Lenten Series: The Works of Mercy Part VII--Ransom Captives and Admonish Sinners

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One of the pillars of Lent is almsgiving (and by extension, almsdeeds). On the surface, almsgiving and almsdeeds mean only to give away money or goods to those in need. However, almsdeeds go beyond this: they are the works of mercy. I will be posting about the works of mercy each week during Lent, pairing one spiritual work of mercy with one corporal work of mercy and then offering my thoughts on the pair. I will bookcase these reflection with a short introductory essay about the nature of mercy, and a final essay considering some practical thoughts. Here is part VII, which discusses the sixth pair of works of mercy.
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Ransoming captives may seem the strangest, the least necessary of the works of mercy today. Oh, it was surely necessary historically (and Christ does specifically mention it in the Parable of the Sheep and the Goats). There are indeed two different religious orders which were established to do this work historically. Both the Trinitarians and the Order of Our Lady of Ransom specifically had as there mission the rescuing of Christian captives from the ahdns of the infidels (which largely meant, Muhammedans). Members of the Order of Our Lady of Ransom took a fourth vow, which was to substitute themselves for other captives held be infidels, thereby ransoming those captives by becoming themselves captives: a very Christ-like approach to the problem of captivity.

Lenten Series: The Works of Mercy Part VI--Visit the Sick and Comfort the Afflicted

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One of the pillars of Lent is almsgiving (and by extension, almsdeeds). On the surface, almsgiving and almsdeeds mean only to give away money or goods to those in need. However, almsdeeds go beyond this: they are the works of mercy. I will be posting about the works of mercy each week during Lent, pairing one spiritual work of mercy with one corporal work of mercy and then offering my thoughts on the pair. I will bookcase these reflection with a short introductory essay about the nature of mercy, and a final essay considering some practical thoughts. Here is part VI, which discusses the fifth pair of works of mercy.
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When we hear of "the sick," we probably think immediately of those who are in the care of hospitals or hospices. Perhaps we think of our own families while they usffer through cold and flu season, or allergy season. These are, of course, sick in the conventional sens eof the word, and they need our assistance and our care.

Lenten Series:Works of Mercy Part V--Harbor the Harborless and Forgive Offenses Willingly

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One of the pillars of Lent is almsgiving (and by extension, almsdeeds). On the surface, almsgiving and almsdeeds mean only to give away money or goods to those in need. However, almsdeeds go beyond this: they are the works of mercy. I will be posting about the works of mercy each week during Lent, pairing one spiritual work of mercy with one corporal work of mercy and then offering my thoughts on the pair. I will bookcase these reflection with a short introductory essay about the nature of mercy, and a final essay considering some practical thoughts. Here is part V, which discusses the fourth pair of works of mercy.
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“Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.” (Luke 9:58).

RCIA Question Box: On Vatican II

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Question:
“A person called in to Relevant Radio and spoke against the Second Vatican Council. She said it was the worst thing to happen to the Church. Why is there such strong opposition to the council?”
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strong>Answer:

Actually, it is not that surprising that there is strong opposition to the council. Many of the Church’s ecumenical councils have historically faced some sort of opposition, including from previously or otherwise seemingly faithful Catholics. We need look no farther back that the First Vatican Council (in the mid 19th century—the last council before Vatican II) to see that this is so.

Lenten Series:Works of Mercy Part IV--Clothe the Naked and Bear Wrongs Willingly

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One of the pillars of Lent is almsgiving (and by extension, almsdeeds). On the surface, almsgiving and almsdeeds mean only to give away money or goods to those in need. However, almsdeeds go beyond this: they are the works of mercy. I will be posting about the works of mercy each week during Lent, pairing one spiritual work of mercy with one corporal work of mercy and then offering my thoughts on the pair. I will bookcase these reflection with a short introductory essay about the nature of mercy, and a final essay considering some practical thoughts. Here is part IV, which discusses the third pair of works of mercy.

