A Meditation on Baptism

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The following excerpts come from meditations of the great spiritual writer, Blessed Columba Marmion, from his classic book ‘Christ the Life of the Soul‘:

“We lost everything at once by a single fault of Adam, but in baptism God does not give us back at once all the integrity of the Divine gift. In order that it may be a source of merit because of the effort it calls forth, He leaves us in concupiscence, the source of sin, which tends to diminish or destroy the Divine life. Therefore our whole existence ought to be the realisation of what baptism inaugurates…Grace is the principle of life in us, but it is a germ we must cultivate; it is that kingdom of God within us that Our Lord Himself compares to a grain of mustard seed which becomes a great tree. So it is with the Divine life in us…

Let us often renew the virtue of this sacrament of adoption and initiation by renewing the promises made in baptism, so that Christ, born in our souls in faith upon that day, may grow more and more in us. That is a very useful practice of piety…stir up in yourselves the grace received at baptism, by renewing the promises then made. For example, when after Communion, while Our Lord is really present in our hearts, we renew with faith and love our dispositions of repentance, of renunciation of Satan, sin and the world, so as to attach ourselves only to Christ and His Church, then the grace of baptism springs up from the depth of our souls, where the character of baptism remains indelibly engraved. And this grace produces, through the virtue of Christ, Who dwells in us with His Spirit, as it were a new death to sin, a new inflowing of Divine life, a new intensity of union with Jesus Christ.”

*****

UPDATE

The following homily is by Father George W. Rutler:

“Painting landscapes in the classical academies was done indoors, to “improve upon nature” the way formal gardens arrange flowers according to geometry. In the nineteenth century, the painters of the Barbizon and Hudson River schools began to paint outdoors (“en plein air”), trying to show nature as it is. The invention of portable easels and oil paint in tubes like toothpaste made it easier to move out from the studio. A painting by John Singer Sargent showing Monet at his easel in the woods of Giverny is a splendid picture within a picture, emphasizing the care taken to get the diffused light just right, so that nature looks really natural.

We would have no art, and no urge to paint—whether as cavemen painting antelope or Frans Hals painting men drinking beer—were it not for the fact that humans are in the image of God who made the whole universe his canvas. He chose the Holy Land as the scenery for history’s greatest event.

Israel is only about the size of New Jersey, and yet its topography moves from the snow-capped Mount Hermon down to the lowest spot on our planet: the Dead Sea. In between, at the trickle of a river between the two, John saw the Lord approaching and said, “Behold the Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world” (John 1:29). The baptism of Christ, which was an illustration of how the human race will be cleansed of corrupting pride, and which is celebrated after the Feast of the Epiphany on the liturgical calendar, anticipates the baptism the Church offers: not a poetic symbol, but an actual change in the soul so that it becomes what the art of God wants it to be.

Baptism is not an option. It is the “the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one” (Ephesians 6:16). Positive proof of this effect is the holiness of saints, and the majesty of Christ himself. Negative proof is the viciousness of evil when it is allowed to act freely. Picture the carnage in Istanbul on the Feast of the Mother of God, when scores of people were killed and wounded by a man dressed as Santa Claus.

At the Council of Nicaea, three centuries before the rise of Islam with its denial of Christ as the Lamb of God, Saint Nicholas challenged Arius for having similarly rejected the truth. And denial of the truth has deadly consequences. “The man who denies that Jesus is the Christ—he is the liar, he is Antichrist; and he is denying the Father as well as the Son, because no one who has the Father can deny the Son, and to acknowledge the Son is to have the Father as well” (1 John 2:22-23). All this was painted by God on the canvas of history.”

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Spadaro’s irrational faith

d75ef4bbdcaed267332b6508fa4c2f5cFather Antonio Spadaro, the Italian Jesuit who has been identified as “the Pope’s mouthpiece,” frequently uses his Twitter account(s) to belittle all those who have questions about Amoris Laetitia. But this gem from yesterday might have a boomerang effect:

Theology is no #Mathematics. 2 + 2 in #Theology can make 5. Because it has to do with #God and real #life of #people…

This is wrong, and wrong in revealing ways.

Is Spadaro suggesting that when we speak about “real life,” the rules of scientific logic don’t apply? Imagine how you would feel if someone said: “You can talk all you want about the law of gravity, but in real life, …” You wouldn’t know exactly what was coming next, but you would already know it was nonsense. The law of gravity is a law of real life, which applies to real people.

So too with mathematical logic. 2 + 2 = 4. Always. If you reach another result, you have made an error. Maybe you have defined the terms oddly, so that “2” doesn’t mean what it ordinarily means. Or maybe you don’t understand addition. In any case, unless you’re being deliberately misleading, you’re wrong.

So how is it possible that “2 + 2 in #Theology can make 5”? Spadaro tells us that theology “has to do with God.” Does he mean, then, that God can and will violate the laws of logic? If so, he has plunged headlong into the error that Pope Benedict XVI critiqued in his famous Regensburg address: the notion that faith cannot be subject to rational analysis. Pope Benedict saw this error as a weakness of Islamic thought; he probably never anticipated that the problem would crop up in the editorial offices of Civilta Cattolica.

Father Spadaro has an interest in promoting this sort of irrationalism. If you can suspend the ordinary rule of logic by making vague references to “real life” and “people,” then you can sew up the debate on Amoris Laetita very neatly. Every case is different—so the argument goes—and therefore the laws don’t apply. By that logic, since every stone you toss up in the air is a different case, you can never be sure whether or not the stone will come down. But trust me; it will.

If Spadaro is not promoting an irrational faith, there’s another way to interpret his curious Tweet, and it’s no more reassuring. He may be suggesting that you and I and millions of other ordinary Catholics cannot be expected to follow the intricate logic of theologians—in the same way that we are flummoxed by the abstruse calculations of quantum mechanics—so we should leave this important business to the professionals. In other words, our role is to accept what we’re told. We’re not expected to understand; we’re only expected to fall in line. His approach to faith is not based on reason. It may, however, be based on power.

Go here for another Twitter tale

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Theologian: Shared Communion With Protestants Would be Blasphemy and Sacrilege

This insightful article by Edward Pentin first appeared in the National Catholic Register on January 2nd, and due to its popularity and the great sacrilege that would be committed by sharing Holy Communion with those who are not in communion with the Catholic Church, we are republishing the article here for those who might have missed it.

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Msgr. Nicola Bux reflects on the possibility this pontificate is sympathetic to Protestant theologian Jürgen Moltmann’s theory of “open Communion.”

If the Church were to change its rules on shared Eucharistic Communion it would “go against Revelation and the Magisterium”, leading Christians to “commit blasphemy and sacrilege,” an Italian theologian has warned.

Drawing on the Church’s teaching based on Sacred Scripture and Tradition, Msgr. Nicola Bux, a former consulter to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, stressed that non-Catholic Christians must have undertaken baptism and confirmation in the Catholic Church, and repented of grave sin through sacramental confession, in order to be able to receive Jesus in the Eucharist.

Msgr. Bux was responding to the Register about concerns that elements of the current pontificate might be sympathetic of a form of “open Communion” proposed by the German Protestant theologian, Jürgen Moltmann.

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The concerns have arisen primarily due to the Holy Father’s own comments on Holy Communion and Lutherans, his apparent support for some remarried divorcees to receive Holy Communion, and how others have used his frequently repeated maxim about the Eucharist: that it is “not a prize for the perfect, but a powerful medicine and nourishment for the weak.”

The debate specifically over intercommunion with Christian denominations follows recent remarks by Cardinal Walter Kasper who, in a Dec. 10 interview with Avvenire, said he hopes Pope Francis’ next declaration will open the way for intercommunion with other denominations “in special cases.”

The German theologian said shared Eucharistic communion is just a matter of time, and that the Pope’s recent participation in the Reformation commemoration in Lund has given “a new thrust” to the “ecumenical process.”

Pope Francis has often expressed his admiration for Cardinal Kasper’s theology whose thinking has significantly influenced — and continues to influence — the priorities of this pontificate, particularly on the Eucharist.

For Moltmann, Holy Communion is “the Lord’s supper, not something organized by a church or a denomination”. He believes the Church “owes its life to the Lord and its fellowship to his supper, not the other way around” and so its invitation “goes out to all whom he is sent to invite.”

If the Church were to “limit the openness of his invitation of its own accord,” he believes, “it would be turning the Lord’s supper into the Church’s supper and putting its own fellowship at the centre, not fellowship with him.

“By using the expression ‘the Lord’s supper’,” he has argued, “we are therefore stressing the pre-eminence of Christ above his earthly Church and are calling in question every denominationally limited ‘church supper’…”

In his 2011 book The Catholic Church: Nature, Reality and Mission, Cardinal Kasper praised Moltmann as an inspirational theologian, one of several “great” Protestant theologians, but preferred to appeal to the idea of authentic “catholicity” (universality) rather than “open Communion.”

Here below is Msgr. Bux’s complete response to the arguments proposed by “open Communion” and intercommunion.

 

“St. Thomas Aquinas responds to the issue in answer to Question 80, Article 4 in his Summa Theologiae:

“In this sacrament, as in the others, that which is a sacrament is a sign of the reality of the sacrament. Now there is a twofold reality of this sacrament, as stated above: one which is signified and contained, namely, Christ Himself; while the other is signified but not contained, namely, Christ’s mystical body, which is the fellowship of the saints. Therefore, whoever receives this sacrament, expresses thereby that he is made one with Christ, and incorporated in His members; and this is done by living faith, which no one has who is in mortal sin [let alone if the faith, in addition to not being formed, is also deficient in matters of faith]. And therefore it is manifest that whoever receives this sacrament while in mortal sin, is guilty of lying to this sacrament, and consequently of sacrilege, because he profanes the sacrament: and therefore he sins mortally.”

