Showing posts with label persecution. Show all posts
Showing posts with label persecution. Show all posts

8 Sep 2017

'Where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them.' Sunday Reflections, 23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A


Prayer before a Meal, Adriaen Jansz van Ostade[Web Gallery

For where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them (Matthew 18:20).
Readings (New American Bible: Philippines, USA)
Readings (Jerusalem Bible: Australia, England & Wales, India [optional], Ireland, New Zealand, Pakistan, Scotland, South Africa)
Gospel Matthew 18:15-20 (NRSV, CatholicEdition)

Jesus said to his disciples:
‘If another member of the church sins against you, go and point out the fault when the two of you are alone. If the member listens to you, you have regained that one. But if you are not listened to, take one or two others along with you, so that every word may be confirmed by the evidence of two or three witnesses. If the member refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if the offender refuses to listen even to the church, let such a one be to you as a Gentile and a tax-collector. Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. Again, truly I tell you, if two of you agree on earth about anything you ask, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them.’


Today's gospel looks at forgiveness, mainly from the point of view of helping someone to acknowledge a wrongdoing and thereby asking for and receiving forgiveness. I often think about a Christian Brother who taught me in Dublin and one incident involving him that I witnessed and another I heard about years later. I'll simply copy from a previous post, with one or two slight changes.
Full post here.

27 Jan 2017

'Blessed are . . .' Sunday Reflections, 4th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A


Sermon on the Mountain, Károly Ferenczy
Readings (New American Bible: Philippines, USA)
Readings (Jerusalem Bible
Gospel Matthew 4:12-23 [or 12-17] (NRSV,Catholic Ed)


When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain; and after he sat down, his disciples came to him. Then he began to speak, and taught them, saying:
‘Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
‘Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted
‘Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.
‘Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled
‘Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy.
‘Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
‘Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.
‘Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
‘Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven.'



Isenheim Altarpiece (First View), Matthias Grünewald[Web Gallery of Art]

In the video below Fr Robert Barron (now Bishop Barron, Auxiliary of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles) offers a reflection on the Beatitudes based on St Thomas Aquinas and the painting of the Crucifixion by Matthias Grünewald, part of the Isenheim Altarpiece (First View).

Full post here.

11 Nov 2016

'By your endurance you will gain your souls.' Sunday Reflections, 33rd Sunday, Ordinary Time

Nave of the Archbasilica of St John Lateran
Gospel Luke 21:5-19 
When some were speaking about the temple, how it was adorned with beautiful stones and gifts dedicated to God, Jesus said,  ‘As for these things that you see, the days will come when not one stone will be left upon another; all will be thrown down.’
They asked him, ‘Teacher, when will this be, and what will be the sign that this is about to take place?’ And he said, ‘Beware that you are not led astray; for many will come in my name and say, “I am he!” and, “The time is near!” Do not go after them.
‘When you hear of wars and insurrections, do not be terrified; for these things must take place first, but the end will not follow immediately.’ Then he said to them, ‘Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; there will be great earthquakes, and in various places famines and plagues; and there will be dreadful portents and great signs from heaven.
‘But before all this occurs, they will arrest you and persecute you; they will hand you over to synagogues and prisons, and you will be brought before kings and governors because of my name. This will give you an opportunity to testify. So make up your minds not to prepare your defence in advance; for I will give you words and a wisdom that none of your opponents will be able to withstand or contradict. You will be betrayed even by parents and brothers, by relatives and friends; and they will put some of you to death. You will be hated by all because of my name. But not a hair of your head will perish. By your endurance you will gain your souls.
Earthquake destroys Basilica of St Benedict, 30 Oct., 2016

This Sunday falls between two celebrations of church buildings in Rome, the Feast of the Dedication of the Lateran Basilica on 9 November and the Optional Memorial of the Dedication of the Basilicas of Saints Peter and Paul on 18 November. When the former falls on a Sunday its celebration takes precedence over the Sunday. The official name of the Lateran Basicilica is the Archbasilica of the Most Holy Saviour and of Saints John the Baptist and the Evangelist and is the Cathedral of the Diocese of Rome.

