Pope Leo XIII – On the Duties of Laymen to Study and Spread the Faith

We are like an army battalion, trapped behind enemy lines for decades. Our battalion's officers have either died, or defected to the enemy - or at least made their loyalties so doubtful that we cannot have recourse to them. We are not in clear contact with the rest of the army. We are on our …

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Possible Miracles, Possible Deceptions: How credulity can lead us to ruin

"All of us – yes, even you and I – are liable to be deceived." In this essay we will consider: - Miracles as proof of Christ's revelation - The continuation of miracles in the Church - Being too dependent on signs and wonders - Credulity and false miracles - The purpose of miracles, and …

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The Fioretti of St Thomas – Part II: His Death

This three-part series is a summary and re-ordering of the testimonies given in St Thomas’s 1319 canonisation enquiry.[1] These are not just pious stories about St Thomas Aquinas written by hagiographers: they are sworn testimonies recounted under oath by respectable men, both from the clergy and from the nobility. We see amongst the laymen even …

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Our Lord in the Desert – from Fr Aloysius Ambruzzi SJ’s “Companion to the Spiritual Exercises”

This week, the WM Review contributed a reading to the Catholic Family Podcast's project "Lent Around the World". One of our editors read an extract from Fr Aloysius Ambruzzi SJ's A Companion to the Spiritual Exercises of St Ignatius (link for UK readers). The text of the meditation is below. Image: Mosaic from St Mark's …

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How should Catholics treat private revelations when studying theology?

It is a dogma that public revelation ended with the death of the last apostle. Nonetheless, throughout history God has made private revelations to chosen souls, even for the public good. Consider the revelations made to St Joan of Arc, which led to the victory of France over English rule; or the revelations of the …

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Learning Sacred Theology III: Scripture, Moral Theology, History, Fathers, and Canon Law

This three-part series is about how laymen can go about learning the sacred science of theology, in accordance with its proper methodology and structure. I have freely gathered together notes, ideas and reading lists from various sources, particularly the Bellarmine Forums.[1]  Up until this point, we have been going through the stages in the order …

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The King of France, Fatima and the Crisis in the Church

As we all know, one of the requests of Our Lady of Fatima was that the Pope would, with all the bishops, consecrate Russia to her Immaculate Heart. Let us read Sr Lucie’s words, referring to June 13, 1929: "Then Our Lady said to me: 'The moment has come when God asks the Holy Father …

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L’Abbé Henry Essex Edgeworth, Louis XVI’s heroic Anglo-Irish confessor

Featured image: Louis XVI avec son confesseur Edgeworth, un instant avant sa mort. Wiki Commons One the most heartbreaking sections of Louis XVI’s will and testament is this: I pray God to forgive me all my sins. I have sought to know them scrupulously, to detest them and to humble myself in his presence, not …

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Learning Sacred Theology II: Ecclesiology, Dogmatic Theology and Apologetics

Theology is a science, with its own proper end and methodology. This three-part series is about how laymen can go about learning this science. I have freely gathered together notes, ideas and reading lists from various sources, particularly the Bellarmine Forums.[1] I hope that this part will be especially helpful to those confused by the …

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Learning Sacred Theology I: Preliminaries, Catechism, Latin, Philosophy and the Magisterium

In Sapientiae Christianae, Pope Leo XIII taught that it is a duty for laymen to study and spread the Catholic faith. He wrote: "In order to safeguard this virtue of faith in its integrity, we declare it to be very profitable and consistent with the requirements of the time, that each one, according to the measure …

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