Choose a topic from Vol 2:


Proof of God's existence
God's nature
Supreme control over all things and the problem of suffering and evil


Destiny of man
Immortality of man's soul
Pre-existence denied
The human free will
Determinism absurd


Necessity of religion
Salvation of the soul
Voice of science
Religious racketeers
Divine revelation
Revealed mysteries
Existence of miracles

The Religion of the Bible

Gospels historical
Missing Books of the Bible
The Bible inspired
Biblical account of creation
New Testament problems
Supposed contradictions in Sacred Scripture

The Christian Faith

Source of Christian teaching
Jewish rejection of Christ
Christianity a new religion
Rational foundation for belief
Causes of unbelief

A Definite Christian Faith

Divisions amongst Christians
Schisms unjustified
Facing the problem
The wrong approach
Is one religion as good as another?
Obligation of inquiry
Charity and tolerance

The Protestant Reformation

Meaning of "Protestant"
Causes of the Reformation
Catholic reaction
Reformers mistaken
The idealization of Protestantism
The Catholic estimate

The Truth of Catholicism

Meaning of the word "Church"
Origin of the Church
The Catholic claim
The Roman hierarchy
The Pope
The Petrine text
St. Peter's supremacy
St. Peter in Rome
Temporal power
Unity of the Church
Holiness of the Church
Catholicity of the Church
Apostolicity of the Church
Indefectibility of the Church
Obligation to be a Catholic

The Church and the Bible

Catholic attitude towards the Bible
Is Bible reading forbidden to Catholics?
Protestant Bibles
The Catholic Douay Version
Principle of private interpretation
Need of Tradition
The teaching authority of the Catholic Church

The Dogmas of the Church

Revolt against dogma
Value of a Creed
The divine gift of Faith
Faith and reason
The "Dark Ages"
The claims of science
The Holy Trinity
Creation and evolution
Grace and salvation
The Sacraments
Holy Eucharist
The Sacrifice of the Mass
Holy Communion
The Catholic Priesthood
Marriage and divorce
Extreme Unction
The resurrection of the body
The end of the world

The Church and Her Moral Teachings

The Inquisition
Other superstitions
Attendance at Mass
Sex education
Attitude to "Free Love"

The Church in Her Worship

Magnificent edifices
Lavish ritual
Women in Church
Catholics and "Mother's Day"
Liturgical Days
Burial rites
Candles and votive lamps
The rosary
Lourdes water
The Scapular

The Church and Social Welfare

Social influence of the Church
The education question
The Church and world distress
Catholic attitude towards Capitalism
The remedy for social ills
Communism condemned
The Fascist State
Morality of war
May individuals become soldiers?
The Church and peace
Capital punishment
Catholic Action

Comparative Study of Non-Catholic Denominations

Defections from the Catholic Church
Coptic Church
Greek Orthodox Church
Anglican Episcopal Church
The "Free" or "Nonconformist" Churches
Church of Christ
Seventh Day Adventists
Plymouth Brethren
Catholic Apostolic Church or Irvingites
Salvation Army
Christian Science
British Israelism
Liberal Catholics
Witnesses of Jehovah
Buchmanism or the "Oxford Group Movement"
From Protestantism to Catholicism

To and From Rome

Conversion of Cardinal Newman
Why Gladstone refrained
The peculiar case of Lord Halifax
Gibbon the historian
Secession of Father Chiniquy
Father Tyrrell, the modernist
Bishop Garrett's departure
Judgment on lapsed Catholics
Protestant apathy towards conversion of Catholics
Principles for converts to Catholicism
God's will that all should become Catholics

Other superstitions

951. Can cup readers really see the future of the person whose cup they are reading?


952. I have met people who really believe in these things.

You would do them a kindness in referring them to a mental specialist.

953. I would like to know what you think about it.

It's a lot of silly nonsense.

954. Does the Catholic Church forbid dreams?

The Church can hardly forbid a man to dream, for dreams can arise from purely mechanical and involuntary excitation of the imagination. But the Church does forbid people to regard dreams as certain manifestations of knowledge or reliable sources of information. Belief in dreams is ordinarily superstition, and they should be ignored, not taken as a guide to conduct.

955. If so, on what authority?

God Himself declares that dreams are to be disregarded, and that it is wrong to trust in them.Thus, we read in Deut. XVIII., 10, "Neither let there be found among you anyone that observeth dreams and omens." And again in Jer. XXIX., 8, "For thus saith the Lord of Hosts . . . give no heed to your dreams which you dream."

