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Augustine of Hippo: “You grasp my soul, and topple my enemies with it.”

21 February 2017

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“You grasp my soul, and topple my enemies with it. And what is our soul? A splendid weapon it may be, long, sharp, oiled, and coruscating with the light of wisdom as it is brandished. But what is this soul of ours worth, what is it capable of, unless God holds it and fights with it? Any sword, however beautifully made, lies idle if there is no warrior to take it up…. So God does whatever he wishes with our soul. Since it is in his hand, it is his to use as he will.”

Saint Augustine of Hippo, Exposition of Psalm 34

Joseph Ratzinger: “Paganism resides today in the Church herself”

21 February 2017

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“According to religious statistics, old Europe is still a part of the earth that is almost completely Christian. But there is hardly another case in which everyone knows as well as they do here that the statistic is false: This so-called Christian Europe for almost four hundred years has become the birthplace of a new paganism, which is growing steadily in the heart of the Church, and threatens to undermine her from within. The outward shape of the modern Church is determined essentially by the fact that, in a totally new way, she has become the Church of pagans, and is constantly becoming even more so. She is no longer, as she once was, a Church composed of pagans who have become Christians, but a Church of pagans, who still call themselves Christians, but actually have become pagans. Paganism resides today in the Church herself, and precisely that is the characteristic of the Church of our day, and that of the new paganism, so that it is a matter of a paganism in the Church, and of a Church in whose heart paganism is living.

Therefore, in this connection, one should not speak about the paganism, which in eastern atheism has already become a strong enemy against the Church, and as a new anti-christian power opposes the community of believers. Yet, when concerning this movement, one should not forget that it has its peculiarity in the fact that it is a new paganism, and therefore, a paganism that was born in the Church, and has borrowed from her the essential elements that definitely determine its outward form and its power. One should speak rather about the much more characteristic phenomenon of our time, which determines the real attack against the Christian, from the paganism within the Church herself, from the “desolating sacrilege set up where it ought not to be” (Mk 13:14).”

Joseph Ratzinger (Later Pope Benedict XVI) 1958

Read the whole lecture here.

Benedict XVI: “the only attitude acceptable to today’s standards”

20 February 2017

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“Having a clear faith, based on the creed of the church is often labeled today as fundamentalism. Whereas relativism, which is letting oneself be tossed and swept along by every wind of teaching, look like the only attitude acceptable to today’s standards.”

Pope Benedict XVI

John Paul II: “As the family goes …”

20 February 2017

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“As the family goes, so goes the nation and so goes the whole world in which we live.”

Pope John Paul II

Daniel Patrick Moynihan: “that community asks for and gets chaos.”

18 February 2017

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“From the wild Irish slums of the 19th-century Eastern seaboard, to the riot-torn suburbs of Los Angeles, there is one unmistakable lesson in American history: a community that allows large numbers of young men to grow up in broken families, dominated by women, never acquiring any stable relationship to male authority, never acquiring any set of rational expectations about the future–that community asks for and gets chaos. Crime, violence, unrest, disorder . . . are not only to be expected, they are very near to inevitable. And they are richly deserved.” 

Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan (Democrat, New York)

Michael Ramsey: “the Church exists for something deeper than philanthropy and reform”

18 February 2017

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“the Church exists for something deeper than philanthropy and reform, namely to teach men to die to self and to trust in a resurrection to a new life that, because it spans both this world and another world, can never be wholly understood here, and must always puzzle this world’s idealists.”

Former Archbishop of Canterbury Michael Ramsey

Ignatius Brianchaninov: “the defects and faults of one’s neighbor”

17 February 2017

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“It is worth noticing that, after acquiring spiritual understanding, the defects and faults of one’s neighbor begin to seem very slight and insignificant, as redeemed by the Savior and easily cured by repentance—those very faults and defects which seemed to the carnal understanding so big and serious. Evidently the carnal mind, being itself a plank, gives them this huge significance. The carnal mind sees in others sins that are not there at all.”

St. Ignatius Brianchaninov