Archive for the 'Holy Scriptures' Category

Catholic Tradition

Many protestants and Christian sects reject Catholic Tradition but with time some of them have admitted some of the traditions – such as Lutherans, Episcopalians and Evangelicals. They are all governed by a certain supreme authority – The Queen of England is the head of the Anglican Church, the King of Prussia was at the head of the Reformed Lutherans, and there is scarcely a non-Catholic denomination in which some sort of ‘board of directors’ is not vested with a supreme authority in its administration. Many denominations reject all Catholic Traditions on the grounds that they are subject to corruption. When any doctrine, they claim, is carried on for generations – from father to son – necessarily so many legends and myths arise that little truth is left.

This is an affirmation on their part that the Church is not infallible. What, according to them, happened to the Holy Spirit, the Paraclete? Had they believed that the Church is infallible, they would not have forgotten so soon the assistance promised to the Church by Christ.

They forgot that, strictly speaking, all Revelation, whether contained in the Scriptures or in other documents, on monuments, on the walls of the catacombs, in usages, and so on, were all written down and transmitted to posterity. The Apostles wrote that part of Revelation which is contained in the Scriptures, while their disciples wrote what the Apostles preached, taught or instituted in the Church, but which had not been written by the Apostles.

It is a mistake to speak only of an oral tradition carried on from generation to generation through the help of word of mouth. For Tradition, in the first place, is not ‘oral’ in the sense that it is maintained and propagated ‘only’ through man’s lips. It is oral in the sense that in the beginning it was received by the Faithful from the Apostles themselves, not in writing, but through their preaching, teaching or institutions, established in the Church by the same Apostles. What the apostles did not write, but preached, taught or instituted, was afterwards written by their immediate disciples, and sometimes by the disciples of these immediate Apostolic disciples (the Church Fathers). Therefore Tradition is ‘oral’ not in the sense that it was never written, but in the sense that ‘what in the beginning was not written’ by the inspired authors was written ‘afterwards’ by their disciples. What the disciples heard or were taught by the Apostles and not committed to the Scriptures, they afterwards laid down in writing. Tradition is ‘oral’ as distinguished from that part of Revelation which was written by the Apostles – namely, Scripture. For what the Apostolic disciples afterwards wrote, as heard, learned or as instituted by the Apostles, is what we call, properly speaking, Tradition.

The Apostles, who were the ‘ancients’ and legislators of the Church, instituted certain days of the week or certain seasons of the year as time of penance, of joy or of rest, to be observed by all. Abstinence from meat on Friday, fasting in Lent, the Sunday observance instead of Saturday, Easter Joys, the ceremonies of Holy Mass, etc., were instituted by the Apostles as a help to the Christian to save his soul and as an ornament to divine worship. All these things were a part of the routine of the Church. All accepted them as a matter of course and as a part of the daily life of the Church. Hence, there was no necessity on their part to write them down – they preached and taught the Faithful what they must do as members of the Church of Jesus Christ. It was therefore natural that what the Apostles did not write, their disciples, in order to refresh their memories, as well as to transmit it to other generations, did write,  according to the warning of St. Paul, ‘to teach others also’ (2 Tim 2:2). ‘Hold the traditions, which you have learned, whether by word, or by our epistle’ (2 Thess 2:14).

Traditions, therefore, according to St. Paul, are of two kinds, written and unwritten. The written are the Scriptures, because tradition means anything that is delivered or transmitted to others. In this case, the Scriptures are traditions, although improperly so called. The unwritten are all those other Traditions which are not contained in the Scriptures, but which, as the Apostle says, his disciples received through his preaching. They are properly called ‘Traditions’.

As both kinds of Traditions – received, as the Apostle says, ‘through my preaching’ (properly called Traditions) ‘and through my Epistle’ (The Scriptures, improperly called Traditions) – come to us from the Apostles, both are to be accepted, both are to be believed, both must be lived up to because, according to the command of the Apostle, we must hold both.

The written Traditions, or the Scriptures, contain the greater part of Revelation. But it is not less true that what the Apostles preached, taught or instituted in the Church, but did not write, are a very important part of the Deposit of Faith. They were written by their disciples.

