And Elias, the prophet, stood up, as a fire, and his word burnt like a torch (Ecclesiasticus. 48.1, DRV)

Sunday, June 24, 2012

"Without Me, you can do nothing" (Jn. 15.5)


Fourth Sunday after Pentecost

Great confidence in God and an acute awareness of human misery and insufficiency dominate the Liturgy of today's Mass. These two Christian dispositions are closely connected, for it is the consciousness of our nothingness which leads us to put all our confidence in God, and the greater this confidence becomes in us, the more we are convinced of our nothingness.

The Mass begins with a cry of unshakable hope: The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? (Ps. 26.1 - DRV, from the Introit). The Lord is truly, really, and substantially present with us in the Blessed Sacrament of the altar, the Lord comes to us in Holy Communion. What can make us fear?

Yet we know our weakness; we have ever before our eyes the remembrance of our sins, failures, infidelities, and ingratitude. How great then is our need to humbly repeat the prayer of the Gradual: Save us, O Lord, and pardon our sins... Help us, O God, our Savior, for the glory of Your Name (Ps. 78.9). Yes, in spite of the continual help of divine grace, in spite of so many confessions and communions, we have to acknowledge new failures everyday; daily, we must begin anew: For which cause, we faint not; but though our outward man is corrupted, yet the inward man is renewed day by day (2 Cor. 4.16). However, the struggle is painful and arduous. Today's Epistle therefore reminds us that the sufferings of this time are not worthy to be compared with the glory to come that shall be revealed in us. This thought is one of consolation, hope and confidence; it does not, however, prevent us from longing for freedom and complete redemption. This is what the Apostle St. Paul experienced when he said: We also, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption of the sons of God, the redemption of our body in Christ Jesus. The more we suffer because of our wretchedness, the more we should run to Our Savior Jesus Christ living in our midst on the high altar, with full confidence in the power of His redemption.

Today's Gospel (Lk. 5.1-11) is a practical demonstration of the words of Our Savior: Without Me, you can do nothing. Simon and his companions had been fishing all night and had caught nothing; that is all they had been able to do by themselves. If we have some little experience in the Spiritual Life, we will recognize that this is often our situation too. How many efforts we have made to rid ourselves of this or that attachment, to forget injuries, to adapt ourselves to our neighbor's way of doing things and even to subject our will to another's - even the other is more imperfect than we are [as long as they are not contrary to the teachings, Commandments and laws of God and His Church]! And yet, after all these attempts, we find our hands empty, like Peter's nets. Let us not be discouraged; if we can humbly acknowledge our failure instead of feeling annoyance because of it, the failure itself will be turned by Our Lord into victory. So it happened to Peter after he had admitted publicly that he had taken nothing. St. Therese of the Infant Jesus and of the Holy Face remarks: "Had the Apostle caught some small fish, perhaps Our Divine Master would not have worked a miracle; but he had caught nothing, and so through the power and goodness of God his nets were soon filled with great fishes. Such is Our Lord's way. He gives as God, with [what] divine generosity, but He insists on humility of heart."

In spite of our good will to advance in virtue, Our Lord will not permit us to have any success until He sees that are thoroughly convinced of our own weakness and inability - our nothingness; to give us this conviction, He lets us, as He let Peter, work all night without catching anything. But afterwards, as He sees our growing awareness of our poverty and our willingness to admit it openly, He will come to our aid. We must then have great faith in Him, never allowing ourselves to give up through lack of success. Everyday, on His word, we must begin anew. If we have learned not to trust in our own strength, we must also learn to have complete confidence in the divine aid He gives us, especially coming from the hands of Our Blessed Mother and which the Holy Church dispenses to us through our Traditional Sacraments and sacramentals. If we have caught nothing until now, perhaps it is our lack or even want of humility and of unshakable confidence that is the cause, and this deficiency, besides being displeasing to Our Lord, paralyzes our Spiritual Life.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

God's Merciful Love


Third Sunday after Pentecost

My son, give Me thy heart: and let thy eyes keep My ways: for I Am meek and humble of heart (Pr. 23.26; Mt. 11.29).
Today's Liturgy is a warm revelation to us of the divine mercy contained in the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, the great Feast of Which we celebrated last Friday. Thus the Church, even from the beginning of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass (in the Introit), has us pray: Look Thou upon me, O Lord, and have mercy on me; for I am alone and poor. See mine abjection and my labor; and forgive me all my sins, O my God. To Thee, O Lord, have I lifted up my soul: in Thee, my God, I put my trust; let me not be ashamed (Ps. 26.16-18,1,2 DRV); then in the Collect: "O God, the protector of those who trust in Thee... multiply upon us Thy mercy...," and a little later, in the Gradual, we are exhorted: Cast thy care upon the Lord and He shall sustain thee... (Ps. 54.23). But how can we justify all this confidence in God, since we are always poor sinners? The Gospel (Lk. 15.1-10) explains the grounds for this justification by relating two parables used by Jesus Himself to teach us that we can never have too much confidence in His infinite mercy: the story of the lost sheep and the account of the missing drachma.

