Words to Live by – from Catholic Tradition


Prepare thyself like a man to resist the wicked attacks of the devil; bridle gluttony, and thou shall the easier restrain all carnal inclinations.


My Imitation of Christ by Thomas a Kempis, (c)1982, Confraternity of the Precious Blood, 5300 Fort Hamilton Parkway, Brooklyn, N.Y. 11219, Bk. 1 ch.19.                                                                          


It is Important to Keep in Mind the Fires of Purgatory


Most people go through life focusing only on the fact that God is merciful, kind, and helpful, and they don’t want to think about the punishment they deserve for their sins.  Well, they’d better change and think deeply about the very real punishments in Purgatory, for if they understood the real pain of fire, they would think twice and make more of an effort to avoid sin.  No one is going to “sneak into” Heaven.  God is at the door.  And He is all-just.


To many, Our Lord’s command, “Deny thyself, take up thy cross and follow Me”, (Matthew 16:24)  seems hard; but it would be much harder to hear that final word: “Depart from Me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire.”  (Matthew 25:41).  This phrase “everlasting fire” refers to the fires to hell.  But now let us consider the fires of Purgatory. 


Here is a crucial reminder from Fr. Paul O’Sullivan:


The fire of Purgatory is the same terrible fire as the fire of Hell.  We may be kept in this awful fire for many years for a deliberate venial sin.  God could never punish us too severely.  He does not send us to Purgatory because He is angry with us, but because the malice of a deliberate venial sin is simply awful – mortal sin much more so.[1]


Here is the wholesome teaching of My Catholic Faith:


St. Augustine believed that the sufferings of the poor souls are greater than the sufferings of all the martyrs.  St. Thomas believed the least pain there is greater than the greatest on earth.  The greatness and the duration of a soul’s sufferings in Purgatory vary according to the gravity of the sins committed.  One who has lived a long life of sin, but is saved from hell only by a deathbed repentance, will stay in the purging fires of Purgatory longer, and suffer there more intensely than a child, who has committed only the venial sins of an ordinary child.[2]


It is important that one understands the real pain of the fires of Purgatory.  That understanding will greatly help to avoid all sin.   Avoiding all sin is possible even for those who are without (most of) the Sacraments – as faithful and informed Catholics currently are in all of those places in the world where the Sacraments are not available without compromise.  God knows what we need and provides it.


There is a way to begin to understand and to feel the pain which is a little like Purgatory’s fire.  (Obviously, be very careful not to injure yourself.)  Light a candle and hold your hand about seven inches above the flame and feel the heat.  Then lower your hand little-by-little until you understand much better the real pain of fire which is suffered by those persons in Purgatory.  Then reflect that such suffering in Purgatorial fire could last for years. 


Think also, that God created the fires on earth to serve and help man.  By contrast, God created the fires of Purgatory to inflict much more pain than the fires on earth because He created those fires to punish man.


Now, with your new understanding of what sinners suffer in Purgatory, let us begin by promising God that we will sin no more.


We know we must be a saint in order to get to heaven.  So let us love God, hate sin, pray devoutly and often, and we will be “ordinary saints” who will spend all eternity in the complete happiness of heaven.

[1]           An Easy Way to Become a Saint, Fr. Paul O’Sullivan, O.P., Tan Books and Publishers, Inc., Rockford, Ill. 1990, p.101.


Note: Every sin is an infinite evil in three ways and mortal sin is an infinite evil of a fourth way too.  Read an explanation of this truth here: https://catholiccandle.neocities.org/faith/the-infinite-evil-of-sin

[2]           My Catholic Faith, Bishop Louis Morrow, My Mission House, Kenosha, Wis., ©1949, p.158.

Lesson #35 About the Temperaments – further reasons why we study them

Philosophy Notes

Mary’s School of Sanctity

Lesson #35 About the temperaments – further reasons why we study them

More about why we study the temperaments – what’s the point?

Because we humans were made to praise, revere, and serve God[1], and because we carry out this precept in the way we deal with our neighbor, it is important to try to understand ourselves and our neighbor well.  To better understand our neighbor, we should start with self-knowledge, which includes knowing our own inclinations.

We can and do know that by our fallen human nature we humans have general tendencies, i.e. concupiscence of the flesh, concupiscence of the eyes, and the pride of life,[2]  but we must not forget that each of us also has his own natural dispositions and inclinations.   Hence, we study the inclinations people naturally have when we study the basic four temperaments.  One important aspect of our study of the temperaments, AND a goal we have in our study, is to find our own strengths and weaknesses and to use our strengths to overcome our weaknesses.  This is a means to our perfection. 

Each of the temperaments has a set of typically found strengths and weaknesses.  So, our challenge in our life is to work out our salvation by discovering our strengths and weaknesses, and with God’s help, of course, to use our strengths to overcome our weaknesses.  Thus, God intends for us to hew away at the things of our temperaments which are not favorable to a charitable relationship with Him and our neighbor.  In this way, too, He wills us to use the God-given strengths we have to glorify Him.  This is indeed what the saints did.[3]

Therefore, when we study the temperaments, we can come to better appreciation of our neighbor by recognizing his temperament and thereby seeing how we can work more harmoniously with him.  Another beneficial aspect of this knowledge is that it helps us to avoid rashly judging our neighbor, and in turn, this fosters our practice of compassionating our neighbor.   

With all this in mind, we can easily see that there are many good reasons to learn about the four basic temperaments and the possible combinations of these, and how people with the temperaments interact with each other.

One important additional consideration to make is to reflect upon Our Lord and Our Lady.  Both Our Lord and Our Lady had in their genetic make-up a perfect mixture of the four temperaments.  How do we know this?  They were both immaculately conceived and without any stain of sin for the entire duration of their lives.   It is also fitting that they would both be a perfect blend and balance of the four temperaments and would have nothing that would stand out as a genetic weakness.  God intended that they both would be models for us to imitate.

Setting forth the overall scheme of looking at each of the temperaments.

·         For each temperament, we will set out a listing of its general strengths and weaknesses.


·         We will discuss how a person with each temperament, who is of good will, uses the strengths to overcome the weaknesses.


·         We will discuss how a person with each temperament, who is of bad will, does not use the strengths to overcome the weaknesses.


·         We will discuss aspects of the prayer life/spiritual life of each temperament.


·         We will discuss the typical temptations which impact each temperament and how the temptations can be counteracted.

 In our next lesson, we will begin our treatment of the choleric temperament

[1]           See the series on the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola, especially these two articles:


v  https://catholiccandle.org/2022/05/24/lesson-9-the-principle-and-foundation-part-i/


v  https://catholiccandle.org/2022/06/27/lesson-11-the-principle-and-foundation-part-ii/


[2]           “For all that is in the world, is the concupiscence of the flesh, and the concupiscence of the eyes, and the pride of life…”  1 John, 2:16.


[3]           One well known example of saintly reform is St. Vincent de Paul.  He was known for his choleric temper but he mastered himself so well that he was thought to be phlegmatic. 

The Evils of Social-Emotional Learning

Catholic Candle note: The article below is a “companion” article to an earlier Catholic Candle article about the leftists’ use of an excessively-emotional and unreasonable counterfeit empathy.

That earlier article contrasts false empathy with true empathy and is entitled Empathy – a Tool for Good or for Evil.  The article can be found here: https://catholiccandle.org/2021/04/02/empathy-a-tool-for-good-or-for-evil/

The leftists have concocted an additional tool to ruin the minds of students.  It is called social-emotional learning (“SEL”).  It is currently one of the main programs that the leftists are pushing for the schools, especially the public schools.

SEL combines the leftists’ longstanding aim to dumb-down the education of the population and their aim to make the people more emotional and less able (as well as less ready) to use their reason.

Let us start our look at this evil trend (viz., social-emotional learning), by recalling some truths about reason:

  Reason is our highest faculty.  It is what makes us (our souls) immortal.

  Reason makes us capable of virtue.  Reason makes every human action either good or bad.  Every action which is not from reason is not a properly human action but stems from instinct and is on the level of the actions and impulses of beasts.

  The object and the perfection of the mind is truth.  Truth is the mind’s conformity with reality and our reason allows us to know the truth.  In other words, through our intellects, we know reality.

  Reason makes it possible for us to know universal, eternal truth.  (In other words, our reason makes us capable of knowing what is always and everywhere true.)

  Reason makes us capable of knowing the highest Truth – that is, God – Who is Truth Itself.  Reason is what makes the blessed capable of “seeing” and enjoying the Beatific Vision – which is an intellectual understanding of God’s Essence, that makes the blessed perfectly happy.

  Reason causes us to have free will, since our will is the rational appetite.  That is, our will is the power of desire regarding all things known by the mind.

  Reason makes us capable of receiving sanctifying grace and actual grace. 

  Reason makes us able to gain supernatural merit.

  Reason is a cause of all human achievements in the history of the world and is necessary for any deeds of honor, valor, or glory which were ever undertaken and attained.

  Reason is an essential foundation of true culture.  Reason is the well-spring of all of the arts and sciences.

  Reason is an essential cause of knowledge and wisdom. 

  Reason underpins happiness, and man cannot be happy except by following his reason.

  Reason is the basis for all justice, harmony, and peace in society.

  True education perfects the mind by facilitating the mind’s development in the truth.

