Pre-order “On Purgatory” by St. Robert Bellarmine!

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St. Robert Bellarmine’s treatise, De Purgatorio will soon be available for the first time in English translation. Translated from his famous Controversies, On Purgaotry is divided into two books. The first proves Purgatory exists while the treats on the circumstances of Purgatory, namely who goes there, why, how long? Where is it, etc.
In his characteristic style, Bellarmine takes the argument first to the scriptures, offering exegesis from the Old and New Testaments on passages which prove Purgatory exists, then showing a consensus of the Fathers in commenting on the same verse. Then, he looks to the general teachings of the Fathers on the need for the souls of those with venial sin or temporal punishment to be cleansed after death and then how it is witnessed by Councils. Lastly, he examines later authors and refutes not only the errors of Protestants on this doctrine, but also errors among certain Catholic theologians.

We provide here a sample from the work:

Book II, CHAPTER V
Objections made from the prayers of the Church are answered

SOME object, firstly, with certain testimonies of the Scriptures which the Church uses in the office of the dead. She desires to pray for souls that abide in Purgatory from Psalm 6:3, “My soul is exceedingly disturbed.” And in the same place, verse 2: “Cleanse my soul, because my bones have been crushed.” And Psalm 114 (115):3, “The sorrows of death surrounded me, and the dangers of hell found me.” Certainly, things such as disturbance and anxiety cannot be born from punishments alone, but from uncertainty and fear of eternal damnation. If those souls were perfect in charity, and were certain of their salvation, they would not be so afraid, seeing that it is written: “The just man will not be sorrowful, whatever happens to him” (Proverbs 12:21).

I respond: It is foolish to understand what the Church uses from some Psalm in the office for the dead as being applied literally in all its parts to the dead; for how would we understand verses of the same Psalm 6:6 to be about the dead: “I will wash my bed every night, I will water my sheets with my tears”? Therefore, the Church usually reads the whole of some passage of Scripture on account of one or another teaching which bears on the present matter, even if the greater part of that passage does not bear on it. It is thus in the dedication of a Church, where the Gospel about Zachaeus is read, only for the reason that the last words, “Today salvation has entered this house,” are suited in some mode to the dedication and consecration of a Church. In like manner, in the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin, the Church reads the Gospel of Martha and the Magdalene on account of these words: “Mary has chosen the best part, and it will not be taken from her.” And so (that I might omit many others) in the office of the dead on account of the words, “Have mercy on me O Lord, because I am weak.” (Psalm 6:2). And on account of that of Psalm 114 (115):9, “I will please the Lord in the land of the living.” These whole psalms are read.

Add that what is assumed in the argument is also false, that disturbance and sadness are not born from suffering but from uncertainty or despair of salvation; for the Lord himself (John 12:27) says in his regard: “Now my soul is troubled,” and in Matthew 26:37, he began to be sad and wept, and still neither uncertainty nor desperation could fall upon the Lord. But the passage of Proverbs ought not be received on any sadness you like, but on the sadness with dejection and despair, which causes death, which St. Paul calls the sadness of this age (2 Corinthians 7:10).

The second objection is taken form that prayer which is recited after the Gospel in the Mass for the dead: “O Lord, free the souls of all the faithful departed from the punishments of hell and from the deep lake; free them from the mouth of the lion lest the underworld would absorb them, lest they fall into obscurity, etc.”
Some respond that the Church prays for those who are in agony so that they will not be damned to hell. But this is opposed to the part that says: Free the souls of all the faithful departed, for they are not said to be in agony. Then, the use of the Church has that this prayer is said even on the anniversaries of the dead for those souls who had died many years ago. Others say this prayer is poured forth for those who are in hell, whom, it turns out, are freed later, as is related about Trajan. But that I might omit how improbable that history of Trajan is, those who are in hell have already fallen into obscurity and also were absorbed into the underworld. Therefore, what does the Church pray for, when she asks lest they fall into darkness or be absorbed into the underworld? Next, the Church only prays for the faithful: “Free the souls of the faithful departed.” But they are not faithful who are damned to hell.

Therefore there are to other answers that can be given. One is that the Church prays for the souls of those who abide in Purgatory so that they will not be condemned to the eternal punishment of hell, though not because it is uncertain that they are not going to be damned to those punishments, but because God wants us to pray also for those things which we will receive for certain.

