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Posts Tagged ‘Pope Leo XIII’

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In truth, sudden uprisings and the boldest rebellions immediately followed in Germany the so-called Reformation, the authors and leaders of which, by their new doctrines, attacked at the very foundation religious and civil authority; and this with so fearful an outburst of civil war and with such slaughter that there was scarcely any place free from tumult and bloodshed. From this heresy there arose in the last century a false philosophy — a new right as it is called, and a popular authority, together with an unbridled license which many regard as the only true liberty. Hence we have reached the limit of horrors, to wit, communism, socialism, nihilism, hideous deformities of the civil society of men and almost its ruin. And yet too many attempt to enlarge the scope of these evils, and under the pretext of helping the multitude, already have fanned no small flames of misery. Leo XIII: Origin of Civil Power

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Now the whole essence of a Christian life is to reject the corruption of the world and to oppose constantly any indulgence in it; this is taught in the words and deeds, the laws and institutions, the life and death of Jesus Christ, “the author and finisher of faith.”Hence, however strongly We are deterred by the evil disposition of nature and character, it is our duty to run to the “fight proposed to Us,”fortified and armed with the same desire and the same arms as He who, “having joy set before him, endured the cross.”Wherefore let men understand this specially, that it is most contrary to Christian duty to follow, in worldly fashion, pleasures of every kind, to be afraid of the hardships attending a virtuous life, and to deny nothing to self that soothes and delights the senses. “They that are Christ’s, have crucified their flesh, with the vices and concupiscences” — so that it follows that they who are not accustomed to suffering, and who hold not ease and pleasure in contempt belong not to Christ. By the infinite goodness of God man lived again to the hope of an immortal life, from which he had been cut off, but he cannot attain to it if he strives not to walk in the very footsteps of Christ and conform his mind to Christ’s by the meditation of Christ’s example. Therefore this is not a counsel but a duty, and it is the duty, not of those only who desire a more perfect life, but clearly of every man “always bearing about in our body the mortification of Jesus.” Leo XIII: Right Ordering of Christian Life

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The calumny made headway; and in their credulity the pagans called the first Christians “useless creatures, dangerous citizens, factionists, enemies of the Empire and the Emperors.”But in vain did the apologists of Christianity by their writings, and Christians by their splendid conduct, endeavor to demonstrate the absurdity and criminality of these qualifications: they were not heeded. Their very name was equivalent to a declaration of war; and Christians, by the mere fact of their being such, and for no other reason, were forced to choose between apostasy and martyrdom, being allowed no alternative. During the following centuries the same grievances and the same severity prevailed to a greater or less extent, whenever governments were unreasonably jealous of their power and maliciously disposed against the Church. They never failed to call public attention to the pretended encroachment of the Church upon the State, in order to furnish the State with some apparent right to violently attack the Catholic religion. (Leo XIII: Church & State in France)

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(Jules Eugene Lenepveu: The Martyrs in the Catacombs)

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(Phillipe De Champaigne: St. Ambrose finding the relics of Ss. Gervase & Protase)

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This apostolic chair it was that gathered and held together the crumbling remains of the old order of things; this was the kindly light by whose help the culture of Christian times shone far and wide; this was an anchor or safety in the fierce storms by which the human race has been convulsed; this was the sacred bond of union that linked together nations distant in region and differing in character; in short, this was a common center from which was sought instruction in faith and religion, no less than guidance and advice for the maintenance of peace and the functions of practical life. In very truth it is the glory of the supreme Pontiffs that they steadfastly set themselves up as a wall and a bulwark to save human society from falling back into its former superstition and barbarism. (Leo XIII: On the Evils of Society)

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When we have recourse to Mary in prayer, we are having recourse to the Mother of mercy, who is so well disposed toward us that, whatever the necessity that presses upon us especially in attaining eternal life, she is instantly at our side of her own accord, even though she has not been invoked. She dispenses grace with a generous hand from that treasure with which from the beginning she was divinely endowed in fullest abundance that she might be worthy to be the Mother of God. By the fullness of grace which confers on her the most illustrious of her many titles, the Blessed Virgin is infinitely superior to all the hierarchies of men and angels, the one creature who is closest of all to Christ. (Leo XIII: MAGNAE DEI MATRIS)

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And in the frail and perishable body that divine Host, which is the immortal Body of Christ, implants a principle of resurrection, a seed of immortality, which one day must germinate. That to this source man’s soul and body will be indebted for both these boons has been the constant teaching of the Church, which has dutifully reaffirmed the affirmation of Christ: “He that eateth my flesh and drinketh my blood hath everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day”. (Leo XIII: Holy Eucharist)

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This supernatural revelation, according to the belief of the universal Church, is contained both in unwritten Tradition, and in written Books, which are therefore called sacred and canonical because, “being written under the inspiration of the Holy Ghost, they have God for their author and as such have been delivered to the Church.”This belief has been perpetually held and professed by the Church in regard to the Books of both Testaments; and there are well-known documents of the gravest kind, coming down to us from the earliest times, which proclaim that God, Who spoke first by the Prophets, then by His own mouth, and lastly by the Apostles, composed also the Canonical Scriptures, and that these are His own oracles and words– a Letter, written by our heavenly Father, and transmitted by the sacred writers to the human race in its pilgrimage so far from its heavenly country. (Leo XIII Providentissimus Deus)

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Pressed on to Our intent by Charity, that hastens fastest there where the need is greatest, We direct Our first thoughts to those most unfortunate of all nations who have never received the light of the Gospel, or who, after having possessed it, have lost it through neglect or the vicissitudes of time:  Hence do they ignore God, and live in the depths of error.  Now, as all salvation comes from Jesus Christ–for there is no other Name under Heaven given to men whereby we must be saved–Our ardent desire is that the most Holy Name of Jesus should rapidly pervade and fill every land. (Leo XIII, The Reunion of Christendom)

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Her Apostolic origin is all the more proven especially by these Churches of the East, at the selfsame moment there shines out and is made manifest these Churches’ original, complete unity with the Roman Church. Nothing else, perhaps, is so breathtakingly effective for illustrating the mark of Catholicity in God’s Church than that striking sight of differing forms of ceremonies and noble examples of the tongues of the ancient past – made all the more noble by their use by the Apostles and Fathers – rendering their submission to the Church. (Leo XIII: On the Churches of the East)

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