First, the Savior shows us the good shepherd in search of the lost sheep; it is a picture of God coming down from heaven to search for poor human beings lost in the dark caves of sin with this appeal: if your sins be as scarlet, they shall be made as white as snow: and if they be red as crimson, they shall be white as wool (Is. 1.18). And in order to find them, rescue them from the grip of Satan, and bring them back to His embrace, He does not hesitate to pay the ransom, the cost of which is by the greatest sufferings, and the full of it by His own Blood. And when He hath found it... [He lays] it upon His shoulders, rejoicing: and coming home, [He calls] together His friends and neighbors, saying to them: 'Rejoice with Me for I have found My sheep that was lost.'" This is the story of the love of Jesus for all mankind and especially for every individual soul. We might say that the image of the Good Shepherd - which was so greatly loved in the early days of the Church - is the equivalent of that of the Sacred Heart; both are living, concrete expressions of the merciful love of Jesus, and they urge us to draw closer and closer to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus with complete confidence.

I say to you, that even so there will be joy in heaven over one sinner that doth penance, more than upon ninety-nine just who need not penance (Lk. 15.7). Here we have the underlying idea of all three parables about God's merciful love - the lost sheep, the missing drachma, and the prodigal son (cf., Lk. 15.11.31) - each expressing this thought in a different way. This insistent repetition tells us how earnestly Jesus would inculcate the profound lesson of the infinite mercy flowing from His Most Sacred Heart, a mercy which is the exact opposite of the hard, scornful attitude of the Pharisees* who murmured, saying, "He receives sinners and eats with them. " The three parables are the Master's answer to their mean and treacherous insinuations.
* The same attitude that compelled many to reject the Catholic Church's claim that it is holy (because it is the Mystical Body of Christ, cf., 1 Cor. 12.27) - forgetting that the Body, like her Head, is both divine and human (cf., the last part of our post "The Divine Spirit and the 'spirit' of Vatican II on Homosexuality"), - and found their own ideal sects (Gal. 5.20; 2 Pet. 2.1, 10) of the "saved".
It is not easy for finite creatures with a limited spiritual outlook to understand this ineffable mystery completely; not only is it difficult to understand in respect to others, but it presents a problem even in what concerns ourselves. However, the Good Shepherd said and repeated: ​There will be joy in heaven over one sinner who doth penance, more than over ninety-nine just ​thus giving us to understand what great glory a soul gives to God when, after many falls, it comes back to Him, repentant and confident. The message of this parable applies not only to great sinners, those converted from serious sin, but also to those who turn from venial sins, who humble themselves and rise again after these committed through weakness or lack of reflection. This is our everyday story: how many times we resolve to overcome our impatience, our quick temper, our sensitiveness, and how many times we fall again! But the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus "thrills with joy, when, humbly acknowledging our fault, we come to fling ourselves into His arms, imploring forgiveness; then, He loves us even more tenderly than before we fell" (St. Therese of the Infant Jesus and of the Holy Face).

Friday, June 15, 2012

The Sacred Heart of Jesus


Feast of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus

My son, give Me thy heart: and let thy eyes keep My ways (Pr. 23.26).

After we have contemplated the Holy Eucharist on the Solemn Feast of “Corpus Christi”, a gift crowning all the the gifts of the love of Jesus for men, the Church invites us today to give direct consideration to the love of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, the source and cause of all His gifts. We may call the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus the feast of His “merciful love” (as our dearest St. Therese of the Child Jesus would have it). “Behold this Heart which has so loved men,” Our Lord said to St. Margaret Mary.

Today’s Liturgy inspired with this thought, reviews the immense benefits we owe to the love of Christ and sings a hymn in praise of His love: Cogitationes cordis Ejus (The thoughts of His Heart…), chants the Introit of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, “are to all generations: to deliver them from death, to feed them in time of famine” (Ps 32.11,19, DRV). The Heart of Jesus is always in search of souls to save, to free from the snares of sin, to deliver from the dominion of Satan, to wash with His Blood, to feed with His Body. The Heart of Jesus is always living in the Eucharist to satisfy the hunger of all those who long for Him, to welcome and console all those who, disillusioned by the vicissitudes of life, take refuge in Him, seeking peace and refreshment. Jesus Himself is our support on the hard road of life. Take up My yoke upon you and learn of Me, because I am meek and humble of heart, and you shall find rest for your souls (Mt 11.29). It is impossible to eliminate sorrow from our life; yet if we live for Jesus we can suffer in peace and find in the Heart of Jesus repose for our weary soul. 

