Online ebook: On Integral Human Development in Charity and Truth, by Pope Benedict XVI

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See also the following materials or index of materials concerning the encyclical:

Posted on the occasion of World Humanist Day 2018. From the text:

“Only if we are aware of our calling, as individuals and as a community, to be part of God’s family as his sons and daughters, will we be able to generate a new vision and muster new energy in the service of a truly integral humanism. The greatest service to development, then, is a Christian humanism that enkindles charity and takes its lead from truth, accepting both as a lasting gift from God.

“Openness to God makes us open towards our brothers and sisters and towards an understanding of life as a joyful task to be accomplished in a spirit of solidarity. On the other hand, ideological rejection of God and an atheism of indifference, oblivious to the Creator and at risk of becoming equally oblivious to human values, constitute some of the chief obstacles to development today. A humanism which excludes God is an inhuman humanism

“Development requires attention to the spiritual life, a serious consideration of the experiences of trust in God, spiritual fellowship in Christ, reliance upon God’s providence and mercy, love and forgiveness, self-denial, acceptance of others, justice and peace… All this is of man, because man is the subject of his own existence; and at the same time it is of God, because God is at the beginning and end of all that is good, all that leads to salvation…”







Online text: “Refugees: A Challenge to Solidarity”, by the Pontifical Council Cor Unum

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  • Refugees: A Challenge to Solidarity, by the Pontifical Council “Cor Unum” and the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People, October 2, 1992. May be read online at the Holy See.

One may also look at the following essays prudentially applying the norms set out in the above document to current issues concerning the movement of refugees/migrants/asylum-seekers from the Middle East to Europe:

Posted on World Refugee Day, 2018.

“‘[{T}he universal common good] includes the whole family of peoples, beyond every nationalistic egoism. The right to emigrate must be considered in this context…’ At the same time, States have the right to regulate migration flows and to defend their own frontiers, always guaranteeing the respect due to the dignity of each and every human person. Immigrants, moreover, have the duty to integrate into the host Country, respecting its laws and its national identity…

“The situation of refugees and of the other forced migrants, who are an important part of the migration phenomenon, should be specifically considered in the light of the theme ‘One human family’. For these people who flee from violence and persecution the International Community has taken on precise commitments. Respect of their rights, as well as the legitimate concern for security and social coherence, foster a stable and harmonious coexistence.” (Pope Benedict XVI, Message for the 97th World Day of Migrants and Refugees [2011])


Free ebooks: “The Arians of the Fourth Century”, by Cardinal Newman (various editions)

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On the anniversary of the First Council of Nicaea (ended 19 June AD 325).

“But some one will ask, How is it then, that certain excellent persons, and of position in the Church, are often permitted by God to preach novel doctrines to Catholics?… Let us listen, then, to Holy Moses… [who] writes thus in Deuteronomy… For the Lord, your God, tries you, to know whether you love Him with all your heart and with all your soul. The reason is clearer than day why Divine Providence sometimes permits certain doctors of the Churches to preach new doctrines — That the Lord your God may try you” (Saint Vincent of Lerins, Commonitory For the Antiquity and Universality of the Catholic Faith Against the Profane Novelties of All Heresies, x)



Online ebook: “Growth in Holiness”, by Frederick William Faber

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  • Growth in Holiness; or, The Progress of the Spiritual Life, by Frederick William Faber, 1814-1863 (Baltimore: John Murphy and Co.; Pittsburgh: George Quigley, 1855). With approbation. Available in pdf, epub, mobi, and other formats at Internet Archive; and available at Hathitrust Digital Library and Google Books.

On the Feast of Saint Ephrem the Syrian, Doctor of the Church, in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite.

