339 Years After Her Death, St. Teresa of Ávila Converted Edith Stein [St. Teresa Benedicta]

Saint Teresa of Ávila, the 16th century Carmelite nun, mystic, reformer and doctor, was graced with spiritual insights into prayer, the soul and the ineffable love of God. With the blessing of Pope Pius IV, she departed her cloister at Avila, and together with Saint John of the Cross, set up a reformed Carmelite Order in Spain and Portugal. Throughout her life, she endured great suffering with joy and equanimity. Among her literary works, her autobiography (The Life of Teresa of Jesus) is a testament to the power of faith and living in imitation of Jesus Christ.

Born in 1891, Edith Stein grew up in a devout Jewish family, but would espouse atheism as an aspiring academic and activist. A young woman with immense intellectual gifts, she dedicated herself to the search for truth. After extensive studies at major German universities, Edith became an influential philosopher in her own right, and a renowned speaker on feminism. In 1913, she enrolled in Gottingen University, to study under the guidance of Edmund Husserl. There she encountered Catholics whose intellectual and spiritual lives she greatly admired. Read more…

Interview With Fr. Philip Neri Powell, O.P. About God’s Grace & the Future of the Church

Screen Capture Domine, da mihi hanc aquam!Fr. Philip Neri Powell, a seminary professor, formation advisor and parish priest, has preached and commented about Christ, the Church, popular culture and events of consequence on his popular blog, Domine mihi hanc aquam! Featured are thought provoking homilies through which readers know and love the mind of Christ. I interviewed Fr. Powell about his blog, his call to the priesthood, the future of the Church, and his advice for those considering a Dominican vocation.

You have written about your past “postmodernist occult life” before coming to the Catholic Church and joining the Order of Preachers. In this increasingly secularized world, where many reject Christ, to what do you attribute your faith?  Read more…

 

 

Did a Séance Unleash Evil into the World and the Atrocities of World War II?

In the sacraments of Baptism and Confirmation we renounce Satan and all his works, and profess our faith in Christ and in the Church. Sacred Scripture speaks of God’s protection and power over Satan. The first letter of John testifies that as children of God, in whom the Holy Spirit dwells, the evil one cannot touch us. But it also states that “the whole world is under the power of the evil one” (1 John 5:18-20).

Chapter 12 in the Book of Revelation tells how the angel Lucifer rebelled against God. In the ensuing battle, one third of the angels in heaven fell to earth as demons. Since demons hail from all nine choirs of angels, some demons are more powerful than others. Moreover, demons still possess the perfect knowledge God gave them, thus, they are infinitely superior to human beings in intelligence.  Read more…

Three Priests Separate Fact from Fiction on Exorcism

This discussion of exorcism references various types of diabolical manifestations with a focus on demonic possession. The priests cited are current or former exorcists who have conducted the rite of exorcism hundreds of times collectively.

Exorcism [from the Greek ἐξορκισμός – meaning to bind with an oath] is a term that signifies an insistent request manifested toward God or directed against demons. There are two different types of exorcism within the Church: supplicating exorcisms and imperative exorcisms. A supplicating exorcism is a prayer to God asking to expel a demon. One does not need to be a priest to perform such an exorcism. An imperative exorcism is a command to the demon demanding it depart in the name of God. This liturgical rite of the Church can only be performed by a bishop or a delegated priest-exorcist of a diocese.  Read more…

Why Satan Hates the Ascension of Christ

Jesus ascending to heavenIn a few days the Church will celebrate the Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord. Forty days after his Resurrection, Christ ascended into heaven. His Ascension marked the end of his earthly ministry. Having conquered sin and death, Jesus ascended to receive the glory due him [Philippians 2:8-11], mediate on our behalf [Hebrews 9:24], send the Holy Spirit promised at the Last Supper [John 16:7], and prepare a place for us in eternity [John 14:2]. Immediately following the Ascension, an angel informs the disciples that Christ’s Second Coming will occur in the same way. According to the Catechism [668], “Christ’s Ascension into heaven signifies his participation, in his humanity, in God’s power and authority.” Our Lord’s Ascension bridges his Incarnation in humility with his coming again at the end of time as King and Supreme Judge of the universe.