If I receive Communion, I declare myself to be one with Christ, to the point that “I eat”; but real separation (or merely potential union) from Christ and the Church is objectively found in:

a) Those who does not have the grace and

b) Those who do not have faith, rendering the “consuming” of Christ (i.e. the state of being at one with him – truly present – and with the Church), a lie.

Consequently:

1) Through reading the Gospel of John chapter 6, or especially the first letter of Paul to the Corinthians, chapter 11, one understands that this is contrary to Scripture, Tradition and the Magisterium of the Church, because, to receive Communion one must have undertaken Christian initiation (baptism and confirmation). Also, if the person had fallen into grave sin, he has to have made the penitential journey, especially sacramental confession.

The initiation and the penitential journey really show that the one who wants to communicate must first have entered into the communion of the faith of the Church; or if they had moved away because of a serious sin or schism or heresy, must re-enter by penance.

Pope St. John Paul II responded to the idea of Moltmann in his encyclical Ecclesia de Eucharistia, when he writes:

“The celebration of the Eucharist, however, cannot be the starting-point for communion; it presupposes that communion already exists, a communion which it seeks to consolidate and bring to perfection. The sacrament is an expression of this bond of communion both in its invisible dimension, which, in Christ and through the working of the Holy Spirit, unites us to the Father and among ourselves, and in its visible dimension, which entails communion in the teaching of the Apostles, in the sacraments and in the Church’s hierarchical order.” (35)

2) If the Holy See absurdly changed the rule, that is if it were able to bring it about without having Christian initiation (baptism and confirmation) or, without having made sacramental confession, it would go against Revelation and the Magisterium of the one Holy and Apostolic Catholic Church, prompting the faithful to commit blasphemy and sacrilege.

It’s true that all Christian denominations refer to Jesus Christ, but “according to the persuasion of Catholics,” John Paul II recalled, on 17 November 1980, at the Council of the Evangelical Church of Germany, “dissent relates to the ‘what Christ is’, ‘is his’; his Church and its mission, his message and his sacraments and institutions which are placed at the service of the word and sacrament.”

Therefore, the faith that Protestants profess at baptism is not Catholic, in particular because they don’t have the sacrament of Confirmation: therefore, not being able to make the journey of initiation, they cannot receive the Eucharist.

Finally, Protestants do have not the Sacrament of Penance (Confession and Reconciliation], so they cannot return to Eucharistic communion.”

***

In addition to Msgr. Bux’s comments, theologians also point out that shared Communion with Lutherans, for example, would directly contradict Canon II of the Council of Trent on the Most Holy Sacrament of the Eucharist:

“If anyone says that in the sacred and, holy sacrament of the Eucharist the substance of the bread and wine remains conjointly with the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, and denies that wonderful and singular change of the whole substance of the bread into the body and the whole substance of the wine into the blood, the appearances only of bread and wine remaining, which change the Catholic Church most aptly calls transubstantiation, let him be anathema.”

The canon condemns the Lutheran doctrine of Consubstantiation which holds that the fundamental “substance” of the body and blood of Christ are present alongside the substance of the bread and wine, which remain present. This means that if anyone were to encourage a Lutheran to receive Holy Communion in the Catholic Church — even in exceptional circumstances — they would be in error unless those same Lutherans rejected the Lutheran doctrines on the Eucharist.

But if that is the case, and they believe what the Catholic Church believes, and don’t believe what the Lutheran Church teaches, then it raises the question: why don’t they simply become Catholic? A theologian who preferred to remain anonymous told the Register that if any Lutheran feels “hurt” or “deprived” by being unable to receive Holy Communion in the Catholic Church, they “should ask themselves: why they do not feel hurt or deprived when they receive invalid Communion from invalidly ordained ministers in the Lutheran Church?”

Canon II, he said, is based on Scripture (1 Cor 11: 27) and Tradition (Didache 9,5 ; 10,6 ; 14,1; and St Justin Martyr 1st Apologia c.66).

Specifically on the issue of intercommunion, the Catechism of the Catholic Church (1400) states:

“Ecclesial communities derived from the Reformation and separated from the Catholic Church, ‘have not preserved the proper reality of the Eucharistic mystery in its fullness, especially because of the absence of the sacrament of Holy Orders.’ It is for this reason that, for the Catholic Church, Eucharistic intercommunion with these communities is not possible. However these ecclesial communities, “when they commemorate the Lord’s death and resurrection in the Holy Supper . . . profess that it signifies life in communion with Christ and await his coming in glory.”

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Adoration of the Magi Proves the Divinity of Christ (St Augustine)

by Dr Taylor Marshall

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Church history is plagued by the recurring heresy which denies that Christ is fully God. The most insidious attempt to push this false theology on the Church occurred in the fourth century. The heresiarch Arius galvanized a majority of influential clergy in laity as the so-called nouvelle théologie of budding Christendom. Arius wrongly taught that the Son of God was not eternal with the Father and that the Son of God was therefore created. This entailed that the Son of God does not share the same divine substance as God the Father. As you know, the Catholic Church condemned these errors at the Council of Nicea (325) and the First Council of Constantinople (381).

Contrary to the claims of the heretics, the adoration of the Magi toward the Christ Child proves that this tiny Jewish baby is much more than a created person. Christ had not proved Himself by any external deeds. He did not possess any external wealth or power. This reveals that the Magi perceived the infant to be a Divine Person, God Himself.
In a sermon on the Epiphany of Christ, Saint Augustine explains:

“Though many kings of the Jews had been born and died, none of them did the Magi seek to adore. And so they who came from a distant foreign land to a kingdom that was entirely strange to them, had no idea of showing such great homage to such a king as the Jews were wont to have. But they had learnt that such a King was born that by adoring Him they might be sure of obtaining from Him the salvation which is of God.”

The Magi were kings, royal men. They were familiar with kings and the Christ Child exhibited none of the earthly traits of a king. Rather, Christ’s credentials came from a supernatural star. This proved to the Magi that this Child was the Lord and Creator of the Stars and therefore the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords. The Magi were no Arians.
Pope Saint Leo the Great writes

“they might seek with more ardent faith Him, whom both the brightness of the star and the authority of prophecy revealed” (Serm. xxxiv).

How amazing it is that Gentile kings, once idolatrous men, were the first to bend their knees in homage while the rulers and priests of Israel ignored Christ and then sought to kill Him. Herod and the apostate Jews of that time were, then, the first Arian heretics. They were the first to deny divinity of Christ by their actions. The Magi, on the other hand, were the very first defenders of Catholic Orthodoxy. By their arduous journey and beautiful gestures, they acted out what St Athanasius and the Cappadocian Fathers defended by word and by pen.

 

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Epiphany Blessing: Christus mansionem benedicat

 

imageEpiphany Inscription Over the Doorway of the Home.                            20 + C + M + B + 17

For the glorious feast of the Epiphany of the Lord, here again is the traditional blessing from the Roman Ritual with a little explanation of it. The letters have two meanings. They are the initials of the traditional names of the Three Magi: Caspar, Melchior and Balthasar. They also abbreviate the Latin words Christus mansionem benedicat. May Christ bless the house.” The letters recall the day on which the inscription is made, as well as the purpose of blessing.

The crosses represent the protection of the Precious Blood of Christ, Whose Sacred Name we invoke, and also the holiness of the Three Magi sanctified by their adoration of the Infant Christ.

The inscription is made above the front door, so that all who enter and depart this year may enjoy God’s blessing. The month of January still bears the name of the Roman god Janus, the doorkeeper of heaven and protector of the beginning and end of things. This blessing “christens” the ancient Roman observance of the first month. The inscription is made of chalk, a product of clay, which recalls the human nature taken by the Adorable and Eternal Word of God in the womb of the Virgin Mary, by the power of the Holy Spirit.

To bless your home this Epiphany, read the Prologue of Saint John’s Gospel and the Collect of the Epiphany; then write the inscription for this year above your front door with blessed chalk.

Blessing of Chalk

V. Our help is the name of the Lord.
R. Who made heaven and earth.
V. The Lord be with you.
R. And with thy spirit.
Let us pray.
Bless, O Lord God, this creature chalk to render it helpful to Thy people. Grant that they who use it in faith and with it inscribe upon the doors of their homes the names of Thy saints, Caspar, Melchior, and Balthasar, may through their merits and intercession enjoy health of body and protection of soul. Through Christ our Lord.
And the chalk is sprinkled with Holy Water.

(Source)


 

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Bishop Schneider: “I have asked Msgr. Fellay not to delay his acceptance any longer”

 “The movement to restore the traditional Mass is the work of the Holy Spirit, and is unstoppable”

From Rorate Caeli:

Our partners at Adelante La Fe (Rorate in Spanish) today published an exclusive interview with His Excellency Bishop Athanasius Schneider. The answers he gives are very blunt and bold — even for the great bishop. It’s pretty clear even by just skimming his answers that he believes the time has come for the Society of St. Pius X (SSPX).

