Personal Sanctity — all that
is left in a World without God
for them: I pray not for the world, but for them whom Thou hast
given Me” (St. John 17:9)
— on every conceivable level — of the world and in
the world — especially in the West (often, and accurately, referred
to as the “Post-Christian world”) — is nothing less than staggering.
In the last 50 years (since Vatican II) we have encountered unprecedented
levels of what can only be called malignant decadence — spiritual,
moral, and social. It takes ones breath away.
lost God, and as a consequence
we have lost not only ourselves, but our very identity often
painfully acquired over the last 2000 years. We no longer recognize
who we are and what we are. “Progress” and “the perverse”
have become synonymous. We have become — for all the wrong reasons
— self-loathing: detesting ourselves and the patrimony of a Catholic
culture through which our very identity both as individuals and
nations had been articulated.
Many hate the Church and a significant element
within the Church hates the Church, remaining within Her
as a cancer in its host. Western Christian culture is repudiated,
ridiculed, and contemned as anachronistic, imperialistic, homophobic,
racist, and misogynistic.
Repudiating the true God as inimical
to our passions and perversions, we have made our own gods, and
they are many — in fact, as many as we are ourselves. Women are
taught — indoctrinated really — to hate men and everything
they deemed “patriarchal”. Everything that pertains to our
loins, or more accurately, the loins of others — especially of the
same gender — has supplanted, displaced, and superseded the
numinous, anything authentically divine, and most especially, the
holy. The very terms have been relegated to the periphery of polite
discourse, when not entirely expurgated from it.
The world has fled God into the illusion of
a utopian garden that is a desiccated dessert. It is populated by
fictions and the rim of the horizon of our desires is the pretension
that there is an end called satisfaction instead of an endlessly
recursive vanishing point.
We find few paradigms of holiness in this City
of Man — sadly, not even among many of our priests, and, sad to
say, even fewer among our bishops. To what, then, shall we strive
to attain in this increasingly lonely place we call life without
Christ? What vision are we presented, and to what end are we called?
Mother Teresa, in an interview some years ago,
explained the obvious. Rational persuasion, logical coherence, even
the most impassioned homily will not bring a person to conversion,
to Christ, and therefore to the Church. One thing only is capable
of this monumental task: example; the example of holiness
that we encounter in others that becomes the impetus to emulation:
we want to be like them. And they are like Christ.
We are sadly lacking in example as Catholics.
How often do we feel compelled to say to ourselves, “I want to be
like her, like him!” when we observe an act, some instance, of holiness
that overwhelms us in its simplicity? What examples, what paradigms,
do we confront in our lives in Christ that compel us to holiness?
We must not confuse the exemplary with the popular,
nor must we confuse it with carefully orchestrated events intended
to inspire us. The exemplary is unrehearsed and has no concomitant
agendum that is concealed within it. It is utterly spontaneous!
And therefore, we sense, utterly genuine.
What figures in our lives as Catholics attain
to this extraordinary state of the exemplary that motivates
men and women to imitation? To what are we exposed that motivates
us not to the common and ordinary, but to the uncommon and exemplary?
What do we see before us that calls us beyond ourselves and beyond
the gray and geometric sterility of the world to what lies beyond
it? Where is the differentiation between the Church and the world,
the common and the extraordinary, the profane and the sacred? Let
us be truthful and acknowledge the obvious: the world has permeated
the Church to such an extent that we can no longer coherently differentiate
the two except upon the most tenuous of distinctions. Increasingly
the agenda of the Church is the agenda of the world. This is not
the leaven Christ spoke of. It is the leaven of the world.
First, let us understand this with complete
clarity: we cannot attain to sanctity apart from the
Church and Her Sacraments. We cannot become holy schismatics, that
is to say, apart from the Church which is the Body
of Christ. However sterile we have found it since the spurious
and self-promoting euphoria of Vatican II … however trampled the
Vineyard and however littered with discarded and never-to-be-revised
Roman Missals, Religious habits, Chapel Veils, Priestly collars,
Roman Cassocks, kneelers … even the centrality of the Eucharistic
Presence of Christ, and an understanding of the Mass as a
Sacrifice; however grotesquely crippled and contorted the
buildings we call our “Churches” have become — more redolent
of civic auditoriums than Sanctuaries, there … there
… abides the Living God, hidden in Tabernacles we often do not see
and only find with much difficulty. He is there! However
much we shunt Him aside as both an ecumenical and chronological
embarrassment, all the litter of what has been discarded cannot
conceal Him from us. He beckons us, and even under the most humiliating
circumstances, we can look upon Him Who ever looks upon us.