But one can object against this response that even if the Church sometimes prays for those things which there is not reception for certain, nevertheless it does not pray for those things which it has already received; hence it has already received lest these souls would be damned since they have a certain sentence and are most secure. Next, the mind of the faithful, who pray for the dead, or desire it to be prayed, is certainly related by the fact that they help those souls and obtain for them relief from the present punishments of Purgatory.

But these objections are easily dealt with, for even if the souls of Purgatory had already received the first sentence in the particular judgment, and were freed from hell by that sentence, still the general judgment, wherein they are going to receive the second sentence, remains. In this regard, the Church, prays lest in the final judgment those souls would fall into obscurity or be absorbed into the underworld. It does not pray for that which the soul received but for that which it is going to receive.

But to that from the intention of the faithful, I respond that it would be enough for that intention, for in that prayer both things are asked, namely that the souls be freed from the punishments of hell, i.e. Purgatory, which are suffered at the present, and later that they would be freed from the sentence of damnation imposed in the last judgment.

There is another answer, that the Church truly prays insofar as to her intention, that souls be freed from the punishments of Purgatory, nevertheless she uses that mode of speaking as if the souls just left the body as if their eternal salvation were in danger, because it calls to mind and represents the day of deposition, or death, as in the celebration of feasts of the Incarnation, Nativity, Apparition, of the Passion and Resurrection, the Ascension of the Lord the Church so prays, and if then Christ ought either to be incarnated or born, etc., because it represents these mysteries, as present realities, still she does not intend to pray literally for this, say that the Word would become flesh, or born from a Virgin, etc., but so that the fruit of these mysteries would be applied to us; so also in the sacrifice for the dead, because the day of their death is commemorated, the Church so prays for them as if then they had died; and still intends to pray so that they would be freed from hell in the mode in which they can be freed; i.e., that they would not be detained any longer in those punishments, or that some rest would be mixed with sorrows. Then, how is it not absurd, that now after 1500 years to say for the Lord’s arrival; “Rorate caeli de super, et nubes pluant justum; aperiatur terra, et germinet Salvatorem,” and many other kinds of things, so that it is not absurd to say for the dead, “free them from the mouth of the lion, lest they fall into oblivion,” etc.

On Purgatory will be available in a few weeks. You will be notified as soon as it ships.

Latin by the Natural Method from Fr. Most is back in print!

Latin by the Natural Method

322 pages
ISBN-10: 0692473920
$25.00

 

Latin by the Natural Method
Vol. 2
Fr. William Most
ISBN-13: 978-0692590072
ISBN-10: 0692590072
294 pages

$27.99

New! Teacher’s Guide to Fr. Most Latin with answer key.

Latin_nat_method_teachers_front

$12.00

NB: The Teacher’s guide explains the method carried out in this series, as well as the pedagogical approach for both book 1 and book 2. After the chapter by chapter explanation, there is an answer key for the English to Latin exercises contained in both books, as well as a key for the Latin scrambles. This has been completely reformatted and typeset, it is not a facsimile!

Coming soon! Volume 3

Bulk pricing available for schools, homeschool co-ops, colleges and seminaries. (contact: info at mediatrixpress.com)

 

 

 

 

 

Latin by the Natural Method
Teacher’s Guide + Volume 1 + Volume 2 + Volume 3 (Coming soon)

$85 $65.00

NB: Volume 3 will ship when it is complete.

From the Preface:

Most Americans who have studied Latin, with our priests and seminarians included, have employed this method, which they thought was ‘traditional’. But as something fully developed, this tradition scarcely goes farther back than 1880; and even in its beginnings it hardly antedates the seventeenth century.

In contrast to this method of grammatical analysis, Father Most’s textbooks reproduce much of the “natural method” by which children learn their native language. Hence, the significance of Father Most’s books is manifestly great for the Latin classes in any Catholic high schools or colleges. So much of our Catholic doctrine and culture have been deposited in Latin that we want many of our educated Catholics to be able to use Latin with ease. But the special significance of Father Most’s texts is for the Latin classes in our seminaries. Here the students still have much the same cogent motives to master the art of using Latin with ease as the pupils of the thirteenth or sixteenth century. They need it as an indispensable means of communicating thought in their higher studies, and afterwards throughout life. The objectives (knowledge about Latin and training of mind) and corresponding methods (grammatical analysis and translation) “traditional” since 1880 have taken over in our seminaries; and there too the students have been experiencing an ever growing inability to use Latin. Father Most’s textbooks can contribute much towards revolutionizing the teaching of Latin by bringing back, as the chief objective, the art of reading, writing, and (when desired) speaking Latin with ease.” [Preface]

