Thinking about a topic for tonight’s post I stumbled upon a great idea: How about ME? ;) I’ve been reading a lot of posts and tweets about what COVID-19 is like. Suffering from it, that is. And to tell the truth, it sounds a lot like what I go through every day with sarcoidosis, on steroids. (That there be an inside joke. Sarcoidosis. On steroids. Steroids being the main, if not the only treatment for it. Ha. Sigh. Ahem! Anyway…)
I am NOT making light of COVID-19, nor am I saying it’s no worse than sarcoidosis. It clearly is. I’m just saying that there are similarities. Here’s what I mean.
+JMJ+ Welcome to part 16 of our weekly series on the soul. Tonight I wanted to share something I learned today about Saint Francis de Paola. I have to confess that I knew very little about him other than his name until now, but I read a little about him today (since it is his feast day) and downloaded more to sift through. But what I want to share with you right now is the animal/soul connection. It seems that St. Francis de Paola had legendary compassion for animals. And I say “legendary” because the only mentions I can find about it are in accounts of legends that have grown up about him. That doesn’t mean they aren’t true or that there isn’t at least a kernel of truth about them. I haven’t gotten very far along in my research yet, but I find it interesting nonetheless. (Notes and links will be at the end of the post.)
Welcome to part 15 of the weekly series on the soul. I’ve been sharing parts of books, videos, podcasts and what-have-you on the human soul according to the teachings of the Church. We’ve looked at two classic works, Cistercian Dom Wiesinger’s Occult Phenomena in the Light of Theology, and Benedictine Dom Vonier’s The Human Soul and its Relations with Other Spirits. We watched videos by The Thomistic Institute in the Aquinas 101 series, and we’ve heard episodes from the Catholic Culture podcast talking with Associate Professor in the Department of Humanities and Augustinian Traditions at Villanova University, James Matthew Wilson and his book, The Vision of the Soul: Truth, Goodness and Beauty in the Western Tradition. This week we’ll look at another classic text, this one by Dominican Fr. Antonio Marín Royo and his Theology of Christian Perfection, translated by Fr. Jordan Aumann. Fr. Garrigou-Lagrange is said to have preferred this book to his own.
I read that massive two-volume tome by Fr. Garrigou-Lagrange when I was beginning to fall in love with the Church and for him to prefer Fr. Royo’s is high praise, indeed. So I thought we would look at Fr. Royo’s book and specifically at Part 2, Chapter 2: Causes of Mystical Phenomena, beginning on page 561. (Note: Fr. Garrigou read the Spanish original but I can’t read Spanish so I have to use the English abridgement translated by Fr. Aumann. So that’s what we’ll use here.) Notes and links are at the end of the post.
Welcome to part 14 of our weekly series on the soul. In the previous couple of weeks we’ve been reading what Dom Vonier wrote about Angels and Guardian Angels and our human souls in relation to them. This week we’ll wrap up with the Angels for now (pages 328-334) and then I have something to share with you about my family’s experiences of many years past. Next week we’ll look at a different book: Fr. Antonio Royo Marín’s Theology of Christian Perfection. All quotes are from Dom Vonier’s book unless otherwise indicated. As always, notes and links will be at the end of the post. Let’s go!
Welcome to part 13 of our weekly series on the soul. Last week we looked at the chapter in Dom Vonier’s book on the Angels and their relation to us. This week we’ll look at the Guardian Angels, Ch. XLVIII, pages 309-328. You can catch up using the links above or at the end of this post. I’ll include notes and other links there, too. The quotes are from Dom Vonier’s book unless otherwise noted. Punctuation as in the original.
“There is a good deal of allusion to the theology of the Angels in this book on the Human Soul. This is unavoidable, as the theology of the Human Soul coincides in many points with the theology of the Angels.” —Dom Vonier
Welcome to part 12 of our weekly series on the soul. For this week I’ve chosen The Human Soul and its Relations with Other Spirits, by Dom Anscar Vonier, OSB, who, like Dom Wiesinger, OSCO, looked mainly to St. Thomas Aquinas as the Master Theologian, mainly if not exclusively. (Oh, how I love these good, old, Catholic books!) You can get a PDF copy for free. I’ll put a link at the end of the post. (I bought a Kindle version at Amazon, but I can’t recommend it to you. So many typos and even missing words. Oy! Commission from affiliate link or not, I can’t recommend it at all. I’m not even going to post the link.)
Welcome to part 11 of our weekly series on the soul. This week I want to talk about the powers of the soul and the phenomena that is often called paranormal or occult these days, phenomena also too often ascribed to angels, Holy Souls, or demons, when it could easily have its source in ourselves or in others around us, sometimes but not always in the circle of our family and friends. Notes and links are at the end of this post.
This is a ghost post inspired by a video by Fr Mike Schmitz. (Video below, notes and links at the end of the post.)
“The mere thought of ghosts can give us goose bumps sometimes, but there are still moments when we think ghost stories are just made up to scare us. Maybe it’s time for some real talk about things that go bump in the night, and other stirrings we suspect may be specters. Can souls continue to communicate with the living after they die? In this video, Fr. Mike gives a powerful reason for why he believes they can.” —From “I Ain’t Afraid of No Ghost!” a video by Fr. Mike Schmitz.
When I watched Fr. Mike’s video (see below) I was reminded of what Dom Wiesinger, OSCO, said in his book from earlier in our series. A ghost might not even be a ghost, might not necessarily be a person who has died, but might be a soul coming into contact with another soul, consciously or unconsciously (on either person’s part). We are taught so little about the soul that we do not know how to recognize ghosts, persons alive here and now, and the difference between these and demons.
Welcome to part 10 of our weekly series on the soul. This week we have two videos, both from the Thomistic Institute and their Aquinas 101 series, Powers of the Soul: A First Look and A Closer Look. The human soul shares much in common with other souls, but there are also some things that set us apart.
There are many videos in that series that I think you’ll enjoy. I’ll probably include some more in this series or another one later. Right now I’m halfway through reading a book about the soul from which I plan to begin sharing text next week. Links and notes are at the end of this post.
The Thomistic Institute is offering a free course on the Summa Theologiae by St. Thomas Aquinas. You can sign up for it and receive the videos in your email or you can view the videos on YouTube or listen to the audio on Soundcloud. You can watch one of the videos below on the Immortality of the Soul. Links and notes will be at the end of this post. (All quotes are from the video below unless otherwise indicated.)
“Soul was associated with life breath, not first of all with thinking or consciousness. Now, when we use the term soul to refer to the principle or source of life in a living thing, then whatever is living is animated by a soul.”