Archive for March, 2010

His redeeming love

During His three years of public life, we find Our Lord preaching His gospel to the Jews, confirming it by miracles, and recruiting and forming a number of chosen followers among whom twelve take a prominent place. His fame spread throughout the whole country, He spoke as one having power and authority and His influence became so great, that the Pharisees and Scribes, fearing for their own position, began to plot against Him. But the Jews began to hope that He was the deliverer for whom they had waited so long. To understand their attitude we should remember that the tradition of a Redeemer to come had been confirmed and developed by a long line of prophets sent by God – but in the minds of an oppressed people, suffering under the foreign yoke of the Romans, it had taken on a more political colour. Among the Jews in the time of our Lord, there was a widely spread hope of a redeemer who would come as a king to free Israel from its subjection and restore the ancient kingdom of the Jews. The religious and political aspects of this redemption could be found mingled in varying proportions in many minds. Despite our Lord’s insistence upon the true nature of His kingdom, even His own chosen twelve apostles, who were so closely associated with Him, did not escape from the popular error. When Our Lord began to speak of His own death as a criminal on the cross, consternation took hold of them, so much so, that Peter, who was to be the head of His followers, remonstrated with His Master and earned a sharp rebuke from the lips of Christ.

The triumphal entry into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday seemed to lend colour to the Jewish hopes of national deliverance – the people acclaimed Him as their king and gave Him a public reception of such enthusiasm that it only needed a definite sign from Him to start a general movement for national deliverance.

To us, it might seem that this was the opportune occasion to seize temporal power as a means to building up a spiritual empire. Such was not our Lord’s plan, nor were these developments anything but an accidental result of His policy. All His work was directed quite differently. The kingdom of God, He preached, is within you (Luke 17:21). In fact, when one remembers who our Lord really was, and what infinite power was at His disposal, the whole wonder of His public life is not the marvelous works He actually did, but the many and more wonderful works which He could have done and did not do. And one gets the impression that, throughout all this period, His chief desire was to press on to the final stage of His life – that the works of His public ministry formed but a small part of His plan, a part perfectly performed, but still something that He seemed to have far less at heart than the final stage – the baptism wherewith He was to be baptized (Luke 12:50) – and to which He hurries on, if one may say so, with the impatience of a lover.

Our standards cannot be adopted to measure this period, of which certain things are noteworthy. He wrote nothing with His pen – He shared the work of preaching with His disciples and eventually left the whole of that ministry to them – great as were the works which He performed, His disciples were to do still greater – the one pre-eminence He seemed determined to reserve for Himself was that of suffering. Looking at His work as it appeared on the day of His death, it seemed to have been a complete failure. The crowds who had acclaimed Him on the previous Sunday, are replaced on Friday by a mob who clamor for His death. The thousands who heard Him and saw His wonderful miracles, and who were helped by Him and healed by Him, seem to have disappeared. At His death on the cross we find only His Mother, one of the apostles, a few faithful women – and in a crowd, a few of His followers, whose eminence, perhaps, gave them courage to be present. He Himself is branded as an impostor, disgraced as a criminal, and put to a death that carries with it the stigma of the deepest degradation.

All this is part of a plan, but the plan is one which shatters our standards of value. On that very end of our Lord’s life, which material standards condemn as a complete failure, the whole history of the human race hangs in eternal dependence. Since our Lord was God, since the Person who acted and suffered in the human nature of Christ, was divine, all His acts were of infinite value. Had God so willed, any single one of them, however small, would have been more than sufficient to satisfy for the sins of the world and to redeem all men. Yet God’s love had decided otherwise. For His own wise reasons, to help men to understand the enormity of sin, to win their confidence and their love, and to show them His own immense love and desire for their happiness, God had decreed that the salvation of the world would be purchased by the Passion and Death of His Son.

 

(I will not be at the computer throughout Holy Week. God bless you all).