The object of Christian devotion to the Sacred Heart is, properly speaking, the physical Heart of Jesus which is worthy of adoration, because it is part of His sacred humanity, hypostatically united to the Eternal Word – the union of human nature and divine nature in the Person of Our Lord. However, the ultimate object of this devotion is the love of Jesus, the symbol of which is His Heart. In other words, “beneath the symbolic image of the Heart, we contemplate and venerate our divine Redeemer’s immense charity and generous love” (Pope Pius VI). This is the real meaning of the devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus by which the Church asks us to honor the Heart of Jesus as the visible representation of His invisible love. “Your charity has allowed You to be wounded by the visible blow of the lance,” the Liturgy of today’s Feast sings, “so that we may venerate the wounds of Your invisible love” (Roman Breviary).

Therefore, the principal object of this devotion is the love of Jesus, an uncreated love with which He, as the divine Word, together with the Father and the Holy Spirit, loved us from all eternity (I have loved thee with an everlasting love…, Jer. 31.3), and from all eternity willed to become incarnate for our salvation. It is also the created love of charity with which, as Man, He loved us even to the death of the Cross, meriting for us by His love that same charity by which we are enabled to love Him in return. Here we find the most profound significance of devotion to the Sacred Heart. St. Teresa Margaret of the sacred Heart of Jesus had such thorough understanding of this meaning that she made this devotion the center of her life. The process of her canonization says that the Saint “saw the Heart of Jesus as the center, the source of the love with which the divine Word, in the bosom of the Father, loved us from all eternity, and merited for us in time the power to love Him in return, on earth and in heaven, by our sharing in this love.”

Other devotions to Our Lord have for their object the mysteries or special aspects of His life, as for example, the Incarnation, the hidden life, the Passion. Devotion to the Sacred Heart, on the contrary, has a more general object, the love of Jesus, which constitutes the profound, essential reason for all His mysteries, the love that is the first and only cause of all He has done for us. In this sense, devotion to the Sacred Heart touches, as it were, the mainspring of all the mysteries of the Redeemer, the essential raison d’etre of His life, His Person. It is the love which explains the Incarnation of the Eternal Word, the life of the Man-God, His Passion, His Eucharist. We cannot possibly understand the mystery by which the Son of God became Man, died on the Cross to save mankind, and then became their Food, if we do not admit this infinite love which compelled God the Creator, the Most high, to find a way to give Himself entirely for the salvation of His creatures. The Church gives expression o this interpretation: “Amor coegit Te Tuus mortale corpus sumere” (“Thy love has impelled Thee” – or rather, has ‘constrained’ Thee, if we accept the Latin word in its full sense – “to assume a mortal body, so that as the new Adam, Thou wouldst restore what the old Adam had lost,” Hymn, Office of Matins). The hymn continues, now praising the eternal love of the divine Word, now the human love of Jesus; two loves which, in fact, cannot be separated, just as the sacred humanity of Jesus cannot be disassociated from the Eternal Word which assumed it [what Catholic theology calls the 'hypostatic union']. Jesus is both God and Man, hence His love is both divine and human. He loved us and continues to love us as God and as Man. His human, created love is made sublime by the eternal love of the divine Word, or rather, it becomes the very love of the Word Who makes it His own, just as all the sentiments and acts of Christ as Man are raised to a supreme dignity. Thus, His divine love becomes sensible, comprehensible, and tangible to us by means of the manifestations of His human love. It is always the humanity of Jesus which reveals His divinity to us, and just as we know the Son of God through His sacred humanity, so do we know His divine love through the human love of Jesus. 

Promises made by Our Lord Jesus Christ to St. Margaret Mary in favour of those who practice devotion to His Most Sacred Heart:

1. “I will give them all the graces necessary for their state in life.”
2. “I will establish peace in their families.”
3. “I will console them in their difficulties.”
4. “I will be their secure refuge during life, and especially at death.”
5. “I will shed abundant blessings upon all their undertakings.”
6. “Sinners shall find in My Heart a fountain and boundless ocean of mercy.”
7. “Tepid souls shall become fervent.”
8. “Fervent souls shall rise speedily in great perfection.”
9. “I will bless every house in which the picture of My Sacred Heart shall be exposed and honoured.”
10. “I will give priests the power of touching the hardest of hearts.”
11. “Those who propagate this devotion shall have their names written in My Heart and they shall never be effaced.”
12. “I promise thee in the excessive mercy of My Heart, that My all-powerful love will grant to all those who receive Holy Communion on the First Friday of every month for nine consecutive months, the grace of final perseverance; they shall not die under My displeasure nor without receiving the Sacraments, and My Divine Heart shall be their safe refuge at that last hour.” 

Take up my yoke upon you, and learn of Me, because I am meek and humble of heart: and you shall find rest to your souls (Mt. 11.29).

A blessed Feast to all!

Related posts: "The Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus" and "The Problem with the 'Divine Mercy Devotion'

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Second Fatima Message: Devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary


Feast of St. Anthony of Padua
Doctor of the Church, "Terror of heretics", "The Wonder Worker", Patron of Portugal

This day, ninety-five years ago, Our Immaculate Mother came again to Fatima as She promised to Lucia, Francisco, and Jacinta on May 13. The Blessed Mother told Lucia:

"Jesus... wants to establish in the world devotion to My Immaculate Heart. To whoever embraces this devotion I promise salvation: these souls shall be dear to God, as flowers placed by Me to adorn His throne.

