This blog is based on references in the Bible to fear. God wills that we “BE NOT AFRAID”. Many theologians state that the eighth deadly sin is fear. It is fear and its natural animal reaction to fight or flight that is the root cause of our failings to create a Kingdom of God on earth. By “the power of the Holy Spirit” we can be witnesses and “communicators” of a new and redeemed humanity “even to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:7 8). This blog is dedicated to Mary the Mother of God.
Monday Night at the Movies Klaus Haro, Letters to Father Jaakob, 2009 Monday of the Second Week of Advent SPIRITUAL crib-MOUNTAIN DAY ...
Friday, October 27, 2023
Saturday, October 28, 2023
Join Us for 40 Days to Peace Through Strength - Prayer for the Church, America and the World!
Many of you have been tuned into signs pointing to this moment in history. Besides the challenges we have faced over the past 3+ years, many discerned that this October could bring the beginnings of significant trials.
And so, here we are. On October 7, the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary, the Holy Land was viciously attacked. Many are worried this could escalate. The time is now to UNITE IN PRAYER!
Here’s what I have discerned ...
October 28 is the Feast of St. Jude, the patron saint of hope and impossible causes. A powerful saint that happens to be highlighted at this moment in time as my good friend Fr. Carlos Martins is traveling the country with the “arm of St. Jude” relic. We are prone to despair as we see terror on every side. Let’s call upon this great saint.
Moreover, Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception seems to be highlighted during these times, especially since she is the Patroness of the United States of America. We celebrate this great Feast on December 8.
I find it more than interesting that there are exactly 40 days between these two amazing feasts. The 40 days begins as we conclude the month of October, dedicated to the Rosary. Also, these 40 days pass through the Feast of All Saints and the Feast of All Souls and the month of November that is traditionally devoted to the Souls in Purgatory.
We are not meant to advance unaided. In His great wisdom, God has set up a Holy Alliance that, once united, is designed to defeat any and all forces of darkness in the heavenly realm, rescue souls, and build up the kingdom of God. This alliance is called the Communion of Saints, and is comprised of the Church Militant (those alive on earth), the Church Penitent (those undergoing purification in purgatory in preparation for heaven), and the Church Triumphant (those already in heaven).
Mary, Unite Us in Prayer!
Fr. Chad Ripperger came to speak in my parish on the Vigil of the Epiphany. In the lead up to Fr. Ripperger's talk in my parish, I asked if he could speak on this: "What does it look like if someone really wants to go all in - totally serious and committed - as a kind of “Navy Seal of Spiritual Warfare?” That’s when he offered the topic of “Different Levels of Spiritual Warfare.” This is the battle plan we are taking (See Fr. Ripperger's talk below).
Our Battle Plan for "40 days to Peace Through Strength" (October 29 to December 7)
The ancient maxim applies: “We maintain the peace through our strength; weakness only invites aggression.”
Our prayer campaign begins as the Synod on Synodality concludes. The Church, instituted by the Son of God, simply must restore its supernatural strength, as peace is now threatened throughout the world.
We simply MUST grow strong in the Lord and in His mighty power!! We MUST recover the armor of God!! (Ephesians 6:10-12)
PRAYER INTENTION: For a supernatural revival in our Church, and for peace throughout our world.
Depending upon your state in life, you will be able to choose which of these 5 levels of spiritual warfare (below) you are willing to accept. We will call upon the Communion of Saints, including St. Jude, as we call out to the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Patroness of the United States of America, to intercede for us.
ADD FASTING: Fasting is a way in which the Lord gives the underdog victory. Let the Holy Spirit inspire your own level of fasting. If fasting from food is prohibitive, fast from some other creature comfort.
From Simply Catholic: "By the second century, fasting was integrated into Christian worship. Jews had long fasted on Mondays and Thursdays, but the Christians chose to fast on Wednesdays, because that was the day of Christ’s betrayal, and Fridays, the day he was crucified."