HEADLINES

“There are many places where priests act more like Protestant ministers than Catholic priests”

“There are families that must travel more than 100 km (60 mi) so that they can go to a dignified Mass and hear sound doctrine”

“The faithful must ask the priests for kneelers so that they can kneel”

“We have a eucharistic-heart disease, and as long as we fail to heal it, the whole body will remain ill and will not produce fruit”

“In today’s climate, it’s a true miracle that we have vocations”

“Gender ideology is a depravity, a final form of Marxism”

“If they can, parents should withdraw their children from schools where they are taught gender ideology”

“There is a mentality of radical relativism within the Church”

“We should speak up so that the Magisterium might speak clearly”

“With moral relativism, especially concerning the reception of Communion by the divorced and remarried, we want God to do our will, and not for us to do His”

“A sacramental female diaconate contradicts the nature of the Church”

“We have to love the pope supernaturally, praying for him, not practicing a form of papolatry”

 SSPX – Msgr. Lefebvre

“I am convinced that in the present circumstances, Msgr. Lefebvre would accept the canonical proposal of a personal prelature without hesitation”

“Msgr. Lefebvre is a man with a deep sensus ecclesiae”

“The episcopal ordinations were done in 1988 because in good conscience he thought that he had to do it, as an extreme act, and at the same time said that this situation should not last a long time”

“If you remain canonically autonomous for too long, you run the risk of losing a characteristic of the Catholic Church, that is, to be subject to the pope”

“We cannot make our subjection to the Vicar of Christ dependent upon the person of the pope; this would not be faith. You cannot say that “I don’t believe in this pope, I don’t submit, I am going to wait until one comes along that I like.” This is not Catholic, it is not supernatural; it is human. It is a lack of supernaturality and trust in Divine Providence, that God is the one who guides the Church. This is a danger for the SSPX”

“I have asked Msgr. Fellay not to delay his acceptance any longer, and I trust in Providence, though it is not possible to have 100% certainty”

“It is my great wish that the SSPX might be recognized and established within the regular structure of the Church as soon as possible, and this will be for the benefit of all, for them and for us. Actually it will be a new force in this great battle for the purity of the Faith”

“I have told Msgr. Fellay: “Monsignor, we need your presence to join together with all of the good forces in the Church to achieve this union.”

 TRADITIONAL MASS

“The movement to restore the traditional Mass is the work of the Holy Spirit, and is unstoppable”

“If the Fathers of Vatican II witnessed a Mass like the one we know today and a traditional Mass, the majority would say that the traditional Mass is what they want, and not the other”

The traditional liturgy is the liturgy of Vatican II, perhaps with small changes.

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Vatican official close to Pope’s inner circle shares explosive information

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January 3, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) 

Just over a year ago, a reader had a revealing and candid conversation with a Vatican official close to Pope Francis’ inner circle.

They were traveling on the same flight to Rome; the official was on his way back from the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia, just before the 2015 Ordinary Synod on the Family.

What he said was remarkable for its rejection of orthodoxy and contempt for the core teachings of the Catholic faith.

The reader has kindly shared the contents of their exchange, one that offers valuable insights into how this pontificate viewed the Synod on the Family, Holy Communion for remarried divorcees without an annulment, and various personalities leading the Church today.

We do not doubt the authenticity of the exchange. The reader’s account of their conversation is below:

Plane conversation

I boarded the plane and took my seat. An older, rather heavy-set Italian who looked like he’d eaten his fair share of pasta sat down next to me. We exchanged greetings, and he introduced himself as an official of the former Pontifical Council for the Family, headed by Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia.

The official seemed to feel quite free to speak, and was keen to express that he knew Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri, secretary general of the Synod of Bishops. There were a couple of moments during our conversation when he admitted he had spoken at length to Cardinal Baldisseri, but he could not reveal the contents of their conversation.

Our conversation quickly turned to the upcoming Synod. I simply asked questions and was sincerely listening and interested in his viewpoint. Also on this account, I think he felt free to speak. The beginning of our conversation focused a lot on the Kasper proposal,* and I was trying to understand the logic behind it.

Question: [After asking repeatedly about how someone can enter a second union when the first marriage is sacramental and valid] I don’t understand. If the first marriage was sacramental and valid, how can someone be admitted to Communion if they are in a second civil union? What about the indissolubility of marriage?

Response: What do you do when the indissolubility is dead, when there’s no more feeling?

[“Come si fa quando l’indissolubilta è morta, quando non c’è piu sentimento?]

I thought to myself: This is the last thing a priest should say to a newly married couple who is experiencing difficulty.

After some back and forth, I asked:

Question: But what about Pope John Paul II’s Familiaris Consortio, 84?**

Response: How can we accept [“ammettere”] it? It was written 30 years ago …

Question: But what about where Pope John Paul II says, in FC 84, that according to the Sacred Scripture and Tradition, someone who’s first marriage is valid and who is in a second union can’t be admitted to Holy Communion unless they live as brother and sister.

Response: We can’t expect a man and woman who are sleeping in the same bed to live as brother and sister.

Our conversation turned to some of the people the Pope had appointed to the Synod.

Question: The Pope chose Cardinal Kasper to attend the Synod. Do you think this means the Pope agrees with Kasper?

Response: [Notable Pause] … Yes

Question: What do you think of Kasper?

Response: “He’s the most intelligent man in the room.”

Question: And Cardinal Burke? …

Response: [Quickly he said] He’s not coming. He doesn’t count for anything; he’s too Lefebvrist.  [“Non conta per niente; è troppo Lefebvrista”]

Question: But I imagine there will be a lot of opposition from some of the bishops and cardinals at the Synod, especially from Africa, America, Poland. What will Pope Francis do?

Response: “He will listen, and then he’ll do what he wants.”

Question: But what about Pope Benedict? I don’t imagine he would agree.

Response: He’s a theologian, but he’s got no pastoral experience.

Question: And the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith?

Response: [With what seemed a disparaging tone] They think they are the guardians of the faith! The Pope is the guardian of the faith.

Question: I heard that the Pope appointed Cardinal Danneels*** to attend the Synod …

Response: Ah, what a good man … he is refined … [“è raffinato”]

Our conversation eventually turned to other more benign topics, then ended until we arrived in Rome. When we landed, he gave me his name and telephone number.

Notes:

* The Kasper Proposal was a thesis presented by Cardinal Walter Kasper at the Extraordinary Consistory of February 2014 in which he suggested a penitential path for some remarried divorcees that would eventually lead to them being admitted to the sacraments, even though the Church has traditionally viewed such persons as living in an adulterous relationship.

** Familiaris Consortio is Pope St. John Paul II’s 1981 apostolic exhortation on the family. Paragraph 84 explicitly reaffirmed the Church’s practice, which is based upon Sacred Scripture, of not admitting to Eucharistic Communion divorced persons who have remarried. It states if these people were admitted to the Eucharist, “the faithful would be led into error and confusion regarding the Church’s teaching about the indissolubility of marriage.” It also states that reconciliation in the sacrament of Penance which would open the way to the Eucharist is only possible if they live as brother and sister, abstaining from sexual relations.

*** Cardinal Godfried Danneels, the archbishop emeritus of Mechelen-Brussels, tried to cover up a sex abuse case involving a fellow bishop in 2010. An audio recording leaked to the Belgian media revealed the cardinal urged the victim not to reveal that his abuser was his uncle Roger Vangheluwe, Bishop of Bruges, until the bishop had retired. The cardinal asked the victim if he would wait until Bishop Vangheluwe retired before going public, and even told him to “ask forgiveness” and “acknowledge your own guilt”. The victim responded: “Whose forgiveness do I have to seek? I am not the one to ask for forgiveness.” Despite the cover-up and Cardinal Danneels’ controversial views on such issues as same-sex marriage and abortion, Pope Francis personally invited him to participate in both synods on the family as one of his handpicked delegates.

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No Mercy for Sex Abuse Victims

From The Remnant, by Elizabeth Yore:

article-2562896-1ba1bb3a00000578-388_634x386“And peace to the children, on this special day on which God became a child, above all those deprived of the joys of childhood because of hunger, wars or the selfishness of adults.”  –  Pope Francis’ Christmas Urbi et Orbi Message 2016

Indeed, Pope Francis. The joys of childhood are deprived to the victims of clergy sexual abuse by the selfishness of adults. Despite his global popularity, the reality is that Francis is all talk, and no action when dealing with clerical child sex abuse. Not surprisingly, as the novelist, V.S. Naipaul observed about Argentines, “it is the Argentine attitude to suppress and ignore.”

Notwithstanding his incessant chatter about mercy and human trafficking, this Argentine Pope continues to suppress and ignore the ongoing clerical child sexual abuse. The latest case of papal inertia and deafness is especially heinous since it involves the sexual abuse of hundreds of disabled deaf and mute children in Italy and Argentina by several priests, giving tragic magnification to the oft used term, voiceless victims. This coverup lies squarely on Bergoglio’s watch.

During the 3 1/2 years of the Francis Papacy, the self-appointed Merciful One is not so merciful when it comes to the victims of clergy sex abuse. As Archbishop of Buenos Aires, Bergoglio left a record of abysmal apathy and inaction to root out clergy sex abuse. This pattern lives on behind the Vatican walls.

Who could forget the now familiar Francis fury raging at the faithful Catholics of Osorno Chile who pleaded with the Pope not to elevate a bishop who had allegedly protected a serial child predator? Francis ignored and suppressed their concerns as “stupid.” Who could forget the Pope’s personal appointment to the Synod on the Family of Cardinal Danneels, the renowned Belgian prelate who protected predator clerics? Don’t forget child abuse victim Peter Saunders, who served on the papal child protection commission and was forced to take a leave of absence for criticizing the Pope’s decisions on clerical sex abusers.

Wake up, Francis fawners, his mercy meme rings as hollow and empty, as hope and change.

It’s difficult to imagine a worse scenario for victim children then the latest case to cross Francis’ desk involving Fr. Nicholas Corradi. Fr. Corradi worked in the famous Provolo Institute for deaf and mute children in Italy for many years. Fr. Corradi was one of several priests who allegedly abused disabled children at the Provolo Institute.