Now let’s contrast these truths (above) with the leftist’ program for the schools which is called “social-emotional learning” (“SEL”).  As even the name indicates, “social-emotional learning” emphasizes:

  social conformity-training – so that the student parrots the same leftist (politically correct) conclusions as everyone else in the class, and


  emotional conditioning – so that the student is habituated to “feel” emotionally, instead of to think logically.

Proponents of “social-emotional learning” openly focus on feelings and downplay reasoning.  Here is the (fuzzy) way in which one prominent SEL website stated this:

Emotion is more important than understanding because, in lieu of all of our willful rationality and effortful pursuit of universal truths, we are ‘wired’ for emotion and it drives us forward – up, away, and back again in countless and quiet little cycles of life.  In the human brain, the neocortex facilitates ‘reason’ but is often encouraged to do so through feedback loops and dopamine rewards.[1]

Of course, the SEL jargon – like the phrase “emotional intelligence” – is really an oxymoron.  Emotions are not at all intelligent except to the extent that they are habituated to conform to the higher principle – viz., reason – through being trained like a dog.

Likewise, the phrase “social-emotional learning” makes no sense because emotions do not learn.  Learning occurs in the intellect.

The perfection of the mind is the truth, and truth is attained by reasoning, debating, discussing, by evidence, syllogizing, and careful analysis.  These are habits of mind that the leftists abhor and which the leftists blame for creating the injustice and oppression in the world.

Instead, the leftists use storytelling and counter-storytelling to appeal to the passion of fear and to other emotions.  They also use subjectively-interpreted “lived experience”.  These are the basis for their declaring their victimhood, e.g., on issues such as their promoting deviant, unnatural vice or attacking the strong virtue of purity. 

The leftists are unequipped and would never debate whether unnatural impurity is objectively evil.  Instead, they would insist on how much those (perverted) people feel “hurt” to be “marginalized” and not “seen” and “respected”.  They would demand that people of that ilk be given a “voice” which is “heard” and that they see in the public forum celebrities that are “like themselves”.

These leftist-trained dupes cannot think-through, discuss, and debate ideas with those who disagree with them.  They are entirely unequipped to evaluate rational discourse.  Such people are conditioned to simply demand the “cancelling” of those who disagree with them.

Thus, society has come to the chaotic condition in which emotionalism dominates debates and discussions throughout the U.S., especially on college campuses.  A claim that someone’s words are “triggering” or  “offensive” is not just an expression of one’s own subjective feeling of being offended.  It is, rather, a public charge that the speaker has done something objectively wrong.  It is a demand that the speaker apologize or be punished by some authority for committing a (supposed) offense. 

In our society, the “greatest sin” is to saying something which is labeled “offensive”.  By contrast, there is little mention of whether a person’s position is objectively false or true.  Instead, there is fuzzy reference to “your truth” and “my truth” as if the truth is not one (and as if the truth were not a transcendental concept which is convertible with being).

Truth is a “transcendental” concept – meaning that it is present in all categories of “what is and not only some categories.  The truth is mind’s conformity with reality and so, however much a person’s mind knows being, (i.e., knows reality) to that extent he possesses the truth.  For this reason, we say that “truth is convertible with being” – viz., the more a mind is conformed with objective reality, the more truth the mind has.  Truth is objective because reality is objective.  There is no “your truth” and “my truth” because there is no “your reality” and “my reality”.

Social-emotional learning does not aim at teaching a student how to think.  It aims at teaching him what to think – that is, politically-correct conclusions.

The ultimate goal of SEL is to erode traditional morals, beliefs, attitudes, and worldviews of students.  The goal is to manipulate students into accepting the latest leftist ideology.  This is one of the evils of SEL.

When one becomes attuned to listen for such emotion being substituted in the place of reason, then one begins to hear this occurring all around him.  It is everywhere in the media, too.  For example, in a mainstream radio “news” story on the day this article was begun, this is what one person said:

When I heard that [a particular event] occurred, I was so angry.  Then when I realized it could happen again, I was so scared.

As we wrote above, SEL uses social conformity and emotion-based reactions to erode traditional morals, beliefs, attitudes, culture, and practices of students.  The goal is to manipulate students into accepting the latest leftist indoctrination.

The promoters of SEL declare this goal themselves.  For example, the main promoters of SEL explain that SEL is very helpful as a way to inculcate into the students an “anti-racist” agenda.[2]  Such an “anti-racist” program attempts to convince blacks that they have been victimized and are owed monetary and/or non-monetary entitlements (freebies) because other persons in history with the same color skin were mistreated (and, in some cases, only allegedly mistreated) by people who are now dead but who had a different skin color.

The blacks are told that they don’t need to live disciplined, orderly lives because that is “for white people”.  Here is how the government inculcated this message in a poster[3] financed by the Smithsonian’s National Museum for African American History and Culture:

Thus, SEL’s so-called “anti-racist” training seeks to convince blacks that they are victims and that whites are the oppressors.  In other words, the SEL program seeks to do what Marx sought to do, viz., to stir up dissatisfaction and promote a feeling of victimhood in one part of society, by promoting (as he put it) a “ruthless criticism of all that exists”.[4]

This “anti-racist” training also seeks to make white people ashamed that they are white, including conditioning them “to try to be less white” as one (so-called) Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion program phrased it.[5] 

Such a message foments division and disharmony between groups (blacks and whites).  The Marxists’ chief strategy is to create such division in order to gain control of society.   As Pope Pius XI warned, the “preachers of Communism are proficient in exploiting racial antagonisms, political divisions, and oppositions.”[6]

SEL is also designed and promoted to serve other Marxist goals.  For example, SEL is promoted as a “lever for equity”.  So-called “equity” is one of the leftists’ core aims in order to re-make society according to “diversity, equity, and inclusion”.[7]

Let us examine a “case study” of SEL showing its results in practice.  The Chicago public school system is the nation’s leader in implementing “social-emotional learning”.  Let us see the effect of SEL on the Chicago Public School System (CPS).

Chicago’s school system has been committed to social-emotional learning since 2012 and has become a national leader in SEL.[8]  Chicago was aided in implementing SEL by the State of Illinois having created a statewide SEL curriculum; Illinois is the first state in the nation to pass standards for social emotional learning.[9]

But the Chicago Public Schools are among the worst in the nation.  The city’s own accountability report card demonstrates that huge majorities of students in the city’s worst schools – 75% in elementary and 95% in high school – failed to meet Illinois’ very low, dumbed-down state standards.[10]

Moreover, only 30% of Black students meet or exceed reading standards in the third grade, and only 14% of 11th graders do so, according the Illinois State Board of Education’s own data.[11]

Because it is so shameful that the Chicago Public Schools are failing so badly, Chicago’s leftist mayor (Brandon Johnson) decided that Chicago would no longer “grade” its school system by how well it teaches the students but would instead begin to “grade” the schools only by the total amount of money per student that Chicago spends on its schools.  As Johnson declared in a public interview:

“My responsibility is not simply to just grade the system, but to fund the system ….  That’s how I’m ultimately going to grade whether or not our public school system is working: based upon the investments that we make to the people who rely on it.”[12]

So, the Chicago Board of Education followed Mayor Johnson’s lead and scrapped its school rating policy, which had been designed to rate schools according to how well students learned.[13]

According to the Illinois State Board of Education’s own data, not even one student in the 22 schools analyzed in a widely read report can read at grade level.[14]  In 18 of those schools, there wasn’t a single student who demonstrated proficiency in math or reading.  Despite this, some of these same schools were given the rating “commendable.”[15]

Despite the Chicago Public Schools being such obvious failures, it is not because of a lack of funding.  CPS spends almost $30,000 per student!  (The exact number is $29,400 according to NPR.)[16]  That is more than double the national average ($14,347) of per student public school spending.[17]

So, by Mayor Brandon Johnson rating Chicago’s public schools according to spending rather than according to performance, (i.e., learning), Chicago’s schools with their heavy use of SEL, thereby go from one of the worst school systems in the country to one of the best! 

However, no thinking person would rate schools that way if he truly cared about education or about truth.  But Johnson and the leftists don’t care about real education or about the truth.  They care only about leftist indoctrination of the students.  That is the whole reason they use SEL, because it is an effective tool for their goal, which is to develop foot soldiers for their leftist revolution.

This is a good reminder about the lies continually told by the leftist politicians and teachers’ unions.  The problem is not a lack of funding but a failure to pursue the mission of education of the students, with discipline, common sense, and the methods that work well in private schools which only spend a tiny fraction of the excessive spending of the public schools.


[1]           https://www.teachthought.com/pedagogy/social-emotional-learning/ (emphasis added; initial capital added to the quote).

[2]           See, e.g., this SEL promotional video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DPFMfultXSY

[4]           Here is the longer quote from Marx:


Now philosophy has become mundane, and the most striking proof of this is that philosophical consciousness itself has been drawn into the torment of the struggle, not only externally but also internally.  But, if constructing the future and settling everything for all times are not our affair, it is all the more clear what we have to accomplish at present: I am referring to ruthless criticism of all that exists, ruthless both in the sense of not being afraid of the results it arrives at and in the sense of being just as little afraid of conflict with the powers that be.


Letter of Marx to Arnold Ruge, Kreuznach, September 1843, found here: https://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1843/letters/43_09.htm

[6]           Divini RedemptorisOn Atheistic Communism, by Pope Pius XI, 1937, paragraph 15.  Note, as quoted here, we remove the word “also” before the word “proficient”, because the other exploitations to which the pope refers are not part of the quote we give here.