Here are the top 10 foundational Supernatural Strength Practices:
The Morning Offering
Mental Prayer (at least 15 minutes)
Spiritual Reading (at least 15 minutes)
Holy Mass and Communion (beyond days of obligation, if possible)
The Angelus (6 AM, noon and/or 6 PM)
The Holy Rosary
Brief Examination of Conscience (at night)
Frequent Confession (at least once a month)
Adoration (can be offered before or after Mass)
Fasting & Mortification (recommend choosing something with health benefits)
Fr. Chad Ripperger speaks at St. Mary of Pine Bluff on "Levels of Spiritual Warfare."
you ever had someone you trusted betray you? We all have. In Maccabees 2
it is explained that Nicanor and Judas become friends for a time. It seems Nicanor
might have come to Judea to work out a peace plan and it is rumored he even persuaded
Judas to settle down and marry. Later the Hellenizing (progressive) party
forces Nicanor to betray Judas. Having been warned Judas avoids further contact
was Judas afraid? He
was a man of courage perhaps he now saw that he may have to take the life of a
there any greater fear? Nicanor
eventually attacks Judas and indeed dies in the ensuing battle.
Saturday dedicated to the Mother of God
1. Quia fecit mihi
"For he who is mighty has done great things for me" (Lk. 1:49).
We conclude the work of the ninth
ordinary general assembly of the Synod of Bishops, dedicated to consecrated
life and its mission in the church and in the world, with this celebration. We
close them on a Saturday - a day traditionally dedicated to the mother of God.
Therefore, we address ourselves to Mary in a particular way in today's
eucharistic sacrifice, borrowing the words of thanks from the Magnificat, which
the church repeats every day in the Liturgy of the Hours: "He has done
great things for me." Fecit mihi magna.
Vatican Council II was a "great
thing" for the church, which could correctly be defined as the most
significant ecclesial event of our century. On the background of this first and
fundamental "great thing," given to us by the Lord, other "great
things" can be recognized, achieved by him during the recent past. The
institution of the Synod of Bishops may surely be placed among these, which by
now has its own history, developed during the postconciliar period. This last
synodal assembly can now be recorded in its history, which was greatly expected
and - we all hope - not less fruitful than the preceding ones.
To the apostolic exhortations Familiaris
Consortio, Christifideles Laici, Pastores Dabo Vobis thus now
we will have the joy of following with a new postsynodal document, of which we
still do not know the incipit but which certainly will reflect what has
emerged during the course of the assembly, which ends today. There have been
weeks of intense work during which consecrated life and its mission have been
at the center of reflection and prayer by the church.
2. My soul thirsts
for God, for the living God" (Ps. 42:3). The readings proclaimed now
contain many lights able to make clear the singular state of ecclesial life
which is consecrated life. The responsorial psalm remembers the liturgy of
baptism with the blessing of the holy water during the great paschal vigil of
Baptism is the first and fundamental
consecration of the human person. Beginning new existence in Christ, the
baptized-man or woman -participates in this consecration, in this total
donation to the Father which is proper to his eternal Son. It is he himself-the
Son-who incites in man's soul the desire to give oneself without reservation to
God: My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and behold
the face of God?" (Ps. 42:3).
Religious consecration, with its
distinct eschatological dimension, is inserted on baptismal consecration. No
one has ever seen God (cf. Jn. 1:18) during this life. This is however the
beatific vision, that is, the seeing of the visage of God "face to
face" (1 Cor. 13:12), the definite vocation beyond time of each man.
Consecrated persons have the duty of reminding everyone of this. Faith prepares
us for this beatific vision, in which God gives himself to man with the measure
of love with which this last one answered to the eternal love, revealed in the
incarnation and in the cross of Christ.
3. "For to me,
to live is Christ" (Phil. 1:21), writes Paul the apostle. Amori Christi
nihil praeponatur, St. Benedict proclaims in his rules. Amori Christi in
pauperibus nihil praeponatur, St. Vincent de Paul will say 1,000 years
What marvelous strength these words
contain! Could one think about culture and European civilization without them?
And the great missionary epics of the first and the second millennium, could
they be imagined without them? And what to say about monasticism of the Eastern
Christian, whose beginnings go back to the first centuries of Christianity?
Thus, those who in following the poor, chaste and obedient Christ had abandoned
the world, at the same time transformed it. In them was achieved the
invocation: "Send forth thy Spirit and renew the face of the earth"
(cf. Ps. 103:30). The Holy Spirit knows the "times and the moments"
in which one must call upon persons suited for the duties required by the
At that time, he called upon Benedict
and his sister Scholastica. He called Bernard, Francis and Clare of Assisi,
Bonaventure, Dominic, Thomas Aquinas and St. Catherine of Siena. From the
public squares the Gospel reached the university chairs. At the time of the
Eastern schism and the Reformation he called upon Ignatius Loyola, Teresa of
Avila, John of the Cross and then Francis Xavier and Peter Claver. With them, a
deep spiritual reform was achieved, and the missionary epic in the East and in
the West began.
