St. Vincent Ferrer and St. Francis of Paola


I was remiss in that I did not post an appropriate thread for St. Vincent Ferrer, one of my favorite saints.  The following post will have to do:

I was also remiss in that I did not post an appropriate thread for St. Francis of Paola.  Alas, I do not have time to write that post but let us pray that Our Lord will lift up more saints in our age like these fearless men who knew that no disciple is greater than his master.





Our God is the Almighty Dollar, our temple is the Stock Exchange

Pope Leo XIII


An Excerpt from the homily of Fr. Alexander P. Doyle upon the passing of Pope Leo XIII (1878-1903)


“There was something supernatural in the life of the late Pope Leo.  I saw him seventeen years ago.  He was a feeble old man then with palsied hands, and I would not have thought that he could live more than a few months at the most.  I am persuaded that there was something more than natural in the fact that his life was prolonged, that God kept him in the world as a providential man to deliver a providential message to modern society.”

“Therefore his teaching is something more than human teaching.  He was a man who could look into the future with a seeing eye.  One of the grandest things in history is this man, in profound touch with things divine, standing phantomlike on the brink of the grave and turning back as it were to tell the world his message.”

“And what was this message?  Simply this: ‘Turn back to Christ from whom you ought never to have gone astray.’ This message is needed for America.  Our God is the Almighty Dollar; our temple is the Stock Exchange.  If this country as a whole could be brought back to the faith, if the spirit of Jesus could be infused in our body politic, our schools, our homes; if all this could be done, why it would mean that salvation of all the world.  Pope Leo knew this, and therefore he was so solicitous regarding the missions to non-Catholics in this country that he sent to us the first pontifical blessing a non-Catholic ever received.” 

Read the encyclicals of Pope Leo the XIII at the following url:

Especially recommended are those links already posted in the column entitled Pope Leo XIII on the right. 

A brief biography can be found at the following url:


Parents=Criminals (though mostly men)

Yet another excellent article from Stephen Baskerville concerning our present and most persistent dilemma: the assault on the Family by the courts of unjust law.

It is called Judicial Bolshevism.  What was once old is new again in the land of the deceived:

Vawa, Title IV-D and Rep. Ron Paul

 Casting out the money changersFr. Vaughan and the socialist state What can I say?  Watch the video and if you have any questions concerning Title IV-D and VAWA, see the article under father’s issues entitled, “from welfare state to police state.”  

Law in General (Part 2)

Law and precept:

Precept may be considered in its genus and in its species

In the generic sense-precept is used to signify law and also precept in the specific sense.

In the specific sense-i.e., a mere precept, signifies an ordinance which has not the perfection of law. It may be distinguished from law:

1. In its end: the end of a law is the common good, whereas the end of a precept is a private good.

2. In its author: a legislator is a public person charged with a political community; the author of a precept may be a private person possessed only of private power; v.g., the father of a family.

3. In its subject: a law is not binding outside the territory of the community for which it was made; a precept may be imposed on a person, and in this case is binding on him everywhere;

4. In its stability: a law is of itself perpetual, and does not disappear at the death of the legislator; a precept may of its nature be transitory, i.e., given for a definite time or for a definite act, and, unless otherwise stipulated, terminates when its author dies or loses his authority.

Effect and acts of law:

The effect of law consists in its making men good. This it does in two ways:

1. It induces subjects to be duly obedient to those governing them, and thus leads them to their proper virtue: for the proper virtue of a subject consists in due submission to superiors.

2. It directs men to good actions, for the end of every law is the common good.

The acts of the law are four in number: it commands, prohibits, permits, and punishes.

1. Law commands, or at least may command, acts which are generically good, i.e., acts of virtue.

2. Law prohibits acts which are generically evil, i.e., acts of vice.

3. Law permits acts which are generically indifferent. All acts which are not totally evil or totally good may be called indifferent.

4. Law punishes in as much as it induces its subjects, because of fear of punishment, to obey it.

Moral obligation:

Whether law commands, prohibits, permits, or punishes, it is always obligatory. For, even when law permits certain acts, it imposes the obligation of not preventing these acts. Therefore we may say that obligation is a general effect of law. And, since this obligation is imposed in relation to human acts, it is called moral.