Do you suffer a great deal? Don't lose heart. I will never forsake you. My Immaculate Heart will be your refuge and the way that will lead you to God."

+ +

"Jesus wants to establish in the world devotion to My Immaculate Heart...," that is, as one of the last remedies* for the world: "God is giving two last remedies to the world. These are the Holy Rosary and Devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. These are the last two** remedies, which signify that there will be no others***" (Sr. Lucia of the Immaculate Heart, C.D., in The Whole Truth About Fatima, Vol. III, pp. 336-339, 710).
* This does not mean however that Our Blessed Mother is replacing the traditional Sacraments, most especially the Sacraments of Penance and the Holy Eucharist, instituted by Her Divine Son. "Traditional Sacraments", that is, the Sacraments administered according to the Traditional Rite and not according to the "useless" (cf., Fr. Gabriel Amorth, Chief Exorcist at the Vatican, on the New Rite of Exorcism for example in our post "Our Lady and the Diabolical Campaign") Novus Ordo (the Vatican II New 'Catholic Order') Rite.

** They are therefore in addition to the traditional Sacramental life of a truly devout Christian.

*** This denies the claim of the "Divine Mercy Devotion" (cf., "The Problem with the 'Divine Mercy Devotion'").

"To whomever embraces this devotion I promise salvation..." This does not preclude even those who are the most miserable of sinners - those who are in the bondage of the devil through the vice of lust (impurity and homosexuality); they must, however, have recourse first to the traditional Sacrament of Penance where, at the Confessional, they will find grace with God: their sins washed away by the Most Sacred and Precious Blood of the Crucified; and, a Traditional Catholic Priest would examine the festering fatal wound of the disorder that is in them and so prescribe to them the most appropriate remedy God gives through the hands of Our Immaculate Mother and which the Church dispenses.

Related post: "Consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary"

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Pope Benedict XVI on the New 'Mass': Outbalanced Liturgy - More a celebration than worship


Second Sunday after Pentecost

In his Corpus Christi homily last Thursday [the Feast has been transferred to this Sunday in the Novus Ordo - the New 'Catholic Order'] at the Lateran Basilica in Rome, our Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, admitted that there are "incomplete visions of the Mystery [of the Holy Eucharist]" behind the Novus Ordo Missae, or the New 'Mass' designed by the Freemason Bugnini and which Pope Paul VI "wish[ed]" to be celebrated. Categorically, the Roman Pontiff underscored that " it is a mistake to oppose celebration and adoration, as if they were in competition with one another" and how Vatican II [dis-]orientation "has penalized this dimension[of "Eucharistic worship, in particular adoration of the Most Blessed Sacrament"]."

"... A mistake..." As we have already pointed out in our post, "First Fatima Message (I): A Penitential Life...," the Novus Ordo Missae was erroneously conceived. Defined in Pope Paul VI's Institutio Generalis according as the Lutherans understood it (not as the Council of Trent dogmatically defined it): "The Lord's Supper or Mass is the assembly or meeting of the People of God, met together with a priest presiding, to celebrate the Memorial of the Lord." While the "Memorial" being celebrated is not anymore according to the Scriptural literal sense of the Victim's sacrificial death being made present and renewed (see Exodus to Deuteronomy in the Old Testament on the perpetual mandate of the ritual sacrifice of life in memorial of the Passover - which sacrifice was but a figure of the perpetual ritual sacrifice of the Lamb of God on the Catholic high-altar (cf., "We have an altar..."), that is, the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, for the honor and glory of God and for the salvation of souls -  but a  narrative; at the same time, a proclamation not of the death of the Lord until He comes but of the New "Paschal Mystery" where the Cross is not totally blotted out of the picture but relegated to an edge*  in the Anamnesis of the New 'Mass': "Christ has died, Christ is risen [the central Mysterium Fidei (the "mystery of faith")], Christ will come again [though Christ's Resurrection - a 'victory of love' calling for a grand celebration - is central, then again 'don't remain static on it; look ahead, move forward to the grandest celebration still yet to be experienced (how Modernist it is!).]" If just a single dogmatic error in religion leads one to the worship of devils (being deceived with error thou adore strange gods, and serve them, Deut. 30.17 - only the DRV translates thus), what of a conceptual "mistake" of the very rite of 'worship' itself? The New 'Missal', devised as it was by those who had chosen to be led by the spirit of error and therefore containing as it does in its formulary 'prayers' the erroneous concept of the Mass, needs not be revised - a futile exercise: just as one does not insist on a traditional Catholic discipline in a system designed in principle to be Catholicism subverted - but for the Sovereign Pontiff, who is also the visible High Priest of the New Covenant, to have the sacrilegious Novus Ordo Missae abolished and anathematized, with the equally sacrilegious New 'Missal' burned.
*  Just as the Real Presence of Christ - if there is still the Real Presence - in the tabernacle has ceased to occupy the centrally exalted position in the Sanctuary but pushed aside and even out of the Neo-Catholic parish churches to be kept in a "Perpetual Adoration Chapel" where lay people, except their "presider", could adore.**

** But it is written: In the sanctuary have I come before Thee, to see Thy power and Thy glory... Adore ye the Lord in His holy court (Ps. 62.3; 95.9).