956. In Genesis XXXVII., we read of Joseph's dream of the sheaves, by which his future was indicated.

That prophetical dream was certainly sent by God. Aware of that, and of other similar cases, I said that ordinarily a belief in dreams is superstition.Dreams can arise from four possible causes, and the first test of the value of dreams is negative, i. e., we must exhaust possibilities.Two possible causes are within ourselves; and two external to ourselves.Within ourselves we have mind and body. Anxious thought or strong impressions of soul can react during sleep by mechanical excitation of the imagination. Such dreams are natural psychological events, reflecting past mental states, and in no way indicating the future. They should not be regarded as reliable sources of knowledge of the future. Again, the body can cause dreams by indisposition owing to food, indigestion, nerves, etc. Such dreams, whilst indicating perhaps present ill health, cannot be relied upon as signs of the future without superstition.External to us we have either evil or good spirits. The vast majority, if not all our dreams will be traced to natural dispositions of soul or body. But when neither of these natural causes could account for them, then we must test whether they are of God or of evil spirits.If they are of God, the object of which one dreams will be good and pure in itself and in no way unworthy of God. The dream will impel the recipient to holiness of life and give rise to no evil impulses. The soul will remain in that tranquility of peace which God gives, and not be perturbed, anxious and upset. Even so, the individual soul is not a judge in its own case. If one believes that God has manifested His Will by means of a dream, he should submit the whole matter to his spiritual adviser, whether during or apart from Confession, and be guided by the prudent directions of an experienced Priest.

957. What is the nature of a curse?

In the strict sense of the word, a curse is the invoking of evils upon another in the name of God. In other words, it is an implicit prayer to God that He will afflict the person cursed with certain specified or unspecified evils.

958. What is the power or probable effect of a curse?

None whatever, if it proceeds from human ill will or malice. God certainly will not answer prayers inviting Him to fulfill the sinful aims of men.On the other hand a curse might proceed, not from ill will, but from good will, and for the good of some malefactor. Not malice, but a love of justice, and a desire to prevent further iniquity, might impel an indignant man to say to one who has willfully shot another, "May God wither your arm that you may never shoot again." God could certainly make that curse realize its purpose, even though normally He would not do so. Under the inspiration of God the prophets of old have cursed sinners, but in those cases they have merely pronounced the sentence of God in the name of God.

959. May an ordinary individual call down the curse of God upon another?

To wish any evil to another with malice and the evil desire of seeing him suffer would be sinful. The gravity of the sin would depend upon the intensity of one's evil dispositions, and the character of the affliction invoked. Normally speaking, it is mortal sin to curse a fellow human being. It could be a venial or lighter sin, if no really serious evil were intended or the curse were uttered only impulsively and in a sudden rush of temper.It could be lawful for an ordinary individual to wish evil to another provided he intended only the good of that other, and the good intended outweighs the evil invoked upon him. But it is better to abstain altogether from expressing such wishes. Human wisdom does not always rightly judge as to what is best. There is always danger of self-deception as to the motives prompting our actions, and it is easy to interpret our own ill will in terms of lofty disinterested ideals. Also the invocation of God's name involves a great risk of irreverence and blasphemy.

960. Is it likely that one cursed by another without any justifying reason would meet with misfortune, and bring misfortune upon his immediate associates?

Not in the least.

961. Would people who frequent a place cursed by an ordinary individual without justifying reason incur a misfortune?


962. If a person frequenting such a place did meet with misfortune, to what would you attribute it?

Certainly not to the unjustified curse. To attribute the misfortune to that would be sheer superstition. If a misfortune should occur, it would be one which would have occurred in any case, and it should be regarded as a mere coincidence that it took place after visiting a supposedly cursed locality. It might possibly also be attributable to one's own mental state. Highly strung and superstitious people, on hearing of the curse, could work themselves up into a state of worry and illness, and attribute these evil effects to the curse instead of attributing them to their own psychological conditions. No reasonable person should pay any attention to curses invoked on persons, places, or things, by irresponsible people. Misfortunes don't happen merely because evilly disposed people wish them to occur.

963. Is it lawful to take an oath on the Bible in a court of law?

There is nothing wrong with such a practice. It is dictated by faith in God, as also by a love of truth and justice. In no way is it intended to be a contempt of God, or an expression of irreverence. If men were always truthful so that one could always rely with absolute confidence upon their testimony, the oath in court would be quite unnecessary. But men are not always truthful, and in very grave matters involving the administration of justice, the State has the right to impress upon men their obligation to tell the truth. By his oath on the Holy Bible, a man calls upon Almighty God to witness that he is telling the truth. If he commits perjury, he has solemnly called upon God to witness that a lie is the truth—inviting Almighty God to share in his prevarication. The average man, at least, finds this consideration a sobering thought. If he would not stop at a lie, he hardly desires to go so far as sacrilege and blasphemy. God Himself sanctioned this use of His name and authority in the cause of truth. In Deut. VI., 13, we read, "Thou shalt fear the Lord thy God; and thou shalt swear by His Name." St. Paul wrote to the Corinthians, "I call God to witness upon my soul that to spare you I came not to Corinth." 2 Cor. I., 23.An oath, taken for a grave reason, and observed in a spirit of reverence is a good thing. Evil appears when people take oaths flippantly and without cause; or when they do not observe their lawful oaths.



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