Category: Catholic Articles

Satanic Priest Turned Saint: Bartolo Longo Is Proof That No Soul Is Too Lost To Be Found!

Satanic Priest Turned Saint: Bartolo Longo Is Proof That No Soul Is Too Lost To Be Found!

Blessed Bartolo Longo.

Satanic priest turned saint, Bartolo Longo is proof that no one is too lost to be found.

He turned to Our Lady in sorrow for his sins, so much so that John Paul II would proclaim him a “Man of Mary”

Sometimes reading the lives of the saints is discouraging. They may have been imperfect, as we all are, but it can seem that none of them ever really sinned the way people today do. Even proverbial bad boy St. Augustine was a decent guy by today’s standards. It’s easy for those of us who have made terrible choices to feel discouraged.

May I introduce Blessed Bartolo Longo?

Like many saints, Bartolo was raised in a faithful Catholic family. Unlike most saints, Bartolo spent his 20s as a Satanic priest.

Born in 1841, Bartolo Longo lost his mother when he was only 10. From that time, he grew more and more distant from his Catholic faith. When he began university studies in Naples, at the University where St. Thomas Aquinas himself had studied, he was eager to enter fully into the experience of a secular university. In mid-19th-century Italy, that meant anti-clericalism, atheism, and ultimately the occult.

Bartolo began attending séances, experimented with drugs, and even got involved in orgies. He lured people away from the Catholic faith, publicly ridiculing the Church of his childhood. Before long, the newly minted lawyer was “ordained” a priest of Satan. As a Satanic bishop intoned blasphemous words, the walls of the room shook and disembodied screams terrified those in attendance.

Before long, Bartolo found himself paranoid and miserable, on the brink of a nervous breakdown. And as he clung to his Satanic practices, his family prayed.

As happened with Augustine, the faithful prayers of Bartolo’s family finally broke down the wall of anger and sin that Bartolo had built around himself. One night, he heard the voice of his dead father crying out to him, “Return to God!”

Stunned, Bartolo visited a friend who lived nearby, Professor Vincenzo Pepe. When Pepe realized what had become of Bartolo, he cried, “Do you want to die in an insane asylum and be damned forever?” {By this he did not mean that Bartolo would be damned for insnity, but that the sinful choices he had made while sane would lead inevitably to madness and damnation.) Pepe’s courage in pointing out the danger his friend was in cut through Bartolo’s defenses, and before long he had agreed to meet with a Dominican priest, Fr. Alberto Radente.

Fr. Alberto worked slowly on the young lawyer, encouraging him to make a thorough confession. After a month of direction, Bartolo was finally absolved and began his work of drawing people back to Christ. He stood up in the middle of cafés and student parties and denounced occult practices. He served the poor and instructed the ignorant; after six years of such work, he pronounced vows as a lay Dominican, on the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary.

Then, cleansed and consecrated, Bartolo visited one last séance. He walked in, held up a rosary and called out, “I renounce spiritualism because it is nothing but a maze of error and falsehood.”

But for all he had been absolved, Bartolo, like most of us, struggled with memories of his past. He felt unworthy of God’s forgiveness, certain that he was impure, permanently marred by his sin. One day, while collecting rent from the destitute farmers around Pompeii, Bartolo began to consider his past way of life.

“Despite my repentance, I thought: I am still consecrated to Satan, and I am still his slave and property as he awaits me in Hell. As I pondered over my condition, I experienced a deep sense of despair and almost committed suicide.”

In that moment, Bartolo remembered the rosary of his childhood, remembered the love of the Blessed Mother. He felt Our Lady tell him that his path to heaven was through teaching others to pray the Rosary.

Bartolo moved to Pompeii, where he began Rosary groups, organized Marian processions, and began work on a shrine to Our Lady of the Rosary. His work was funded by the Countess di Fusco, with whom he worked so closely that rumors began to spread about the nature of their relationship. Though Bartolo had taken a private vow of chastity, he was encouraged by Pope Leo XIII to marry the countess for the sake of the work; the two entered into a celibate marriage and continued to serve the poor.

For more than 50 years, Bartolo preached the Rosary, founded schools for the poor, established orphanages for the children of criminals, and transformed a city of death to a city dedicated to the living Mother of God. At his beatification, St. John Paul II, himself perhaps the most Marian pope since St. Peter, proclaimed Blessed Bartolo Longo “a Man of Mary.”

Blessed Bartolo Longo was a vile, degenerate, blasphemous Satanic priest. But this is his legacy: blessed, soon canonized.

October 5, his feast day, let’s ask his intercession for all those who think they’re beyond hope, or that their purity can never be restored and their lives never be made whole, or that they’ve lost their chance at holiness.

May they join the ranks of murderers, addicts, and Satanists whose halos shine undimmed around the throne of the unblemished Lamb of God. Blessed Bartolo Longo, pray for us.

 

Source:

Satanic priest turned saint, Bartolo Longo is proof that no one is too lost to be found, By Meg Hunter-Kilmer For Aleteia.