[8]           See these brag-pieces, asserting the Chicago Public School System’s preeminence in this field:


Ø  https://www.cps.edu/about/departments/office-of-social-and-emotional-learning/ &


Ø  https://www.k12dive.com/news/chicago-public-schools-leads-on-sel-with-collaborative-approach-to-implemen/439713/

The Crisis in Society is Caused by Unmanly Men

Catholic Candle note: In our corrupt times, men have “forgotten” how to be men, just as women have “forgotten” how to be women.  The article below is a beginning of a “reminder” and examination of conscience for men, regarding what God expects of them. 

In a way, the article below is a “companion” article to these articles for women:




There is a spiritual and moral crisis we see all around us in civil society and in the human element of the Church.  All other problems, such as crime, dysfunctional families, a broken education system, disastrous economy, etc., flow from this.

One way to assess the root cause of all of these problems is that they are caused by men, much more than by women or children.  If men did not fail to be true men, these problems would not have occurred in society or in the human element of the Church.  Further, if men did not fail to be true men, there would not be the big problems that also exist in women and children.

Men are more responsible because of the leadership role God gave to them as part of His Providential plan, and also because He made them the protectors, defenders, and advisors of the rest of society. 

Here is how St. Thomas Aquinas explains this truth:

Men are wiser and more discerning and not so readily deceived as women are.  …  Man is the head and counselor of the woman.[1]

So, men have failed themselves as well as failed the women and children by allowing society and the Church’s human element to become so corrupt.

St. John Chrysostom denounced men who are like this, who are so weak as to not only fail to lead their wives, but to be led by them.  Here are his words, speaking to men:

You are the head of your wife, and she has been created for your sake; but you have inverted the proper order; not only have you failed to keep her on the straight and narrow but you have been dragged down with her, and whereas the rest of the body should follow the head, the contrary has in fact occurred, the head following the rest of the body, turning things upside down.[2]

There is a secular proverb which points out the same greater responsibility of the men for what happens in society (and in the human element of the Church).  It shows that men are more blamable than women or children for corrupt times:

Weak men make hard times.  Hard times make strong men.  Strong men make good times.  Good times make weak men.

In other words, men who are soft and self-indulgent cause bad times, i.e., a deterioration in society.  Such bad times test and toughen men’s character, pushing them to be virtuous and manly (as they always should be).  Virtuous and manly men cause society to become more peaceful, prosperous, and virtuous.  Peaceful and prosperous times cause men to become weaker and more self-indulgent.

Doctor of the Church, St. Hilary of Poitiers, taught the truth that peaceful and easy times tend to weaken a person’s virtue.  Here is how St. Hilary teaches this truth, focusing on the Virtue of Faith:

When our Faith is attacked, it increases.  Therefore, in dangers, our Faith is secure; in security, our Faith is in danger.[3]

Another common proverb points to this same truth, in a general, secular way:

From blue collar, to white collar, to blue collar in three generations.

This means that a man in difficult circumstances, who uses determination, sacrifice, and hard work, causes his sons to have education and opportunities that he (their father) did not have.  This results in greater affluence and ease for these sons and for their own families.  Such affluence and ease tend to cause a softness and self-indulgence in the children of those families.  Thus, their characters are weaker than their grandfather’s – undermining what he tried to instill into his descendants. 

So, we see that men’s failures are due to their becoming soft, unmanly, and self-indulgent, as commonly happens when times get easy and everything is peaceful.

Although God created men to lead their families and to lead society, the feminists want men to be led by women.  Pope St. Pius X fought the earlier part of the same satanic feminism.  Here is one way he warned against a variation of this evil:

Women in war or parliament are outside their proper sphere, and their position there would be the desperation and ruin of society ….[4]

These words of Pope St. Pius X echo the principle set forth by the prophet Isaias, who measured the extent of the perversity in Israel, by saying:

As for my people, their oppressors have stripped them, and women have ruled over them.

Isaias, 3:12.

St. Paul shows that God created men – not women – to be the leaders of society.  Here is one way he infallibly declares this truth:

But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.

1 Corinthians, 11:3.

St. Paul’s analogy here is that, just as the head of a physical human body is its source of direction, so likewise, God made man to direct woman.

Further, a woman is not the head of her own family.  She must obey her husband.  St. Paul taught: “Let women be subject to their husbands, as to the Lord”.  Ephesians, 5:22.

As perverse as it would be for a woman to be head of her family and to rule over her husband, how much more perverse it would be for a woman to be the ruler of a country and have authority over all of the men of the country!

This authority of man over woman is not only part of the revealed Divine Law and the teaching of the Church, but it is also part of Natural Law.  St. Thomas Aquinas shows this when he cites St. Paul (regarding the Divinely Revealed Law on this issue) and then cites the great philosopher Aristotle regarding this same principle in the Natural Law.  Here are St. Thomas’ words:

According to the Apostle [1 Tim. 2:11; Titus 2:5], woman is in a state of subjection: wherefore she can have no spiritual jurisdiction, since the Philosopher [i.e., Aristotle] also says (Ethic. viii) that it is a corruption of public life when the government comes into the hands of a woman.[5]

We see the “tail” of the devil in feminism.[6]  Satan and his servants hate God and they hate the Natural Law which He created.  They hate His creation and in particular how God created manhood and womanhood.

The devil seeks to destroy womanhood through the evil of feminism and he seeks to corrupt women by twisting them into an unnatural equality[7] with men and into being unwomanly caricatures of men. 

Similarly, Satan and his tools are trying to destroy men and their manhood.  The devil tries to make men unmanly, soft, emotional, and self-indulgent.  He tries to make men into unmanly caricatures of women.

We know that Our Lord is especially the model for all men (just as Our Lady is especially the model for all women).  The magnificent St. Gregory Nazianzen, Doctor of the Church, taught us one aspect of Our Lord’s example to men.  He said:

There is in Him [i.e., Christ] nothing womanly, nothing unmanly.[8]

We see from St. Gregory Nazianzen’s wise words that it is a mark of perfection for a man to be a manly man and to be in no way womanly. 

Leftists Portray Men as Helpless and as Needing Women to Show Them How Men Should Act and How Men Can Avoid Being Failures.

The lies and perversions promoted by the leftists are everywhere.  The leftists twist manhood “upside down”, saying that women should teach men how to be men.  Leftists say that “men are in crisis”.[9]  They declare that “men are lost”.[10]  For example, the leftists promote a rabid feminist (Christine Emba) to give men (as the Washington Post says) “a map out of the wilderness”.[11]

Leftists tell men that male traits are harmful.  Here is one way they spew that anti-God poison:

Traditional masculinity – marked by stoicism, competitiveness, dominance, and aggression – is, on the whole, harmful.[12]

Leftists tell men that men should stop being like men.  Here is one way that they promote that evil idea:

Achievement, eschewal of the appearance of weakness, and adventure, risk, and violence, … these standards are damaging to mental and physical health.[13]

Leftists tell men that men should be like women.  Here is one way that they say this, attempting to destroy the manhood which was created by God:

To the extent that any vision of “nontoxic” masculinity is proposed, it ends up sounding more like stereotypical femininity than anything else: Guys should learn to be more sensitive, quiet and socially apt ….[14]

So, turning manhood upside down, the leftists say that a man is strong when he is acting like a woman.  Here is one way the leftists state their oxymoronic position:

There’s a lot more of an effort now to broaden the idea of what masculinity really can be, … and how there can be strength in doing some things that ordinarily would be considered feminine – like talking about your feelings or crying in front of others.[15] 

Plainly, we see the wickedness of this leftist attack on Nature.  This is an attack on all of society.  But in particular it is an attack on each man who does not resist and guard himself from becoming a wimpy shadow of a woman, instead of a real man.  By this destruction of what God made him to be, he becomes a failed pile of wreckage and an unhappy freak of Nature. 

General Traits of Men – in Contrast to Women

We must now look at what True Manhood is, as God and Nature intend it to be.  Such manhood is the only way a man can be happy.  It is the only way he can make a success of his life (in all of the important ways) and attain the true goal of his life, which is Eternal Salvation. 

Let us start by considering traits of manhood.  Men have many prominent traits which contrast with the traits of women.  For example, they tend to be:

  Larger and stronger in body;[16]

  Greater in physical endurance;

  Wiser, stronger in mind, with clearer powers of reasoning;[17]

  More focused on ideas and abstract matters;

  Less focused on persons and their individual differences;

  Less focused on details and more focused on the “big picture”;

  More focused on a legacy of accomplishment in the world and less focused on his children being his legacy;

  More focused on causal reasoning and less on intuition;

  Less emotional;

  Firmer of will to adhere to resolutions made;

  More decisive in making decisions and more prone to stubbornness;

  Greater willingness to take risks, as well as more prone to rashness;

  Greater self-mastery;

  More self-reliant;

  Bolder and more courageous;

  Less prone to take social cues and less prone to act in a particular way because other people act that way too;

  Less concerned about his neighbors’ lives and activities;

  Prone to be a leader;

  Less compassionate and considerate of the feelings of others;

  Less vain and less concerned about his own appearance;

  Less prone to be humble;

  Less prone to be pious;

  Not graceful;

  Does not tend to seek to ornament himself and his surroundings and to focus on beauty;

  Is more competitive;

  More mechanically inclined and is better at designing and operating machinery;

  More apt at mathematics, the physical sciences, philosophy, and theology;

  Less generous and giving;[18]

  Less attentive to manners, etiquette, civility, and decency;

  Less home-oriented and more focused outside the home;

  More willing to resort to conflict and more prone to use force and violence;

  Greater proneness to be protective of others (as well as himself); and

  Greater proneness to provide for others (as well as himself).

