Sunday, February 28, 2010

Sermon: Fr. Justin Nolan, FSSP Rewind-Suffering

I was going back through some of the sermons I had from Fr. Justin Nolan, FSSP. Unfortunately Fr. Nolan is no longer with us at Christ the King in Sarasota, he has been moved up to the colder area of the country. But we do have some great sermons to remember him by that he gave while he was here. I have some of his sermons posted on the website, but only one is uploaded on iTunes. The Catholic Champion iTunes account is now being downloaded over 300 times a month now, so I thought I would go ahead and make some of the "Oldies But Goodies" available to you for download! This sermon is about suffering. Enjoy!

New Sermon on the Passion of Our Lord and the Crucifix

I have uploaded another sermon by Fr. James Fryar, FSSP. This one is a pew recording since Father did not record it from the ambo. I have a couple of more coming so stay tuned. You can listen here streaming it, or you can download it on iTunes by searching the store for Catholic Champion. Enjoy!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Interesting Stats on Malta

Pope Benedict XVI is going to visit Malta on April 17th and 18th this year. The visit will be to celebrate the 1950th anniversary of the shipwreck of St. Paul. Large crowds of Catholics are expected on the island due to the fact that 94.4% are Catholic! Here are some interesting facts on Malta from the Catholic News Agency.

The Central Office of Statistics of the Church reports that 94.4 percent of the country's 443,000 people are Catholic and that there are 853 religious and diocesan priests in their service.
This, according to the official statistics, means that there is a priest for every 490 Catholics on the island and an average of 10 priests for every place of worship.
In addition to the elevated number of clergy, there are almost 1,150 religious in Malta.
The Church in Malta also has 91 major seminarians, nearly half the number currently studying for the priesthood in Ireland, which has nearly 10 times the population.

Cardinal George and the Mormons

I ran across an article about an address given by Cardinal George at BYU on Feb 23rd, 2010. Below is some of what the Cardinal had to say. I don't have a problem with the first quote, but I do have a major problem with the second.

“I’m personally grateful that after 180 years of living mostly apart from one another, Catholics and Latter-day Saints have begun to see one another as trustworthy partners in the defense of shared moral principles and in the promotion of the common good of our beloved country,” he said.

“Our churches have different histories and systems of belief and practice, although we acknowledge a common reference point in the person and the gospel of Jesus Christ.”

Cardinal George is president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and the first Chicago native to become archbishop of Chicago. He presides over 2.3 million Catholics in the Chicago Archdiocese. 

So, let me ask, how can Catholics and Mormons share a common reference point on the gospel of Jesus Christ? Was the Cardinal just talking about the having the New Testament Scriptures in common? I don't even think you can say that we have a common reference point in the person of Jesus Christ, because the Mormons do not recognize Christ as being the God of the Nicene Creed. The only thing we have in common is using the name, Jesus Christ. Mormons do not hold that Jesus is the only Son of God, being one of the three persons of the Holy Trinity. They believe that Jesus and Satan are basically equals. I don't know what in the world the dear Cardinal was thinking when he said this. Below are a few facts that should make it quite clear that Mormonism has no common reference point to the true gospel of Jesus Christ, as it is proclaimed by His one and only, Catholic Church.

From an address to the Harvard Divinity School in March 2001 by Robert L. Millet, former dean of religious education at Brigham Young University. (Newsroom)

Latter-day Saints do not accept the Christ that emerges from centuries of debates and councils and creeds. Over the years that followed the death and resurrection of the Lord, Christians sought to “earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints” (Jude 1:3). We believe that the epistles of Paul, Peter, Jude and John suggest that the apostasy or falling away of the first-century Christian church was well underway by the close of the first century. With the deaths of the apostles and the loss of the priesthood, the institutional power to perform and oversee saving sacrament or ordinances, learn the mind of God and interpret scripture was no longer on earth.

The First Vision. Joseph Smith’s First Vision represents the beginning of the revelation of God in our day. President Gordon B. Hinckley has observed: “To me it is a significant and marvelous thing that in establishing and opening this dispensation our Father did so with a revelation of himself and of his Son Jesus Christ, as if to say to all the world that he was weary of the attempts of men, earnest through these attempts might have been, to define and describe him. … The experience of Joseph Smith in a few moments in the grove on a spring day in 1820, brought more light and knowledge and understanding of the personality and reality and substance of God and his Beloved Son than men had arrived at during centuries of speculation.”

The Book of Mormon. Through the Book of Mormon, translated by Joseph Smith, came additional insights concerning the person and powers of Jesus the Christ.

More from

Throughout time, God has given His servants, the prophets, the authority to act in His name.  This authority is called the priesthood. Jesus Christ gave the priesthood to His original Twelve Apostles, and they directed the work of His Church after Jesus ascended to heaven.  After the Apostles were killed, the priesthood gradually disappeared from the earth.

In 1829, Joseph Smith received the restored priesthood authority to organize Christ’s Church.  John the Baptist appeared and conferred upon Joseph Smith and his associate Oliver Cowdery the Aaronic Priesthood, which includes the authority to perform the ordinance of baptism.  Later, Peter, James, and John (three of Christ’s original Apostles) appeared and conferred the Melchizedek Priesthood upon Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery, restoring the same authority given to Christ’s Apostles anciently.  In 1830, with this priesthood authority, the same Church of Jesus Christ that existed centuries ago was organized and restored to the earth by Joseph Smith. 
A living prophet—the President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints—is the authorized successor to Joseph Smith.  He and the present Apostles trace their authority to Jesus Christ in an unbroken chain of ordinations through Joseph Smith.
Here is another source explaining how Joseph Smith received his new "revelations."Source

According to family tradition, the young seer retired to his bedroom one evening after discussing the Bible with his parents and siblings. In a night vision he saw an angelic messenger who told him that his sins were forgiven and that he would uncover an ancient record buried near their home. The next day, working in the fields alongside his older brother, he fainted from lack of sleep and again saw the messenger who commanded him to go and retrieve the sacred record.
He found the book, which was inscribed in an unknown script on gold leaves, hidden in a stone box with a pair of eye-glasses, the lenses of which were made of diamonds the size of "an English crown only slightly thicker." By looking through the glasses, then at an opaque seer stone placed in a hat, the book's script appeared as illuminated English words. He published his translation as the Book of Mormon. Later, in a friend's bedroom, Joseph was impressed to ordain elders and to organize a new church. Almost immediately his followers performed miracles, beginning with a dramatic levitation and exorcism which inaugurated the restoration of primitive Christianity. 

