Catholic Theology Video: St Justin Martyr and His Heretic Disciple Tatian

I recently fielded a question about rigorist Christians (even Catholics) who believe that Adam and Eve would have never had physical marital relations had it not been for original sin.

This belief goes back to the heretical Encratites. The Encratites were a rigorist Christian sect that condemned not only sexual relations within Christian marriage (that is, that said that even married people must abstain after baptism), but they also condemned the consumption of alcohol – even omitting wine in the Eucharistic liturgy.

This latter point is ironic since Jesus turned water into wine at a marriage.

Perhaps the most infamous Encratite was Tatian – the disciple of Saint Justin Martyr. This proves that even the greatest theologians and teachers can have disciples that become heretics!

So since today is the feast of Saint Justin Martyr, here is a free Catholic Church History lesson from the New Saint Thomas Institute:

Catholic Course on Saint Justin Martyr and Tatian the Heretic:

If you’d like to join thousands of other online students, and take online classes in Catholic history, theology, apologetics, philosophy, Church Councils, Christology, Mariology, etc. please sign up and begin one of our curricula at the New Saint Thomas Institute.

Is there literal physical fire in Purgatory? Video and Thomas Aquinas

The Eastern Orthodox often reject the Latin doctrine of Purgatory based on the Latin tradition of “physical fire” purifying souls in purgatory.

The Latin phrase used by Thomas Aquinas and others is “corporal fire.” For example:

I answer that, In Purgatory there will be a twofold pain; one will be the pain of loss, namely the delay of the divine vision, and the pain of sense, namely punishment by corporeal fire. (STh Supp. App I. q. 2, a. 5)

The Latin is ignis corporalis. The “corporeal fire” of Purgatory is one of the doctrines that the Greek Orthodox objected to during the Second Council of Lyons (1274). Saint Thomas Aquinas was discharged to defend the doctrine at this council, but he died on the way. Saint Bonaventure was sent in his stead (and Bonaventure died at the end of Council).

I very rarely disagree with Saint Thomas Aquinas, but I do disagree here – but I will offer a Benedict XVI suggestion that might provide a unique solution.

How can “corporeal fire” purify an immaterial non-corporeal soul in Purgatory? This is a metaphysical problem. You cold corporeal fire under an immaterial soul all day long and it would not touch the soul. And yet Thomas is insistent on the fire of Purgatory (and Gehenna) as corporeal.

Pope Benedict, in his Encyclical Spe Salvi, writes:

Some recent theologians are of the opinion that the fire which both burns and saves is Christ himself, the Judge and Savior. The encounter with him is the decisive act of judgment. Before his gaze all falsehood melts away. This encounter with him, as it burns us, transforms and frees us, allowing us to become truly ourselves (Pope Benedict, Spe Salvi 47).

This goes along with the teaching of Moses that “the Lord your God is a consuming fire” (Deut 4:24). If Christ Himself is the purifying fire, then here’s the twist: Christ is corporeal! He is resurrected. So a Christian might in fact say that the fire of purgatory is “corporeal” if in fact we are referencing the resurrected corpus Christi.

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Is the particular judgment when we stand face to face with the resurrected Christ the burning fire of love that hurts, burns, cleanses, and restores the soul alive with sanctifying grace but lacking full sanctification at death. I think so.

I think all of this can be held along with holding (as do I) that Purgatory is “located” not in Heaven with the Beatific Vision but in the Infernus or Sheol.

Here’s my video on Saint Thomas Aquinas and the Four Regions of Hell:

Question: Comments are open. Please share your thoughts. You can leave a comment by clicking here.

How to Make S.M.A.R.T. Unbreakable New Year’s Goals for God and Yourself

Did you know that 25% of people give up on their New Year’s Resolution within the first seven days of January? A majority will not see their resolutions past February 1!