Our experience shows us that some of these traits are more central to manhood than are other traits.  The most important trait of manliness and man’s key strength is for him to conquer and to control himself. 

In other words, the greatest mark of true manhood and the greatest strength of a man is for him to master his own lower nature.  For this reason, we see that a man who is seething with unruly passions (i.e., not firmly controlled by his reason) is a poor, weak sort of a man.  He is a slave, really.  This is true regardless of how capable he is of conquering others.   

A manly man must not be selfish, nor carried away by his emotions or passions.  He must control himself and always live according to his reason.  That is why a man can be a manly man and can show the truth of manliness even when he is 106 years old and is wheelchair-bound.  Thus, e.g., St. John the Evangelist showed manly firmness and courage when he fearlessly endured being boiled in a cauldron of oil in his later years.

One way the leftists attempt to corrupt manhood is by referring to the “feminine side of a man”.  Further, we see how disgraceful it is for a man to wear pink, wear earrings, or in other ways to blur the differences between the sexes, their roles and actions, and their clothes.

Whereas God made women more emotional, it is a great disgrace for a man to be as emotional as a woman.  This is like the great disgrace it is for a woman to lack a woman’s heart of compassion and generosity.

St. Thomas Aquinas – who is not only the greatest Doctor of the Church but also the greatest man of reason – elaborates on the salient point of manhood, viz., that God created man to be wiser than woman:

The reason for this subjection of woman to man is that the husband is the head of the wife, and the sense of sight is localized in the head — “The eyes of a wise man are in his head” (Eccl. 2:14) – and hence a husband ought to govern his wife as her head.  “The head of the woman is the man” (1 Cor. 11:3).  Then he [viz., St. Paul] brings in his example when he says: as Christ is the Head of the Church.  God “has made Him head over all the Church, which is His Body” (Eph. 1:22-23).  This is not for His own utility, but for that of the Church since He is the Savior of His Body.[19]

Just as Christ is the Head of the Church for the good of the Church, likewise, God made man to be the head of the woman for the good of the woman.  St. Paul shows us this parallelism in these words: 

But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the Head of Christ is God.

1 Corinthians, 11:3.

As man has a duty to be wise and guide with his wisdom the woman under his care, so God made parents to be wiser than the children they are raising, so they can guide their children with their wisdom.

God gave the man the attributes of manhood in order to serve Him (viz., God) through his manhood and for the good of the woman and children under his care.  This difference (between men and women) is the wellspring from which chivalry and gentlemanliness arise, since a man is chivalrous and is a gentleman for the good of the woman, using his manhood (including his authority over her) to benefit her.

Let men serve God as manly men, teaching their sons to be real men!  Let women be womanly and show their daughters the example of how to be real women!  In this way, faithful and informed Catholics of both sexes will serve God the way He wants to be served and will be the leaven in society that God created them to be!

[1]           Quotes from St. Thomas, Lectures on St. Matthew’s Gospel, ch.23, #1859.

[2]           Quoted from St. John Chrysostom, Homilies on Genesis 17:17, English version, The Fathers of the Church, vol. 74, p. 231.

[3]           Catena Aurea on St. Matthew’s Gospel, St. Thomas Aquinas, editor, quoting St. Hilary of Poitiers, ch.20, §5.

[4]           Words of Pope St. Pius X in his 1909 Address to Delegation of the Union of Italian Catholic Ladies.

[5]           Summa Supp., Q.19, a.3, ad4.  Note: due to the great respect and admiration that St. Thomas Aquinas and other great Medieval thinkers had for Aristotle, they called him “The Philosopher”.

[6]           To examine how the Feminist Program is the same as that of Satan and Marx, read this article: https://catholiccandle.org/2022/08/26/the-feminist-program-is-the-same-as-that-of-satan-and-marx-part-vii/

[7]           The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines “feminism” as a theory of equality:


Feminism: the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the





For an examination of the role and great work of a woman’s life as provided by Catholic teaching and by the Natural Law, read this article:



[8]               St. Gregory Nazianzen, Doctor of the Church, quoted from his sermon On the Holy Easter II, published in Sunday Sermons of the Great Fathers, translated by M.F. Toal, D.D., Henry Regnery Co., Chicago, © 1957, vol. 2, page 252 (emphasis added).

[9]           Men are lost. Here’s a map out of the wilderness, Washington Post, found here:              https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2023/07/10/christine-emba-masculinity-new-model/

[10]         Men are lost. Here’s a map out of the wilderness, Washington Post, found here: https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2023/07/10/christine-emba-masculinity-new-model/

[11]         Men are lost. Here’s a map out of the wilderness, Washington Post, found here: https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2023/07/10/christine-emba-masculinity-new-model/

[12]         Men are lost. Here’s a map out of the wilderness, Washington Post, found here: https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2023/07/10/christine-emba-masculinity-new-model/

[13]          Men are lost. Here’s a map out of the wilderness, Washington Post, found here: https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2023/07/10/christine-emba-masculinity-new-model/

Men are lost. Here’s a map out of the wilderness, Washington Post, found here: https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2023/07/10/christine-emba-masculinity-new-model/

 (bold emphasis added).


[15]         Men are lost. Here’s a map out of the wilderness, Washington Post, found here: https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2023/07/10/christine-emba-masculinity-new-model/ (bold emphasis added).


[16]          For example, a man’s bones are larger and he has more muscle. 

[17]         St. Thomas Aquinas teaches: “men are wiser and more discerning and not so readily deceived as women are.”  St. Thomas lectures on St. Matthew, ch.23, #1859.

[18]         St. Thomas Aquinas teaches: “Women have a disposition to be more giving.”  Then, as fitting with this principle, St. Thomas quotes St. Paul to show this ready disposition towards giving: “As befits women, professing piety through good works.”  1 Timothy, 2:10.  St. Thomas lectures on St. Matthew, ch.23, #1859.

[19]         St. Thomas Aquinas, Commentary on Ephesians, Ch. 5, Lecture 8.


Words to Live by – from Catholic Tradition

God is more pleased by one work, however small, done secretly, without desire that it be known, than a thousand done with the desire that people know of them.  Those who work for God with purest love not only care nothing about whether others see their works, but do not even seek that God Himself know of them.  Such persons would not cease to render God the same services, with the same joy and purity of love, even if God were never to know of these.

St. John of the Cross, Saying of Light and Love, #20 (emphasis added).

To Reach Heaven Should Be Our Life’s Main Work

If you think it is too hard to get to Heaven, then think again!  As children, we were taught that we have to earn Heaven.  We earn Heaven by loving and serving God as well as by avoiding sin.  If we slip up and commit sin, God in His goodness and mercy has established the Sacrament of Penance.  The sin is forgiven, but in God’s justice, there is temporal punishment still due for the sin.  This debt of punishment must be paid before a person can enter Heaven, and this can be accomplished, in part, through prayers that grant indulgences.

What is an indulgence? 

An indulgence is an extra-sacramental remission of the temporal punishment due, in God’s justice, to sin that has been forgiven, which remission is granted by the Church in the exercise of the power of the keys, through the supplication of the superabundant merits of Christ and of the saints, and for some just and reasonable motive.[1]

A partial indulgence commutes only a certain portion of the penalty; and this portion is determined in accordance with the penitential discipline of the early Church.

To say that an indulgence of so many days or years is granted means that it cancels an amount of purgatorial punishment equivalent to that which would have been remitted, in the sight of God, by the performance of so many days or years of the ancient canonical penance.  Here, evidently, the reckoning makes no claim to absolute exactness; it has only a relative value.  God alone knows what penalty remains to be paid and what its precise amount is in severity and duration. 

Finally, some indulgences are granted on behalf of the living only, while others may be applied on behalf of the souls departed.  It should be noted, however, that the application has not the same significance in both cases.  The Church, in granting an indulgence to the living, exercises her jurisdiction; over the dead she has no jurisdiction and therefore makes the indulgence available for them by way of suffrage (per modum suffragii), i.e., she petitions God to accept these works of satisfaction, and in consideration thereof to mitigate or shorten the sufferings of the souls in Purgatory.[2] 

Following is the remarkable prayer that Pope Eugenius III, at the earnest request of St. Bernard, has granted three thousand years (!) indulgence to all who with a contrite heart, recite the Lord’s Prayer and Hail Mary 3 times, in honor of the Wound of the Shoulder of Our Blessed Redeemer.

The Prayer

O Loving Jesus, meek Lamb of God, I a miserable sinner, salute and worship the most Sacred Wound of Thy Shoulder, on which Thou didst bear Thy heavy Cross, which so tore Thy Flesh and laid bare Thy Bones as to inflict on Thee an anguish greater than any other Wound of Thy Most Blessed Body.  I adore Thee, O Jesus most sorrowful; I praise and glorify Thee and give Thee thanks for this most sacred and painful Wound,  beseeching Thee by that exceeding pain and by the crushing burden of Thy heavy Cross to be merciful to me, a sinner, to forgive me all my mortal and venial sins, and to lead me on towards Heaven along the Way of Thy Cross.  Amen.[3]

If this prayer was said each day for years, your time in Purgatory would be considerably shortened, due to the mercy and goodness of our Creator. 