These are some of the most blasphemous and outrageous claims I have ever seen! For someone to be so gullible as to think that the Christian faith disappeared off the face of the earth for 1800 years, only to be reestablished by some nut job with some magic glasses is quite ridiculous. What is more ridiculous is that a Cardinal would think that all of this is a common point of reference of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Am I missing something here? If so, please explain.If I offended any Mormons, I am sorry, but I just cannot believe people actually buy into this cult.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Crazy Heart: Movie Review

I started doing movie reviews recently, because frankly there are not many Catholic internet sites or news sources that will give you an honest movie review. I just got home from watching a pretty good movie called Crazy Heart. If you like country music then this you will enjoy this movie. I spent a great deal of time in the past, playing live music in bars and clubs, so I really enjoyed the musical aspect of the movie. The soundtrack is great, and the music written for the movie, and sung by Jeff Bridges is pretty good. There is a great deal of country music sung during the film and the storyline is decent as well. Jeff Bridges plays an aging country music star with an alcohol problem that has destroyed his life. It is good to see a decent drama come out of Hollywood for a change, although they could have left a couple scenes out. There is a caveat that you should be aware of before packing the family up to go see it. The movie is Rated R for language and brief sexuality, and I would recommend that you leave your kids at home. There is some profanity in the movie, though not overbearing by Hollywood standards. There is also one quick skin scene (No total nudity) about an hour or so into the film, and a couple of other implied scenes of the same content. Aside from that, the movie is about as good as it gets from Hollywood these days. If you can tolerate those couple of quick scenes then adults will enjoy the film. I await the day when you don't have to cover your eyes for a scene to watch a Hollywood film.

Is It Torture or Not?

In light of all of the torture discussions going on around the internet, I thought I would post up this scenario to see what people think about it in regards to Catholic moral theology. This is a specific scenario that falls into the rare category, but this is what moral theologians discuss in regards to Church teaching. The scenario is very specific, so lets plug it in and see if it the action would be morally licit or not according to Church teaching. For the record, my intent is not justify any specific government operation.


Joe is pulled over by highway patrolman. The officer finds that he has a girl in the car with him that has recently gone missing. They take Joe to the police station where Joe admits to the state authorities that he has kidnapped several girls, and he admits that he has another girl in an undisclosed location who is locked in a closet with no access to food and water. Can the state authorities withhold food and water from Joe, until Joe decides to tell where he has the other girl? Does this action fall into the states right and duty to protect its citizens from violent criminals? Is it immoral to take a proportionate action against Joe to stop his violent crime? Would the Church classify this as torture? If anyone can answer that question in a rational, Thomistic style reply, it would be most appreciated.

Notice there are a couple of known facts that make this scenario completely different from the usual ticking time bomb scenario.

1. We know for a fact that Joe is guilty.
2. We know that there is a violent crime still being carried out by Joe.

FSSP Responds to SSPX Protest

Fr Romanoski FSSP, has responded to the SSPX protest, and the flier that was passed out during the protest line by line. Fr. Romanoski is one of the priests at the FSSP parish in Mexico that was the victim of the SSPX's protests and disruption of Mass a few weeks ago. Don Paco over at Ite ad Thomam has made Father's response available.  Below are a few of the lines that caught my eye. To read the entire letter visit the link. I am glad that Fr. Romanoski wrote this letter and made it available to be read. He addresses the issue of ecumenism and the Vatican II documents well. If the SSPX folks would wake up and face reality by reading this, they would be reconciled with the Church tomorrow. 

Flyer text in black,
This means that the Fraternity of St. Peter must accept the following text of the Council: "This Church constituted and organized in the world as a society, subsists in the Catholic Church, which is governed by the successor of Peter and by the Bishops in communion with him, although many elements of sanctification and of truth are found outside of its visible structure. These elements, as gifts belonging to the Church of Christ, are forces impelling toward catholic unity"; taken from Lumen gentium, no. 8, second paragraph.

Fr. Romanoski's Response in red,
Here the author assumes that, if one explicitly accepts paragraph 25 of Lumen gentium, one must also explicitly agree with paragraph 8.  Non sequitur.  What does follow from the traditional teaching of 25, is what has already been explained, that all magisterial documents must be accepted according to the orindary mode of theological interpretation, allowing for dubia where such texts are not infallible, nor seem clear. I know of no official position of the FSSP or of the SSPX regarding the expression, 'subsisit in'. Suffice it to say that Msgr. Lefebvre signed this document at the Council, and there was no objection made by any traditional bishop at the end of the Council that this phrase was heretical, but rather only ambiguous. I know of at least one FSSP priest who has investigated the subject thoroughly, writing a dissertation on the subject, who also noted that the phrase was introduced by the renowned Bellarmine scholar Trump, in order to affirm the exclusive substantial identification between the Catholic Church, and the Church of Christ. There are also the Vatican responses on the subject, and if any Catholic has subsequent doubts, he is of course free to write a dubium to the Vatican. And in the meantime all are of course free to express the faith in the arguably clearer forms of Pius XII, in Mystici Corporis, and Humani Generis #27, which very clearly are obliging Magisterial texts, since all official subsequent declarations of the Magisterium have only affirmed that they did not wish to undo the traditional teaching.

In the Council, H. Schauf wished to substitute adest with est, while S. Tromp responded by proposing subsistit in. It was Philips, the chairman of the discussion, who noted the acceptance of the term subsistit in. The change from adest to subsistit came, therefore, not from the Bishops but from members of the Commission, in the same way as the change from est to adest. It is not possible to identify the meaning that those present attributed to the term subsistit in.

The tape recording is more informative. It shows that Schauf disagreed with the term adest because in his opinion it was imprecise. Immediately Tromp replies:

Possumus dicere: itaque subsistit in Ecclesia catholica, et hoc est exclusivum [said very forcefully], in quantum dicitur: alibi non sunt nisi elementa. Explicatur in textu".32
We can say, therefore that it subsists in the Catholic Church, and this is exclusive [said very forcefully], in so far as it is said that there are but elements. It is explained in the text.
In his opinion, therefore, the term subsistit in expresses a property that is exclusive to the Catholic Church.

