Friday, August 21, 2009

I bid my students welcome

I have recently given out this website to a couple of students of mine, and I offer them a warm welcome, but kids, please don't forget that...

"...with great power comes great responsibility."

Use this website only for the purpose of good and not to poke fun at your beloved Religious Education teacher.


Mr. Spiteri



  1. Not at all. my first question is about this website. Why is it called the Spirit Magnus? When did it start?

  2. I started 'The Spirit Magnus' as a Catholic apologetics site in early July last this year. It started out as something different, but God has given me a new direction with the site. I truly believe that.

    It's called "The Spirit Magnus" for this reason: the word "magnus" is Latin for "great" or "strong", so thus "The Spirit Strong" or "The Strong Spirit". The Holy Spirit gives us the gift of courage. The gift of courage enables us to overcome our fear and are makes us willing to take risks as a follower of Jesus. A person with courage is willing to stand up for what is right in the sight of God, even if it means accepting rejection, verbal abuse, or even physical harm and death. The gift of Courage allows people the firmness of mind that is required both in doing good and in enduring evil, especially with regard to goods or evils that are difficult.

  3. What are the different gifts of the Holy Spirit?

  4. Gifts of the Holy Spirit: The seven gifts of the Holy Spirit are wisdom, understanding, understanding, fortitude (or courage), knowledge, reverance (piety), and fear (wonder and awe) of the Lord.

    Fruits of the Holy Spirit:


  5. What is the message given to us in the parable about the prodical son?

  6. The message given to us in the parable of the Prodigal Son is that we have an all merciful, all loving, and all forgiving father in heaven. As the father in the parable welcomed back his son without question or hesitation, so too are we welcomed by God when we repent and seek to restore the relationship that was broken by us. No matter the sin, if we seek God's forgiveness with a repentant and contrite heart, we will be forgiven.

  7. What denominatons do not use the sign of the cross and why?

  8. As far as I know, Catholics are the only Christians that make the Sign of the Cross. To a point I think Anglicans (Church of England) did as well and I think some still do, but it's fair to say that the Sign of the Cross is very unique to Catholics.

    Why do Catholics make the Sign of the Cross?

    Despite its simplicity, the Sign of the Cross is an ancient prayer rich in meaning. References to it appear in writings dating back to 240 AD, and it is believed that it was in use during the earliest days of Christianity.

    The Sign of the Cross is primarily a blessing. We use it to call God's blessing upon us. We also use it, in both large and small versions, to bless others or things, such as a rosary. When used in this way,the large Sign of the Cross is made in the air. Laypersons as well as clergy can use it to bless others. Parents,for example, may use the Sign of the Cross to bless their children.

    When we make the Sign of the Cross upon ourselves, we are also expressing our belief in God and the Trinity. Through it, we remind ourselves of God's love for us, of the sacrifice Jesus made to give us eternal life, and of the presence of the Holy Spirit within us.

    The Sign of the Cross also gives us a way to express our belief in Jesus' death and our hope in the Resurrection. We embrace the cross of Jesus and express our willingness to take up our own cross, all the while bursting with joyful hope in the Resurrection.

    The routine at Mass of making the small Sign of the Cross on our foreheads, lips, and chest before the reading of eh Gospel also has meaning. In doing this, we acknowledge our belief in the Word of God, our commitment to spread God's Word in our daily lives, and our awareness of God's presence in our hearts.

    So while making the Sign of the Cross may sometimes seem like a routine action, it is not. It marks us as Christians and is a visible expression of our belief and hope in God.

    Non-Catholic Christians may avoid using the Sign of the Cross in "fear" that it may identify them as a Catholic, and this is a sad reality. Historically, traditionally, and scripturally, it makes sense to make the Sign of the Cross, as Christ wanted His people to be visible to the world to bear witness to it: a sign that Christ lives still in the world today...

    "You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house." - Matthew 5:14-15

  9. What does the church say about heaven and suicide?

  10. I'm slowly getting around to the other questions, but I knew this question would come up before then given the events that have transpired over the weekend.

    "What does the church say about heaven and suicide?"

    I can tell you emphatically that this is what the Church teaches (Catechism of the Catholic Church) on suicide:

    "If suicide is committed with the intention of setting an example, especially to the young, it also takes on the gravity of scandal. Voluntary co-operation in suicide is contrary to the moral law.

    Grave psychological disturbances, anguish, or grave fear of hardship, suffering, or torture can diminish the responsibility of the one committing suicide." - CCC 2282

    In other words, the gravity of mortal sin does not apply or the person may be diminished of the responsibility from it if they are enduring "Grave psychological disturbances, anguish, or grave fear of hardship, suffering, or torture".

    We take solace in the fact that we have a merciful God and that our earthly prayers may unite souls with God:

    "We should not despair of the eternal salvation of persons who have taken their own lives. By ways known to him alone, God can provide the opportunity for salutary repentance. The Church prays for persons who have taken their own lives. - CCC 2283

    What is most important in cases such as these is that we as earthly creatures offer our prayers for the soul(s) of the departed and petition God for their redemption and salvation.

  11. What are the differences and similarities between the Catholic and Coptic doctorines?

  12. "What are the differences and similarities between the Catholic and Coptic doctorines?"

    There are no differences what so ever as the Coptics are also Catholic, i.e. Coptic Catholic. In the same way you have Roman Catholicism, you also have Coptic Catholicism, Maronite Catholicism, Melkite Catholicism, etc. They're all Catholic, of course, but they are called what's known as different "Rites" of the Catholic Church. E.g. The Roman (Latin) rite is different to the Coptic rite, but their theology and doctrines are the same as they are both Catholic.

    You can find out more about the different rites of the Catholic Church here on video:

    Or here:

    Or even here:

  13. For one of my subjects we have been asked to work as a group to research into the ethical side of embryotic stem cell research. What is the Catholic church's (or christianity in general)views in embryonic stem cell research?

  14. Hello "Anonymous",

    I am working on those other questions you sent me, but as I am answering them in bulk they're going to take a bit longer to put together. They will be posted as soon as I get a free moment. I can, however, give you a prompt response to the issue of embryonic stell cell research.

    I recommend copying and pasting the following link in the URL bar of your web browser, and having a read of the responses pertaining to pro-life and embryonic stemcell research:

    In short: due to the destructive nature of embryonic stemcell research, the Church is strongly opposed to the use of embyros for the purpose of harvesting stemcells. Human life, from conception is sacred and therefore must be treated with equal dignity and respect. The use of embryos for stemcell harvesting reduces the human being to nothing more than a disposable commodity and life is needlessly destroyed.

    There are alternatives to embryonic stemcell research that are encouraged by the Church due to their non-destructive natures: the use of adult stemcells in research and the use of stemcells from the umbilical cord procured after childbirth.


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