God made humans to be goal-oriented. Our ultimate goal is Heaven, but there are sub-goals along the way. Today I’ll share how I attain goals using the “S.M.A.R.T.” (specific, measurable, actionable, realistic, time-bound) system of goal making. When I learned this system, it literally changed my life. I will also share how making these kind of goals for the New Year can lead to a breakthrough in any category with which you struggle: spiritual, marital, familial, economic, health, etc.

How to Make S.M.A.R.T. Goals for the New Year

Please watch the video below as explain how you can make goals for the New Year and make this next year the most productive of your life:

Are you having trouble seeing the video? Please click here to watch it.

Do you have family and friends who need help with goals for the New Year? Please share this article on Facebook by clicking here.

Question: What’s your goal this year? What could you change this New Year with a system of written-down goals? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

Catholic Webinar: History and Theology of Our Lady of Guadalupe

Did you know that devotion to Our Lady of Guadalupe goes back to a small statue in Spain that was once owned by the Church Father and Pope Saint Gregory the Great?

Please join us for this week’s Catholic Webinar:

6 Historical and Theological Facts about Our Lady of Guadalupe

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Here’s what you’ll learn:

  1. How the devotion to an image of Our Lady of Guadalupe began with Saint Luke.
  2. How the original image was acquired by St Gregory the Great.
  3. Christopher Columbus’ devotion to Our Lady of Guadalupe.
  4. About the Apparition of Our Lady to St Juan Diego.
  5. How Our Lady of Guadalupe can help you in our secular society!
  6. How she can help you bring family and friends back to the Catholic Church:

The Webinar is free but you must register to claim your spot and have access to the Webinar. You can do so by clicking here:

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We hosted 980 live attendees in last week’s Webinar on Catholic Advent. We are hoping to have over 1,000 attendees in this week’s Guadalupe Webinar. Join us for the global Catholic seminar about Our Lady!

You can leave a comment by clicking here.

Silence: Japanese Catholic Martyrs Film by Scorsese

Martin Scorsese has produced a film adaptation of the Japanese novel Silence by Shusaku Endo. It stars Andrew Garfield (Spiderman and Hacksaw Ridge), Adam Driver (Kylo Ren from The Force Awakens), Liam Neeson, Tadanobu Asano, and Ciarán Hinds:

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It. Looks. Awesome.

The trailer (linked below) gave me chills, and hopefully Scorsese doesn’t make it into an anti-Catholic polemic. Check out the trailer to Silence:

Looks cool, right? Be assured that I’ll do a video reviewing this film as soon as it comes out.

Speaking of Catholic novels, my follow up “Saint George” novel sequel to Sword and Serpent comes out next week: The Tenth Region of the Night: Sword and Serpent Book II. Stay tuned for the book launch and how you can get a copy:

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Godspeed,

Taylor Marshall

10 Tips for Catholics Visiting Rome

I spent just over three weeks in Rome teaching Catholic seminarians through the Rome Experience, and here are 10 tips that to making the most out of your visit to Rome:

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1 You should visit the 4 Major Basilicas of Rome: St Peter’s (Vatican), St Paul’s outside the Walls, St Mary Major, and St John Lateran. These are the four grandest churches in Rome and each will take your breath away. My favorites are St Peter’s and St Mary Major.

2 The best part of Rome are the off-the-path churches. Saint Peter’s Basilica is amazing, but I find myself enjoying and communing with God in a special way in churches such as St Agnes in Agony off the Piazza Navona or at Sunday Mass in the St Maria Trastevere.

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Santa Maria in Trastevere – Off the beaten path, but worth a visit!

3 If you’re healthy, walk everywhere. Try not to use cabs or the metro. Walking a city is the best way to know a city. If you can’t walk, go with someone who knows Rome well.

4 Bus tour. Speaking of getting to know Rome, as cheesy as it sounds, I recommend getting on one of those tourist double decker buses and riding around the city at least once. It will provide you with a global “view” of the city.

