Mary Is My Homegirl

Coping with the terrible life choice of studying catholic theology in graduate school. Miserere Mei, Domine. hit counter
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WHEN SOMEONE ASKS ME FOR A DETAILED, SCIENTIFIC EXPLANATION OF EUCHARISTIC REAL PRESENCE

I’M LIKE

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If you want a detailed explanation of the mechanics of Real Presence, there’s Transubstantiation.

If you don’t understand Transubstantiation or find it to be limiting, call it a Mystery and don’t worry about the mechanics of it.

If you want science to prove a physical change in the Eucharistic species, I don’t think you understand what sacraments are.

WHEN AN AUTHOR HAS AMAZING CITATIONS

I’M LIKE

Is there anything better than a well-written book whose citations provide endless helpful secondary literature and incredible obscure primary source material? Not in my nerdy, nerdy world.

WAITING FOR LENT TO END SO I CAN GORGE ON WHAT I GAVE UP

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But then comes the perennial question: When does Lent actually end? When can you indulge in the treats that you’ve been abstaining from for the past few weeks?

Technically, Lent ends with the Holy Thursday Mass in the evening. However, the more ancient three-day pre-Paschal fast follows immediately on Lent’s heels, taking us up through the Holy Saturday Easter Vigil, which celebrates Christ’s resurrection. Our later practices of abstaining from something (particularly meat) during Lent derive from this older three-day fast. So, if you’ve given something up for Lent and you decide to treat yourself to it again on Holy Thursday, you would technically be right: Lent ends then. But this is an example of following the word and not the spirit of fasting during Lent. Why would we feast at the moment the bridegroom is taken away from us (Mt 9:15)? Why not wait just two more days and feast with the entire Church, after the Paschal Vigil? Then you can eat chocolate bunnies to your heart’s content and without any mixed feelings over jumping the gun, liturgically speaking.

WHEN MY VERY GOOD FRIEND TOLD ME THAT SHE IS BECOMING CATHOLIC

I WAS LIKE

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Congratulations and lots of love to my friend who is coming into full communion with the Catholic Church shortly after Easter! And congratulations and my very best wishes to everyone getting baptized, receiving their first communion, and being confirmed over the next few weeks! Whether you’re becoming Christian or coming into the Catholic Church: Welcome!!!

WHEN PEOPLE THINK THAT PAPAL INFALLIBILITY MEANS THAT THE POPE CAN NEVER SIN

I’M LIKE

Overheard by a friend: “I like Pope Francis. He goes to confession and doesn’t believe in this Papal Infallibility BS. I bet Pope Benedict never went to confession.”
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As any cursory Google search will tell you, papal infallibility was dogmatically defined at Vatican I (c.1870) and is only applicable in instances when the pope defines a teaching, moral or theological, that is to be held by the entire church. This is not an everyday occurance, but is most clearly seen in instances when the pope speaks ex cathedra (in his teaching capacity as the Bishop of Rome and successor of Peter) to define already-held Catholic beliefs. Two examples are the declarations of the Marian dogmas of the Immaculate Conception and the Assumption of Mary. Theologians disagree over other instances, but many major scholars would argue that papal infallibility has never been formally exercised aside from those two.

So, papal infallibility has nothing to do with: the sins of a pope, whether or not he would participate in the sacrament of reconciliation, or whether or not the pope can ever be mistaken or say something that is incorrect. The pope is not immune from sin, nor is he unerring: he is human, and we are none of us perfect.