Tag: Questions and Answers

Concerning Questions On Ash Wednesday.

Concerning Questions On Ash Wednesday.

Ash Wednesday 2019 may have come and gone, but there are still some unanswered questions from non Catholics or even some Catholics regarding this yearly ritual. Here are some often asked questions regarding Ash Wednesday. Hope this answers some, if not all your questions. 

*Concerning questions on ASH WEDNESDAY*

Q: What is Ash Wednesday?

A: Ash Wednesday is the day Lent begins. It occurs forty days before Good Friday.

Q: Is Ash Wednesday based on a pagan festival?

A: Heck, no. Ash Wednesday originated in the A.D. 900s, long after Europe had been Christianized and the pagan cults stamped out.

Q: Why is it called Ash Wednesday?


A
: Actually, Ash Wednesday is its colloquial name. Its official name is the Day of Ashes. It is called Ash <Wednesday> because, being forty days before Good Friday, it always falls on a Wednesday and it is called <Ash> Wednesday because on that day at church the faithful have their foreheads marked with ashes in the shape of a cross.

Q: Why do they have their foreheads marked with a cross?

A: Because in the Bible, a mark on the forehead is a symbol of a person’s ownership. By having their foreheads marked with the sign of a cross, this symbolizes that the person belongs to Jesus Christ, who died on a Cross.

Q: Why is the signing done with ashes?

A: Because ashes are a biblical symbol of mourning and penance. In Bible times, the custom was to fast, wear sackcloth, sit in dust and ashes, and put dust and ashes on one’s head. While we no longer normally wear sackcloth or sit in dust and ashes, the customs of fasting and putting ashes on one’s forehead as a sign of mourning and penance have survived to this day. These are two of the key distinctives of Lent. In fact, Ash Wednesday is a day not only for putting ashes on one’s head, but also a day of fasting (see below).

Q: What are some biblical examples of people putting dust and ashes on their foreheads?

A: Consider the following verses from the New International Version:

“That same day, a Benjamite ran from the battle line and went to Shiloh, his clothes torn and dust on his head.” (1 Samuel 4:12).

On the third day, a man arrived from Saul’s camp, with his clothes torn and with dust on his head. When he came to David, he fell to the ground to pay him honor.” (2 Samuel 1:20).

“Tamar put ashes on her head and tore the ornamented robe she was wearing. She put her hand on her head and went away, weeping aloud as she went.” (2 Samuel 13:19).

When David arrived at the summit, where people used to worship God, Hushai the Archite was there to meet him, his robe torn and dust on his head.” (2 Samuel 15:32).

Q: Is there another significance to the ashes?

A: Yes. They also symbolize death and so remind us of our mortality. Thus when the priest uses his thumb to sign one of the faithful with the ashes, he says, “Remember, man, that thou art dust and unto dust thou shalt return”, which is modeled after God’s address to Adam (Genesis 3:19; cf. Job 34:15, Psalms 90:3, 104:29, Ecclesiastes 3:20). This also echoes the words at a burial, “Ashes to ashes; dust to dust,” which is based on God’s words to Adam in Genesis 3 and Abraham’s confession, “I am nothing but dust and ashes” (Genesis 18:27). It is thus a reminder of our mortality and our need to repent before this life is over and we face our Judge.

Q: Where do the ashes used on Ash Wednesday come from?

A: They are made by burning palm fronds which have been saved from the previous year’s Palm Sunday, they are then blessed by a priest—blessed ashes having been used in God’s rituals since the time of Moses (Numbers 19:9-10, 17).

Q: Why are ashes from the previous year’s Palm Sunday used?

A: Because Palm Sunday was when the people rejoiced at Jesus’ triumphal entrance to Jerusalem. They celebrated his arrival by waving palm fronds, little realizing that he was coming to die for their sins. By using palms from Palm Sunday, it is a reminder that we must not only rejoice of Jesus’ coming but also regret the fact that our sins made it necessary for him to die for us in order to save us from hell.

Q: Is having one’s forehead signed with ashes required of the faithful?

A: No, it is not required. However, it is to be strongly encouraged, as it is a fitting and visible spiritual reminder that encourages one to adopt an attitude of prayer, repentance, and humility. As James said: “Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up”. (James 4:10).

Q: Is Ash Wednesday a holy day of obligation, that is, a day on which we are required to go to Mass?

A: No, it is not a holy day of obligation. However, it is strongly advisable since it is fitting to mark the beginning of penitential season of Lent by going to Mass. The formal, corporate worship of God is a good way to get a good start to the season. Also, even though it is not a holy day of obligation, it is a day of fast and abstinence.

Here Are The Sins Against Marriage 

Here Are The Sins Against Marriage 

The English Royal Family – Duke and duchess of England, Prince William and his wife Duchess Kate on the christening of their third child Prince Arthur Louise.


The following are the sins against Marriage;

1. SEPARATION AND REFUSING THE MARRIAGE DEBT.

“But for fear of fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband. Let the husband render the debt to his wife, and the wife also in like manner to the husband. The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband. And in like manner the husband also hath not power of his own body, but the wife. Defraud not one another, except, perhaps, by consent, for a time, that you may give yourselves to prayer; and return together again, lest Satan tempt you for you incontinency.”  (1 Corinthians 7:2-5).

2. DIVORCE

And the Pharisees coming to Him asked Him:  ‘Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife?’ tempting him. But he answering, said to them: ‘What did Moses command you?’ they replied said: ‘Moses permitted to write a bill of divorce, and to put her away.’ Jesus said: ‘Because of the hardness of your heart he wrote you that precept. But from the beginning of creation, God made them male and female. For this cause a man shall leave his father and mother; and shall cleave to his wife. And they two shall be in one flesh. Therefore now they are not two, but one flesh. What therefore God has  joined together, let not man put asunder.’ And in the house again His disciples asked Him concerning the same thing. And He said to them:  ‘Whosoever shall put away his wife and marry another, commits adultery against her. And if the wife shall put away her husband, and be married to another, she committeth adultery.”  (Mark 10:2-12).