Apart from the Church, the Most Blessed
Sacrament of the Altar, and the Most Holy Sacrifice of the
Mass … we can do nothing, become nothing, worthy of the Most
Precious Blood poured out for us upon that Altar. To be holy
we must be part of the Church for the Church, as we have
said, is the Body of Christ, and He Who is the Head of the Body
is God Himself. Christ Jesus. God Alone is Holy —
and it is He Who participates His holiness to us that we may
be, in the most clear way possible, what we were created to be;
what we essentially are, despite the filth of sin
that covers it, obscures it, and defaces it: the imago Dei,
the image of God Himself!
In this wasteland barren of spires and empty
of cloisters, ugly, squat, geometric and concrete, Bauhaus pretensions
emerged from the rubble of “clustered” demolished churches (Churches
without anyone left to worship in them —
one of the many “successes” of Vatican II). They are no longer
grand structures striving to equal the soaring Faith of men and
women in heights contiguous to Heaven itself … but stooped, square,
economical structures that could as well be mortuaries (or athletic
facilities, commercial structures, municipal offices
— “functional” things that could, in
an instant, reflexively duplicate any of the above in need.
Indeed, we no longer have “churches” as such
— but in some paroxysm of needless novelty
we now have “Faith Communities” —
only parenthetically “Catholic” lest they offend broad ecumenical
sensitivities, for are there not other “Faith Communities”
distinct from, if often antithetical, even inimical, to the Catholic
Faith? By a "Church" we immediately understand something quite
different from a "Mosque”, a “Synagogue” , a “Temple”, or a
Hall”. Understood as a “Faith Community”, a Catholic Church is no
different from any of these. In an age of unbridled ecumenism are
they any less “Faith Communities” than our own, we implicitly,
even necessarily ask, not just minimizing but marginalizing the
unique mission and commission of the Church established by Christ
upon Saint Peter? If they were established by Muhammed, or Lao Tzu,
or Martin Luther, are not such “Faith Communities” equally acceptable
to God in the sweeping logic of ecumenism? If indeed they
are, then the crucifixion of Christ on the Cross is emptied of all
value and meaning. He died for no reason if every “Faith Community”
is the way to salvation. His death was not necessary in the economy
of salvation: hence He died needlessly ... even gratuitously. This,
of course, is a scandal to the very Gospel He Himself proclaimed.
“I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No man cometh to the
Father, but by Me.” 12 But in the malformed logic
of ecumenism, even if other “Faith Communities” despise the Triune
God of Catholics and hold to other gods, are they not equal
expressions of man’s faith and legitimate venues of salvation? In
the “correct” atmosphere of post-Vatican II theology, would we dare
to assert that they are not? “All roads lead to Rome”
… that lead away from Rome — and every
paradigm of the holy, however contradictory, is deemed
legitimate and authentic, and the end of each is the same:
Heaven and salvation. Saint, heretic, infidel and atheist alike
go to God. The Catholic Church has no corner on salvation. She
is now simply one among many, and Christ erred in proclaiming
“the way, and
the truth, and the life”, and deceived
us in insisting that,
cometh to the Father, but by Me.”
We are so damnably democratic … We must “spread
our tent pegs”, we are told, to be inclusive of all, even if God
is not. The strange thing, however, about “spreading our tent pegs”
is that the wider, the more inclusive, the more “horizontal”, they
become, the lower the apex of the tent. We achieve the horizontal
at the expense of the vertical. We sacrifice the magnificent height
to accommodate the factious width. Ask any camper. Even happy ones.
Eventually the fabric rips and the structure collapses. Most often
in the rain. And in great ruin. The “stitching” did not, could not,
hold this multiplicity of opposing forces however benevolent or
brainless our intentions.