"... Penalized [the dimension] of Eucharistic worship..." A subtle admission then that the spirit of Vatican II, which breathes the New 'Catholic Theology' (cf., "The Ultimate Delusion of Vatican II 'Catholicism'") to be the soul of the New Liturgical Celebration,  is radically at 'theological' odds with the divine Spirit Who authored the Traditional Rite of Worship. Entering the temple of God (cf., Pope Paul VI in his 'famous' speech of June 1972 at the Lombard College in Rome, cf., "Our Lady and the Diabolical Campaign") without having been authoritatively and decisively resisted and exorcised, this spirit succeeded in suppressing the Divine Worship and even dared fulminate with incredibly indecisive sanctions of 'excommunication' or the 'irregular canonical status' of 'partially' in communion with the Holy See' - exercising an 'illegitimate priestly ministry' - against those who, faithful to the true God who called them for the divine service, would claim that his cult is nothing but a "bastard[ly]" pretentious rite and insist that the Eucharistic Worship which Catholic generations knew well until 1969  is "the norm [therefore, "the ordinary form"]... in perpetuity" (cf., "The Traditional Latin Mass...").

Finally, Pope Benedict XVI notes that "the worship of the Most Blessed Sacrament is as the spiritual 'environment' in which the community can celebrate the Eucharist well and in truth." Our Holy Father must have been alluding to his earlier statement, as Cardinal Ratzinger, in his autobiography, on the Neo-Catholic 'Liturgy': "the community is only celebrating itself without its being worthwhile to do so."

Thursday, June 7, 2012

The Christian Faith: the Key to the Divine Life (II)


Solemn Feast of Corpus Christi

In our previous post, "The Christian Faith: the Key to Divine Life (I)," Faith, with a capital "F", refers rather to a divine gift - a knowledge of God but which is an intimate revelation of God's very Person, His truths, and His will THROUGH THE AUTHORITY OF HIS WORD; a supernatural knowledge of God in His intimate life the revelation of which moves, by grace, the assent and adherence of reason, though it does not comprehend the extent, the breadth, and the depth of how it is so - and therefore not determined by the "logical necessity" of the evidence or the solid rationally credible motives offered. As such, this divine gift is a light shed upon our minds darkened by original sin: In Him [the Eternal Word made flesh] was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness... That was the true light, which enlighteneth every man that cometh into this world (Jn. 1.4,5,9). It is a free gift of God by way of divine aid to heal, nourish, and perfect reason; therefore, the truly supernatural Christian Faith can never contradict reason nay do injury to it by crushing it down.

Central to this supernatural revelation is the truth that in God there are Three consubstantially divine Persons. God knowing Himself infinitely and eternally generates the Word Who Is not a mere abstraction but Knowledge and Wisdom Who is Living and Personal. And God knowing Himself to be the Supreme Good, loves Himself not with a mere power or passion  but with a Love that is also Living and Personal.

In the course of the Liturgical Year, God, through the teaching authority of His Church, instructs us, step by step, from the consideration of the mysteries of the life of Jesus Christ to the contemplation of the Most Holy Trinity, Whose solemn feast we celebrated last Sunday. Jesus, our Mediator, our Way, has taken us the by the hand and led us back to our true life: the Trinity; and today it seems as though the Three Persons Themselves wish to take us back to Jesus, considered in His Holy EucharistNo man cometh to the Father but by Me (Jn. 14.6), Our Savior said, and He added, No man can come to Me except the Father... draws him [by the Holy Ghost] (ibid., 6.44). This is the journey of the Christian soul: from Jesus to the Trinity; from the Trinity to Jesus

We recall here that through the merits of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, especially through His Passion and Death on the Cross, we were able to obtain from the Father not only His pardon, mercy, and deliverance from eternal perdition but even participation in the intimate life of God through the seed of that divine organism which the Holy Ghost infuses into the soul at Baptism transforming us into a new creation, a new babe born again as it were, perfectible unto the measure of the age of the fullness of Christ... until Christ be [perfectly] formed in us (Eph. 4.13; Gal. 2.20). Now, this new divine organism needs be fed, nourished, and strengthened until Christ is finally perfected in it. The Introit of the Mass refers us to the wheat [the manna] and honey with which God once fed the Hebrews in the desert, a heavenly miraculous food, and yet a mere figure of ​the true Living and Life-Giving Bread on the Catholic high altar [cf., our post "We have an altar (Heb. 13.10): the Divine Institution of the Holy Eucharist"] feeding those who have been baptized ​in nomine Patris, et Filii, et Spiritus Sancti. 