3. BIRTH CONTROL

Juda therefore said to Onan his son: ‘Go in to thy [deceased] brother’s wife and marry her, that thou may raise seed to thy brother. He knowing that the children should not be his, when he went in to his brother’s wife, spilled his seed upon the ground, lest children should be born in his brother’s name. And therefore the Lord slew him, because he did a detestable thing.” (Genesis 38:8-10).

    1. What are the sins against marriage?
  1. Refusing the marriage debt.
  2. Unlawful separation.
  3. Divorce.
  4. Sinful company keeping.
  5. Adultery.
  6. Birth control.
  7. Abortion.
  8. Sterilization.


  • What is the marriage debt?

   The “marriage debt” means that a married person is obliged, under penalty of mortal sin, to give his (or her) married partner sexual intercourse whenever it is reasonably asked for.

Lawful excuses for refusing: Adultery, sickness, drunkenness, insanity, non-support, danger to an unborn baby.

 

  • Should a married person always insist on the right to intercourse?

   No, because a marriage cannot be successful unless it is founded on love and unselfishness.


  • Why is it a mortal sin to separate from your partner?


   Separation in a valid marriage is a mortal sin because —

  1. God said so.
  2. To separate means to refuse the marriage debt (mortal sin).
  3. A separated person is tempted to commit adultery or some other sin.
  4. Children cannot be properly trained.


  • Is a validly married person ever allowed to separate from his (her) spouse?


   Yes, but only for a very serious reason, and only with permission of the bishop.


  • Why is divorce and remarriage a mortal sin?


 Because it is clearly against the law of God.

“Every one that puts away his wife, and marries another, commits adultery: and he that marries her that is put away from her husband, commits adultery.” (Luke 16:18)
“A woman is bound by the law as long as her husband lives; but if her husband dies, she is at liberty: let her marry to whom she will; only in the Lord.”  (1 Corinthians 7:39).

 

  • May a separated or divorced person keep company with another?

No, not if the marriage is valid, because such a person is still married, and a married person is never allowed to keep company with another.

“Therefore while her husband liveth, she shall be called an adulteress, if she be with another man.”  (Romans 7:3).

 

  • What is adultery?

Sexual intercourse between a married person and someone to whom he (or she) is not married.


  • What is the sin of birth control?


Doing anything before, during or after intercourse to keep the woman from becoming pregnant.

“Marriage honorable in all, and the marriage bed undefiled.”  (Hebrews 13:4).
“He [Onan]…when he went in to his [deceased] brother’s wife, spilled his seed upon the ground, lest children should be born in his brother’s name.   And therefore the Lord slew him, because he did a detestable thing.”    (Genesis 38:9-10).

 

  • Is birth control ever allowed by God?

   No, it is always a mortal sin.

“He [Onan]…when he went in to his [deceased] brother’s wife, spilled his seed upon the ground, lest children should be born in his brother’s name. And therefore the Lord slew him, because he did a detestable thing.” (Genesis 38:9-10).

 

  • What is the sin of abortion?

   Killing an unborn baby.

“Thou shalt not kill.” (The Fifth Commandment)

  • Is abortion ever allowed to save a mother’s life?

No, because to take away the life of any innocent human being, even that of an unborn human being, is always murder.

From just the medical point of view, abortion is not the safe and simple procedure it is made out to be. It can cause serious injury to the woman, and even death. Women who have had abortions become sterile and miscarry more often than those who have not, plus abortion leads more often to tubal pregnancies than in women who have not aborted their children. Doctors concede that it is always safer for the woman to come to term with her pregnancy than to have an abortion, even if this means having a caesarian section.

  • What happens to a Catholic who knowingly has an abortion?

Automatic excommunication is the penalty for this crime.

This means that such a person cannot receive the Sacraments nor have a Catholic funeral.

 

  • Can an excommunicated person get back into the Church?


Yes, if he or she is truly sorry for having committed the crime.

However, the priest who hears his confession has to get special power from the bishop to take away the excommunication.

 

  • What is sterilization?


Making the reproductive organs unfruitful, usually by tying or cutting the fallopian tubes, cutting or tying the seminal vesicles (vasectomy), or removing the ovaries or uterus (hysterectomy).


  • What kind of sin is sterilization? 

Always a mortal sin, unless the organs are diseased and must be removed because they are a danger to the health of the whole body.

A woman is never allowed to have her tubes tied nor a man allowed to have a vasectomy under any conditions, even under doctors’ orders. If there is serious danger to the woman’s life or health, the only solution in accord with God’s law is to refrain from sexual intercourse totally or periodically.

PRACTICAL POINTS.

  1. The sins discussed in this lesson are against the law of God and are therefore forbidden to everyone, not just to Catholics.
  2. If lack of money or poor health makes it difficult for you to have children, consider that, this is the cross Jesus wants you to carry and that He will give you the strength to carry it.
  3. Expectant mothers should be careful about signing papers in the hospital; they should not consent to a D & C unless it is certain the baby is already dead.
  4. Women having abdominal operations should also tell the doctor not to tie the tubes. (A woman who has had her tubes tied is not required to have them untied.  However, to do so is praiseworthy and proves the woman has true contrition for having had her tubes tied).
  5. Birth control pills often work by causing early abortion. The IUD is an abortifacient also.


    Source:

    http://www.olrl.org/Lessons/Lesson30.shtml

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