The victims’ families argue that the Vatican knew about Fr. Corradi since at least 2009, when he was publicly accused of abusing deaf and mute students at the Provolo Institute in Verona, Italy. The Italian Provolo students went public with tales of shocking abuse against the most vulnerable of children and named several priest perps. While the Vatican sanctioned four accused priests, Corradi apparently was not punished for his alleged crimes in Italy and shockingly, Corradi left Italy and relocated to the South America at an Argentine school for deaf and mute students in Mendoza Argentina.

Despite allegations of sexual abuse by Corradi from Italian students, the Vatican apparently made no effort to immediately notify the Argentines, and recall Corradi to Italy. Additionally, the Argentine Conference of Bishops, then headed by Cardinal Bergoglio made no inquiries into the sudden arrival of Fr. Corradi at the school for deaf children in Mendoza Argentina. They should have been on high alert since modern Church history are full of predatory priests relocating to other countries and continents to avoid prosecution for child predation. Vetting Fr. Corradi for the sake of vulnerable deaf children would have been a simple precaution for their protection. Try Google for starters.

Tragically, and not surprisingly, the same clerical sex abuse scandal unfolded at the Argentine Provolo Institute for hearing impaired children. Like the dozens of children similarly abused in Italy, victims stepped forward to allege rape and sexual abuse by Fr. Corradi and another priest and staff members. And the Vatican knew about the Rev. Nicola Corradi since at least 2009.

Papal Deafness

In 2014, the Italian victims wrote directly to Pope Francis branding Corradi as a paedophile and flagged that he was living in Francis’ native Argentina. Where is the infamous Francis mercy and sense of urgency for disabled Argentine children? Pope Francis did nothing and would not open an independent investigation into Fr. Corradi’s alleged sexual abuse of these high risk children in Argentina. One would think that Argentine deaf and mute children at risk of sexual abuse by a Catholic priest would garner top priority from the Argentine pontiff!

The letter to Pope Francis details the heartbreakingly brutal and painful journey and treatment of abuse victims by the Vatican:

We are a group of former students of the Antonio Provolo Institute for the Deaf and Dumb of Verona (Italy) who told the press about the abuses committed by paedophile priests at the Institute. This was done only after three years of fruitless contacts with the Curia of Verona and in order to prevent what happened to us from happening to other children.The Bishop of Verona, who had been aware of what was going on, immediately accused us of being slanderers.

On May 9, 2014, the Provolo victims of Italy sent the Pope Francis a video message (knowing his preference for videos) on May 9, 2014. The eight deaf mutes pleaded for justice and asked the Pope for safety measure for the protection of children. Still no action by the Pope Francis while Fr. Corradi was teaching deaf and mute children in Argentina.

Since the Congregation for the Defense of the Faith had determined in 2012 (during Benedict’s papacy) that Corradi had sexually abused deaf and mute children in Italy, the Vatican was on notice that this priest had relocated to an Argentine school for deaf and mute children. Hasn’t the Vatican learned that predators relocate and pick up where they left off, by abusing children? Wasn’t the Vatican concerned that disabled Argentine children were at high risk with Fr. Corradi? How many Agentine children were abused because of the Vatican inaction and silence?

Finally, after ongoing publicity and personal pleas, in 2015 Provolo Victims’ Association met with Francis and personally asked him for an independent investigation of the clerical abuse of deaf and mute children. They waited and waited for a response from the loquacious pontiff to their urgent request for an independent investigation. Nothing, but silence.

Finally, after repeated requests to the Vatican press office. An answer came dated February 2016 in which the Vatican press office stated that the Pope forwarded the victims’ request to the Italian Bishop’s Conference, saying it was up to the Italian Bishop’s Conference to investigate the allegations. What happened to the much touted Papal Commission on the Protection of Minors? After a massive clerical sex abuse scandal involving the most vulnerable children on two continents, the Vatican passively and callously pitches the problem to the Italian Bishop’s Conference?

That, folks, is nothing more than a dodge, a pontifical punt into oblivion from this Pope who incessantly prattles on about zero tolerance for clergy sex abuse and poses as the champion of human trafficking victims, while his own Argentine disabled children were allegedly sexually abused by his indifference and inaction. Some mercy!

Yet, Swift Papal Action for Ecclesial Rivals

Contrast Francis’ inaction over the rape of innocent children, with his recent sudden action to appoint an independent commission to investigate the Knights of Malta, whose Cardinal Patronus happens to be Francis’ arch rival, Cardinal Raymond Burke. Within a week of learning that the Grand Chancellor of the Knights of Malta was suspended for continuing to distribute condoms, Francis quickly assembled a high powered commission to investigate that suspension, and presumably Burke, and to report back promptly to the Pope.

When Francis wants to wield political and ecclesial power, he does so with dispatch and authority. Papal politics, not child sexual abuse victims, garner his speedy attention.   If Pope Francis has an opportunity to take a political shot at his clerical political rivals, he seemingly moves with all deliberate speed. Yet when mute and deaf child victims of clergy abuse beg for an independent investigation, Francis drags his feet, slow walking his answer, and does nothing for years, causing more children to be raped and sexually abused.

Police Arrest Predator Priest Ignored by Francis

In late November 2016, Argentine Police arrested 82-year old priest Rev. Nicola Corradi, 55-year-old priest Horacio Corbacho, and three other men. They are accused of sexual and physical child abuse at the Antonio Provolo Institute in northwestern Mendoza province.One of the priests Nicolás Corradi, who had been given a previous conviction for child abuse in Italy before being transferred to Argentina, gave orders that none of the children’s relatives were allowed to enter the school. Parents now believe this was part of the cover up.When the police raided the school in Argentina’s Mendoza province and they found pornography and about $34,000 in Rev. Corradi’s room.

At least 60 students of the Provolo institute in Argentina have now come forward seeking justice for the abuse they say they suffered at the hands of Fr. Corradi, another priest, the Rev. Horacio Corbacho, and three other men. According to FOX News Latino, the alleged victims of Rev. Nicola Corradi said they wrote a letter to the Pope Francis in 2014 warning him that the purported sexual predator had been reassigned to Argentina, the Pope’s home country.

Fr. Corradi, named by both Italian and Argentine victims as the sexual predator who raped deaf and mute children. Pope Francis could have stopped the horrendous abuse, but chose to ignore and suppress the cries for help. Victims understand that predators never stop abusing children and will travel across international borders to seek out more vulnerable children.

The victims are now speaking out saying that nothing was done then or later in 2014, when they told Pope Francis in a letter that Corradi was living in his native Argentina.”From the pope down … all of the Catholic Church hierarchy is the same. They all knew,” one of the victims told The Associated Press through a sign language interpreter.

Place this scandal squarely at the throne of Pope Francis or perhaps, even earlier at the feet of Cardinal Bergoglio.

Protecting children is not rocket or even climate science. It’s really very simple, but you must care about children. Priests, Bishops, Cardinals, Pope Francis, pay attention. Pick up the phone, call the Police, and report that ‘a crime may have been committed against a child and it needs to be investigated by law enforcement.’

Francis and his telephone

Since becoming pontiff, Francis is famous for his frequent calls to Argentina. The world gushed when it learned that the newly elected Pope telephoned his Buenos Aires newspaper delivery man to cancel his subscription. Everyone swooned over such humility and simplicity. Recently Francis cold called an Argentine Journalist to chat. Then there was the much publicized call to the Italian woman he comforted after she said she was pressured to have an abortion. The world was told that the Pope personally called an Argentine woman whom he reportedly instructed to take Holy Communion, despite the fact that her husband had been divorced from his first wife. According to Vatican Radio, Francis personally telephones troubled youth in Buenos Aires prison every two weeks. Oh, how merciful and humble!

Yet, the chatty Pope can’t be bothered to pick up the telephone and call the Mendoza Argentine Policia about an alleged serial child sexual predator teaching highly vulnerable deaf and mute children. Bergoglio loves to call Argentina, but apparently, not to warn disabled children about a sexual predator in their midst.

After billions spent on abuse settlements, countless clergy abuse commissions and grand jury reports, endless mea culpas, the Vatican still ignores the pleas of innocent children and their families who have been exploited by perp priests. Why is an alleged serial predator priest allowed to prey on impaired children on two continents?

The now infamous ‘save the earth’ endangered animals laser show on the facade of St. Peter’s epitomizes the Bergoglio papacy. The Vatican proudly touted the slick, high tech, multi media propaganda production of animal images and grunts, funded by the World Bank. The show was an homage to the fake globalist climate change movement, yet not one child was visible in the hour long extravaganza flooding the walls of St. Peter’s. Sacramentalizing climate change may land the Pope on the cover of Vanity Fair and Time magazine, but exposing predator priests saves lives and souls of the earth’s most precious resource, children.

This Christmas, Francis, the Global Merciful delivered a Christmas message that struck the Provolo abuse victims as highly insensitive and, even, mocking. Seeking to demonstrate his popularity, hipness, and relevance to the modern world, the trendy globalist Pontiff found time to tape his 2016 Christmas message to the world on YouTube in… sign language. 

Too bad, Bergoglio couldn’t find time to protect deaf and mute children from predator priests. The child victims should have complained about global warming, not their rape by clerics.

Maybe then, Francis would have paid attention.

UPDATE: File Under the Height of Hubris and Hypocrisy:

On December 28th, the Feast of the Holy Innocents, Pope Francis sent a letter to bishops around the world that the Church hears the “cries of pain of her children” and weeps because “she recognizes the sins of some of her members: the sufferings, the experiences and the pain of minors who were sexually abused by priests.” In a classic example of projection and blame shifting, Francis condemns the sin “of failing to help” of “covering up and denial” and the sin of “abuse of power” that happened in many cases.

Yes, Francis, covering up and denial of the sexual abuse of mute and deaf children is a grievous sin. In between your tyrannical tirades and globalist gushing, you might want to read Romans 2:3“Do you suppose, O man—you who judge those who practice such things and yet do them yourself—that you will escape the judgment of God?”