Credo in unum Deum …

Oggi sono pochi i Paesi in cui proclamare il Credo potrebbe mettere a repentaglio la propria vita, come nei primi secoli delle persecuzioni. Eppure … che imbarazzo se lo dovessimo fare alla presenza di amici e colleghi che non condividono la nostra fede! Perché siamo timidi quando dobbiamo venire allo scoperto come credenti? Una volta un mio amico ha osservato un giovane musulmano che, srotolato il suo tappeto nello spiazzo di una stazione di servizio, pregava in direzione della Mecca e ha giurato che non avrebbe più esitato a fare il segno della croce e dire la preghiera di ringraziamento prima di mangiare.

Nella nostra società recitare il Credo incontra oggi tre tipi di resistenze. Ci identifica come credenti in un’epoca secolarizzata – ci fa proclamare la fede sotto forma di dogmi – e ce lo fa fare con parole formulate secoli fa dalla Chiesa. Mai in Occidente, almeno a partire dalla Rivoluzione francese, c’è stato un rifiuto tanto feroce della religione. Il libro L’illusione di Dio di Richard Dawkins è uno dei libri che ha venduto di più in tutto il mondo. La religione è generalmente ritenuta irrazionale e fonte di conflitti violenti in tutto il mondo. Quindi, persino confessare di credere fa correre il rischio di esporsi al ridicolo e al disprezzo. Quel che è peggio, il Credo è una dichiarazione di fede sotto forma di dogmi. Il semplice atto del credere è considerato da alcuni segno di immaturità – tollerabile, forse, se si aderisce a una vaga spiritualità, ma la nostra società presuppone che i dogmi siano ‘dogmatici’, che chiudano la mente. Accettarli significa rifiutarsi di pensare con la propria testa.

I padri della Chiesa che hanno definito questi dogmi hanno litigato su ogni parola. Si preoccupavano con tanto ardore della giusta formulazione della loro fede che Sant’Atanasio era pronto a sopportare morte ed esilio per una sola parola del Credo.  Ario, contro il quale è stato scritto in gran parte il Credo niceno, ha insegnato canzoni agli scaricatori del porto di Alessandria per sostenere la sua teologia. Vi immaginate gli addetti ai bagagli dell’aeroporto di Fiumicino che si scaldano sulla questione della divinità di Gesù? Certamente non quelli cristiani!

Ovviamente, la nostra società è altrettanto dogmatica, ma in modo inconsapevole.  Chesterton diceva che ‘ci sono solo due tipi di persone: quelli che accettano i dogmi e lo sanno, e quelli che accettano i dogmi e non lo sanno’ (The Mercy of Mr. Arnold Bennett). Abbiamo perso la consapevolezza che le parole giuste contino, nella fede come in tutto il testo. Una volta mi hanno fermato due giovani che conducevano un’inchiesta. Mi hanno chiesto se credessi che Gesù fosse letteral-mente il Figlio di Dio. Ho risposto che dipendeva da quello che volevano dire. Se intendevano che Gesù era il figlio del Padre esattamente nel senso in cui io ero la figlia di mio padre, allora ‘no’. Se invece mi chiedevano se era davvero il Figlio del Padre, ed era ‘generato e non creato’, allora ‘si’. Si sono guardati, confusi, e poi uno ha detto: ‘Mettilo sotto Non so’. Lo scopo dei dogmi della Chiesa non è mettere a tacere ogni discussione. E’ proprio il contrario: si sono evoluti in opposizione alle eresie che facevano proprio così, ossia avvolgere le verità della fede in posizioni teologiche ristrette che tradivano il mistero. Javier Melloni (Meditation and the opacity of Scriptures and Dogmas) sostiene che i dogmi possono essere trattati come idoli che arrestano la nostra ricerca di Dio, ma se ben compresi essi sono icone che ci invitano a proseguire il nostro pellegrinaggio verso il mistero, spingendoci oltre risposte troppo facili.

