Will more prayer than activity produce success?

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The “Catechism of the Catholic Church” (‘CCC’), paragraphs 1803 and 1833, defines virtue as “habitual and firm disposition to do good.” An old adage alleges that patience is a virtue, but how patience (in the usual sense of that word) can be equated with habitual and firm disposition to do good is unclear to me. A tendency towards doing good can co-exist with impatience (in the usual sense of that word). Patience (in the usual sense of that word) can … Read More

Divini Illius Magistri – The True Nature of Christian Education – Part 12

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This article is available for download. You can download it and print it for private use and for private sharing but it cannot be reproduced in any other publication. To download a print copy click here – Divini Illius Magistri – Article 12 In the final part of his Encyclical ‘Divini Illius Magistri’, Pope Pius XI warns us about the need for vigilance in education before summing up by teaching us the true nature of Christian education. “It is no … Read More

We Should Fight Battles As Well As Heal Wounds

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An article by Philip Campbell in “The Catholic Herald” just after Easter 2024 cited numbers of recent baptisms/conversions in Canada, USA, France, full-to-capacity attendance at Westminster Cathedral on Good Friday, and “the growing church attendance amongst young people in Finland” as possibly being “the budding shoots of a Christian revival.” Apparently the article had been inspired by one from Justin Brierley in “The Spectator” magazine on the previous 30th March, whose headline (more confident than Mr. Campbell’s suggestion) was that … Read More

Should Weeds Be Pulled Up?

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One of Our Lord’s salutary stories was of a man who sowed wheat-seeds in his field. Subsequently an enemy secretly sowed weeds among them. When the wheat developed, so did the weeds. The man’s employees reported this to him and asked whether he wanted the weeds to be pulled up. He replied, ‘No, lest in doing that you pull up also the wheat. Let both grow until harvest-time, and then I will tell the reapers to gather the weeds and … Read More

Divini Illius Magistri – The Catholic School – Part 11

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This article is available for download. You can download it and print it for private use and for private sharing but it cannot be reproduced in any other publication. To download a print copy click here – Divini Illius Magistri – Article 11 In the previous article in this series Pope Pius XI addressed the question of the supposed neutral or lay school. He continues by looking again at the nature of a Catholic school. From this we can see … Read More

Divini Illius Magistri – The Importance of the Family – Part 10

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This article is available for download. You can download it and print it for private use and for private sharing but it cannot be reproduced in any other publication. To download a print copy click here – Divini Illius Magistri – Article 10 To fully understand ‘Divini Illius Magistri’, one must understand the primary purpose of our existence. Pope Pius XI’s first concern is the salvation of souls. Back in 1929, he was acutely aware that children were being corrupted … Read More

Assessing The Contra-Catholic Scene Candidly – Part 2

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The contra-Catholic scene is worsening because bad trends are not being even halted but extended. That is especially evident in abortion. Britain and Ireland differ in the lengths of time during which it has had public and statutory approval, but its opponents in both countries face some similar questions. No answers have made a significant difference to the status quo in Britain. ‘How we stand’2019: “… one woman, one baby at a time, we are stopping abortion.” That is true … Read More

Divini Illius Magistri – Errors in Education – Part 9

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This article is available for download. You can download it and print it for private use and for private sharing but it cannot be reproduced in any other publication. To download a print copy click here – Divini Illius Magistri – Article 9 We have seen how Pope Pius XI stresses the importance of correct education. In this next part of ‘Divini Illius Magistri’ he outlines some of the dangers that false thinking is wont to introduce into systems of … Read More

Divini Illius Magistri – The Church Safeguards Education – Part 8

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This article is available for download. You can download it and print it for private use and for private sharing but it cannot be reproduced in any other publication. To download a print copy click here – Divini Illius Magistri – Article 8 Pope Pius XI after teaching on the nature and duties of the role of the Catholic Church, the civil State and the family in education, begins to show how they are related to one another in a … Read More

Divini Illius Magistri – The Role of the State – Part 7

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This article is available for download. You can download it and print it for private use and for private sharing but it cannot be reproduced in any other publication. To download a print copy click here – Divini Illius Magistri – Article 7 We are looking at the role of the secular State in the education of youth. In the previous article Pope Pius XI outlined the primary duty of the State as “In general then it is the right … Read More