See also: theweek.com child-abuse-scandal-coming-pope-francis

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The Future of the Past

By Robert Royal on The Catholic Thing – January 2, 2017

Some European newspapers have reported lately – very quietly – that, according to police in Germany’s North Rhineland/ Westphalia region, from 2011 to 2016 there were 3500 cases of vandalism/desecration of Christian churches. About two per day in only one region of Germany, every day for the past five years.

You’ve probably never heard of this. Neither have most Europeans, because. . .well because. It’s hard to get even these rough numbers. Police (in several countries) don’t want to scare the public that they’re unable to provide basic safety. (Remember those women harassed last New Year’s Eve?) And there’s also, of course, political correctness in play.

German authorities say that the North Rhineland/Westphalia church attacks are largely the work of salafi jihadis, who steal from poor boxes to help fund their activities. Salafists typically forbid the use of reason (kalam) in religious matters; they’re divided about violent jihad. There are about 7,500 salafists in Germany, 17,000 in France, millions in Egypt and India, and smaller groups from Sweden to China. There must be a good, though unknown, number in America.

If you’re looking for what may become the defining reality of 2017, it may well be how the West will or won’t handle – over and above attacks like the ISIS-inspired massacre on the Berlin Christmas market – challenges such as the ones presented by Salafism and other such movements.

China and Russia will call for creative and tough economic and foreign policies. Domestic politics will be a war zone. But Islamism involves fundamental challenges of thought and belief.

Salafist protestors in Germany

Salafist protestors in Germany

Indeed, more than an external threat, it involves a crisis within the West itself. German Chancellor Angela Merkel has said that the problem in Europe is not too many Muslims but too little Christianity. A belated rationalization for allowing over a million unvetted Muslims into Germany – and under Schengen agreements, effectively into all of Europe and beyond.

Yet she touched on a truth, though maybe not the one she intended. It’s not only the East that’s in turmoil, but the West as well, as we see in the first signs of the breakup of the European Union and the populist revolt that led to Donald Trump.

The old liberal order based on pluralism and live-and-let-live tolerance had a good run – while the West was still under the sacred canopy provided by the Judeo-Christian tradition. When you believe, as you can read in Genesis, that human beings are made in the image and likeness of God, then it’s easy to explain why we respect one another as beings endowed with reason and free will.

When you, like many among Western elites, no longer believe that human dignity goes all the way down, it’s harder to say why one person should respect another still in the womb, or someone who disagrees with you about politics or faith.

Our political parties have increasingly sorted themselves out along radically opposed lines with Republicans pushing faith, family, nation, and Democrats race, gender, and class. That’s a simplification, of course, but a rough guide to where the country will be heading with one party or another in power. Under President Trump, the Little Sisters of the Poor need not fear and Planned Parenthood should worry. If Hillary Clinton had won, the positions would be reversed.

There’s a similar split over the defense of the West. Trump advocating sterner measures, Democrats believing that we can continue to treat Muslims as just one more faith group in a religiously pluralist America.

There are delicate questions here – and others not so delicate. A Democratic administration that rode roughshod over Christians and others who resisted the new morality of the modern state, and soft-pedaled the Islamist threat, hasn’t been able to make that distinction.

We, of course, can coexist with Muslims who want to coexist with us. But the presence of jihadists – essentially an amorphous armed force within our society – is going to drive us quite close to religious tests for entry into the country and perhaps more.

Police response to Salafist protestors

Police response to Salafist protestors

The Catholic political philosopher Pierre Manent has argued that France is faced with a similar crisis because it’s elites still largely believe that, according to the Enlightenment rules of the Revolution, this problem can’t happen. That if everyone is welcomed by the secular state, they will see that it’s to their advantage to assimilate and get along. Such conflicts that arise, therefore, can only be over money and social exclusion. As if there were no other visions of politics, society – or religion.

That’s proven false repeatedly, on 9/11 in New York and Washington, and on other occasions now in Madrid, Copenhagen, Boston, Paris, Brussels, Saint-Étienne-du-Rouvray, Nice, San Bernardino, Columbus, Orlando, Cairo, and yesterday in Istanbul.

Our secular and – sad to say – religious leaders have twisted themselves in knots denying that there’s any “authentic” religious factor in these attacks. Even the Vatican, which you might think would appreciate the central role of religion in human life, has joined the chorus, claiming that money, power, oil, the arms trade – anything but religion – is the real motive.

All this is similar to the debate over the Soviet Union during the Cold War, when a large slice of Western opinion wanted to play down the differences with an aggressive atheistic system armed with thousands of nuclear weapons, mostly – it should be said – out of fear of what facing the truth would entail.

The West is now nearly as divided as the East in religion, and what faith means to people. We will not overcome this split in 2017 – indeed it’s likely to grow larger as the already considerable resistance to a President Trump gathers momentum. But a sane society would regard 3500 attacks on Christian churches – and who knows how many elsewhere? – as an alarm bell.

What this all means is not “war with Islam,” – a red herring – but the perpetual struggle against all those, including those in our own culture, who threaten the foundations of human freedom and dignity.

Happy New Year.

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The Holy Name of Jesus

post-image-002-feast-of-the-holy-name

The Feast of the Holy Name of Jesus is associated with the Feast of the Circumcision, for it is when a child was circumcised that he received a name and was accepted as a son of Abraham and a full member of his family. So honoured is His Holy Name that devout Catholics bow their heads (men removing their hats) at the sound of “Jesus” (or “Iesus” in Latin), both inside and outside of the liturgy. To protect the sacredness and honour due the Holy Name, when hearing the Name of the Lord taken in vain, it is right to pray “Sit nomen Dómini benedíctum!” (“Blessed be the Name of the Lord”), to which the reply, if overheard, is “Ex hoc nunc, et usque in sæculum!” (“from this time forth for evermore!”). .

While there are no special customs, when we utter the Lord’s Name with devotion, we receive a partial indulgence. A plenary indulgence, under the usual conditions, may be received if we visit a church or chapel on this day. A good thing to do to fulfil these conditions is to recite the Litany of the Holy Name, especially in a church or chapel.

And here are the thoughts of St Bernard of Clairvaux (who wrote the hymn “Iesu Dulcis Memoria” which is sung today) on the most Holy Name of Jesus:

The sweet Name of Jesus produces in us holy thoughts, fills the soul with noble sentiments, strengthens virtue, begets good works, and nourishes pure affections. All spiritual food leaves the soul dry, if it contain not that penetrating oil, the Name Jesus. When you take your pen, write the Name Jesus: if you write books, let the Name of Jesus be contained in them, else they will possess no charm or attraction for me; you may speak, or you may reply, but if the Name of Jesus sounds not from your lips, you are without unction and without charm. Jesus is honey in our mouth, light in our eyes, a flame in our heart. This name is the cure for all diseases of the soul. Are you troubled? think but of Jesus, speak but the Name of Jesus, the clouds disperse, and peace descends anew from heaven. Have you fallen into sin? so that you fear death? invoke the Name of Jesus, and you will soon feel life returning. No obduracy of the soul, no weakness, no coldness of heart can resist this Holy Name; there is no heart which will not soften and open in tears at this Holy Name. Are you surrounded by sorrow and danger? invoke the Name of Jesus, and your fears will vanish.

Never yet was human being in urgent need, and on the point of perishing, who invoked this help-giving Name, and was not powerfully sustained. It was given us for the cure of all our ills; to soften the impetuosity of anger, to quench the fire of concupiscence, to conquer pride, to mitigate the pain of our wounds, to overcome the thirst of avarice, to quiet sensual passions, and the desires of low pleasures. If we call to our minds the Name of Jesus, it brings before us His most meek and humble heart, and gives us a new knowledge of His most loving and tender compassion. The Name of Jesus is the purest, and holiest, the noblest and most indulgent of names, the Name of all blessings and of all virtues; it is the Name of the God-Man, of sanctity itself. To think of Jesus is to think of the great, infinite God Who, having given us His life as an example, has also bestowed the necessary understanding, energy and assistance to enable us to follow and imitate Him, in our thoughts, inclinations, words and actions. If the Name of Jesus reaches the depths of our heart, it leaves heavenly virtue there. We say, therefore, with our great master, St Paul the Apostle: If any man love not our Lord Jesus Christ, let him be anathema.

Read more about devotion to the Holy Name here.

Litany to the Most Holy Name of Jesus

V. Lord, have mercy on us.
R. Christ, have mercy on us.
V. Lord, have mercy on us. Jesus, hear us.
R. Jesus, graciously hear us.
V. God the Father of Heaven
R. Have mercy on us.
V. God the Son, Redeemer of the world,
R. Have mercy on us.
V. God the Holy Spirit,
R. Have mercy on us.
V. Holy Trinity, one God,
R. Have mercy on us.
V. Jesus, Son of the living God, R. Have mercy on us.
Jesus, splendor of the Father, [etc.]
Jesus, brightness of eternal light.
Jesus, King of glory.
Jesus, sun of justice.
Jesus, Son of the Virgin Mary.
Jesus, most amiable.
Jesus, most admirable.
Jesus, the mighty God.
Jesus, Father of the world to come.
Jesus, angel of great counsel.
Jesus, most powerful.
Jesus, most patient.
Jesus, most obedient.
Jesus, meek and humble of heart.
Jesus, lover of chastity.
Jesus, lover of us.
Jesus, God of peace.
Jesus, author of life.
Jesus, example of virtues.
Jesus, zealous lover of souls.
Jesus, our God.
Jesus, our refuge.
Jesus, father of the poor.
Jesus, treasure of the faithful.
Jesus, good Shepherd.
Jesus, true light.
Jesus, eternal wisdom.
Jesus, infinite goodness.
Jesus, our way and our life.
Jesus, joy of Angels.
Jesus, King of the Patriarchs.
Jesus, Master of the Apostles.
Jesus, teacher of the Evangelists.
Jesus, strength of Martyrs.
Jesus, light of Confessors.
Jesus, purity of Virgins.
Jesus, crown of Saints.