The Lord and Savior Jesus Christ requires a great faith - that one which ​discerns (cf.,  1  Cor. 11.29) and takes the consecrated bread for what it truly and really is on the authority of the Eternal Word and of His Church He constituted to be ​the pillar and ground of the truth ​(1 Tim. 3.15) for all ages - among those who seek His life-giving presence and rebukes those of little for in the Holy Eucharist, He is not only actually, truly, and really living among us (therefore, the Church enthusiastically sings in her Divine Office: "There is no other nation so great as to have its gods so near as our God is present to us," ​The Roman Breviary​), but it is Jesus Himself become our ​supersubstantial [Food] (Mt 6.11, Vulg. and DRV). In order to have a better understanding of the immense value of the Holy Eucharist, we must go back to the very words of Jesus, most opportunely recalled in the Gospel of the day, He that eateth My Flesh and drinketh My Blood, abideth in Me and I in him​. The Savior made Himself our Food in order to assimilate us to Himself (while in the natural order of things, it is our food that is assimilated to us), to make us live His life, to make us live in Him, as He Himself lives in His Father. The Holy Eucharist is truly the sacrament of union and at the same time it is the clearest and most convincing proof that God calls us and pleads with us to come to intimate union with Himself in [F]aith. I will espouse thee to Me in faith (Os. 2.20).

A blessed Feast to all!

Christian Doctrinal Instruction: The Real Presence of Jesus Christ in the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist


Solemnity of Corpus Christi 

After the miraculous multiplication of the loaves and fishes (the Gospel for the Fourth Sunday in Lent) the people went in search of Christ, and found Him in the synagogue at Capharnaum. They wanted Him to give them bread again; but Our Lord promised to give them the Bread of immortality. When they asked asked Him for It, saying: Lord, give us always This Bread (Jn. 6.33), He answered: The Bread that I will give is My Flesh (Jn. 6.52). And when they refused to believe His words, He rather reiterated - which reiteration only underscores the difficulty already discerned by the Jews and some of  Our Lord's disciples in v. 52: Amen, amen I say unto youExcept you eat the Flesh of the Son of man, and drink His Blood, you shall not have life in you. He that eateth My Flesh and drinketh My Blood, hath everlasting life, and I will raise him up at the Last Day. For My Flesh is Meat indeed, and My Blood is drink indeed (Jn. 6.47,54-56). From the Scriptural passage, Our Lord's language is not susceptible of any symbolic or metaphorical interpretation as the "Bible-only" sectarians would have it.

"When Our Savior," explains Cardinal Gibbons, "says to the Jews: Your fathers did eat manna, and are dead..., but he that eateth this [Eucharistic] Bread shall live forever (Jn. 6.49,59), He evidently wishes to affirm the superiority of the Food which He would give, over the manna by which the children of Israel were nourished."

"Now, " continues the same eminent prelate, "if the [Holy] Eucharist were merely commemorative bread and wine [as the "Bible-only" sectarians profess it to be], instead of being superior, it would be really inferior to the manna; for the manna was supernatural, heavenly, miraculous food, while bread and wine are a natural, earthly food." 

"But," the same prince of the Church points out, "the best and the most reliable interpreters of our Savior's words are certainly the multitude and the disciples who are listening to Him. They all understood the import of Our Lord's language precisely as it is explained by the Catholic Church, the pillar and ground of the truth (1 Tim. 3.15). They believed that Our Lord spoke literally of His Body and Blood. St.  John the Evangelist tells us that the Jews strove among themselves, saying: How can this Man give us His Flesh to eat? (Jn. 6.53) Even His disciples, though avoiding the disrespectful language of the multitude, gave expression to their doubt in this milder form: This saying is hard, and who can hear it? (Jn. 6.61) So much were they shocked at Our Savior's promise that after this many of His disciples went back and walked no more with Him (Jn. 6.67). They evidently implied, by their words and and conduct, that they understood Jesus to have spoken literally of His Flesh; for, had they interpreted His words in a figurative sense, it would not have been a hard saying, nor have led them to abandon their Master" ("The Faith of Our Fathers," 236-237).

The "Bible-only" sectarians would require that "Transubstantiation," the "Real Presence of Jesus Christ in the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist," etc. be literally expressed by the Sacred Scriptures before that they accept Catholic dogmas; but now that the Word speaks literally of the Bread of Life which He would give to be His Flesh and Meat indeed they desist. No, only Catholics believe in the same Jesus Christ revealed in the Sacred Writ.

A most blessed Feast to all!

Related posts: "We have an altar (Heb. 13.10): The Divine Institution of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass;" "Doctrinal Instruction: the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist"

Monday, June 4, 2012

The Christian Faith: the Key to Divine Life (I)


Feast of St. Francis Caracciolo
Founder of the Minor Clerks Regular

In yesterday's post, "The Divine Life in Itself and in us," the Most Holy Trinity - the Supernatural Life in essence - has condescended to us, in His great mercy, through the Incarnation and the Passion and Death of the Word Incarnate making us even participate in His inner life by infusing in us sanctifying grace at Baptism. This sanctifying grace is, as it were,  the seed of divine organism infused into us, transforming us into His sons, and will be perfected by the operation of the Holy Ghost day by day (2 Cor. 4.16) until we arrive at that perfect measure of  the age of the fullness of Christ (Eph. 3.14): perfectly conformed to the mind and heart of Christ (cf., "The Holy Ghost: the Divine Gift par excellence").