Quando proclamiamo il Credo, non soltanto approviamo i dogmi, ma lo facciamo con parole composte dalla Chiesa secoli fa. Per molte persone l’accettazione delle formule della Chiesa, una fede definita da un’istituzione, sembra infantile e intellettualmente disonesta, una rinuncia all’integrità intellettuale. Thomas Merton era così disgustato dall’aver scoperto che il libro di teologia cattolica che stava leggendo conteneva il nihil obstat, il permesso ecclesiastico ufficiale per la pubblicazione, che per poco non lo ha gettato fuori dal finestrino del treno. E’ stato un bene che non lo abbia fatto, dal momento che il libro gli ha cambiato la vita.

Quindi, recitare il Credo è da coraggiosi. Ci esponiamo alle accuse di essere ingenui, bigotti, arroganti e creduloni.

Che cosa significa, quindi, per me, confessare di credere in Dio? Sembrerebbe che stia affermando l’esistenza di una persona potente e invisibile, qualcuno che gestisce l’Universo, l’amministratore delegato del mondo. Come per il mostro di Loch Ness o lo Yeti, alcune persone credono che esseri esistano e altri, come Dawkins, no. Si soppesano le prove e si decide. Se la pensate così, allora potreste simpatizzare per Bertrand Russell che disse che se, una volta morto, avesse scoperto che dopo tutto Dio esisteva, avrebbe detto: ‘Toh! Dio, avresti dovuto dare prove più consistenti della tua esistenza’.

Ma tutti i grandi teologi cristiani – cattolici, ortodossi e protestanti – hanno sempre rifiutato questo tipo di fede in Dio. Dio non è una o tre persone potenti e invisibili. Non stiamo dicendo che, accanto a tutte le persone importanti visibili la cui esistenza è evidente, come il Presidente degli Stati Uniti o il Segretario Generale dell’Onu, ce ne siano altre tre che non possiamo vedere e che sono ancora più importanti. Se faceste una lista di tutte le cose che esistono, Dio non ci sarebbe. Dio è la ragione per cui c’è qualcosa invece che niente, la fonte di tutto ciò che esiste, ma non un’altra cosa esistente.

Che cosa significa, quindi, credere nel Padre, Figlio e Spirito Santo? Per San Tommaso d’Aquino la fede fondamentalmente non è credere a cose su Dio. Dio è un mistero fuori della portata della nostra comprensione. In questa vita siamo uniti a Dio come all’Inconoscibile. Credere è l’inizio di un’amicizia con Dio. Ciò ha inizio con l’essere chiamati da Dio.  Dio si è rivolto ai nostri antenati nella fede ed essi hanno risposto hineni ‘eccomi’! Sono stati invitati a scoprire di far parte della lunga storia dell’amicizia di Dio con il suo popolo.

Credendo nel Padre, creatore del cielo e della terra, guardo tutto con gratitudine. Credendo nel Figlio, gioisco della sua intelligibilità e cerco di capire. Credendo nello Spririto Santo, mi proietto oltre me stesso nell’amore. I dogmi sono importanti. L’ortodossia libera dal pregiudizio e dalla meschinità e schiude i cuori e le menti. Come diceva il grande Chesterton, l’ortodossia è un’avventura.

 

The forgotten virtue

It is sometimes said of the Church’s teaching on human sexuality that, like the sixth commandment, it is primarily a list of ‘do nots’. Such a perception fails to take into account the profoundly human and beautiful vision of love that is the foundation for the Catholic Church’s moral teaching on marriage, human sexuality, and the integrity of the human person.

It is perhaps a com-mentary on our age and how far we have digressed from the path set out by the Creator that chastity is now a ‘forgotten virtue’.  Common amnesia concer-ning the value and place of chastity carries with it painful consequences. When we reflect on the offenses against the sixth commandment, we will find them rampant, condoned, and even encouraged in our age. The ‘lifestyles’ and ‘momentary commitments’ that are the storyline of most television ‘soaps’ and a great number of movies help form the attitudes and mores of our young people. In contrast, the Church holds up the image of personal integrity. Faithful to Scripture, the Church insists that love of God is incompatible with every form of fornication, sexual promiscuity, licentiousness, and other sexual behavior that deviates from the proper use of this gift from God. Christ warns that fidelity to God can be broken even by our desires (Matt 5:28).