The concept of obligation connotes necessity. But the first principle in the order of human action is the end. Hence we may say that moral obligation is a certain necessity which derives from the end.

Moral obligation may be defined: the absolute necessity of doing or omitting certain acts in view of an end.

1. Necessity: that is necessary which cannot not be.

2. Absolute necessity: thus the doing and omitting of human acts are not only useful for the attainment of the end, but are so related to it that its attainment is impossible without them.

3. Absolute necessity in view of an end: thus is excluded conditional, i.e., hypothetical, necessity.

Necessity which derives from an end, i.e., final necessity, is absolute when it concerns means without which the end intend cannot be attained; it is hypothetical when it concerns means without which an end which is not intended, but could be intended, could not be attained; v.g., a ship or airplane is of absolute necessity for a person who makes a crossing of the Atlantic ocean. On the supposition that a person wishes to cross the Atlantic ocean, a ship or an airplane is of hypothetical necessity.

Since the common good is the end of law, the obligation which results from law is of absolute necessity in relation to the end.

Considered in reference to human acts, moral obligation may be defined: the property of a human act in virtue of which this act must be performed or omitted in view of the ultimate end.

Moral obligation, morality, and liberty:

Moral obligation is distinct from morality.

Morality -is the transcendental relation of a human act to its object as conformed or not conformed to right reason and the eternal law.

Moral obligation-is the transcendental relation of necessity which a human act has to the ultimate end.

Moral obligation is a kind of bond, but does not destroy liberty.

Liberty-is the physical power of doing or not doing an act.

Moral obligation-is necessity deriving from the end, and therefore is not destructive of the physical power of acting or not acting.

For, even though the doing or omitting of an act be necessary for the attainment of the end, the will always has the physical power of not tending to the end in particular circumstances, i.e., has the physical power of acting or not acting, even though it does not tend to the end.

Division of law:

Law is divided into the eternal law, the natural law, and positive law.

Eternal law-is the law which resides in the supreme intellect which governs all things, i.e., in God.

Natural law-is the law which is imprinted in us by nature; in other words, it is the law which natural reason knows in the light of the first principles of the practical order.

Positive law-is law established by the free determination of the legislator.

Positive law may be essentially (per se) positive or accidentally positive.

An essentially positive law-is a law which contains determinations of the natural law not found in the natural law; v.g., the punishment of murderers is prescribed by the natural law, but the particular kind of punishment is determined by positive law.

An accidentally positive law-is a law which promulgates precepts contained in the natural law; v.g., the law by which a legislator forbids theft or murder.

Positive law, essentially or accidentally such, is divided into divine law and human law.

Divine law-is law freely promulgated by God. Sometimes the natural law is called divine because it derives from God as the immediate author of nature.

Human law-is established by human authority.

Finally, human law is civil or ecclesiastical as it derives from civil authority or from ecclesiastical authority.

Law in General (Part 1)

Cicero in the Senate

Notion of law:

In a very wide sense of the term, law is a rule by which a being is moved to action or withheld from it. In a sense, we speak of law even in reference to irrational beings; v.g., the laws of physics.


In a wide sense, law is a rule of actions which are dependent on reason; v.g., the laws of art.


In a more restricted sense, law is the remote and extrinsic norm of the morality of human acts. Thus any precept is a law; v.g., the precept of a father, of a master, etc.


Law, in its strict and proper sense, is a rule of human acts given to a community which commands what accords with right reason.


Real definition of law:


Law—in its strict and proper sense, is defined: an ordinance of reason designed for the common good, and promulgated by one who has charge of the community.


Ordinance—in its modern acceptation, sometimes signifies the act of commanding, and sometimes the act of establishing order. As used in the definition, it means a dictate which establishes an order or disposition. a.) for the attainment of a due end. b.) by means which are proportionate to the end.


Ordinance of reason—for only reason, which alone is competent to devise means for the attainment of an end, can establish the relation of one thing to another.


This may be proved briefly. Law is a rule of human acts. But the rule of human acts is reason: for reason is the first principle of human acts; and that which is the first principle in any genus is the rule and measure of that genus; v.g., unity is the genus of numbers. Therefore it follows that law is something which pertains to reason.


