Posts Tagged 'Sacred Scriptures'

Dalla Lettera di San Paolo a noi …

San Paolo ha indubbiamente scritto numerose Lettere nel corso della sua attività missionaria, ma soltanto tredici sono conservate nel canone degli scritti del Nuovo Testamento.

Abbiamo la tendenza oggi di immaginare che quella di Corinto fosse una comunità piuttosto turbolenta che procurava grossi grattacapi all’apostolo. Che gli abitanti della regione della Galazia fossero tipi che non si accontentavano di un solo Vangelo, subissero il fascino di tutti i predicatori di passaggio, e che avessero una spiccata tendenza a camminare all’indietro. Che Paolo avesse scelto Roma quale luogo privilegiato per istituirvi una specie di università personale che gli permettesse di esibire il meglio della sua teologia decisamente impervia … ma si verifica così un fenomeno di ‘estraneità’ anche a causa di parecchi preti i quali, nelle omelie, assorbiti quasi totalmente dal commento del brano evangelico, se la cavano – nel migliore dei casi – con cenni frettolosi a quei testi ‘che richiederebbero spiegazioni approfondite, ma non è questa la sede adatta’ (senza specificare quale sarebbe questa sede e cosa sono intenzionati a fare per allestirla).

Insomma, il piatto è già stracolmo, e non c’è spazio per il cibo, sia pure sostanzioso, approntato da San Paolo, che però richiederebbe una masticazione lenta, non alla portata dei dentini da latte di certi cristiani frettolosi della pratica domenicale.

Altri si giustificano affermando che non bisogna mettere troppa carne al fuoco e quella messa a disposizione da San Paolo è una carne che richiede una lunga fase di cottura per essere ammorbidita e non risultare indigesta per un pubblico di non elevata cultura teologica.

E ci sono pure quelli che trovano un facile alibi facendo osservare che certi brani andrebbero ‘contestualizzati’, il che dovrebbe essere fatto nel corso di una serie di conferenze e non negli spazi già di per sé angusti di un’omelia festiva.

E così San Paolo rimane largamente inutilizzato. Le sue Lettere sfruttate solo parzialmente. Una rapida scorsa, e via a parlare d’altro. Basterebbe invece soffermarsi su una sola frase per irrobustire la nostra fede.

Personalmente non accetto l’attuale stato di cose e questo relegare il messaggio di Paolo in un angolo della predicazione e, di conseguenza, anche della riflessione personale.

Quelle Lettere, al di là dei destinatari immediati, sono indirizzate a noi. Contengono notizie, provocazioni salutari, incoraggiamenti, osservazioni e reprimende che ci riguardano da vicino. Corinto, Tessalonica, Filippi, Roma, Efeso, sono le nostre comunità. I contenuti di quelle missive risultano di scottante attualità e non sono per nulla datati. Gli esperti si accaniscono a stabilire la data esatta di composizione delle singole Lettere, e non sempre si trovano d’accordo (anzi, quasi mai). Lasciamo tranquillamente che discutano tra loro. Per conto nostro dovremmo già aver risolto il problema: quella Lettera particolare è stata scritta oggi, reca la data precisa in cui io la prendo in mano.

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.

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).

Are we sure?

Our certitudes communally and individually within the Church derive from objective historical facts and not from mere philosophical theory.

There is a threefold linking that is the basis of our security:

  1. The Christ-event grounds its own reality and certitude. ‘The risen Jesus manifests Him-self to his disciples and thus creates in them an experiential certitude regarding his Resurrection – this certitude then finds expression in the Christian keryg-ma’ (Juan Alfaro ‘Theology and the Magisterium’)
  2. The apostolic community, the early ecclesia, enjoys a primary and privileged position in mediating this Christ-event to the entire world. This first Christian community experienced the risen Lord and received an abundance of his transforming Spirit. They had no doubts about their proclamation, for it was rooted in what they could not possibly deny: their day by day experience of Jesus of Nazareth culminating in his Passion and death and crowned by the staggering experience of his risen life. ‘For this reason, the apostolic Church is normative for the Christian faith of every age, not simply because it is not possible to come in touch with the Christ-event except through the testimony of the apostolic Church but also and above all because the apostolic Church came into being through a privileged grace and revelation of Christ’ (Alfaro)
  3. Within this early Church were conceived and from her womb were born the New Testament writings. These compositions were authored by her members and attested to by the whole community under the guidance of her leaders, the Apostles and their successors. Thus the New Testament and the apostolic Church are interlinked as normative for all later ages. They in turn are tied in with the unshakable Christ-event. The Spirit of the risen Jesus, who transformed the apostolic community on Pentecost, also inspired the Scriptures and continues to dwell in the Church which Jesus founded. This risen Lord through his Spirit is the radical ground of our certitude, for he caused the Resurrection, inspired the New Testament and dwells in the pilgrim Church.