V. Be merciful, R. spare us, O Jesus.
V. Be merciful, R. graciously hear us, O Jesus.

V. From all evil, R. deliver us, O Jesus.
From all sin, deliver us, O Jesus.
From Your wrath, [etc.]
From the snares of the devil.
From the spirit of fornication.
From everlasting death.
From the neglect of Your inspirations.
By the mystery of Your holy Incarnation.
By Your Nativity.
By Your Infancy.
By Your most divine Life.
By Your labors.
By Your agony and passion.
By Your cross and dereliction.
By Your sufferings.
By Your death and burial.
By Your Resurrection.
By Your Ascension.
By Your institution of the most Holy Eucharist.
By Your joys.
By Your glory.

V. Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world,
R. spare us, O Jesus.
V. Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world,
R. graciously hear us, O Jesus.
V. Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world,
R. have mercy on us, O Jesus.

V. Jesus, hear us.
R. Jesus, graciously hear us.

Let us pray.

O Lord Jesus Christ, You have said, “Ask and you shall receive, seek, and you shall find, knock, and it shall be opened to you.” Grant, we beg of You, to us who ask it, the gift of Your most divine love, that we may ever love You with our whole heart, in word and deed, and never cease praising You.

Give us, O Lord, as much a lasting fear as a lasting love of Your Holy Name, for You, who live and are King for ever and ever, never fail to govern those whom You have solidly established in Your love. Amen.

Sources: Fisheaters and EWTN

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‘They’ll lynch us!’, Catholics beg for assistance in evicting illegal migrants

A dire note as the year begins.

First, from Express about Catholics under siege at a parish near Milan.

‘They’ll LYNCH us!’ Church PLEADS with police for assistance in evicting migrants

A CHRISTIAN priest has pleaded for help in evicting a group of migrants squatting in a nearby building – with the church warning “we can’t wait for them to come and lynch us”.

They said the group of “North Africans” were chasing church-goers, scaring children and putting the area “under siege”.

They also said a collection box at the church in Italy had been forced open – sparking a furious reaction from Father Francesco Inversini.

He said the migrants, sheltering in a building near the church of Cristo Re in Milan were “free to do” anything.

The church’s administrator, who only wanted to be identified as Tommasso for fear of reprisals, went further.

He warned the migrants were part of an ongoing crime spree in the area – and claimed the church’s staff could be lynched if police do not do anything.

Tommasso said: “I do not say my name because those guys can kill me, but here, parents and parishioners are angry.

[…]

There’s some video.

Sts. Nunilo and Alodia, pray for us.
St. Lawrence of Brindisi, pray for us.
St. Pius V, pray for us.
Martyrs of Otranto, pray for us.
Our Lady of Victory, pray for us.
St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle.

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Pope Orders Cardinal Müller to Dismiss Three CDF Priests

from:1P5: http://www.onepeterfive.com

(Image: Palace of the Holy Office; Headquarters of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith)

Marco Tosatti, the well-informed and well-respected Italian Vatican specialist, has just revealed another quite troubling development in Rome. On 26 December, Tosatti reports on his own website Stilum Curiae that Pope Francis had just ordered the Prefect of one Vatican dicastery to dismiss three of his priests from their duties in their congregation.

My own research has shown that this incident occurred at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), and that it was Cardinal Gerhard Müller himself who now has to obey these peremptory new orders. Additionally, I was able to discover that the three priests involved are, respectively, of a Slovakian-American, French, and Mexican nationality. However, the last of these three might now, after all, be able to remain a little longer in his current position at the Congregation.

Let us now consider some of the specific details of what Marco Tosatti himself has perceptively gathered for us. He starts his article with a reference to Pope Francis’ usual rebuke of the Roman Curia at his Christmas address to the Curia and detects the pope’s obvious anger in his words and gestures. When looking over to the Curia itself, however, Tosatti perceives something else than a reciprocal anger to be present among the curial members: “It is not about their resistance, but about their fear, their discontent, and a kind of feeling that belongs to another context altogether.”

Tosatti then refers to a credible source who told him several recent episodes occurring at the Vatican. Two of them appear to be of great importance and might also give us some additional glimpses into Pope Francis’ own authoritarian methods as well as his somewhat indirect way of ruling the Church. But, we should now first concentrate on the new personnel matter at the Congregation for Doctrine, which Tosatti himself says is “decisively sadder.” Here is Tosatti’s report:

The head of a dicastery has received the order to remove three of his employees (all of whom have worked there for a long time), and it was without any explanation. He [the Prefect] received these official letters: “….I request that you please dismiss ….” The order was: send him [each of them] back into his diocese of origin or to the Religious Family to which he belongs. He [the Prefect of the Congregation] was very perplexed because it was about three excellent priests who are among the most capable professionally. He first avoided obeying and several times asked for an audience with the pope. He had to wait because that meeting was postponed several times. Finally, he was received in an audience. And he said: “Your Holiness, I have received these letters, but I did not do anything because these persons are among the best of my dicastery… what did they do?” The answer was, as follows: “And I am the pope, I do not need to give reasons for any of my decisions. I have decided that they have to leave and they have to leave.” He got up and stretched out his hand in order to indicate that the audience was at an end. On 31 December, two of the three [men] will leave the dicastery in which they have worked for years, and without knowing the why. For the third, there seems to be a certain delay. But then, there is another implication which, if true, would be even more unpleasant. One of the two had freely spoken about certain decisions of the pope – perhaps a little bit too much. A certain person – a friend of a close collaborator of the pope – heard this disclosure and passed it on. The victim received then a very harsh telephone call from Number One [i.e., the pope]. And then soon came the dismissal.” [emphasis added]

In this passage, Tosatti piercingly speaks about an “autocratic fever that seems to have broken out in the Vatican.” [my emphasis] And he concludes his report with the following words:

Thus it is not so astonishing when the atmosphere behind the walls and in the palaces is not really serene. And one may now ask oneself what kind of credit this fact gives altogether to all the elaborate and sustained fanfare about mercy. [my emphasis]

Thus Tosatti adds another piece of the puzzle concerning Pope Francis’ manner and methods of governance through which he seemingly aims at removing – or marginalizing – orthodox prelates, priests, and laymen from positions of formative influence in the Vatican.

Moreover, with specific regard of the Congregation for Doctrine, another source had told me the following, more than a month ago:

One source in Rome says that all those who work for the Holy See are afraid to talk about anything for fear of being chopped because of the presence of informants everywhere. He compared it to Stalinist Russia. He said two priest friends of his, good men, have been fired from the CDF because they were accused of being critical of Pope Francis.

This same Rome source, who is personally very honest and well informed, reports that these two priests here mentioned (who do not seem to be the same ones who are involved in the recent three personnel cases) fear that they will not be the only ones to be removed. They see their own removal to be just the beginning of a “massive overhaul” [my emphasis] within the Doctrine Congregation, “not unlike what happened recently to Cardinal Sarah’s Divine Worship Congregation.” (Here we might be reminded of the fact that it was Marco Tosatti himself who had earlier called these recent changes at the Congregation for Divine Worship a “Purge.”)

We have also recently reported about the pope’s earlier decision to remove the members of the Pontifical Academy of Life, which is widely known for its strong stance in defense of human life. Here is what one well-informed source had reported to me then about this incident:

At the end of 2016 the Pontifical Academy for Life was closed and all its members dismissed. The Academy will be reconstituted in 2017 with new statutes and the Academy will be repopulated. The process for naming new members of the Academy is not known.

We also have repeatedly reported on the atmosphere of fear that now increasingly permeates the Vatican, as did a recent report from the co-founder of LifeSiteNews.

During this forthcoming year of 2017 – the centenary of the apparitions of Our Lady of Fatima – may the Blessed Mother increasingly be our help and our trustworthy refuge. May she help us with those graces we shall need to defend the truth more fully and to manifest Christ’s love, as well, even in the face of fear.

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2017 – The prophetic mission of Fatima is not complete

We enter the centenary year of Our Lady’s apparitions at Fatima. With the enormous implications Our Lady’s messages and prophecies at Fatima hold for the whole world, and most specifically the Church in our times, we shall be returning periodically to these events throughout the year. We start by republishing Pope Benedict’s 2010 homily concerning Fatima’s still incomplete “prophetic mission”. (With a H/T to Rorate Caeli)

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In seven years you will return here to celebrate the centenary of the first visit made by the Lady “come from heaven”, the Teacher who introduced the little seers to a deep knowledge of the Love of the Blessed Trinity and led them to savour God himself as the most beautiful reality of human existence. This experience of grace made them fall in love with God in Jesus, so much so that Jacinta could cry out: “How much I delight in telling Jesus that I love him! When I tell him this often, I feel as if I have a fire in my breast, yet it does not burn me”. And Francisco could say: “What I liked most of all was seeing Our Lord in that light which Our Mother put into our hearts. I love God so much!” (Memoirs of Sister Lúcia, I, 42 and 126).