Eternal City Rome Look Inside5 Read a good book on Christian Rome before you arrive. I recommend my book The Eternal City: Rome and the Origins of Catholicism for Catholic pilgrims looking for Catholic insights into the history and theology of Rome.

6 Eat meals at scenic Italian spots. Will food cost more on the piazza of the Pantheon or on Piazza Navona? Of course! But it’s worth it. Watch people. Listen to the musicians. Watch performers. One evening, I was eating alone on the Piazza Navona and two married British couples on an anniversary trip to Rome invited me to their table and even bought me champagne. We had a great time talking about Latin. It was a fun and magical evening that I’ll never forget – and it would have never happened if I had dinner at a cheap kabob shop off the Tiber.

7 Pasta is great, but it’s not the end-all be-all in Rome. Italian food isn’t all pasta. I rarely consume pasta in Rome. I spend my meals loving the cured pork dishes, the veal, the cheese, and the vegetables. If you are into pasta, some of the best pastas are those that are lightly topped with sauces or fine oils. Quality over quantity.

8 Everyone raves about Roman gelato. But after living there for almost a month, I learned that there is gelato…and then there’s real gelato.

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Just as wine comes in a variety of value, even so gelato. Through priests I met, I was introduced to interesting flavors that I would have never tried. There are an array of nut flavors that I highly recommend. Pistachio, of course, but also try Bacio (chocolate hazlenut – like Nutello!!!), Mandorla (almond), and Castagna (chessnut). And of course blend with chocolates and dark chocolate and berry flavors. I found that gelato sold at tourist centers and from moveable carts tended to be the worst in the city.

9 Prayer at holy sites. Rome is a holy city of martyrs, relics, saints, tradition, and glory. But you can get so caught up in seeing everything that you don’t talk to God. Don’t just gawk at Michelangelo’s Pieta and take photos for Instagram. No, kneel down in front of it and pray. Don’t rush from church to church. Find the tabernacle and talk to Jesus about your pilgrimage.

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Sistine Chapel Vatican Museum Rome Italy. Leave that iPhone in your pocket. Be still and pray.

10 Live in the moment and feel Rome. Here are some examples from my own experience: Watch an Italian cat curl up under an ancient statue. Smile at a newly wed couple cuddling near a fountain. Sit in an ancient Roman church and watch a wedding of two people I’ve never met. Randomly meet seminarians on the street and invite them to lunch. Pass the peace in Italian at a local Mass.

There’s much more that I could say, but these 10 are the big ones with 1, 2, 9, and 10 as the most important.

 

Divine Mercy 101: Catholic Webinar Tonight!

Tonight will be the Catholic Webinar on Divine Mercy 101 with Dr. Taylor Marshall:

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SOME POPULAR QUESTIONS THAT WE WILL ANSWER IN THIS WEBINAR:

  • Did Saint Faustina claim that everyone gets a chance of salvation after death?
  • Why was Divine Mercy allegedly condemned in the 60s and 70s?
  • What exactly is the message and what is Divine Mercy Sunday?
  • What was the role of Saint John Paul II in Divine Mercy?
  • Free for all Catholic Theology Q&A Session at the end of our webinar
  • EVERYONE THAT ATTENDS WILL RECEIVE a Catholic Bible Cheat Sheet as a pdf download

Sign up by clicking here.

Register here button

I hope you learn a ton with us tonight about the history and theology of Divine Mercy.

Godspeed,
Taylor Marshall

Could You Explain Natural Law and Homosexuality?

Have you ever found yourself in a position where you needed to explain or defend our Catholic teaching about traditional matrimony, homosexuality, abortion, etc?

We can use Scripture and Tradition, but when talking to a non-Christian we often need to reach deeper and craft the discussion around NATURAL LAW. Natural Law Theory is one of the most powerful teachings – and yet so few Catholics know what it is or how to use it.

You are invited. Please join us:

I wrote my PhD dissertation on Natural Law and Thomas Aquinas, and I’ll be giving a short and complimentary online class on Natural Law and how it will help you understand and explain key topics related to human sexuality, grace, and apologetics.