Full post here.

27 Jul 2016

Please Pray along with Me for Our Priests

I am hosting this pray along of a novena of novenas for the protection of our priests and deacons, as well as the conversion of our enemies--not only for our sake, but the sake of their souls. Please pray along with me and share this with your friends and family, our clergy needs our prayers and petitions more than they ever have!


Please visit Veils and Vocations for more information and the novena prayers. God bless.

24 Nov 2015

Works of Mercy Bouquet: Bury the Dead


They are dead and we rejoice in that shred of hope that at least they can commit no more atrocities against humanity.  However, part of me always wonders, what were their last thoughts?  Did they have children, a wife, siblings, friends?  Even in a radical, militarist society, their mothers must weep knowing they are gone.  Surely, even with a mission from Allah, they will be missed.  Even if they aren't, they were all infused with immortal souls at conception, they were blessed by the LORD and their lives were planned before eternity began.  Yes, they have turned against God.  Yes, they have sinned against their fellow man, taking innocent lives and creating fear in a cloud of evil and destruction.  But, do we not all sin?  Does it not grieve the Father when we speak harshly to our brother or child, when we react selfishly and refuse to focus on the other?  Are we any more deserving of mercy because our sins have not become international news?

Read more at Veils and Vocations.

3 Sep 2015

Urgent Prayer Request--A Novena of Novenas

I have hosted a Novena of Novenas before.  I think it is time we do so again.  The conditions for Christians in the Middle East are beyond horrendous! When the photos were released of the Holocaust, the world vowed, never again!  Yet, photos are flooding out of the largest and most vicious genocide ever, and our world is waiting and watching in silence.



Syrian Christians are on the cusp of mass slaughter, already displaced and starving, they now face certain death at the hands of ISIS. Am I being over dramatic?  I think not. I think that there are no real words to explain to horror.  We have been inundated by such horror of late, we are paralyzed, overwhelmed by the onslaught of endless evil and darkness.

Continued on Veils and Vocations.

18 Jul 2015

'I will raise up shepherds . . .' Sunday Reflections, 16th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B

Akademie der bildenden Künste, Vienna [Web Gallery of Art]
Gospel Mark 6:30-34 (NRV,Version, Catholic Edition, Canada)  
The apostles gathered around Jesus, and told him all that they had done and taught. He said to them, “Come away to a deserted place all by yourselves and rest a while.” For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat. And they went away in the boat to a deserted place by themselves. Now many saw them going and recognized them, and they hurried there on foot from all the towns and arrived ahead of them. As he went ashore, he saw a great crowd; and he had compassion for them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd; and he began to teach them many things. 

Fr Ragheed Aziz Ganni 
(20 January 1972 - 3 June 2007)
I will raise up shepherds over them who will shepherd them, and they shall not fear any longer, or be dismayed, nor shall any be missing, says the Lord (Jeremiah 23:4. First Reading).
On at least six occasions during his recent nine-day pastoral visit to Ecuador, Bolivia and Paraguay, Pope Francis asked the people to pray for him, as he did when he addressed the people in St Peter's Square for the first time as pope in 2013. 
Full post here.

20 Apr 2015

Novena Day 4: And Then There Were None

On Facebook, the other day, there was a meme that stated, "If we offered a minute of silence for every victim of the Holocaust, we would be silent for eleven and a half years.  It got me wondering, if we offered a minute of silence for every victim of persecution and ethnic cleansing, would we ever speak again?



In college, I had the opportunity to spend six months in Austria to study political science and history.  As one of our study tours, we visited a small concentration camp. It is the only part of my three semesters abroad for which I have no photographs.  It seemed like too hallowed of ground to photograph. Also, I knew I would never forget being there-- twenty years later I can still feel the immense weight of sorrow that presses in on you and smell the stench of heinous deaths.  What struck me most, though, was the small strip of green grass that separated this place of horrors from a beautiful town.  Yards away people were eating and drinking, playing and building lives. They had to have known something was wrong.  Why didn't they stop it?  I'm sure some of it was fear, but I believe the true root of why the holocaust even occurred was indifference.  "They don't want me."  "That isn't in my backyard, let them take care of it themselves."  " I have my own life to live."