And according to these conditions, the Fraternity of St. Peter will not be able to criticize the documents of the council.

Hence, according to these conditions, the FSSP will follow the traditional Catholic theological norms for questioning non-infallible statements of the Magisterium.

Therefore, our protest is not against a priest of this congregation, it is more general, against the entire institution called THE FRATERNITY OF ST. PETER, which was born ECUMENICAL and SILENCED even before it saw the light of day.

The protesters knew that the Mass that was going to be said in the chapel of the FSSP in Guadalajara the night of January 20th was not an ecumenical event, since the SSPX chapel was informed beforehand via email.  The manifest intent of those present handing out this flyer, therefore, in the presence of Fr. Puga SSPX leading the prayers, was simply to protest against the entire institution of the FSSP, which has carried on the mission of reintroducing the traditional rites and praxis into the heart of the Church, which now enjoys over 200 priests, and has trained hundreds and hundreds of priests, and even bishops worldwide on how to say the traditional Catholic Mass, while at the same time preaching traditional Catholic doctrine, as one can hear from the many audio recorded sermons available on-line, and as clearly seen in the sermon delivered during the Mass that night.

Friday, February 19, 2010

"Reformed" Denominations Versus The Rest of Christianity

I was looking through the different Christian denominations and I ran across the world population numbers for each group. The numbers are very interesting. For all of the controversy, hate and discontent the "Reformed" flavor brings to the world, their numbers are very insignificant in comparison to the world population of Christians.

For example the total number of Protestants are 670 million. Only 75 million are of the "Reformed" flavor. That is just over 11% of Protestants. The Catholic Church is somewhere around 1.2 billion. If we compare the "Reformed" numbers to Catholics, it is around 6% the size in relation to Catholic numbers. If we add up all Protestants and Catholics together aside from the "Reformed" flavor, we arrive at the very insignificant number of just over 4% being "Reformed." Finally if we add in the 210 million Eastern Orthodox we arrive at the minuscule number of 3.5% of all professing Christians being of the  "Reformed" flavor. This puts some of their core doctrines at odds with 96.5 % of all professing Christians in the world. Just some fun facts for you to ponder.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Flyer Handed Out at SSPX Protest in Mexico Criticized FSSP!

As you  know, I posted a news story a few weeks ago regarding the SSPX protest against the FSSP in Mexico. In case you were wondering what the flyers said on them that were handed out at the protest, Don Paco over at Ite ad Thomam has posted the actual flyer and translated the text. It appears the protesters in Mexico are accusing the FSSP of false ecumenism. Part of the text is posted below. Thanks to Don Paco for posting it up.

"Therefore, our protest is not against a priest of this Congregation, it is more general, against the entire institution called THE FRATERNITY OF ST. PETER, which was born [as] ECUMENICAL and SILENCED even before coming into being [lit., seing the light].

Currently, neither has this group reacted to the most recent ecumenical gathering between the Pope and the Jews, in which were said phrases such as: “The Second Vatican Council committed the Catholic Church in an irrevocable way to follow the path of ecumenical action, making itself hear the Spirit of the Lord, who teaches us to read attentively the ‘signs of the times’.”  Here we see that this society continues to be faithful to its destructive mission among traditional Catholics of “good faith.”
The protest and reparation are [done], also, because this Fraternity presents its name in these gatherings, thus collaborating with them and not having the courage to come out of its conciliar schemes by opposing the archbishop and the highest Roman authorities, in order to remain faithful to Our Lord Jesus Christ."

Bishop Robert F. Vasa Pulls Catholic Status of Hospital!

Bishop Robert F. Vasa of the the Diocese of Baker, in Oregon has pulled the Catholic status of Oregon's largest hospital, St. Charles Medical Center claiming, "As bishop, I am responsible for attesting to the full Catholicity of the hospitals in my diocese, a responsibility which I take very seriously, and I have reached the conclusion that I can no longer attest to the Catholicity of St. Charles," This is a bold move by the Bishop, and I am glad to see him stick to the Church's teaching and not let these hospitals snub their noses at the Church. The full article says, "Mass will no longer be celebrated in the hospital's chapel and all items considered Catholic will be removed from the hospital and returned to the church." There are many "Catholic" hospitals that play games with the Church and her teachings, using various methods to sidestep the Church's teaching on abortion and contraception. It is my hope that this will be a wake up call for them that this will not be tolerated by the bishops. You can read the entire story on the hospital here. (CNS) 

PSYou have to see the Cathedral that he renovated. Very nice job indeed!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Catholic "Scholars" Try to Derail Pope Pius XII's Canonization

There is a news article out on Reuters reporting of several Catholic "scholars" protesting that Pope Pius XII's canonization be stalled.

"We implore you to ensure that such a historical investigation takes place before proceeding with the (sainthood) cause of Pope Pius XII," the scholars told the pope." "They said that Pius had become in essence, a de facto "symbol of Christian-anti-Judaism and anti-Semitism" (Reuters article)

This is the same liberal nonsense that has been going on in the Church for years now. We have "Catholics" more worried about offending those outside the Church, than getting those outside the Church to convert to the true faith. I wonder if these "scholars" remember Pope Pius XII being hailed as a hero by the Jewish people after the war?  There has been adequate research done on the Holy Father, and he is clearly a saint who tried to do everything he could to save Jews from the Nazis. I am sure the Pope will not be persuaded to abandon the cause of such a great saint as Pope Pius XII due to a few "scholars" opinions.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

The Self Authenticating Scriptures?

The "Reformed" Net-Apologist who calls himself Turretin Fan quoted a Dr. Bahsen on the definition of the self authentication of the Scriptures. He quoted Dr. Bahsen's explanation as follows:
Throughout the history of redemption God has directed His people to find His message and words in written form. Indeed, God Himself provided the prototype of written revelation when He delivered the tablets of law upon Mount Sinai. And when God subsequently spoke by His Spirit through chosen messengers (II Peter 1:21), their words were characterized by self-vindicating authority. That is, it was evident from their message that they were speaking for God -- whether the claim was explicit (e.g., "Thus saith the Lord...") or implicit (the arresting power or demand of their message as a word from the Lord of the covenant: e.g., Matt. 7:28-29).