Accompanying this ecumenical impulse was, necessarily,
theological ambiguity. How, otherwise, hope to bring hoped-for consensus
out of conflicting doctrines? It is this ambiguity that afflicts
pulpit and podium alike in nominally Catholic institutions. In matters
of Faith, morals, and doctrine, it is rather like equivocating on
geometric postulates or axioms; or in mathematics holding in abeyance
quantitative relationships that are otherwise held to necessarily
obtain between integers. Much like Dostoyevsky we reach a point
where we declare,
“To me that 2+2=4
is sheer insolence. I admit that twice two makes four is an excellent
thing, but if we are to give everything its due, twice two makes
five is sometimes a very charming thing too.” (Notes from Underground)
This is largely the state of Catholic theology,
and, eo ipso, Catholic homiletics. We are no longer
— I repeat: no longer
(for once, and for a very long time we were … prior to Vatican II)
— certain of just what Holy Mother the
Church teaches, given this priest or that theologian and whether
it was Wednesday or Thursday. “Officially” She teaches “this”, but
depending on the audience She — or better
yet, and to be fair, Her spokesman in the person of a priest,
nun, sister, bishop, pope, or theologian —
proposes, or at least appears to suggest the contrary
— or openly rebels against it! For the
average Catholic layman or laywoman, they: the bishop, the priest,
the Religious, are the consecrated symbols of utter fidelity to
the Church, and for that reason it is a scandalous state of affairs.
How then do we live our lives as Catholics — not
post-Catholics in a post-Christian world
How do we live our Catholic lives as they had been fervently lived for 2000
years prior to the insipid, diffident, confused and eclectic — and
at times even implicitly pantheistic — impulses and
subsequent teachings that emerged from Vatican II, an unnecessary
Council which effectively and efficiently tore down the edifice
of Catholicism as distinct, distinguishable, and unique? As a
way of life? In other words, lacking visible paradigms of sanctity,
how do we go about living lives of holiness amid the detritus of
so much we once considered sacred and that now litters the ecclesiastical
landscape of the Modern Church or the American Church
or the European Church — all of which are conflatable into
one ecclesiastical body that appears to articulate itself as
distinct from the Roman Catholic Church? In practical
terms it is an increasingly autonomous body. We see this
most strikingly today in Germany.
Shall we go more frequently to Mass?
This is an obvious paradigm
from another and past generation. It once was true, but
if we are remorselessly candid, it is no longer so. How
often do we go to Mass and leave no more enlightened or fervid
than when we had entered? Much of what was distinctively and
historically Catholic is no longer there. “God loves you. The
weather is great. You are all going to Heaven (and your dog,
too). Be nice. Shalom. Go in peace.” If we are honest we cannot
leave fast enough.
How about the Sacrament of Penance — Confession
... now called the Rite of Reconciliation
practiced face to face in a room with well-appointed and comfortable
chairs strangely reminiscent of a psychotherapist’s office? The
bulletin indicates that it is only available 45 minutes per
week or “by appointment” … as with a “therapist”. Frankly,
this is not much of an option, especially since the evisceration
of the concept of Mortal Sin (a term no longer in use because no
longer applicable) and the paucity of “real” sinners like you and
What about a Spiritual Director?
Good luck finding one at all, let alone one
who knows and will give you the mind of the Church
— rather than currently prevailing spiritual trends. Once again,
we effectively encounter, “God loves you. The weather is great.
You are going to Heaven (and your dog, too). Be nice.
Shalom. Go in peace.”
Perhaps we Should Go to Medjugorje to listen to the “Seers”
of the “Gospa”?
beginning June 24, 1981
then, adults now, some 34 years later — surely have an answer somewhere
in the thousands of appearances of the “Gospa” (Mary).
1 Make expensive travel arrangements through them to
visit Medjugore (including hotels, meals, and even meeting with
one of the “Seers” themselves) and watch your rosary turn into gold!
You will hear much of the pronouncements of Vatican II validated
by the Mother of God Herself, such as:
“Before God all the faiths are identical. God
governs them like a king in his kingdom.” All sufferings are equal
in hell; and Mirjana quotes the Gospa as telling her that people
begin feeling comfortable in hell. … When the Madonna is asked about
the title, “Mediatrix of all graces,” she replies, “I do not dispose
of all graces.”
Perhaps the “Gospa”
will reveal the way of holiness to you, although her track record
over the past three decades (and thousands of “appearances”)
has been uniformly dismal in the way of predictions and has led
to open schism with the local bishop who insists (with the Church)
that the “Gospa” and her six now-not-so-little-confederates are
not authentic (yes, despite the organized parish visits,
in direct disobedience to the Church, with your local priest you
can make a “pilgrimage” to a site condemned as spurious by Rome.)
