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It’s Our Eleventh Anniversary! Save 20%

Eleven years ago, on the Feast of St. Therese, we officially opened the doors of our store. I had been programming pretty much non-stop for several months over the summer to make sure that the website was functional.

During those first few months we had a printer on the desk that printed orders as they came in and rejoiced, when, every thirty minutes or so, the printer spat out an order. Our first “must have” item was Fulton Sheen’s Wartime Prayerbook. We sold hundreds of them.

As we celebrate our eleventh anniversary, I want to thank you for your support and prayers and ask that you let your friends know about our store.

For the next two days, you can save 20% on over 10,000 items in our store including books, jewelry, church supplies and rosaries.

God bless,

Ian

 

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Another Interview, Another Controversy

UPDATE: Some more perspectives on what the pope said:

From Jimmy Akin

From Father Z

And a revised translation in the works.

Creative Minority Report

Sr. Flannigan

Egregious Twaddle

Fr. Longenecker

Pope Francis Pope Francis has done another interview, this time with an atheist at an Italian newspaper. While the controversy over the last interview can in large part be attributed to selective reporting by newspapers, there are some legitimate concerns from Dr. Janet Smith, Catholic Answers and others. The latest interview is problematic because there really isn’t any way to claim that the pope was ambiguous.  His statements were concise and in some cases, repeated. The only things that can possibly be claimed are that the interview as published wasn’t complete or that the translation is bad. Here are some examples:

It’s a joke I tell him. My friends think it is you want to convert me. He smiles again and replies: “Proselytism is solemn nonsense, it makes no sense. We need to get to know each other, listen to each other and improve our knowledge of the world around us. Sometimes after a meeting I want to arrange another one because new ideas are born and I discover new needs. This is important: to get to know people, listen, expand the circle of ideas. The world is crisscrossed by roads that come closer together and move apart, but the important thing is that they lead towards the Good.”

Unless the pope knows some definition of proselytism that isn’t in the dictionary, “the great command” of Christ was to proselytize all nations and here the pope calls it “solemn nonsense.” He seems to give a little hope at the end by mentioning “the Good” but quickly crushes it in the next questions:

Your Holiness, is there is a single vision of the Good? And who decides what it is? “Each of us has a vision of good and of evil. We have to encourage people to move towards what they think is Good.” Your Holiness you wrote that in your letter to me. The conscience is autonomous, you said, and everyone must obey his conscience. I think that’s one of the most courageous steps taken by a Pope. “And I repeat it here. Everyone has his own idea of good and evil and must choose to follow the good and fight evil as he conceives them. That would be enough to make the world a better place.”

“We have to encourage people to move towards what they think is good”?? I would expect that from any moral relativist but it certainly isn’t Catholic teaching. The Church teaches that people need to be encouraged to learn what is “the Good” and move towards it, not to move towards what they think is good. His next response is even more bizarre. Every dictator in history thought he was doing what was best for his country, even while murdering millions. The pope is either not saying what I think he is saying, or he is naive.

 

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G2y8Sx4B2Sk

Is the Church doing that? “Yes, that is the purpose of our mission: to identify the material and immaterial needs of the people and try to meet them as we can. Do you know what agape is?” Yes, I know. “It is love of others, as our Lord preached. It is not proselytizing, it is love. Love for one’s neighbor, that leavening that serves the common good.”

Christian love has always been about bringing others to salvation. It seems here that the pope is reducing love to a worldly thing separate from salvation. By setting love and proselytizing as things opposed, he seems to be discounting what true love really is about. Later in the interview he brings this up again which really makes it hard to not say that he sees Christian love and the desire to save souls as opposed to each other.

You Christians are now a minority. Even in Italy, which is known as the pope’s backyard. Practicing Catholics, according to some polls, are between 8 and 15 percent. Those who say they are Catholic but in fact are not very are about 20%. In the world, there are a billion Catholics or more, and with other Christian churches there are over a billion and a half, but the population of the planet is 6 or 7 billion people. There are certainly many of you, especially in Africa and Latin America, but you are a minority. “We always have been but the issue today is not that. Personally I think that being a minority is actually a strength. We have to be a leavening of life and love and the leavening is infinitely smaller than the mass of fruits, flowers and trees that are born out of it. I believe I have already said that our goal is not to proselytize but to listen to needs, desires and disappointments, despair, hope. We must restore hope to young people, help the old, be open to the future, spread love. Be poor among the poor. We need to include the excluded and preach peace. Vatican II, inspired by Pope Paul VI and John, decided to look to the future with a modern spirit and to be open to modern culture. The Council Fathers knew that being open to modern culture meant religious ecumenism and dialogue with non-believers. But afterwards very little was done in that direction. I have the humility and ambition to want to do something.”