The Catholic Church, this ecclesial community in unbroken continuity from the first century to the twenty-first and beyond, cannot betray its indwelling Lord for He is with her until the end of time (Mt. 28:20). She cannot teach error, for ‘when the Spirit of truth comes, He will lead you to the whole truth’ (Jn. 16:13).

Human beings cannot have a more secure source of certitude.

Hail, full of Grace!

Ever since the acceptance by English-speaking Catholics of the so-called Jerusalem Bible, over thirty years ago, an extremely large number of them have espoused the error of the Protestants regarding Our Lady.

The error in question goes back over 400 years when, about 1526, William Tyndale, a Franciscan priest, brought out his own English version of the New Testament. It was so full of errors, that St. Thomas More wrote that looking for falsehoods in Tyndale’s bible was like looking for water in the sea. But this particular error of his became so firmly entrenched that it has gone on into the 20th and 21st centuries in Protestant bibles. It has now so tickled the intellects of many Catholic scholars and churchmen, that they too have inserted it into so-called Catholic bibles. It is that crass doctrinal error and great dishonour to Our Lady, by which She, from being accorded her singularly special relation to God, as being full of grace, is reduced to being one of many, as being only highly favoured.

Champaigne - Hail, full of Grace!

This has come about by adopting the Jerusalem Bible as the Catholic Bible, in which, as in several Protestant bibles (The King James Authorised Version RSV; the Ecumenical Edition – Collins, 1975; and The New English Bible – Oxford University Press, 1970) it is recorded that the Angel Gabriel’s greeting words, the words of God to Mary, were: “Rejoice, so highly favoured! The Lord is with you.” [Lk 1:28]

How this is a dishonour to God and a detraction from His Most Holy Mother is, in part, very simply explained by the words of St. Thomas More. As recorded in The Lives of the English Martyrs (Dom Bede Camm O.S.B., Burns & Oates, 1910, Vol. 1, p.162), the Saint wrote of Tyndale’s heretical bible: “He changeth grace into favour whereas every favour is not grace in English, for in some favours there is little grace …”

Pesellino - Madonna with childAlthough the above simple answer may more than please and satisfy the truly pious, it is most unlikely, however, that it will satisfy the Greek scholars. These are the people who whenever they are confronted by some Protestant biblical innovation, immediately rush off to consult their Greek versions of the Scriptures. For them, as indeed for all, therefore, there is a more systematic explanation of Our Lady being called full of grace, based on the Greek Bible. This explanation comes from a well known scholar:

“The Angel Gabriel, addressing the Virgin of Nazareth after the greeting, chaire ‘rejoice’, calls her kecharitomene, ‘full of grace’. The words of the Greek text, chaire and kecharitomene are deeply interconnected: Mary is invited to rejoice primarily because God loves her and has filled her with grace in view of her divine motherhood! … The expression ‘full of grace’ is the translation of the Greek word kecharitomene, which is a passive participle. Therefore to render more exactly the nuance of the Greek word one should not say merely ‘full of grace’ but ‘made full of grace’, or even ‘filled with grace’, which would clearly indicate that this was a gift by God to the Blessed Virgin.” (Pope John Paul II, General Audience, 8 May 1996, L’Osservatore Romano, English Edition).

Dolci - Mary with the Infant JesusCould anything be clearer? Could anyone who call themselves Catholic and claims the love of Our Lady, continue to disparage Her as only highly favoured whom God has honoured with the unique title full of grace (our Blessed Lord excepted)? The Pope’s explanation shows clearly what the truth is.

We ought to remember that Our Lady, though only a human being and less than an atom compared to God, is nevertheless not just like another ordinary woman. The true words of god, Hail Mary, full of grace, announced Her uniquely special relation to Him. She would be the only human person who would rightly refer to God, the eternal, the infinite and uncontainable, as My Son.

The true words, full of grace, placed Her in a class of Her own as regards sanctity, a fact recognized by the Church for many centuries by according to Her the worship of hyperdulia. Her sanctity is greater than that of all the angels and saints in heaven, now and to come, taken together.

