CC in brief — November 2023

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, gives an extremely short answer to a reader’s question.  We invite readers to submit their own questions.

CC in Brief

Pallbearers at Compromise Funerals

Q:        Can a faithful and informed Catholic be a pallbearer at a funeral taking place at a church of the “new” SSPX (or a different compromise group or priest)?

A:        No.  Some of the men of the Catholic Candle Team have been asked to be pallbearers for funerals conducted in the chapels of a compromise group or priest.  They have politely declined.  We think you should decline too. 

We think that a faithful and informed Catholic should never be a pallbearer at a compromise funeral for two reasons:

1.    It would cause scandal.  We should always avoid scandal, but especially on a gravely serious matter such as this.[1]  People would see us up in the front bringing in the body.  Being part of the activity, they would think that we are approving of this compromise funeral service.

2.    Funerals have a human and Natural Law component to them.[2]  For this reason, it is permitted for us to attend passively and to sit in the back of church without participating in anything except for standing when the body comes in and goes out.  This is done as part of the natural and human aspect of this office of the Natural Law.  But it is a different matter and is a compromise to contribute to (i.e., have a role in) the body being brought to that compromise venue for the purposes of the bad religious service.

We urge you not to be a pallbearer in a compromise funeral.

[1]           Scandal is giving the appearance of evil which makes another person more likely to sin.  Summa, IIa IIae, Q.43, a.1, ad 2.

[2]           Read this article about never participating in a compromise or false religious service:


The Church Militant Must Pray for the Church Suffering

In the early years of Catholic Candle, we had access to faithful, uncompromising priests who agreed, for the greater glory of God, to keep on their altars during November a list of the names of the dearly departed loved ones of Catholic Candle readers.  Readers sent those names and they were compiled on our list of thousands.

Later, we no longer had access to any faithful, uncompromising priests.  When God wills, we will again have such good priests.  Meanwhile, it is a glorious time to be Catholic and to live for Christ the King!

However, during the interim – when few (or no) Catholic Candle readers have access to a faithful, uncompromising priest – let us all pray for each other’s dearly departed loved ones.  Soon, it will be November, the month of the Poor Souls.  We suggest that you send us the names of your departed loved ones to be added to our list and let each of us pray for “all of those whose names are on the Catholic Candle list”.  In this way, we perform a work of charity towards each other and a work of charity towards the Church Suffering.

In the future, when we again have access to faithful, uncompromising priests, we will do our best to renew our practice of having all those departed souls be remembered at the altar every year during the entire Month of the Poor Souls.




CC in brief — June 2023

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, gives an extremely short answer to a reader’s question.  We invite readers to submit their own questions.

CC in Brief

A sedevacantist’s question

Q:      Isn’t it true that the post-Vatican II “popes” [sic] cannot be real popes because Our Lord founded His Church and made it simple enough to be recognizable by anyone who is prepared to use his ordinary common sense.  It wouldn’t be fair otherwise – it would amount to the infinitely just God being guilty of injustice in practice.  It wouldn’t be fair for people’s salvation to depend partly on their level of intelligence and learning.

A:      You are mistaken in your notion of fairness, for three reasons: 

1.    If the True Church were recognizable by anyone with common sense, then joining the Catholic Church would only be a matter of common sense and good human judgment.  Instead, though, joining the Church requires the supernatural Catholic Faith, which is a free, undeserved gift of God.  In matters of the true religion, there are many things that a person will not understand (despite using human common sense) unless he has the Faith, as St. Thomas teaches.  Lectures on St. John’s Gospel, §995. 

So, salvation does not depend “on their level of intelligence or learning” but on the free gift and election of God.  This free, undeserved gift of God is called Predestination”, which is God’s foreknowledge of what He Himself will do.  God foreknows where each man will spend Eternity.  But He only predestines the elect, not the damned, since God’s gifts are His work, which is essential to the salvation of the elect.

2.    Grace is a free gift of God, as is the Catholic Faith.  God does not give those gifts to everyone and that is not unfair.  For example, He does not give them to unbaptized babies who die before the age of reason.  They have no chance to be part of the True Church and they do not go to heaven.  But that is in no way unfair.  We recommend this article to clarify the Catholic position for you:

3.    God does not damn persons for failing to have the gift of the Catholic Faith that He never gave them.  He damns persons (or, in a way, you could say the persons damn themselves) for sins they committed for which they are culpable.  So, for persons who only have the Natural Law, then they go to hell for sins they commit against the Natural Law, not against Church law, and also not because they do not have the Catholic Faith and grace.  Hypothetically, if a person were to live his whole life without grace and without sinning, then he would go to the Limbo of the babies.

God gives the Catholic Faith, wisdom, and grace to whom He wills, whether or not they can read.  St. Catherine of Sienna was correct about who the pope was during the Great Western Schism, whereas certain more learned men – also saints – on the other side of the dispute, were wrong.  Formal schism is a mortal sin which separates a person from the Catholic Church.  But these learned men and saints who were mistaken about who was pope during the Great Western Schism, were in material schism (making an innocent mistake), and were not in formal schism.

It is no more unjust for God to permit the deception of a Catholic by the conciliar hierarchy, than it is for Him to not give that person any grace or Faith in the first place.  God chooses how to dispense His free gifts.

Some of the horrors existing in the current human element of the Church have precedent in history.  But even where the horrors differ, this is a matter of God electing (predestining) whom He wishes.  Notice also, that a lot of what is going on, e.g., unnatural impurity, is against the Natural Law and so it is written in the heart of man what he should do and think, regardless of what the hierarchy says or does not say. 

It seems that a person born into conciliar surroundings or into any den of unnatural impurity (or whatever vice), is not worse off than a person born into the surroundings of Aztec cannibalism, human sacrifice, and paganism.  Even in those surroundings, the Natural Law is written in man’s heart.  And grace and the true Faith are undeserved gifts for anyone who receives them.

So, it is not “unfair” for God to allow a great many people to be misled by conciliar error, just like it is not unfair for God to allow people to live their entire lives in pagan surroundings with no mention of the true God and His true Church. 