During the centuries closest to us the
Spirit, which renews the face of the earth, called upon others such as John
Baptist de La Salle, Paul of the Cross, Alphonse Maria Liguori and John Bosco,
to only mention but a few of the most noteworthy ones. At the end of the last
century and during the present, the same Spirit of the Father and of the Son
spoke through Teresa of the Infant Jesus, through Maximilian Kolbe and through
What would the world be, ancient and
modern, without these figures-and those of many others? They learned from
Christ that "his yoke is easy and his burden is light" (cf. Mt.
11:30), and they taught this to others.
4. We conclude this
synodal assembly almost on the eve of the solemnity of All Saints. The Book of
the Apocalypse mentions this immense multitude, coming from every nation,
people and tongue, standing before the heavenly throne and before the Lamb of
God (cf. Rv. 7:9). The significant question follows: "Who are these
clothed in white robes, and whence have they come?"
From where do they come? we also ask
ourselves. Do they not come from the innumerable institutes of consecrated
life, male and female, present in the church? The canonizations and the
beatifications proclaimed through the centuries give witness of this. The
beatifications, which during this month have almost accompanied the synodal
way, give particular witness of this.
5. Today, the last
Saturday of October, we offer up to you, Mary, mother and virgin, humble
handmaiden of the Lord and queen of all the saints, the fruits of the work of
the synod. We entrust them to you, queen of the holy rosary, queen of this
beautiful prayer which has sustained us day by day during the entire month.
Make it possible that these fruits,
through a singular exchange of gifts, may be useful also to the cause of the
family, complying with the design of divine providence, which desired the
celebration of this symbol on consecrated life during the Year of the Family.
They praise you, Lord, the consecrated
persons. They praise you, the Christian families of the entire world. She
praises you, the church, for the gift of the synod.
item 5454 digitally provided courtesy of CatholicCulture.org
speaking to your heart? Are you afraid to believe? Are you unsure of your
ability to carry the burden of true religious convictions? Assuage your fears
and begin again asking Mary to help you. She is the first of the warrior saints
to enter heaven. She as our mother and wants us to entertain the same joys of
eternal life and find new ways of being sons and daughters.
Saturday Litany of the Hours Invoking the Aid of Mother
say hourly upon waking
till you go to sleep
the consent of Our Lady, the New Eve, the Son of God became Man and
crushed the head of the ancient Serpent who had deceived the first Eve. By
the Blessed Mother’s assistance, we are able to take part in her Son’s
victory over the Devil and his legions. The Hail Mary: Hail, Mary, full of
grace, the Lord is with you. Blessed are you among women, and blessed is
the fruit of your womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us
sinners, now and at the hour of our death. AMEN.
O most holy
Virgin, Mother of our Lord Jesus Christ: by the overwhelming grief you
experienced when you witnessed the martyrdom, the crucifixion, and the death of
your divine Son, look upon me with eyes of compassion, and awaken in my heart a
tender commiseration for those sufferings, as well as a sincere detestation of
my sins, in order that, being disengaged from all undue affection for the
passing joys of this earth, I may sigh after the eternal Jerusalem, and that
henceforward all my thoughts and all my actions may be directed towards this
one most desirable object. Honor, glory, and love to our divine Lord Jesus, and
to the holy and immaculate Mother of God. Amen. --Saint Bonaventure
Memorare to Our Lady: Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was
it known that anyone who fled to your protection, implored your help, and
sought your intercession, was left unaided. Inspired with this confidence,
I fly to you, O Virgin of Virgins, my mother; to you I come, before you I
stand, sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not
my petitions; but in your clemency hear and answer me. AMEN.
of Heaven, Reign with your Son over the Enemy. Queen of Angels Summon the
heavenly hosts to war. New Eve of the New Creation Crush the head of the
Serpent. Our Lady of Victory Come to our aid in battle. Help of Christians
Be our comfort and strength. Virgin Most Powerful, Guard us from all harm.
Holy Mother of God, we fly to your protection. AMEN.
Mary, powerful Virgin, you are the mighty and powerful protector of the
Church; you are the marvelous help of Christians; you are terrifying as an
army in battle array; you alone have destroyed every heresy in the whole
world. In the midst of our anguish, our struggles, and our distresses,
defend us from the power of the Enemy, and at the hour of our death,
receive our souls in paradise. AMEN.
fly to your protection, O holy Mother of God. Despise not our petitions in
our necessities, but deliver us always from all dangers, O glorious and
blessed Virgin. AMEN.
