Have you ever thought to yourself: “Why do Catholics do that?” Perhaps you even find yourself doing something that you only do because you see everyone else doing it. In this space each week I hope to address the question: “why do Catholics do that?”


The Rosary is a Weapon (Part Two)

09-04-2016Why do Catholics do that?Andy Miller

Our Lady made 15 promises to St. Dominic and again to Blessed Alan de la Roche for those who devoutly recite the Holy Rosary. I won't list them all here given the limited space but I do want to look at two more and make some comments onthem. A full list of the 15 promises can be found with a simple internet search. Those who shall recite my Rosary devoutly,meditating on its mysteries, shall not be overwhelmed by misfortune. The sinner shall be converted; the just shall grow in grace and become worthy of eternal life.

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The Rosary is a Weapon

08-28-2016Why do Catholics do that?Andy Miller

First I would like thank the parish for their generous support as I get ready to leave for the seminary. Last Saturday night, the Knights of Columbus had a very nice fundraising dinner for me. A special thank you to all those that came or were there in spirit (darn rain!). During the dinner, I was able to say a few words. I talked a little bit about the rosary and the need to pray it. I would like to spend the next two weeks saying a few more words about the importance of the rosary.

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The “Our Father” at Mass

08-14-2016Why do Catholics do that?

The “Our Father”, or “Pater Noster”, which we say at Mass is a prayer given to us by Our Lord (Matthew 6, Luke 11). We can say that this prayer is a summary of the whole Gospel given the wide range of topics in its petitions. This makes it a very suitable prayer for meditation since each petition cannot be exhausted.

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Why is the sanctuary raised in Catholic Churches?

08-07-2016Why do Catholics do that?

“I will go unto the Altar of God, to God who giveth joy to my youth!” -Psalm 43

These are the opening words of the “prayers at the foot of the Altar” which are said in the Traditional Latin Mass. The priest and the server together recite Psalm 43 (which would have been said by the Jewish priests entering the Holy of Holies) in a dialogue: “Introibo ad altare Dei” to which the server replies “ad Deum qui laefiicat juventutem meum”. It is a beautiful way to begin the Mass which builds up the anticipation of going up to the holy place to offer Christ at the Altar. It is that act of “going up” to the Altar that I want to discuss here.

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How do I dispose of blessed items?

07-31-2016Why do Catholics do that?

If you are like me then you have a number of blessed palms from last Palm Sunday, old rosaries with missing beads, bent holy cards, and broken scapulars just laying around. What do we do with these if we want to get rid of them? Can we just throw them in the trash can? No. Items that have been blessed are sacred and cannot be treated like commonplace objects. Items that have been blessed must be disposed of by either burying them in the ground or by burning them. If you do not know if an item has been blessed it is always a good idea to burn or bury them just in case. Palms from Palm Sunday can be returned to the Church. These palms are burned are used for the Ash Wednesday ashes the following year. If you do not feel comfortable burning or burying these religious items then they can be brought to the Church and given to a priest or member of staff for proper disposal.

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Why do priests wear a chasuble?

07-24-2016Why do Catholics do that?

A while back I spoke on the different colors that priests wear at Mass; however, I did not go into much detail regarding the actual reason the priest wears a chasuble. The chasuble is the long flowing outer garment. Since we are in Ordinary Time (think "ordered time", not "plain ole' time") the priest is wearing green. The word chasuble comes from the Latin "casula" which means "little house". In the late Roman Empire these were common traveling garments,but later took on theological significance.

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How do I obtain the Year of Mercy Indulgence?

07-17-2016Why do Catholics do that?

I have talked about this before but I think it is very important to bring up again since there are still many questions.

When a sin is committed there are two repercussions. One is eternal punishment and the other is temporal punishment. Eternal punishment is forgiven in confession. Temporal punishment is ordinarily remitted in Purgatory, but can be remitted in this life by gaining indulgences and offering up our suffering. A plenary indulgence remits all temporal punishment due to sin (no Purgatory!). Partial indulgences remit only some of the temporal punishment due to sin (some Purgatory). The Catechism of the Catholic Church states the following about Purgatory: "All who die in God's grace, but still imperfectly purified, are indeed assured of their eternal salvation; but after death they undergo purification, so as to achieve the holiness necessary to enter the joy of heaven " (#1030).

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What should I confess?

07-03-2016Why do Catholics do that?

One of the precepts of the Church is that we must go to confession at least once a year. Once a year is good, that is, if you are going for the bare minimum award. Most priests recommend that souls go to confession at least once a month or once every two weeks. So, what should a person confess when they go to confession? Below I will look at mortal sins, venial sins, and imperfections.

Mortal sins must be confessed (the sooner the better!). "[Mortal sin] results in the loss of charity and the privation of sanctifying grace, that is, of the state of grace. If it is not redeemed by repentance and God's forgiveness, it causes exclusion from Christ's kingdom and eternal death of hell, for our freedom has the power to make choices forever, with no turning back" (Catechism of the Catholic Church #1860). Three things are required for a sin to be mortal: grave matter, full knowledge, and complete consent. For example, if you didn't know that missing Mass on Sunday was a mortal sin then the sin is only venial (but now you know!). Likewise, if you are ill or have no way of getting to Mass or someone refuses to bring you, then you are also free from sin. Sleeping in too late or watching the football game does not count. When it comes to thinking of what to confess, thinking of our mortal sins in the most obvious. But what should we confess if we have not committed any mortal sins since our last confession? We will now look at venial sins and imperfections.

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