The key to this Christian participation in the intimate life of God is the supernatural virtue of [F]aith. The Lord and Savior Jesus Christ teaches us: this is eternal life, that they may know Thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, Whom Thou hast sent (Jn. 17.3). Catholic doctrine teaches that "the one true God, Creator and Lord, can be known with certainty by the natural light of human reason" (Vatican I, DZ 1806), that is, the human mind, even without the data of divine revelation, can know and prove with certainty, by the natural light of human reason and from contemplation of creation, that there is one God - the Creator and Lord of all that is. However, since man is ordained to a life of eternal bliss - therefore supernatural ("supra-", above or in this case way above the condition necessary for a created nature)  - aside from the fact that the natural operation of his mind is limited and even weighed down as it is with infirmity through original sin, this natural knowledge of God, mixed with error, can never attain to a clear and and correct knowledge of the true God which is the foundation of eternal life in us. Therefore, man needs to be elevated to the sphere of the divine where his supernatural operations is informed by the superintelligible things. "The failure to distinguish," says Prof. Romano Amerio, a renowned orthodox peritus (theological expert) to the Bishop of Lugano (Italy), His Excellency Jelmini, during the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965), "between the sphere of the naturally intelligible and the sphere of the superintelligible brings with it a misrepresentation of Catholic doctrine concerning the theological virtues..." (Iota Unum: A Study of Changes in the Catholic Church in the 20th Century, 164).

Faith in the Traditional Catholic Order of things: "The theological virtue of [F]aith" (by. Prof. R. Amerio)

"Reason cannot arrive at a demonstration of supernatural truths such as those regarding the Holy Trinity... These are truths proposed by revelation and apprehensible only by [the gift of] Faith. But that impossibility does not deprive the act of Faith of its rational character: it remains supremely reasonable. By recognizing itself as finite, reason sees that knowable truths can exist beyond its own limit, without being apprehensible by rational evidence. Reason adheres to these truths with an assent; but this assent is produced not by a logical necessity stemming from the evidence, but by a supernatural determinant, namely grace.

Faith is a supernatural virtue, pertaining to our own power of knowing, by which man [is made to go] beyond his own [natural] limits and assents to things he cannot see precisely because of their being beyond his own [natural] limits. According to Catholic teaching Faith is a virtue that resides in man's intellect, just as charity resides in the will; it is possible because, as we have said, man's intellect is limited.

The reason for Faith is, on one side, this limitation of the intellect,* and on the other the authority of the revealed divine Word. The fact that there has been a revelation pertains to history, and has to be shown from history. The authority of the divine Word is likewise something knowable by reason. It would be a vicious cycle to say that man recognizes God's authority on God's authority; the proposed revelation is accepted as authoritative because of arguments showing that it really does come from a God Whose authority can be known by an analytical examination of the concept of God itself. All the sources of authority in the Catholic system are thus grounded on reason, and if reason submits to Authority [that is, to God through the teaching authority of the Levitical priests (cf., Deut. 17.9-12; 21.5; 1 Par., or 1 Chronicles in non-Catholic versions, 15.2) of His New Covenant, cf., Lk 10.16: 1 Kings (1 Sam. in non-Catholic versions) 8.7] it is because reason itself has seen the need of submitting. Thereafter, divine authority becomes the criterion that prevails all others. The things Christians believe are thus certain since the grounds for believing them lie not in some property belonging to the creature, but in the truth of God's own thought" (ibid.).
* "All sciences are based on [f]aith in that they receive from other sciences knowledge that they do not themselves prove, but believe on the authority of the sciences from which they receive them. This sort of thing also happens in ordinary social life."

Sunday, June 3, 2012

"The Divine Life in Itself and in us"


Feast of the Most Holy Trinity

The participation which we enjoy in the inner life of God - begun in Baptism - is our supernatural life which is what Christian life is all about. The new relations which thereby binds us to Him and to our neighbor are a reflection of those relations which prevail among the three adorable Persons - the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. The divine Trinity [not that there are 'three Gods' - a contradiction in itself - but that in God there are three Persons and these three Persons are consubstantial, that is, of one divine essence and nature so that in one Godhead they are equally adored and worshipped], Is the supernatural life in essence; whereas, the participation which we enjoy in this inner life of God is properly sanctifying grace, which makes us sons of God, co-heirs with Christ, and living temples of the Holy Ghost. Sanctifying grace is the supernatural life redounding to us through participation.