Therefore, the objection collapses, that Traditions, being oral, become corrupted in the course of time. Tradition, strictly speaking, is not oral. It was only such in its first proclamation. All Traditions have been written, if not by the Apostles, certainly by the  Church. As pastors and doctors, or as writers of the Church, the first Christians wrote what they heard or learned from the Apostles, or what was practiced in the Church. They wrote not as inspired writers, but simply as common teachers or believers who had nothing else in view but to defend and protect the Deposit of Faith. God, in His Providence, induced those men to write, to be witnesses of that Faith which is always old and always new, feeble and still strong. Although written in the documents of old, Tradition is still better written in the hearts of the Faithful and deeply engraved in the religious practices and belief of the Church.

What a presumption it was on the part of the Protestant Reformers (and still is on the part of many Christian denominations and sects) to claim that they knew better than the Fathers what the government and doctrine of the Church had been during the first three centuries! The Fathers were men of great learning and piety. They enlightened the Church and glorified the Faith with their great works. They were the great men of their times, writing first-hand about their contemporaries. And they testify that, besides the Scriptures, which they saved from oblivion and total loss, there is also in the Church another ‘Rule of Faith’ and that is the Church herself, to which Christ and the Apostles delivered the Deposit of Faith.

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Unity of the Faith

There are many reasons which show the necessity for an authoritative tribunal if the words of the Apostle ‘One Lord, one faith’ (Eph 4:5) are to be realized in every age and in the uttermost parts of the world.

Human nature is and always will be the same. Man is inclined to be independent in his views and tries to force his ideas on others, until he is shown to be evidently wrong. Nor does he sometimes stop even then. He persists in his error and resists the known truth, thus sinning against the Holy Spirit.

There will always be scandals in the Church, but Christ said ‘Woe to the world because of scandals. For it must needs be that scandals come, but nevertheless, woe to that man by whom the scandal cometh’ (Matt 18:7). God, however, permits this evil, that the faith of the elect may be strengthened. ‘Power is made perfect in infirmity’ (2 Cor 12:9).

This is especially true of our own times. All manner of literature floods the world. There are too many people who consider themselves the judges of everyone and of everything. Teachers of all kinds raise their chair of pestilence in every corner of our cities and villages. Perhaps the grand old Church is still there, or it has just made its appearance. Its doors are open. But most people pass by and go to hear those who suit their passions and inclinations. New fads are the order of the day. Wind and pride are sown in their hearts. Very little is left of the old and eternal truths, which Christ and the Apostles proclaimed to the world. ‘For there shall be a time, when they will not endure sound doctrine – but, according to their own desires, they will heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears, and will indeed turn away their hearing from the truth, but will be turned unto fables’ (2 Tim 4:3).

Thus is Christianity divided and subdivided. The books of Revelation are made the anvil of centuries, on which every Christian is allowed to pound at his own pleasure. Should not such a condition of things open the eyes of all Christians and make them realize the necessity of a living tribunal, to which Christ has committed the sacred right and duty of keeping intact, at any cost, the Deposit of Faith? ‘Preach the word, be instant, in season, out of season: reprove, entreat, rebuke, in all patience and doctrine’ (2 Tim 4:2).

But the world does not want Christ. Nations and societies are governed by their own laws. Living judges are appointed to interpret a dead-letter code of laws or by-laws, and their decisions are final and binding. The same treatment is not accorded the Church by those same children of the world. Are not perhaps the Scriptures and the laws made by man equally a dead letter in themselves? The Scriptures are indeed the Word of God but at the same time, they need living interpreters. If the laws of man, made by man and for man, need living and authoritative inter-preters for their enforce-ment, how much more does the Word of God need interpreters to explain it without error and enforce it with authority?

If the Scriptures are clear to understand, why did Martin Luther and his imitators make new catechisms of Christian doctrine? Why are libraries filled with innumerable books of interpretations, explanations and commentaries? Above all, why are there any churches where the Scriptures are explained, if the Scriptures are sufficient? And if there should be a church, why so many churches, of so many denominations, in every city and in every town?

If there is a clear statement in the Scriptures which all Christians should endeavor to put into execution, it is certainly the desire which Christ expressed in His prayer to the Eternal Father on the eve of His Passion and Death, ‘That they all may be one, as thou, Father, in me, and I in thee – that they also may be one in us’ (John 17:21).

What else do such words mean than that all Christ’s followers should first of all have the same faith? – ‘One Lord, one faith, one baptism’ (Eph 4:5).