Moreover, their messages were of necessity coherent with each other. A genuine claim to inspiration by a literary work minimally entailed consistency with any other book revealed by God, for God does not lie (" is impossible for God to lie," Heb. 6:18) and does not contradict Himself ("But as God is faithful, our word to you is not yes and no," II Cor. 1:18). A genuine word from God could always be counted upon, then, to agree with previously given revelation -- as required in Deut. 13:1-5, "If there arises among you a prophet..., saying `Let us go after other gods...,' you shall not hearken unto that prophet....You shall walk after Jehovah your God, and fear Him, and keep His commandments, and obey His voice...."

My response.

Nowhere in the early Church does anyone teach this self authentication process exactly as Dr. Bahsen presents it here. Oh sure, you can always perform a hatchet job with the Church Father's writings, and cut and paste quotes out of context like we are used to seeing from TF. Whenever you call his bluff however he always seems to disappear. We saw that with the Aquinas debacle where Turretin Fan tried to quote St. Thomas out of context several times in an attempt to frame St. Thomas as being some sort of proponent for a Scripture Alone. I correctly interpreted the out of context quotes he presented, in a 10 page response I composed. As we know, he disappeared after I posted it, now almost 3 weeks ago. So now he is onto something new. Let me continue.

There is an element of truth in what the Dr. presents here regarding the consistency of Revelation. What the Dr. fails to understand however, is the method in which Christians of the true faith determined this consistency of Divine Revelation. It was not by self authentication.

We must quote John Calvin here to give a more complete picture of what is going on here. Calvin gives us a clear example of how he thinks Sacred Scripture is self authenticated.

"Let this point therefore stand: those whom the Holy Spirit has inwardly taught truly rest upon Scripture, and that Scripture indeed is self-authenticated; hence it is not right to subject it to proof and reasoning. And the certainty it deserves with us, it attains by the testimony of the Spirit. For even if it wins reverence for itself by its own majesty, it seriously affects us only when it is sealed upon our hearts through the Spirit. Therefore, illumined by his power, we believe neither by our own nor by anyone else’s judgment that Scripture is from God; but above human judgment we affirm with utter certainty (just as if we were gazing upon the majesty of God himself) that it has flowed to us from the very mouth of God by the ministry of men. We seek no proofs, no marks of genuineness upon which our judgment may lean; but we subject our judgment and wit to it as to a thing far beyond any guesswork!" Institutes of the Christian Religion, I.vii.1, 2, 5

If we read Calvin here, we see the old "I have a hot line to the Holy Spirit" routine. Calvin arrogantly thinks that God speaks to each believer and verifies the authenticity of the Scriptures in a private manner to ultimately give us the Biblical canon. Historical sources tell us that Christians in the early centuries did not self authenticate the Scriptures in this manner. It was ultimately determined by a collective Body. Calvin's method is characteristic of the prideful individualism that we have come to see in all forms of Protestantism.

Photo of the "Reformed Charismatic", Greg Haslam
(Source-Adrian Warnock)

Here are a few facts about the canon of Scripture that TF and those like him don't want you to know. The early Church as a collective Body determined the Canon by comparing it to what had been preached and believed everywhere as Divine Revleation, long before the New Testament Scriptures were ever used. It was never an individual effort to determine them. The Protestants are very ignorant about the Church's early liturgies, and the role that the liturgies played in determining the Biblical canon. It is the living Church that recognizes Scripture for what it is, based upon her infallible character and shared authority which Christ passes on to Her through the apostles to recognize and interpret His Word. The Scriptures, or the written Word of God, were never given as an authority that stood alone from those who preached the Oral Word as a Body, or what we call the Church, capital C.

Once again we see the Protestants trying to pry the authority of Scripture away from the authority of God, the authority shared by God with His only Church, and those whom God chose to send to preach His Word as a Body, not as individuals. This is not only Biblical, it is historical. When presented with these facts, the Protestant has no choice but to invent a new process of authentication to disassociate themselves with anything remotely Catholic in nature. In order to do this they invent a false opposition between authorities, then moving the entire argument away from the Body of Christ, to each individual. I have spoken about this false opposition of authorities many times before. Here, and here for example. The collective Body of Christ and His church is ultimatley left in the dust with this self authentication process. I would like to entertain this topic a bit further, but right now I have some projects to get done so I can't dive in any deeper. There is a nice article on Called to Communion that addresses this issue in more detail.

May God bless and keep you,
Matthew Bellisario

Monday, February 15, 2010 is Here! is now here! The Extraordinary Form of the Mass, as it is celebrated in Sarasota, Florida at Christ the King, is now available in an online stream for every Mass! Fr. James Fryar, FSSP has been hard at work perfecting the best looking and best sounding webcast of the Latin Mass available anywhere on the Net. It now has improved video and sound quality and there is also an archived Mass available of the last Mass that was celebrated each day.

A Bow Tie and a Degree Doesn't Make You A Theologian

This video is a perfect example of why a bow tie and college degree does not make you a true theologian. If you are not connected to the same Spirit that gave us the Scriptures, you just aren't going to get it. Take a look at the terrible rationalization that Dr. Tony Curto uses to verify that the Scriptures are God's Word. Notice, its not because God reveals His Word to us by the authority he chose to share with the apostles, as Scripture itself attests, instead he says that it is all self authenticating. Well, I would just love to stick this Doctor in a room with all of the ancient manuscripts that we have including the Old Testament, New Testament, and the Apocryphal books with no punctuation, no labeling of the manuscripts, mix them all together with texts that were rejected and see if the brilliant doctor can put together the Canon of Scripture. We will see how self authenticating the text is. The fact is, we know the Scriptures are what they are, because the Church that preached the same Word before the written Word was Canonized, recognizes them for what they are by virtue of the infallible characteristic of the one Church that Christ Himself gave us. In other words, the Church infused by the Holy Spirit knows the Word of God when it sees it because she has eyes to see and ears to hear it. Unfortunately a college degree and a bow tie doesn't give you eyes to see or ears to hear. If we read church history, it is very clear that the Scriptures were not self authenticating.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Understanding St. Thomas in Context

I have been studying St. Thomas for a couple of months now and I found a great tool for studying the Latin text of the Summa Theologiae. It is the Lexicon of St. Thomas. If you are serious about understanding the Latin words and the proper context they are used in the Summa, then you will love this book. It has every word contained in the Summa and the location and context of each word. I was able to purchase the complete Summa in Latin on Ebay for about $30.00, and somehow I found a complete English text for about $10.00, and this lexicon is about $70.00 (50.00 on sale now at PCP). So for a little over a $100.00 bucks I was able to put together a nice set to study the Summa. The Lexicon was originally published in 1948, and PCP once again has reprinted a classic. The lexicion is over 1200 pages and gives you a working definition of the word you are looking for in the Summa to help you really understand what the Angelic Doctor's intention was in the text.