The offenses against the sixth commandment are fed by lust.  The catechism defines this vice as ‘a disordered desire for or inordinate enjoyment of sexual pleasure’. First among the offenses against the marriage bond and family community is adultery, which grievously wounds a marriage, hurts the unity of the family, disrupts the proper relationship of parent and child. The distrust and doubt introduced into a family is evidence enough of why this action is considered wrong.

Offenses against the sixth commandment are not limited to those who are married. St. Paul in his first letter to the Corinthians points out a number of attacks on the virtue of chastity. Pornography attacks the dignity of human sexuality by rendering it a product and by reducing the person to nothing more than an object. While there may be temporary physical satisfaction, the attitude that it generates and what it says about another person is so degrading as to make it an offense against God’s law and the human community.

All sexual activity outside of marriage is wrong. The Church does not invent laws. It passes on and interprets what God has revealed through the ages. No one has the right to change what Jesus has taught. To do so would be to deprive people of saving truths that were meant for all time. Our faith teaches that a sexual relationship belongs only in marriage. Sex outside of marriage shows disrespect for the sacrament of marriage, the sacredness of sex, and human dignity. ‘Cohabitation’ or ‘living together’, when it refers to a man and woman who are sexually active and share a household though not married, cannot be reconciled with God’s plan for human sexuality and marriage.  It totally falls short of God’s plan. Sexual intimacy belongs only in marriage. Outside of marriage, sex is a lie. The action says: ‘I give you my whole self’ – but the man and woman are really holding back their commitment, their fertility, and their relationship with God. Before giving your body to another person, you need to give your whole life, and you need to receive your spouse’s whole life in return – and that can happen only in marriage.

God calls both heterosexual and homosexual persons to chastity.

While there are many ‘lifestyles’ and opinions on the meaning of life and sex, they fall short of the beauty of Christ’s plan for each of us. The Catholic vision of love holds out for us the promise that we can find in this life a communion of body and spirit, a level of happiness and joy, and the satisfaction and commitment that are signs of that ultimate completeness we will experience in heaven.

San Giuseppe

Decreto di S.S. il Papa  Pio IX proclamante San Giuseppe patrono della Chiesa Cattolica
Urbi et Orbi

Nella stessa maniera che Dio aveva costituito quel Giuseppe, procreato dal patriarca Giacobbe, soprintendente a tutta la terra d’Egitto, per serbare i frumenti al popolo, così, imminendo la pienezza dei tempi, essendo per mandare sulla terra il suo Figlio Unigenito Salvatore del mondo, scelse un altro Giuseppe, di cui quello era figura, e lo fece Signore e Principe della casa e possessione sua e lo elesse Custode dei precipui suoi tesori.

Di fatto, egli ebbe in sua sposa l’Immacolata Vergine Maria, dalla quale nacque di Spirito Santo il Signor Nostro Gesù Cristo che presso gli uomini degnossi di essere riputato figlio di Giuseppe, e gli fu soggetto. E Quegli, che tanti re e profeti bramarono vedere, Giuseppe non solo Lo vide, ma con Lui ha dimorato e con paterno affetto L’ha abbracciato e baciato; e per di più ha nutrito accuratissimamente Colui che il popolo fedele avrebbe mangiato come pane disceso dal cielo, per conseguire la vita eterna. Per questa sublime dignità, che Dio conferì a questo fedelissimo suo Servo, la Chiesa ebbe sempre in sommo onore e lodi il Beatissimo Giuseppe, dopo la Vergine Madre di Dio, sua sposa, e il suo intervento implorò nei momenti difficili.