What then? What is Left?
Personal Sanctity. Apart from
any organized approach to holiness though the Mass (and the
incredibly bad music that is a perpetual distraction from it), or
Confession (barely extant), or sound Spiritual Direction (almost
universally absent) there is one venue, and one alone that is open
to you in these sterile, confused, contradictory, and tepid times
in which the Church appears as clear and distinct as a Microsoft
hologram: the commitment to personal sanctity guided by the
Lives of the Saints, rather than disaffected theologians.
“You are surrounded by a Cloud of Witnesses”,
we are told
have gone before you and have arrived at genuine sanctity, at complete
and indissoluble union with God in Heaven. Let them
— by their words and by their example
— be our teachers who had taught and guided the Church for two millennia.
Personal Sanctity requires effort. You must
come to know the mind of the Church and authentic Catholic
doctrine and dogma. That is to say, you must be catechized.
“But I went to CCD!” you protest. “And what did you learn?” I will
ask. “Why did God create you?” And you will have no answer. In a
word, you learned nothing despite the expensive, glossy textbooks
your parents had to pay for, and which were far, far, more pictorial
than substantial. They were … trendy. Empty. Worthless. And even
back then, you knew it. Indeed, your CCD teacher knew
as much about the Faith as you did. Catechesis has not been an important
agendum to your local bishop; even while it should be the most
preeminent as that upon which all things subsequent depend.
Immerse yourself in authentic Catholic doctrine
— and assiduously avoid anything , even with (or without)
an Imprimatur and/or Nihil Obstat that post-dates
1950.The Imprimatur and/or Nihil Obstat are
no longer any guarantee that what you read is consistent with the
mind and historical teachings of the Church. Once they were legitimate
stamps of approval as consistent with the Magisterium of the Church,
but they have long ceased to be so. Open the first few pages of
any ostensibly Catholic book and look for the date of the first
printing. This will tell you much in the way of their authenticity
and reliability as instruments appropriate for the formation of
a Catholic Conscience. If it precedes 1950, politely put it down
despite the rave reviews of any nominally Catholic source, to say
nothing of any secular source.
In a famous line from the movie “The Exorcist”
(based on fact) by William Peter Blatty, the elderly Father Merrin
warns the much younger Father Karras who is suffering a crisis of
Faith that, “He is a liar, the demon is a liar. He
will lie to confuse us. But he will also mix lies with the truth
to attack us. The attack is psychological, Damien. And powerful.
So don't listen, remember that, do not listen.”
By and large, Catholic literature dealing with
matters of Faith, Morals, Doctrine, and Dogma — either as pamphlets
or scholarly tomes had, prior to 1950, been carefully vetted by
competent Catholic theologians, priests, or bishops. They are credible
sources and remain so, although many have fallen out of print —
not from desuetude but as inconsistent with present and “popular”
Catholic thought, often percolated through Rogerian psychology.
The famous library at Alexandria 4
in classical antiquity was burned by the Muslims in 642 in an effort
to destroy any book incompatible with the Quran.” Modern” Catholic
theology and literature has engaged in a similar enterprise. Many
of the greatest books in Catholic literature are now only available
on-line or through small publishing houses committed to preserving
genuine Catholic teaching.
Apart from this treasury of 2000 years of Catholic
teaching we are left with incomplete, contradictory, and confusing
doctrines, not of the Church, but of dissident and disaffected theologians,
priests, and would-be “priestesses” who, in todays “inclusive” seminaries
are the instructors of what few candidates to the priesthood we
have left following their decimation by homosexual clerics. Richard
McBrien, Daniel Maguire, Hans Kung, and Teilhard de Chardin — all voluble
and nominally Catholic writers — two were collarless priests
— are among the most eminent examples of this theological dissidence,
confusion, fiction, and heresy. In their writings we are presented
with a mixture of some truth (to entice us) and many lies (to confuse
us) reminiscent of the stratagems of the demon in Blatty’s, The
Exorcist. Where is a Catholic to go to re-acquire an authentic
Catholic identity consistent with the Church and the Saints for
Many of us have them. We cleave to them as
to invaluable possessions, for they introduced us to an awareness
of the holy and of places other than Earth; to a belief in
things more profound than venal democratic institutions and more
enduring than perverse social issues. They opened the vista to things
eternal and resplendent in glory, to things holy that the world
could not possibly sully and debase because of the ontological distance
that separated them, a distance as great as sanctity from sin. They
are in carefully kept albums from a time of innocence, and inscribed
in the Family Bible placed beside a statue of Mary the Mother of
God. They are indelibly impressed in our memories; our First Holy
Communions, May Processions, the Baptisms of our children, and on
the memorial cards of those we love and who now live, please God,
in a place called Paradise, forever beyond this jaded Earth.