Looking for a New Prayerbook? "Blessed Be God"

If you are looking for a new traditional Catholic prayerbook you might want to consider picking up a copy titled "Blessed Be God." I picked up a copy this weekend at our local parish bookshop at Christ the King in Sarasota, Fl. This beautiful leatherette bound hardback is an exact reprint of the 1925 original. Preserving Christian Publications has it in stock as well. Its hard to find a prayerbook that has what you want in it, but this comes pretty close to having everything you need.

  • The Ordinary of the Mass in Latin and English,

  • the Epistles and Gospels for all Sundays and Holydays of the year,

  • lots of popular novenas,

  • special Masses such as that for the Dead and the Nuptial Mass,

  • prayers for special Holydays and special purposes and devotions,

    • all the traditional sacraments in English such as Baptism, Extreme Unction and matrimony,

    • prayers for the sick and dying,

    • special devotions for all of the liturgical seasons,

    • Stations of the Cross,

    • and many others too numerous to list.

    • Fully indexed!


Saturday, February 13, 2010

Oprah and the Dominican Sisters

I haven't watched Oprah since occasionally seeing it when my mother had it on the television when I was a kid coming home from school years ago. Recently I found out that Oprah did a show on the Dominican Sisters of Mary, whose convent is located just outside of Ann Arbor, Michigan. I was curious to see how it was done. so I checked it out on You Tube. Of course, as expected, Oprah seems to be focused on the issue of chastity, since the world is so obsessed with sex. Yet overall it wasn't too bad, and it the sisters appeared to have wisely used the opportunity to promote vocations. You can watch it in 4 parts below from You Tube. Aside from a few video glitches, it's not too bad.

Atheists Capitalize on Protestant Stupidity.

Many of you are familiar with the false Protestant teaching concerning the rapture, where "Christians" are to be taken up to heaven just before a major wrath of God hits the earth. This teaching of course is just another Protestant invention brought about by gross misinterpretation of Biblical texts. Now atheists however have apparently figured out a way to make money off this foolishness. According to Businessweek a new company is now taking money to take care of these raptured people's pets after their owners are taken up to heaven! What is so funny about this, aside from being an incredible waste of money, is that these Protestants actually believe that these atheists are really going to be concerned about their pet while this wrath of God is pouring over the earth! What is also quite telling is how secular these Protestant sects really are, that they remain so tied down to earthly worries and possessions that they are willing to waste money on this nonsense. I thought the whole website was a joke (Eternal Earth Bound Pets), but it is on the Businessweek website. Another wonderful product of the Protestant rebellion.

Sorry Fido, your stuck here!

Friday, February 12, 2010

An Interesting Article On Medjugorje

I ran across this article while surfing the net today. It is an interesting interview given by the chairman of the German Society for Mariology, Manfred Hauke, regarding the apparitions at Medjugorje. Here is the entire article, made available by a translation from German on the Catholic Light website. I put a few of the main points from the interview that caught my eye below.

Does the Medjugorje phenomenon fit, in your view, in the line of the great Marian apparition sites such as Lourdes, Fatima, or Guadalupe?  

The Portuguese Cardinal Saraiva-Martins, for years prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, was recently asked about the parallels between Medjugorje and Fatima. He gave the opinion: While the shepherd children of Fatima showed themselves to be humble and chose silence, these virtues are not obvious in Medjugorje; while Sister Lucia entered the cloister, no one in Medjugorje has chosen consecrated life [one of the seers instead married an American beauty queen; this is of course no sin, but it is also no especial sign of a supernatural influence through Marian apparitions]; Sister Lucia put down the secrets entrusted to her by Mary in writing, while the visionaries of Medjugorje keep them for themselves. "No, I see nothing in common between Fatima and Medjugorje" 

Many people regard Medjugorje as the beginning of their conversion. Is there a theological logic of "good fruits", which allows for conclusions of an experience of grace or the authenticity of the phenomenon? 

Good fruits alone are still no confirmation for the supernatural origin of a visionary phenomenon. In medicine placebo therapy also sometimes brings good results, but they aren't to be credited to the medicine as such. And even at a place, at which trickery happens or even the devil acts, it is possible that divine grace acts and people convert and find God. In the criteria for the supernatural credibility of Marian apparitions the fruits are to be connected with the examination of the phenomenon itself and its confirmation through miracles. In Medjugorje there are, in addition, not only good fruits, but also a whole number of negative consequences that are connected with the phenomenon of the apparitions. One of those is the encouragement given to two Franciscan friars, who were urged by the seer Vicka in the name of the "Gospa" to set themselves against the canonically legitimate directives of the local bishop regarding their pastoral activity. At the repeated exhortations of the "Gospa" to disobedience (13 times), the ordinary at the time, Bishop Zanic, who had been originally inclined favorably to the Medjugorje phenomenon, reacted with very understandable rejection.  

In his reaction to Cardinal Schönborn's visit Bishop Peric draws attention to further fruits that are connected with the same exhortation to disobedience: at present there are in the Mostar-Duvno diocese nine ex-Franciscans who were suspended from ministry, but are carrying on in usurped parishes as legal priests; certain Franciscans invited an Old-Catholic deacon in 2001, who presented himself as an "Archbishop" and "confirmed" over 700 young people in the usurped parishes, which a deacon can never validly do; two of the recalcitrant friars invited an Old-Catholic bishop from Switzerland with the request to consecrate them as bishops, which the Old-Catholic bishop, however, declined. Two friars, who were closely connected with the beginning of the Medjugorje phenomenon, were disciplined by the Church: Jozo Zovko (the pastor during the first months of the apparition, June-August 1981) was forbidden by his superiors to have any contact with Medjugorje; Tomislav Vlasic, who worked in Medjugorje from 1981-1988, was released from his priestly duties by the Holy See in 2008

How do you evaluate the "messages" of the "Gospa"?

