On the day of the spectacular descent of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, the Apostles were so filled with strength and courage, that Saint Peter went out and converted three thousand people that very day with his preaching. From these conversions we have the first ecclesial testimony: ‘They devoted themselves to the teaching of the apostles and to the communal life. […] All who believed were together and had all things in common’ (Acts 2: 42–44).
All of us remember the experiences of so many of our national soldiers who went through arduous, exhausting and seemingly interminable combats. How many of them saw numerous companions fall, and they themselves were uncertain of their own survival…but the desire to defeat the enemy, to save their country, and to fight on like heroes encouraged them to continue without desisting, and even to give their lives if necessary. How many nations have the glory of numbering among their sons men of this valor; men who are more concerned with fulfilling their duty than enjoying a life of betrayal and egoism.
When reading the Holy Scriptures, people with limited vision could conclude that, in the Old Testament, God was strictly justice: He seems to be an almighty God who made Sinai quake (Ex 19:18), who opened the earth to swallow up the rebels (Num 16: 1–35), a God of vengeance (Ps 94:1) who struck Uzzah dead for having touched the Ark of the Covenant to steady it (2Sam 6: 1–9).
In his diabolical quest to destroy the Church at its very foundations, the infernal enemy has made varied and frequent onslaughts against all the Sacraments, from first to last. The heretic Wycliffe attacked that of Penance, which is a powerful aid for sinners to reach heaven: he denied the divine character of the institution of auricular confession while also affirming that it is of no use to the contrite. Following in his footsteps, Peter Martinez of Osma taught that contrition is all that is needed to attain the pardon of sins. Luther, in turn, discarded confession altogether as a ‘slaughter of consciences’. His contempt for auricular confession would be shared by Protestants to this day. Rationalists and unbelievers alike also never cease to insist that confession is nothing but a priestly invention for tormenting souls.
Today, other means and affirmations are employed to challenge this Sacrament and the sound doctrine that the Divine Savior bequeathed to us, lovingly safeguarded by Tradition and the Church’s infallible Magisterium.
Is the sacrament of Penance valid without the confession of one’s sins? It is known that only the mute and hearing-impaired are permitted to confess by means of signs and gestures. But does that make it licit to omit the verbal declaration of our sins in confession out of shame, fear, or some other difficulty we may be experiencing? Can we receive God’s pardon by simply presenting ourselves to the priest with contrition?
Let us review what pure and sound doctrine has to teach on the matter. And let us recall exactly what evils await those who profane this sacred Sacrament, and the end they will meet in eternity. Click here to read the complete Study…
On February 27, Francis received the current President of Argentina, Mauricio Macri, accompanied by his concubine Juliana Awada, as well as other politicians from his party, in a brief audience lasting less than thirty minutes.
The Pope’s mission to teach the truth is inherent to his position as guide of the Church. All of the baptized turn to him for words of eternal life, which, we know God has willed, should come to us through Christ’s Vicar.
Through the centuries, the Church has moved from triumph to triumph, though it continually endures attacks, persecutions and hatred from all quarters, all promoted by one leader: the infernal enemy who has the illusion of one day destroying it.
The Gospel shows us clearly that Christ chose the twelve Apostles and gave them special powers with regards to the Eucharist, the forgiveness of sins and the administration of the other Sacraments.
A well known fact in the life of Saint Joan of Arc occurred when she was interrogated by the inquisition. When questioned as to whether or not she was in the state of grace, her answer reflected wisdom, truth and faith: ‘If I am not, may God put me there; if I am, may God keep me so.’
After the death of Our Lord Jesus Christ on the Cross, a soldier pierced his side with a lance, and blood and water flowed forth – a symbol of the sacraments that he would institute for the edification of his Church, the only true Church.