say what

“Say What?” Monday Catechism Series #7 - Exorcisms

A new series on this blog. Each Monday I’ll be posting a gem from our Catechism of the Catholic Church that is interesting or remarkable.

This week's interesting catechism is about exorcisms.  Does the Church still practice exorcisms?  (At every Baptism!) Does the Church really believe that people can be possessed by a demon?

1673  When the Church asks publicly and authoritatively in the name of Jesus Christ that a person or object be protected against the power of the Evil One and withdrawn from his dominion, it is called exorcism.   Jesus performed exorcisms and from him the Church has received the power and office of exorcizing.  In a simple form, exorcism is performed at the celebration of Baptism.  The solemn exorcism, called "a major exorcism," can be performed only by a priest and with the permission of the bishop. The priest must proceed with prudence, strictly observing the rules established by the Church.  Exorcism is directed at the expulsion of demons or to the liberation from demonic possession through the spiritual authority which Jesus entrusted to his Church.   Illness, especially psychological illness, is a very different matter; treating this is the concern of medical science. Therefore, before an exorcism is performed, it is important to ascertain that one is dealing with the presence of the Evil One, and not an illness.

+JMJ

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“Say What?” Monday Catechism Series #4 - Newspaper Fame

A new series on this blog. Each Monday I’ll be posting a gem from our Catechism of the Catholic Church that is interesting or remarkable. (I missed Monday this week, so here is the belated Monday post.)

This week’s Interesting Catechism talks about forsaking everything in the world that does not give true happiness, for we find happiness in God alone, "the source of every good and of all love".  It includes a great quote from John Henry Cardinal Newman addressing the lures of the world that include even "newspaper fame".  Challenging words for a blogger like me who can get caught up in chasing after page views.

1723 The beatitude we are promised confronts us with decisive moral choices. It invites us to purify our hearts of bad instincts and to seek the love of God above all else. It teaches us that true happiness is not found in riches or well-being, in human fame or power, or in any human achievement - however beneficial it may be - such as science, technology, and art, or indeed in any creature, but in God alone, the source of every good and of all love:

All bow down before wealth. Wealth is that to which the multitude of men pay an instinctive homage. They measure happiness by wealth; and by wealth they measure respectability. . . . It is a homage resulting from a profound faith . . . that with wealth he may do all things. Wealth is one idol of the day and notoriety is a second. . . . Notoriety, or the making of a noise in the world - it may be called "newspaper fame" - has come to be considered a great good in itself, and a ground of veneration.
(John Henry Cardinal Newman, "Saintliness the Standard of Christian Principle," in Discourses to Mixed Congregations (London: Longmans, Green and Co., 1906) V, 89-90.)

+JMJ

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"Say What?" Monday Catechism Series #3

A new series on this blog. Each Monday I'll be posting a gem from our Catechism of the Catholic Church that is interesting or remarkable. 

This week's Interesting Catechism talks about nations involved in arms races.  What does the Church teach about amassing weapons to deter potential adversaries from war?

2315 The accumulation of arms strikes many as a paradoxically suitable way of deterring potential adversaries from war. They see it as the most effective means of ensuring peace among nations. This method of deterrence gives rise to strong moral reservations. The arms race does not ensure peace. Far from eliminating the causes of war, it risks aggravating them. Spending enormous sums to produce ever new types of weapons impedes efforts to aid needy populations; it thwarts the development of peoples. Over-armament multiplies reasons for conflict and increases the danger of escalation.

+JMJ

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"Say What?" Monday Catechism Series #2

A new series on this blog. Each Monday I'll be posting a gem from our Catechism of the Catholic Church that is interesting or remarkable.  This week's Interesting Catechism concerns faith and science.  Are the two in opposition?  Are faith and reason contradictory?

159 Faith and science: "Though faith is above reason, there can never be any real discrepancy between faith and reason. Since the same God who reveals mysteries and infuses faith has bestowed the light of reason on the human mind, God cannot deny himself, nor can truth ever contradict truth." "Consequently, methodical research in all branches of knowledge, provided it is carried out in a truly scientific manner and does not override moral laws, can never conflict with the faith, because the things of the world and the things of faith derive from the same God. The humble and persevering investigator of the secrets of nature is being led, as it were, by the hand of God in spite of himself, for it is God, the conserver of all things, who made them what they are."

+JMJ

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