There are many other prayers that have indulgences attached that would help even further – especially those with a Plenary Indulgence.  A Plenary Indulgence is one that obtains a complete remission of all temporal punishment due for sins.  Since we need all the help we can get to save our souls, this is an extraordinary mercy that God offers us.  However, to obtain a plenary indulgence, we usually must pray for the intentions of the pope.  One might ask how we can do that, without compromise, when the pope has many bad intentions?  For example, Pope Francis uses his monthly prayer intentions to promote his politically-correct climate alarmism, which is a basis for his promotion of a one-world government to regulate the ecology of the world and of the oceans in particular.

However, despite Pope Francis’s own bad intentions, there are always some good intentions which are automatically included in the intentions of the pope.  God wants us to pray for these Traditional Catholic intentions of the pope, but of course, not pray for any evil intentions.  Thus, it would be a good thing for you to make your intent explicit – for yourself and for others – by stating that you are praying for the Traditional intentions of the pope, thereby reminding yourself and others that you reject his evil and radical intentions.  The Traditional intentions of the pope are these six: 

  1. The Exaltation of the Church;
  2. The Propagation of the Faith;
  3. The Extirpation of Heresy;
  4. The Conversion of Sinners;
  5. The Concord between Christian Princes; and
  6. The Further Welfare of the Christian People.

Another condition of gaining the plenary indulgence is going to Confession and receiving Holy Communion.  That, of course, is a proviso that all of us have fulfilled for years (never dreaming that there might come a time when this was not possible).  How then can we gain a plenary indulgence without access to uncompromising priests and Sacraments?  Should uncompromising Traditional Catholics even “bother” praying for the Traditional intentions of the pope to obtain a plenary indulgence, when, in our times of Great Apostasy, there is little or no opportunity to fulfill the other usual conditions, viz., going to confession and receiving Holy Communion?

The answer is "yes"!

God understands that we cannot do the impossible, nor does He expect us to.  He does not expect, nor want us to, receive the sacraments or go to Mass when it is not available without compromise.  Compromise Masses and Sacraments don’t help us and they offend God.

One way that God is able to provide for us is to give us a plenary indulgence when we piously and diligently fulfill the conditions as closely as we can.  God can treat this as if it were literal compliance with the usual conditions obtaining a plenary indulgence.  Thus:

  When confession is not available without compromise, then God expects us to make an Act of Contrition as perfectly as we can.

  When we cannot receive Holy Communion without compromise, He expects us to make as fervent a Spiritual Communion as we can.

Let us have a strong heart and complete confidence in God!  Let us always be sure that God is providing perfectly for us.

Let us continue to fulfill the conditions for obtaining plenary indulgences to the extent that we are able, knowing that God provides for us.

[1]           Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. 7, article title: Indulgences, The Gilmary Society, New York, 1910, p. 783.        

[2]           Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. 7, article title: What an Indulgence is, The Gilmary Society, New York, 1910, p. 783-4.

[3]           Published by Our Lady of the Rosary Library, 4016 Preston Hwy, Louisville, KY, 40213, Imprimatur: Thomas D. Beven, Bishop of Springfield, Ma.

Lesson #35 About the Temperaments – An Introduction

Philosophy Notes

Mary’s School of Sanctity

Lesson #34  About the Temperaments – An Introduction

There are many things one can say about the subject of temperaments.  In the next series of lessons, we will be investigating this topic.  We will set about probing the following questions:

1.    What is the definition of temperament?

2.    What is the definition of character?


3.    What is the definition of personality?

4.    Why do we bother learning about temperaments?

a.    Because we can know ourselves better by knowing our own temperament.

b.    Because the knowledge of temperaments can help us understand others    better and, thus, improve our relationships with other people.

5.    Can knowing one’s own temperament help a person with the work he must do for his salvation?


a.    Yes, because one can see the typical strengths and weaknesses of his temperament and thus, he can see how to foster the strengths of his temperament in order to overcome his weaknesses.

b.    Yes, because a person’s temperament will incline him to view spirituality in a particular way.


6.    Can understanding the temperaments help parents and others in positions of authority guide those in their care?

a.    Yes, understanding the temperaments can help superiors see the best way to deal with those in their care.

b.    Yes, superiors can teach those in their care about the temperaments and help them to understand how to use strengths to overcome weaknesses.

7.    Can understanding the temperaments help spouses live more harmoniously together?

a.    Yes, the couple can get along better by knowing how the particular temperaments interact with each other.

b.    Yes, the couple can also strategize better in the raising of their children by observing and studying the temperaments of their children.

8.    Can understanding the temperaments help a young adult find a more compatible spouse?

a.    Yes, because the young adult will be able to find out what temperament might best suit his/her own.

b.    Yes, knowing the temperaments will help the young adult see how crucial it is to find a compatible spouse and one who is working with the strengths of his/her temperament to overcome the weaknesses of that temperament. 

Getting started – 1) What is the definition of temperament?

We learn in our catechism that man is composed of body and soul.  The body is made of matter and the soul is spiritual.  Each human souls are created like every other one, although each soul is a separate creation of God.  At conception, when the parts of matter are united, God creates the soul which informs that particular matter.  Therefore, souls are individualized by the matter in which they are placed.  Each person has a separate soul in separate matter.

With this information in mind, we can begin our investigation of the matter which distinguishes persons[1] and determines a person’s temperament.  This matter is genetic and so our temperaments are derived from the genetic code which we inherit from our parents.  Each temperament has a typical set of traits. 

The word temperament comes from the Latin word temperamentum, meaning “a mixing in due proportion” and this word in turn comes from the Latin word tempare, meaning “to combine or mingle in due proportion.”  Temperament refers to “the peculiar physical and mental character of an individual, as the sanguine, phlegmatic, choleric (or bilious), or melancholic temperament, denoted types formerly believed to be due the preponderance of one or the other of these humors; Frame of mind or type of mental reactions characteristic of an individual”.[2]  

The humors referred to here are “In old physiology, a fluid or juice, especially one of the four fluids—blood, phlegm, choler (yellow bile), and melancholy (black bile)—conceived as disposition or state of mind; mood.”[3]

Hence, it is with reference to these four bodily humors that there springs the idea of the four basic temperaments listed below:

Sanguine –very generous, giving all [characterized by having an abundant circulation of blood; warm; ardent; disposed to be hopeful; anticipating the best.

Melancholic [melas-anos, black + chole, gall, bile] a thick, dark, acrid bile formerly imagined to be a secretion of the kidneys or spleen, and the cause of gloominess, irascibility, or mental dejection, later, extreme depression of spirits, painful delusions, or brooding [Sadness].

Choleric [characterized by choler or bile] hot-tempered, easily angered or irritated, also angry.

Phlegmatic [one of the four “humors” of early physiology.] It was supposed to be cold and moist, and to cause sluggishness.  Sluggishness of temperament; apathy; calmness, equanimity.[4]

There are various schools of thought of how these humors actually influence our bodies and determine what temperament we each have.  Nevertheless, these humors can be thought of as follows:

Fourfold classification seems fairly to represent certain markedly contrasted types of disposition, though they leave room for subdivision and intermediate forms. Moreover, though scientists are still far from being agreed as to the precise elements in the organism on which the temperament depends, the fact that different forms of temperament have an organic basis seems certain.  The transmission from parent to offspring of hereditary dispositions, therefore, involves no conflict with the doctrine of the creation of each human soul.[5]

2) What is the definition of character?

The Catholic Encyclopedia discusses character as follows:

Although our original temperament is thus given to us independently of our will, we ourselves play an important part in the molding of our character, and we thus become responsible for certain ethical qualities in it.  Character has been defined as “a completely fashioned will.”  It would be more accurate to say that character is “natural temperament completely fashioned by our will.”  It is in fact, a resultant of the combination of our acquired habits with our original disposition [temperament] ….

Among the acquired elements to which the building up of character may be distinguished are those pertaining to cognition, whether sensuous or intellectual, and those belonging to the emotional and volitional activities of the soul.  Exercise strengthens the power and widens the range of each faculty, creating, not uncommonly, a craving for further exercise in the same direction.  The regular use of the intellect, the reflection, contributes to the formation of habits of mind more or less thoughtful and refined. The frequent indulgence in particular forms of emotion, such as anger, envy, sympathy, melancholy, fear, and the like fosters tendencies towards these sentiments which give a subconscious bent to a large part of man’s behavior.  But finally, the exercise of the will plays the predominant part in molding the type of character which is being formed.   The manner and degree in which currents of thought and waves of emotion are initiated, guided, and controlled by the will, or allowed to follow the course of spontaneous impulse, has not less effect in determining the resultant type of character than the quality of the thoughts or emotions themselves.  The life of the lower animal is entirely ruled by instinct within, and by accidental circumstances from without.   It is therefore incapable of acquiring a character.  Man, through the awakening of reason and the growth of reflection, by the exercise of deliberate choice against the movements of impulse, gradually develops self-control; and it is by the exercise of this power that moral character is especially formed.  Character is in fact the outcome of a series of volitions, and it is for this reason we are responsible for our characters, as we are for the individual habits which go to constitute them [viz., characters].[6]

3) What is the definition of personality?