Read more on Veils and Vocations.

17 Apr 2015

A Novena and a Giveaway

The plight of the persecuted has never been more dire, yet most of the world has remained silent---a deafening silence!  My heart has been heavy with wanting to help those who are suffering the unimaginable.  They are constantly on my mind and in my prayers.  While I have tried hard to shield myself from the graphic photographs, just reading about the atrocities has flooded my mind with images that I can't forget.


Many nights thoughts and fears have consumed me. Perhaps fear is not the correct word. I do not fear, I know that the gates of Hell shall not prevail. I know that my God has already won. I know that Christ is risen, and in Him I shall never die. God always prevails and provides. However, the feeling of evil closing in around us has greatly saddened my heart.

Read more on Veils and Vocations.

9 Apr 2015

'Unless I see the mark of the nails . . .' Sunday Reflections, 2nd Sunday of Easter, Year B

The Gospel of John (2003) dir. by Philip Saville- John 20:19-31  Today is now known also as 'Sunday of Divine Mercy' and in some English-speaking countries as 'Low Sunday'.

Gospel John 20:19-31
 When it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and the doors of the house where the disciples had met were locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” After he said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord.  Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” When he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.  If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.”
But Thomas (who was called the Twin), one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord.” But he said to them, “Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands, and put my finger in the mark of the nails and my hand in his side, I will not believe.”
A week later his disciples were again in the house, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were shut, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.”  Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here and see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it in my side. Do not doubt but believe.”  Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!”  Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have come to believe.”
Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book. But these are written so that you may come to believe that Jesus is the Messiah,the Son of God, and that through believing you may have life in his name.

Apostle St ThomasJusepe Martínez, c.1630 Szépmûvészeti Múzeum, Budapest [Web Gallery of Art]
I carry a scar on one of my hips from surgery when I was 17. I can't even remember which hip. But the scar is there, along with a couple of smaller scars from accidents when I was young. I hardly ever think about them. But they are there.

St Thomas's instinct was right: Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands, and put my finger in the mark of the nails and my hand in his side, I will not believe. He knew that if the Lord was truly risen he would carry the scars of his suffering. And he carries them for all eternity. Full post here.

6 Sep 2014

'If the member listens to you, you have regained that one.' Sunday Reflections, 23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A

The Repentant Peter, El Greco, c.1600
Phillips Collection, Washington [Web Gallery of Art]
Readings (New American Bible: Philippines, USA)
Readings (Jerusalem Bible: Australia, England & Wales, India [optional], Ireland, New Zealand, Pakistan, Scotland, South Africa) 

Jesus said to his disciples:
“If another member of the church sins against you, go and point out the fault when the two of you are alone. If the member listens to you, you have regained that one.  But if you are not listened to, take one or two others along with you, so that every word may be confirmed by the evidence of two or three witnesses.  If the member refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if the offender refuses to listen even to the church, let such a one be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector.  Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.  Again, truly I tell you, if two of you agree on earth about anything you ask, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven.  For where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them.”


Today's gospel looks at forgiveness, mainly from the point of view of helping someone to acknowledge a wrongdoing and thereby asking for and receiving forgiveness. During this week I kept thinking about a Christian Brother who taught me in Dublin and one incident involving him that I witnessed and another I heard about years later. I'll simply copy from a previous post, with one or two slight changes.
Full post here.

4 Sep 2014

A Hijacked Pretty-Happy-Funny-Real

So, I had planned on posting a new {p,h,f,r} with Auntie Leila, since it has been a whole month since I have. Where does time go?  However, it seems God has other plans, since I cannot get my pictures to load and something has just come through my news feed that I must share!  So here is an unconventional, but important {p,h,f,r} post.