Murillo - child JesusFull of grace means, in other words, that She had, from the moment of Her Immaculate Conception, a participation in God’s Own Divine Nature, sufficiently full to be the Mother of God. This, though not infinite, was greater than the rest of creation put together! The false Protestant claim that God called her only highly favoured, would reduce this exalted dignity of the Mother of God to that of other ordinary women: highly favoured, but not full of grace.

This horrendous detraction is now found in the Liturgy of the one and only true Church of God, of which She is the Mother.

Thus, we read in the new Lectionaries of the Catholic Roman Church, for the new Mass (but not in the Traditional Latin Mass) for the great Feasts of the Immaculate Conception and Assumption of Our Lady, that God through the Angel Gabriel, called Her, so highly favoured. The same occurs in many Masses of Our Lady on Saturday and also in the Mass of the fourth Sunday of Advent (Year B).

We should be convinced that in the realm of doctrines this detraction is as great a crime as it would be to say that our Blessed Lord only spoke figuratively when He said: Except you eat the flesh of the son of man, and drink his blood, you shall not have life in you. (St. John 6:54).

This is because every word of Holy Scripture is the word that God, not man, has revealed, even though a man was the instrument to write down the Divine revelation. God, again by means of another of his instruments, a Dogmatic Council of His Church, has, Himself, declared this fact. L.L. Swindle - Jesus and His MotherThus the Solemn Definition of the Council of Trent (1545-63) confirmed infallibly that the Latin Vulgate version of the Bible is perfectly free from all error in matters of faith or morals, a genuine source of revelation and a faithful expression of the written word of God. As far as we Catholics are concerned, the effect of that Council’s definition of the composition and the contents of the Bible, is well expressed by the Catholic Encyclopaedia: The great constructive Synod of Trent had put the whole sacredness and canonicity of the whole Traditional Bible forever beyond the permissibility of doubt on the part of Catholics.”

Consequently, bearing in mind the scholarly translations of the original texts of the Scriptures, it follows that the greeting of Her true children to Our Lady has always been and will always be, “Hail, full of grace”.

The blindness of prejudice

A favourite excerpt of mine on the Sacred Scriptures is a writing by John Henry Newman, who was a convert from Protestantism to Catholicism. He brings into focus how so many people can come up with erroneous interpretations of Holy Scripture.   Here’s a brief extract: 

solascriptura
“The Church of Christ walks the earth now, as Christ did in the days of His flesh, and as our Lord fulfilled the Scriptures in what was and what He did then, so the Church fulfils the Scriptures in what she is and what she does now; as Christ was promised, predicted, in the Scriptures as He was then, so is the Church promised, predicted, in the Scriptures in what she is now. Yet the people of this day, though they read the Scriptures and think they understand them, like the Jews then, who read the Scriptures and thought they understood them, do not understand them. Why? Because like the Jews then, they have been taught badly; they have received false traditions, as the Jews had received the traditions of the Pharisees, and are blind when they think they see, and are prejudiced against the truth, and shocked and offended when they are told it. 

 And, as the Jews then passed over passages in Scripture, which ought to have set them right, so do Christians now pass over passages, which would, if dwelt on, extricate them from their error. For example, the Jews passed over the texts: “They pierced my hands and my feet,” “My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?” “He was rejected of men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief,” which speak of Christ. And men nowadays pass over such passages as the following which speak of the Church: “Whosesoever sins ye remit, they are remitted to them”; “Thou art Peter and upon this rock I will build my Church”; “Anointing them with oil in the Name of the Lord”; “The Church the pillar and foundation of the truth”; and the like. They are so certain that the doctrine of the one Holy Catholic Church is not true, that they will not give their mind to these passages, they pass them over. They cannot tell you what they mean, but they are quite sure they do not mean what Catholics say they mean, because Catholicism is not true. In fact a deep prejudice is on their minds, or what Scripture calls blindness. They cannot tell what these passages and many others mean, but they do not care. They say that after all they are not important which is just begging the question and when they are urged and forced to give them a meaning, they say any thing that comes uppermost, merely to satisfy or to perplex the questioner, wishing nothing more than to get rid of what they think a troublesome, but idle, question.
 
Now is it not strange that persons who act in this way, who skip over things in Scripture, and go by their prejudices, and by the bad teaching they have received in Scripture, should yet boast that they are scriptural and go by Scripture, and use their private judgement? No, they do not judge, they do not examine, they do not go by Scripture; but they take just so much of Scripture as suits them, and leave the rest. They go, not by their private judgement, but their private prejudice, and by their private liking”.
  

 (Taken from Sermon 4. Prejudice and Faith Quinquagesima, 5th March 1848)

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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”.