Personality is: 1) Quality or state of being personal, or of being a person; personal existence or identity. 2) Quality of referring directly to an individual. 3) Distinction or excellence of personal and social traits.[7]

Personality also applies to the aggregate of qualities which distinguish an individual, but the term differs from character in that it implies his [the individual’s] being distinguished as a person rather than as a moral being.   In general, personality may be said to be revealed in unconscious as well as in conscious acts or movements, in physical and emotional as well as in mental and moral behavior, and especially, in a person’s relations to others; thus, one may know very little about the character of an acquaintance, yet have a very definite idea of his personality.   Therefore, personality is qualified as not as good, bad, or the like, but by an adjective implying the extent to which it pleases, displeases, or otherwise impresses the observer.  …Hence, personality often distinctively means personal magnetism or charm.[8] 

Now that we have made the necessary distinctions concerning these three words, that is, temperament, character, and personality, let us briefly consider our 4th question from above.

4) Why do we bother learning about temperaments?

    a) Because we can know ourselves better by knowing our own temperament.

     b) Because the knowledge of temperaments can help us understand others    better and thus improve our relationships with our neighbors.

With our fallen human nature, we are not inclined to want to know ourselves better. We have a kind of fear to see our defects, but self-knowledge has been spoken of by the saints repeatedly as being a very crucial part of our salvation and sanctification.  Acquiring self-knowledge is worth all the efforts one can make—especially because it helps us obtain humility.  Self-knowledge of the inclinations found in our temperament and knowledge of the tendencies of other people help us to avoid misjudging others.  In addition to this favorable result, we can make more allowances for others and also be more forgiving of others. 

So, let’s set about getting to know ourselves.

We have given the classes or types of temperaments that are most commonly spoken of.  Of course, there have been many who have studied the temperaments and have tried to classify them into more subdivisions with different names.  Each of us has a primary temperament and a secondary one.  In other words, we are usually a combination of two temperaments with one of them being predominant in us and the other one a clear second. What percentage is our predominant temperament?  We will need to study all four temperaments in order to discover our combination.

In upcoming Lessons concerning temperaments:

We will be discussing each of the four historically accepted temperaments incorporating the list of queries noted above.  We will likewise endeavor to give the spiritual difficulties that each temperament has as well as its positive spiritual traits. We will discuss the typical combinations found of the four types of temperaments.  In this way we can improve our interactions with others, discover our own temperament if we do not already know it, and assist ourselves in our life’s work, namely, the salvation or our souls.  After treating each of the four temperaments we will supply a couple of comparative charts so all the temperaments can be viewed side by side for analysis and a better understanding of how they interact.


[1]           St. Thomas defines a person as an individual substance of an intellectual nature.  Therefore, only humans and angels can properly be called persons.  The Divine Persons have a different definition unique to the Essence of the Trinity, and these Persons are not being discussed here.

[2]           This definition is taken from the Merriam-Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary, copyright 1949.

[3]           All four of these definitions are taken from the Merriam-Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary, copyright 1949.

[4]           These definitions are taken from the Merriam-Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary, copyright 1949.


[5]           Taken from the Catholic Encyclopedia, 1913 edition, under the article entitled Character.

[6]           Taken from the Catholic Encyclopedia, 1913 edition, from the article entitled Character, (bold added for emphasis; bracketed words added for clarity).

[7]           These definitions are taken from the Merriam-Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary copyright 1949.

[8]           This quote is taken from Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary of Synonyms copyright 1951, found under disposition.

Marriage and Purity under Satanic Attack

Marriage is under Attack

In past articles, Catholic Candle has shown how Satan, Marx, and the feminists are anti-marriage and anti-family.[1]  These evil forces even admit their hostility to marriage and family.[2]  There are many reasons for their hostility.  For example, they hate marriage and the family because they hate the Natural Law.[3]

Another reason Marxists and feminists seek to destroy marriage and the family, is because this destruction results in discontented and angry “apostles” for the leftist causes.  The Marxists and feminists can get those “apostles” to protest, to march in the street, and in other ways be useful tools of the ongoing cultural and political revolution.[4]

By contrast, spouses who are living the life that God and Nature intended them to lead, and who are raising stable families, are too contented with their lives and too busy with their important life’s work to spend a lot of time at rallies and “community organizing”, etc

A third reason that the Marxists and feminist leaders attack marriage and the family, is that married voters – especially those with children – are more likely to vote Republican.[5]  This is true both of men and women, including all minority voters.[6]  These voters, including blacks, incline toward the standard Republican agenda, such as wanting greater police presence in their neighborhoods.[7]  In fact, one of the best predictors of what political party a person will vote for, is whether he/she is married.[8] 

In God’s wonderful Providence, marriage and raising children are incredibly helpful for instilling self-sacrifice and conservatism in parents.  Motivated by their natural love for their children, parents are moved to willingly sacrifice themselves in countless ways for their children. 

For example, they are motivated by love for their children to avoid bad language and scandalous deeds (which those parents might otherwise commit) for fear that their children would witness the sin or learn about it later.  In a marvelous way, marriage and children make adults more serious and responsible.  Based on our decades of seeing this happen in parents, we think it is clear that there would be far fewer laymen in heaven were it not for this wholesome and strong effect that marriage and children have on the spouses’ characters.

It is no wonder that, under the Natural Law, marriage is the “universal” vocation because it not only prepares the next generation for adulthood, but also is a spectacular school of virtue and character development for the parents as well.  Perhaps this help to the virtue of the parents is the greatest blessing of marriage and greater even than the good they do for their children!

Obviously, these truths (above) certainly do not mean that all parents are straight-to-heaven saints.  Far from it!  But there is a general improvement of the souls of the parents in most cases.  Sometimes this improvement is very great.  Regardless, marriage is a great blessing from God for time and for eternity – and the Marxists and feminists hate it and attack marriage as “patriarchal”.

For example, feminist leader, Germaine Greer, asserted that, after they achieve their goal of destroying the enemy (which she identifies as the “patriarchal family”), the state will wither away into a Marxist paradise.  Here are her words:

Women’s liberation, if it abolishes the patriarchal family, will abolish a necessary substructure of the authoritarian state, and once that withers away Marx will have come true willy-nilly, so let’s get on with it.[9]

This Marxist and feminist hatred for marriage has resulted in their very longstanding and effective attack on marriage.  One of the Catholic Candle team has taken a daily commuter train for more than 35 years.  One sign that he has noticed of the effective attack on marriage, is the plummeting number of persons wearing wedding rings.  In the 1990s, among the women whom he saw on the train during this daily commute, roughly 3 in 4 of them wore wedding rings.  Now, roughly 1 in 15 wears one – roughly a 90% decrease in wedding rings! 

Purity is under Attack

The holy and beautiful Virtue of Purity goes “hand-in-hand” with marriage.  So, Satan, the Marxists, and the feminists not only hate marriage and but also hate purity.[10]  This is obvious to anyone who takes the briefest look at modern society.  We see that the enemies of Our Lord have succeeded amazingly well in their attacks on purity (as well as everything else which is True and Good).

·         We see the promiscuous attire most women wear.[11] 

·         We see the most putrid “entertainment” all around society which constantly promotes lust even more than all of the other deadly sins.


·         We see the foulest impure language is commonplace in society.[12] 

It is amazing how fully impurity has forced its way into every corner of society!

The feminists brand their enemies as “patriarchal” and so, they attack both marriage and purity as “patriarchal”.    

Thus, the feminist (and Marxist) mouthpiece, Planned Parenthood, has been attacking virginity as “patriarchal”.  Here are Planned Parenthood’s words in one such attack:

The idea of virginity comes from outdated – let’s be real, patriarchal – ways of thinking that hurts [sic] everyone.[13]

Further, Planned Parenthood tweeted a picture of one of its billboards (shown below):

Featured Image

Planned Parenthood (@PPFA) published this picture of its billboard at this link: https://twitter.com/PPFA/status/1674462837425446912https://t.co/QYmNbEZzbw

Let us reflect on what Planned Parenthood is saying in this billboard.

A social construct is defined as:

A complex concept or practice shared by a society or group, not arising from any natural or innate source but built on the assumptions upheld, usually tacitly, by its members.[14]

We see that feminist/leftist Planned Parenthood is promoting the idea that there is no good reason why a woman or girl should not be promiscuous.  This is the feminist and Marxist position that refraining from a dissolute and wanton life of impurity is merely based on assumptions arising from patriarchy (which the feminists hold to be always evil).[15]

The devil and his minions know that sins of the flesh are fallen man’s greatest weakness.  He falls easily into these sins and they “rot” his soul.  This is why Our Lady stated at Fatima that more people go to hell because of sins of the flesh than any other kind of sin.

With impurity everywhere and with mankind so thoroughly imbued with moral decay, society becomes completely unable to resist the ongoing leftist revolution – just as a tree would be unable to resist the force of the wind after that tree has become thoroughly rotten to its core.

These are the conditions of the exceedingly degraded world we live in.  But God has allowed this demonic filth and it is part of the prelude to the coming of the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.  Our Lady prophesied at Quito, Ecuador, that she will completely triumph.  However, she added that her triumph will only occur when all seems hopeless.  Here are her words:

When everything will seem lost and paralyzed, that will be the happy beginning of the complete Restoration. This will mark the arrival of My hour, when I, in a marvelous way, will dethrone the proud and cursed Satan, trampling him under My feet and chaining him in the infernal abyss.[16]

We seem to be approaching that time “when everything will seem lost and paralyzed”, when Our Lady’s Immaculate Heart will then triumph.  Of course, we don’t know exactly when this will occur but let us pray for this triumph.