God is life Himself, and that life is the light of men. Our God is not a philosophical abstraction; He Is the Living God, the Living One par exellence, Vivens Pater [the Living Father]. Moreover, for Him to live is to know and to love, for His knowledge and love are His very life; and the adequate terminus of His operations is His own divinity. In Him there is absolute simplicity, with perfect identity between His being and His operations, between the principle and the term of action, between one attribute and the other. His essence is life [I Am Who Am, Ex. 3.14], His life is activity, and His actions are not only vital but they are life itself.

Yet, there is in God a personal distinction. God the Father, living in the plenitude of His life, knows Himself eternally and infinitely. Knowing Himself, He produces or utters from eternity the Word of His Wisdom [- the Son -] the faithful, living, and personal representation of His Infinite Being [and not a mere abstraction as is produced in our human mind - for what is in God that is not God?]; and this issuing forth of the Word, expressed by knowledge and likeness, is His eternal generation [while the revealing of this Word, by His being made flesh, is His Incarnation]. The Word is most truly the Son of God the Father - from Whom all fatherhood in heaven and on earth receives its name; and He [the Son] is, in turn, the model of all filiation.

The Father and the Son contemplate and love each other infinitely, in the full communication of the selfsame divine Essence. The terminus of this impetus or spiration with which They love each other, the eternal embrace by which They bind Themselves to each other, is an infinite Love which is personal at the same that it is consubstantial [- the Holy Ghost]. This is the mystery of that ineffable life which human reason could never discover; and, even when manifested, could never understand [but in Heaven, we shall know God as He knows Himself - through the "beatific vision" of seeing God facie ad faciem (face to face, Ex. 33.11): this the Church teaches us through Her divine liturgy where her priest ministers to God, truly and really present in the tabernacle at the high altar, facie ad faciem with his back turned to the people]. But Faith infallibly attests the reality of this life; and illumined souls experience it with full certitude, even in this world (cf., St. Teresa of Jesus, Interior Castle, Seventh Mansion, Ch. I).

God makes us participate in this same marvelous life by supernaturalizing our life to the point of deification. Through His condescension we enter into fellowship with the three divine Persons Themselves, in such a way that there re-echoes in us that inexpressible mystery: the Father reproducing His Word in our hearts and both together infusing in us and breathing upon us their Spirit of charity*. Thus each divine Person impresses on us His characteristic property and makes us participate in something of Himself. The Father gives us His divine being [not to make us consubstantial with Him, however]; the Holy Ghost vivifies and sanctifies us by pouring forth His charity in our hearts; and the Word, directly joined to our nature through the Incarnation and united with the whole Church and every just soul through the grace of His most sacred passion, fashions us to His own image and likeness.
* love or charity? Charity is the Christian supernatural love which the Spirit of Truth infuses in the hearts of just souls - the divine love that bears souls upon its wings to Heaven. Love is that which even the wicked is still capable of and does not merit the divine complacency. If I should distribute all my goods to feed the poor... and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing (1 Cor. 13.3).
The Father has predestined us to become conformed to the image of His Son (cf., Rom. 8.29) [- and not to the image of the idols of this world]; to that end He calls us and justifies us and gives us the Spirit of adoption and of promise. So, when the charity of the Father dwells in us, the Father and the Son also dwells in us (cf., Jn. 14.23; 1 Jn.4.13,16). We are then living temples of the entire Trinity and a "little heaven" where God reigns and is glorified. At the same time He glorifies Himself in us by letting the innermost splendors of His eternal brilliance shine forth in our souls (cf., Jn. 17.22) so that we become one with Him. Thus each divine Person influences the work of our deification according to His own particular property. He who possesses the Spirit of charity, possesses eternal life within himself; and that is the same life as was in the Father and which He manifested to us in the Word (cf., Jn. 1.2-7; 3.15; 4.12f; 5.11f). - Rev. Fr. John G. Arintero, O.P.

A most blessed Feast to all!

Salvation is in the "Blood of the Lamb"

Apocalypse XIV now unfolding (cf., our posts "The Wine of the Wrath of God" and "After Pope Benedict XVI, the 'Last' Roman Pontiff?"). The divine chastisement of world-wide conflagration (Lk. 17.29-30, cf., our post "Our Lady, Vatican II Disorientation, and the Annihilation of Many Nations") to annihilate the 'super-power' and cities and nations drunk with the wine of its immodesty, impurity, fornication, homosexuality, and blasphemies (Apoc. 14.8) is imminent - the close of our end-times period (distinct from the consummation of the world, Mt. 28.20).

They... have made them white in the Blood of the Lamb
(Apoc. 7.14) ... All things... are cleansed with Blood: and without shedding of Blood there is no remission (Heb. 9.22).

The Blood of the [Divine] Lamb can be availed of in the traditional Rite of the Sacrament of Penance (cf., our post "On Concealing Sins in Confession") and of the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist (the Traditional Latin Mass). Go to our traditional Catholic Mass Centers (links on the left-side bar of this site). Flee to the mountains... (Mt. 24.16).

See also the Messages and Appeals (on the upper right-side bar) of the Apocalyptic Woman in her title of Our Lady of Fatima.