As Catholics we have some of the richest of literature, the beautiful expression of written words to express the fullness of our faith, the truths that Christ came to proclaim, and the timeless prayers of our Church Fathers.
There is an endless amount of books and literature that we can read, but where should we start? There are so many authors, ideas, and agendas, so where should one start in 2021 with good, solid, and truthful Catholic literature? I would like to share five books that I have read recently, that will give one spiritual nourishment and the Truth of Christ’s Church to any reader.
Yes, the rulers of the world directly impact us and can create significant desired and undesired outcomes for the people they govern. While many in modern governments only seek the “kingdom” in which they govern, Catholics should be reminded that we are first citizens of the Heavenly Kingdom, Philippians 3:20. Everyone should participate and make their voices heard in whichever form of government they are submitted to, however, our dealings with earthly leaders and objects will not aid us on our journey toward our eternal homeland.
The Church is traditionally divided into the Church Militant, the Church Penitent, and the Church Triumphant. The Church gives us this month, the month of remembering those of the Church Penitent, or suffering. The Church invites the Church Militant to pray for the Church Penitent, that they may become members of the glorious Church Triumphant.
One cannot begin to write about history in an all encompassing sense. First, history is so large that it would not be possible to write such a piece. And secondly, my view of history is flawed, as someone who has an opinion, and as someone who has barely been alive long enough to leave a single mark on history.
Therefore, I seek to write not on our historical past, but how we must put ourselves on the right side of history going forward. Many argue that those within the Millennial Generation and younger have failed to learn from what the world has negatively experienced in the past. We cannot think like such, we must allow for each to become who they want to be, not what a generation deems as acceptable.
And yet there seems to be another side effect of the “global pandemic” that has captivated the entire world since mid-February 2020, an increase in falling into sin. No, I don’t have any studies or Pew Research Polls to back this up, but I do have observations that have greatly impacted and enlightened me on this pressing issue that can ultimately determine one's Eternal Salvation of bliss or damnation.
When the world shut down, and in some areas continues to be shut down, our churches were closed, doors locked, “no entry” written on the doors. What does this do for the soul? When one yearns to receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation but is told they will have to wait several months, when one desires to receive the Flesh of God in the Eucharist but is told it is unsanitary, what do these things do to the soul? How much harm is caused? If the Church isn’t open, the internet is. The plague of social media exposes one to explosive politics, damning content such as impure images, explicit music and movies, and this list continues for quite some length.
Seek to be a slave to Jesus Christ! We must retract ourselves from the wayward way of the secular culture, in which many are enslaved to. The more “worldly” one becomes, the further they are from the Church, and where the Church is there also is Jesus Christ. We must not continue to submit ourselves to happiness, as doing what makes one happy is to be of the world and not of Christ. For Christ does not offer happiness, He offers joy. As St. Therese of Lisieux remarked, “The world’s thy ship and not thy home.”
There is a gashing wound in the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ. A wound that yearns for consolation. This wound in Jesus’ Sacred Heart, the heart the burns intensely for you, is caused by the waywardness of the secular culture that has peered into the lives of even some of the most devout and fervent people. In a world where secularism seems to trump and triumph in all situations, consolation to Jesus’ Sacred Heart is few and far between. Catholics must turn away from the secularist culture and turn towards Jesus’ Most Sacred Heart.
When settling into this current global crisis the summit of the Christian life was taken away, the public celebration of Holy Mass. Within days thousands of Catholic parishes across the world began to live-stream a priest celebrating Holy Mass. Virtually any person could turn on their TV and watch “Mass” --or so we thought!
Like clockwork, Catholics around the world would put on their TV a priest in some distant place celebrating Mass and would ponder at a screen for an hour attempting to align their aspirations to that of the celebration of Mass. Although modern technology may allow one to think they are seeing the same thing as if they were actually in a church building, the reality is they are watching a bunch of tiny pixels of color.
Imagine if there was a Marian Procession through the streets of every city and town across the world during the month of May. Our Lady, in all of her glory, being brought out into the streets of her children to call them back home to the Catholic Church.
In the eighteenth century when Rome honored pagan goddesses during the month of May, it was a Catholic priest who called on the intercession of the Blessed Mother and dedicated the month to her. Father Latomia, S.J. wanted to stand against the infidelity and immorality that many of Rome’s college students were adhering to. Pope Pius XII declared that May would be honored as the month of Mary, after declaring that the feast of the Queenship of Mary would be observed on May 31st.
We are just days away from the climax of the Church year, the holiest days of the entire year. However, the majority of Catholics will be confined to their homes during these holiest days of the year due to the COVID-19 outbreak. This year is going to be different, no doubt, and we should try our very best to observe these holy days as best we can. Below I have put forth several things we can all do to observe these days.
Seth is a convert to the Church and lives in Fort Wayne, Indiana.