Greetings! I started a new blog called The Ever Blessed this past Feast of the Immaculate Conception. Check out its latest post. I will no longer be blogging @ Shmuelson. Godspeed and Ave Maria!


I came across this lovely variation of the Gloria Patri penned by St. John of Damascus and I thought I’d share it…

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.

Be my soul’s Defender, O God, for I step over many snares. Deliver me from them and save me, O Good One, in Thy love for man.

Now and ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.

Let us not silently hymn the most glorious Mother of God, holiest of holy Angels, but confess her with heart and mouth to be the Mother of God, for she truly bore God incarnate for us, and prays without ceasing for our souls. Amen.

Heroes of the Catholic Faith

Heroes of the Catholic Faith

I always find it interesting when Protestants quote Church fathers or Catholic Saints. It seems that there is a bit of a disconnect there. I always find myself wanting to ask in those instances, “do you know what that person would say about you?” I don’t mean any disrespect to my Protestant brothers and sisters. I just want to make an observation here. And that observation is, when Protestant scholars, ministers, and laymen quote Church fathers or Catholic Saints, they either neglect or are ignorant of the belief structures at play in the person(s) they are quoting.  What I am trying to say here is the quote doesn’t make the “quote-tee”, the quote-tee makes the quote.  Consider for instance, three of the most quoted saints by Protestants: St. Augustine of Hippo, St. Francis of Assisi, and Blessed Mother Teresa:

“You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our hearts are restless until they rest in you.”

-Saint Augustine of Hippo, Confessiones, I. 7, 3rd century

“Preach the Gospel at all times and when necessary use words.”

-Saint Francis of Assisi

“We can do no great things; only small things with great love.”

-Blessed Mother Teresa

Now, these are all beautiful quotes. Who wouldn’t want to quote them? I don’t know about you, but each one of these quotes speaks to my soul in a stirring way. It makes me take a step back and ask, what immense Faith is at play here? What has gone into such people that makes them speak these truths – truths that seem like they could’ve come out of the Master’s mouth itself? Speaking of the Master, let’s take a look at one of His quotes,

“A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth that which is good: and an evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth that which is evil. For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.”

The Gospel According to St. Luke 6:45

So, what treasure went into the hearts of saints like Augustine, Francis, and Mother Teresa to make their mouths brim with good teaching? The Catholic Faith – and nothing but. All three of these Saints, beloved as they are by most of Protestantism, believed in the Catholic Church. For instance, here are some St. Augustine and Blessed Mother Teresa quotes on the Papacy:

“If all men throughout the world were such as you most vainly accuse them of having been, what has the chair of the Roman church done to you, in which Peter sat, and in which Anastasius sits today?”

-St. Augustine of Hippo (“Against the Letters of Petilani” c. 402 A.D.)

“Among these [apostles] Peter alone almost everywhere deserved to represent the whole Church. Because of that representation of the Church, which only he bore, he deserved to hear ‘I will give to you the keys of the kingdom of Heaven.'”

-St. Augustine of Hippo (“Sermon 295,” c. 411 A.D.)

“He [Pope John Paul II] has been the greatest gift of God, a sunray of God’s love shining in the darkness of the world.

-Blessed Mother Teresa

Here are all three on Marian devotion:

A Virgin conceiving, a Virgin bearing, a Virgin pregnant, a Virgin bringing forth, a Virgin perpetual. Why do you wonder at this, O man?”

-St. Augustine of Hippo (“Sermon 186,” c. 411 A.D.)

“Holy Virgin Mary, among all women on earth there is none like thee; thou art the Daughter and Handmaid of the Most High King and Father of Heaven; thou art the Mother of Our Most Holy Lord Jesus Christ; thou art the Spouse of the Holy Spirit.

Pray for us, with St. Michael the Archangel and all the Powers of Heaven and all the Saints, to Thy Most Holy and Beloved Son, our Lord and Master.”

-St. Francis of Assisi, The Antiphon: Holy Virgin Mary

“Immaculate Heart of Mary, cause of our joy, pray for us.”

-Blessed Mother Teresa, Nazareth Prayer for the Family

And, here they are again on the Eucharist:

“That Bread which you see on the altar, having been sanctified by the word of God is the Body of Christ. That chalice, or rather, what is in that chalice, having been sanctified by the word of God, is the Blood of Christ. Through that bread and wine the Lord Christ willed to commend His Body and Blood, which He poured out to us unto the forgiveness of sins.”

-St. Augustine, Sermons, 227

“…the Lord gave me, and gives me still, such faith in priests who live according to the rite of the holy Roman Church because of their orders that, were they to persecute me, I would still want to have recourse to them…..And I act in this way because, in this world, I see nothing physically of the most high Son of God except His most holy Body and Blood which they receive and they alone administer to others. I want to have these most holy mysteries honored and venerated above all things and I want to reserve them in precious places.”

-St. Francis of Assisi

“If we have our Lord in the midst of us, with daily Mass and Holy Communion, I fear nothing for the Sisters nor myself; He will look after us. But without Him I cannot be – I am helpless”

-Blessed Mother Teresa

Don’t expect me to go through every Catholic doctrine and proof-quote here. I just wanted to show what St. Augustine, St. Francis, and Mother Teresa had to say about what mattered most to them, that is, the main things that distinguish Catholicism from other forms of Christianity. So, if you are one of those Protestants that quotes Saints like these, are you not able to connect the dots? Catholic Saints are CATHOLIC Saints. They stood and died for doctrines that most of Protestantism so easily throws away. So, the next time you quote a Catholic Saint, consider what you are doing. Don’t do it out of novelty, so as to diminish their memories. And don’t forget why these holy ones are so quotable… it’s because they are Catholic.

Martin Luther

Preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction.

For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires,

and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths.

