading Many people are interested in learning more about liturgical norms liturgical translations Scriptural translations and liturgical abuses which have been widespread in the liturgical upheaval which followed the Second Vatican Council A good way to step into these waters is to examine the 2004 document issued by the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments entitled Redemptionis Sacramentum Sacrament of Redemption On certain matters to be observed or to be avoided regarding the Most Holy Eucharist A number of groups throughout the world promote their own vision of what the liturgy should be but extreme caution is in order

    Original URL path: http://www.catholicculture.org/culture/what_you_need_to_know/index.cfm?id=59 (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 Matrimony What You Need to Know While the nature of matrimony as both a natural and supernatural institution is covered in the entry on Marriage matrimony can also be considered primarily from the point of view of its sacramental celebration and the nature of the sacramental bond The Catechism of the Catholic Church provides a very well organized presentation of two key aspects of the sacrament considered in and of itself The first aspect is what the sacrament is and does its celebration the nature of the matrimonial consent and the effects of the sacrament The second aspect is a consideration of the goods and requirements of conjugal love that are proper not only to matrimony in theory but also in practice to a successful lifelong union Every couple should reflect on these goods as part of their marriage preparation and make a deep commitment to develop them throughout the years of their marriage Finally since so many couples find it difficult to maintain their mutual commitment in our culture today questions of divorce annulment and remarriage constantly arise It is important to understand both that a real marriage is indissoluble and that sometimes the wedding ceremony does not bring about a real marriage owing to some impediment In such cases the marriage is null a fact that can be ratified by Church authority through a decree of nullity annulment Therefore some understanding of the grounds of nullity is essential to a full understanding of marriage itself Essential Perspective Celebration Consent and Sacramental Effects of Matrimony The Goods and Requirements of Conjugal Love Marriage Divorce and the Pauline Privilege Extra Reading Readers should be aware that in the late 20th century something of a scandal developed particularly

    Original URL path: http://www.catholicculture.org/culture/what_you_need_to_know/index.cfm?id=87 (2016-02-11)
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  • Commentary : What You Need To Know | Catholic Culture
    Need to Know As the name implies Modernism is an ideology by which religious truths and especially Catholic teachings are derived and interpreted in accordance with personal religious experience under the influence of the spirit of the current age First emerging in the late 19th and early 20th centuries Modernism was condemned by Pope St Pius X in 1907 It resurfaced as part of a powerful accommodationist trend in the years following the Second Vatican Council significantly weakening the Church s response to modern secularism In addition to the brief technical definition of the original heresy provided by Fr John Hardon in our Catholic Dictionary it is important to start with a good contemporary introduction to the prevailing attitudes of Modernism as they may be observed today Next a brief historical survey of the progress of Modernism is very useful in seeing how it developed how the Church responded and how it has reemerged again in our own times This will familiarize you not only with the general currents of thought but specific figures and their ideas Finally while the Church has been combating Modernism within her own ranks for the past two generations particularly in universities and seminaries the essential explanation of Modernism was provided by Pius X who called it the synthesis of all heresies in his encyclical Pascendi Dominici Gregis Essential Perspective Manifestations of Modernism Under the Ban Modernism Then and Now Pope St Pius X On the Doctrine of the Modernists Pascendi Extra Reading Two months before Pope St Pius X promulgated his condemnation of Modernism in Pascendi the Holy Office had issued a syllabus of 65 widespread modern errors in the document Lamentabili sane While the simple enumeration of errors has gone out of fashion in recent years presumably in part because the brevity of

    Original URL path: http://www.catholicculture.org/culture/what_you_need_to_know/index.cfm?id=78 (2016-02-11)
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  • Commentary : What You Need To Know | Catholic Culture
    of the deepest documents the Church has issued in the modern era The best short summary of the theology behind the sacrament its history and its structure and efficacy is found in the Catechism of the Catholic Church Given that Confession is both under appreciated and underutilitzed in our own day Pope John Paul II issued a brief document On the Mercy of God outlining and defending a proper understanding and use of the Sacrament of Penance in 2002 But the gold standard on this issue is the same Pope s masterful Apostolic Exhortation On Reconciliation and Penance also in 1984 This lengthy document which grew out of an earlier Synod of Bishops devoted to the same topic provides a rich theological and ecclesial background for not only the Sacrament itself but the very concepts of penance and reconciliation in the Christian life It may be read all at once or used for spiritual reading a little at a time Essential Perspective The Catechism on the Sacrament of Penance Misericordia Dei On the Mercy of God John Paul II 2002 Reconciliatio et Paenitentia On Reconciliation and Penance Extra Reading A brief definition of the Sacrament of Penance covering the bare essentials is found in Fr Hardon s Catholic Dictionary under the entry Sacrament of Penance The heated modern question of whether children might receive First Communion before receiving First Penance was settled definitively in the negative in 1973 by the Congregations for the Clergy and the Sacraments in Sanctus Pontifex The contrary practice is an abuse While the practice of general absolution without personal confession of sins to a priest is possible in emergency situation its widespread abuse has been condemned many times perhaps most recently in a 1999 instruction by the Congregation for Divine Worship to the Church in