Pretty
 
On September 20th at the beautiful Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, there will be a "kick-off" event for the International Week of Prayer and Fasting.  All Catholics are asked to pray, fast, give, adore, repent, and attend Mass during this week for the conversion and defeat of ISIS.  Please join in.  The Basilica's website has information as well as the official IWOPF website and this article from Zenit.
 
Please read more at Veils and Vocations.

25 Mar 2013

The Myth of Persecution

Te Martyrum candidatus laudat exercitus.~ from the Te Deum
When I wrote to Dr. Moss requesting her latest work The Myth of Persecution, I received a prompt and gracious reply assuring me of a copy. Dr. Moss hoped that I would not see the book as an attack upon the Church. I responded that I did not see the book as an attack on the Church and even if it was, the Church has been through worse. We have nothing to fear from the truth of history.

After reading the book my reply is not altered. It is a well-written book with clear explanations indicative of a skilled teacher. However, I recommend Myth to others with reservations, since in spite of the genuine scholarship which Dr. Moss shares with us, there is a contemporary political slant given to the narrative which clouds the objectivity of how the historical evidence is presented. For instance, my cognitive processes are strained to envision St. Justin Martyr (pp. 109-112) and Glenn Beck (p. 250) as confreres in a long battle of paranoid right-wing true believers to demonize the opposition. And the whys and wherefores of the legend of Saints Chrysthanus and Daria (pp. 83-88) are intriguing enough without dragging Ann Coulter into the mix. (p. 255)

The main premise of Myth of Persecution is that the early Christians, and those generations who followed immediately after them, exaggerated the Roman punishment of those who refused to comply with the laws of the Empire. (p. 16) Dr. Moss claims that the Christians made it appear that they suffered one long relentless persecution for over three hundred years, which made them see themselves as victims and everyone else as the enemy. (pp. 18-19) The book goes on to assert that Christians have continued to do this and are doing it now, especially the conservative branches of the various Christian offshoots who marginalize anyone who does not agree with them, especially anyone involved in the abortion industry. (p. 252) This view completely overlooks the vast number of Christians who are engaged in giving practical help to the unfortunate, including those with post-abortion trauma.

 I grew up around Christians, most of whom were either Catholic or Episcopalian; they certainly did not instill in me an idea of non-Christians being the enemy. Nor did I ever have the impression that the early Christian persecution by the Romans was non-stop. I was aware at an early age that some Emperors persecuted and some did not, Diocletian being one that did. While I understand the point the author is trying to make, I think it is an oversimplification of a complex process involving many types of Christians and different cultures over two thousand years.

What makes Myth of Persecution an interesting read is that it shows how the Roman authorities saw the Christians. They saw them as annoying, crazy, disrespectful, cowardly, vengeful, violent, devious and even incestuous. (pp. 170-187) I have the impression that much of this assessment is shared by the author as well. Such bias mitigates the effectiveness of the genuine lessons which are to be learned from the book. Certainly, there are elements among the diverse Christian communities who exhibit a harsh and paranoid reaction at every hostile hiccup on the horizon. I am not denying that sometimes in showing zeal for a cause Christians forget that the charity of Christ is what defines them. If Christians who read this book will take that lesson to heart then progress will have been made.

The book does indeed offer a great deal of wisdom which should not be taken lightly. In Chapter 6, "Myths about Martyrs", Dr. Moss makes an excellent point about how imitation of the martyrs does not mean the complacent acceptance of an abusive or oppressive situation. The martyrs were killed because they stood up to injustice, not because they were doormats. (pp.201-204)  To quote: "As much as we admire those who are willing to sacrifice themselves for others, there are also circumstances in which this in inappropriate. Modern theologians have criticized the idea that imitating the suffering Christ means obedience and submission in circumstances of oppression." (p.202) I would interject that for persons of faith suffering can still be personally redemptive, even while working to correct the injustices which create the suffering.