Hence, although law presupposes an act of the will, it formally derives from reason. For law is a motive ordinance of reason, and ordinance given only in as much as the will tends to an end, i.e., wills an end.


Designed for good—if it were an ordinance for evil, it would not truly be a law.


For the common good—for reason, in its direction of human acts, is concerned with the ultimate end, i.e., with happiness, which is the first principle of human acts. Therefore, since law is an ordinance of reason, it is concerned chiefly with the direction of human acts to happiness, and, indeed, to the happiness of the community: for the happiness of the community exceeds the good of one man, who is only a part of the community.


By one who has charge of the community—law is an ordinance designed for the common good. Now the establishing of an order or disposition for the attainment of the common good is the function of the community, or of a public person charged with the care of the community, for, in all matters, the directing of anything to the end is the concern of him who is charged with the care of the end.


Promulgated—promulgation, which is a condition that is absolutely required for the validity, i.e., the binding force, of a law, is the public notice or intimation of the law, not the knowledge of it. For it is the promulgation of a law, not the knowledge of it, which makes a law binding on those subject to it.



What is Patriotism?

Navy Recruiting Poster

At the outset of my blog, I would like to offer a brief definition of Patriotism.  I have taken this definition from a well respected ethical manual entitled: “Man as Man, The Science and Art of Ethics.” It was written by Rev. Thomas J. Higgins, S.J., and it was published in 1958.  I totally agree with this definition and during this time of unquestioning jingoism we need to dwell upon the full import of these words.

“…we understand by a citizen a person who owes primary allegiance to the laws of a given State and is entitled to its minimal civic privileges.  We say “primary allegiance” because, when a citizen is absent from his own State, he generally owes a secondary allegiance to the laws of the place where he resides.  We say “minimal civic privileges” because, although all citizens may not equally participate in civic life by voting, sitting on juries, being eligible for public office, and the like, yet there is a least common denominator of civic standing.  If a person falls below this level, as does a slave and felon, he is not a citizen.  Certainly all who are born within the territorial jurisdiction of a given State and permanently reside there ought to have citizenship rights, except those whose criminal conduct justly forfeits them.

Patriotism, which Samuel Johnson caustically defined as the last refuge of a scoundrel, epitomizes the relations of citizen to State.  The bond is piety.  This is readily understandable if a State is small and its members are one’s own kind.  Even though the modern State is much more than the family outgrown, the same relation of piety exists between it and its citizens.  For as piety binds man to the family, the first of natural societies, so also it ties him to the State, the perfect natural society.

Patriotism is not unreasoning sentiment, nor is it the preference for one’s own people which begets contempt for outsiders.  It is not prejudice or bias which regards one’s way of life as necessarily superior to that of all foreigners, and ridicules all strange customs, and considers one’s own national acts upright and honorable but those of one’s enemy vile and immoral.  Nor is patriotism jingoism, the truculent nonsense that one’s nation can dominate whom it pleases.  Rather it is the well-ordered love of one’s State and of one’s fellow citizens.  Here the object of love is not one’s native soil.  The object of love is primarily one’s fellow citizens; it is also the moral person, the State.  Some people have said that it is impossible to love an abstraction.  That impossibility fades before the cold fact that men do-even by dying for it.  Like all real love, this love must include benevolence and beneficence.  That is a pernicious patriotism which proclaims, My country, right or wrong.  This sentiment presupposes that national welfare, convenience, and prestige are above all moral law; that the State, dealing with other States, has moral license to do whatever it has the force or guile to accomplish.  This attitude is one of the scourges of modern life.  It has substituted the State for God and the worship of country for religion.  Well-ordered love remains within the bounds of reason.

As piety in the family comprises both justice and charity, it includes the same in the State.  The good which the citizen strictly owes the State is laid down by legal or civic justice.  It is aptly called legal justice because law prescribes what the welfare of the State demands of individuals.  It may also be called civic justice so as to distinguish the common good peculiar to the State from that of the family or the human race at large.  The duties of the true patriot are not limited to what law prescribes: he will come forward, as occasion demands, and freely give of his own to the common need.  This is a kind of social charity“.