What Does “Mass” Mean and Why Do Catholics Use The Word?

What Does “Mass” Mean and Why Do Catholics Use The Word?

What Does Mass Mean and Why Do Catholics Use The Word?

Pope Francis celebrates Holy Mass

The English word “Mass” comes from the Latin word missa, which means to be “sent.” This Latin word has been used since the 6th or 7th century to describe the Catholic celebration of the Eucharist, our main liturgical service. The word is used during the conclusion of the celebration when the priest or deacon says in Latin, Ite, missa est.

The literal translation of that phrase is, “Go, it has been sent.” Saint Thomas Aquinas wrote a commentary on these words and explained in his Summa Theologiae, “And from this the Mass derives its name … the deacon on festival days ‘dismisses’ the people at the end of the Mass, by saying: ‘Ite, missa est,’ that is, the victim [Jesus] has been sent to God through the angel, so that it may be accepted by God.”

Pope Benedict XVI also expanded on these words in his encyclical Sacramentum Caritatis, but focused on a different spiritual meaning behind the phrase. He wrote, “In antiquity, missa simply meant ‘dismissal.’ However in Christian usage it gradually took on a deeper meaning. The word ‘dismissal’ has come to imply a ‘mission.’ These few words succinctly express the missionary nature of the Church. The People of God might be helped to understand more clearly this essential dimension of the Church’s life, taking the dismissal as a starting- point.”

Instead of seeing the words of the priest or deacon as a conclusion to the celebration, Pope Benedict saw them as a beginning. He made that abundantly clear when he developed new words for the dismissal at Mass. Pope Benedict approved the phrases, “Ite ad Evangelium Domini annuntiandum (Go and announce the Gospel of the Lord)” and “Ite in pace, glorificando vita vestra Dominum (Go in peace, glorifying the Lord by your life).” Both of these dismissals focus on the missionary character of the Mass and how those in the pew are meant to go out in the world, sustained by the Eucharist they just received.

Viewed in this framework, the “Mass” is not just a single celebration on a Sunday or weekday or feast day, but a starting-point for a lifelong journey of Christian witness. The priest, in the place of Christ, sends forth his parishioners into the world so that they may be beacons of light, set on a hill for all to see.

Source: aleteia.org/

10 Popular Things Catholics Are Tired of Hearing (and How to Respond )

10 Popular Things Catholics Are Tired of Hearing (and How to Respond )

Despite the many stereotypes that hang over our faith, the important thing to remember is our Church has stood the test of time and remained for more than 2,000 years.

Below are 10 popular things every Catholic is tired of hearing

1. Catholics worship statues

This stereotype is painful to hear. Not only is this completely false, but it is ludicrous. Despite the fact that there are 801 million Protestants worldwide, according to the Pew Research Center, my rant will be geared towards our brothers and sisters in the United States. In this country, approximately 51.5% of people are Protestant Christians.

Realistically, most of these families have pictures in their home, which is completely normal, right? Right. They have pictures of their loved ones, both living and deceased. Is it not hypocritical then to say that Catholics are idol worshipers when these families have portraits of their loved ones on the walls? If these Protestant families can have pictures of Uncle Bernie and Mawmaw hanging on the wall, then most certainly the Church can present pictures of our beloved Jesus, his disciples, and the saints.

2. Catholics pray to Mary instead of God

This is a very common misconception throughout the Protestant community, and while I can understand why it is, I am also disheartened that many jump to such a harsh conclusion of the Catholic faith.

We don’t pray to Mary, we ask her to pray for us, just as a Protestant asks their deceased grandparent/parent to watch over them.

3. The saints can’t hear your prayers because they are dead.

I beg to differ. Since when is anyone who is in Heaven considered dead? We call it the afterlife for a reason. In fact, there is biblical proof that the saints can hear our prayer

-Revelation: 5:8 “And when he had taken it, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb. Each one had a harp and they were holding golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of God’s people.”

-Revelation 8:3-4 “Another angel, who had a golden censer, came and stood at the altar. He was given much incense to offer, with the prayers of all God’s people, on the golden altar in front of the throne. The smoke of the incense, together with the prayers of God’s people, went up before God from the angel’s hand.”

4. Mother Mary isn’t important; she’s just like anyone else

If our Blessed Mother isn’t important, then every female would have had an immaculate conception. For this reason, that is why the declarative statement above doesn’t make sense. Of course, Mother Mary is important, she gave birth to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

What is so amazing about the Catholic faith is the fact that we recognize the importance of Mary, and we honour her accordingly. She is a role model and saint for all Christians to look up to because she submitted to God completely.

Until the day another woman gives birth to Jesus, no one will ever be just like Mary. She is a very special, holy woman.

5. Catholics made up all their rules

Every single tradition we have in the Catholic Church, namely during Mass, has biblical roots. Not to mention the fact that Jesus was the founder of our Church. I don’t know about you, but Jesus doesn’t make mistakes.

