"I have been listening to you on EWTN for about one year now. I left the Catholic Church 42 years ago and have been attending Protestant churches. After many struggles during this last year, I finally went to confession on Sunday. Thank you all so much for helping me on my journey home.”
The book is ubiquitous and hugely appealing: "1,000 Places to See before You Die." Most of us long to see the world. But beyond mere wanderlust, we have a spiritual need to seek out holy places, touched by great saints and divine events. What’s on your must-see list? Here are some suggestions.
The early Christians established the first institutionalized system for the care of widows, orphans, the sick, and the poor. The Church has taken that care to the ends of the earth. Now many secular organizations serve the needy. But Christian charity goes beyond meeting material needs. It serves the whole person, preserving his God-given dignity.
When the newly baptized Juanillo took a second wife, Fray Pedro admonished him to live the Christian life he professed. The next morning, the feast of the Exaltation of the Cross, 1597, Fray Pedro was murdered on his way to Mass. When the bloodbath was over, four more friars had been martyred for upholding the sanctity of marriage.
Not enough priests. Diocese in bankruptcy. Urban flight. Vanishing ethnic communities. For these reasons and others, parish closings and mergers are necessary in many places. But however necessary, they are traumatic and heartbreaking for those involved. Canon law helps the process by giving clear direction regarding dispersed property and displaced communities.
"The gravest obligation requires the acceptance and practice, not of the religion which one may choose, but of that which God prescribes and which is known by certain and indubitable marks to be the only true one."
~ Leo XIII in his Encyclical Immortale Dei (November 1, 1885); on our fundamenal duty; (from the article Religious Toleration)