Mary, most holy
Virgin and Queen of Martyrs, accept the sincere homage of my filial affection.
Into thy heart, pierced by so many swords, do thou welcome my poor soul.
Receive it as the companion of thy sorrows at the foot of the Cross, on which
Jesus died for the redemption of the world. With thee, O sorrowful Virgin, I
will gladly suffer all the trials, contradictions, and infirmities which it
shall please our Lord to send me. I offer them all to thee in memory of thy
sorrows, so that every thought of my mind, and every beat of my heart may be an
act of compassion and of love for thee. And do thou, sweet Mother, have pity on
me, reconcile me to thy divine Son Jesus, keep me in His grace, and assist me
in my last agony, so that I may be able to meet thee in heaven and sing thy
holy Virgin, who was pleasing to the Lord and became His mother,
immaculate in body and spirit, in faith and in love, look kindly on the
wretched ones who implore your powerful patronage. The wicked Serpent,
against whom was hurled the first curse, continues fiercely to attack and
ensnare the unhappy children of Eve. So then, O Blessed Mother, our queen
and advocate, who from the first instant of your conception crushed the
head of the Enemy, receive the prayers which, united with you in our
single heart, we implore you to present at the throne of God; so that we
may never fall into the snares that are laid out for us, and may all
arrive at the harbor of salvation. And in so many dangers, may the Church
and Christian society sing once again the hymn of deliverance and of
victory and of peace. AMEN.
Queen of Angels, Bane of Devils: The proud spirits of wickedness were
humiliated by your perfect humility; their rebellion was scattered by your
perfect obedience. Your fiat overthrew Eve’s baleful consent to the
ancient Serpent, crushing his head, exposing his deceits, and healing the
wounds inflicted by his venom, through the Son you conceived, Jesus
Christ, our Lord. Come to our aid, Our Lady of Victory! When the battle
rages, when our strength fails, when the Enemy wounds us, when defeat
seems certain: With your mantle, cover and protect us; with your bright
banner above us, dispel the darkness; so that we may rally again in combat
through the invincible power of your Son. Then, when our warfare is
complete, and our victory won, lead us from the battlefield to His
glorious Throne, so that we may join you there in a glad song of
everlasting triumph! AMEN.
holy Virgin, Mother of God, my mother and patroness, I place myself under
your protection; I throw myself with confidence into the arms of your
compassion. Be to me, O Mother of Mercy, my refuge in distress; my
consolation in suffering; and my advocate with your Son, who is worthy to
be adored, now and at the hour of my death. AMEN.
Virgin. and Mother, whose soul was pierced by a sword of sorrow in the Passion
of thy divine Son, and who in His glorious Resurrection wast filled with
never-ending joy at His triumph; obtain for us who call upon thee, so to be
partakers in the adversities of Holy Church and the sorrows of the Sovereign
Pontiff, as to be found worthy to rejoice with them in the consolations for
which we pray, in the charity and peace of the same Christ our Lord. Amen.
Mother of God, we take refuge in your loving care. Do not let our plea to
you pass unheeded in the trials that beset us, but deliver us from danger,
for you alone are truly pure, you alone are truly blessed. AMEN.
Queen and my Mother, I give myself entirely to you; and in proof of my
affection, I give you my eyes, my ears, my tongue, my heart, my whole
being without reserve. Since I am your own, keep me and guard me as your
property and possession. AMEN.
Queen of Heaven! Sovereign Mistress of the angels! You who from the
beginning have received from God the power and mission to crush the head
of Satan: We humbly beg You to send your holy legions of angels so that,
under your command and by your power, they may pursue the evil spirits,
encounter them on every side, resist their bold attacks, and drive them
away from here into the abyss of eternal woe. O good and tender Mother,
you will always be our love and hope! O Mother of God, send your holy angels
to defend us and to drive far away from us the cruel Enemy. Holy angels
and archangels, defend us, guard us! AMEN.
Mother of Grace, Mother of Mercy, protect me from the Enemy and receive me
at the hour of death. AMEN.