Now the author does not deny that, in spite of the title of the book, the Christians were genuinely persecuted by the Roman authorities from time to time. This is, of course, a fact of history. Dr. Moss insists that the persecution undertaken by St. Paul in the Acts of the Apostles was not a genuine persecution, saying:
 That Paul himself would admit that he had participated in this practice [i.e., “persecuting the church of God”] lends credibility to the narrative of Acts, but it does not prove that Jews persecuted Christians. The primary reason for this is that there were no Christians! Not only did the name ‘Christian’ not yet exist, but the idea of Christians as a group distinct from the rest of Judaism did not exist in the lifetime of the apostles. (p.133)
So according to Myth of Persecution, St. Stephen the first martyr was not a bona fide martyr. Whatever the people later to be known as Christians were called, Paul persecuted them, and later repented of it. The Acts of the Apostles affirms that the Followers of Jesus were first called Christians in Antioch (Acts 11:26) a good hundred years before the Dr. Moss claims they began to be called Christians. Furthermore, Dr. Moss claims that the Christians were not really persecuted by the Romans, but "prosecuted." (pp. 159-160) "Romans saw themselves not as persecutors but as prosecutors....Just because Christians were prosecuted or executed, even unjustly, does not mean that they were persecuted." (pp163-164). Unfortunately, this sort of sophistry is rampant in the book.

The highlights of Myth include the discussions of the executions of Christians under Decius and later under Diocletian. Decius, around 250 AD, did not single out the Christians for persecution. (pp.145-151) Rather he passed a law which required that all Roman citizens participate in the Emperor worship. The Christians did not want to do this, and had to either find a legal loophole around it, or else apostatize their faith. Some chose neither option, and when asked to sacrificed they refused, were tortured and killed. Many were able to escape prosecution but those who were executed became the martyrs whom we honor. As for the Great Persecution of Diocletian, Christians were singled out, beginning in 303, and for the next several years the persecution ebbed and flowed throughout the empire, depending upon local leadership and political circumstances. The persecution of Christians is definitely NOT a myth.

Speaking of Daria and Chrysthanus, the book spends a great deal of time demonstrating how the legend of their acts has many historical inconsistencies. (pp 83-88) This is the case with many of the old legends which grew up around the various martyrs of the early Church. When I was a child during the Second Vatican Council, I remember when many early martyrs and saints were removed from the Roman Calender because of lack of solid historical evidence of their ordeals or even of their existence, St. Catherine of Alexandria being one. The same saints, however, were retained by the Byzantine Catholic calender, since they and the accounts of their sufferings were seen as being hallowed by sacred tradition. I think Myth of Persecution would have been richer if it had taken into account the power of storytelling and the liturgy as a means of permitting the believers to participate in the sacred drama. Whether every detail of the story of Chrysthanus and Daria really happened is not what was important to our brothers and sisters in the faith. What mattered was the inner truths the story conveyed which the believers would enter into and participate in through prayers, veneration of relics and the sacred liturgy. We will never have the newspaper accounts of the death of Daria and Chrysthanus and of any number of other martyrs. The accounts do not exist. We do, however have a rich tradition about them, passed on through good times and bad. And we have the relics of Chrysthanus and Daria, which have recently been examined, according to the National Geographic, showing that they were young, highborn and possibly buried alive.

There is a great deal in the book about how Christians see the world as the enemy. But Jesus warned us that it would be so. "In the world you will have distress, but have confidence, I have overcome the world." (John 16: 33) Christians must always guard against the things of the world which threaten the health of the soul. We must not forget the confidence which we are invited to have in Jesus Christ, and this confidence should preserve us from the very perils we wish to avoid, the tendency pass rash judgment, to despair, to become bitter, to hate, to be greedy. Martyrdom is overcoming those things of the world, and in that way supersedes political and cultural vicissitudes.

(This book was sent to me by the author's representative in exchange for my honest opinion.)

9 Feb 2013

Back to the Catacombs




In the future the Catholic church will again be despised as it was when it was beginning. The culture will rise up against the church all over the world. The Holy Mass will be outlawed and the Holy Mass and the sacraments will go underground again. The weaning out of those that will not be able to stand those times has already begun. Many will not be able to stand the pressure that the culture will bring to bear on our faith. They will just fade away quietly, but fade away they will. In many hearts is not the fortitude to stand up to what is to come as we are again attacked for our faith. What will be left is what we had in the beginning of the church, no weakness, faith as strong as iron, those who don't "believe", they KNOW. 