At the very beginning of the interview is a quote from the pope that isn’t in context which makes it seem that the published interview isn’t complete but is still pertinent to the tone of the interview as a whole. This quote may have come from the letter the pope sent to Eugenio Scalfari, the interviewer.

“The most serious of the evils that afflict the world these days are youth unemployment and the loneliness of the old. The old need care and companionship; the young need work and hope but have neither one nor the other, and the problem is they don’t even look for them any more. They have been crushed by the present. You tell me: can you live crashed under the weight of the present? Without a memory of the past and without the desire to look ahead to the future by building something, a future, a family? Can you go on like this? This, to me, is the most urgent problem that the Church is facing.”

Really? Youth unemployment and loneliness among the elderly? The “most serious evils”? A twenty-something who can’t get a job and is living with his parents is confronting a worse evil than millions of aborted babies? (Oops, I’m obsessing.) The pope says some good and interesting things in the interview such as ” The Church must feel responsible for both souls and bodies.” but since the pope seems to be saying that seeking conversion is bad, what’s the point of concern for the soul? It is disturbing that every time the pope speaks, reams of virtual paper are wasted to try and explain that what the pope said is really the same as what the Catholic Church teaches. The pope is supposed to be the shepherd that clearly leads his sheep. Unfortunately, our current shepherd seems at least as likely to misguide his sheep as to lead them with his vague and questionable statements. The last thing we need right now, when the entire secular sphere is arrayed against the Church, is a shepherd who can’t clearly articulate the basic tenets of the Faith in public.

If you don’t think that the pope’s comments are being used for evil, I have two examples. First, I attended a debate last night on when, based on science, a human being is a person. The debater who said that being a person was a legal definition that starts at birth and ends at death was a doctor who’s testimony in Canada helped convince the Canadian government to expand legal abortion through the second trimester. His closing argument was that this whole debate was really pointless since the pope had said we shouldn’t be obsessing about contraception and abortion. Second, a Catholic college in Minnesota is going to be welcoming to openly homosexual staff and their “spouses”. Again, because of what Pope Francis supposedly said.

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Never forget a novena again

Novena Reminder Service

We’ve all done it. You promise to pray a novena for our job, for a friend, for our mom. Somewhere around day five you wake up in the morning and realize that you forgot to pray your novena the day before. Shoot. Again.

About nine years ago I started a Novena Reminder service which was very popular but due to changes in our email service, we had to shut the service down. Ever since, I have been looking for an email service that will allow subscribers to unsubscribe from a list and resubscribe later since people typically want to get a novena reminder more than one time in their lives.

We’ve finally found an email provider – Mail Chimp – that actually lets people resubscribe to a newsletter so we are bringing back the service.

Here’s how it works.

  1. Sign up for the Novena Reminder Service on the day you want to start a novena.
  2. Confirm your subscription when you receive the approval email.
  3. Check your inbox every day for nine days for your reminder. Your first reminder will probably arrive within the hour and the rest will show up every morning.
  4. If you want to receive reminders about date-specific novenas (Christmas, St. Joseph, etc.) just stay signed up and we’ll automatically send them to you.
  5. If you want to get your own novena reminder again, unsubscribe from the newsletter and then resubscribe.

That’s it! We hope you enjoy the service. Please let us know if you have any suggestions for improvement.

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Even Tax Collectors Have a Place in Heaven