Your “fairness” argument does not show that Pope Francis and his post-conciliar predecessors are (were) not true popes.  Despite their extreme dereliction of duty and their promotion of the conciliar Revolution, it is impossible that their sins and scandals would prevent God’s eternal plan for the salvation of the elect.  That is, He will not lose a single soul that was predestined to heaven, in spite of His shepherds’ miserable failures.

Catholic Candle
postscript:  Sedevacantism is a pernicious error.  To learn more why this error is wrong and why it is schism, read Sedevacantism: Material or Formal Schism, which is available:

Ø  Here as a free e-book: or

Ø  Here from Amazon, at cost:


A Short History of the Via Crucis Devotion

Plus: a method of Constructing your own Stations

A Truly Marian Devotion

Throughout Lent, we must make a truly Marian meditation to fully receive the spiritual fruits of this holy season. Tradition holds that Mary, the Mother of God, would daily retrace the route of her Son’s Passion in prayerful recollection.[1]  Thus, the Via Crucis devotion originates in Mary’s very reflections during her earthly sojourn.

A Tradition With Deep Roots

Early Catholics also began imitating the way Jesus walked in Jerusalem during His Passion, which came to be known as the Via Dolorosa in the 1500s.  St. Jerome spoke of great crowds of pilgrims from all countries coming to reflect on the Passion in the Holy Land.[2]  Interestingly, early Catholic pilgrims actually walked a reverse route from that of Our Lord, commencing the prayerful walk at Calvary and concluding downhill at Pilate’s house. However, seeing it to be more suitable, the direction was changed in the 16th Century to go from Pilate’s house uphill to Calvary.[3] 

Franciscan and Dominican Influence

Motivated by the spirit of Crusades, Catholics began making more frequent pilgrimages to Jerusalem in the twelfth century.  Pilgrims of the time mention walking a Via Sacra during these visits.  In the mid-13th Century, the stable presence of Franciscan Friars as custodians in the Holy Land, one being Bl. Bernardo Caimi, facilitated external devotion to The Passion.  In 1491, a set of Stations was built at Varallo, Italy by Franciscans.[4]  The Via Crucis devotion, with the identical fourteen stations in the same order as today, became widespread in Spain in the seventeenth century, mainly among Franciscans.  Early Dominicans also took an interest in promoting devotion to Our Lord’s Passion in stations including Blessed Alvarez (d. 1420), who, upon returning from the Holy Land, erected small chapels adorned with paintings dedicated to the primary scenes of the Passion.[5] 

Universal Recognition of The Stations

The first use of the term Stations to describe the route frequented in Jerusalem is seen in the account of English pilgrim William Wey, who visited the Holy Land in 1458 and again in 1462.[6]  To formalize a Stations devotion, Pope Innocent XI permitted Franciscans to erect stations within their communities in 1686.  Pope Clement XII further gave all churches the right to construct stations, provided that a Franciscan father oversaw the erection of the stations, and the local bishop consented.  While the number of stations has fluctuated over time, the number was fixed at 14 by Clement XII in the same year.  English bishops were subsequently allowed to erect the stations by themselves in the 19th Century, without a Franciscan priest, and in 1862 this decree was extended to all bishops of the universal Church.[7]

Stabat Mater

While many have laid claim to the development of the Stabat Mater hymn, sung as a poignant reminder to conclude each station with Marian fervor, Pope Benedict XIV “gives it without question” to Innocent III (d. 1216).[8]  Found in several fifteenth-century European missals, the Stabat Mater was formally accepted into the Roman Breviary and Missal in 1727 for the Feast of the Seven Dolors of the B.V.M.[9]  This hymn evokes the emotion of Mary grieving over the sufferings of her Son, a most fitting way to meditate on such a sorrowful, yet necessary, event with the help of Our Lady.

Our Via Crucis Devotional Project

Since wild bamboo grows in our North Georgia backyard, our family decided to make use of the natural environment to commemorate the Via Crucis this Lent. After cutting the stalks to 6-ft tall, we drove them into the ground with a stake-driver, arranging them in a circle on a woodsy hillside. We selected images for each of the 14 stations and brought them to a local print shop, which made them into weather-resistant, polycarbonate placards with holes drilled for the insertion of  screws.  Finally, we affixed the images near the top of the stakes.  Now, we are ready every Friday of Lent to meditate on the Stations at-home using the methods of St. Alphonsus Liguori and St. Francis Assisi.  

Either inside or outside, consider making your own Via Crucis for a fruitful Lent. Thanks be to God for such a beautiful tradition!  Let us enter into Our Lord’s Passion with Marian devotedness throughout this blessed and solemn Liturgical season. 



[1]           1913 Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol XV, article: Way Of The Cross, Cyprian Alston, paragraph 4.

[2]           1913 Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol XV, article: Way Of The Cross, Cyprian Alston, paragraph 4.

[3]           1913 Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol XV, article: Way Of The Cross, Cyprian Alston, paragraph 4.

[4]           1913 Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol XV, article: Way Of The Cross, Cyprian Alston, paragraph 4.

[5]           1913 Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol XV, article: Way Of The Cross, Cyprian Alston, paragraph 4.

[6]           1913 Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol XV, article: Way Of The Cross, Cyprian Alston, paragraph 4.

[7]           1913 Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol XV, article: Way Of The Cross, Cyprian Alston, paragraph 4.

[8]           1913 Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol XV, Stabat Mater, by Hugh Thomas Henry, paragraph 3, The Encyclopedia Press.

[9]           1913 Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol XV, Stabat Mater, by Hugh Thomas Henry, paragraph 2, The Encyclopedia Press.

The Holy Rosary is Increasingly Powerful and Attacked

Catholic Candle note: During this month of the Holy Rosary, it is an especially opportune time to not only appreciate the Holy Rosary more and to be more devoted to it, but also to understand better that the forces of evil are strengthening their attacks on it.

In our times of Great Apostasy, when there is no access to an uncompromising priest to provide the uncompromising sacraments (at least in most places), God wants us to be greatly devoted to those means of salvation He currently places in our hands, especially the Rosary. 

