St Joseph and St Mary Parishes in Freeport, IL

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Bible, Romans #17

Chapter twelve continues with making sure we live soberly, and also that we view ourselves soberly (v3). So many of us worry about what others may think of us. We get so concerned that it can start to rule our lives. When this happens, we give others power over our lives. We can easily be thrown into an emotional roller-coaster ride every minute of the day. We come across one person who affirms us and we are fine, then one person comes across and expresses disapproval and we are crushed. We look for security in whether people like us rather than if God likes us. Continue reading

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Why the Rosary is Not “Vain Repetition”

Protestants sometimes charge Catholics with “vain repetition” in praying the Rosary. This is a reference to Matthew 6:7, where Jesus instructs, “When you pray to not babble with vain repetition as the pagans do.” …

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How to Help Free the Souls in Purgatory

We can wield unimaginable power for the souls in purgatory during the week of All Souls Day, from Nov. 1-8. If we visit a cemetery and pray for a soul in purgatory, they a can be released by us; one on every one of those days. That is no small thing.
Imagine a soul’s euphoria to be suddenly bailed out of prison and taken to heaven. I know imagination is inadequate to comprehend such a moment, but still, it is a joy to partake in God’s mercy.
All Souls Day commemorates all who have died and are now are in Purgatory, being purified to atone for sins before reaching Heaven—where nothing unclean can enter (Revelation 21:27)…

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Eyewitness Accounts of Encounters With Ghosts From Purgatory

Do Catholics believe in ghosts? Absolutely! Ghosts, defined as disembodied, human spirits (as opposed to angels), are one of the ways we know about purgatory (though it is also revealed by God). Jacobus de Voragine’s Golden Legend, coming out of the great thirteenth century, became one of the most popular books of the Middle Ages. You can think of it as an earlier version of Butler’s Lives of the Saints. We tend to think of a legend as something fictitious, but legenda simply meant something to be read. Some do accuse Voragine, however, of indulging in things we would consider legendary (which may have contributed to the modern meaning of the word). …

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Souls in Purgatory

This week will begin the month of November. We end October with a secular holiday of Halloween and begin the new month of November with All Saints Day, a Holy Day of Obligation. Halloween started as a pagan feast day that demanded a sacrifice to the pagan gods. The priests of the old Irish pagan religion demanded a sacrifice from the harvest. They would knock on every door demanding the food for sacrificing to the pagan gods. When the person opened the door they would say, “trick or treat,” meaning, get us the food for sacrifice or we will put a curse on you. Not my idea of a great holiday. Continue reading

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Domingo XXX del Tiempo Ordinario ciclo B 2018

El libro de la Consolación del profeta Jeremías es un canto a la esperanza. El pueblo en el exilio recibe el anuncio de que se acerca su liberación: una gran multitud retorna: cojos, ciegos, preñadas y paridas…. El Señor es fiel a su pueblo, es un padre para Israel. ¡Qué anuncio más gozoso, qué gran noticia! La alegría del pueblo será inmensa. Por eso, cuando se hace realidad la promesa del regreso a casa entona el salmo 125 “El Señor ha estado grande con nosotros, y estamos alegres”. ¡Cómo no estarlo si sabemos que Dios camina a nuestro lado pase lo que pase! Brota espontáneamente la alabanza en el “resto de Israel”. También en nosotros, que hemos recibido la gracia de la fe y de saber que Dios nos ama y es misericordioso. Continue reading