Sometimes, a sentence says it all

“The Blessed Eucharist means nothing to a man who thinks other people can get along without It.”

–Father Leonard Feeney, MICM

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Book Review: Handbook of Catholic Apologetics

It should be noted from the outset that this book is the earlier “Handbook of Christian Apologetics” with a new cover and partial title change, and one new chapter (about forty or so pages). I did not compare each and every page, but nearly every section I checked was exactly the same. The only differences being in font-size and the chapter outlines made more concise. They are good changes, but I am not sure if they are enough to demand a new publication.

As far as apologetical content goes, Mr. Kreeft and Fr. Tacelli do a decent job defending the reasonableness of faith and explaining some of the many philosophical proofs for the existence of God. However, since they renamed the book to Handbook of Catholic Apologetics I had been hoping for a stronger focus on apologetics for theists—for explaining and defending the faith to Protestants and persons of other religions. The book is divided about half and half: the first half addresses atheists and non-believers and the latter portion of the book focuses on defending commons objections to Catholic belief (ex. Mary, the Eucharist, etc.). It is a good resource, but far from and exhaustive and serves really as a good beginning, or grounding, in apologetics.

For example, one shortcoming is the gloss over Father Leonard Feeney. In (briefly) mentioning the dogma Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Salus (Outside the Church There is No Salvation), the authors overcomplicate the matter, dismiss Father Feeney (yes, Fr. Feeney was excommunicated, but not for doctrinal reasons as the authors insinuate) and so Mr. Kreeft and Fr. Tacelli fail to give a really good apologetic defense for the doctrine. The brief sentence or two offered by the authors is useless to anyone who is familiar with the particulars of Fr. Feeney’s case about Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Salus.

Despite some of its shortcomings, Handbook of Catholic Apologetics is a book that has its apologetical merits for Catholics seeking an introduction to basic questions of faith.

You can purchase this book here.

I wrote this review for the Tiber River Blogger Review program, created by Aquinas and More Catholic Goods, the largest Catholic Store online. For more information and to purchase, please visit Aquinas and More Catholic Goods.

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The Assumption of Mary

What is the Assumption of Mary?

As defined it means that, “the Immaculate Mother of God, the ever Virgin Mary, having completed the course of her earthly life, was assumed body and soul into heavenly glory” (Pope Pius XII, “Munificentissimus Deus”) … by the power of Christ; that’s why we call it theassumption, and not the ascension of Mary. Jesus Christ ascended, of His own power, into Heaven; Mary was assumed, by the power of Her Son, into Heaven.

Why believe in the Assumption of Mary?

Mary is the New Eve. Whereas the first Eve was disobedient to God, Mary was perfectly obedient, “behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it done to me according to thy word” (Luke 1:38). Genesis 3:15, the protoevangelium (or “first gospel”) reads, “I will put enmities between thee and the woman, and thy seed and her seed: she shall crush thy head, and thou shalt lie in wait for her heel.” The “woman” of this verse cannot be Eve. This verse is a blessing—a promise of salvation—God is not blessing Eve and then cursing her (i.e., v. 16+) in the next breath. Furthermore, enmity is complete and radical opposition. It is total. Because Eve sinned with Adam and was cast from the Garden of Eden she cannot possess enmity against Satan. Nor does Eve give birth to the seed of victory (i.e., Jesus Christ). Mary does. Mary is the mother of Jesus. We believe Mary was immaculately conceived (conceived without the stain of Original Sin by a special grace of God) in order to posses the enmity of Genesis 3:15. The seed of Satan is sin and death, as St. Paul identifies for us in his epistles. Both the woman and her seed (by possessing enmity) triumph over Satan and his seed; the woman and her seed are inseparable and united in complete enmity against the inseparable Satan and the seed of Satan. If the woman had even the slightest stain of sin, she could not be said to possess enmity. Jesus by His passion, death, and resurrection, triumphs over sin and death. Mary, through the grace of God in her Immaculate Conception and Assumption, also triumphs over sin and death with Jesus, her Son.

Mary is the New Ark of the Covenant. The prized Ark of the Covenant in the Old Testament contained within it Aaron’s staff (representing the priesthood), the tablets of the 10 Commandments (the Law), and some of the heavenly manna that fed the Israelites in the desert (the “bread of life”). Who is Jesus Christ? Jesus Christ is the true High Priest, He is our Divine Lawgiver, and He is the Bread of Life. And the Blessed Virgin Mary carried for nine months in her womb, and the rest of her life in her heart, the High Priest, the Divine Lawgiver, and the Bread of Life: Jesus. Thus, Mary truly is the New Ark of the Covenant.

Psalm 132(131): 8 “Arise, O Lord, into Thy resting place: Thou and the ark, which Thou hast sanctified.”

Revelation 11:19 “And the temple of God was opened in Heaven: and the ark of His testament was seen in His Temple…”

Revelation 12:1 “And a great sign appeared in Heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars.”

Marian Reads:

True Devotion to Mary by St. Louis de Montfort

The Glories of Mary by St. Alphonsus Liguori

Abortion is NOT healthcare!

What ailment does abortion heal? What medical condition does abortion cure? What lifesaving benefit does abortion offer? What life does abortion save?

The answer to all of the above: nothing. NOTHING. None. No one.

Abortion is an elective “procedure” if we can bear to call it that (perhaps that’s what Hitler called the gas chambers?). Abortion is a murderous anti-medicinal abomination that destroys the goal of all medicine: to protect LIFE.

I hate, loathe, and abhor the rhetoric. The complete selfishness demonstrated by pro-abortion advocates is downright scary. It’s TERRIFYING. Slogans like, “it’s a personal decision, not a legal debate”, “my body, my choice”, etc. are pathetic in comparison to the reality of abortion:

When did we forget our responsibilities to protect and defend the weak? Where was his “choice”? Where was his “personal decision” regarding his body?

Given the chance, no one would opt to be slaughtered in their mother’s womb.
That’s the ugly, real side of abortion that pro-abortion activists don’t want you to think about. The murder of innocent children in the wombs of their mothers.
Abortion is NOT healthcare. Abortion is murder.