O most holy and
afflicted Virgin! Queen of Martyrs! thou who didst stand motionless beneath the
Cross, witnessing the agony of thy expiring Son--through the unceasing
sufferings of thy life of sorrow, and the bliss which now more than amply
repays thee for thy past trials, look down with a mother's tenderness and pity
on me, who kneel before thee to venerate thy dolors, and place my requests,
with filial confidence, in the sanctuary of thy wounded heart; present them, I
beseech thee, on my behalf, to Jesus Christ, through the merits of His own most
sacred death and passion, together with thy sufferings at the foot of the
cross, and through the united efficacy of both obtain the grant of my present
petition. To whom shall I resort in my wants and miseries if not to thee, O
Mother of Mercy, who, having so deeply drunk of the chalice of thy Son, canst
compassionate the woes of those who still sigh in the land of exile? Offer for
me to my Savior one drop of the Blood which flowed from His sacred veins, one
of the tears which trickled from His divine eyes, one of the sighs which rent
His adorable Heart. O refuge of the universe and hope of the whole world, do
not reject my humble prayer, but graciously obtain the grant of my petition.
fly to your patronage, O holy Mother of God; despise not our petitions in
our necessities but deliver us always from all dangers. O glorious and
blessed Virgin. AMEN.
me to praise you, Virgin, most holy; give me strength against your
enemies! Tender heart of Mary be my safety!
Mary most sorrowful, Mother of Christians, pray for us.
Virgin most sorrowful, pray for us.
ST. SIMON and St. Jude were probably brothers; the
former received the surname Canaanite, to distinguish him from Simon Peter,
either because he was a native of Cana, or because of his zeal for Christ (Luke
v L 15; Acts i. 13). Judas was surnamed Thaddeus, or Lebbeus, to distinguish
him from Judas Iscariot. Both were chosen apostles by Christ and were constant
witnesses of His life and deeds. It is related of them in the Martyrology that
the light of faith was communicated to Egypt and other countries of Africa by
Simon, and to Palestine, Syria, Mesopotamia, and Greater Armenia by Thaddeus.
Meeting in Persia and propagating the Christian faith there by their preaching
and miracles, they both gained the crown of martyrdom. There is extant an
epistle of St. Jude which the Church has incorporated into the Holy Scriptures.
From these two apostles learn to have zeal for the glory of God, for your own
salvation and for that of your neighbor.
O God, Who, by means of Thy blessed apostles Simon
and Jude, hast granted us to come to the knowledge of Thy name, grant that we
may celebrate their eternal glory by making progress in virtue and improve by
EPISTLE. Ephes. iv. 7-13.
Brethren: To every one of us is given grace
according to the measure of the giving of Christ. Wherefore He saith: Ascending
on high He led captivity captive; He gave gifts to men. Now that He ascended,
what is it, but because He also descended first into the lower parts of the
earth? He that descended is the same also that ascended above all the heavens,
that He might fill all things. And He gave some apostles, and some prophets,
and other some evangelists, and other some pastors and doctors: for the perfecting
of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of
Christ: until we all meet into the unity of faith, and of the knowledge of the
Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the age of the fulness of
GOSPEL. John xv. 17-25.
that time Jesus said to His disciples: These things I command you, that you
love one another. If the world hate you, know ye that it hath hated Me before
you. If you had been of the world, the world would love its own: but because
you are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the
world hateth you. Remember My word that I said to you: The servant is not
greater than his master. If they have persecuted Me, they will also persecute
you: if they have kept My word, they will keep yours also. But all these things
they will do to you for My name’s sake: because they know not Him that sent Me.
If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not have sin: but now they
have no excuse for their sin. He that hateth Me, hateth My Father also. If I
had not done among them the works that no other man hath done, they would not
have sin: but now they have both seen and hated both Me and My Father. But that
the word may be fulfilled which is written in their law: They hated Me without
the fact that Christ and His disciples were hated and persecuted by the world
the greatest consolation and encouragement may be derived by those who are
obliged to suffer mockery, contempt, and persecution because they are not of
the world; that is, because they do not follow its foolish principles and
sinful customs. But they who, to escape the derision and hatred of the world,
side with it, rather than with Christ, may learn to be ashamed of their
cowardice and baseness. For as it is an honor to the servant to be treated like
his master, so it is a great disgrace to him to be treated better than his
master; if, then, the master is pleased to submit to the hatred and persecution
of the world, why do his servants refuse to do so? When Christ says that the
Jews could not excuse themselves on the ground that they did not know Him, but
had hated and persecuted Him when it was easy for them to have known Him by His
works, He teaches us that ignorance is not in every case an excuse for sin.