Unfortunately, there are too many controversies which agitate and divide Christianity. How are they to be settled? If there must be a judge, can it be the Scriptures? Can the Scriptures speak and pronounce the sentence in such unmistakable terms that both litigants know who is right and who is wrong? Well did the old Roman wisdom proclaim more than 2000 years ago: ‘No one is judge in his own case’. Hence, it was not to the Scriptures, but to Peter and his successors that Christ said ‘confirm thy brethren’ (Like 22:32). Tertullian declared that ‘Religious controversies should not and cannot be settled only by the Scriptures because, not only does the Apostle forbid such disputes among Christians, but also because they bear no fruit. Avoid foolish questions (Titus 3:9) and genealogies, and contentions, and strivings about the law. For they are unprofitable and vain. What good will it do if what you will defend shall be denied – or on the contrary, what you will deny shall be defended? You will certainly lose nothing but your voice in the contention – you will gain nothing but bile from the blasphemy ‘ (Tertull. Prescript, XV). And he comes to the following unanswerable conclusion: ‘We must not have recourse to, nor constitute a fight on the Scriptures, in which victory is uncertain or none at all but the order of things required to be first proposed, and what is now only to be disputed: To whom belongs the Faith itself, whose are the Scriptures? By whom, and through whom, and when, and to whom was the authority to teach delivered, by which men are made Christians? For where the true Christian discipline and doctrine are shown to be, there will also be the truth of the Scriptures and of their interpretation and of all Christian Tradition’ (Tertull. C. XIX).

A living, infallible tribunal is therefore essential and necessary to keep intact, not only the Deposit of Faith and to propose it without error, but also to keep everywhere and at all times the Unity of the Faith, which is so essential in the Religion of Christ.

The gift of Love for God

In an address that is classical, St. Paul exhorts the Corinthians:  ‘Be zealous for better gifts. And I show you a more excellent way’. He then bursts into a paean of praise for charity, which is the best gift and the most excellent way, and finishes with the assertion: ‘And now there remain faith, hope and charity, these three – but the greatest of these is charity’. But not only is charity the most excellent, it is also the one essential virtue and way, for he writes: ‘If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as a sounding brass and a tinkling cymbal. And if I should have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing! And if I should distribute all my goods to feed the poor and if I should deliver my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing’.

Those are St. Paul’s words – they are also the words of God, who is the author of all the inspired Scripture. There is no evading their meaning – it is quite clear. No matter what we do, unless we do it in the love of God, it profits us nothing. God wants our love, He will be satisfied with nothing else. That is what He principally looks for in our works. The things we do or achieve are not of primary value to God, for He can create them by a mere thought – or with just as much ease He can raise up other free agents to do what we do. But the love of our hearts is something unique, something no one else can give Him. True, He could create other hearts to love Him, but once He has created us and given us free will, the love of our particular heart is something unique and in a way irreplaceable. In any case, it is not for His own sake that He wants our love, but because He desires to make us happy with Him for ever, and He can only do that if we are in love with Him.

It might seem that that is something beyond our power or choice. One speaks in human relationship of ‘falling in love’ – it is not, as it were, something deliberate, something that can be done at will. That peculiar acquiring of a new and special interest in another person, and the develop-ment of a new power to love that person, which raises the whole level of the life of a man or woman and opens the door to the highest form of human happiness, seems to be something fortuitous, an accident, a stroke of luck. Whether that be so or not, there is a very close analogy between the human and the divine. But there is one important difference in regard to the love of God. There, instead of speaking of a soul falling in love, it would be nearer the truth if one spoke of love falling into the soul. For God gives us the love with which we are to love Him – more than that, He gives us the gift of wisdom, by which we acquire a taste and a relish for God and for His friendship and His ways. Both the love and the wisdom come from God – this will help us to understand the otherwise seemingly harsh treatment of the guest who, in the Gospel parable, came to the wedding-feast, without the ceremonial garment. Unless one realizes that such garments were provided by the host, one will not understand the host’s resentment at the guest’s refusal to avail of his kindness, and one will completely miss the parallel with the man who comes to the service of God without love in his heart.

For if there is one gift that is to be had for the asking – and there are many – it is the gift of love for God.

An incomprehensible reality

The central doctrine of the Catholic faith is the mystery of the Holy Trinity.