Ora, poiché in questi tempi tristissimi la stessa Chiesa, da ogni parte attaccata da nemici, è talmente oppressa dai più gravi mali, che uomini empi pensarono avere finalmente le porte dell’inferno prevalso contro di lei, perciò i Venerabili Eccellentissimi Vescovi dell’universo Orbe Cattolico inoltrarono al Sommo Pontefice le loro suppliche e quelle dei fedeli alla loro cura commessi chiedendo che si degnasse di costituire San Giuseppe Patrono della Chiesa Cattolica. Avendo poi nel Sacro Ecumenico Concilio Vaticano più insistentemente rinnovato le loro domande e i loro voti, il Santissimo Signor Nostro Pio Papa IX, costernato per la recentissima e luttuosa condizione di cose, per affidare Sè e i fedeli tutti al potentissimo patrocinio del Santo Patriarca Giuseppe, volle soddisfare i voti degli Eccellentissimi Vescovi e solennemente lo dichiarò Patrono della Chiesa Cattolica, ingiungendo che la sua festa, cadente nel 19 di marzo, per l’avanti fosse celebrata con rito doppio di prima classe, senza ottava pero, a motivo della Quaresima.

Egli stesso inoltre ha disposto che tale dichiarazione, a mezzo del presente Decreto della Sacra Congregazione dei Riti (*), fosse resa di pubblica ragione in questo giorno sacro all’Immacolata Vergine Madre di Dio e Sposa del castissimo Giuseppe.

 Non ostante qualsivoglia cosa in contrario.

 Il dì 8 dicembre 1870.

 Card. PATRIZI – Prefetto della S. C. dei RR. –  Vescovo di Ostia e Velletri.

 DOMENICO BARTOLINI – Segretario della S. C. dei RR.

 (*) Quando si pensi in quali tragiche circostanze fu pubblicato questo Decreto, all’indomani cioè della presa di Roma, si comprenderà facilmente, non solo l’importanza di questa proclamazione ma altresì perché essa sia stata promulgata a mezzo di un Decreto della S. Congr. dei Riti anziché con Bolla o Lettera Papale, per evitare cioè al Pontefice l’umiliazione e l’onta della revisione e controllo del Governo Italiano, a cui allora si pretendeva venissero sottoposti gli Atti Pontifici.

The dignity of human life

Our conviction about the dignity and sanctity of human life is confirmed in the Scriptures, the word of God. The Book of Genesis teaches us that human beings are created in the image and likeness of God (Genesis 1:26). ‘Thou shall not kill’, says the Lord in transmitting the commandments to Moses (Exodus 20:13). ‘Choose life, then, that you and your descendants may live’, Moses warned the chosen people (Deuteronomy 30:19). And, of course, the whole life, teaching, and ministry of Jesus confirmed the dignity of human life and showed how dear each individual person is to God.

Jesus said, ‘Even the hairs of your head have all been counted’ (Luke 12:7). This teaching of the Scriptures, along with the clear and consistent teaching of the Church throughout the ages, reveals God’s infinite love for the life He has created and therefore the love we should have for life. In view of this testimony, the primordial transgression against God, the giver of life, is the act of destroying human life itself.

God holds us responsible for upholding human dignity. Each person, created by God, is endowed with a sacred and inviolable human dignity. In the Book of Genesis, God describes the persons he creates as ‘very good’ – not because of anything they have accomplished or produced, but by the very fact of their existence as his creatures.

Never has that responsibility for upholding human dignity been more difficult than in our day, in the third Christian millennium. At a time when many in society tend to judge a person’s worth on an obscure and subjective ‘quality of life’ scale, we are convinced that human dignity is not based on productivity or usefulness. As members of the human family and as Christians, we must ensure that every human life is protected from conception until natural death. This responsibility must be accepted on many levels. Each person has a charge – society and its leaders have a duty, and most assuredly so does the church community. Respect for every human being should be our first priority. Our words, actions, and prayers must reflect God’s command that we love one another as he has loved us.

An important indicator of a growing indifference toward human life is the position of those who excuse themselves from the abortion debate by arguing that they are ‘personally opposed to abortion but publicly neutral’. This display of indifference sends the message that it is acceptable to withhold protection from certain persons. The idea that a person can oppose abortion personally and defend and support it publicly is no more applicable to abortion than it is to any other critical social or moral question that challenges our world today.