Brothers and sisters, in listening to these innocent and profound mystical confidences of the shepherd children, one might look at them with a touch of envy for what they were able to see, or with the disappointed resignation of someone who was not so fortunate, yet still demands to see. To such persons, the Pope says, as does Jesus: “Is not this the reason you are wrong, that you know neither the Scriptures nor the power of God?” (Mk 12:24). The Scriptures invite us to believe: “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have come to believe” (Jn 20:29), but God, who is more deeply present to me than I am to myself (cf. Saint Augustine, Confessions, III, 6, 11) – has the power to come to us, particularly through our inner senses, so that the soul can receive the gentle touch of a reality which is beyond the senses and which enables us to reach what is not accessible or visible to the senses. For this to happen, we must cultivate an interior watchfulness of the heart which, for most of the time, we do not possess on account of the powerful pressure exerted by outside realities and the images and concerns which fill our soul (cf. Theological Commentary on The Message of Fatima, 2000). Yes! God can come to us, and show himself to the eyes of our heart.

Moreover, that Light deep within the shepherd children, which comes from the future of God, is the same Light which was manifested in the fullness of time and came for us all: the Son of God made man. He has the power to inflame the coldest and saddest of hearts, as we see in the case of the disciples on the way to Emmaus (cf. Lk 24:32). Henceforth our hope has a real foundation, it is based on an event which belongs to history and at the same time transcends history: Jesus of Nazareth. The enthusiasm roused by his wisdom and his saving power among the people of that time was such that a woman in the midst of the crowd – as we heard in the Gospel – cried out: “Blessed is the womb that bore you, and the breasts that nursed you!”. And Jesus said: “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it!” (Lk 11:27-28). But who finds time to hear God’s word and to let themselves be attracted by his love? Who keeps watch, in the night of doubt and uncertainty, with a heart vigilant in prayer? Who awaits the dawn of the new day, fanning the flame of faith? Faith in God opens before us the horizon of a sure hope, one which does not disappoint; it indicates a solid foundation on which to base one’s life without fear; it demands a faith-filled surrender into the hands of the Love which sustains the world.

“Their descendants shall be known among the nations, […] they are a people whom the Lord has blessed” (Is 61:9) with an unshakable hope which bears fruit in a love which sacrifices for others, yet does not sacrifice others. Rather, as we heard in the second reading, this love “bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things” (1 Cor 13:7). An example and encouragement is to be found in the shepherd children, who offered their whole lives to God and shared them fully with others for love of God. Our Lady helped them to open their hearts to universal love. Blessed Jacinta, in particular, proved tireless in sharing with the needy and in making sacrifices for the conversion of sinners. Only with this fraternal and generous love will we succeed in building the civilization of love and peace.

We would be mistaken to think that Fatima’s prophetic mission is complete. Here there takes on new life the plan of God which asks humanity from the beginning: “Where is your brother Abel […] Your brother’s blood is crying out to me from the ground!” (Gen 4:9). Mankind has succeeded in unleashing a cycle of death and terror, but failed in bringing it to an end… In sacred Scripture we often find that God seeks righteous men and women in order to save the city of man and he does the same here, in Fatima, when Our Lady asks: “Do you want to offer yourselves to God, to endure all the sufferings which he will send you, in an act of reparation for the sins by which he is offended and of supplication for the conversion of sinners?” (Memoirs of Sister Lúcia, I, 162).

At a time when the human family was ready to sacrifice all that was most sacred on the altar of the petty and selfish interests of nations, races, ideologies, groups and individuals, our Blessed Mother came from heaven, offering to implant in the hearts of all those who trust in her the Love of God burning in her own heart. At that time it was only to three children, yet the example of their lives spread and multiplied, especially as a result of the travels of the Pilgrim Virgin, in countless groups throughout the world dedicated to the cause of fraternal solidarity. May the seven years which separate us from the centenary of the apparitions hasten the fulfilment of the prophecy of the triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, to the glory of the Most Holy Trinity.

Benedict XVI
Sermon
Fatima, May 13, 2010

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Sawing Off the Branch

From The Remnant, written by Hilary White:

hilary_toon

 

Suggested New Year’s Resolution: Keep the Faith, Despite the Madness

Two years ago, using the term “schism” in reference to the antics of the Vatican would have got you automatically labeled a sedevacantist or schismatic. Now it is used commonly by nearly everyone, including highly placed prelates in Rome. This is not because the Church is falling apart. It is not because Catholics are losing their Faith. It is because they are finding it. Because the realities have at last begun to overcome the false propaganda of the last five decades.

As the mayhem and destruction of the Bergoglian Wrecking Ball continues, and continues to escalate almost daily, we are seeing more and more examinations of canon law and theology around the question, “Is it possible for a reigning pope to be a schismatic?” Now, I’m not a canonist or a theological scholar. I’m really just someone who knows how to ask people questions. So I don’t pretend to have the answers to that question and all the other related questions that grow logically from it.

But I am a baptized and confirmed Catholic, and I know what the Faith is and what it isn’t. And I know what the Three Laws of Rational Thought are; I know that a proposition and its opposite can’t both be true; I know that there can be no third “middle” thing between a proposal and its opposite; and I know that a thing is the same as itself and different from another thing, that A = A and not Non-A.

Together, these things make it easy to understand that when Our Lord says anyone who tries to divorce and marry again is an adulterer, and when the Church teaches based on this that such people cannot receive Holy Communion, anyone who says that they can is wrong. Whether he is honestly mistaken or actually a nefarious evildoer bent on destroying the very fabric of reality is of no concern to me. He’s wrong either way, and we cannot follow him, whether he is a priest, a bishop, a cardinal, a pope or an angel from highest Heaven. Yes and no cannot both be the same. Reality is the way it is. A = A.

So, I’m afraid I become somewhat impatient with people who are panicking. What is there to panic about? We know the Faith. We know what reality is. We know that God does not abandon those who remain faithful to Him, though all the world are against them. None of that matters.

Equally, it doesn’t matter what it will look like. What will it look like, this schism that Bergoglio and his friends are currently helping to bring to final fruition – the same that has been bubbling away for 50 years? What will the world say when a tiny group of recalcitrant “ultraconservatives” call a press conference to declare that Jorge Bergoglio has lost the charism of the papacy and that anyone who follows him is no longer in union with the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church? It will look very much like what it does now.

The Bergoglian sect, as we must then call it, will continue to dress and look to the world like Catholic churchmen. They will continue to occupy all or nearly all of the properties, from the Vatican to the local parish. All the world and its institutions; the media, academia, international finance and law, organisations like the EU and the UN, all the nations that currently have diplomatic relations with the Holy See, will call the Bergoglian sect the Catholic Church.

None of that matters at all. A shell of a Church that looks Catholic on the outside but preaches a creed opposed to Christ cannot be the Catholic Church. The Real is what it is; A = A. A thing is the same as itself and not the same as some other thing. Two opposed things cannot both be true. Yes cannot be the same as no.

Many, many Catholics who will refuse to jure, who will not pinch even a single grain to a false god, will have to find other places to go to Mass. They will have to find other convents and monasteries to live in, or will have to leave religious life altogether. Those who are unwilling to give up religious life will have to carry on without habits in rented houses. Seminarians will have to find other living and study arrangements. Many priests will have to find ways to make a living while carrying on their priestly duties.

These will be difficult things to do, they will be real privations and losses, no mistake. But for these losses we have already been promised eternal glory. And for every person in these kinds of difficulties, there is an opportunity for grace for someone else. The more difficulties we all face, the more we can step in and help each other in real and concrete ways. And the more we will be drawn together in authentic Christian solidarity.

These things have all happened before. Many times and not that long ago. I know a man who was ordained in a Soviet state who did all his studies for the priesthood while operating a crane in a wire factory, hiding his books under his jacket. We know that Japanese believers held on to the Faith through centuries without any clergy whatever – they had the Rosary and remembered Our Lady. They had catechesis that was passed on orally. And they remembered their martyrs. We know there are Chinese martyrs, both white and red, doing these things right now.

The Faith cannot die, because the God who died has risen from the dead, has conquered death forever. The Church cannot be killed. The people currently trying to kill it don’t believe this, but that doesn’t matter either.

People have asked me how it can possibly make sense that a pope can “go into schism” or be “fomenting schism” or even be a formal heretic. And I agree, it seems outrageous, almost impossible. For many the thought has been almost logically excluded by the false syllogism of papal positivism: “The faith comes from the pope, and whatever the pope says is the faith, therefore…” But it is false.

I maintain that this pontificate of destruction is not destroying the Catholic Church. Of course it isn’t. But it is destroying these false conceptions, these false syllogisms, that have grown up since the First Vatican Council and were corroding everyone’s faith. Papal positivism is a kind of theological illness in the modern Church, sadly fomented by the popes themselves since the catastrophe of the Second Vatican Council. We all looked to the “orthodox” John Paul II to pull us out of the Church’s tailspin. And for many, faced with blatantly heretical and often evil bishops, the pope became the first and last guarantor of the Faith. It is easy to see how this problem grew. But here it stops. And for the good of souls.

People are lamenting all over, “Bergoglio is destroying the Church!” But this indicates little more than the lamenter’s lack of faith. No, he isn’t. But he is doing a fine job of bringing down the false thing, that anti-Church that has all but subsumed the Church of Christ. And that is a fine thing to watch.

He and all his friends have chosen to sit on a rotting branch, a branch that has been dead for 50 years and was ready to fall off anyway. They are energetically sawing away at it, and it will come down soon, to be sure. Meantime, the Faith is still the Faith. The Real is still the Real. Yes does not mean the same thing as no. A = A.