Those Christians, therefore, are in the highest degree culpable who, like the
Jews, might easily learn what they ought to believe and do, but who fail to do
so either through maliciousness or neglect, and accordingly remain in ignorance
by their own fault. Acting in this kind of ignorance, they become guilty of
sin, and will be justly condemned forever. It is otherwise with men who,
without any fault of theirs, hear nothing of Christ or of the true faith, on
account of which they are not punishable, but who will be condemned for such
sins as they commit against that natural law which is inscribed on the heart of
St. Simon is represented
in art with a saw, the instrument of his martyrdom. St. Jude's square points
him out as an architect of the house of God. St. Paul called himself by this
name; and St. Jude, by his Catholic Epistle, has also a special right to be
reckoned among our Lord's principal workmen. But our apostle had another
nobility, far surpassing all earthly titles: being nephew, by his father
Cleophas or Alpheus, to St. Joseph, and legal cousin to the Man-God, Jude was
one of those called by their compatriots the brethren of the carpenter's Son.
We may gather from St. John's Gospel another precious detail concerning him. In
the admirable discourse at the close of the last Supper, our Lord said:
"He that loveth Me, shall be loved of My Father: and I will love him and
will manifest Myself to him." Then Jude asked Him: "Lord, how is it,
that Thou wilt manifest Thyself to us, and not to the world?" And he
received from Jesus this reply: "If any one love Me, he will keep My word,
and My Father will love him, and We will come to him, and will make Our abode
with him. He that loveth Me not keepeth not My word. And the word which you
have heard is not Mine, but the Fathers who sent Me."
St. Jude Patron: Desperate situations; forgotten
causes; hospital workers; hospitals; impossible causes; lost causes; diocese of
Saint Petersburg, Florida.
Patron: Curriers; sawmen; sawyers;
Traditional Jews give at
least ten percent of their income to charity.
Jewish homes commonly have a pushke, a box for collecting coins for the poor,
and coins are routinely placed in the box. Jewish youths are continually going
from door to door collecting for various worthy causes.
standard mourner's prayer includes a statement that the mourner will make a
donation to charity in memory of the deceased.
many ways, charitable donation has taken the place of animal sacrifice in
Jewish life: giving to charity is an almost instinctive Jewish response to
express thanks to G-d, to ask forgiveness from G-d, or to request a favor from
to Jewish tradition, the spiritual benefit of giving to the poor is so great
that a beggar actually does the giver a favor by giving a person the
opportunity to perform tzedakah.
The Meaning of the Word
the Hebrew word for the acts that we call "charity" in English:
giving aid, assistance and money to the poor and needy or to other worthy
nature of tzedakah is very different from the idea of charity. The word
"charity" suggests benevolence and generosity, a magnanimous act by
the wealthy and powerful for the benefit of the poor and needy.
word "tzedakah" is derived from the Hebrew root Tzadei-Dalet-Qof,
meaning righteousness, justice or fairness.
Judaism, giving to the poor is not viewed as a generous, magnanimous act; it is
simply an act of justice and righteousness, the performance of a duty, giving
the poor their due.
The Obligation of Tzedakah
Giving to the poor is an
obligation in Judaism, a duty that cannot be forsaken even by those who are
themselves in need.
is the highest of all commandments, equal to all of them combined, and that a
person who does not perform tzedakah is equivalent to an idol worshipper.
is probably hyperbole, but it illustrates the importance of tzedakah in Jewish
is one of the three acts that gain us forgiveness from our sins.
High Holiday liturgy repeatedly states that G-d has inscribed a judgment
against all who have sinned, but teshuvah (repentance), tefilah (prayer) and
tzedakah can alleviate the decree. See Days
to Jewish law, we are required to give one-tenth of our income to the poor.
is generally interpreted as one-tenth of our net income after payment of taxes.
themselves do not fulfill our obligation to give tzedakah, even though a
significant portion of tax revenues in America and many other countries are
used to provide for the poor and needy.
who are dependent on public assistance or living on the edge of subsistence may
give less, but must still give to the
extent they are able; however, no person should give so much that he would
become a public burden.
obligation to perform tzedakah can be fulfilled by giving money to the poor, to
health care institutions, to synagogues or to educational institutions.
can also be fulfilled by supporting your children beyond the age when you are
legally required to, or supporting your parents in their old age.