Publican and the Pharisee from Orthodox.net“O God, I give thee thanks that I am not as the rest of men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, as also is this publican.” (Lk 18:11) So what exactly was a publican that he was grouped with these others? To put it bluntly, he was a traitor to the Jews. He was a Jew who became a Roman tax collector. But worse than just collecting taxes for an occupying country, he received his “pay” from the extra he collected on top of what the law required.  It’s really no wonder that the publicans were regularly grouped with the worst of sinners when they were mentioned in the Bible. The pharisees faulted Jesus for eating with publicans (Matt 9:11) but it was these lowest of the low who believed John and followed Jesus and whom Jesus said would enter Heaven before the Pharisees because they had believed and repented (Matt 21:31-32). On Saturday we celebrate the Feast of St. Matthew, the most famous publican in history. Jesus saw him at his tax collecting table and simply said “Follow me.” St. Matthew, then called Levi, immediately became a follower of Christ.  St. Matthew wrote the first Gospel and wrote it in Aramaic, the language that Jesus spoke. If you saw Passion of the Christ, you heard Aramaic throughout the movie. Even though Matthew became a follower of Christ, he always recognized his own sinfulness and referred to himself as a publican in his own Gospel. After the death of Jesus, St. Matthew traveled to Egypt and Ethiopia to preach the Gospel and may have gone further east.  St. Matthew is the patron of tax collectors, bankers, accountants and security guards. You will typically see him depicted in art holding a bag of coins or with an ink well. From the Mass for St. Matthew: “O God, who with untold mercy were pleased to choose as an Apostle Saint Matthew, the tax collector, grant that, sustained by his example and intercession, we may merit to hold firm in following you. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.”


Praying with Saint Matthew’s Gospel

 

Fire of Mercy Heart of the Word

Upcoming Feasts

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You can get more out of confession by…

Digital Media | Books | Bibles | Jewelry| Movies| Gifts

Sure, you know that confession is important, but do you REALLY know how important it is?

Do you know what sin does?

Hint: Sin doesn’t make God mad at you.

Confession is a wonderful offering of mercy from God and we all should learn more about it to appreciate it fully.

Vinny Flynn, author of 7 Secrets of the Eucharist, will now be your guide through the sacrament of Confession. Learn:

  • what sin is and what it does to you and to your relationship with God. 
  • what you get from Confession. (Hint: only going when you have mortal sins to confess is the wrong aproach)
  • what going to Confession obliges you to do. (It isn’t just about Our Fathers and Hail Marys)

For a limited time we are offering the set of 7 Secrets of the Eucharist and 7 Secrets of Confession at a 20% discount. Order now!

Upcoming Feasts

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Save Big on Ignatius Press Books

Save up to 70% on great Ignatius titles!

Catholic Fiction

 

Biography and Conversion Stories
By and About Pope Benedict XVI
Theology and Current Issues
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What Could You Endure?

The Song at the Scaffold

The Song at the Scaffold

The French Revolution was in no way like the American Revolution. One was led by reasoned men who wanted to create a more just country. The other was led by blood-thirsty mad men who wanted to seize power and get revenge on the wealthy and the king for real and perceived injustice.

The Carmelite nuns who were martyred marked an end of the bloodiest activity in Paris. It is easy to believe that through their blood, God gave the people of Paris a bit of grace to stir their consciences.

 

Set during the French Revolution, The Song at the Scaffold is based on the true story of the Carmelite nuns of Compiègne, who offered their lives for the preservation of the Church in France.

The story unfolds around the fictional character of Blanche de la Force, an excessively fearful aristocrat who enters the Carmelite convent in order to flee the dangers of the world. As the Reign of Terror begins, Blanche is no safer in the convent than in the streets of Paris, and some of the sisters begin to doubt her ability to endure persecution and possibly martyrdom.

 

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On June 11th a wildfire started in Black Forest, Colorado. Within six hours my parents’ home and several hundred others had burned to the ground. Within five days the fire had consumed 14,000 acres of land and over 500 homes, making it the most devastating fire in Colorado history.

Even though the loss of the home where they spent 17 years was tragic, no one in our family was injured or killed. While the family heirlooms can’t be replaced – the baptism gown worn by everyone in the family for over sixty years, the letters my grandfather wrote from Antarctica and the statue of St. Isaac Jogues rescued from a church, our family memories can’t be taken away and will be treasured.

The biggest tragedy is for those lost everything and have no way to replace it. Many of the people who lost homes in the forest were living in the original settler cabins and many didn’t have insurance. These people are faced with rebuilding their lives on an ash-covered moonscape with little chance of selling the property and moving somewhere else. 

To help out these survivors, we will be giving 15% of our sales to the fire relief efforts this week.

Please help us help the survivors of the wildfire.