All attendees will receive a pdf copy of our Catholic Bible Cheat Sheet (gives all the Bibile verses for all our Catholic doctrines) and a Worksheet on Natural Law. It’s a free gift to help you in the New Evangelization.

Please click the button below or click here to register and reserve your spot:

Register here button

Did You Know Saint Paul was a Catholic Priest?

To celebrate the conversion of Saint Paul (Jan 25), we wanted to send you some Catholic Saint Paul theological resources: 1 video and 11 audio mp3 podcasts on Saint Paul by Dr. Taylor Marshall.

Free Video: Catholic Theological Core of Saint Paul as “en Christo”

Free audio mp3s: Catholic Perspective on Paul (11 presentations)

If you are looking for a concise book proving that Saint Paul and the New Testament is Catholic, my book The Catholic Perspective on Paul has become a go-to resource for seminaries and apologists. Today it is on sale today for 50% off on Kindle and on sale in paperback:

Catholic Perspective on Paul Open Inside

GK Chesterton once observed that the Catholic Church has been “attacked on all sides and for all contradictory reasons. No sooner had one rationalist demonstrated that it was too far to the east than another demonstrated with equal clearness that it was much too far to the west.” The same may be said of Saint Paul. The history of heresy is essentially a series of contradictory positions, each claiming the authority of the Apostle Paul.

In today’s video I explain how understanding Paul’s “core theology” can help you explain and defend EVERY Catholic teaching and doctrine:

According to some heretics, Paul was the first corrupter of the life and doctrines of Jesus Christ. To others Paul alone preserved the true message of Christ that had been corrupted by the Twelve. Some consider Paul to have been the champion of grace, while others accuse him of yielding to the so-called Jewish legalism of Peter and James. Paul has since been accused of being too Greek, too Jewish, too gnostic, and too orthodox.

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Catholic Perspective on Paul Open InsideIn his own day, he was held by some to be an apostle and by others to be a heretic. Martin Luther claimed Paul’s authority, as did the Catholic Council of Trent. He has been called both a misogynist and a liberator of women. Some hail him as a proponent of freedom and others revile him for imposing rules against sexual freedom and social progress. Always and everywhere, Paul is pulled and tugged in opposite directions. Paul has been stretched out so thinly that his features have become faint, almost forgotten. Prophetically, Saint Peter aptly described the controversial nature of Paul’s epistles:

Also our most dear brother Paul, according to the wisdom given him, hath written to you: As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are certain things hard to be understood, which the unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other Scriptures, to their own destruction (2 Pet 3:15-16).

All the detractors of Paul stand united in their conviction that the historical Paul is certainly not the same Paul revered by the Catholic Church. There is today a deep prejudice against the so-called “Saint Paul” of the Catholic Church. They will grant that Paul was a rabbi, missionary, mystic, polemicist, author, and apostle. However, they will not grant that the man enshrined in the mosaics, statues, and stained glass of a thousand Catholic cathedrals is the Paul of history. The critics are convinced that the Catholic religion as we know it today has little to do with the historic Paul of Tarsus.

Paul is none other than a saint of the Holy Roman and Catholic Church. He spent his life wishing to bring his feet within the walls of Rome and he surrendered his head to the sword outside those very walls. Within his writings, we find the primitive and pristine doctrines of the Catholic Faith. We discover a Paul who is Catholic, a theologian who is sacramental, a churchman who is hierarchical, a mystic who is orthodox.

Please watch this video to learn more about Saint Paul:

You can leave a comment by clicking here.

Video: Merry Christmas from the Marshalls!

Merry Christmas from the Marshalls!

I am so grateful for your prayers and support of this Catholic blog and podcast. We are praying for you!

I wanted to send you our Marshall Christmas Video-Card. I hope you like it.

to Jesus through Mary,
Taylor

If you don’t see the Marshall Christmas video, click here to watch it:

You can leave a comment by clicking here.