We are in the time of the greater efficacy of the Holy Rosary, as Our Lady told us, through Sr. Lucy of Fatima:

God is giving two last remedies to the world: the Holy Rosary and devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.  …  Prayer and sacrifice are the two means to save the world.  As for the Holy Rosary, Father [Fuentes], in these last times in which we are living, the Blessed Virgin has given a new efficacy to the praying of the Holy Rosary.  This in such a way that there is no problem that cannot be resolved by praying the Rosary, no matter how difficult it is – be it temporal or above all spiritual ….[1]

Therefore, we should now have a greater appreciation of the power of the Rosary, and the devil knows of its greater power too.  In his fight against us, the devil and his minions attack the Rosary more fiercely because they have an increased fear of its power and its role protecting and sanctifying the Church Militant during these times.

Also, it seems to us that the devil might know that his time is short before the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart by the consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.  Thus, Satan and his minions are boldly intensifying their attacks on the Rosary.  Hell’s forces are attempting to stigmatize this heaven-sent means of sanctification as a weapon of violence of “right-wing extremists”.  Since no one likes being called an “extremist” or a “crackpot”, this stigma makes people embarrassed to pray the Rosary and reluctant to connect themselves with it.

For example, in August, 2022, the Atlantic magazine attacked the Rosary as part of what the magazine calls the “extremist gun culture”.[2]  The Atlantic also declares that the Rosary has “been woven into a conspiratorial politics” and “radical-traditionalist … campaigns against” the acceptance of unnatural impurity in the Church.  (The Atlantic’s name-calling refers to Catholics who faithfully uphold Catholic dogma on matters of purity.)  The article warns about what it calls “rad-trad” Catholics who “idealize the traditional patriarchal family” (in other words, these Catholics oppose feminism).[3] 

The magazine says that this is part of the “far-right” milieus including “real world terrorist attacks”.[4]  The magazine asserts that:

The “battle beads” culture of spiritual warfare permits radical-traditional Catholics literally to demonize their political opponents and regard the use of armed force against them as sanctified.  The sacramental rosary isn’t just a spiritual weapon but one that comes with physical ammunition.[5]

The Atlantic acknowledges that some mainstream [viz., conciliar] Catholics pray the Rosary too, but distinguishes those mainstream Catholics from “the modern radical-traditionalist Catholic movement” because that movement “generally rejects the Second Vatican Council’s reforms” and “is far outside the majority opinion in the Roman Catholic Church in America”.  To show how (supposedly) extreme the “radical-traditionalist Catholic movement” is, the magazine points out that “many prominent American Catholic bishops advocate for gun control”.[6]

The take-away message from the article is that society should be wary of those “radical-traditionalist Catholics” who pray the Rosary and hold “extreme” positions on social issues.  The magazine suggests that these “extremist” conservative Catholics are only a short distance away from committing “real world terrorist attacks”.[7]

The leftists’ persecution of Christ’s True Church continues to increase.  They are anti-God and are showing their “true colors” more clearly! 

Let us re-double our love of the Rosary and spread devotion to it, far and wide!  As our Lady of Fatima assures us, “there is no problem that cannot be resolved by praying the Rosary, no matter how difficult it is – be it temporal or above all spiritual ….”[8]

[1]           Words of Sister Lucy, seer at Fatima, from her December 26, 1957, interview by Fr. Augustin Fuentes, vice-postulator of the cause of beatification for Francisco and Jacinta.  (Emphasis and bracketed word added.)  This interview can be found at:


[8]           Words of Sister Lucy, seer at Fatima, from her December 26, 1957, interview by Fr. Augustin Fuentes, vice-postulator of the cause of beatification for Francisco and Jacinta.  (Emphasis and bracketed word added.)  This interview can be found at:


A capital “T” was added in lieu of the small “t” in this part-sentence taken from the larger quote given above.


If You Want to Say the Most Effective Prayer, Say the Our Father

The Our Father is a prayer composed by Our Lord Himself for our happiness on earth and in heaven.

Because I go to the Father: and whatsoever you shall ask the Father in My name, that will I do: that the Father may be glorified in the Son.  If you shall ask Me anything in My name, that I will do.[1]

Amen, amen I say to you: If you ask the Father anything in My name, He will give it you.[2]

The Our Father is the best of all prayers because it is the Lord’s Prayer, taught us by Jesus Christ Himself, a prayer of perfect and unselfish love.[3]

When the apostles asked Him to "teach us how to pray," He gave them a prescribed form of prayer.[4]

The following are points that may help you to pray the Our Father more efficaciously.


When we invoke the Father and when each one of us calls Him our Father, we are to understand thereby that from the privilege and gift of divine adoption, it necessarily follows that all the faithful [viz., those in the state of sanctifying grace] are brethren.[5]   


All who have a correct idea of God will grant that He is everywhere and in all places.[6]


In praying that the name of God may be hallowed (venerated), our meaning is that the sanctity and glory of the divine name may be increased.[7]


Our Lord says: "Seek first the kingdom of God and His justice, and all these things shall be added unto you."  So great and so abundant are the heavenly gifts contained in this petition, that it includes all things necessary for the security of soul and body.[8]


Whoever desires to enter into the kingdom of heaven should ask of God that His will may be done.  For Christ the Lord has said: “Not everyone that says to me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doth the will of My Father who is in heaven, he shall enter into the kingdom of heaven.”[9]


We pray that our conformity to the will of God be regulated according to the rule observed in heaven by the blessed angels.[10]


We particularly and expressly pray for the needs of soul and body.[11]


Where before we asked God not only for eternal and spiritual goods, but also for fleeting and temporal favors, we now ask for God’s forgiveness for offending Him and pledge to forgive those who have harmed us.[12]


When we have earnestly sought pardon of our sins and are longing for the kingdom of heaven, then it is that the devil employs all his resources and efforts to entice us to relapse into sin, and thus become far worse than before.[13]


On the eve of Our Lord’s Passion, He prayed to His Father for the salvation of mankind. "I pray," He said, "that Thou keep them (i.e., us) from evil.!" (St. Cyprian remarks, "Nothing more remains to be asked.")[14]

Thus, it is easy to see that there is so much more packed into the Our Father than is apparent to those who mumble their way through this priceless prayer.  Hopefully, these few points above might awaken in us a greater appreciation of Christ’s beneficence in personally instructing us in this best of all prayers.  Say it very slowly and devoutly, contemplating every word.  After that, we could incorporate this mediation on the Our Father into a slow and reverent Spiritual Communion.