2 Timothy 4:2-4

Martin Luther on the inspired books of the Old Testament:

“Job spoke not as it stands written in his book, but only had such thoughts. It is merely the argument of a fable. It is probable that Solomon wrote and made this book.”…

“Ecclesiastes ought to have been more complete. There is too much incoherent matter in it…Solomon did not, therefore, write this book.”…

“The book of Esther I toss into the Elbe. I am such an enemy to the book of Esther that I wish it did not exist, for it Judaizes too much…”

“The history of Jonah is so monstrous that it is absolutely incredible.”

(O’HarePF. The Facts About Luther, 1916–1987 reprint ed., p. 202).

Martin Luther on the authority of the Pentateuch:

“We have no wish either to see or hear Moses”

(Ibid, p. 202).

Martin Luther on the Epistle to the Hebrews:

“It need not surprise one to find here bits of wood, hay, and straw”

(Ibid. p. 203).

Martin Luther on the Epistle of St. James:

“St. James’ epistle is really an epistle of straw…for it has nothing of the nature of the gospel about it”

(Luther, M. Preface to the New Testament, 1546).

Martin Luther on the Book of Revelation:

About this book of the Revelation of John…I miss more than one thing in this book, and it makes me consider it to be neither apostolic nor prophetic…I can in no way detect that the Holy Spirit produced it. Moreover he seems to me to be going much too far when he commends his own book so highly-indeed, more than any of the other sacred books do, though they are much more important-and threatens that if anyone takes away anything from it, God will take away from him, etc. Again, they are supposed to be blessed who keep what is written in this book; and yet no one knows what that is, to say nothing of keeping it. This is just the same as if we did not have the book at all. And there are many far better books available for us to keep…My spirit cannot accommodate itself to this book. For me this is reason enough not to think highly of it: Christ is neither taught nor known in it”

(Luther, M. Preface to the Revelation of St. John, 1522).

Martin Luther on Romans 3:28 and faith “alone”

“You tell me what a great fuss the Papists are making because the word ‘alone’ in not in the text of Paul…say right out to him: ‘Dr. Martin Luther will have it so,’…I will have it so, and I order it to be so, and my will is reason enough [that the word ‘alone’ be added to the canon in this passage]. I know very well that the word ‘alone’ is not in the Latin or the Greek text.

(Stoddard J. Rebuilding a Lost Faith. 1922, pp. 101-102; see also Luther M. Amic. Discussion, 1, 127).



Saint Peter and Saint Paul, pray for us!

From Zenit.org:

VATICAN CITY, NOV. 2, 2009 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI marked the 10th anniversary of a Catholic-Lutheran agreement on justification, saying he hopes the event will aid progress on the path toward full and visible Christian unity.

The Pope reflected Sunday on the agreement after praying the midday Angelus with the faithful gathered in St. Peter’s Square.

The agreement was signed Oct. 31, 1999, by the Vatican and the Lutheran World Federation. Methodists joined the agreement in 2006.

“This document certified a consensus between Lutherans and Catholics on fundamental truths of the doctrine of justification, truths that take us to the very heart of the Gospel and to essential questions of our life,” the Holy Father observed.

He went on to reflect: “We are received and redeemed by God; our existence is inscribed on the horizon of grace, it is guided by a merciful God, who forgives our sin and calls us to a new life following his Son; we live from the grace of God and we are called to respond to his gift; all this liberates us from fear and infuses hope and courage in us in a world full of uncertainty, anxiety and suffering.”


The Pontiff noted how his predecessor, Pope John Paul II, called the day of the signing a “milestone in the difficult path to reconstitute full unity among Christians.”

“This anniversary, therefore, is an occasion to recall the truth about man’s justification, testified together, to come together in ecumenical celebrations and to reflect further on this and other topics that are the object of the ecumenical dialogue,” Benedict XVI affirmed. “It is my heartfelt hope that this important anniversary will contribute to make us progress on the path toward the full and visible unity of all the disciples of Christ.”

The joint declaration, while it does not clarify every point of discord between Catholic and Protestant understandings (merit and indulgences are not addressed, for example), expresses a joint confession: “By grace alone, in faith in Christ’s saving work and not because of any merit on our part, we are accepted by God and receive the Holy Spirit, who renews our hearts while equipping and calling us to good works.”


Pope John XXIII

Pope John XXIII

“We realize now that many, many centuries of blindness have dimmed our eyes, so that we no longer see the beauty of Thy Chosen People and no longer recognize in their faces the features of our first-born brother. We realize that our brows are branded with the mark of Cain. Centuries long has Abel lain in blood and tears, because we have forgotten Thy love. Forgive us the curse which we unjustly laid on the name of the Jews. Forgive us, that with our curse, we crucified Thee a second time in their flesh.”

Pope John XXIII.

Blessed be God in His promises. Blessed be God in His providence. Blessed be God in His chosen people, Israel. Blessed be God in His elect, the Church. Blessed be God in His Son. Blessed be God in His Son’s vicar, the Bishop of Rome. Blessed be God in our immaculate Mother and her prayers for her children. Blessed be God in His love, the person and fellowship of the Holy Spirit. Blessed be God in His redemption. Blessed be God in His mercy and forgiveness. Blessed be God now and ever and to the ages of ages.

Agnus Dei, qui tollis peccáta mundi, miserére nobis.

And you shall eat it in haste. It is the LORD’s Passover. Exodus 12:11b

And you shall eat it in haste. It is the LORD’s Passover. Exodus 12:11b

“Word made flesh, by Word He maketh very bread his flesh to be; Man in wine Christ’s Blood partaketh, and if his senses fail to see, Faith alone the true heart waketh, to behold the mystery.”

-From St. Thomas Aquinas’ Liturgy for the feast of Corpus Christi

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