Sanctioned disregard for the unborn has broadened into a so-called ‘right to die’ and a ‘duty to die’ mentality. Our elderly and disabled brothers and sisters are now seen as burdensome to society. Isolated but well-publicized efforts to give legal sanction to assisting in the suicide of sick or elderly people are only thinly disguised attempts to legalize the killing of such persons. This eugenic philosophy only adds to the problems of our societies, already mired in violence and death.

Deep within us is the voice of God’s natural moral law that finds expression in our conscience. Even when that voice has been silenced by so many alternative views of life in our highly secular and materialistic world, it continues to echo in our hearts. Some things we know are right and others wrong. Only human beings have the gift of knowing what we ‘ought to do’. The awareness of this distinction so critical to a civilization of love is rooted in the moral law etched into our very being by God at our creation.

Il mio compagno, la mia compagna

Mi lascia sempre tristemente perplessa l’udire una donna che chiama compagno colui che le vive accanto. Il compagno, di solito, è l’estraneo che per caso hai incontrato per strada e che sceglie di camminarti a fianco. Per contro la convivenza maritale di un uomo con una donna non può che radicarsi nell’amore e l’amore che, se è vero e autentico, ripudia il calcolo, rifiuta la precarietà, aborrisce la sola ipotesi della scadenza e traduce, d’istinto, l’occasionalità dell’incontro in perennità ed esclusività di comunione.

Forse sono passati i tempi che rendevano credibile ed esaltante la sovrana legge dell’amore? Ciò che rattrista è il fatto stesso di doversi porre queste domande e di scoprire che non è più di moda chiamare sposo o sposa l’uomo o la donna che ti vive accanto nell’intimità della casa. Si ha l’impressione che le nuove generazioni ritengano umiliante e poco dignitoso fare dono di sé all’altro, convinte di non aver nessun bisogno di rimediare alle proprie pochezze e di colmare le insufficienze della propria identità, sigillando la loro reciproca scelta con il mastice dell’amore.

La civiltà dell’io invadente e prepotente ed egoista, ci sta togliendo la voglia di godere le gioie dello spirito che provengono solo dal dono di sé e ci fa aggressivi, inducendoci a trasformare in cose anche le persone. L’uomo che si fa compagno della donna ha scelto di non sbilanciarsi, si è rifiutato di accreditarle fiducia, riservandosi il diritto di far uso della sua libertà quando e come gli parrà più conveniente che giusto.

Sequences

If you get distracted you might miss it, the beautiful Easter Sequence Victimae Paschali Laudes. It’s a mere eighteen lines long and usually, no matter the tempo, it’s over in about a minute and a half. Then you will need to wait until next year to hear it again – the Church allows this hymn only from Easter Sunday through the octave thereof, inclusively. For me, it is the highlight of all the chant I hear the year round. Another Sequence, just a bit longer, which many think of still greater beauty, is the Veni Sancte Spiritus (may be the work of Pope Innocent III), sung only at Pentecost and again, through the octave of Pentecost.

There are five Sequences – these include Lauda Sion Salvatorem, written by St. Thomas Aquinas for the feast of Corpus Christi and Dies Irae, attributed to the friend of St. Francis of Assisi, Thomas of Celano, for the Requiem Mass. The Stabat Mater, sung on Friday in Passion Week and again on September 15th, the Feast of Mary of the Seven Sorrows, is the fifth one. If I’m not mistaken, the Novus Ordo retains only the Easter and Pentecost Sequences although frequently you hear them recited rather than sung.

By a rough calculation, you can trace the first Sequences to the ninth century. They became widespread by the tenth, and were at their zenith in the fourteenth century. Gathered into collections, in some places, their popularity eclipsed Gregorian chant. Each Sequence has its own characteristics, depending on its author and time of composition, but there are a few commonalities. Unlike hymns, which properly speaking you find in the breviary, these chants are not primarily poems. Rhyme does occur in some, especially the Veni Sancte Spiritus, where every third line of the Latin ends in ium. The melody is generally not repeated. Each stanza or couplet of stanzas enjoys it own. All are designed for back and forth choir singing, with the telling of a dogmatic truth as the goal, rather than an offering of praise.