Lastly, we can aid our prayerful contemplation of these subjects, by using a loving picture of Our Lord (such as the one below, which was derived from the Shroud):

[1]           St. John’s Gospel, Ch. 14.


[2]           St. John’s Gospel, Ch. 16.

[3]           My Catholic Faith, Bishop Louis Morrow, My Mission House, Kenosha Wisconsin, ©1949, Ch. 183, p. 378.

[4]           Catechism of the Council of Trent, Joseph F. Wagner, Publisher, ©1923, Part IV, p.478.

[5]           Catechism of the Council of Trent, Joseph F. Wagner, Publisher, ©1923, Part IV, p.508 (bracketed explanation to show context).

[6]               Catechism of the Council of Trent, Joseph F. Wagner, Publisher, ©1923, Part IV, p.511.

[7]               Catechism of the Council of Trent, Joseph F. Wagner, Publisher, ©1923, Part IV, p.514.

[8]               Catechism of the Council of Trent, Joseph F. Wagner, Publisher, ©1923, Part IV, p.520.

[9]               Catechism of the Council of Trent, Joseph F. Wagner, Publisher, ©1923, Part IV, p.529.

[10]             Catechism of the Council of Trent, Joseph F. Wagner, Publisher, ©1923, Part IV, p.537.

[11]             Catechism of the Council of Trent, Joseph F. Wagner, Publisher, ©1923, Part IV, p.540.

[12]             Catechism of the Council of Trent, Joseph F. Wagner, Publisher, ©1923, Part IV, pp.552-553.

[13]             Catechism of the Council of Trent, Joseph F. Wagner, Publisher, ©1923, Part IV, p.565.

[14]             Catechism of the Council of Trent, Joseph F. Wagner, Publisher, ©1923, Part IV, p.577.

CC in brief — September 2022

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, gives an extremely short answer to a reader’s question.  We invite any readers to submit their own questions.



CC in Brief


Q.        While sanctifying the Sunday at home, I recently read these words in a sermon on hell:


In hell, the damned exclaim with tears: “Oh!  That an hour were given to us”.  They would pay any price for an hour or for a minute, in which they might repair their eternal ruin.  But this hour or minute they never shall have. 


My question is: Do the damned in hell really long for a chance to repent?



A.        No.  The damned do not long for a chance to repent and to begin pleasing

God.  They could never use that chance of repentance, even if it were somehow given to them.[1]


Hell is not really full of repentant sinners.  In hell, the wills of the damned are fixed forever in rejecting God and hating Him.  The damned hate being in hell but would never have a change of heart and begin to love God, with sorrow for their sins, although the damned regret that they are being punished.


The damned hate God and don’t want to be with Him.  They hate being in hell but do not want to be with God in heaven.  They hate reality and would like to be in a (supposed) “paradise” without God (if that could be possible) and would like to be in a place of comfort and pleasure where they could continue to hate God and live a disorderly life.  But the damned do not repent of their sins and do not want to repent.


With man’s fallen human nature, it is so common for sinners to delay repentance and to delay amending their lives.  Throughout the ages, good priests have used various techniques to move sinners to cease delay and begin leading the Catholic life they know they should lead.


One method is to move sinners to repentance by raising the prospect of having waited too long and losing the chance to repent.  In this sermon, these sinners – who tell themselves they will repent later – are presented with the prospect of having waited “too long”.  Right now, in this present life, these sinners would regret having waited too long and being damned in hell forever. 


So, this sermon is, in effect, placing before the listener the prospect of that delay and the regret they would feel now, if they knew their continued delay would eventually cause their damnation.  That seems to be the intent of the sermon you quote.

[1]           Here is one way that St. Alphonsus de Liguori, Doctor of the Church, teaches this truth:


Moreover, it is just, that as long as the sinner remains in his sin, the punishment which he deserves should continue. And, therefore, as the virtue of the saints is rewarded in Heaven, because it lasts forever, so also the guilt of the damned in Hell, because it is everlasting, shall be chastised with everlasting torments. ”Quia non recipit causæ remedium,” says Eusebius Emissenus, “carebit fine supplicium.”  The cause of their perverse will continues: therefore, their chastisement will never have an end. The damned are so obstinate in their sins, that even if God offered pardon, their hatred for him would make them refuse it.


Quoted from St. Alphonsus de Liguori, Sermon 50, for the twenty-first Sunday after Pentecost.

CC in brief — The Existence of Time in the Afterlife

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, gives an extremely short answer to a reader’s question.  We invite readers to submit their own questions.

Q.         While sanctifying the Sunday at home, I read in a sermon recently that stated:

“Time is a blessing which we enjoy only in this life; it is not enjoyed in the next; it is not found in heaven nor in hell.”

Is this true that there is no time in heaven or in hell?

  1. There is time in heaven and in hell.

Anywhere that there are bodies which move, there is time.  In fact, time is the measure of the motion of a body.  When a body moves, there is a “before” and an “after” of time, with the movement continuing between this beginning and its ending.  By contrast, angels are not, properly speaking, in time because they do not have bodies.

In heaven

We hold that it will be possible for the blessed to move their bodies in heaven.  We hold that they will be able to smile, to sing, and to move from place-to-place.  In fact, they will have the gift of agility in their glorified bodies.  This will make their movement effortless and extremely fast.  We reject the idea that the bodies of the blessed will be frozen in perpetual immobility.  Because the blessed will move their bodies, there will a “before” and an “after” to these movements and there will be time in heaven.

Further, we hold that it will be possible, e.g., for Our Lord and the Blessed Mother to turn their heads and to smile upon the saints.  

Because of all such movements, there will certainly be time in heaven.

In limbo

The limbo of the babies is a part of hell (but is not a part of the hell of the damned).  We hold that limbo is a place of natural happiness.  We hold that the resurrection of the bodies at the end of the world will include the bodies of those in limbo.  We hold that those persons in limbo will be able to move their bodies.  