Meanwhile, even Our Lord’s enemies can unintentionally work our Good and our Salvation if we respond to their evils in the way which God intends us to respond.  Everything, including these traps and assaults of the Devil, work together unto the good, for those who love God”.  Romans, 8:28.

Let us firmly avoid unnecessary occasions of sin, particularly of impurity, and let us fight strongly against those occasions of the sin of impurity which we cannot avoid.  This fight is necessary for holiness and for our friendship with God.  Let us remember that:

Religion clean and undefiled before God and the Father, is this:  to visit the fatherless and widows in their tribulation:  and to keep one’s self unspotted from this world.

St. James, 1:27 (emphasis added).

With strong hearts, let us fight for Christ the King and against His enemies!

[7]           See, e.g., Black Americans Want Police to Retain Local Presence, the Gallup Poll dated August 5, 2020, in which the majority of blacks said they wanted a greater police presence in their neighborhoods, not a smaller one.  Of course, this does not fit with the leftist agenda so it is not mentioned by the mainstream media.  This poll can be found here: https://news.gallup.com/poll/316571/black-americans-police-retain-local-presence.aspx


[10]         Two of the Communist’s 45 Goals which have been thoroughly fulfilled, are:

25. Break down cultural standards of morality by promoting pornography and obscenity in books, magazines, motion pictures, radio, and TV.

26. Present homosexuality, degeneracy and promiscuity as “normal, natural, and healthy.”

These two goals are among the 45 communist goals which are published in:

§  The 1963 Congressional Record – Appendix, pp. A34-A35, Current Communist Goals, Extension of Remarks of Hon. A. S. Herlong, Jr. of Florida in the House of Representatives, Thursday, January 10, 1963; and

§  The Naked Communist, p. 261, a 1962 book by a former FBI agent and communism expert, W. Cleon Skousen, based on the best sources and best FBI intelligence during its investigation of communist infiltration into the United States.  President Ronald Reagan praised Skousen, saying: “No one is better qualified to discuss the threat to this nation from communism.”

Seeing every country’s seemingly total subversion – including through impurity – reminds us that Our Lady foretold that “every country, without exception, will be overcome by Communism”.  Our Lady of Fatima, by William Thomas Walsh, Doubleday, © 1954, p.229 (emphasis added).

[11]         For an analysis of the Catholic standard of modesty, read these articles:


v  Women should Wear Dresses and Skirts, Not Pants: https://catholiccandle.org/2024/03/21/women-should-wear-dresses-and-skirts-not-pants-2/


v  Mary-like Neckline Modesty: https://catholiccandle.org/2023/05/21/marylike-neckline-modesty/


[12]         Read about the crucial importance of pure and upright speech here: https://catholiccandle.neocities.org/faith/sins-caused-by-obscene-speech


[13]         Here is where you can read Planned Parenthood’s words on its twitter feed: Planned Parenthood (@PPFA): https://twitter.com/PPFA/status/1674462837425446912


[14]         https://www.dictionary.com/browse/social-construct (emphasis added).

[15]         Read this article about the feminists’ attack on patriarchy: https://catholiccandle.org/2022/12/18/how-to-fight-feminism-part-ii/


[16]         Words of Our Lady of Quito, Ecuador, in 1634, to Mother Marianna de Jesus.

Leftist Destruction of Fatherhood Causes Sons to Be Failures

Catholic Candle note: This is a companion article to Catholic Candle’s article on the role and glory of womanhood.  This article is available here: https://catholiccandle.org/2019/12/02/the-role-and-work-that-god-gave-to-woman/

The article below can also be viewed as a companion article to the ones concerning the leftist attack on motherhood.  You can read these articles here: https://catholiccandle.org/2022/08/26/the-feminist-program-is-the-same-as-that-of-satan-and-marx-part-vii/

Leftist Destruction of Fatherhood in Families Causes Sons to Be “Dad-Deprived” Failures

The leftist revolution is focused on destroying fatherhood.  One of the key reasons Marxists and feminists want to destroy the family is in order to destroy paternity and paternal authority.  No matter what else the leftists do, their revolution would fail if society were full of strong fathers fulfilling their duties of state.

The Marxists and feminists follow their founder and leader, Satan, attacking paternity because they hate God, Who is the Creator and Model of all fatherhood and “from Whom all fatherhood in heaven and on earth receives its name”.  Ephesians, 3:14-15. 

Also, paternity is part of the Natural Law.  The feminists and Marxists hate paternity because they hate the Natural Law.[1]

Further, in order to enhance the power of the government (which is increasingly controlled by them), the enemies of Our Lord Jesus Christ want to destroy the basic “building block” of society (viz., the family) and substitute the individual in its place.  If society were founded on the individual instead of the family, then there would be no familial society to nurture the children and to be a haven of security and assistance for the members of the family.  This arrangement is like the one in communist countries, where they have “free” state-sponsored “child care” to minimize the influence of parents and families and to increase the role and influence of the state.

Under this arrangement, everyone who needs help of any type (especially the children) would have to depend on the government.  Along with destroying the family, the leftists also subvert, weaken, or destroy other non-governmental institutions such as the Human Element of the Church and non-government schools).  So, this on-going, leftists’ attack is made against the family and, secondarily, against other non-government institutions, in order to break down society’s mutual bonds and to make everyone depend more on the government, giving the government the power to increasingly control everything.

This attack on patriarchy and the family has been Satan’s plan for centuries but is succeeding much more fully now.  We see this plan sometimes stated openly.  For example, Cambacérès, the French revolutionary[2] and legislator, declared that:

Paternal power no longer exists.  A man should not have direct power over another, even if it be his own child.[3] 

This plan of Satan and his servants then, is that without fatherhood, only the government would have power over people.

Similarly, the French socialist, Benoît Malon, attacked fatherhood in these words: 

What must happen is to completely abolish the authority of the father and his almost royal power in the family.  In effect, equality only will be perfect if this is achieved.  Aren’t the children of as great a value as the parents?  By what right do the latter command the former?  Enough of obedience! Enough of inequality![4]

It is obvious under whose banner Benoît Malon (and the other enemies of Our Lord) are marching when they declare: “Enough of obedience!”  This declaration is another way of voicing their leader’s battle cry: “Non serviam!”

Benoît Malon and the other leftists have learned from Satan to also echo his words: “Enough of inequality!”  This malicious temptation comes from the original one who sewed discontent, who told Eve that God was trying to keep her from becoming equal with Him:

For God doth know that in what day soever you shall eat thereof, your eyes shall be opened: and you shall be as gods.

Genesis, 3:5.

In fact, inequality is crucial to the proper order in everything.  Here is St. Thomas Aquinas’ explanation of this fundamental truth:

It must be said that as the wisdom of God is the cause of the distinction of things, so the same wisdom is the cause of their inequality.[5]

So, to the extent that the leftists destroy fatherhood in society, they destroy the family and the children, especially the sons.  One way the boys are destroyed is by not learning discipline and manly virtue from their father.

Dad-Deprived Boys Are More Likely to be Criminals.

Not only do the leftists successfully destabilize society by destroying the family, but they are also destabilizing society through the young criminals who are turned loose on society after growing up in dysfunctional families. 

Marxist revolutionaries know that marauding criminals destroy society’s peace and stability.  That is why one of the first things such revolutionaries do (when they are beginning to gain control) is to open the prisons and free the criminals.[6]   

One of the crucial harms resulting from the destruction of the family as an institution, is that boys are Dad-deprived.  The number of boys growing up without their fathers has almost doubled since 1960 (from 17% to 32%).[7] 

Those boys who don’t live with their fathers are about 50% more likely to be arrested by age 19 and more than twice as likely to be arrested by age 34.[8]

This connection (viz., between the father being present in the family home and the decreased likelihood of the sons going to prison) remains strong and statistically significant even after accounting for family income, race, maternal education, and age.[9]

It is striking that the most common aspect of a mass-shooter’s profile (besides that he is male) is that he was dad-deprived – i.e., he lacked a father figure in his life.[10]

To take just three infamous examples:

  Stephen Paddock, who killed 58 in a mass shooting in Las Vegas in 2017, had a father who was imprisoned and had little contact with his son. 

  Adam Lanza, (Newtown, Connecticut in 2012), who murdered 26 people, did not often see his father, who was divorced from his mother.[11]


  Patrick Wood Crusius (El Paso Walmart on August 3, 2019) who murdered 23 people, had a father who was divorced from his mother when he was three years old.[12]

Of course, there are many higher, more hidden ways in which fathers are crucial to a family.  But this increased criminality of boys who are raised without their fathers, shows one dramatic type of loss to those families and society.

Without Their Fathers at Home, Boys are More Likely to Be Failures in Other Ways, Too.

There are many ways in which the father of a family has an irreplaceable role, as shown by the Natural Law and the Catholic Faith.  (Of course, the mother’s role is crucial too, but in an irreplaceably different way.)  Above, we saw that when the father lives with his family, his sons are more likely to stay out of trouble and avoid becoming criminals.

When, however, the father lives with his family, the family will also (statistically) have a larger income and more assets.[13]  This adds stability to a family.

Of course, there are more important things than more money, which are involved in growing up.  It is important for those sons to “make something of themselves”.  Sons who “drift” through life are on the path of failure rather than accomplishment.