From that penetrating research, the filtering of the "messages" by the seers or by the priests connected with them was named as a problem. The problematic assertions are often only known to critical source research through obscure publications (in part only in Croatian, English, and French), and are withheld from the broader public.

Particularly in the early period of the phenomenon there were several very unusual messages. According to a tape-recording transcript from June 30, 1981, the seers reported, according to the assertion of the "Gospa", the end of the appearances would be in three days (on July 3), but they then went on. At the sixth apparition (June 29, 1981), the "Gospa" announced the healing of a four-year-old boy, but it never happened. Furthermore, the "Gospa" informed them (May 25, 1984) that her two-thousandth birthday would fall on August 5, 1984. Would the real Mother of God propagate a birthday celebration for herself, that sets itself apart from the date of the liturgical feast (September 8)? If the given date were to be correct historically, then Mary would have been born in the year 16 B.C.

Since, because of the historical data known to us (census, astronomical conjunction), the birth of Christ is to be set at 7 B.C., then Mary would be about 9 years old at the birth of Christ. Besides untruths and ridiculous things, some erroneous teachings are also presented alongside them: Fr. Vlasic wrote on May 8, 1982, in the Chronicle he authored, that according to the utterance of the "Gospa" the Saints in Heaven are present there not only with the soul, but also with the body. Here on display is the erroneous teaching, widely spread today, but condemned by the Church, of "resurrection in death", in which awaiting the future resurrection at the Second Coming of Christ is rendered nugatory. In other words: alongside plenty of catechetical platitudes that are found with notably more substance in the Bible and the Catechism, the messages contain elements that speak clearly against a supernatural origin of the phenomenon.

St. Thomas on 1 Corinthians 3:8-15, and Purgatory- Part III

This is the last in a 3 part series of St. Thomas on 1 Corinthians regarding purgatory. Scroll back to begin at Part I.

1 Cor 3:8b-15
8bAnd each shall receive his wages according to his labor. 9For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, God’s building. 10According to the grace of God given to me, like a skilled master builder I laid a foundation, and another man is building upon it. Let each man take care how he builds upon it. 11For no other foundation can any one lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12Now if any one builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw— 13each man’s work will become manifest; for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done. 14If the work which 39 any man has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward. 15If any man’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire.

Aquinas' Commentary part III
160. – They can also be differentiated on the basis of doctrine. For some, by teaching sound, true and clear doctrine, erect gold, silver and precious stones upon the foundation of faith laid by the apostles; hence it says in Pr (10:20): “The tongue of the righteous is choice silver.” On the other hand, those who add to the faith laid down by the apostles doctrines that are useless, unclear or not supported by true reasons, but vain and empty, erect wood, hay and stubble, hence Jer (23:28): “Let the prophet who has a dream tell the dream, but let him who has my word speak my word faithfully. What has straw in common with wheat? Says the Lord.” Finally those who teach falsehood do not build on the foundation but subvert it.

161. – He says, therefore: If any man builds by his works or teachings on this foundation, i.e., upon the formed faith in his heart or upon the faith founded and taught by the apostles, gold, silver or precious stones, i.e., spiritual works or sound, clear teachings, or wood, hay stubble, i.e., corporal works or silly teachings, each man’s work will become manifest, i.e., its quality will be made known in the divine judgment: for man’s ignorance of it will not keep it hidden forever. For some appear to be erecting woods, hay and stubble by looking for temporal benefits, such as profit or human favor, from spiritual things. Others, however, seem to be erecting wood, hay and stubble, but are really erecting gold, silver and precious stones, because in administering temporal things they have their eye on spiritual things alone. Hence it says in Zeph (1:12): “I will search Jerusalem with lamps” and in Lk (12:2): “Nothing is covered up that will not be revealed.”

162. – Then when he says, for the day for the Lord, he shows when these things will be disclosed. Here it should be noted that the time and day of a thing is said to be present when it exists in its best state and in the fullness of its power. This is the sense in which “all things have their season” (Ec 3:1). Therefore, when a man is fulfilling his will even contrary to God, it is man’s day. In this sense Jer (17:16): “Thou knowest that I have not desired the day of man.” But it is the day of the Lord, when His will is accomplished in regard to men, who are rewarded or punished according to His justice: “At the set time which I appoint I will judge with equity” (Ps 73:2). Hence the day of the Lord can be take in three senses, depending on the three times the Lord will judge.

163. – For there will be a general judgment of all man, as it says in Matt (12:41): “The men of Nineveh will arise at the judgment.” In this sense the day of the Lord will be the last day—judgment day—alluded to in 2 Th (2:2): “Be not terrified as if the day of the Lord were at hand.” This is the interpretation of the statement that the day of the Lord shall disclose it, because on the day of judgment the differences among men’s merits will be disclosed: “On that day when God judges the secrets of men by Jesus Christ” (Rom 2:16).

Another is the particular judgment, which takes place for each person at his death. Lk (16:22) says of this judgment: “The rich man died and was buried in hell; and the poor man also died and was carried to Abraham’s bosom.” In this sense the day of the Lord refers to the day of death, as in 1 Th (5:2): “The day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night.” The day of the Lord will disclose it at that time, because every man’s merits will be plain at his death. Hence it says in Pr (11:7): “When the wicked dies, his hope perishes” and in (14:32): “The righteous man has hope when he dies.”
The third judgment takes place in this life, inasmuch as God sometimes proves a man by the tribulations of this life; hence it says below (11:32): “When we are judged by the Lord, we are chastened so that we may not be condemned along with the world.” In this sense temporal tribulations are called the day of the Lord: “The sound of the day of the Lord is bitter, the mighty man cries aloud there” (Zeph 1:14). Therefore, the day of the Lord shall disclose, because during the time of tribulation a man’s affections are tested: “The kiln tests the potter’s vessels; so the trial of affliction just men” (Sir 27:5).