The remnant will not only give all they possess, but not even deny God their own blood to be shed for the faith, for they will know that if God wills, it is by shedding their blood that there is victory and many will be saved. 

Now is not the time for sweetness and light, our priests and bishops must teach and speak the truth boldly from the pulpit. This does not lack any love. Is it love to allow someone to remain in a burning house and not tell them it is on fire? Sometimes it is better to shout the danger to souls so that they avoid the fire. Why do I predict this? Because the sin of abortion is like a cancer that is eating the secular culture giving way to many things that are evil being allowed or called good. We are truly in the time when what is evil in God's eyes is called "good". This greatest sin, killing our own children will beget a hatred and a desire to bring down the still living representation of God's church on the earth, the Holy Catholic Church. The tide is turning...the waves are beginning to increase even now. We will be persecuted, we are being persecuted - but not to it's fullest extent yet. 

I beg every priest that is within the sound of my voice to hear what I say now and hold it in your heart. When the time comes that the Holy Mass is again driven underground, I beg you...I BEG you...you must continue the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass privately. Even if no person may be able to attend for fear of the danger involved, the Holy Mass MUST continue on the earth - for without it the earth would cease to exist! This is one of God's gifts to His church so that the gates of hell would never prevail against it, the fact that the laity is not required to be in attendance at the Holy Mass for the Holy Sacrifice to take place. You will do us better service to continue the Holy Mass even if we cannot attend for fear of danger than by having it not performed at all. Do the Holy Mass at the Hour of Mercy, 3 pm if possible, thus also guaranteeing the perpetual sacrifice throughout the world. 

The ones in our pews now that use birth control, the I.U.D, and are not faithful to the Magisterium, when the time comes for the hardest of persecution, they will drop their faith like they picked up a hot pan. Thinking they are right above God, they will "pray" for us in our misguided desire to click to the "old" faith and not keep up with "science and the times.". I tell you these are the ones that are more lost than any protestant that never new the faith. Because they were given the Catholic faith, and all of our tools to seek and to know the truth. One rosary a day would have saved them...so little, yet many will not do this one prayer and thus be lost. 

While the Priests will be doing the Holy Mass for salvation of the world, we the remnant must know our faith so that we can teach others. The priest that is in hiding will have to focus on the Holy Mass and the Sacraments, it will be up to us to teach the faith and bring souls into the church. Learn your faith NOW, know it well, and evangelize it NOW teach your children the faith NOW, this will be the training ground for what must come later. 

16 Aug 2012

'The strength that empowered me was the Eucharist.' Sunday Reflections, 20th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year B

 

Sandhill Mass Rock ('Carraig an Aifrinn', in Irish), County Donegal, Ireland.

During the 17th century, when Catholics in Ireland were persecuted, Mass was often celebrated in remote places, with a Mass rock as the altar.

Readings (New American Bible: Philippines, USA) 

Readings (Jerusalem Bible: Australia, England & Wales, India [optional], Ireland, New Zealand, Pakistan, Scotland, South Africa) 

Gospel John 6:51-58 (Revised Standard Version – Catholic Edition)

Jesus said to the crowds: “I am the living bread which came down from heaven; if any one eats of this bread, he will live for ever; and the bread which I shall give for the life of the world is my flesh." The Jews then disputed among themselves, saying, "How can this man give us his flesh to eat?" So Jesus said to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, you have no life in you; he who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is food indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him. As the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so he who eats me will live because of me. This is the bread which came down from heaven, not such as the fathers ate and died; he who eats this bread will live for ever." 
Full post here.

Multiple Sins Against Chastity - A Look at the Ninth Commandment

Human love demands a total self-giving of one to another within the covenant of marriage. There is no room for self-gratification, or for...