Fr. Most’s textbooks start from a pedagogical method which is revolutionary in Latin instruction: the starting point is Later Latin (3-6th century), which Fr. Most considers more advanced than classical Latin by a simple principle: a language is effective at communicating its ideas in a clear manner with simpler vehicles. In the teacher’s guide, he makes his case for why Later Latin is more advanced in this than classical Latin, as the classical period was still evolving its vehicles and devices for communication. When he says this, Fr. Most is not attempting to belittle the importance of the silver and golden ages, but to simply note they are not per se the be all and end all of what is Latin. So he begins with Later Latin principles and grammar, and proceeds backward to reading the classical period at the end of book two and in book three. Thus, Fr. Most’s texts culminate in reading the prose of the classical period.

This is an excellent text applying the “natural method” with English language instruction to help the student read and understand Latin natively, with numerous vehicles for simplifying the necessary memorization as well as aiding in truly understanding Latin without constant need to look in a dictionary for rudimentary sentences.

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Update: Thanks to a reader, we have acquired the tape-script for the otherwise unattainable tapes that accompanied these books. We will be working next year to reproduce the tape script on CD as well as for download. Keep this intention in your prayers!

The Carthusian Rite: History and Ritual

Carthusian_rite_ebookThe Carthusian Rite – Ebook
History and Ritual
By Archdale A. King

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The Carthusian Rite is one of the most ancient and least changed rites in the history of the Religious Orders of the Church. This work gives, along with a general history of the order, a study of the rite, its spirituality and an examination of the ordinary of the Carthusian Mass.

This work is excerpted from Archdale A. King’s Liturgy of the Religious Orders, which will be reprinted whole by Mediatrix Press, and from which more excerpts will be taken. The future editions will be: “The Cistercian Rite”, the “Norbertine Rite”, the “Carmelite Rite” and the “Dominican Rite”.

On the Roman Pontiff, by St. Robert Bellarmine, S.J.

de_romano_pontifice_front_cover$20.00

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At long last, the very first translation of St. Robert Bellarmine’s masterpiece of a theological tract on the Papacy.

For the first time in history, St. Robert Bellarmine’s work, De Romano Pontifice, On the Roman Pontiff, has been translated and made available in English!
In this Theological treatise, St. Robert Bellarmine takes on Protestant as well as Greek Orthodox objections to the Papacy.
This Volume contains books 1 and 2, with 3-5 forthcoming in June. These two books take up two subjects:
First, that Christ established the Primacy of Peter by means of an Ecclesiastical Monarchy, which takes up subjects as diverse as: What is the best form of government? Why it is fitting the Church’s government should be a monarchy; Exegetical Commentary on the Lord’s words in Matthew 16 and John 21, along with copious Patristic testimony.
The second subject, which is taken up in Book 2, is whether Peter has successors in the Ecclesiastical Monarchy, wherein Bellarmine defends the Church’s position on: The true history of Peter; that Peter truly went to Rome; that Peter was truly a Bishop there; that upon his death he was succeeded by men in the Ecclesiastical monarchy, as well as its proof from the Fathers, then through all the refutations, Bellarmine asks what would happen if the Pope were a heretic.
This important work was foundational to the thought of the Council Fathers at Vatican I, where Bellarmine enjoyed as great a prestige as St. Thomas Aquinas at the Council of Trent.

Click the links above to purchase, or purchase on Amazon.

To assist us in getting the next volume out, namely to have sufficient funding to acquire a faster editor, please consider donating to this effort, even as little as $20. More details here.

A Small Catechism for Catholics

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100 pages
Translated into English for the first time in 300 years! The Parvus Catechismus Catholicorum is now in print, with a new translation by Ryan Grant.  This catechism includes instruction on:

-The 3 Theological virtues and the Creed
-The Our Father, Hail Mary, and 10 commandments
-The Sacraments
-The Duties of Christian Justice (morals)
-Testimony from the Scriptures which support the Catholic faith.
-Artwork from great painters such as Raphael, Rubens, Rembrandt and Van Eyck.

This volume, the third and smallest of St. Peter Canisius’ small catechisms, is a beginning to our efforts to translate his other works, such as the much larger Summa Doctrinae Christianae. Nothing else like it exists in English! We’re breaking historic ground, and hope to do much more. This book also includes a foreword by Fr. Chad Ripperger, PhD.