164. – Secondly, he shows the means by which it will be disclosed, namely, by fire; hence he continues: because it shall be revealed with fire, namely, the day of the Lord: for the day of judgment will be revealed in the fire which will precede the face of the judge, burning the face of the world, enveloping the wicked and cleansing the just. Ps 96 (v. 3) says of this: “Fire goes before him, and burns up his adversaries round about.” But the day of the Lord which occurs at death will be revealed in the fire of purgatory, by which the elect will be cleansed, if any require cleansing: Job (23:10) can be interpreted as referring to this fire: “When he has tried me, I shall come forth as god.” Finally, the day of the Lord, which is the day of tribulation permitted by God’s judgment, will be revealed in the fire of tribulation: “For gold is tested in the fire, and acceptable men in the furnace of humiliation” (Sir 2:5).

165. – Thirdly, he mentions the effect of the disclosure when he says, and the fire will test what sort of work each man has done, namely, because each of these fires will prove a man’s merits or demerits: “If thou testest me, thou wilt find no wickedness in me” (Ps 17:3).
In these three events mentioned by the Apostle, the first is the conclusion of the two which follow: for if the day of the Lord will be revealed in fire, and if the fire tests the quality of a man’s work, the consequence is that the day of the Lord will disclose the differences among men’s works.

166. – Then when he says, if any man’s work, he indicates the manner in which the above disclosures will be made: first, in regard to good works when he says: if any man’s work, which he erected, survives the fire, he, i.e., the one who erected it, shall receive a reward: “Behold, his reward is with him” (Is 40:10).

167. – One’s work is said to abide unharmed by the fire in two ways: in one way on the part of the worker, because the one performing the work, say of good teachings or any good work, is not punished for such works by the fire of purgatory or by the fire which goes before the face of the judge or even by the fire of tribulation. For a person who has not loved temporal things immoderately is not excessively saddened at their loss, because sadness is caused by one’s love of a thing which is lost; hence superfluous love produces sorrow.

In another way on the part of the work itself: for no matter which of the above fires tests a man, the work of good teachings abides as does any other good work. For when the fire of tribulation comes, a man does not depart from his good teachings or from any good work of virtue; rather, each of these abides as to its merit both in the fire of purgatory and in the fire which goes before the face of the judge.

168. – Secondly, he shows the same thing in regard to evil works, saying: If any man’s work burn because of any of the above fires, he shall suffer loss for doing them, but not to the point of damnation; hence he adds: but he himself shall be saved with eternal salvation: “Israel is saved by the Lord with everlasting salvation” (Is 45:17), but only as by fire, which he previously endured either in this life or at the end of the world; hence it says in Ps 66 (v.12): “We went through fire and through water; yet thou hast brought us forth to a spacious place,” and in Is (43:2): “When you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you, for I am the Lord, your Savior.”

169. – Now a man’s work is said to burn in two ways: in one way on the part of the worker, inasmuch as he is afflicted by the fire of tribulation on account of the immoderate attachment he has to earthly things and by the fire of purgatory or by the fire which goes before the face of the judge on account of venial sins, which he committed by caring for temporal things or even by the frivolous and vain things he taught.

In another way a work burns in the fire on the part of the work itself, because when tribulation comes, a person cannot find time for foolish teaching or worldly works: “On that day all his plans perish” (Ps 146:4). Furthermore, the fire of purgatory or the fire which goes before the face of the judge will not leave any of these things to act as a remedy or as merit. Similarly, he suffers a loss in two ways: either because he is punished or because he loses what he accomplished. On this point Sirach (14:19): “Every product decays and ceases to exist, and the man who made it will pass away with it. And every excellent work shall be justified; and the worker thereof shall be honored therein.” The first of these refers to the person who erects wood, hay and stubble, which is the work that burns in the fire; but the second refers to the person who erects gold, silver and precious stones, which is the work that abides in the fire without any loss.

St. Thomas on 1 Corinthians 3:8-15, and Purgatory- Part II

1 Cor 3:8b-15
8bAnd each shall receive his wages according to his labor. 9For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, God’s building. 10According to the grace of God given to me, like a skilled master builder I laid a foundation, and another man is building upon it. Let each man take care how he builds upon it. 11For no other foundation can any one lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12Now if any one builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw— 13each man’s work will become manifest; for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done. 14If the work which 39 any man has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward. 15If any man’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire.

Aquinas's Commentary Part II
151. – Secondly, he answers a tacit question: why he warns them about the superstructure and not the foundations; or rather, he states the reason why he said that the task of others is to build on the foundation. He says: for no other foundation can any man lay, but what which is laid, which is Christ Jesus, Who dwells in your heart by faith: of the foundation it is said (Is 28:16): “Behold, I will lay a stone in the foundations of Sion, a tried stone, a corner stone, a precious stone, founded in the foundation.”

152. – On the other hand it seems that Christ is not the sole foundation, because it says in Rev (21:14): “The wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the twelve names of the twelve apostles.”
The answer is that there are two kinds of foundations: one is solid of itself, such as the rock on which the building is constructed. This is the foundation to which Christ is compared; for He is the rock mentioned in Matt (7:25): “For it was founded on a rock.” The other is the foundation, which is not solid of itself but rests on a solid object, as the stones placed on solid rock. This is the way the apostles are called the foundation of the Church, because they were the first to be built on Christ by faith and charity: “Built on the foundation of the apostles” (Eph 2:20).

153. – Then when he says, Now if any man builds, he discusses the variety of rewards accordingly as some receive a wage without any less and some with a loss. In regard to the first he does three things: first, he teaches that a variety of works is revealed by the wages; secondly, when this is revealed (v. 13); thirdly, how it is revealed (v. 14).

154. – As to the first it should be noted that the Apostle, in order to point out the varieties of superstructures, mentions six things, i.e., three against three: on the one hand, gold, silver and precious stones; on the other hand, wood, hay and stubble. The first three have a striking brilliance, as well as being indestructible and precious; but the other three are, easily consumed by fire and worthless. Hence by gold, silver and precious stone are understood something brilliant and lasting; but by wood, hay and stubble something material and transitory.
Now he stated above that the superstructure can refer either to the works everyone builds on the foundation of faith or to the doctrine which a teacher or preacher builds on the foundation of faith laid by an apostle. Hence, the variety the Apostle mentions here can refer to both superstructures.

