Friday, April 18, 2014
From today's Office of Readings.
From the Catecheses by Saint John Chrysostom, bishop
The power of Christ's blood
If we wish to understand the power of Christ’s blood, we should go back to the ancient account of its prefiguration in Egypt. “Sacrifice a lamb without blemish”, commanded Moses, “and sprinkle its blood on your doors”. If we were to ask him what he meant, and how the blood of an irrational beast could possibly save men endowed with reason, his answer would be that the saving power lies not in the blood itself, but in the fact that it is a sign of the Lord’s blood. In those days, when the destroying angel saw the blood on the doors he did not dare to enter, so how much less will the devil approach now when he sees, not that figurative blood on the doors, but the true blood on the lips of believers, the doors of the temple of Christ.
If you desire further proof of the power of this blood, remember where it came from, how it ran down from the cross, flowing from the Master’s side. The gospel records that when Christ was dead, but still hung on the cross, a soldier came and pierced his side with a lance and immediately there poured out water and blood. Now the water was a symbol of baptism and the blood, of the Holy Eucharist. The soldier pierced the Lord’s side, he breached the wall of the sacred temple, and I have found the treasure and made it my own. So also with the lamb: the Jews sacrificed the victim and I have been saved by it.
“There flowed from his side water and blood”. Beloved, do not pass over this mystery without thought; it has yet another hidden meaning, which I will explain to you. I said that water and blood symbolised baptism and the Holy Eucharist. From these two sacraments the Church is born: from baptism, “the cleansing water that gives rebirth and renewal through the Holy Spirit”, and from the Holy Eucharist. Since the symbols of baptism and the Eucharist flowed from his side, it was from his side that Christ fashioned the Church, as he had fashioned Eve from the side of Adam Moses gives a hint of this when he tells the story of the first man and makes him exclaim: “Bone from my bones and flesh from my flesh!” As God then took a rib from Adam’s side to fashion a woman, so Christ has given us blood and water from his side to fashion the Church. God took the rib when Adam was in a deep sleep, and in the same way Christ gave us the blood and the water after his own death.
Do you understand, then, how Christ has united his bride to himself and what food he gives us all to eat? By one and the same food we are both brought into being and nourished. As a woman nourishes her child with her own blood and milk, so does Christ unceasingly nourish with his own blood those to whom he himself has given life.
- Reading courtesy of Universalis.com
Wednesday, April 16, 2014
I wish to share with you this statement from the Archbishop of Dublin, Ireland, Diarmuid Martin, regarding the false revelations received by so-called "Maria Divine Mercy":
I urge all of my readers to ignore this woman's rantings.STATEMENT OF ARCHDIOCESE OF DUBLINON THE ALLEGED VISIONARY “MARIA DIVINE MERCY”
Requests for clarification have been coming to the Archdiocese of Dublin concerning the authenticity of alleged visions and messages received by a person who calls herself “Maria Divine Mercy” and who may live in the Archdiocese of Dublin.
Archbishop Diarmuid Martin wishes to state that these messages and alleged visions have no ecclesiastical approval and many of the texts are in contradiction with Catholic theology.
These messages should not be promoted or made use of within Catholic Church associations.
(Source: Archdiocese of Dublin website)
Monday, April 14, 2014
This Monday of Holy Week let us meditate with the Venerable Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen about the meaning, significance, and real possibility of "the hell there is". Enjoy.
Sunday, April 13, 2014
“I gave my back to those who beat me, my cheeks to those who tore out my beard; My face I did not hide from insults and spitting. The Lord God is my help, therefore I am not disgraced;” (Isaiah 50:6-7).
Today is Palm Sunday and the beginning of Holy Week. Today is the day the Messiah descended from the Mount of Olives and entered into Jerusalem. He proceeded into the holy city to offer himself as a sacrifice.
Today reminds the faithful of their own sacrifice, over-flowing from Lent, and their ability to lay it before the cross at Calvary.
As St. Paul reminds us: because Christ humbled himself and was obedient to death, God greatly exalted him (Phil. 2:6-11). This Savior of the new covenant died to give us everlasting life. In this complete telling, we are shown a mystery where life triumphs over death.
Written by Sarah Ciotti
Reviewed by Fr. Hugh Feiss, OSB, STD
Saturday, April 05, 2014
Like the first Christians, Schoenstatt is characterized by a spirit of great victory. That sense of victory emerged, especially, after the deadly struggle during the time of Nazism.
We in Schoenstatt do not base ourselves on the natural level, on human considerations. We believe in the influence of divine forces: “…..where God espouses himself with the weak…..” prays the HOME SONG. On another occasion, Father Kentenich says: In Schoenstatt “the omnipotence of God is espoused with the impotence of man.”
And that is the only motive of our victory, of our faith in the triumph of Schoenstatt’s cause.
Mary, sign of victory. For that reason we call the Virgin the great sign of victory. She herself, as a person, is the proof of the triumph over all that is worldly and diabolical. There where She appears, will be a great sign of victory and the victory will accompany our banner. Because She is ‘the Victress in all God’s battles,’ that is, through Her, God has always triumphed.