“Would that other ecclesiastical teachers learn from him how skilfully, how diligently they must work in preaching the doctrine of Christ! And indeed the piety of the faithful has nothing stable and advantageous except to adhere entirely to the mysteries and precepts of the faith. Those who legitimately teach the Sacred Scriptures are warned by the example of the Edessine not to distort the Sacred Scriptures to the good pleasure of their own inclinations, nor, in investigating them, to depart a finger’s breadth from the constant interpretation of the Church.” (Pope Benedict XV, Encyclical on St. Ephrem the Syrian “Principi Apostolorum Petro, 16)

Online text: “Curtailing Cyberbullying Without Eroding Students’ Constitutional Rights”, by Olivia A. Weil

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  • “Preserving the Schoolhouse Gates: An Analytical Framework for Curtailing Cyberbullying Without Eroding Students’ Constitutional Rights”, by Olivia A. Weil, Ave Maria Law Review, vol. 11, issue 2 (2013): pp. 541-574. Available in pdf format (on this page) at Ave Maria Law Review.

Posted on Stop Cyberbullying Day, 2018.

Online ebook: “Pastoral Theology”, by Rev. William Stang

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Feast of St. John of Sahagun in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite.

Online ebook: “Lectures on the Holy Eucharist”, by Charles Coupe, S.J.

See this online ebook:

  • Lectures on the Holy Eucharist, by Charles Coupe, S.J., M.A., edited with notes and references by Hatherley More (London: R. & T. Washbourne; New York, Cincinnati, Chicago: Benziger Brothers, 1906). Available in pdf, mobi/kindle, epub, and other formats at Internet Archive; also available at Forgotten Books (with some copies limited to members).
    • According to The Sacred Heart Review (1906), the work includes these “scholarly and instructive lectures”: ‘I. “The Old Testament Prophecies of the Mass,” II and III. “Christ’s Promise of the Eucharist,” IV. and V. “Christ’s Institution of the Eucharist,” VI. “St. Paul’s Testimony,” VII. and VIII. “Transubstantiation,” IX. “Leibnitz on the Eucharist,” X. “Testimonies of the Liturgies,” XL ” Testimonies of the Early Fathers to the Heal Presence,” XII. “Testimonies of the Early Fathers to Transubstantiation,” XIII. “Two Early Fathers on the Eucharist,” XIV. “Corpus Christi,” XV. “The Sacrament of Love,” [and] XVI. “The Four Manifestations of God in Man.”.’

See also the following related books and texts on the mystery of the Blessed Eucharist:

On the Most Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, see the following books and texts:

On the worthy reception of Christ our Lord in the Blessed Eucharist, see the books and texts listed in our post “Online texts: Commentaries on ‘Amoris Laetitia’“, as well as the following texts:

Posted on the Feast of Corpus Christi, 2018.

Blessed Sacrament

“For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus, the night in which he was betrayed, took bread, And giving thanks, broke, and said: Take ye, and eat: this is my body, which shall be delivered for you: do this for the commemoration of me. In like manner also the chalice, after he had supped, saying: This chalice is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as often as you shall drink it for the commemoration of me. For as often as you shall eat this bread, and drink the chalice, you shall shew the death of the Lord until he come.

“Wherefore, whosoever shall eat this bread, or drink the chalice of the Lord unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and of the blood of the Lord. But let a man prove himself: and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of the chalice. For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh judgment to himself, not discerning the body of the Lord.” (I Corinthians xi, 23-29. Paragraph formatting and red lettering supplied.)

Online text: “Women, Sexual Asymmetry & Catholic Teaching”, by Erika Bachiochi

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On the occasion of the International Day of Action for Women’s Health, 2018.

[F]rom the beginning of the creation, God made them male and female. For this cause a man shall leave his father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife. And they two shall be in one flesh. Therefore now they are not two, but one flesh.” (St. Mark x, 6-8)

Online ebook: “The Divine Trinity: A Dogmatic Treatise”, by Dr. Joseph Pohle and Arthur Preuss

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See also:

On the Solemnity of Blessed Trinity (Trinity Sunday), 2018.

