Wednesday, December 21, 2022

Gem of the Counter-Reformation

 Today is the feast of St. Pieter Kanis, usually known as Peter Canisius, Doctor of the Church. He was born in 1521 and joined the then-new Society of Jesus after having met St. Peter Faber. He became a major figure in the Jesuit response to the Protestant Reformation and is largely credited for slowing and at places stopping its spread in Germany. He was temperamentally averse to polemic and had the opinion that most German Protestants were in honest error, so his approach was to avoid personal attacks on the Protestant Reformers and to focus instead on providing clear discussions of Catholic doctrine. His catechisms became immensely influential; in some places, 'knowing Canisius' became an expression for being properly catechized. He died in 1597.

How many parts and actions are there for the Sacrament of Penance? 

 There are three. Firstly, Contrition, or the sorrow of the soul, the detesting of one's sins, and the aspiring toward a better life. Secondly, Confession, or the explication made of one's sins in the presence of the priest, and thereupon Satisfaction, or taking up the restitution and punishment for one's crimes in order to furnish worthy fruits of Penance. 

 [St. Peter Canisius, A Small Catechism for Catholics, Grant, tr., Mediatrix Press (2014), p. 64.]