    Original URL path: http://www.catholicculture.org/culture/what_you_need_to_know/index.cfm?id=68 (2016-02-11)
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  • Commentary : What You Need To Know | Catholic Culture
    of gifts this month Goal 1 000 769 to go Pornography What You Need to Know It is difficult to overstate the menace and the omnipresence of pornography in our society One can scarcely go to a grocery store shopping mall or movie theater without encountering pornography or even watch the commercials on one s own television set Women s fashions are often reminiscent of street walkers All of this is very difficult for men but perhaps surprisingly many women get hooked into pornography too It is very hard in our culture to preserve purity and the consequent immersion in pornography weakens individuals and ruins families Two outstanding episcopal pastoral letters have addressed this problem in the last year with great effectiveness The one in our first listing gives a more succinct overview The other provides additional insights however and you ll find it in the If You ve Got More Time section Many who use our web site have a specific interest in protecting their children on the Internet This problem is no longer limited to personal computers but afflicts game machines PDAs and cell phones as well depending on your service plan You must beware of all media your kids can access privately Finally those who are currently enmeshed in pornography or have a loved one in this condition may need systematic help or even professional intervention Fortunately you can start down the road to recovery using some excellent web based resources Essential Perspective Bishop Robert Finn Blessed Are the Pure of Heart Pornography and the Internet Are Your Children Safe The Serenellians Helping You Overcome Pornography Extra Reading Another outstanding recent episcopal letter on the scourge of pornography is Paul S Loverde s Bought at a Price Pornography and the Attack on the Living Temple of God

    Original URL path: http://www.catholicculture.org/culture/what_you_need_to_know/index.cfm?id=56 (2016-02-11)
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  • Commentary : What You Need To Know | Catholic Culture
    were learning this art ever anew from the lips of the Divine Master himself like the first disciples Lord teach us to pray Lk 11 1 Prayer can be private or public vocal or silent passionate or meditative We can pray individually or in groups in the midst of daily activities or at times set apart and in complete solitude or in union with the entire Church through her liturgy Yet all spiritual guides agree that prayer must be practiced privately if it is to become deeply personal and interior A recent column on our website makes this point Before we can go very far in prayer however we need to know something of the different kinds or degrees of prayer For this we turn to one of the great spiritual masters and a doctor of the Church St Teresa of Avila Prayer generally begins with a good deal of activity and even work on our part but as we progress we gradually enter into a deeper and simpler experience which at least borders on contemplation This is well explained by a contemporary spiritual writer Fr Thomas Dubay As an elderly peasant once explained when St John Vianney asked him how he prayed I look at the good God and the good God looks at me Essential Perspective The Mystery and Power of Personal Prayer St Teresa s Teaching on the Grades of Prayer Gazing on the Beauty of the Lord Extra Reading Any of St Teresa of Avila s books are of course excellent spiritual reading for growth in prayer the same is true of the author of the third item above Fr Thomas Dubay who has written widely and well on prayer John Paul II developed the theme of the importance of prayer in the third section of

    Original URL path: http://www.catholicculture.org/culture/what_you_need_to_know/index.cfm?id=74 (2016-02-11)
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  • Commentary : What You Need To Know | Catholic Culture
    What You Need to Know The Catholic priesthood is under attack from all sides This is due partly to the shortcomings of some priests but in a broader sense the crisis of the priesthood and the attacks upon it arise from the Protestantization and secularization of our surrounding culture which has affected even those within the Church herself For a succinct and lucid explanation of Catholic teaching on the ordained priesthood there is no better source than the Catholic Catechism starting with no 1536 But if you want an even more abbreviated treatment scroll down to no 1590 where the entire teaching is set forh In Brief One of the premier modern attacks on the essential character of the priesthood is the insistence in some quarters on the ordination of women Lest anyone believe this has not been definitively settled by the Church in the negative it is well to read Pope John Paul II s decisive intervention in 1994 There is also more on this in the closing section below Finally a deep examination of the origins of the priesthood in the Old and New Testaments sheds abundant light on its nature Who better to read on the subject than Cardinal Ratzinger now Benedict XVI in particular the address with which he opened the synod of bishops devoted to priestly formation in 1990 Essential Perspective The Catechism on Holy Orders Apostolic Letter On Reserving Priestly Ordination to Men Alone 1994 Cardinal Ratzinger now Benedict XVI on the Nature of the Priesthood Extra Reading A hundred priestly issues could be considered formation support collaboration with the diaconate preaching parish administration you name it Two particular issues stand out for further study however First a fuller explanation of the reasons behind John Paul II s declaration against the ordination of women

    Original URL path: http://www.catholicculture.org/culture/what_you_need_to_know/index.cfm?id=55 (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 Rosary What You Need to Know The Rosary is one of the most widespread devotional practices in the Catholic world and has been more often encouraged and recommended by popes through the ages than any other devotion save the Mass itself Strongly associated with the Blessed Virgin Mary and relying on the power of her intercession with her Divine Son the Rosary makes use of a simple string of beads to engage the body mind and heart in a series of Scriptural prayers while meditating on the mysteries of our salvation If you are new to Catholicism you ll want to start by learning what the Rosary is and how it is said We ve written a special brief document for this purpose including step by step instructions the texts of all the prayers and a listing of the mysteries for meditation and their associated virtues or fruits Traditionally the mysteries have been divided into three sets of five each Joyful Sorrowful and Glorious with one set chosen for each recitation of the Rosary Next you may be interested in the history of this magnificent and powerful prayer which has been a key to holiness for so many individuals and families The Rosary s history goes back at least a thousand years and its individual prayers go back two thousand The Rosary began as a way of marking the praying of the 150 psalms It was gradually associated with Mary and eventually developed into the Church s foremost Marian devotion Finally following the practice of many popes John Paul II issued an apostolic letter on the Rosary in 2002 In it he went

    Original URL path: http://www.catholicculture.org/culture/what_you_need_to_know/index.cfm?id=80 (2016-02-11)
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