A few months ago, there was a kerfuffle over the popular clothing maker Abercrombie and Fitch when some remarks made by their CEO in a seven-year-old interview surfaced:

Lenten Series:Works of Mercy Part III--Giving Drink to the Thirsty and Instructing the Ignorant

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One of the pillars of Lent is almsgiving (and by extension, almsdeeds). On the surface, almsgiving and almsdeeds mean only to give away money or goods to those in need. However, almsdeeds go beyond this: they are the works of mercy. I will be posting about the works of mercy each week during Lent, pairing one spiritual work of mercy with one corporal work of mercy and then offering my thoughts on the pair. I will bookcase these reflection with a short introductory essay about the nature of mercy, and a final essay considering some practical thoughts. Here is part III, which discusses the second pair of works of mercy.
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Hunger may be among the worst forms of physical suffering by sheer magnitude, for many people go hungry. On the other hand, thirst is perhaps nearly so common, for many lack access to water. The homeless unemployed perhaps wants for food, water, shelters and at times clothes. Nor was thirst unknown in ancient times. Much of what I said about hunger applies here, too.

Lenten Series:Works of Mercy Part II--Feeding the Hungry and Counselling the Doubtful

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One of the pillars of Lent is almsgiving (and by extension, almsdeeds). On the surface, almsgiving and almsdeeds mean only to give away money or goods to those in need. However, almsdeeds go beyond this: they are the works of mercy. I will be posting about the works of mercy each week during Lent, pairing one spiritual work of mercy with one corporal work of mercy and then offering my thoughts on the pair. I will bookcase these reflection with a short introductory essay about the nature of mercy, and a final essay considering some practical thoughts. Here is part II, which discusses the first pair of works of mercy.
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Feed the hungry/Counsel the Doubtful
Hunger is one of the greatest causes of sorrow in this world, though not the greatest. And they are everywhere, there is no need to seek them out to find them. We should pity their plight, whether it's merely economic or whether the problem goes deeper.

Lenten Series: The Works of Mercy--Acts of Love and Service

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One of the pillars of Lent is almsgiving (and by extension, almsdeeds). On the surface, almsgiving and almsdeeds mean only to give away money or goods to those in need. However, almsdeeds go beyond this: they are the works of mercy. I will be posting about the works of mercy each week during Lent, pairing one spiritual work of mercy with one corporal work of mercy and then offering my thoughts on the pair. I will bookcase these reflection with a short introductory essay about the nature of mercy, and a final essay considering some practical thoughts.
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PR Strategies Don't Win Wars

A friend linked this article by Mr. Paul Perkins and put out a general call for thoughts and feedback.

I don't 100% agree with the "stop doing this" parts (though in many cases it could be done better), but the "start doing" parts seem about right. Peter Kreeft urges much the same thing in his talk about how to fight (and win) the culture war, I think at this link.

RCIA Talk--The Trinity Part 3: Heresy, Council, and Creed

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Preface to Part 3: This part of my talk was actually entirely new this time around. The catechist/presenter from the previous week noted that Church Councils could fall under either his presentation (on the apostles and the early Church) or mine. He also said that while he would mention the council at Jerusalem, he wasn't going to cover councils in any real depth, unfortunately. Both RCIA and the adult Confirmation class follow Fr Oscar Luefahr's book, "We Believe": A Survey of the Catholic Faith, and as it turns out the section on Church councils is in the Chapter about the Trinity, which makes sense given that many of the early councils dealt with questions pertaining to the doctrine of the Trinity. In my talk itself, this section came at the end (because of time constraints and not being sure that I would necessarily cover this), but I am switching sections 3 and 4 in the written order, for what it's worth. In the 3rd section of this talk, but the fourth as written, I stress the importance of not taking any analogy too far lest it lead to heresy.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church gives this definition for heresy: “Heresy is the obstinate post-baptismal denial of some truth which must be believed with divine and catholic faith, or it is likewise an obstinate doubt of the same” (CCC 2089). Simply defined, heresy is error brought about by rejecting a de fide doctrine, that is, by rejecting one of the settled dogmas of the Church. All of these de fide dogmas are true and have been definitively taught as true by the infallible authority of the Church. Often heresy takes the form of exaggerating one (or more) true doctrine such that another true doctrine is distorted or discarded.

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