DCMission Statement

Sunday, October 23, 2011

An Introduction to Eastern Catholicism

Fr. Thomas Loya, priest of the Byzantine Rite of Catholicism, gives a brief history of the Church in the East.

I also found this book by Sr. Joan L. Roccasalvo, C.S.J., Ph.D. on the topic: Link.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Dr. Alice von Hildebrand on the life of her husband

Dr. Alice von Hildebrand last night discussed the life of her late husband, Dietrich von Hildebrand, and the struggles faced in his opposition to Nazism during its rise and fall.

"The individual person and community are ordered to one another in such a way that we will never be able to understand the true nature of community if we do not clearly acknowledge man as a spiritual person made in the image of God, and, on the other hand, that we will never do justice to the nature of the person and the fullness of his being if we do not fully understand the nature of community. Modern anti-personalism as we encounter it in Bolshevism and National Socialism does not represent a victory over liberal individualism but its ultimate and most radical consequence. Only the rehabilitation of man as a spiritual person, as a being with an immortal soul destined to eternal community with God, can save us from being dissolved into a depersonalized mass and lead us to real community." ~Dietrich von Hildebrand, from "Masse und Gemeinschaft" ("Mass and Community"), Jan. 12, 1936, in "Der christliche Ständestaat" ("The Christian Corporative State").

Monday, October 10, 2011

Fr. Mitch Pacwa, S.J. on Redemptoris Missio

I ran across this recent episode of Threshold of Hope in which Fr. Pacwa discusses Bl. JP2's encyclical Redemptoris Missio (On the permanent validity of the Church's missionary mandate). As DCMission is seeking to be the "Missionaries to the Digital Continent," I thought this would be worth watching. I watched all of it and found it very relevant.

One point that was particularly relevant was the first question from the audience, in which a woman called in and said that she had been in Bible study groups in which she felt that the leaders weren't qualified to be leading such discussions. She said she'd also been invited to lead study groups before and she didn't feel qualified to do so. So she was asking what could be done to remedy this problem. Fr. Pacwa stressed the importance of studying the Catechism and also of studying the Bible along with commentaries (particularly those of St. John Chrysostom (whose feast day was Sept. 13). His commentaries on Scripture are large in number. Many are posted on EWTN's website. You can go here and search for author "Chrysostom"). Fr. Pacwa recommends reading several commentaries, as some are better than others in different respects.

The site VeritasBible.com has the Haydock commentary, which I have heard is good. This site also has the Catena Aurea, which was compiled by St. Thomas Aquinas and, according to wikipedia, contains "excerpts from some eighty Greek and Latin commentators on the Gospels." There are other nice features of this site. For example, it allows you to display the Bible passages in English and Latin along with the commentary in different columns.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Do Animals Have Souls?

Regarding whether animals have souls: although I have found places on the net where people have stated that St. Thomas Aquinas claimed that animals have "material souls," I was not able to find a reference to a writing where he stated this. However, in the Summa Theologica (Prima Pars, Question 75, Article 3: link), he addresses the question of "Whether the souls of brute animals are subsistent?":

"Hence it is clear that the sensitive soul has no 'per se' operation of its own, and that every operation of the sensitive soul belongs to the composite. Wherefore we conclude that as the souls of brute animals have no 'per se' operations they are not subsistent. For the operation of anything follows the mode of its being."

I don't know what the official teaching of the Church is on this topic (which brings up the more general question that is of great interest to me: in general, how does the Summa Theologica influence official Church teaching?).

I did find a site where a priest stated the following:

"Actually the Catholic Church teaches that all living things have some sort of soul, because the soul is the principle of life, the unifying force behind the substance of a being." (link)

However, this doesn't make sense to me - I think in part because his wording seems to me to be inconsistent. He first refers to "living things" but then later to "beings" in general. (A rock is a "being" that has a "unifying force," but I don't think that the Church teaches that it has a soul.)

Weigel on Shahbaz Bhatti, Martyr

Here is the article by Weigel on the martyr in Pakistan: link. (I haven't read the whole thing yet or watched the video, but some lines jumped out at me.)

"...I am confident, the Church will one day celebrate the feast of Blessed Shahbaz Bhatti, martyr..."

"...spend a minute and a half with Shahbaz Bhatti, courtesy of YouTube, and be inspired by a 21st-century Thomas More..."

DCMission Video: "Freedom and Essence"

DCMission Video: "Christians are Realists"

DCMission Video: "Is Belief Reasonable?"

DCMission Video: "The Immaculate Conception: Scripturally Grounded"

DCMission Video: "Why the Nativity Matters"

DCMission Video: "Morality, the Media, and the Greatest Commandment"

DCMission Video: "The Keys to the Kingdom"

DCMission Video: "Does the Universe Need to Exist?"

DCMission Video: "Evidence for the Resurrection of Christ"

"Evidence for the Resurrection of Christ"

Saturday, July 30, 2011

DCMission: Books of Interest

by Fr. Robert Sirico.

Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri, translated by John Ciardi.

Embryo: A Defense of Human Life by Robert P. George and Christopher Tollefsen.

Father Elijah: An Apocalypse by Michael O'Brien.

The Fulfillment of All Desire: A Guidebook for the Journey to God Based on the Wisdom of the Saints by Ralph Martin.

I Am With You Always: A Study of the History and Meaning of Personal Devotion to Jesus Christ for Catholic, Orthodox and Protestant Christians by Fr. Benedict Groeschel, C.F.R.

Jesus of Nazareth: Holy Week: From the Entrance Into Jerusalem To The Resurrection by Pope Benedict XVI.

Jesus of Nazareth: From the Baptism in the Jordan to the Transfiguration by Pope Benedict XVI.

Lord of the World by Msgr. Robert Hugh Benson.

Love and Responsibility by Bl. Pope John Paul II.

A Map of Life by Frank Sheed, referenced by Fr. Bryan Jerabek.

The Most Controversial Decision: Truman, the Atomic Bombs, and the Defeat of Japan by Fr. Wilson D. Miscamble C.S.C. (Fr. Miscamble appeared as a guest on Kresta in the Afternoon on Aug. 13, 2014 to discuss this book.)

Music and Morals: A Theological Appraisal of the Moral and Psychological Effects of Music by Fr. Basil Cole, O.P., referenced by Fr. Bryan Jerabek.

The Priest Is Not His Own by Ven. Bp. Fulton Sheen (1892-1979), referenced by Fr. Alan Mackey.

Searching for and Maintaining Peace: A Small Treatise on Peace of Heart by Fr. Jacques Philippe.

The Spirit of the Liturgy by Pope Benedict XVI.

The Spiritual Combat by Fr. Dom Lorenzo Scupoli (1530-1610), referenced by Fr. Alan Mackey.

Spiritual Theology by Jordan Aumann.

St. John of the Cross, Collected Works.

The Story of a Soul by St. Thérèse of Lisieux.

This Tremendous Lover by Eugene Boylan.

Three to Get Married by Ven. Bp. Fulton Sheen (1892-1979).