Purgatory is probably one of the most misunderstood Catholic doctrines today, and many do not believe that it really exists. In this article I’m briefly going to cover the biblical foundation for purgatory, what purgatory is, and the history of purgatory in the Catholic Church.
“Our first duty, therefore, precisely in order to heal this world, is to be holy, configured to God; in this way we emanate a healing and transforming power that also acts on others, on history . . . Jesus did not call [the Twelve Apostles] because they were already holy, complete, perfect, but so that they might become so, so that they might thereby also transform history, as it is for us, as it is for all Christians.”
Although is commendable to invoke our Guardian Angels and learn how to recognize their promptings, there are a few dangers to avoid when seeking out a closer relationship with them. There is a persistent error among many Catholics when it comes to their Guardian Angels: trying to discover their name or identity, or assigning a name to them.
Prior to my conversion to Catholicism and becoming a parent, I had not really thought much about angels except when I saw them portrayed in art or in knick-knacks at a Hallmark store. It’s not that I didn’t believe in them, but I thought of them as I think of other things that are mysterious… that they are beyond my reach in terms of knowing any
When Christianity was new, misunderstood, and outlawed, St. Justin Martyr, a philosopher and Christian convert, took it upon himself to give a powerful defense of Christian doctrine and practice before the secular power, arguing that Christians should not be persecuted. Enshrined in his defense, or Apology, is one of the earliest descriptions of the Catholic Mass.
A sacrament is an outward sign of an invisible spiritual reality. Because humans are a unity of a physical body and a spiritual soul, God uses the means of physical objects and rituals to convey spiritual truths that we cannot detect using our senses.
This outward sign functions as a channel through which God imparts sanctifying grace into the soul. The sacraments are seven in number and have their source in the saving work of Jesus in his passion, death, and resurrection, and were established by Him for the sanctification of every member of His Church.
Although many Catholics have heard of Our Lady of Fatima and her appearance to three shepherd children in 1917, most people do not know the whole story or its crucial importance in world history, the life of the Church, and our own eternal salvation. We’re about to change that.
Fasting is an ancient spiritual discipline taught in the Bible, and modeled for us by Jesus himself during his forty-day sojourn into the wilderness in preparation for his earthly ministry. Why is fasting so important in the life of a Christian? Below are three reasons as described by St. Thomas Aquinas.
It should not surprise us that fasting is beneficial to our bodies and our minds as well as our souls, since as human beings, we are made up of all three. When something benefits one of our faculties, it benefits all of them. The integration of body, mind, and soul is, in fact, a goal of many spiritual pursuits. Actually, fasting has a long history as a healing tradition.
Since Adam and Eve tasted the enticing fruit in the Garden of Eden, the father of lies has been harassing us. Satan’s efforts to distort the truth and his attempts at convincing us to question God’s word have not ceased and neither should our efforts in combating him. It has been said that the devil will use 99% of the truth to float one lie. This is true because he cannot create, which leaves him with only the ability to twist what has already been created. He is a master at this and we need to be on guard against it.