St. Athanasius put it better than I ever could:

“May God console you! … What saddens you … is the fact that others have occupied the churches by violence, while during this time you are on the outside. It is a fact that they have the premises – but you have the Apostolic Faith. They can occupy our churches, but they are outside the true Faith. You remain outside the places of worship, but the Faith dwells within you. Let us consider: what is more important, the place or the Faith? The true Faith, obviously. Who has lost and who has won in the struggle – the one who keeps the premises or the one who keeps the Faith? True, the premises are good when the Apostolic Faith is preached there; they are holy if everything takes place there in a holy way …

You are the ones who are happy; you who remain within the Church by your Faith, who hold firmly to the foundations of the Faith which has come down to you from Apostolic Tradition. And if an execrable jealousy has tried to shake it on a number of occasions, it has not succeeded. They are the ones who have broken away from it in the present crisis. No one, ever, will prevail against your Faith, beloved Brothers. And we believe that God will give us our churches back some day.

“Thus, the more violently they try to occupy the places of worship, the more they separate themselves from the Church. They claim that they represent the Church; but in reality, they are the ones who are expelling themselves from it and going astray. Even if Catholics faithful to Tradition are reduced to a handful, they are the ones who are the true Church of Jesus Christ.”

So it only remains to ask, what must we do? And the Church has the same answer for us that she has always given: instruct the ignorant; counsel the doubtful; admonish sinners; bear wrongs patiently; forgive offenses; console the afflicted; pray for the living and the dead.

Is it as simple as that? Keep doing the thing we’ve always known we should?

Yes. It’s as simple as that. If you aren’t doing them now, start. If you are, do them a bit more. And help someone else to start doing them or to do them a bit more. Help someone you know to stop lamenting and give up papal positivism. Honestly, there has never been a more useful pontificate for finding teaching opportunities. People are upset; and we have the solution.

And there has never been a time in human history when the information we need has been more accessible. We all carry a device around with us that gives us access to all the teaching of the Church, the Fathers, Doctors, saints and popes. All of the Summa is in your pocket right now.

But most of all, remember to thank God for the Faith He has given you, and sustained in you. It could easily have been different.

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Reflection for the Solemnity of Mary, the Holy Mother of God, Year A – Sunday, January 1st, 2017

Solemnity of Mary, the Holy Mother of God, Year A – Sunday, January 1st, 2017

 [The readings for this Solemnity are: Numbers 6:22-27; Galatians 4:4-7; and Luke 2:16-21.]

The Jewish New Year

The Jewish Feast of Rosh Hashanah, meaning literally the “beginning of the year,” occurs on the first of the Hebrew month Tishre and inaugurates the solemn Jewish season which concludes with Yom Kippur. In the Bible, the Jewish New Year Festival is called the Day of the Sounding of the Shofar and the Memorial of the blowing of the Shofar (ram’s horn). This instrument is designed to sound the alarm of the forthcoming solemn season, to awaken Jewry to prayer and repentance. It serves as a call to remember the historical events which made Israel a people, whether at Mount Sinai or on its entrance into Israel, or on the occasion of the proclamation of the Jubilee year. In Jewish liturgy, this feast also has two other names: Day of Memorial and Day of Judgment. Each of the different names of the Festival conveys one of its special characteristics.

Rosh Hashanah is not an opportunity for excess and mirth. If Jews rejoice in the festival, it is only in the knowledge that life still holds out the promise of better things. It is the occasion of self-examination, a time when, in the words of their prayers, all creatures are remembered before God. It is a Day of Judgment, not only in the Divine sense, but in the sense that on this day all Jews should judge their own actions. It is also a day of remembrance, not only of great events of the dim past, but also of the incidents of the human journey over the past year. Rosh Hashanah invites all Jews to recall with gratitude the many times they have been delivered from mishap and pain by the unseen hand of the Almighty One.

January 1: The Christian New Year

The Christian New Year is celebrated on January 1, one week after the celebration of the birth of Jesus. Like the Jewish feast of Rosh Hashanah, January 1 has also been given several different names that reveal something of the nature of the feast. We could say that this feast is rich in names, meaning, and mission. First of all, the Christian New Year is within the Octave of Christmas (i.e. eight days after the birth of Jesus). Before the liturgical renewal of the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965) the Christian New Year was called the Feast of the Circumcision of Jesus or the Naming of Jesus (the Holy Name of Jesus). After the Second Vatican Council, January 1 was established as the Solemnity of Mary, the Mother of the Lord, and it has also been designated as the World Day of Prayer for Peace.

At first glance, we may ask ourselves if the New Year’s Feast has accumulated so many different meanings that people no longer pay attention to it. Furthermore, is it also not true that the atmosphere of revelry attached to New Year’s Eve hardly leaves anyone with the energy, desire, or willingness to consider New Year’s Day as a religious feast? Or, is it possible to consider the Christian New Year in light of the Jewish New Year, and try to find unity and meaning in the various traditions now associated with this feast?

Feast of the Circumcision and Naming of Jesus

Let us consider some of the biblical foundations for the various meanings attached to the Christian New Year. In antiquity and in the Scriptures, it is a common belief that the name given to a person is not just a label but part of the personality of the one who bears it. The name carries will and power. Jesus of Nazareth was born in Bethlehem to Jewish parents (Matthew 1-2; Luke 1-2). At his conception, it was proclaimed by an angel that his name would be “Jesus.” The Hebrew and Aramaic name “Yeshua” (Jesus) is a late form of the Hebrew “Yehoshua” or Joshua.

Eight days after his birth, Jesus underwent circumcision, the enduring sign of the covenant between God and the Jewish people (Luke 2:21-24). The Greek christos translates the Hebrew mashiah, “anointed one”; by this name Christians confessed their belief that Jesus was the Messiah. In the New Testament, the name, person, and work of God are inseparably linked to those of Jesus Christ. True disciples of Jesus are to pray in his name (John 14:13-14). In John 2:23, believing in the name of Jesus is believing in him as the Christ, the Son of God (3:18). The name of Jesus has power only where there is faith and obedience (Mark 9:38-39). Believing in the holy name of Jesus leads to confession of the name (Hebrews 13:15). Calling on this name is salvation.

Solemnity of Mary, Mother of the Lord

“Mary” comes from the Hebrew “Miriam” whose etymology is probably from the Egyptian word meaning “beloved.” She is the disciple par excellence who introduces us to the goodness and humanity of God. Mary received and welcomed God’s word in the fullest sense, not knowing how the story would finally end. She did not always understand that word throughout Jesus’ life but she trusted and constantly recaptured the initial response she had given the angel and literally “kept it alive,” “tossed it around,” “pondered it” in her heart (Luke 2:19). It was only on a Friday afternoon at Calvary, some 33 years later, that she would experience the full responsibility of her “yes.”

Daughter of Zion

Vatican II gave Mary a new title and role in the Dogmatic Constitution on the Church Lumen Gentium #52. For the first time, the Church officially referred to her as the “Daughter of Zion,” a title with a rich Scriptural foundation. The title evokes the great biblical symbolism of the Messianic Zion. Mary is mother both of the Messiah and of the new people of God: the individual person and the whole people being very closely united, in line with the cultural structures of Israel. For the prophets, the Daughter of Zion was the spouse of the Lord when she observed the covenant. As “Mother Zion,” she not only welcomes and represents Israel, but the Church, the People of God of the New Covenant. Mary is the first Daughter of Zion, leading all of God’s people on the journey towards the Kingdom.

Mary’s womanhood is not in itself a sign of salvation but it is significant for the manner and way in which salvation happens. There is salvation in no other name but that of the man Jesus, but through this woman, Mary, we have humanity’s assent to salvation. The Holy Names of Jesus and Mary are joined together in a very special way.

World Day of Prayer for Peace

The most recent “theme” attached to the Christian New Year has been the “World Day of Prayer for Peace.” Christians are invited to begin a New Year by praying for peace. But this action is not limited only to those who celebrate New Year’s on January 1! The Jewish people, in particular, are deeply united with Christians in praying for peace and making peace. Our God is peace. Even though we Christians consider God’s intervention in Jesus Christ to be decisive, this intervention did not represent the coming of the Messianic kingdom for our Jewish brothers and sisters.

In contemporary Christian theology, we have placed a strong emphasis on the “not yet” dimension of the Christ-event. As we wait together and work together as Christians and Jews for this Messianic kingdom, we must work together especially in the areas of justice and peace. The Jewish people are privileged partners with Christians in bringing about this kingdom of justice, love and peace. The Messianic kingdom for both Christians and Jews still lies ahead. It is not enough for us simply to pray for peace. We must work for peace, together. That is the work of those who long for the Messiah’s kingdom to fully take hold of our lives and our world.

A time to remember and give thanks

New Year’s is a time to reminisce about the past and to share hopes for the future. Authentic religion teaches us a reverence for life and gives us a sense of the holiness of God’s name. When we consider the various meanings attached to Rosh Hashanah and to the Christian New Year, we see some clear parallels. The God that Jews and Christians worship does not seek the death of sinners, but that they may return to Him and live. Both Judaism and Christianity teach that to destroy a single life is to destroy an entire world and to sustain a single life is to sustain an entire world.

The Jewish-Christian God speaks this word to all peoples: ‘Seek me and live,’ and ‘Choose life.’ Jews and Christians exist to reveal the holiness of God’s name and God’s sovereignty over all creation. In a world filled with so many voices and things demanding first place, Judaism and Christianity recognize God as sovereign over all creation. Finally, Jews and Christians yearn for the day when swords will be turned into plowshares and spears into pruning hooks.

Rosh Hashanah and the Christian New Year are excellent opportunities for the celebration of life, a commitment to uphold its dignity and sacredness, and a plea for its continuance. They are feasts when we beg to be joined with women and men of good will everywhere, especially with those who know God as the God of the Exodus, and those who know God as the Father of Our Lord Jesus Christ.

At the beginning of this New Year of grace, may the Lord give us an ever deeper sense of the holiness of the names of Jesus and Mary. May God send us out on mission, to be instruments and agents of life and peace.

 

(Image: Adoration of the Shepherds by James Tissot)

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