Upcoming Feasts and Events

A couple of survivors from my parents’ home:

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Aquinas and More isn’t gone

Dear Aquinas and More Family,

I want to thank you all for your support and prayers over the past couple of months. After considering our options, I received an opportunity to continue running Aquinas and More. As we rebuild, Aquinas and More will be running on a smaller scale than before and for a while our selection won’t be as broad as it was. However, you can still count on us to provide you with our same Good Faith Guarantee as before: authentically Catholic, never from China. Our family thanks you for your support and looks forward to serving you for many more years.

One of the things that we will be able to do is ship anything from the Ignatius Press catalog within two days. That’s over one thousand books, dvds and cds available immediately, including the new book about Pope Francis and the story of Fr. Kapuan – the chaplain who just received the Medal of Honor.

God bless,

Ian Rutherford, President

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Help Save Aquinas and More

My dear friends and customers,

I write to you today with some news. As most of you know by now, after more than 10 years of business, Aquinas and More Catholic Goods announced it would be closing at the end of February. Admittedly, this was not an easy decision for us at all.

A funny thing happened on the way to the closing: the outpouring of support for Aquinas and More from our customers, our friends, and fellow Catholics was a bit unexpected, but also very kind and rather humbling.

To tell you the truth, it made us take pause and prayerfully consider what we should do next. Our heads tell us that we cannot realistically continue in our present state of affairs. Yet our hearts tell us that the void in Catholic shopping and Catholic service left by the closing of Aquinas and More is also real. We’ve always felt that Aquinas and More was truly a mission. So, are we being called to continue? Are we not? I know what I want, but I also know that — more importantly — I want God’s Will.

To better discern our next step, we’ve decided to launch an “all-or-nothing” crowdfunding campaign over the next two weeks, so we can return Aquinas and More to its mission of serving others with our authentic Catholic online shopping experience. The campaign begins today, March 5,  and ends on March 19, the Feast of St. Joseph. We’ve named it the “Aquinas Angels” campaign.

Our goal is to raise $250,000 in two weeks. At this point, we need to replenish inventory, overhaul the website and messaging, and focus on retaining excellent Catholic customer service and results. We know it’s a big number. But we also know that we have more than 30,000 Facebook and Twitter fans, and over the last decade, we’ve served more than 200,000 customers. We have been richly blessed. So we have joy and hope, gaudium et spes.

Dear friends, I ask you first to pray for our campaign. We will be praying the Saint Michael the Archangel prayer daily for this endeavor. Will you pray too? Second, please take a moment to visit our “Aquinas Angels” site, where you can read more about what brought us to where we are right now and what our plans for the future entail. You can visit the site at: http://www.gofundme.com/aquinasangels
I want you to know that if we don’t reach our goal, your Angel donation will not be processed. It’s as simple as that – it’s all-or-nothing. We will not be benefiting from any support until and unless our goal is reached. And if we don’t reach it, Aquinas and More will be in serious jeopardy. So, our next step is in His hands. If you choose to join us, we have different levels of support, and will be “giving back” for your generosity.

I also ask you to please help us spread the word about our “Aquinas Angels” . With the relationships we’ve built over the years, I firmly believe this is a “We” Campaign. We can’t succeed without your help! If you would like the work of Aquinas and More to continue, if you have had a positive experience with us, please share our story, our site, and your story out there with others you know.

Aquinas and More is truly not just a Catholic store. Aquinas and More is a way of life for myself, for my wife, for my ten children. We are unabashedly and authentically Catholic in all that we do – our policies, our products, and our outreach projects. You know the value of our Good Faith Guarantee.

As part of the Year of Faith, we are called to deepen our faith, believe in the Gospel message, and go forth and proclaim the Gospel. That is the essence of Aquinas and More. Giving to our “Aquinas Angels” Campaign means helping to build and restore an authentic Catholic culture. I know in my heart that there’s nowhere else out there where you can find such a ministry and mission – a living and serving, Catholic approach to shopping. I’m willing to put myself out there like this to keep it going.

We would be honored and grateful if you can become an Aquinas Angel for us and help us reach our $250,000 goal.

I thank you for taking the time to read my message. I thank you all for your support throughout these ten wonderful years. Whatever happens, I am grateful for having had the privilege to know and serve you in our little way.

Ian

Oremus,

Saint Michael the Archangel,
defend us in battle.
Be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil.
May God rebuke him, we humbly pray;
and do Thou, O Prince of the Heavenly Host -
by the Divine Power of God -
cast into hell, satan and all the evil spirits,
who roam throughout the world seeking the ruin of souls.

Amen.

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