The real beauty of the Sequences lies in their simple music and the concrete ways these occasionals bring home to us the profound truths of the Faith. Their strategic inclusion at major feasts draws us into the seasonal cycle of the Church, itself reflective of the life of Christ. Like much of the Mass, they remind us of the centuries-old practices of believers long forgotten.

Thus, at Easter we remember that Christ the Lamb has ransomed us, sinners all, and reconciled us to His Father. The Magdalene did truly see the sepulcher of the Risen Christ – Angels did witness His Resurrection. Now we believe and affirm these truths – now we beg for mercy.

Or consider, from Lauda Sion:

 Lo! Beneath the species dual

(Signs not things), is hid a jewel.

Far beyond creation’s reach!

Though His Flesh as food abideth,

And His Blood as drink – He hideth

Undivided under each.

What could be more instructive or clear? Similarly, the Holy Ghost, whom our Veni Sancte Spiritus implores to come, will truly grant the sevenfold gifts of grace so that we may die in peace and rest forever in joy before His face. With the Stabat Mater we beg to join in Mary’s sufferings just as she joined in Christ’s: At the Cross her station keeping, stood the mournful Mother weeping … make me feel as thou hast felt. And nothing quite captures the urgency in contemplating the final judgment like the words of the Dies Irae during a Requiem Mass:

O just, avenging Judge, I pray,

For pity take my sins away,

Before the great accounting-day.

I groan beneath the guilt, which Thou

Canst read upon my blushing brow;

But spare, O God, Thy suppliant now.

There is so much more to know, especially if you have an interest in music and its history or are curious about the development of the Mass.


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INDIFFERENTISM is a mortal sin; a condemned heresy. That's the Catholic view of the matter. INDIFFERENTISM paves the way to MORAL RELATIVISM. I have been accused of the opposite of ‘Indifferentism’, which is defined as ‘Rigorism’, and the charge is not without some merit. I believe in a rigorous following of Church doctrine and in strict accuracy in proper Catholic catechesis, and I openly attack watered-down Catholic doctrine and catechesis whenever and wherever I encounter it. Many friends scold me saying that for me it’s either my way or the highway. But here’s the thing … it’s not my way; I didn’t make up all (or any of) the rules of Catholicism. I’ve been told “you’re too rigid in your doctrine,” as if it were my doctrine. When it comes to Catholic catechesis, there is only one Church teaching, and it is represented in the Catechism of the Catholic Church. I’m prepared to defend any item in it, against any opponent. I draw the line at ‘indifferentism’ and ‘moral relativism’. All belief systems are not the same. The ones who push it the most are the ones who seek to replace it with something less. Again, indifferentism paves the way to moral decay. Don’t let it seep into your thinking. May you please God, and may you live forever.

“Oremus pro beatissimo Papa nostro Benedicto XVI: Dominus conservet eum, et vivificet eum, et beatum faciat eum in terra, et non tradat eum in animam inimicorum eius.”



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Don't consider abortion ...


... give a child the chance to tell you how much life is appreciated



WARNING!!! This blog is heretic repellent ...


MODERN CATHOLICS SEE THE CHURCH AS AN ‘OLD-FASHIONED’ DISCRIMINATORY INSTITUTION OF WHICH THEY ARE ASHAMED – A TRADITIONAL CATHOLIC WILL DIE TO DEFEND IT.

MODERN CATHOLICS WOULD JUST AS SOON LEAVE THE CHURCH FOR A TRENDY ALTERNATIVE IF THEY DON’T GET THEIR WAY – A TRADITIONAL CATHOLIC WILL REMAIN UNTIL THE END OF TIME.


THE CHURCH MILITANT NOW, MORE THAN EVER, NEEDS STRONG WARRIORS.




The Catholic Church doesn’t need progressives, Nor does it need Reactionary Conservatives - It badly needs Catholic Traditionalists that practice faith, hope and charity. So don’t be shy! Come forward.