“And Jesus coming, spoke to them, saying: All power is given to me in heaven and in earth. Going, therefore, teach ye all nations: baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost; Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and behold I am with you all days, even to the consummation of the world.” (St. Matthew xxviii, 18-20)

Worth-it book: “The Spirit of Catholicism”, by Karl Adam (links & summary)

See this worth-it book & ebook:

The Spirit of Catholicism is a work of high theology written for a lay audience, eschewing technical terms for lucid and often beautifully poetic language. It is widely acknowledged to be one of the best introductions to Catholic Christianity available today; even George Orwell, non-believing but fair-minded (unlike many nowadays, alas), praised it in his own snarky way. Thus, it comes highly recommended by leading lay evangelists like Scott Hahn, a convert from Protestantism, and Dave Armstrong, who describes it as “perhaps the best book written about the Catholic Church in the 20th century. Must reading for Catholic and non-Catholic alike”.

In The Spirit of Catholicism, Karl Adam presents a panoramic view of the Catholic Faith from the perspective of the Incarnation, the revelation that God the Son became man in Jesus Christ for humanity’s salvation. The Incarnation shows that, even as salvation is entirely a Divine act, it is carried out through human freedom and cooperation: God the Son saved man by living and dying as a man; He shares this salvation with humanity through a community of human beings, the Church; and He supernaturally joins individuals to Himself through means appropriate to our spiritual and material life, which are called sacraments. In Chapter VII, Adam writes:

“The Catholic cannot think of the good God without thinking at the same time of the Word made Flesh, and of all His members who are united to Him by faith and love in a real unity. The God of Catholicism is the transcendent, absolute God, who became Man for us in His Son, and therefore no solitary God, but the God of angels and saints, the God of fruitfulness and abundance, the God who with a veritable divine folly by the incomprehensible decree of His most free Will takes up into Himself the whole creation that culminates in human nature, and in a new, unheard of supernatural manner, “lives in it,” “moves” in it, and in it “is” (cf. Acts XVii, 28).”

Adam shows the essence of salvation to be communion, a share in the supernatural life of Christ that is given to us through the Church, “which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all” (Ephesians 1:22-23), which baptizes us into the body of Christ (1 Corintians 12:12-13) and shares with us His life through sacraments like the Eucharist (John 6:52). Nor is salvation a solitary relationship between God and the individual; rather, it is the Christian’s adoption into a family of love, among fellow-children of the Father who, being in the body of Christ, share in His Sonship. Adam writes in Chapter VIII:

“As our Lord, in the great prayer which He taught His disciples, joined all who pray into a single unity and directed them to appeal out of this unity to their common Father, and as St. Paul especially enjoined prayer for one another (Rom. xv, 30; 2 Cor. i, 11; Eph. i, 15, etc.), so the Church prays, not in the name of any individual, nor as the mere sum of all individuals, but as a fellowship, as a priestly unity, as the visible priesthood of Christ.

“It is not I and you that pray, but the mystical Christ…”

This emphasis on the role of the Church as the whole Christ would become the ecclesiology of the encyclical Mysticum Corpus Christi (1943). Although it was downplayed after the “people of God” imagery of the 1960s returned the emphasis to the juridical, rather than the mystical, nature of the Church, Adam’s ecclesiology remains influential; and we ourselves think that it helped pave the way for the rise of modern covenant ecclesiology and for Pope Benedict XVI’s emphasis on communion as the nature of the Church.

Re-posted from our 10 April 2011 post on the Eve of the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity.

“These things Jesus spoke, and lifting up his eyes to heaven, he said; Father, the hour is come, glorify thy Son, that thy Son may glorify thee… I have manifested thy name to the men whom thou hast given me out of the world. Thine they were, and to me thou gavest them: and they have kept thy word…  Sanctify them in truth. Thy word is truth. As thou hast sent me into the world, I also have sent them into the world…  And not for them only do I pray, but for those also who through their word shall believe in me.

That they all may be one, as thou, Father, in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me: And the glory which thou hast given me, I have given to them: that they may be one, as we also are one.  I in them, and thou in me: that they may be made perfect in one: and the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast also loved me.” (St. John xvii, 1, 6, 17-18, 20-23)