The Jesse Tree of Advent

jesse-treeEach day in Advent (the weeks before Christmas), we tell a story about people and events from the beginning of the world until Jesus was born. The stories help us to understand God’s plan for the world and for people. Each day we hang an ornament to remind us of the story on a branch of our Jesse Tree.

The name Jesse tree comes from the book of Isaiah in the Bible. Isaiah said:

“A shoot will spring forth from the stump of Jesse, and a branch out of his roots.”

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November: Remember Our Holy Souls

st-hedwig-cemeteryDuring November the Church especially prays for all who are in the purifying fires of Purgatory, waiting for the day when they will join the company of the saints in heaven. The celebration of Mass is the highest means the Church can provide for charity for the dead, but we can also relieve their sufferings through our prayers, sufferings and penances. We an also help the Poor Souls by doing acts and prayers that have indulgences attached to them. There are many indulgences, applicable only to the souls in Purgatory, that can be obtained during the month of November.

An indulgence is "the remission before God of the temporal punishment due for sins already forgiven as far as their guilt is concerned." To obtain this remission there are proper dispositions and certain conditions predetermined by the Church that must be met by the faithful. The remission is acquired through the intervention of the Church, who has the power to loose and bind granted through Jesus Christ. "As minister of the Redemption, authoritatively dispenses and applies the treasury of the satisfaction won by Christ and the Saints" (Enchiridion of Indulgences).

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What does it mean that Chirst descended into Hell?

the-harrowing-of-hellScripture calls the abode of the dead, to which the dead Christ went down, "hell" - Sheol in Hebrew or Hades in Greek - because those who are there are deprived of the vision of God. Such is the case for all the dead, whether evil or righteous, while they await the Redeemer: which does not mean that their lot is identical, as Jesus shows through the parable of the poor man Lazarus who was received into "Abraham's bosom":

"It is precisely these holy souls, who awaited their Savior in Abraham's bosom, whom Christ the Lord delivered when he descended into hell." Jesus did not descend into hell to deliver the damned, nor to destroy the hell of damnation, but to free the just who had gone before him.

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Defend Your Faith

19-faithWhat an argument isn’t—and is 

An argument is not an assertion such as, for example, “Jesus Christ established the Catholic Church.” Nor is an argument merely a contradictory assertion such as, “No, he didn’t.” In contrast to the common usage of the term, an argument is not a quarrel, a fight, or a disagreement. A formal argument is a set of propositions called premises from which the person who is making the argument seeks to establish a conclusion.

Types of arguments

There are two main types of arguments: deductive and inductive.

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