But young men who are raised in a home with their father are more than two times as likely to graduate college by their late-20s, compared to those who grow up in families without their father (35% vs. 14%).[14]  See the graph of this data below.[15] 

This disparity and that benefit of the father’s presence is true regardless of race and family income (i.e., “controlling” for those factors).[16]  Further, this is statistically true even though many fathers do a poor job of fulfilling their paternal responsibilities.

A college degree is not the only way to see that a young man has some employment success and does not become a derelict.  As an alternative to the college route, a young man can live a productive life by getting a high school diploma and then holding a full-time job.

If the young man grew up in a home without his father present, that young man is almost twice as likely to live an idle life (i.e., having neither a job nor being in school) in his mid-twenties as compared to the boy who grew up in a home which includes his father.[17]  This disparity and that benefit of the father’s presence is true regardless of race and family income (i.e., “controlling” for those factors).[18]  See the graph below.[19]

We see that the family is a natural institution and has an essential need for its father.  This is a reflection of the perfect wisdom of God and the Natural Law!  He made the family to have a father as its head and a mother as its heart.  That is how the family ever was, how it is, and how it will be until the end of the world. 

It is crucial that boys are raised by their fathers and are taught by their fathers how to be men and how to live lives of sacrifice and virtue.  They must learn how to spend their lives fulfilling their manly role and responsibilities, how to fight in the Church Militant for Christ the King and against His enemies!

Those who reject God’s Plan are rejecting reality.  They are part of the wreckage which litters the history of mankind, and, if they continue on this path of failure, they will become desolate souls buried in the tomb of hell.

[1]           The Natural Law is what we know we must do, say, and think, by the light of the natural reason God gave us.  One example of the Natural Law is that we must never tell a lie.  We naturally know this because we know that the purpose of speech is to convey the truth and so we naturally know that telling a lie is abusing the purpose of speech. 

Here is how St. Thomas explains what the Natural Law is:

[L]aw, being a rule and measure, can be in a person in two ways: in one way, as in him that rules and measures; in another way, as in that which is ruled and measured, since a thing is ruled and measured, in so far as it partakes of the rule or measure.  Wherefore, since all things subject to Divine providence are ruled and measured by the eternal law, as was stated above [in Summa, Ia IIae, Q.91, a.1]; it is evident that all things partake somewhat of the eternal law, in so far as, namely, from its being imprinted on them, they derive their respective inclinations to their proper acts and ends.  Now among all others, the rational creature is subject to Divine providence in the most excellent way, in so far as it partakes of a share of providence, by being provident both for itself and for others.  Wherefore it has a share of the Eternal Reason, whereby it has a natural inclination to its proper act and end: and this participation of the eternal law in the rational creature is called the natural law.  Hence the Psalmist after saying (Psalm 4:6): "Offer up the sacrifice of justice," as though someone asked what the works of justice are, adds: "Many say, Who showeth us good things?" in answer to which question he says: "The light of Thy countenance, O Lord, is signed upon us": thus implying that the light of natural reason, whereby we discern what is good and what is evil, which is the function of the natural law, is nothing else than an imprint on us of the Divine light.  It is therefore evident that the natural law is nothing else than the rational creature’s participation in the eternal law.

Summa, Ia IIae, Q.91, a.2, respondeo.

[4]           Quoting Malon from his book Le Socialisme Intégral, as quoted in The Authority of the Father, by Msgr. Henri Delassus, found here:   https://www.traditioninaction.org/Cultural/B002cpFathers_deLassus.htm  (emphasis added).

[5]           Summa, Ia, Q.47, a.2 respondeo (emphasis added).

[6]           In his warning about the ongoing Marxist takeover of the U.S., KGB defector Yuri Bezmenov taught that the Marxists have four phases to their takeover of a nation (in this case, the U.S.):

  The first phase is called demoralization (that is the translation of the Russian word).  It involves the ideological brainwashing of an entire generation of people.  This includes moral corruption.  Bezmenov holds (correctly, we think), that this phase is sufficiently accomplished (although in the U.S., conditions continue to worsen).

  The second phase is called destabilization (again, that is the translation of a Russian word).  It consists of stirring up severe societal problems in the target country to create a crisis.  We are now in this stage.

  The third state is the crisis (likewise, that is the translation of a Russian word).  Bezmenov explains that this is a short period in which society experiences a sudden emergency which the Marxists take advantage of, to either seize full control of the country by force or they are invited (as a “savior”) to exercise control of the country because the people are so desperate for peace and stability and to end the great crisis.

  The fourth stage is called normalization (that is the translation of a Russian word).  This is where Marxists “stabilize” the nation, under their control.  This stabilization results from the iron fist of the totalitarian regime having full control of society causing everything to be quiet.  China has been “stable” like this for most of the last decades.

The above summary of Bezmenov’s presentation of this Marxist plan can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IQPsKvG6WMI

[10]         https://www.theepochtimes.com/mkt_morningbrief/most-mass-shooters-dad-deprived-males-author-warren-farrell_3786721.html

Another key factor in mass-shootings is that so many of these mass-shooters are on “attitude adjusters”, i.e., psychotropic drugs for their “psychological problems”.  See, e.g. these analyses here:



In St. Thomas Aquinas’ Commentary on Aristotle’s Treatise on the Soul (“De Anima”), St. Thomas shows the truth that, aside from (unusual) medical problems in the brain as a bodily organ which are caused by disease or physical trauma, what people need, who have “psychological” problems, is wise advice, sometimes over a prolonged period, about how to change their thinking about life and what moral choices they should make. 


Thus, what is needed by people who have “psychological” problems is not someone with a particular academic degree or license but rather an advisor who has the virtue of Prudence, the Gift of the Holy Ghost which is called “Counsel”, and the other virtues and Gifts of the Holy Ghost.

[13]         For example, in a Newsweek article, citing U.S. Census data, it states:

Married mothers, ages 18-55, have a mean household income of $133,000, compared to $79,000 for childless, single women, 18-55 ….


Words to Live by – from Catholic Tradition

We must Show Ourselves to be Valiant Members of the Church Militant And Not Cowards and Quitters.

The teaching of the Mystical Doctor, St. John of the Cross:

Though the path is plain and smooth for people of good will, those who walk it will not travel far, and will do so only with difficulty if they do not have good feet, courage, and tenacity of spirit.

St. John of the Cross, Saying of Light and Love, #3 (emphasis added).

CC in brief — May 2024

Catholic Candle note: Catholic Candle normally examines particular issues thoroughly, at length, using the teachings of St. Thomas Aquinas and the other Doctors of the Church.  By contrast, our feature CC in Brief, usually gives an extremely short answer to a reader’s question.  We invite readers to submit their own questions.

Q.        Is it permissible for a priest to receive conditional ordination even though he himself has no doubts about the validity of his earlier ordination?

A.        Anytime there is even the smallest reasonable doubt about the validity of a priest’s ordination, he should be conditionally ordained.[1]

When a priest’s ordination is doubtful, that ordination should be treated as invalid.  This is the whole point of conditional ordination.  If a doubtful ordination were treated as valid, then there would never be a reason for a conditional ordination.

However, this smallest doubt (which requires conditional ordination), must be a real, (i.e., an affirmative) doubt.  In other words, there must be a reason to doubt the validity of the ordination. 

A doubt for no reason at all, that is, a wholly negative doubt (“dubium est mere negativum”), is not sufficient to require or even allow conditional ordination.[2]  Such a negative doubt is “entirely imprudent and empty” (“omnino imprudens atque inane”).[3]

Thus, the Catholic Church’s test for determining the need for conditional ordination, is whether there is the smallest real reason to doubt, but (of course) excluding any doubt for no reason at all.

Some priests who received an earlier conciliar “ordination” before coming to tradition, subsequently received a traditional conditional ordination but they have claimed that they themselves had no doubt about the validity of their own prior ordination but received conditional ordination only because some laymen had doubted the prior ordination.

However, in the case where an ordination was really free from even the smallest reasonable doubt, then receiving even a conditional ordination would be a sacrilege.

Further, consider this: if a validly-ordained priest were permitted to receive conditional ordination anyway, without committing sacrilege, then what is the limiting principle?  Would he be permitted to receive conditional ordinations after having already received 100 prior conditional ordinations, simply because some other people continued to have unreasonable doubts about his ordination?  The answer is obviously “no”. 

Therefore, it is clear that a doubt concerning a prior ordination must be a reasonable doubt, at least a small one.  Any doubt which is “entirely imprudent and empty” is not enough to allow conditional ordination regardless of how many people hold such an empty, unreasonable doubt.

Catholic Candle

For further information about the inherent doubtfulness of the conciliar “ordination” rite, read these analyses:



For further information about the doubtfulness of the conciliar “consecration” rite, read this analysis:



[1]           See, e.g., Outlines of Dogmatic Theology, Hunter, S.J., Benziger Bros., 1896, vol. 3, p. 219 (requiring conditional ordination wherever there is even the “smallest doubt” about the validity of the ordination).  Cf., Denzinger 1151 (Condemnation by Pope Innocent XI in 1679 of those accepting probably-valid sacraments and not taking the safer course).

[2]           See, H. Nolin, S.J., Summa Theologiae Moralis, Oeniponte, 1920, vol. III, p.27.

[3]           See, H. Nolin, S.J., Summa Theologiae Moralis, Oeniponte, 1920, vol. III, p.27.