Perhaps those in limbo will stroll in beautiful surroundings.  Perhaps they will sing or talk together.  Any such activities (which are part of living in natural happiness) will involve their bodies and will require movement and, thus, time.

In the hell of the damned

It would seem that the damned in hell will not be able to do any activities which will give them relief or enjoyment.  So, in that regard, they might be fixed in immoveable pain and misery.  

However, there are some bodily activities that might occur in hell.  Perhaps the damned will torture each other, or scream at each other, or shout curses and words of hatred at each other.  

So, is there time in heaven and hell?

Thus, we hold that there is unending time in heaven, in the limbo of the babies, and in the hell of the damned.  

Where is there eternity?

In fact, one could ask whether there is any eternity in hell.  Loosely speaking, never-ending time is sometimes called eternity. Since the time in hell is literally unending, we could loosely call it “eternal” in this way.  

Further, we talk about an unpleasant experience being eternal.  For example, if the dentist was drilling my tooth for a long time, we might say, as a manner of expression, that “I sat in the dentist’s chair for an eternity.”

But strictly speaking, it seems that eternity belongs most properly only to heaven, and not to hell.  Whereas time is similar to a point moving along a line, and for which there is a “before” and an “after”, by contrast, eternity is an ever-present “now” which is like a point that does not move.  

Thus, properly speaking, God is in eternity.  He never moves in any way.  He thinks only one thought and has only one act of love without end.

The blessed in heaven are also, properly speaking, in eternity not as they smile at Our Lord (or whatever other acts they do which involve their bodies), but rather as they are immersed in the greatest happiness of heaven, which is the Beatific Vision.  

In this vision, their minds will see God in His essence, without any movement.  As the blessed see God, their minds will not go from “point to point” in the manner in which we think on this earth.  Their minds will see a single vision of God’s essence without movement or weariness, without end.

Thus, in summary, God, the angels, and the saints are in eternity, properly speaking in the Beatific Vision.  The blessed in heaven are also in unending time, along with all humans in limbo and in hell.

CC in brief — What do we mean when we say that God is everywhere?

Catholic Candle note: We should study the Catholic Faith our whole life.  Part of this duty is to understand more fully the truths of the Faith we already learned as children.  Thus, for example, concerning the question “Who is God?”, we know from our First Communion Catechism that “God is the Supreme Being Who made all things.”  During our life, we should learn more about God, as best we can, little-by-little, using the opportunities we have.

The very short article below is an aid to help us to “peer a little more deeply” into the answer to the catechism question “Where is God?”  

Q:        What do we mean when we say that God is everywhere?

  1. St. Thomas Aquinas, greatest Doctor of the Catholic Church, gives this simple, clear, and profound answer, explaining how God is everywhere, in three ways:

It is customary to say that God is in all things by His essence, presence, and power.  To understand what this means, we should know that someone is said to be by his power in all the things that are subject to his power; as a king is said to be in the entire kingdom subject to him, by his power.  He is not there [i.e., in his entire kingdom], however, by presence or essence.  

Someone is said to be by presence in all the things that are within his range of vision; as a king is said to be in his house by presence.

And someone is said to be by essence in those things in which his substance is; as a king is in one determinate place [e.g., on his throne].

Now we say that God is everywhere by His power, since all things are subject to His power: “If I ascend into heaven, you are there ….  If I take my wings early in the morning, and dwell in the furthest part of the sea, even there your hand will lead me, and your right hand will hold me” (Ps 138:8).

He is also everywhere by His presence, because “all things are bare and open to His eyes,” as is said in Hebrews (4:13).

He is present everywhere by His essence, because His essence is innermost in all things.  For every agent, as acting, has to be immediately joined to its effect, because mover and moved must be together.  Now God is the maker and preserver of all things with respect to the esse [i.e., the being] of each. Hence, since the esse [i.e., the being] of a thing is innermost in that thing, it is plain that God, by His essence, through which He creates all things, is in all things.  [In other words, God creates all things by His Own essence and so God’s essence must be together with all creatures and so is everywhere.]

Lectures on St. John’s Gospel, St. Thomas Aquinas, ch.1, #134.

Conclusion.  God is in all things in these three ways, by His essence, His presence, and His power.

For Success in Prayer, Confidence and Faith are a Must

Few understand or realize God’s loving-kindness toward mankind and how He wants to help.  He wills that we ask with faith and with confidence and He will hear our prayers and will answer them.  

Let’s determine what Our Lord, the Doctors of the Church, and the Saints teach about how to pray with success.

The Lord Himself has taught: “All things whatsoever you shall ask in prayer, believing, you shall receive.”[1]

St. Augustine, speaking of this faith, thus comments on the Lord’s words: “Without faith, prayer is useless.”[2]

This is the meaning of the exhortation of St. Ignatius to those who would approach God in prayer:

Be not of doubtful mind in prayer; blessed is he who hath not doubted.  Wherefore, to obtain from God what we ask, faith and an assured confidence, are of first importance, according to the admonition of St. James: “Let him ask in faith, nothing wavering.”[3]

The Council of Trent Catechism assures us:

Unworthy, then, as we are, of obtaining our requests, yet considering and resting our claims upon the dignity of our great Mediator and Intercessor, Jesus Christ, we should hope and trust most confidently, that, through His merits, God will grant us all that we ask in the proper way.[4]

But what most ensures the accomplishment of our desires is the union of faith and hope with that conformity of all our thoughts, actions, and prayers to God’s law and pleasure.  “If”, He says, “you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you shall ask whatever you will, and it shall be done unto you.”[5]

We must not imitate the example of those who become tired of praying, if, after having prayed once or twice, they succeed not in obtaining the object of their prayers.  We should never be weary of the duty of prayer, as we are taught by the authority of Christ the Lord and of the Apostle.  And should the will at any time fail us, we should beg of God by prayer the strength to persevere.[6]

The Son of God would also have us present our prayers to the Father in His name; for, by His merits and the influence of His mediation, our prayers acquire such weight that they are heard by our heavenly Father.  For He Himself says in St. John: “Amen, Amen, I say unto you, if you ask the Father anything in my name, He will give it to you.  Hitherto you have not asked anything in My name: ask and you shall receive, that your joy may be full”; and again, “Whatsoever you shall ask the Father in My name, that will I do.”[7] 