‘The history of salvation is identical with the history of the way and the plan by which God, true and one, The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, reveals Himself to men, and reconciles and unites with himself those turned away from sin’ (Vatican General Catechetical Directory).

Three distinct persons, ONE GOD

The Holy Trinity is in the strictest sense of the word a mystery of faith. It is one of those incomprehensible realities that the First Vatican Council in its Dogmatic Constitution on the Catholic Faith describes as ‘hidden in God which, unless divinely revealed, could not come to be known’.

The fact that incomprehensible realities such as the Trinity can be grasped only by faith is in no way an affront to human reason. Divine mysteries are not contrary to human reason, nor are they incompatible with rational thought. Even in our relationship with other human persons, we must fall back upon faith – a form of human faith – to know the truth of their inmost lives and their love for us. When we speak of the inner life of God, it is a life so far beyond us that we can never completely and fully comprehend its true meaning. But, through faith, we can nonetheless be aware of the truth that God tells us about himself.

Centuries ago, St. Thomas Aquinas pointed out that ‘it is impossible to believe explicitly in the mystery of Christ without faith in the Trinity, for the mystery of Christ includes that the Son of God took flesh, that he renewed the world through the grace of the Holy Spirit, and again, that he was conceived by the Holy Spirit’. Obviously, we could not believe that Jesus is the Son of God and true God sent by the Father if we did not believe in the plurality of persons in one God. Neither would we be able to understand the meaning of eternal life, nor the grace that leads to it, without believing in the Trinity, for grace and eternal life are a sharing in the life of the most Holy Trinity.

The importance of the Trinity in Catholic teaching is evident from the beginning of the Church. When Christ sent the apostles forth to go and ‘make disciples of all nations’, He instructed them to baptize in the name of the Trinity:  ‘baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit’ (Matt 28:19). From the earliest centuries of the Church and in the most ancient professions of faith, we find a belief in the Trinity of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. The Athanasian Creed which dates from the fourth century, declares: ‘No the Catholic faith is this: that we worship one God in the Trinity, and the Trinity in unity … the Father is a distinct person, the Son is a distinct person, and the Holy Spirit is a distinct person, but the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit have one divinity, equal glory and co-eternal majesty’.

The doctrine of the Trinity was not revealed with full clarity at the very beginning of God’s revelation to us. Only gradually, step by step, did God make known to His people the mystery of His inner life. What the New Testament teaches us is captured with clarity and reverence in the statements of the early councils of the Church that we use today: the Apostles’ Creed, the Nicene Creed, the Athanasian Creed.

The preface for the Mass on Holy Trinity Sunday summarizes our belief in what God has told us about Himself: ‘We joyfully proclaim our faith in the mysteries of your Godhead. You have revealed your glory as the glory also of your Son and of the Holy Spirit: three persons equal in majesty, undivided in splendor, yet one Lord, one God, ever to be adored in your everlasting glory’ (Roman Missal).

Her voice is the voice of God

Christ called unto Himself twelve men, His first disciples, the nucleus of His Church. They were not learned. We do not even know if all of them were literate. But they had higher gifts: Faith in and obedience to the Master. It was to secure and save these gifts that He worked His miracles. St. Augustine puts it well: ‘By His miracles He gained authority. By authority, He secured their Faith. By Faith, He drew the multitudes’ (Utility of Belief, XIV, 32). And conversely we might say: Without obedience, there would be no Faith. Without Faith, there would be no Church.

Authority and obedience, then, were soul and body to the infant Church. Without them, she could not have been born, much less lived and grown. She simply would never have existed at all. She would have been just one more school, with its scholars free to come and go at will. And its Master another Socrates or Plato, only much greater. But the Church is not a school. She is a Church. She does not teach only. She commands. Her doctrines are not opinions. They are revealed truths. Her members may not come and go. They must come and stay. If they leave, it is to their own ruin. And Christ is not another Socrates or Plato, but greater. Christ is God. If He were less than God, He would have failed. It is authority that makes the difference. He spoke as one having power. And that is why the Church will live forever. She has in her that which is Divine. Like her Founder, she speaks as one having power. Her voice is the voice of God.