Take her to the battlefield. And we, who are her instruments, what are we to do then? Father Kentenich says: “We should take the Blessed Virgin to the battlefield!” Hidden behind it is the conviction: “the devil celebrates his witchery and sorcery (sabbat) everywhere, and if the crusher of the serpent does not intervene in the battle, we cannot hope to conquer.” But if She goes with us, we dare to fight and have the victory.
a) We should especially take the Blessed Virgin to the battlefied of one’s own heart. “Who should help us, therefore, to dominate our inner instincts? Who should give us strength when we have failed? Who should help us rise when we have fallen?.....whether it is about conquering my instincts, whether is is about always being gallant (in economic struggles), or whether it is about always being on the side of those who are my own in whatever failure…..we should always take the Virgin to the battlefield of our heart.
It is also the meaning of the Consecration: to proclaim the Virgin as Queen on the throne of our own heart.”
b) We should also take her to the battlefield of our family, of our home. It can be about family problems, lack of communication, lack of understanding, lack of love and freedom, generational difficulties, an over-protective mother, a weak or absent father, etc. It can be about marital problems, difficulties in the education of the children, economic needs.
And what answer does Father Kentenich give to these difficulties? “ I always sleep well because the Blessed Virgin is responsible for me. I have sealed a Covenant of Love with her. She does it all. She is concerned about everything. (Therefore, all the children God gives me, I lead to the Virgin…..If I tell her I give her my child, She accepts the child and is concerned for the child).”
That, of course, does not mean that we should do nothing. But what we need today is, above everything else, the heroism of a carefree and victorious confidence.
c) A healthy spirituality embraces the entire man, not only in his home, but also, and especially, at work, in his profession. Therefore, we must also take the Virgin to the battlefield of my profession: school, university, office, business….. If we give her the place which corresponds to her, then She will also be victorious in the battlefield of our profession.
Questions for reflection
1. Do I see the Virgin as the Victress?
2. Do I trust in Her in my struggles of daily life?
3. Do I have a picture of the Virgin at my place of work?
Wednesday, April 02, 2014
Mr. Michael O'Loughlin wrote an article published in Foreign Policy (FP) magazine, titled, Francis's Papal Bull, in which he decried the Ugandan and Nigerian bishops' support of legislation trumped as "anti-LGBT" in those countries by the homosexualist propaganda machine, and Pope Francis' alleged silence and support for said bishops and, indirectly, for the offending legislation. In fact, Mr. O'Loughlin is at a loss to explain how this "progressive Pope" can tacitly approve the Ugandan and Nigerian bishops in this manner. I left the following comments in the combox at the end of the article in FP and I now share them with you.
The problem here is the perception and spin that many in the media - like the author of this piece - fabricated about this Pope, as well as a thorough misunderstanding of the origins, substance, and aims of Catholic moral theology.
The Pope said rightly "who is he to judge" a person suffering from same-sex attraction. The "passing of judgment" spoken of here has its basis on the Gospel command to "not judge, and you shall not be judged." This judgment consist of a hubris-filled assessment of where a person stands before God, the state of that person's soul, and of his or her final eternal destiny based solely on one's sense of intrinsic righteousness before God.
Catholic moral theology recognizes that for a person to have committed a grave sin, the deed itself is evil, the person who does the deed must know it is evil, and the person choosing to do the deed is morally free to do it. Since very few persons outside a moral actor knows about the exact state of a person's knowledge and freedom at the time s/he commits and evil act, we can't judge that person based solely on one perceptions or even generalities. What matters is the acting person. "Who are we to judge?" is the right question to ask.
Now, the Church, from her beginning, has preached the intrinsic evil of same-sex genital activity. The act is evil in itself but the people who practice might not be morally imputable for the reasons stated above. But, when they are imputable, they have the same access to God's mercy that the rest of us sinners have.
Regarding people who live with same-sex attraction, the Church tells us "They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God's will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord's Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition.
Not having read the Nigerian or Ugandan legislation, I can't comment directly on their contents. These laws might indeed lead those countries away from treating homosexual persons with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. These laws may very well be unjustly discriminatory and therefore reprehensible from the viewpoint of Catholic moral theology.
The other side of the coin is that many countries and their inhabitants therein are fed up with the relentless propaganda drive to remove homosexual activity from opprobrium; the drive to normalize these relationships, exalt them, and celebrate them as true complementary unions a la par with natural marriage. I can understand their frustration even if they transgressed the bounds of charity and respect to homosexual persons - not as homosexuals, but as persons imbued with an intrinsic, inalienable dignity.
Consonant with the relentless propaganda and political drive in favor of normalizing homosexuality around the world, accusations of hatred against those of us who dissent and resist their drive are thrown about in haste far and wide. Their purpose is to create a persistent meme and turn to the tables against those who stand in favor of natural marriage by turning them into bigots and haters for doing so, while exonerating people suffering from same-sex attraction of the moral consequences of their choices.
The Pope, I think, knows all this and he will not overrule the bishops of Nigeria and Uganda on this matter, as long as the bishops there teach and practice Catholic morality on this matter, while calling for the respect, compassion, sensitivity, and non-unjust discrimination of this segment of the People of God.
Tuesday, April 01, 2014
Watch the video:
Let's hope that Ms. Nancy Pelosi is listening, although I expect that some priest will dissent "in conscience" with the Archbishop and communicate her anyway.
Let us pray for the courageous Archbishop of San Francisco. I'm pretty sure that he is under intense attack by powers seen, and unseen.