Since his Ascension, Christ’s glorified body has sat at the right hand of the Father. The divinization of Christ in his incarnate body has profound implications for us. Jesus is the Exemplar, par excellence, of how we should live and what we ought to do. He also reveals our destiny, if we persevere in love.  Read more…

Ten Things About St. Thomas Aquinas Every Catholic Should Know

thomas aquinasOne of the most brilliant minds in the history of the Church, St. Thomas Aquinas was born in 1225 at the castle of Roccasecca, in the present day Lazio region of Italy, the youngest of nine children. Thomas’ father was a man of means and nobility. Thomas’s mother would try to prevent Thomas from joining the Dominican Order. His family expected him to enter the Benedictine Abbey where his uncle was the abbot. Thomas Aquinas dedicated his life to creating a complete synthesis of Catholic philosophy and theology. In honor of his feast day, [January 28] here are ten things every Catholic should know about the Angelic Doctor.

1. Before Aquinas was born, a holy hermit told his mother that her son would be a great learner and achieve unrivaled sanctity.

The future holiness of the unborn babe was disclosed to his mother by a holy hermit of the neighbourhood, known simply as Buono, or God’s good man. Clad in a rough garment, and with hair unkempt, he presented himself at Rocca Secca, and pointing to a picture of the holy patriarch Saint Dominic, who was not yet canonized, he thus addressed the Countess:  Read more…

Seven Archeological Discoveries that Validate the Bible

biblical archeologyA charge detractors of Christianity make to cast doubt on the Bible’s authenticity is the alleged lack of historical evidence for the assertions found in Scripture. The Bible employs different forms of literature to covey truths about God and the created world. Skeptics have long denied the facts put forth, particularly in the Bible’s historical books, as contrived and untrue. Modern day archeological discoveries, however, confirm the historical events and persons recorded in Sacred Scripture are both factually correct and historically valid.

1. The story of Abraham rescuing Lot is historically accurate.

Chapter 14 in the book of Genesis tells the story of Abraham rescuing his nephew Lot from the four kings. The famous German biblical scholar, Julius Wellhausen, called the story “simply impossible.” Contemporary archeological research proves the details of the account to be true.  Read more…

An Exorcist Tells His Story: Fr. Gabriele Amorth on the Power of Satan

The Devil Middle AgesAs we prepare to celebrate the liturgical season of Advent, it is appropriate that we consider the threefold reason for Christ’s Incarnation. They are: 1.) to destroy the works of the devil, 2.) to free man from Satan’s slavery and 3.) to establish the kingdom of God.

Fr. Gabriele Amorth was the Vatican’s Chief Exorcist. In that capacity he performed thousands of exorcisms through which he has garnered innumerable insights into the works and slavery of the devil. I recently read Fr. Amorth’s An Exorcist Tells His Story. To highlight his wisdom, I have reframed excerpts from, “The Power of Satan,”(pages 25-36) in An Exorcist Tells His Story into a Q & A or “interview” format:  Read more…

Don’t Blame Hell on God. It was Satan’s Idea.

Devil GargoyleOne frequently asked question is: “Why would an all-loving God create Hell, let alone, send souls there?” God did not make us to suffer. True, in the Garden of Eden, there did exist temptation, represented by the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Adam and Eve succumbed to temptation, spurred on by Satan’s lies. Having the freedom to love means having the freedom to reject love and the source of love, God. But evil, sin and Hell are Satan’s doing not God’s

In answering the above question, we revisit an interview by the Italian blog Stanze Vaticane, with the Vatican’s Chief Exorcist, Father Gabriele Amorth, in which he discussed his soon to be beatified mentor, Father Candido Amantini C.P., a Master Exorcist. Fr. Amantini was Rome’s chief exorcist for thirty-six years — often seeing 60 to 80 people per day. As such, Fr. Amantini witnessed demonic possession and interacted with the devil thousands of times.  Read more …

Saint John Paul II’s Threefold Vision of the Human Person

BEST JP2pic IIISt. John Paul II’s Theology of the Body discusses three states of man. Man before the first sin (Original Man), man after the Fall (Historical Man), our current state, and our life with God in heaven following Christ’s Second Coming (Eschatological Man).

The state of original man concerns two human beings – Adam and Eve. They viewed each other with, “all the peace of the interior gaze.” God walked in their midst, suggesting an intimacy with the creator we can only imagine. Adam and Eve’s lives were untouched by sin. Vice, depravity, and despair were foreign to their existence.  Read more…