Divini Illius Magistri – The Role of the State – Part 6

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This article is available for download. You can download it and print it for private use and for private sharing but it cannot be reproduced in any other publication. To download a print copy click here – Divini Illius Magistri – Article 6 Pope Pius XI begins his examination of the role of the secular State in education by pointing out that in many cases the State has violated the rights of the family. He also tells us that the … Read More

Assessing The Contra-Catholic Scene Candidly – Part 1

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“The contra-Catholic scene” is a broad-to-the-point-of-vague expression, but its breadth is appropriate for the breadth of subjects on which Catholic principle is manifestly and diametrically defied by law and public policy. Anyone to whose mind examples do not come immediately, effortlessly, and regretfully will not find much interest in this essay, so if you are such a person your time would be better spent on something else. If “the contra-Catholic scene” means something to you, you may have noticed some … Read More

Divini Illius Magistri – The Role of the Family – Part 5

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This article is available for download. You can download it and print it for private use and for private sharing but it cannot be reproduced in any other publication. To download a print copy click here – Divini Illius Magistri – Article 5 Pope Pius XI began his examination of the three societies of Church, State, and Family by looking firstly at the rights and prerogatives of the Catholic Church with a particular focus on education. He showed how the … Read More

Candour, Minimalism, and the ‘Wineskins’ Factor

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“No-one puts new wine into old wineskins,” said Our Lord,[1] because the old skins are too weak to hold it; new wine needs new skins. So a receiver (the skin) must be ready to receive what is received (the wine); a message must not put too great a strain on people. If, of course, the message is weaker than the minds to which it is expressed, there should not be a problem with its absorption/acceptance. This is a credible metaphor … Read More

Divini Illius Magistri – The Role of the Catholic Church – Part 4

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This article is available for download. You can download it and print it for private use and for private sharing but it cannot be reproduced in any other publication. To download a print copy click here – Divini Illius Magistri – Article 4 As I begin the fourth article in this series on Pope Pius XI’s encyclical letter ‘Divini Illius Magistri’ the Irish government has just published the wording of two referenda to be held on March 8th 2024. Once … Read More

Divini Illius Magistri – The Three Societies – Part 3

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This article is available for download. You can download it and print it for private use and for private sharing but it cannot be reproduced in any other publication. To download a print copy click here – Divini Illius Magistri – Article 3 Pope Pius XI has introduced us to the three societies to which man belongs – the family – the Church – and civil society. We have been exploring the nature and authority of the Catholic Church and … Read More

Christ’s Kingship – “on Earth as it is in Heaven”

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Part 2 A prayer well-known to traditionally-formed Catholics asks the Holy Ghost to “fill the hearts of thy faithful and enkindle in them the fire of thy love,…and thou shalt renew the face of the Earth.” Because what happens in this world matters to God (if it did not, why would He have prescribed rules by which we should live?), the Catholic Church has always striven to carry out the task which He gave it: to teach all nations to … Read More

Divini Illius Magistri – The Three Societies – Part 2

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This article is available for download. You can download it and print it for private use and for private sharing but it cannot be reproduced in any other publication. To download a print copy click here – Divini Illius Magistri – Article 2 In the first article in this series Pope Pius XI teaches us that education must serve the final end of man which is to attain eternal salvation in Heaven. This must be the primary purpose of education, … Read More

Divini Illius Magistri – The Purpose of Catholic Education – Part 1

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This article is available for download. You can download it and print it for private use and for private sharing but it cannot be reproduced in any other publication. To download a print copy click here – Divini Illius Magistri – Article 1 On 31st December, 1929, Pope Pius XI issued his encyclical letter ‘Divini Illius Magistri’ – ‘On Christian Education’. It is a great encyclical and contains much valuable information. There is a tendency nowadays within Catholic circles to … Read More

Christ’s Kingship – “on Earth as it is in Heaven”

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Part 1 According paragraph 9 of a “Doctrinal Note on Some Aspects of Evangelization,” published in 2007 by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, “The growth of the Church in history, which results from missionary activity, is at the service of the presence of God through his Kingdom: one cannot in fact detach the Kingdom from the Church.” It seems to follow from that inseparability that the Kingdom of God arrived on Earth when Our Lord founded the … Read More

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