155. – Therefore, some, referring this to the superstructure of works, have said the gold, silver and precious stones mean the good works a person adds to his faith; but wood, hay and stubble mean the mortal sins a person commits after receiving the faith.
43 However, this interpretation cannot stand: first, because mortal sins are dead works: “He will cleanse our consciences from dead works” (Heb 9:14), whereas only living works are built onto this building: “Be you also as living stone built up” (1 Pt 2:5). Consequently, those who have mortal sins along with faith do not build up, but rather destroy or profane. Against such persons he says: “But if anyone destroys God’s temple” (1 Cor 3:17).

Secondly, because mortal sins are better compared to iron or lead or stone, since they are heavy and not destroyed by fire but always remain in the thing in which they exist; whereas venial sins are compared to wood, hay and stubble, because they are light and easily cleansed from a person by fire.

Thirdly, because it seems to follow from this interpretation that a person who dies in mortal sin, as long as he keeps the faith, will finally attain to salvation after undergoing punishment. For he continues: If any man’s work is burned up he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire, which is obviously contrary to the Apostle’s statement below (6:9): “neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals….shall posses the kingdom of God”, and to Gal (5:21): “Those who do such things shall not possess the kingdom of God.” But one possesses salvation only in the kingdom of God; for everyone excluded from it is sent into eternal fire, as it says in Matt (25:41).

Fourthly, because faith can be called a foundation, only because by it Christ dwells in us, since it was stated that the foundation is Christ Jesus Himself. For Christ does not dwell in us by unformed faith; otherwise He would dwell in the devils, of whom Jas (2:19) says: “The devils believe and tremble.” Hence Eph (3:17) says: “that Christ by faith may dwell in your hearts.” This should be understood of faith informed by charity, since 1 Jn (4:16) says: “He that abides in love abides in God and God in him.” This is the faith that works through love, as it says below (13:4): “Love is not arrogant or rude.” Consequently, it is obvious that persons who commit mortal sins do not have formed faith, and so do not have the foundation. Therefore, it is necessary to suppose that the person who builds upon the foundation gold, silver and precious stones, as well as one who builds upon it wood, hay, stubble, avoids mortal sin.

156. – Therefore to understand the difference between these two sets of things, it should be noted that human acts are characterized by their objects.
But there are two objects of a human act: a spiritual thing and a bodily thing. Now these objects differ in three ways: first, spiritual things last forever, but bodily things pass away; hence it says in 2 Cor (4:18): “The things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.” Secondly, spiritual things are brilliant in themselves: “Wisdom is glorious and never fades away” (Wis 6:13), but bodily things on account of their matter are dingy: “Our time is as the passing of a shadow” (Wis 2:5). Thirdly, spiritual are more precious and nobler than bodily things: “Wisdom is more precious than all riches” (Pr 3:15); “All gold in comparison of her, is as a little sand: and silver in comparison to her shall be counted as clay” (Wis 7:9).

Therefore, the works that engage a person in spiritual and divine things are compared to gold, silver and precious stones. By gold are signified those by which a man tends to God Himself by
44 contemplation and love. Hence it says in S. of S. (5:11): “His head is as the finest gold”: for the head of Christ is God, and the gold is that mentioned in Rev (3:18): “Therefore I counsel you to buy from me gold tried by fire”, i.e., wisdom with charity. By silver are signified those acts by which a man clings to spiritual things to believe, love and contemplate them; hence in a Gloss the silver is referred to love of neighbor, and in Ps 68 (v. 13) the wings of a dove are described as covered with silver and its pinions with green gold. But precious stones signify the works of the various virtues with which the soul is adorned; hence it says in Sirach (50:9): “Like a vessel of hammered gold adorned with all kinds of precious stones,” or they signify the commandments of God’s law: “Therefore I love thy commandments above gold, above fine gold” (Ps 119: 127).

But the human acts by which a person aims at acquiring bodily things are compared to tinder, which is worthless; for although it has a sheen, it burns easily. Yet there are various kinds, some of which are stronger than others are some are more easily burned. For among bodily creatures men are the more noble and conserved by succession; hence they are compared to wood: “The trees once went forth to anoint a king over them” (Jg 9:8). But man’s flesh is easily destroyed by sickness and death; hence he is compared to grass: “All flesh is grass” (Is 49:6). Again, the things which contribute to the glory of this world quickly pass away; hence they are compared to stubble: “O my God, make them like a tumbleweed, like chaff before the wind” (Ps 83:13).

157. – And so when one builds thereon gold and silver and precious stones, he builds upon the foundation of faith those things which pertain to contemplating the wisdom of divine matters, to loving God, to performing devout exercises, to helping his neighbor and performing virtuous works.
But to build upon it wood, hay and stubble is to erect on the foundation of faith things which pertain to arranging human affairs, to caring for the flesh and for outward glory.

158. – However, it should be noted that there are three possible attitudes, when a person intends these latter things: first, he might make them an end. Since this would be a mortal sin, a person with such an attitude would not be building upon the foundation by laying another foundation: for the end is the foundation for the desirable things sought for its sake.

Secondly, a person might tend toward these things, directing them entirely to the glory of God; and because they are qualified by the end one intends, a person with such as attitude will not be building wood, hay and straw on the foundation but gold and silver and precious stones.

Thirdly, a person could have the attitude that although he is not making these things an end or would act contrary to God for their sake, nevertheless he is drawn toward them more than he ought, so that he is kept back from the things of God by them; which is to sin venially. And this is what is meant by building wood, hay and stubble on the foundation; not because they are, properly speaking, erected on the foundation, but because acts of caring about temporal things have venial sins attached to them due to a stronger attachment to them. This attachment is compared to wood, hay or stubble, depending on how strong it is.

159. – Yet is should be kept in mind that those who tend after spiritual things cannot be altogether freed from caring for temporal things, any more than those who tend after temporal things from a duty of charity are altogether free from tending toward spiritual things. The difference is one of emphasis: for some emphasize spiritual things and make no provision for temporal things, except as the needs of bodily life require; others place the emphasis in their lives on procuring temporal things, but use spiritual things to direct their life. The first group, therefore, builds gold, silver and precious stones; but the second hay, wood and stubble on the foundation. From this it is clear that the former have some venials but not a notable amount, because they are only slightly concerned with the care of temporal things; but the latter have something stable, precious and brilliant, but only a small amount, namely, to the extent that they are directed by spiritual considerations.