“When Christ at a symbolic moment was establishing His great society, He chose for its corner-stone neither the brilliant Paul nor the mystic John, but a shuffler, a snob, a coward - in a word, a man. And upon this rock He has built His Church, and the gates of Hell have not prevailed and will not prevail against it. All the empires and the kingdoms have failed because of this inherent and continual weakness, that they were founded by strong men and upon strong men. But this one thing - the historic Catholic Church - was founded upon a weak man, and for that reason it is indestructible. For no chain is stronger than its weakest link.”
(G.K. Chesterton)



Anno Sacerdotale

Pope Benedict XVI has declared a “Year for Priests” beginning with the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus on June 19, 2009. The year will conclude in Rome with an international gathering of priests with the Holy Father on June 19, 2010.
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Quest'anno sia anche un'occasione per un periodo di intenso approfondimento dell'identità sacerdotale, della teologia del sacerdozio cattolico e del senso straordinario della vocazione e della missione dei sacerdoti nella Chiesa e nella società.
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Let your light so shine before men that, seeing your good works, they may glorify your Father in Heaven. (Matthew 5:16)
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In Domino laudabitur anima mea.





"That sense of the sacred dogmas is to be faithfully kept which Holy Mother Church has once declared, and is not to be departed from under the specious pretext of a more profound understanding."- Pope Leo XIII, Testem Benevolentiae

Nessuno di noi entrerà in Paradiso senza portare con sé un fratello o una sorella. Ciascuno di noi deve uscire dalla folla e reggersi sulle proprie gambe, fiero di essere un Cattolico e capace di testimoniare la sua Fede.
Ci stiamo comportando come se la Fede Cattolica fosse un affare privato. Questo non è affatto vero. Penso che potremo andare molto, molto lontano, se riusciremo a convincere tutti i Cattolici a farsi carico della salvezza del mondo intero.
Il mondo ha bisogno di essere salvato e deve essere ciascuno di noi a farlo.




Cantate …


Cantate Domino canticum novum. Cantate Domino omnis terra. Cantate Domino et benedicite nomini Ejus. Annuntiate de die in diem salutare Ejus.

Causa nostrae laetitiae




“We can believe what we choose. We are answerable for what we choose to believe”.
(John Henry Newman)



Pueris manus imponit

Iesus vero ait eis - Sinite parvulos, et nolite eos prohibere ad me venire - talium est enim regnum caelorum.




“There is another essential aspect of Christianity: the interior, the silent, the contemplative, in which hidden wisdom is more important than practical organizational science, and in which love replaces the will to get visible results”.
(Thomas Merton)



Lo Spirito Santo


Uno dei Suoi nomi è "Consolatore"!




Confession

Confession heals, confession justifies, confession grants pardon of sin. All hope consists in confession. In confession there is a chance for mercy. Believe it firmly. Do not doubt, do not hesitate, never despair of the mercy of God. Hope and have confidence in confession.




“Almeno sei volte durante gli ultimi anni mi sono trovato nella situazione di convertirmi senza esitazione al cattolicesimo, se non mi avesse trattenuto dal compiere il gesto azzardato l'averlo già fatto”.
(G.K. Chesterton)



"Whatsoever I have or hold, You have given me; I give it all back to You and surrender it wholly to be governed by your will. Give me only your love and your grace, and I am rich enough and ask for nothing more."

(St. Ignatius of Loyola - Spiritual Exercises, #234)



"Mia madre è stata veramente una martire; non a tutti Gesù concede di percorrere una strada così facile, per arrivare ai suoi grandi doni, come ha concesso a mio fratello e a me, dandoci una madre che si uccise con la fatica e le preoccupazioni per assicurarsi che noi crescessimo nella fede".
J.R.R. Tolkien scrisse queste parole nove anni dopo la morte di sua madre.






Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong. (1 Corinthians 16:13)




“Beati sarete voi quando vi oltraggeranno e perseguiteranno, e falsamente diranno di voi ogni male per cagion mia. Rallegratevi ed esultate perché grande è la vostra ricompensa nei cieli”.