Prayer is loving conversation with God.  The mere thought of God is not prayer: devils think of God, but they do not pray.  In prayer we concentrate all the powers of our souls and elevate them to God.  Is it not an honor to be allowed to talk to the President of our country?  But at any moment we can talk to God Almighty in prayer; He has no hours of appointment; He has no secretaries to forbid our entrance into His presence.[8]                                                                     

“And He also told them a parable – that they must always pray and not lose heart” (Luke 18:1).  God wants us to talk to Him at any hour of the day and night, and even of the most trifling things.  The oftener we speak to Him, the better is He pleased.  “Pray without ceasing.” (1 Thess. 5:17)[9]

Even the prayer of sinners is profitable, especially when they are sorry for their sins; but the purer our heart is, the better is God disposed to hear our petitions.[10]

Who would have the temerity to enter a king's presence clad in filthy and torn garments?  Yet in praying with an impure heart a man would be doing much worse – coming into the presence of God with a stained soul.[11]

With loving trust in His goodness, we should have confidence, filled with a firm belief that God will grant our prayer if it is for our good.[12]

God knows best what is for our good, so if we do not receive what we pray for with faith and confidence, understand that a good and loving God will deny our request out of love for us.  He wants only what is good for us and for our salvation.

Let’s consider the importance of having confidence in prayer and in Christ.  St. Peter found out what happens when doubt takes over; he began to sink into the Sea of Galilee when he lost confidence in Christ, Who was standing on the water near Peter’s boat.

The prayers said by uncompromising traditional Catholics in the catacombs, with faith and confidence, will be answered.  Christ knows what we need in order to stand up and fight for Him and His Kingship.  We must especially fight the conciliar counter-church’s war against Catholic tradition.

[1]          St. Matthew’s Gospel, 21:22.

[2]          Quoted in the Catechism of the Council of Trent, Part IV, Prayer in General.

[3]          Id.

[4]          Id.

[5]         Id.

[6]         Id.

[7]         Id.

[8]          My Catholic Faith, Bishop Morrow, Part Three, Lesson 180, page 372 ©1949,

[9]         Id.

[10]         Id.

[11]         Id.

[12]         Id.

Words to Live by – from Catholic Tradition

Reminder during this month of the Holy Rosary

I know no surer way of discovering whether a person belongs to God than by finding out if he loves the Hail Mary and the Rosary.  …  When the Hail Mary is well said, that is, with attention, devotion and humility, it is, according to the saints, the enemy of Satan, putting him to flight; it is the hammer that crushes him, a source of holiness for souls, a joy to the angels and a sweet melody for the devout.  It is the Canticle of the New Testament, a delight for Mary and glory for the most Blessed Trinity.  

The Hail Mary is dew falling from heaven to make the soul fruitful.  It is a pure kiss of love we give to Mary.  It is a crimson rose, a precious pearl that we offer to her.  It is a cup of ambrosia, a divine nectar that we offer her.

Quoted from St. Louis de Montfort, True Devotion to Mary, ¶¶ 251 & 253.

CC in brief — September 2021

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, gives a short answer to a reader’s question.  We invite any reader to submit his own question.



CC in brief


Strategy for Obtaining a “Conscience Exemption”

When Confronted with a COVID Vaccine Mandate


Q.  To get a “conscience exemption” from a COVID vaccine mandate, should we use this Vatican teaching (quote below)?


The Vatican has instructed the faithful that: “As regards the diseases against which there are no alternative vaccines which are available and ethically acceptable, it is right to abstain from using these vaccines if it can be done without causing children, and indirectly the population as a whole, to undergo significant risks to their health.”[1]


A.        We, at Catholic Candle, would never accept the COVID vaccine under any conditions!  Further, we would never use the above, dangerous, conciliar Vatican teaching to justify our refusing the vaccine.


First, to use this Vatican teaching plays the game on the conciliar playing field, i.e., it accepts the conciliar principle for making the decision.  In contrast to the Vatican’s teaching (above), we hold the Traditional Catholic principle that no one may use abortion-related vaccines even if, hypothetically, many people would die (including us) if that vaccine were not used.  The end does not justify the means, even when our life is at stake.


Second, if we were to rely on the Vatican’s principle (quoted above), this would suggest that we consider the conciliar popes to be worthy authorities on matters of Faith and morals.  Although they are our valid popes[2] – one after the other – they are unworthy, bad fathers.  Despite those popes holding the office of pope, we would never quote them as authorities for true Catholic Faith or morals.[3]


When we refuse the vaccine, we would rely on the argument that we are Traditional Catholic and that fact means that we reject the modern conciliar teachings.  We hold fast to the Tradition of the Church on all matters of Faith and morals, including the Traditional teaching that such abortion-connected vaccines are always evil and never permissible for any reason.[4]


Not only do we reject that Vatican’s principle (above) because it is wrong and sinful, but we also think it sets the person up for failure to obtain a “conscience exemption” from the vaccine. 


When one of the Catholic Candle Team was at Notre Dame, that university ordered him to get a rubella (abortion-developed) vaccine.  The school used against him the Vatican language quoted above (about weighing the consequences of great danger to public health if he did not get the vaccine).  The school told him that, under this Vatican language, those public health consequences required him to get the vaccine. 


We think that a vaccine-objector cannot win this argument (based on the Vatican’s conciliar teaching quoted above) because it sets up both sides to weigh whether the end justifies the means in the particular case, and predictably, the pro-vaccine group (requiring the vaccine) will always say that the consequences are huge and that the end (public health) does justify the means (getting the vaccine).


The Catholic Candle Team member replied to the school, saying what any faithful and informed Catholic should reply:


You don’t understand.  I reject that post-Vatican II teaching.  I am Traditional Catholic and I follow the pre-Vatican II teaching that it is never permissible to get an abortion-connected vaccine. 


Notre Dame kept insisting that he get the vaccine as the deadline approached, to see if he would back down.  But when he did not back down, they granted him a waiver at the last minute.