So How do We Get Back?
A soul at a time, beginning with our own.
Let us look at a few fundamental concepts with
which we ought to familiarize ourselves if we are committed to persevere
to Personal Sanctity. Once we have acquired these we have the tools
through which to articulate our own lives, whatever our vocation
in life, to accord with the mind of Christ and the mind of the Church
in matters dealing with the Faith, the Faith that has been faithfully
transmitted to us through the Deposit of Faith, for what we are
striving toward is nothing less than Exemplary Holiness
which itself is nothing more than Personal Sanctity.
Jesus Christ in the Most Blessed Sacrament of the Altar.
We recognize that HE is there, REALLY and TRULY, in His
Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity. This the character of exemplary
Catholicism: the recognition of God Himself in the Second Person
of the Most Holy Trinity really and truly present to us in the
Tabernacle. Without His Presence, without Him, the building
we call a Church is nothing but a meaningless and empty edifice.
He is there! And He awaits you. Anytime of the day or night.
For the most part He is left alone and unrecognized. We do not
kneel before Him, but have the hubris to stand as before an
equal! Is that how you will approach Him in the Last Judgment?
We do not have the humility to genuflect when we pass before
Him, acknowledging Him … and yet we would not dare pass a mere
man we know without greeting him with some gesture of recognition
Frequent, but Discerning Reception
of Holy Communion:
You are familiar with the spectacle of everyone
going to Holy Communion as though there were no sinners in the
pews. This indiscriminate partaking of the Bread of
Angels with no Examination of Conscience prior to
approaching Christ in Holy Communion is itself a Mortal Sin
if one is aware of an unconfessed Mortal sinned that has not
been absolved in the Tribunal of Penance (Holy Confession).
In the state of Mortal Sin and not sufficiently cognizant of
the true and real Presence of Christ in the sacred species of
Holy Communion, it is an act of blasphemy and therefore the
death of the soul in conspectu Dei (in the sight of God),
for Saint Paul is very clear: “For
he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh
judgment to himself, not discerning the body of the Lord.”
5 Most often, apart from ignorance, the source
of this sin is the Capital Sin of Pride which refuses to constrain
us to conspicuously remain in the pews in recognition
of his unworthiness, through Mortal Sin, to receive Holy Communion
— when everyone else is.
Recognition of the real Distinction between
Venial Sins and Mortal Sins:
This is not the venue of a discussion of the distinction
between Mortal and Venial Sin. Suffice it to say that a
Mortal Sin must contain all three of the following:
(1) the matter of the sin must be serious, (2) one wills
to commit the sin, and (3) one commits the Mortal Sin.
A Venial Sin is not serious in nature, is committed without
a full understanding of the detrimental nature of the sin, and/or
is not committed with the total consent of the will. Venials
sins do not preclude participation in Holy Communion. Mortal
Devotion to Mary:
One preeminent hallmark of Catholic piety is the love of
Mary, Mother of God. Devotion to Mary is the sine qua non
of the fully lived Catholic life. Her place in the economy of
salvation is absolutely singular: she alone gave flesh (her
flesh) to the Word Incarnate. Hence “every
generation shall call me blessed” 6 She is
our Mother. 7
of the Reality of Heaven and Hell
It is the Sin of Presumption to assume that,
as a matter of course, we will go to Heaven and stand before
the Beatific Vision of God eternally. Even Saint Paul worked
out his salvation “with fear and trembling.”
8 Despite the total absence and silence at the pulpit
of any mention of Hell, it is quite real and many go there.