6. God said to confess sins to Him, not a priest

This one is a personal favourite of mine. Drum roll, please.

-James 5:16 “Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.”

It is true that we pray directly to God, and ask Him to forgiveness, however for sins(mortal) we do as Jesus commands and confess it to one another (our priests). Jesus said this directly to his disciples, so through Him, they were able to forgive sins. This power passed down to every priest, and so on and so forth. That felt good.

7. Catholicism is a cult

Jesus Christ founded this Church more than 2,000 years ago, I would hardly call it a cult.

8. Catholics aren’t Christians

The word Christian is associated with anyone who follows Christ’s teachings, and since the Catholic Church does just that then we are to be called Christians. Not to mention Catholics were actually the first Christians.

9. Catholics added books to the Holy Bible.

This one is so hilarious it hurts. For 300 years there was no Bible, only random writings from the prophets like St.Peter etc, until the Catholic monks compiled and canonized what is now known today as the Holy Bible. (That is until the Protestant Reformation occurred, in which one man *Martin Luther* removed 7 books). Ouch.

10. Catholics believe you can pay your way into Heaven

We definitely do not. That is a huge misconception which occurred during the Protestant Reformation.

Despite the many stereotypes that hang over our faith, the important thing to remember is our Church has stood the test of time and remained for more than 2,000 years.

Whether you are Catholic or Protestant– we are all followers of Christ, and He is the ultimate goal.

Source: rcatholics.com

10 Tips from Catholic Priests for a Better Confession

10 Tips from Catholic Priests for a Better Confession

10 Tips from Catholic Priests for a Better Confession

Sacrament of Confession

 

Sometimes we leave the confessional wondering, “Did I do that right?”

I wish I could hear other people’s confessions.

Don’t worry, I’m not bugging the confessionals in the convent. I just think I would learn something from hearing how others go about it.

I’ve been partaking of the Sacrament of Penance for several years now but I still don’t feel like I know what I am doing. Sometimes I leave the confessional wondering, “Did I do that right? Should I have been more specific? Was I honest enough?”

The other day as I left confession, I thought, “I know, I will ask for some advice from the men who do hear other people’s confessions for a living!”

Here is what they said:

1. Fr. Bryan Brooks, Tulsa, OK

By doing an examination of conscience we are confronted with our sins, but when we go to confession we are confronted with God’s love, mercy, and forgiveness.

2. Fr. Sean Donovan, Pawhuska, OK:

After saying about how long it’s been since your last Confession, briefly tell the priest about yourself. (Are you single, dating, remarried, a religious sister?) If we know your situation, it helps us to counsel you.

3. Fr. Gabriel Mosher, OP, Portland, OR:

Sins are bad choices, not unpleasant emotions; so, confess your sins, not your emotional states.

4. Fr. Damian Ference, Wickliffe, Ohio

Sins committed are an offense to God, but sins confessed are a Canticle to God. So, when you confess your sins to a priest in the sacrament of reconciliation, know that you are also singing praise to God for his great mercy.

5. Fr. Matthew Gossett, Steubenville, OH

Frequent confession is edifying for your priest and good for your soul! Sins, especially deep-seated or habitual sins, require patience and persistence. Never give up, no matter how many times you’ve committed the same sin… Confession is a sacrament of healing, and just like physical wounds, spiritual wounds can take some time to fully heal.

6. Father James Martin, SJ, New York, NY

Confession is not so much about how bad you are but about how good God is.

7. Fr. Anthony Gerber, Cottleville, Missouri

The priest is like a physician: when you go to the doctor, you tell him what has been hurting you and with more or less detail so that he knows how best to heal you. And remember: he has seen many patients with the same symptoms. Trust him, listen to his counsel, and you’ll get better soon!

8. Fr. Joshua Whitfield, Dallas, TX

God works best with a simple, humble confession of sins. God doesn’t need a novel. He’s read it already. Pride and impenitence sometimes hide beneath our many words. Speaking simply and plainly, naming our sins: it’s like being stripped for the Cross, for the death of our sins and the resurrection of forgiveness.

9. Fr. Jeffrey Mickler, SSP, Youngstown, OH

Just go, no matter what. God’s love is stronger than our sins.

10. Fr. Matthew Schneider, LC, Washington DC

For many people, the biggest improvement in confession would be switching from viewing it as an obligatory, abstract listing of sins to the renewal of a relationship with God.

And a bonus!

Fr. Mark Menegatti, O.S.A.

Confession is not just a removal of sin, it’s an encounter with Christ.

Were any of these tips helpful to you?

Tip #3 helped me to rethink how I do my examination of conscience and I realized that I probably should be more specific when listing my sins (not that God needs it but because it would be helpful to me). And all of these tips renewed my love for the Sacrament of Penance and for all priests who give their lives to serve God and his people.

If you have any other advice that you have found helpful, please share it with readers in the comments!

Source: aleteia.org

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