[1]           Quoted from: Moral Reflections on Vaccines Prepared from Cells Derived from Aborted Human Fetuses, Pontifical Academy for Life, June, 2005.

[2]           See the explanation here, that the post-conciliar popes are valid popes:


CC in brief — July 2021

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, gives a short answer to a reader’s question.  We invite readers to submit their own questions.



Why No One should play Dungeons and Dragons


Q.  My son has gotten into the game Dungeons and Dragons at his school and from the stories he’s told me about the game, it sounds pretty bad.  I want to give him some definitive reasons he shouldn’t play it, but I don’t know enough about it to tell him not to.  Any help is appreciated.


A.  The virtuous life is the happy life on earth and, more importantly, is the road to heaven.  We should not engage in entertainments which work against virtue and our progress toward heaven.


One such entertainment is the role-playing game, Dungeons and Dragons, which especially attracts high school boys and less-mature young men.


Here are our five biggest reasons this game is bad and everyone should avoid it.


1.    Dungeons and Dragons presents a false moral framework for life.  This is done explicitly and implicitly.  Players are allowed to explicitly choose to make their characters evil or morally “neutral” (i.e., “amoral”, “chaotic”) and players are free to live according to whatever moral standards they choose.  Thus, they are allowed to choose, imagine, and cause their characters to sin without limitation or contrition.  This is licentiousness, not true liberty, and it is not the conduct of a friend of God! The evil of that licentiousness is evident if someone puts himself in God’s “shoes”: Suppose a person learned that his family members and best friends spent considerable time enjoying the daydream of torturing and murdering him.  Their pleasurable fantasy would prove that they do not love him and are not his friends.  Similarly, a person would obviously offend God and not be God’s friend, if he spent his recreation time enjoying the daydream of offending God by committing sins.

2.    Besides the sin of willfully taking pleasure in imagining committing sins, such daydreams can also be sins for a second reason: they can lead to committing those sins we are imagining, and could make it easier for us to commit those sins through breaking down any reluctance we might have to committing such sins.  So, e.g., if a young man were to spend a lot of time taking pleasure by imagining shoplifting and how he could do it without getting caught, it would tend to break down his inhibitions and could make him more likely to actually commit that sin.  Thus, such imaginings can be deliberate (and unnecessary) occasions of sin.


3.    Besides this false moral framework (discussed above), Dungeons and Dragons promotes and glorifies killing for personal gain and advantage.  Catholics (and all men seeking virtue) should be peaceable and should be builders, not destroyers, as much as possible.  Dungeons and Dragons encourages the opposite: “let’s go kill and be violent”.


4.    Dungeons and Dragons presents to the players the false, central goal of living to amass material goods and power, whereas the truth is that those goods play only a small part in the good and happy life.  The truly important parts of life are missing and are “written out” of the game.


5.    Dungeons and Dragons promotes interest in (and entrance into) the occult, to learn about, use, and seek spells and magic.


The above reasons leave aside many other reasons not to play Dungeons and Dragons, such as:


§  Dangers to purity built into the game;


§  The wasting of time involved in the game;


§  The inherent, additional unwholesomeness of this game as played as a computer game, i.e., when the game is played on that medium.  (Board games are generally better than electronic games.)


§  The superiority of “real” activities, such as sports, hiking, rafting, writing and reading activities, art and kraft projects, fishing, long bike rides, swimming, gardening, raising animals, model rockets, taking on extra side jobs to save money for college, etc.

Reasons to pray even in mortal sin

The horror of sin, especially mortal sin

Sin is always a great evil.[1]  All sin is an infinite evil in three ways and all mortal sin is an infinite evil in a fourth way also.[2]  Everything else which we might call a “misfortune” (and which is out of our control), is God’s Will for us and is for our good.  St. Paul assures us that, except for our sins, “all things work together unto the good for those who love God.”  Romans, 8:28 (emphasis added).  Thus, our own sins are the only true evil for us.

The most tragic of all sin, is mortal sin.[3]  No number of venial sins could ever be as horrific as a single mortal sin.[4]

A person in mortal sin must strive immediately to get back into God’s grace

When a person has the tragedy of being in mortal sin, he cannot merit through anything he says or does.[5]

Obviously, the most important thing he can do is immediately seek to get back in the state of Sanctifying Grace, by making Acts of Contrition as perfectly as possible[6] and by sacramental Confession (if it is available without compromise).[7]  Beware of Bishop Richard Williamson’s evil advice that you should go to confession to any priest who believes in sin.[8]

A person cannot be sure that his act of contrition is perfect enough.  If the person did succeed in making a perfect act of contrition, he is then back in the state of Sanctifying Grace[9] and can immediately begin meriting again, while he seeks to go to confession (to an uncompromising priest, as soon as one is available).

Thus, one reason for a person to continue his prayers, good works, and penances even before going to confession, is because they are meritorious if he is back in the state of grace.

But a person in mortal sin should still strive to do good, even though there is no merit

Even if the person were not back in the state of grace, he should continue praying, doing good works and doing penance, although he would not merit supernaturally for that conduct.  There are five reasons to continue this conduct even while in mortal sin:

1.    This conduct does good on a natural level;

2.    This conduct avoids harm on a natural level;

3.    This conduct enforces habits which are good on the natural level, to help us even when we cannot merit;

4.    This conduct avoids harm to ourselves by avoiding the strengthening of our bad habits or making us more prone to evil which would harm us on a natural and a supernatural level; and

5.    We should always act according to reason and, even when in mortal sin, our reason tells us to pray, perform good works, and do penance.

Below, we discuss each of these five reasons.

1.   This conduct accomplishes good on a natural level.

Such prayers, good works, and penance set a good example, especially for those to whom he is nearest and loves the most.  Does he love his friends and family?  If yes, doesn’t he want to do them good even if he does not benefit from that good?  Of course, he does!  Love is “willing the good for another”.[10]  So, a man who loves even naturally, wills the good for those whom he loves.  So, continuing his prayer, good works, and penance is a good example which does good to his loved ones.  This is especially true for parents and spouses, whose very vocation involves the care of and love of others.

