CC in brief — November

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

Q.  There are various groups, e.g., PETA (which stands for “People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals”) that seem to condemn as wrong the killing of animals.  Can we sin by being cruel to animals?

A.  We can only sin against a person, not directly against property.  Animals (i.e., brute beasts) are property, usually belonging to a particular person.  We can no more sin against an animal than we could sin against other kinds of property, viz., a plant or a non-living body.  However, if we mistreat any kind of property this can be a sin against its owner.  For example, if we cut down the tree in our neighbor’s yard, this can be a sin against him. 

Further, any harm we do to any kind of property can be a sin against God, the Creator, in two ways:

1.    It can be a sin of wasting the good gifts of God, if we unreasonably destroy them. 

2.    If we needlessly cause an animal (even a pest) to suffer, not for the purpose of killing it, but purely for the sake of causing that animal to suffer, e.g., to torture a housefly simply because we want it to suffer, that is a sin of showing contempt for their Creator and is a sin against God.

CC in brief — October

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:  In the Our Father, it says “lead us not into temptation”.  Why would God lead us into temptation?  (And if these words do not actually mean “lead us”, why does the Our Father say “lead us”?)

A: Sacred Scripture sometimes speaks of God doing what He permits to be done.  For example, in the Book of Exodus, God says He will harden Pharao’s heart, whereas God permitted Pharao to harden his own heart.  Exodus, 4:21.  In these words of the Our Father, we are asking God to not permit us to be conquered by temptation and so to commit sin.

CC in brief — September

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.  We call Our Lady the “Mother of God”.  But God is eternal and has no beginning.  Why don’t we call her the “Mother of Jesus” instead?

A.  Although it is correct to call Our Lady the “Mother of Jesus”, she is also truly the Mother of God.  Our Lord is a Divine Person, not a human person.  Mary is the mother of a Person – and that Person is God.

CC in brief – August

Catholic Candle note: Catholic Candle normally examines particular issues thoroughly, at length, especially using the teachings of St. Thomas Aquinas and the other Doctors of the Church.  At the urging of one of our readers, we are trying new feature: CC in brief, giving an extremely short answer to a reader’s question.  We invite readers to submit their own questions.

Q. In the Apostles Creed, it says Christ "descended into hell."  What exactly does that mean?  And if it doesn’t actually mean hell, why does it say “hell”?

A. “Hell” refers to those places where the souls of the decease are detained, that have not been admitted to heaven.  “Hell” includes the place of eternal punishment suffered by the damned, but also includes Purgatory, the Limbo of the Babies and the Limbo of the Fathers.  Our Lord descended into hell to free the souls of the just, who were waiting for Him in the Limbo of the Fathers.

CC in brief – July

Catholic Candle note: Catholic Candle often examines particular issues thoroughly, at length, using the teachings of St. Thomas Aquinas and the other Doctors of the Church.  At the urging of one of our readers, we are going to try a new feature: CC in brief, giving an extremely short answer to a reader’s question.  We invite readers to submit their own questions.

 

Q. What is meant by calling Mary the “Ark of the Covenant” in her litany?

A. Our Faith is deep and rich and this topic deserves a much longer answer.  However, briefly, the Blessed Virgin Mary is the very fitting vessel who contained God on earth.  She was foreshadowed by the Ark of the Covenant, carried by the Israelites in the Old Testament, as the abode of God in a special way.