The Four Final Things: Death, Judgment, Heaven
In many old graveyards you will find the following inscribed
upon many humble markers: “Sum quod eris, fui quod sis”
— essentially, “As you are I once was, as I am you will one
day be.” Understand your mortality, recognize the inevitable,
and act accordingly. Remember the distinction between “life”
and “life everlasting” … however it will be lived in Heaven
or Hell. Have always before you the Last Four Things
that will surely come to pass instead of the present “popular”
things in vogue with a Church that has become heavily feminized
in every aspect of its “Liturgy” and social teachings.
Never Pass a Church without recognizing Christ
“Gloria tibi, Domine!” (Glory to You, Lord!),
or “Laus (or Gloria) tibi, Domine” (Praise to You, Lord!).
A devout Catholic always makes some sign of recognition of Christ
in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar when he passes a Church.
This is accompanied by tracing the Sign of the Cross on our
forehead or over our heart. When this becomes instinctual (as
it had been prior to Vatican II) it will assist us in recognizing
Who abides there and for what reason. It is the instinctive
call to holiness.
Receive Holy Communion on your Knees
Remarkably, this is no longer the norm in modern Novus
Ordo Masses. Saint Francis himself, it is said, refused
Holy Orders (becoming a priest) because he did not think himself
worthy to hold the Sacred Body of Christ in his hands.
You may be reproached by the priest in your parish for
not following the “approved posture” adopted by the USCCB. As
Saint Peter responded to those who discouraged his preaching
the Gospel, “Is it better to obey God,
or men?” 10 For 2000 years Holy Communion
was received this way, and nowhere in the documents of Vatican
II does it suggest otherwise. Would you approach Christ in less
an attitude of humility and adoration? Do not fear being scorned
for what others may consider your “sanctimony”. It is Christ
Himself you kneel before! What thought of anyone else should
occupy your mind?
Honor the Saints and Martyrs
They, not your Parish Council are your faithful and eternal
friends. If they are no longer honored in the present Martyrology,
honor them still, and invoke their aid and protection. Remain
in their company, who behold the face of God in Heaven.
It is the Company to which you are called!
Christ Himself promised us that the very Gates
of Hell will not prevail against the Church. And yes, the Church,
as we limply excuse ourselves, is “made up of sinners.”
But it is also made up of saints. That is our universal
vocation: to be nothing less than saints, whatever our earthly vocation.
But we are not saints yet. As Saint Francis famously said, “Let
us begin. For up to now we have done nothing.” Do not be afraid
of sanctity. It is the very character of the image in which you
have been created.
Whatever the Church now suffers on earth it
has suffered before, if not on so vast a scale. And that is precisely
why your call to sanctity is so vital. You
must pursue the sanctity that the Church at present appears to have
lost, or spurns as too onerous … too “otherworldly” in this Age
of Man. You must be the sign of contradiction that
is the Sign of the Cross, and Him Who was crucified upon it for
you. You must be in the world but not of the world, for Saint
John warns us,
“Love not the world, nor the things which
are in the world. If any man love the world, the charity of the
Father is not in him. For all that is in the world is the concupiscence
of the flesh, and the concupiscence of the eyes, and the pride of
life, which is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the concupiscence thereof: but he that doth the
will of God, abideth for ever.” 11
Spurn the world — and the empty love and praise
of the world! Keep all that is holy before you and this day
begin to dwell already in the Mansion prepared for you by Christ
before the foundation of the world.
Boston Catholic Journal
4 “In AD 642, Alexandria was captured by the Muslim
army of Amr ibn al `Aas. Several later Arabic sources describe the
library's destruction by the order of
Caliph Omar. Bar-Hebraeus, writing in the 13th century, quotes
Omar as saying to Yaḥyā al-Naḥwī: "If those books are in agreement
with the Quran, we have no need of them; and if these are opposed
to the Quran, destroy them." Later scholars are skeptical
of these stories, given the range of time that had passed before
they were written down and the political motivations of the various
5 I Cor. 11.29
6 St. Luke 1.48
7 St. John 19.26
8 Philippians 2.12, 2 Cor. 13.15.
9 St. Mat. 7.13
10 Acts 5.29
11 1 John 2.15-17
12 St. John 14.6
Printable PDF File
Note: An invaluable source for historically authentic
Catholic teaching including the writings of the Church Fathers
can be found at http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/
— universally used by the Catholic Church until it was discontinued
following Vatican II can be found (and downloaded as a PDF) at:
. It presents a clear, concise, and readily understandable
presentation of our Holy Catholic Faith. We encourage you
to explore it.