Nor does it suffice to merely pretend to do good so as to give good example.  That pretense is a sin of dissimulation – not leading an honest life – which is a sin against the Divine Law and the Natural Law.

Further, most fakery is discovered and it does even more harm to a person if he is a fraud, especially in the good he does.

2.   This conduct avoids harm on a natural level.

By contrast, the failure to pray, do good works, and do penance can scandalize others, especially those who are nearest and dearest to him.  A period of such bad example from him can ruin his friends and relatives for life, even if the person himself were to return to the state of grace.  Again, a parent in mortal sin might, for example, feel like a hypocrite or unworthy to pray the Rosary with his family, and thus be tempted to not do so.  But it is part of his duty and part of love to show good example to his spouse and children.

3. Prayer, good works, and penance enforce habits which are good on the natural level, to help us even when we cannot merit from them.

Men are creatures of habit.  Even on a natural level, it is easier for a person to later pray, do good works, and do penance meritoriously once back in the state of Sanctifying Grace, if he maintains those natural habits even while unhappily unable to merit due to mortal sin.

Even while a person is (tragically) in mortal sin, he can work on acquiring or strengthening his natural virtues, e.g., patience.  Good conduct while in mortal sin can help a person acquire or strengthen those natural virtues.

4.    This conduct avoids harm to ourselves by avoiding the strengthening of our bad habits or making us more prone to evil which would harm us on a natural and a supernatural level.

Further, failures to continue those good practices lets down our guard and makes us more likely to commit future sins we otherwise would not have committed.

5.    Even when in mortal sin, our reason tells us to pray, perform good works, and do penance.

Our reason is our highest and most God-like part of our nature.  We should always act according to this highest and best part: viz., our reason.

Our power of reason is the way God made us in His own Image.[11]  

Even on a natural level, we know God is the source of all goodness and that we owe Him worship and prayer.[12] 

Even when in the state of mortal sin, a person’s reason tells him to pray, perform good works, and do penance as a matter of justice to God.

He owes this to God even if he does not merit from this worship and prayer.  This debt to God is right and reasonable.  A person must pay his debt to God even if he were not to merit, just as a child must show respect for his parents, keep his room neat, and do his schoolwork even though he did not receive a reward for doing so.  Thus, reason tells a person that he must pray even if he is in mortal sin.

A person’s reason tells him to continue doing good works – they are a natural good and a man in mortal sin should follow his reason doing good works even when he cannot merit supernaturally from those good works.

Even on a natural level, we know that we must conform our lower passions to our reason and our will, and that this task requires that we mortify our passions and do penance.

Committing mortal sin is a “wake-up call” which should immediately cause us to increase our prayers and good works.

Not only should a person not stop praying and doing good works following commission of a mortal sin, but he should immediately increase his prayers and good works. 

His sin is a reminder of his weakness.  The best remedy for this weakness is prayer.  When a person sins, it is unreasonable (and is a further sin) to not take concrete means to avoid similar falls in the future.  So, the more “wake-up calls” (i.e., sins) a person commits, the more he should realize his need for more prayer – and take those means.


Sin is the only true evil.  Mortal sin is the gravest evil and destroys a person’s ability to merit.  However, even a man in mortal sin should continue his prayers, good works, and penances, to avoid further harm to himself and others and to make it easier to do good in the future. 


[1]           Here is how St. Alphonsus de Liguori, Doctor of the Church, teaches this truth:


A single venial sin is more displeasing to God than all the good works we can perform.


Uniformity with God’s Will, §6.


            Here is how St. John of the Cross, Doctor of the Catholic Church, teaches this truth:


Our Lord said in the Gospel: “He that is unfaithful in little will be unfaithful also in much.”  For he that avoids the small sin will not fall into the great sin; but great evil is inherent in the small sin, since it has already penetrated within the fence and wall of the heart; and as the proverb says: Once begun, half done.


Ascent of Mount Carmel, Book III, ch.20, section 1.


Here is how Cardinal Newman compares the smallest sin to the greatest human suffering:


The Catholic Church holds it better for the sun and moon to drop from heaven, for the earth to fail, and for all the many millions on it to die of starvation in extremest agony, as far as temporal affliction goes, than that one soul, I will not say, should be lost, but should commit one single venial sin, should tell one willful untruth, or should steal one poor farthing without excuse.


Apologia Vita Sua, by John Henry Cardinal Newman, Image Books, Doubleday, Garden City, New York, © 1956, p.324.


[2]           Read the explanation of this truth here:

[3]           Read the explanation of this truth here:

[4]           Read the explanation of this truth here:

[5]           Read the explanation of this truth here:

[6]           The Catholic Encyclopedia teaches:


Perfect contrition, with the desire of receiving the Sacrament of Penance, restores the sinner to grace at once.  This is certainly the teaching of the Scholastic doctors (Peter Lombard in P.L., CXCII, 885; St. Thomas, In Lib. Sent. IV, ibid.; St. Bonaventure, In Lib. Sent. IV, ibid.).


Catholic Encyclopedia, 1908, Volume 4, article: Contrition, page 339.


After this first attempt at a perfect act of contrition, he should continue to attempt to make further perfect acts of contrition.

Regardless of the state of his soul, everyone should strive greatly, every day, to make perfect acts of charity and perfect acts of contrition for his past sins.  A man in mortal sin should do this even more urgently.


Read this article about making perfect acts of contrition:




[8]           Read an explanation of the evil of his advice here:


[9]           Of course, he is still obliged to go to confession when he has the chance to do so, to an uncompromising priest.


[10]         Here is how St. Thomas Aquinas, greatest Doctor of the Church, explains this truth:


According to the Philosopher (Ethic. viii, 2,3) not every love has the character of friendship, but that love which is together with benevolence, when, to wit, we love someone so as to wish good to him.  If, however, we do not wish good to what we love, but wish its good for ourselves, (thus we are said to love wine, or a horse, or the like), it is love not of friendship, but of a kind of concupiscence. For it would be absurd to speak of having friendship for wine or for a horse.


Summa, IIa IIae, Q.23, a.1, sed contra and respondeo (emphasis added).

[11]         Summa, Ia, Q.93, a.2, found here:


[12]         Summa, Ia IIae, Q.109, a.3.