obligation includes giving to both Jews and gentiles; contrary to popular
belief, Jews do not just "take care of our own." Quite the contrary,
a study reported in the Jewish Journal indicated that Jewish "mega-donors" (who
give more than $10 million a year to charity) found that only 6% of their
mega-dollars went to specifically Jewish causes.
acknowledges that many people who ask for charity have no genuine need. In
fact, the Talmud suggests that this is a good thing: if all people who asked
for charity were in genuine need, we would be subject to punishment (from G-d)
for refusing anyone who asked.
existence of frauds diminishes our liability for failing to give to all who
ask, because we have some legitimate basis for doubting the beggar's sincerity.
is permissible to investigate the legitimacy of a charity before donating to
have an obligation to avoid becoming in need of tzedakah.
person should take any work that is
available, even if he thinks it is beneath his dignity, to avoid becoming a
if a person is truly in need and has no way to obtain money on his own, he
should not feel embarrassed to accept tzedakah.
person should feel too proud to take money from others.
is considered a transgression to refuse tzedakah. One source says that to make
yourself suffer by refusing to accept tzedakah is equivalent to shedding your
Certain kinds of tzedakah
are considered more meritorious than others. The Talmud describes these different levels
of tzedakah, and Rambam organized them into a list. The
levels of charity, from the least meritorious to the most meritorious, are:
less that you should but giving it cheerfully.
after being asked
before being asked
when you do not know the recipient's identity, but the recipient knows
when you know the recipient's identity, but the recipient doesn't know
when neither party knows the other's identity
the recipient to become self-reliant
Catechism of the Catholic
PART TWO: THE CELEBRATION OF THE CHRISTIAN
SECTION TWO-THE SEVEN
SACRAMENTS OF THE CHURCH
CHAPTER TWO-THE SACRAMENTS OF HEALING
Article 4-THE SACRAMENT OF PENANCE AND RECONCILIATION
1485 "On the evening of that day, the first day of the
week," Jesus showed himself to his apostles. "He breathed on them,
and said to them: 'Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any,
they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained"' (Jn
1486 The forgiveness of sins committed after Baptism is conferred
by a particular sacrament called the sacrament of conversion, confession,
penance, or reconciliation.
1487 The sinner wounds God's honor and love, his own human dignity
as a man called to be a son of God, and the spiritual well-being of the Church,
of which each Christian ought to be a living stone.
1488 To the eyes of faith no evil is graver than sin and nothing
has worse consequences for sinners themselves, for the Church, and for the
1489 To return to communion with God after having lost it through
sin is a process born of the grace of God who is rich in mercy and solicitous
for the salvation of men. One must ask for this precious gift for oneself and
1490 The movement of return to God, called conversion and
repentance, entails sorrow for and abhorrence of sins committed, and the firm
purpose of sinning no more in the future. Conversion touches the past and the
future and is nourished by hope in God's mercy.
1491 The sacrament of Penance is a whole consisting in three
actions of the penitent and the priest's absolution. the penitent's acts are
repentance, confession or disclosure of sins to the priest, and the intention
to make reparation and do works of reparation.
1492 Repentance (also called contrition) must be inspired by
motives that arise from faith. If repentance arises from love of charity for
God, it is called "perfect" contrition; if it is founded on other
motives, it is called "imperfect."
1493 One who desires to obtain reconciliation with God and with
the Church, must confess to a priest all the unconfessed grave sins he
remembers after having carefully examined his conscience. the confession of
venial faults, without being necessary in itself, is nevertheless strongly
recommended by the Church.
1494 The confessor proposes the performance of certain acts of
"satisfaction" or "penance" to be performed by the penitent
in order to repair the harm caused by sin and to re-establish habits befitting
a disciple of Christ.
1495 Only priests who have received the faculty of absolving from
the authority of the Church can forgive sins in the name of Christ.
1496 The spiritual effects of the sacrament of Penance are:
- reconciliation with God by which the penitent recovers grace;
- reconciliation with the Church;
- remission of the eternal punishment incurred by mortal sins;
- remission, at least in part, of temporal punishments resulting from sin;
- peace and serenity of conscience, and spiritual consolation;
- an increase of spiritual strength for the Christian battle.
1497 Individual and integral confession of grave sins followed by
absolution remains the only ordinary means of reconciliation with God and with
1498 Through indulgences the faithful can obtain the remission of
temporal punishment resulting from sin for themselves and also for the souls in