God in His infinite wisdom and providence instituted the Church to last as long as there are men to be saved. To that Church He gave teachers and doctors, to whom He communicated His authority and the power of preaching and teaching. He chose in a special way a few, to whom He gave a special power not given to others – upon them He founded His Church – through them He spoke to the future generations. He did not write any book to perpetuate His doctrine, commandments and institutions. Alone, a written book is a dead thing. The dead cannot speak. Only the living can give life to what is dead.

Authority, then, is necessary for the life of the Church, because such is the order chosen by Christ. Such authority cannot be anything accidental or secondary. It is something substantial and essential in the life of that society, which the Son of God established upon earth. Without authority, there is no obedience – and without obedience, there is chaos, a religious confusion that spells the end of any society. That authority is God Himself. ‘The book which Christ wrote was the Apostles, a book written not in ink, but with the Holy Spirit, who gave to the Apostles all authority, all power and jurisdiction in the Church. He appointed them to rule, to teach and to sanctify the faithful’ (Franzelin, Script et Trad., Th. IV).

During the three years of His public ministry, Jesus spoke of the Church as something that was yet to come. But on the evening before His death, the hour was at hand, and He called it into existence. At the Last Supper, He instituted the two Sacraments which perpetuate the life of the Church itself and sustain it in its members – Holy Orders and the Blessed Eucharist (Luke 22:14, 19-20). After His Resurrection, He completed the Sacraments, imparted His authority to the Apostles, conferred the Primacy on Peter, and crowned the work by a promise that He Himself would be with them until the End of the World (Matt 28: 18-19, John 20: 21-23).

The impossible has happened. The Son of God has given His almighty power to eleven weak men: to bind and to loose, to rule and to guide, until the End of Time. The Apostles, then, are vested with the power and authority of Christ Himself. They are sustained in their great mission by the promise of Christ’s assistance and of the coming upon them of the Holy Spirit, to teach them all truth and preserve them from error (Matt 28:20, John 14:16, John 16:13). When Christ said to Peter and to Peter only, ‘Feed my lambs, feed my sheep’ , He conferred on him the supreme power of ruling over the people, the priests and the bishops of the Church. He fulfilled what He promised him before: ‘I will give to thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven. And whatsoever thou shalt bind upon earth, it shall be bound also in heaven – and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth, it shall be loosed also in heaven’.

Behold, then, the Church of Christ – established by divine charter, endowed with divine life, sharing in divine immortality. Under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, with a guarantee that they cannot fail and will not err, and in the company of the Master, who will never leave them, the Apostles go forth to preach and teach and baptize. The Church Christ founded was a Church with a Living Authority and will remain so to the end. The writings of the New Testament would come later, a proof – as the writings of the Old Testament had been a prophecy – that God had made good His word. These inspired writings of the Church would testify to that which already existed and which would have existed and been divine and true and everlasting even if the Apostles had never written a line.

Ultimately, the Church is what it is, not because Matthew, John or Paul or any other of its first members has written it, but because Christ commanded it. The Apostles had their authority and were using it, and the Church was doing its work … many years before a word of the New Testament was written.

Christ’s memorable words: ‘Behold I am with you all days even to the consummation of the world’ and ‘He shall give you another Paraclete, that he may abide with you forever’ and ‘you shall be witnesses unto me, even to the uttermost part of the earth’, etc., were addressed not only to the individual persons of the Apostles, but also to all those who were to succeed them in office (Timothy and Titus were consecrated Bishops by the Apostle Paul, Acts 20:28, Peter’s first letter to Corinthians, etc.). The commission, therefore, of teaching and giving testimony was not simply personal. It was given to the teaching Church, to an Apostolic Succession until the End of Time.

Thus has Jesus Christ established a perpetual Apostolic Succession to govern the Church in His name.

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).

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.


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FALANGI, TRUPPE, DIVISIONI CORAZZATE. ECCO CHE AVANZA IL NUOVO CATTOLICO: INNAMORATO DI GESU', INTRANSIGENTE, MOVIMENTISTA, IL CROCIATO DEI VALORI, IL SOLDATO DI CRISTO, UN CUORE TRADIZIONALISTA, AMANTE DELLA MESSA DI TUTTI I TEMPI ...



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IL CANTO DEL PARADISO


Dopo due millenni di studi, di ricerche e di esplorazioni scientifiche, la genesi del canto gregoriano resta un mistero irrisolto


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PRAY THE ROSARY


The story of our salvation!







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IN HOC SIGNO VINCES




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”.